Part 4 - April 28, 2005
Someone on my friends list mentioned
the latest siren song for one of those groups for jaded furries. You've probably seen this sort of group before; the ones where folks who are jaded with the fandom can go to get reassurance that the fandom sucks (while, y'know, the rest of us inexplicably continue having a good time). These groups are usually full of unpleasant people. But then they're sort of self-fulfilling prophecies that way, aren't they?
It's been a while since I've written at length about the State Of The Fandom, but let me tell you a little story. A parable, if you will:
Once upon a time, there was this guy who had a popular zine and was on convention staff and wrote a file that was considered standard reference material by many, including me. He was known and respected by many in this fandom. He was on top of the world.
The only problem was that he didn't want to Play Well With Others. He was here first, after all, so why should he? He was King Of The Sandbox! And that meant he didn't have to share the fandom with... those people.
So he started a crusade to drive those people out of the fandom. Even though those people hadn't done anything wrong, and had every right to be there.
And eventually, after countless flamewars, he finally realized those people weren't going away.
So he quit. Or maybe he gave up. Or maybe he just turned tail and ran.
He posted a dramatic farewell message, and waited anxiously for pleas
to stay that never came. Out with a whimper.
Where is he now? Well, these days he's bitterly grumbling amidst piles of dusty remaining copies of his zine that nobody wants to buy, complaining about all he did for the fandom—and how the fandom owes him something. He's that Guy Who Used To Be A Big Name, but is now just a grumpy "ex-furry" who few people remember.1
He made a big show of leaving the fandom2 3, but he's still surrounded by a small handful of folks who are in it. He's managed to eliminate things from his life that give him no joy, but he's had a very difficult time in replacing them with things that do give him joy.
The problem, however, is not that joyful things aren't out there.
As I've said previously, furry fandom, like life, it what you
make of it. What we see depends on what we look for. And if people are
jaded about the fandom, I'm sure the solution is for them to hang around with a whole bunch of other disgruntled people, right?