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My Weekend At A Furry Convention
January 24, 2013 3:05 PM   Subscribe

Kotaku article about, well, a weekend at a furry convention. Of note because it features a short interview with MeFi's own egypturnash (near the end, under "Our Transhuman Future"), plus a pic of her awesome dragon tattoo.
posted by Halloween Jack (49 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is so poorly written. Does Kotaku have an editor? How many times do we need to hear about how anxious he is?
posted by Falconetti at 3:19 PM on January 24, 2013 [7 favorites]


I'm not even going to ask what that white thing is on the horse's back, other than to assume it fell off and they had to put it somewhere.
posted by phaedon at 3:19 PM on January 24, 2013


Does Kotaku have an editor?

Ha ha thanks for the laugh.
posted by 2bucksplus at 3:20 PM on January 24, 2013 [7 favorites]


It's a sloppy article, but it's really nice to see one that does something other than just point and laugh at furry culture. I find that particular habit less and less appealing the older I get, especially since so many of the subcultures I identify with have been the target of that sort of shitty media attention at various points in recent history.
posted by restless_nomad at 3:24 PM on January 24, 2013 [12 favorites]


Truman Capote she is not.
posted by steganographia at 3:25 PM on January 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm not even going to ask what that white thing is on the horse's back, other than to assume it fell off and they had to put it somewhere.

That looks like a Cucco, or what they call chickens in the Legend of Zelda games. At least, that's what I'm guessing, based on the Triforce on the saddle and the proximity of two Link cosplayers nearby. It's probably there to keep people from hopping on the cosplayer's back. (Yeah, you'll get hop-ons.)

This looks less like a full-on furry convention and more like a standard nerds-in-costumes convention that happens to have furry-centric activities somewhere on the program.
posted by Strange Interlude at 3:27 PM on January 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


I didn't realize it until just now, but there's something egalitarian in the idea of furries that I really like. A lot of other cosplay fandom is focused on detailed emulation as a specific individual. No one is "a member of SOLDIER," everyone is Cloud Strife. I really hope there is no canonical ur-Horse that everyone aspires to, but that instead the furry world is full of citizen equines. From what little I know, it sounds like there's some interest in "special," "unique" novelty animals (white tigers, silver-tipped foxes, wholphins, etc.), but the general idea that you represent a species sounds really great.
posted by Nomyte at 3:32 PM on January 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


more like a standard nerds-in-costumes convention that happens to have furry-centric activities somewhere on the program.

That's more or less what a furry convention is. Actually, sub out "furry" before "-centric" and you've described basically any genre or geek con. You get Strong Bad at anime cons, anime characters at furry cons, furries at Comicon, whatever. Heck, the Tron Guy got internet-famous for wearing his suit at a Linux developers con. At any rate, Further Confusion is one of the more prominent furry cons, so it's likely to attract all types.

The presence of the Klingon party makes me wonder if it's a legacy of Furry vs. Klingon Bowling.
posted by darksasami at 3:43 PM on January 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


The tweet at the bottom is from Mefi's own sambosambo.
posted by padraigin at 3:44 PM on January 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


Hey, that is a nice tattoo. I'd love to see some better photos of it.
posted by box at 3:45 PM on January 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


What the hell do you pack for a furry convention?

Tails.
posted by not the fingers, not the fingers at 3:46 PM on January 24, 2013 [7 favorites]


No disrespect intended, egypturnash, but up to now I've casually mis-parsed your user name, and assumed it had something to do with mashed turnips. My bad.
posted by benito.strauss at 3:49 PM on January 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


Do they play Spot the Fed here, like at DefCon?
posted by Bwithh at 3:50 PM on January 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I want to know more about these Star Trek references she needed to know to get drinks, just in case I ever need to get drinks at a Klingon theme party during a Furry convention.

I'm torn about these Otherkin. I'm all for doing your own thing but I'd like to see some cooler kintypes. I guess dragons are cool, but who wants to have the soul of a llama or a cucco. The suit upkeep must be killer as well.

I'd go for some sort of omnipotent energy being who can alter reality to insert a human representation or maybe a T-1001. Would be convenient as I could wear my normal clothes.

I guess that is missing the point though. if they could choose they may all have chosen dragons or t-1001.If I understand correctly, and I probably don't, they maintain they didn't choose, they were born as a llama soul in the body of a human and the costume is just temporary until the day they can assume llama form.

Since I can choose, I'd choose to be a T-1001 but I suppose the world needs as many llamas as it can get.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:52 PM on January 24, 2013


It's a bit of a sloppy article, but I'll give it props for trying to be objective and balanced. I'm a furry, and I think the article did a fair job, especially for being written by a non-furry, of trying to discover and explain the broad spectrum of the fandom.
posted by xedrik at 3:52 PM on January 24, 2013


>> What the hell do you pack for a furry convention?

> Tails.

