February 12th, 2008
this time i post the Podcasting Panel from Friday afternoon at Further Confusion. featured are Genevieve and Kenneth Fox of the FANDOM podcast over at http://www.fandom.podbean.com and Chris Garcia from the Fanboy Planet Podcast at http://www.fanboyplanet.com.
i was so very happy to meet and talk with all 3 of these fine furs. Genevieve and Chris were also FC volunteers and Chris had put together the Tech Track.
as always, the show is posted at http://www.woyroswarren.podshow.com.
right now i'm buzzing with happiness and anticipation for my trip down to FWA! i just hope that we dont get too much snow overnight and that i can get out of here close to on time. i have to change planes in Philly, and i have nearly a FOUR HOUR LAYOVER. so, even if i get out of here a couple hours late, i'll still be able to make my connection.
TRAVEL HINT: when booking flights during the winter that fly in the northern regions...be sure to leave plenty of layover time between flights if at all possible! better to have to sit in a terminal for a couple hours between flights than MISS a connection and have to wait even LONGER...or be STRANDED!
Well, anyway, if you recognize at all on this group, when I do get into discussions, I usually bring up the fact (with irritating regularity, I'm sure) that I am a working journalist, and I find the lack of furry faith in the media disturbing. In fact, I think I'll just go on the record for saying I think the "no media EVAR!!!!11oneeleven" mentality that many furries, and many furry conventions, have is, bluntly, really fucking stupid.
Furries have a media problem. We do not get enough attention. The media is not out to get us. To be out to get us, they have to give a shit about us. We are nothing. The media can treat us like crap because we are worthless in their eyes. There are only three areas we get any respect. Those are webcomics, Second Life and Pittsburgh. Most webcomic sites will list animal related comics as "furry," and not "funny" or whatever, like print comics do. If they even have anything with animals. The official Second Life handbook blabs on and on about furries, and they have a start up furry avatar (which, of course, isn't very good, but that's beside the point). And it should be noted that only one of those three areas is not Internet related. But we're not going to make get any more respect IF WE DON'T GET SOME SORT OF PUBLICITY.
Now, not all publicity is good. That CSI episode sucked, no arguments here. It was embarassing to find out my non-furry friend had switched to a rerun on SpikeTV right in the middle of the orgy scene, and was instantly reminded of me. And that, of course, is just the tip of the iceberg. And some of you may not believe it is necessary to gain respect from others, or publicity. We're a community, and we have each other, we don't need them. If we get good, nice, if we get bad publicity, bad, and if we get none, well, at least it wasn't bad. If you feel this way, well, you might as well stop reading.
Furry, roughly, as a community, has been around almost 30 years. A community based around the idea of Anthropomorphic Animals. In those thirty years, media containing characters such as that, while it certainly hasn't decreased, it hasn't really increased, either. It's about the same, besides what the community has produced itself, but that is almost completely within the community, and has not had any real effect on outside media. Animal characters created outside the fandom in the 80s, 90s and 00s are about the same as animal characters created before.
There's a plethora of reasons to be a furry, and love of anthropomorphic animal characters is just one. And, sure, we do a great job providing our own. In fact, it can be said we do this sort of thing better. I've been looking forward to Super Smash Bros. Brawl on the Wii, and I can't wait to try out the Star Fox characters, but, honestly, I've seen more impressive anthro-foxes and wolves on Second Life videos on YouTube, graphically. And certainly, design wise (but that's another rant.). I guess you could say, we don't need mainstream media.
But let's go back to that CSI episode. When asked what was the most unbelievable thing she learned on the show, Marge Helgenberger (an actress on the show) didn't list any actual gruesome CSI technique. She listed furries. And you might think that's horrible. I say, that's not horrible.
Just a straight appeal to greed here, but, honestly, does any one want to make some money off this furry stuff? Honest question, why is Anthrocon a non-profit organization? How hard can it be to get a corporate sponsor for that thing? Do you really think an event with 2000+ people and Internet coverage out the Wazoo is a hard sell? Why aren't we attracting computer companies, Internet providers, video game makers, animation studios, comic book publishers, etc. to the big cons? And if you think that "bad publicity" might scare someone off, well, I'm sorry, being the "Worst thing on the Internet" is a great tagline!
Of course, it isn't that easy, but I think furries are guilty of selling themselves short. Lest we forget, we ARE media. We may not need the mainstream, but perhaps the mainstream may need us. If a movie about talking cars can be a cultural touchstone, I think people are more ready than you might think. I'm not saying somebody should pitch a "Yiffstar's Greatest Hits" to HBO, but it might be interesting to try.
Does anybody else feel this way?
WHAT IN THE WORLD DO THEY MEAN?!