Clarification for Clueless Anime Fans

by Simo

Going through this web site's referrer logs, it has come to my attention that a number of Anime fans are linking to a document I have here: Furry is not a Fandom. I included this article Here as an illustration of the cluelessness with which certain Anime fans misunderstand Furry-dom. Now I figured that the bullshit nature of this article would be self evident. Well, I was wrong. All too many 'tards aren't getting it, so I guess I will have to explain it to you morons.

This essay is aimed towards furries who believe they are part of a "fandom". Other sorts of furries, or non-furries, should understand that the essay is not aimed at you and that I don't mean to make any judgement about the way you act.

"Other sorts of furries": what "other sorts" of "Furries" did you have in mind here? "Furry" describes someone who has an affiliation with Furry fandom.

"Non-furries": why would "non-furries" give a rat's ass? Why would you think it necessary to remind non-Furs that an essay about Furs doesn't apply to them?(!)

I'll now admit my bias; if you refuse to read my essay because of it, I'll be forced to call you an unreasonable person. I am not a furry. I am in fact a Something Awful goon [...] I have more faith in humanity than that. Besides which, I visit other websites than Something Awful on occasion, and I am disgusted by the amount of drama and hatred being caused there by this misconception. Thus, this essay

We have two problems already. Is this essay going to address "drama and hatred" he encounters on those non-SA sites? Or is he going to compare and contrast the Anime and Furry fandoms? Does he even know where he's going with this? He admits that he is going to discuss a subject of which he knows nothing. The one and only source of information to which he will admit is "Something Awful". It obviously does not occur to him that, perhaps, he should use more sources of information. It does not occur to him to seek less biased sources so that he could present a more balanced and objective view of the subject. He uses this admission of "bias" as an excuse for being lazy and not doing his research. He then has the balls to call anyone who would point out this fact "unreasonable". One can suppose that here is an individual who does not allow himself to be confuzzled by facts.

I'm going to tackle this less controversial question first and get it out of the way. "Fandom" is a real English word, and not a neologism; I was surprised to learn this at first. According to Princeton University's WordNet, it means

fandom: n. the fans of a sport or famous person

It would be cheap, though, to say that since furry is neither a sport nor a famous person, furry is not a fandom. Let's turn to the second source that lists it as a word, the American Heritage Dictionary.

fandom: n. All the fans of a sport, an activity, or a famous person.

Dictionaries are not the definitive source for words such as "fandom" where the accepted meaning might be changing on the Internet. But you can see from these two definitions that fandoms revolve around things that are continually happening. If you are a member of the Quentin Tarantino fandom, then you are looking forward to the movies he will release in the future. If you are in the anime fandom, you enjoy discussing and watching the newest anime.

"Dictionaries are not the definitive source for words such as 'fandom' where the accepted meaning might be changing on the Internet." Here, he avoids taking his own advice. Yes, definitions can vary, as can shades of meaning, and connotations. Our language, especially in these times of widespread and instantaneous communication via the 'Net, is dynamic. A dictionary definition is but a momentary snapshot. He misses the point completely by failing to recognize the DiY nature of Furry fandom. For most fandoms, this definition is quite accurate: the average sports fan will always be a passive spectator in the stands. There is precious little hope that he will ever take the field as a member of his favorite team. The average Quentin Tarantino fan has about as much chance of acting in one of his movies, if only as an "extra", as I have of hitting this week's lottery. The average Anime fan will never see his fan art appear on the Cartoon Network. Most fandoms are passive, relying on outside sources for that which drives their interests. Furry fandom is more proactive than that since Furry-dom produces the objects of its interest from within the fandom. This is the difference between the fandoms that this dumbass consistently misses.

First, a long essay at the Anthrocon 2004 website.

Just what is "Furry" fandom?

Anthropomorphic or "humanized" animals have been with us since the dawn of civilization. From the gods of ancient Egypt to the advertising icons of the modern day, people of every culture have created fanciful creatures simply by imbuing animals with human traits. Only within the last two decades has anthropomorphic or "Furry" fandom been recognized as a distinct fan-base in its own right. Fans are found in all corners of the world, and come from all races and ages and creeds. We are bound together across the most daunting barriers by our mutual admiration for these beasts of myth and legend who, by simple reflection, give us a better window into ourselves.

Note the longwinded "explanation" which seems to dodge the question.

No, dipshit, saying that the explanation is "long-winded" does not make it so. They answered the question. If that answer does not coincide with your preconceived notions, that's your problem.

Thankfully, the question is answered, at least in some part, in the second paragraph.

A large number of anthropomorphics fans are employed in scientific or technical fields. A significant percentage have college diplomas and many of those hold advanced degrees. This, perhaps, is what leads many casual observers to raise an eyebrow. "Why would someone like this be into cartoon animals? Isn't that unusual?"

Here's something interesting. While continuing to refer to furry as a fandom, the Anthrocon managers are asking themselves rhetorical questions that would be ridiculous when discussing any true fandom. Would someone find it "unusual" for educated people to be "into" soccer, or movies, or Star Trek? Even anime, which is often mistaken for children's cartoons, would never conjure that sort of question. Why would someone like this be into cartoon animals?

