On second thought, I really do need to write something in depth on this censorship issue, if just to get the silenced perspective on it out there. So, let me put a little historical perspective on it.
From the beginning (The 80’s & 90’s) The Furry Community consisted of two factions. There was the fandom, which were non-professional people who enjoyed anthropomorphic animals, and there were professional cartoonists who drew anthropomorphic animals for a living, often for adult titles that included NSFW content; everything from the gratuitous sex scenes of Omaha The Cat Dancer to the lite risque issues of Shanda The Panda. That stuff was part of the scene from the beginning. Before the beginning, really, considering the “Underground Comix” scene the fandom grew out of. It wasn’t something the fans brought to the table.
There was, in fact . . . I don’t want to say a thriving adult oriented Funny Animal comic industry, but at least a very active one at the time, spitting out hundreds of fly by night titles of varying quality, trying to capitalize on the success of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And all these artists being considered professional, because they were getting paid for their work.
Past the mid 90’s, these Funny Animal artists where riding on the coat-tails of Anime Fandom, which was also spitting out a plethora of titles that were only moderately successful, and had the same intent of appealing to adults by any sordid means necessary, but generally through an over concentration on sex and violence. And it seemed as if they might actually be going to get somewhere with this when Pokemon came along, which kicked comic sales up to what was then an unheard of level of mass appeal. But then, just as suddenly, the comics market crashed.
Actually, there’s an eerie parallel there with how Zootopia seemed destined to blast Furry Fandom into the mainstream, and now it’s crashing. But I’m getting ahead of the story. Just remember to refer back to this.
What happens when a moderately successful market crashes is you get a lot of people who were looking forward to stable, well-paying jobs suddenly finding it difficult to stay in business. Add to this that the internet was taking over at this point, which was giving fan artists a better opportunity than those working for professional publications.
This left a number of commercial artists, who may have been unstable to begin with, pulling their hair out as they attempted to find somebody to blame for their dwindling demand. And rather than blaming comic book speculators, as everyone else was doing, these Funny Animal cartoonists thought it was the fandom that should be blamed for all their hardships.
At the time, I was an Anime convention dealer, specializing in comics, among other things. And I regularly stocked what were then just starting to become known as “Furry” comics. But there were only a handful of these titles that appealed to me as a life long Furry fan. And I can tell you for a fact why I wasn’t collecting most of them.
Try to imagine this. These comics cost a ridiculous amount of money, they weren’t cute, they were black & white line drawings, and the stories had no appeal. With the exception of rare titles like Shanda The Panda which broke that mold, there was no reason for anyone to want to spend twice the amount being charged for comics that were speculated to go up instantly in value on comics that everyone knew would be in the clearance bin forever after. It was a very cheap product that took no consideration of its target market.
But suddenly comic book sales had fallen off a cliff, comic book companies and comic stores were closing right and left. And suddenly here was the internet, providing content for Furry fans by Furry fans in full irresistible color, for free.
So a number of the unstable disenfranchised artists began a trend towards abject hatred of the Furry Fandom, because they couldn’t make a living off of it. And to them this was the most evil thing. Something just had to be done about it.
And this was how you got your Burned Fur War. Contrary to popular misinformation that has come down through the ages, The Burned Fur War was not about porn. It was about Pro vs. Amateur. And the Pros were not squeaky clean Disney artists by any stretch of the imagination. Porn was part of their stock and trade.
What they wanted was the ability to control the fandom so that they would have a market that would sustain their crap. And when the fandom had the audacity to fight back against such proposed tyranny, these lunatic artists lit the fandom’s logo on fire and became The Burned Furs.
By all historical accounts, The Burned Furs were a lot like Antifa. They were unreasonably aggressive and antagonistic, attempting to accomplish their goals through intimidation. I’ve had the misfortune of meeting some of them. I still encounter some of them to this day. And they’re still scary as all hell.
The issues that were made out of Fans vs. Lifestylers were just as much a smokescreen for what was really going on as the porn; a tactic for dividing the fandom and increasing its vulnerability. They wouldn’t have been a problem if not for the unwarranted attention that was forced on them. And in time they would have been dealt with sensibly. But The Burned Furs made sure that no form of good sense would ever be allowed to thrive in The Furry Community.
After the initial conflict was over, The Burned Furs seemed to subside without having accomplished their goal. They didn’t get control of the fandom or the anthropomorphics market. But they had managed to devastate the fandom. At the height of the conflict Furry was all over the media, and The Burned Furs made sure Furry Fandom made the absolute worst impression on the world of any fandom ever. Kind of like what Flayrah and Dogpatch Press are trying to do right now. But, again, we’ll get back to that.
History tends to record that The Burned Furs went away. That is not true. Some changed their screen names. Some fell to near invisibility. Some realized the error of their ways and joined the fandom. But those that remained filled with contempt formed sites like Crush, Yiff, Destroy and became regular contributors to sites like Something Awful and Encyclopedia Dramatica, from which they continued to attack the fandom and keep its reputation hopelessly stained.
To make matters worse, old Burned Fur fighters like Xydexx lived ever after in a state of shell shock, never being able to accept that the war was over, making damn sure that everyone who came into the community had to take a side and be prepared to be at odds with the side they didn’t choose. Thus you had people on both sides of the fabricated issues equally dedicated to seeing that the fire was never completely put out.
Meanwhile, the true issue of the conflict, Professionals vs. Amateurs, has continued to bubble beneath the smokescreen all these years, with the supposed victors of the war doing everything they can to crush any aspirations a fur might have in regard to commercial success. In other words, throughout the 2000’s, those in power in the fandom, from Green Reaper all the way up to Uncle Kage, were actively resisting the commercialization of the fandom.