And Heads.
posted by King Sky Prawn at 3:53 PM on January 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm all for doing your own thing but I'd like to see some cooler kintypes. I guess dragons are cool, but who wants to have the soul of a llama or a cucco.

My spirit animal is a llama, but it actually thinks it's a dragon trapped in a llama's body.
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:55 PM on January 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


What the hell do you pack for a furry convention?

Lint rollers. Lots and lots of lint rollers.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:58 PM on January 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


"Truman Capote she is not"

What about Truman CAT Pote?
posted by UseyurBrain at 4:01 PM on January 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


What an unfurtunate pun.
posted by Nomyte at 4:02 PM on January 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


I don't understand the continuing furry hate.

I'm from Pittsburgh and there's a fairly large convention that happens there every summer the last bunch of years and basically the majority of the city, far as I can tell since I've always been out of the area during that time of year, seems to have been completely cool with it after two questions were answered after the first couple years:

1. Is it a sexual thing? (Answer: Sometimes/depends on who you ask)

2. Will you buy we fine citizens of this Iron City a beer and drink with us (Answer: absolutely).
posted by sendai sleep master at 4:05 PM on January 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


Yay egypturnash! Awesome.
posted by koeselitz at 4:06 PM on January 24, 2013


I read this earlier today and admired the dragon tattoo without knowing it was a MeFite. The tweet quoted at the end is from a MeFite, too!

I appreciated a glimpse into a subculture I'd never thought much about before.
posted by chatongriffes at 4:11 PM on January 24, 2013


I really hope there is no canonical ur-Horse that everyone aspires to

What do you have against Eohippus?
posted by asterix at 4:13 PM on January 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


2. Will you buy we fine citizens of this Iron City a beer and drink with us (Answer: absolutely).

Drinks are on the muppets! Ya-a-ay!
posted by y2karl at 4:21 PM on January 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Eohipsters hated horses before they were even a thing.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:25 PM on January 24, 2013 [9 favorites]


Sendai sleep master, I'm a Pittsburgher too, and I have to say as a non-furry, Anthrocon is one of my favorite times of the year here. I intentionally detour through downtown during the convention to see everyone. So I'd add to your list this:

3) Can my kids have their picture taken with you?

(Not my kids, 'cause I don't have any, but you get what I mean.)

As an example of the embracing:
Pittsburgh cafe gets a hand (or paw) from a loyal group of furry friends

posted by librarianamy at 4:36 PM on January 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


I want to pitch an article to Gawker: Furries at the Gathering of the Jugalos.
Do you think they'll go fur it?
posted by Mezentian at 4:38 PM on January 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


I find the divide concerning furries within the online social justice community to be fascinating. An acquaintance of mine is a tireless supporter of LGBT rights, an outspoken feminist, and about as progressive as one can get concerning sexuality and gender. And yet he takes great joy in ridiculing furries and the like.

I'm not exactly a furry advocate—I've certainly contributed my own share of derision. But I do find it interesting that people can condemn homophobia and transphobia in one breath and dismiss furries in the next. I’m not fazed by the fact that people’s sense of inclusion has limits—that much is perfectly human. It’s moreso the confidence they evince that they’ve finally found the right place to draw the line.
posted by dephlogisticated at 4:54 PM on January 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


Stop making fun of my tapeworm 'taur. Not everybody gets something cool like a dragon or a wolf.

I mock with love. People who live in glass pastel-colored cupcake shops don't get to cast aspersions at other subcultures...
posted by sourcequench at 4:55 PM on January 24, 2013


This is furverted.
posted by cjorgensen at 4:57 PM on January 24, 2013


The dude who took the horse pic is also a MeFite (whose twitter I was already following).

And Margaret/Egypt's webcomic Decrypting Rita is so beautiful, with its outline-less style and different color schemes for each of a growing number of realities (a smart way to differentiate, especially when two or more collide on the same page). I had to pop for a copy of the book when she Kickstarted it and I'm glad I did. Pure eye candy.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:16 PM on January 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


A friend once recruited me and my airbrush to do body painting for them at a Furry con. Not my particular scene but everyone seemed to be having fun and it wasn't that much different from any other con experience I've had.
posted by the_artificer at 5:18 PM on January 24, 2013


And Margaret/Egypt's webcomic Decrypting Rita is so beautiful

Holy crap, that's GORGEOUS. I know what I'm going to be adding to my weekly webcomic reading list!
posted by smirkette at 5:29 PM on January 24, 2013


The 'punk' is actually a cosplay (?) of Ade Edmondson's character Vyvyan Basterd, from the BBC series "The Young Ones." I don't know what they are doing at a furry conference.
posted by carter at 5:39 PM on January 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


I tried to read that. Imagine my surprise when Google suddenly added www.flayrah.com to the "Editors Choice" section of my news page.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 6:11 PM on January 24, 2013


I'm kinda surprised the whole furry convention/cosplay/sex scene hasn't been turned into a ridiculous TLC/A&E reality show yet. Honey BooBoo prospered because of the "so wrong... yet I cannot look away!" reaction amongst people and especially the Internet, but "MODEL IN HELL, PAGEANTFAG" isn't a catchphrase yet afaik.
posted by Rhaomi at 7:45 PM on January 24, 2013


Carter: surely Vyvyan was there with SPG?

