Editorial: The Elephant in the Fandom

NOTE: This post is going to talk about politics. Even if we like to talk about fictional animals, furries are still human beings, and politics is at its heart how humans relate. “I don’t care/want to talk about politics!” is itself a statement of privilege– because that means you are in a position where you don’t need to care– and therefore paradoxical as it may sound that is still a political stance.

It has taken me a long time to write this post, for a variety of reasons, but more than anything else, it has been this post that caused proudtobeafurry.org to go quiet for so long after AnthroCon. As Editor-In-Chief I didn’t feel like I could in good conscience just keep putting up fluffy posts without addressing the issue, but I also had to work out just what it was I wanted to say.

2016 and 2017 have been a rough year in the United States. Our elections were manipulated, all the worst elements of our society were empowered or even exalted, and it has been a near-daily deluge of horribleness ever since. The “alt-right,” which is an over-polite term for a massive knot of fascists, racists, homophobes, and misogynists, have come out from under their rocks and are now waving flags and running people down in the street.

Not going to lie. The situation is bad. Vocal chunks of America are trying their hardest to recreate 1930s Germany, for reasons that range from misguided to downright delusional. The good news is that even larger chunks of America are fighting back– and we have the historical example to realize what we’re up against. The alt-right will go down and go down hard, eventually: the inevitable end for the whole mentality is self-destruction. But the rest of us are still going to have a big mess to clean up by the time it’s all over.

Where does furry fit in to all of this? Well, furry is a geek-heavy subculture, and geek-heavy subcultures are being deliberately targeted for infiltration and subversion. The phenomenon has been widely reported, and Dogpatch Press has done a very good job of breaking it down in particular reference to the furry fandom.

So now we have these people calling themselves “alt-furry.” FFS.

These people have been around, of course. Back in the ’90s when I was hanging out in alt.fan.furry/alt.lifestyle.furry they were around. They were generally spurned or at least ignored, for reasons ranging from The Geek Social Fallacies to a more basic “Ain’t got time for your crap.” But in 2016 and 2017, just as the alt-right was crapping all over American society, these people started crapping all over the furry fandom.

The avowed policy of proudtobeafurry.org is that we celebrate what we like, instead of complaining about what we don’t. But as much as we wish to highlight that which is good, it would be hypocritical to ignore that this conflict is going on around us. We are here to talk about what is awesome in the furry fandom, and that includes Inclusion, Creativity, Positivity, Tolerance, and Love– but that also means we stand in direct opposition to “alt-furry” and everything associated with it.

“It’s just a joke!” and similar rationalizations also get no pass from us. “Pretending to be a jerk” is inherently a jerkish thing to do. Pretending to advocate genocide “for the lulz” is no better than actually advocating genocide. Trolling by its nature makes people unhappy and is a mean-spirited behavior.

We are proud to be furries, and we oppose anyone who would bring the fandom down. Fascists and bigots of any variety are not welcome here until you discard those poisonous views and behaviors– and even then you will have to work to regain the fandom’s trust.

-The Gneech

Art Spot: Commission for Kuro the Panther, by NotGlacier

Commission for Kuro the Panther by NotGlacier
Commission for Kuro the Panther by NotGlacier

If Charity and Langley from The Suburban Jungle had a love child? ;P

-The Gneech

The PTBAF Art Spot highlights some of the best in furry art, selected more-or-less at random by our staff. PTBAF supports the rights of artists and creators and our policy is to only post items by permission or otherwise consistent with applicable copyright laws. If your work has been used erroneously or you have any concerns, please contact us immediately.

Art Spot: Commission No. 168 by Charlie Nax

Commission 168 by Charlie Nax
Commission 168 by Charlie Nax

As much as I love the classic toony “Disney/WB Animation Style” school of furry art, I am always blown away by well-done painterly style work such as this one. I can see this cat standing beside– or against– Mark E. Rogers’ Samurai Cat among a shower of cherry blossoms as a wooden block ticks in the distance…

-The Gneech

PS: Yeah, the site hasn’t updated in way too long. >.> No explanation, no excuses, and nobody’s fault by own. Fixing it now!

The PTBAF Art Spot highlights some of the best in furry art, selected more-or-less at random by our staff. PTBAF supports the rights of artists and creators and our policy is to only post items by permission or otherwise consistent with applicable copyright laws. If your work has been used erroneously or you have any concerns, please contact us immediately.

Art Spot: Pastel Paint by MCPTato

Pastel Paint Lightens the Mood, by MCPTato
Source: Tumblr

In the roughly infinite number of internet arguments about what is and is not “furry,” there are those who would argue that this piece is not because, while clearly some sort of magical beast, this critter is not anthropomorphized in any way.

