Mental Illness In A Half-Shell (Bleak Ramblings Of A Depressed Furry) by Perri Prinz

The time has come for more self analysis. In all the talk and arguments about Furry Fandom recently, I’ve begun to wonder if I’m still a Furry fan or if my tastes have significantly changed, as it seems ages since I have felt any enthusiasm at all for watching cartoons, reading any Furry novels or even working on my own story.

Some of this I suppose could be attributed to my near suicidally depressing home life, but then my life has always been fraught with pain and difficulty. If anything living a hard life has, in the past, just fueled my need to escape into something cute and pleasant.

Yesterday I was over a friend’s place, and the friend left me alone for an hour or so with nothing to do but watch My Little Pony on his TV, which is a lot bigger than my set and gets High-Def cable. But no pony cuteness rush was forthcoming. The High-Def just made the outer lines of the characters easier to see, which was a constant reminder of what a cheap cartoon I was watching. Not only that, but it was just like solid blocks of colors everywhere, like a coloring book filled in with digital paint instead of crayons.

And I was thinking constantly, “How can adults watch this with the same enthusiasm they’d give to something like Star Trek or Doctor Who?” But what do I care why others watch it or what they see in it? It was so much easier back in the 80’s when I didn’t have to care what adults saw in MLP because I was the only adult who gave a care about it.

Now it’s a whole other ballgame because I’m connected to this whole internet full of people watching the same stuff I’m watching, seeing things in it that are different from what I see, and arguing that this is some kind of artistic breakthrough, rather than just something I watch to get my cute fix. And it didn’t help that these were Spike and Pinkie Pie episodes I was stuck watching, which didn’t have all that much gratuitous cuteness for me to get off on.

The thought has crossed my mind that I’ve just grown out of this stuff, like I grew out of Anime. Maybe what I need is something Furry that really isn’t made for kids. Something with the adult-minded sophistication I look for non-Furry works. I’m sure such stuff exists in the fandom, but I’m not really up for the challenge. I’m sure it would just put me to sleep, as everything else seems to do these days.

Anyway, what does it mean when watching animation becomes a useless dwelling on the nature of the art to the detriment of getting caught up in the illusion the art is supposed to provide? It means one has grown up to the point of becoming technical minded. Or, more likely, my mind is elsewhere, dwelling on some “Adult” BS I’m currently involved in; somebody I’m arguing with on the net about a fandom I continue to feel responsible for, even though I find it difficult to show where I’m still participating in it or getting any enjoyment at all out of it.

Always people want to argue about the fandom, what it’s for, what it’s supposed to be about, who it’s supposed to serve, and who should somehow be locked out of this thing that is supposedly based on someone’s taste in entertainment, as apposed to some kind of virtual community with theoretical rules as to what makes one belong there.

It’s all just kind of falling apart; the ideas no longer having enough logical glue to hold themselves together, leaving me with this overwhelming feeling of wasting my life on something with no reality at all.

It was different back in the days when I was all alone in these interests, when I alone cared what a Furry was, because Furry was just a word I made up to describe the genre I wrote in, which nobody else cared about, because nobody else realized there was some kind of relationship between Bambi and Watership Down, or would have thought it the most useless bit of information to point out.

Come to think of it, has “Genre classification shared by Felix Salten and Richard Adams” ever been a question on Jeopardy? And if it was, would some word I made up to describe that genre be considered an acceptable answer? Even to this day when so many people have adopted the word I chose, probably not.

Why? Probably for the same reason everyone I seem to meet through this community wants to argue with me about it. They all consider it their word to define as they will, their community to support or tear down to their heart’s content, their fantasy of some intangible non-reality where they conceive themselves as holding some kind of power over other people.

No, it isn’t any of that crap. It’s just a matter of do you care enough to see that there’s a relationship between Bambi, Watership Down, Bugs Bunny, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, My Little Pony, Spice & Wolf and Zootopia. The mundane world does not. If you even notice there’s a relationship between these things, you are not mundane. And the mundane of this world would regard that as some kind of illness one should seek treatment for.

