I'm weary of Furry fandom: I'm tired of the politics that all the little groups play, like a group of kids in junior high school, who act (and evidentially think) that they're the only true answer to saving the image of the fandom. While the fandom is tarnished, it will never be saved by some mythical "group" that has "seen the light." It's not possible for such a multi-faceted fandom. I'm tired of being around a bunch of people who can't even manage to wield a bar of soap properly. I'm tired of the back stabbing, the sniping responses to logical, reasonable propositions and the attacks on anybody who dares to think -- good or bad -- outside of one of the borg-like collectives that have been forming over the years. I'm positively fed up with the smugness that half the fandom exudes towards the general public, this attitude of "mundanes suck," and "we're so much better than every one else because we're computer geeks/in touch with our animal spirits/vegetarian/whatever." I mean, how dare somebody outside the Furry fandom look oddly at you when you walk into a restaurant, "scritching" your compatriots while wearing a tail, ears, slippers that make your feet look like paws and a badge with your persona on it? The audacity! How dare somebody who claims to be inside the fandom get annoyed that you keep trying to hug him or "scritch" him. How dare a person just attend to see his friends! He must embrace his inner furry and become a part of the group, otherwise he is an outside who cannot be trusted or is against the group. God forbid.
I'm tired of the strife that results from people who can't stand to see other people happy getting on their cases, I'm sick of the infighting between factions who can't stand that the other groups exist and/or hold differing opinions. I'm fucking done with people who get snipey because you dare to have an opinion that is less than stellar of the people whom you're associating with as a whole. Then why are you associating with them at all? you ask. Good question! I used to associate with them because I had fun with the idea. I mean, talk about a great way to exercise your brain -- how WOULD a person who had a tail react if he were presented with some situation or another? Would the tail flick to reflect his nervousness? Would ears swivel forward to represent curiosity? All sorts of possibilities existed. Furry gave me a chance to blow off steam, to escape from my day-to-day world for a little bit, to hang out with other people who share similar interests, to be creative with role playing and see how far I could stretch my imagination. Later on, as my life got more hectic and my creativity gradually eroded, I used the fandom (Yes, I used it like a grease monkey in the cheapest garage in town uses a spanner, get used to the idea) to stay in touch with the friends I'd made over the last few years. It was nice to chat with them and stay in touch, primarily because I thought they were worth keeping in touch with. Even though it meant "associating with the riff-raff" I still felt there was a redeeming value in it: my friends, and all of the good things that the fandom could do when it really felt like it (contributing to animal shelters, creating inspiring and often lovely art, and so much more).
After a while, I admit it... I took interest in the politics, near the end. I thought maybe I'd try my hand at helping to make the fandom more pleasing to be a part of. I went through a number of methods... I tried to offer positive examples, and to lead by those examples. I tried the snipey, bitchy method to see if I could shame some of the factions I perceived as trouble making. I tried being quiet, I tried yelling, I tried cajoling and coaxing and hinting. Goddammit, my friends, you can lead a horse to water but you can simply not make that motherfucker DRINK. People have to want to change, and nobody in there wants to change -- or the people who do want change don't have spines strong enough to let them step forward and join the effort. Hell, at the end, I got to the point I was acting just like the very people I earlier despised, all in some foolhardy, cluster-fuck effort to try and help these people. I knew my vision wasn't everyone else's vision, I also knew my ideals had flaws. But dammit, I wanted to try and help in SOME way, to try and give back to the people who had, for quite some time, given me so much pleasure and helped me through some very dark times. I figured maybe if I made a big enough spectacle of myself others would rally around me, or criticize me and take things into their own hands. Regardless, so long as I stirred them to some sort of action to try and improve the very thing they griped so much about I would have been happy. I thought people wanted a renaissance.
Good CHRIST on a stick, was I wrong. Thusly, having had that experience turn into sour apples in a manner so spectacular my face should have imploded from the pucker effect, I've reached the decision that the good, for me, no longer outweighs the bad.
So I'm done with it and shutting the book on that chapter of my life. I'm shedding the people I associate with it, and the constant bullshit that continues to fly around. When I was still part of Furry I could try ducking, or I could try standing tall and voicing my opinion; no matter what option I chose I always got hit straight in the face by the massive piles of horse dung. You know what? I get enough goddamn aggravation from my job and the various things that go on in my life, I don't need the added stress and bullshit this collective continues to churn out added to my misery. So, as of tonight, I'm done and shut of the whole thing.
Is it all bad? No. Don't let my ranting here mislead you, I continue to believe that the fandom has the capability for incredible amounts of good to come from it. I do not let my current anger and dismay taint or cheapen my memories: I had a good time, it filled a much-needed void at that time, it helped me through some dark periods in my life and (most importantly) I made (and, at times, lost) some very good friends thanks to the Furry fandom. I just no longer want to be a part of it, because if I continue to participate those positive aspects, those memories that I do cherish will become obscured, tarnished, and eventually evaporate entirely. I don't want that to happen. I want to walk away with something I can still feel good about.
Do you come from a land down under?