Part 6 - September 6, 2008
Upon waking up this morning I thought of an excellent summary of Xydexx's Axiom of Fandom Enjoyability:
It's better to be a silly squeaky pony than a bitter old dinosaur.
Yeah, that's it. No offense intended to anyone with a dinosaur fursona. Heh.
Because it needs to be written down but not worth making a second post about; some additional ruminations:
You've gotta feel sorry for the bitter old dinosaurs. I know I do. Their wounds are largely self-inflicted, but they blame their troubles on imaginary enemies because they've totally lost their sense of perspective.
Yes, they've been around a long time, and are entitled to respect for that. Yes, they've spent their time and money and effort, and are entitled to respect for that as well.
What they are not entitled to do—and pay attention here, because this is the critical mistake so many of these bitter old dinosaurs who've squandered the respect they once had make—is to play King Of The Sandbox and treat newer fans like crap... especially the ones who are spending their own time and money and effort to improve furry fandom.
I've been a part of the fandom since 1993. Does that make me better than anyone else? I don't think so. I've spent (and continue to spend) my time and money and effort to improve furry fandom. Does that make me better than anyone else? I don't think so. Pissing contests about who's been around long or who's done more for the fandom are immature. I could brag that I attended Anthrocon one year and had the trifecta of STAFF / SUPERSPONSOR / VOLUNTEER ribbons on my badge, except that I don't do these things so that I can feel like the fandom owes me something. No. I do it because I love furry fandom. I do it because the only thing I get out of it is a sense that I've done my part to contribute to the fandom and left things a little better than I found them.
That's right, I've improved things.
Contrary to what bitter old dinosaurs—who were (and still are, apparently... amazing how long some folks hold a grudge) all too willing to crucify me for misbehavior which only exists in their delusional little minds—have to say about me, I am not Fandom Public Enemy #1. Never have been.
(Sidebar: It certainly says something about my critics when half of them claim I'm trying to turn the fandom into a fetish wonderland and the other half is claiming I want to whitewash all the sex out of the fandom.)
The bitter old dinosaurs will occasionally poke their heads out occasionally to snipe at how the fandom is "doomed" while a consistently increasing number of us are enjoying ourselves. And other bitter old dinosaurs will chime in in agreement, because in their little echo chamber the voice of reason can't be heard.
Remember the first part of the Axiom: If you hang around with a bunch of people who go around saying how much Furry fandom sucks, you will eventually start to believe it's true. In other words, once these guys start down that path it's just an ever-increasing spiral of unhappiness for them. Eventually, it becomes all they see.
Yeah, the fandom's changed. It's bigger. It's gotten better media coverage. It isŚcontrary to the opinions of folks who haven't even been to a furry convention in a decade and have an increasingly anachronistic view of what one is likeŚnot being "hijacked" by perverts or whatever the imaginary threat du jour is.
The one constant is it's still a lot of fun, and the credit for that is due to the efforts of folks who stuck around and helped during the rough times.
Folks who threw a big dramatic tantrum and left, like That Guy Who Used To Be A Big Name, are largely forgotten and have had very little influence. Out of sight, out of mind, as the saying goes.
A wise man once gave some sage advice to Notsteve and I: "It's folks that make a business." Likewise, it's fans that make a fandom. And this is perhaps the crux of why every single idiotic Take Back Our Fandom campaign that's bumbled its way down the pike over the years has failed and always will. They just don't get that it's fans that make a fandom.
And that brings us to the second part of the Axiom: If you try to convince a bunch of people who enjoy saying Furry fandom sucks that it isn't true, you're wasting time that would better be spent hanging around with people who are actually fun to hang around with.
It's not my job to save the bitter old dinosaurs. As tragic as their situation is, in the end you can't help someone who doesn't want to be helped.
In conclusion, thank Goddess I'm not jaded. -=)