To which I say, “Who cares? And besides, maybe she can talk, her name is Susan, and she likes long walks on the beach. You don’t know!”

-The Gneech

The PTBAF Art Spot highlights some of the best in furry art, selected more-or-less at random by our staff. PTBAF supports the rights of artists and creators and our policy is to only post items by permission or otherwise consistent with applicable copyright laws. If your work has been used erroneously or you have any concerns, please contact us immediately.

Art Spot: Snake Dance by Neotheta

Snake Dance by Neotheta on FurAffinity
Source: FurAffinity

Wow, what happened to PTBAF? Honest answer, AnthroCon hit us all like a truck. We couldn’t even get our articles about Post-Con Depression finished because, ironically, we were all suffering from post-con depression. ¬.¬

But we had a great time and the official Launch Panel for the blog was a big success! The fact that we kinda dropped off the face of the Earth afterwards is just part and parcel of being around a bunch of creative types.

We’ll get that worked out! In the meantime, let’s get the blog rolling again with this awesome piece by Neotheta. I’d rave about the line weight and the vivid color and great flow of movement and everything but… just look at it! You don’t need me to blather on. It’s simply a great piece of artwork.

-The Gneech

The PTBAF Art Spot highlights some of the best in furry art, selected more-or-less at random by our staff. PTBAF supports the rights of artists and creators and our policy is to only post items by permission or otherwise consistent with applicable copyright laws. If your work has been used erroneously or you have any concerns, please contact us immediately.

Art Spot: Karn, the Commander of Black Wood by Noxypia


Karn, the Commander of Black Wood by Noxypia on DeviantArt

Not gonna lie, I’m a sucker for a badass lion with a sword. The artist’s note reads “(C)Summoner Master Trading Card”.

-The Gneech

The PTBAF Art Spot highlights some of the best in furry art, selected more-or-less at random by our staff. PTBAF supports the rights of artists and creators and our policy is to only post items by permission or otherwise consistent with applicable copyright laws. If your work has been used erroneously or you have any concerns, please contact us immediately.

Road to Anthrocon: Interacting with Fursuiters

Suiting Up, by tiger_tomWhen many people think of furry conventions, they think of fursuits with their flashy colors, animal faces, and lots and lots of fur! Whether toony or realistic, fursuits are the most noticeable and vibrant aspects of furry conventions. They are walking, talking (or squeaking) art, most of which costs upwards of thousands of dollars. Plus, they’re downright adorable.

But it’s not all fun and games for fursuiters. Between the heat of all the fake fur, poor vision and walking around wearing basically clown shoes for feet, things can quickly go bad for them. This is why it’s up to us non-suiters to be aware of fursuiters and know how to act around them. Here are just a few tips to help you get ahead in interacting with fursuiters.

Continue reading “Road to Anthrocon: Interacting with Fursuiters”

Road to Anthrocon: What to Pack!

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/110466270@N03/11184804426

When it comes to packing for conventions there are usually two mindsets: the people who started packing two months ago and the people who start packing two hours before their flight. With only weeks before the convention, no matter which you are it’s time to start thinking about what you’re going to take with you.

Some of these are going to be basics that you should take for any long term trip away from home; others convention specific items. Since this is a furry blog, there will be some furry specific items that you should consider taking as well.

And I don’t mean the cat. Take the cat out of the luggage.

Continue reading “Road to Anthrocon: What to Pack!”

Road to Anthrocon: What to do!

Source: Anthrocon 2016 Opening and Closing Ceremonies Highlights (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIQin-0itlY)

Anthrocon’s panel and events schedule has been released, so what better time to start thinking about what you’ll be doing at conventions. Some people come to conventions just to hang with friends, but for most of us there are a lot of panels and other events to do and see. It can be a bit overwhelming, especially when there are multiple events that you want to be at happening at the same time. Time travel is not permitted at conventions, so you’ll need to learn how to schedule yourself.

Even if you aren’t going to Anthrocon, check out the online event schedule for reference. There will be a quiz later.

Continue reading “Road to Anthrocon: What to do!”

Art Spot: You Otter Be Here, by Kitsumi

You Otter Be Here, by Kitsumi
Source: FurAffinity

For furry art that just makes you smile, it’s hard to beat Kitsumi. Her work is always fun and full of character!

-The Gneech

The PTBAF Art Spot highlights some of the best in furry art, selected more-or-less at random by our staff. PTBAF supports the rights of artists and creators and our policy is to only post items by permission or otherwise consistent with applicable copyright laws. If your work has been used erroneously or you have any concerns, please contact us immediately.