That much hasn’t been changed by all these thousands of people who now share my original discovery. The existence of a Furry Community has not made me seem more sane. It just makes it seem like I’ve found a lot more crazy people to hang out with. And admittedly, when I was younger I thought hanging out with crazy people would probably be fun.

But you know what? It’s not. Because a lot of these people are not only genuinely crazy, they’re downright mean. They want to hurt each other, because this word “Furry” has been elevated to some sacred religion-like status. It’s something people are expected to build a lifestyle around. It’s something that’s almost achieved the status of being an alt-sexuality one has to come out of the closet about. It’s literally gotten to the point of there being so much craziness involved that I don’t even want to be bothered trying to keep up with it anymore. It’s just lost all interest for me.

As a means of describing the genre I write in, Furry was useful. As a means of YouTuber A calling out YouTuber B for saying things he never said which prove he’s a pervert trying to deny the sexual motivation of the fandom, it’s worse than useless. It does nothing to maintain my connection to the titles that fall under the Furry genre. It doesn’t keep me involved with them, having a reason to care about them, or even to remember why I thought it was worth building my life around them.

In these most essential things, Furry Fandom provides no support at all. It just runs around in circles like a crazy thing trying to convince itself it’s something of such outstanding social importance that it shouldn’t even be bothered about justifying itself as a fandom. And after 40 odd years of this insanity, I don’t even have a clear memory of what was supposed to be so all-fired great about this business of talking animals.

I do remember that it all started with Bambi, and that the moral of the Bambi novel could be interpreted as meaning, “Don’t join a fandom, because fandoms are for idiots who prattle and pontificate all day about things they don’t have the slightest understanding of. Instead, keep to yourself, in order that the purity of your perception and understanding should remain uncluttered with the insane twittering of idiots.”

Sadly that’s all we do in the internet age. We expose ourselves constantly to the tweets of the most unknowledgeable, imperceptive idiots on Earth; each in search of a following for their own peculiar idiocy. That chattering, narrow minded flock of seagulls whose life is nothing but fighting for scraps of fish, or in this case, scraps of self-validation to justify their existence. So Jonathan Livingston Seagull illustrated, leaving it’s protagonist no path to self-development but to get away from the squabbling flock.

Hmmm, let me see. What was Watership Down about? That was about starting a community, wasn’t it? Or was it about breaking away from crazy totalitarian societies to go live in seclusion from enslaving ideas on top of a big hill?

What about The Rats Of NIMH, what was that about? Oh yeah, going away from humans to live in an isolated valley because human ideas were not moral enough for enlightened rats.

One might get the impression that the concept of Furry in the days before the internet was rather anti-Twitter. I can see an over arching theme in the stories that started all this for me to the effect of, if you don’t want your life to be dominated by BS, you must get yourself far away from the major sources of BS. And unfortunately, that is what the society inspired by these stories developed into; a source of so much BS that any Furry with a capacity to think for his/her self wouldn’t come within a mile of it.

This means that anything I add to the cacophony becomes just as much BS as anything else, because what we’re talking about is an illusion; a pipe dream that exists only in our heads as we individually define it. An no description of an individual’s perception of Furry Fandom can have any relevance to anyone else’s, because everyone is dreaming it up independently.

This is why we see people like Green Reaper with such a drive to push a particular conception of Furry Fandom. Doesn’t matter whether he personally believes in it or not. It just seems good for the fandom that individual dreams of this total unreality should be unified as much as possible by imposing a narrative, a biblical list of begats that starts with Fred Patton and ends with himself begetting Wikifur and Flayrah, where he now sits enthroned as the laid-back dictator of fandom perception.