These questions may be rhetorical, but they are far from being "ridiculous". The main difference is that the public-at-large has never been conditioned to believe that soccer or movies or Star Trek are strictly "kids' stuff" which should have been out grown by the age of twelve at the very latest. He makes the claim that Anime is "mistaken" for children's cartoons. There is no mistake about this: the public-at-large does see Anime as kids' cartoons. For the past 45 years: cartoons == kids_stuff. Deny it all you want: that won't change a damn thing because THEY DON'T CARE! They aren't interested in the minutiae of Japanese culture. They could not care less even if they tried about the interpretations that the Anime fans read into it, or about the internal politics of the Anime fandom. What they see is the same old three frames per second, six color, animation. They immediately associate this with children's programming, regardless of the peculiar accents or subtitles. This bullshit goes on for paragraph after tautological paragraph. The idiot imagines that, in his constant harping on this subject, that he has "scored points" against Furry-dom. Furries readily admit that the fandom's inspiration comes straight from the child's bookshelf and toy box. He isn't telling us anything we don't already know. If anything, he demonstrates that it is he and his fellow Anime fans, not us Furries, who either can/will not come to terms with this. No, dipshit: Anime is no more "adult" than Furry. That's the reality: deal with it. How is this entire discussion over the "childishness" of Furry versus the "adultness" of Anime of any relevance to the point he's trying to make?

"...Furry fandom is not about the curious behavior trumpeted in the scandal sheets, but is instead an artistic and literary genre that is practiced and enjoyed by tens of thousands worldwide. [...] What art? What literature? I can't recall any major furry television shows or movies that are produced for adults."

He misses the point, once again, trying to fit Furry-dom into the passive, spectator model of his definition of "fandom". The existence -- or nonexistence -- of "major" Furry television, movies, etc. is without any relevance whatsoever. He asks: "What art? What literature?" The answer is: the art and literature created by the Furry fans themselves, examples of which are found on a good number of web sites and archives. That quote from the Anthrocon web site does state that Furry is a literary and artistic genre that is practiced as well as enjoyed by the fans.

So, let's make a little test of it.

Let's take your average guy who enjoyed reading Redwall but has no sexual interest in funny animals whatsoever. Would you:

If you really thought over the situation and answered "yes" to all of these, you've got serious issues that are beyond my ability to deal with.

Now, as a second test, instead of Joe Average, take a person whose first experience with furry is not with high art or literature but with pornography, and he enjoyed it. How would you answer those questions for him?

Here we have a plethora of logical and rhetorical fallacies. In the first place, this is a classic straw dog argument: the caricaturing of the opposing position for the purpose of making it easier to refute. He is also asking the impossible of us: to read the nonexistent mind of a nonexistent fictional character: "Joe Average". "If you really thought over the situation and answered 'yes' to all of these, you've got serious issues that are beyond my ability to deal with." We have a false dichotomy and question begging in the same sentence. The false dichotomy (a.k.a excluded middle fallacy) is either the lazy intellect's means of reasoning, or the deceitful's means of screening the truth from such unsophisticated/lazy intellects for the express purpose of leading them to the desired conclusion. The false dichotomy poses two alternatives then asks one to select the "better" choice. (I have my own name for this: I call it BS.) There is another option: I can not answer these questions since I would be answering for a fictional character. Furthermore, seeing that my last name is neither "Kreskin" nor "Geller", I would not presume to read the mind of another living person. The RL person will have to answer for himself; I can't do it for him. Secondly, this is question begging in that the question poses its own answer: if you don't agree with the premise, then you have "issues". Utter bullshit.

"My point is even if someone enjoyed a funny animal comic strip or cartoon in his past, he will probably be revolted by all furries, and definitely be revolted by the sexual aspect of furry. [...] People are either going to laugh at you or be disgusted with you if you bring up furry in a regular conversation."

Two more false dichotomies: either he will be revolted by Furries, or he will not. People are either going to laugh at you or be disgusted with you. This writer deliberately ignores the most likely alternative: most people won't care one way or the other.

"There are a lot of sexual fetishes that people consider gross and would rather not hear about. Furry is one of these"

Yeah, those yiff maniacs at Yerf and Floofy Fur sure are gross, aren't they? In case you didn't know, Yerf and Floofy Fur do not allow any sexually explicit material at all. Neither are these the only "clean" Furry art archives. Some Furries incorporate their personal kinks, quirks, and odd sexual hobbies into their fandom. The majority of Furry fans do not. Furthermore, if you believe that Furry-dom is somehow unique in the fetish department, here are some terms for you: dakimakura, yaoi, yuri, hentai. Try entering these in the Google search box and see what results you get. Get a clue you dipshit Anime-niac: the Anime fandom is far from clean. If Furry is a "fetish", then so too, is the Anime fandom, according to your own standards. Stereotyping and sweeping generalizations are yet two more logical and rhetorical fallacies.

"Appendix: Questions and Arguments": asks and answers own questions.

This essay, far from revealing any insights about Furry fandom, is bullshit. The question becomes whether this individual is really as utterly stupid as he seems, or is he being disingenuous? One suspects the latter. He latches onto a deliberately narrow definition of "fandom" for no other purpose than to damn Furry-dom as a "fetish". That he would refuse to acknowledge the presence of some truly freaky material within his own fandom, and ignore the sizable presence of nonsexual art within Furry-dom, is intellectual dishonesty to the extreme.

The analogy to anime -- that furry has a "normal" side and an erotic side -- is false.

Excuse me, asshole?!

#ifdef SARCASM

Before criticising Furry-dom, how about cleaning your own Gawd-damn house first? Get rid of all that freaky hentai, kick out all the dakimakura wankers, tell the yaoi-ites and yuri-ites to take a hike: then, and only then, will you have something to say to Furries. Until you do, you reveal nothing but your rank hypocrisy.

3And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
Matt 3:3 - 5


You dumbasses: Furry is not a Fandom is disjointed, intellectually dishonest, and to sum it up concisely: it's bullshit.

I'm glad we've gotten this cleared up.

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