I was following this last weekend via sambosambo's tweets and was delighted & amused.
posted by goshling at 9:13 PM on January 24, 2013


strange interlude > This looks less like a full-on furry convention and more like a standard nerds-in-costumes convention that happens to have furry-centric activities somewhere on the program.

I've been going to furry cons since, um, 1999. Further Confusion is the second-largest furry con in the world. Trust me, it is very much a full-on furry convention. The fursuits are basically cosplay; only a percentage of people at the con do it, and probably mot for the whole con. Mostly it is nerds milling about doing the same things nerds do at any nerd convention: dealer's room (which in the case of furry cons is basically a giant Artist's Alley), panels, the game rooms (board and video), dances, and parties.

Or, more succinctly, it's pretty much the same as PAX, but our dickwolves are a lot cooler.

----

There are better pics of the tattoo somewhere on Twitter, I think. I'd go looking but I'm on the iPad mini.

----

Thanks for the praise on Rita, oneswellfoop! I need to get back to it, I've been so busy with the kickstartsr fulfillment, con prep, winter travel, and the winter blahs.

----

And I guess, well, I'm a lady who draws furries sometimes and sells stuff at furry cons regularly. AMA.
posted by egypturnash at 10:31 PM on January 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


Rhaomi: I think it's probably because there's a lot of social pressure in the fandom away from talking to the media, especially about anything that might make the fandom look worse than it already does. There's been a lot of negative media exposure of furries already - there was an article in Vanity Fair and an episode of CSI that got a lot of attention a few years ago - and since then I think fans (and especially convention organizers) have gotten much better at self-editing, spin control and media management. I have no evidence of this, but I would strongly suspect that reality show producers have tried and failed to get people on board to do that because the fans know they'd become instant pariahs.

At least that's how things appear to a fandom latecomer/hanger-on/nobody. Folks who've been more of a participant in things may have different and more informed opinions.
posted by hackwolf at 10:44 PM on January 24, 2013


From librarianamy's link:
"I believe God worked through the furries, because I really was in need," he said.

Not a quote I had ever expected to hear, and an awesome story.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 11:39 PM on January 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


I don't understand the continuing furry hate.
Pure lizard brain instinct.
Whether this is good or bad probably depends on which side you stand.
posted by fullerine at 1:56 AM on January 25, 2013


That's a wonderful tattoo, egypturnash.
posted by carter at 4:48 AM on January 25, 2013


I read this earlier today and admired the dragon tattoo without knowing it was a MeFite. The tweet quoted at the end is from a MeFite, too!

MeFites dominate every random article about furries, nice!
posted by Theta States at 8:15 AM on January 25, 2013


i kind of don't like to see furry stuff getting accepted because it having such a negative rep seems to keep it from getting coopted

of course i'm not one so that's their decision but still, being accepted has its price
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 9:53 AM on January 25, 2013


I find the divide concerning furries within the online social justice community to be fascinating. An acquaintance of mine is a tireless supporter of LGBT rights, an outspoken feminist, and about as progressive as one can get concerning sexuality and gender. And yet he takes great joy in ridiculing furries and the like.

I'm a bit guilty here. And I'll reluctantly admit to being a fan of anthropomorphic animation and comic art as well. Part of it comes from my perception that some of the furry-as-kink people became more than a little big obnoxious about broadcasting and defending their kink, in contrast to most BDSMers who tend to be a bit more discrete and understanding of the fact that their kink isn't for everyone and may even be triggering to some. Some otherkin arguments make TPE advocates look polite. I suspect because TPE advocates seem to consider squicking others part of the territory and don't care about my validation of their relationships.

So I'm reluctant to identify myself as a furry because of the perception (maybe wrong) that furry-as-identity-politics has overshadowed furry-as-a-fandom. I feel the same way about certain recent developments with "nerd."
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 12:40 PM on January 25, 2013


Part of it comes from my perception that some of the furry-as-kink people became more than a little big obnoxious about broadcasting and defending their kink...

I blame Barney porn.
posted by y2karl at 1:40 PM on January 25, 2013


My experience during the heyday of LiveJournal suggests that furry hatred was never a serious thing for most people. Rather, the troll culture there noticed early on that a one-line insult directed toward furries most often was met with a wall of indignant text in reaction. Trolling furry communities to generate outrage became something of a sport, simply because there was always someone who would opt for a total thermonuclear response.

But I guess some people actually do hate or dislike furries. I just don't understand that at all.
posted by dantsea at 6:31 PM on January 25, 2013


From Otherkin to Transethnicity: Your Field Guide to the Weird World of Tumblr Identity Politics. Gawker. Seems relevant, strange.
posted by Mezentian at 9:12 PM on January 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


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