This is evident in the many diatribes that remain on the net that Furry Fandom is about things made by Furries for Furries, and that if you go commercial you can’t be part of the fandom anymore. And furthermore, if you’re part of the fandom, you must accept that the world will always regard you as the scum of the Earth, and any attempt that you make to help the fandom rise above its image of scum will be crushed by the fandom.
See, that’s not The Burned Furs talking. That’s the people who supposedly beat The Burned Furs. And that is how both victors and vanquished merged into a single horrible oppression which has been eating this fandom out from the inside ever since.
However, in the current decade, it has been difficult for that miasma to maintain it’s potency. Furs have been kicking it to the curb and daring to be ambitious. They have dared to appear respectable. And the world has been responding positively to them, all the way up to the point where Disney thought it was worth marketing a movie to them. And just like with Pokemon 20 years earlier, Furry Fandom stood on the edge of it’s big mainstream breakthrough. We were finally going to prove our point to the world that we were a fandom for something everyone could embrace and see the value of.
But did you really think old timers like Patch Packrat and Green Reaper were going to let that happen? Hell no. Not when they hold absolute power over the fandom’s main news services, and can thus project whatever image they want onto the fandom, censoring or blacklisting anyone with a contrary vision, and feed the worst possible image of the fandom directly to the mainstream media.
And right at this crucial time, Antifa surfaced. Should Antifa have meant anything to Furry Fandom? Absolutely not. But it was worth it to some trouble maker to insure an article would appear tying Antifa to Furry Fandom. And Antifa is useless if there are no Nazis around. So, if there are no Nazis around, Nazis have to be created.
So we ended up with this same faction of old timers from the Burned Fur days, now in power at conventions and news sites, looking for people who would make good targets to vilify as Nazis. 2 Gryphon, easy target. Furry Raiders, also an easy target. Useful as points of division for the fandom in duplicating the same unreasoning hostilities that fueled The Burned Fur War, with one major difference.
This time the battles are not fought on Usenet where both sides have an equal chance of being heard and considered. This time all attempts for reason to be heard have to be submitted for approval to the very elitists who are out to hold this fandom down, creating a situation where absolute suppression of truth is possible, and any alternative view, such as you’re reading here, will seem so far off the commonly accepted track that most people will just dismiss it without even thinking about it, saying to themselves, “This must be another one of those Nazis. And who cares what a Nazi has to say?”
And that is where Furry Fandom stands right now, in absolute control of those who carry the infection of Burned Fur – the elitists who finally have it within their power to rule without opposition, or to ultimately destroy the fandom if it won’t knuckle under to them. And you can see the success in their endeavor by the number of conventions that are suddenly closing, and how these news outlets are determined to tell you what to believe about why they’re closing, shutting out the more obvious reasons the con people themselves are stating.
Now, this is where I have to say a word about Ahmar Wolf. You might think he’s a little rant happy at this point. And you could say his perspective and emotions are more than just a bit distorted from his head injury. But he’s not wrong that he’s being persecuted by elitists. In particular, The Furry Writers Guild.
Now, some of you who know me, and how involved with Furry writing I am, might assume I’m probably a member of The Furry Writers Guild. Care to guess why I’m not? Because you have to have physically published something to join that group. Dig it? I’m a person who provides quality anthropomorphic content, in color, for free.
Same old same old, right back where this story began. You have people in the Pro market, desperate to save a dying business model, trying to crush people experimenting with new modes of distributing their work. Plus, we see that Furry Writers Guild is supported by both Flayrah and Dogpatch Press, which both focus on commercial titles, while someone like me who has 8 novels worth of content on a free site not only can’t get a review from them, but all my comments are hidden on Flayrah, and just straight up blacklisted on Dogpatch.
There’s another obvious target for the elitists riding on Antifa’s coat-tails, and that’s The Furred Reich, who is the only one on the scene who really looks like a Nazi, and actually has something to do with Nazis. But he doesn’t get hardly any exposure at all to the hate-mongering spotlight of the elitists. Why do you suppose that is? Could it possibly have something to do with the fact that The Furred Reich is a hard copy published author? That would make him eligible to join The Furry Writers Guild, if he has not done so already. And thus he does not occupy the same position of loathsomeness in the eyes of Flayrah as we who think continuing to publish on paper is a waste of perfectly good trees.
Now, I’m not going to say that Ahmar doesn’t have some problems that impair the quality of his blog, but whoever said a blog has to be perfect? That’s no reason for these elitists to treat him like he’s so beneath them that he has no justification for existence. All of us out here in the blogesphere do our best. And maybe in time we get better at it. But the point of blogging is to provide an alternative perspective to the mainstream or dominant influences on world belief.
Sites like Flayrah and Dogpatch are unashamed in their determination to have absolute control over the way the world perceives us, and the way we perceive ourselves. And being as they seem to support the Antifa perspective, which is once again allowing them to flood this community with unreasoning hate, do we really want to have no alternative to them? Don’t we need our independent bloggers to tell us its ok to give the elitists the middle finger when they tell us to see Nazis where there obviously are none?
I was really surprised when I first heard of an article by Men’s Health on of all things “Furries”. Given how we are perceived in the media sometimes, and given that Men’s Health generally talks about sex I wondered as if it was going to be another one of those “Lets see what dark and twisted thing we can say about furries”. To my surprise they really did a nice article on us, and they made it very clear that furries aren’t always after something, that the fursuits are expensive, and so is cleaning them. In fact all we want is a little fun and nothing is wrong with that especially this article.