What a pity that people like me who prove that narrative is BS just by existing won’t go away and allow him to organize the perception of all these squabbling Furries into the image of his own thinking. Maybe in a few years when all the voices that can attest to Furry having some kind of presence before 1980 have been silenced, Green will become absolute dictator of Furry history. And you know what? I don’t give a damn what fantasy this fandom eventually endorses as canon, or whether it includes me or not.

I don’t think I’ve contributed anything of lasting value to the world that anyone should cry if it was lost. I don’t think the fandom has either. I think this current incarnation of the fandom will eat itself alive with intolerance, threats of violence, unreasonable infighting, and a total failure to maintain the foundation of what all this is built upon. It will all devolve into chaos and eventually just fizzle out as people find better things to do. And it will eventually be as forgotten as the Funny Animal Fandom of the 1940’s.

Maybe, in 60 years or so, old people will sit around reminiscing about their glory days on the internet, trying to recall all the long dead sub-cultures they trolled and bullied. Maybe in passing they’ll try to remember Furries. But by then all the old sites will have been deleted. Hell, even now I can’t take you back to drama sites that existed just 10 years ago. They’re wiped out without a trace.

All that will remain is the commercial media, which will still be popular, but will have passed back to the Disney and other such fandoms. And people will just be fans of it. They won’t think themselves part of some all inclusive sub-culture that couldn’t stop fighting over who to exclude. They won’t build a lifestyle around what they like. They may still FAP to it, but hopefully not in public.

Though maybe even this is wishful thinking. Some say the unique conditions that created Furries by inundating children with anthropomorphic animals during crucial times of development can never be duplicated. And who knows what hardships the future may hold that will eliminate the freedoms necessary for any fandom to exist?

Ah, yes. It could be that we are living in the golden age of BS. And it will be my posthumous satisfaction to have the world that exists now be as dead and disrespected as the world I grew up in is now.

Heck, I expect the disrespect coming to this era will be far worse than mine. The music of my time will probably still be played on radio, if it has not taken on the status of Classical Music. The music of this era may not even survive, as it was preserved mostly on perishable media with a shelf life expectancy of 20 years. Not to mention there is nothing classic to the music itself that people who weren’t inundated by it at the time of its popularity will be able to relate to. That is, assuming the world survives in such a state were people can even enjoy music, or if they don’t end up in some dictatorship that judges all music made after 1955 to be subversive, or under inaccessibly expensive copyrights; leaving The Ink Spots on the cutting edge forever after, like in Fallout.

Actually, if things go that way, Furry media will be banned as well, if for no other reason than the state will be able to point to the idiocy of Furry Fandom and determine that Furry media creates maladjustment in children. It’ll all be burned in big bond fires when the Communists take over, assuming Trump or whoever takes over for him doesn’t initiate some nuclear holocaust that will leave nothing but cockroaches alive to see whatever media we leave behind as nothing but good places to build nests in.

No matter how hard I search I can’t find a positive note to end this on. The human race is a total failure at working together as a unit towards the goal of its own survival. Everything it builds is doomed to eventually fail. And one of the things I used to like about Furry was that it pointed stuff like that out, hopefully to the end that we would realize our folly and do something about it. But no such luck.

It seems we’re fully aware that the human race is totally off the rails insane, but nobody cares, because insane people spend ridiculous amounts of money on impractical stuff that does nothing to feed or stabilize the world, giving a few of the nutters a chance to live out their lives in luxury, while the rest of us pull our hair out over totally useless politics that gets us worse than nowhere.

And nowhere is where I think I’m going to leave this, because I don’t have anymore time to try to resolve it. I’m just crazy. My needle can’t track the record humanity expects me to play. It just keeps skipping from one depressing thought to the next, never being able to find a hopeful passage. The only way to bridge the skips is to make up more totally fabricated BS that will justify everything and make the whole record sound like “The Wall,” a beautifully depressing work of art. But I’m trying to be honest here. And nothing real I can find in my pile of honest realities is in any way beautiful.