> On Fri, 28 Apr 2000 11:05:10 -0700, Doodles <dood...@pacbell.net>
> >No comment.
> I suggest immediately taking steps to ban everything mentioned in this
> article, including Minneapolis.
No! Not Minneapolis! Where would we go for the Gallery of Regrettable
Hey, if you want something better, try:
go into the main page, click on 'Fetish Map' on the left hand column and
Please note, I have no comment on these things, positive _or_ negative.
Folks will jump to their own conclusions. =};-3
Reading the article, it was obvious the person who wrote it was
looking for bad things to write. He described a portfolio marked
'General' as unremarkable, while going into detail on what was in the
'Adult' portfolio. This is the same kind of 'journalism' that pushes
past police to take pictures of people bleeding and dying. Did anyone
notice at the end of the article, the obvious envy towards those
involved in the Fursuit Dance? His comment about how they were having
more fun than anyone reading or writing about it shows he attended the
con with an attitude that no matter what, he would not have fun.
> Reading the article, it was obvious the person who wrote it was
> looking for bad things to write. He described a portfolio marked
> 'General' as unremarkable, while going into detail on what was in the
> 'Adult' portfolio.
And he got the descriptions wrong! Go to http://www.skunked.com/rivercoon
to see for yourself.
> No comment.
A very well-done, balanced, objective article. Not flattering, no; and
yes, the slant is toward the adult aspects, but it was published in an
alternative arts/culture newspaper. It's about as good as we're likely
to get from professional, general-interest media.
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CritterConDiego 1 (also hosted by The ConFurence Group) is a Mini-con on Friday
and Saturday nights during ComiCon International in San Diego (July 21, and 22,
2000), taking the place of the previous years' furry parties. I had
approximately 200 people attend last year's ComiCon furry party and almost all
of the dealers who set up one night at the complimentary tables reported doing
better sales than their ComiCon tables the whole weekend, so this year I decided
to go a bit more structured.
Membership will be $5 at the door, and tables for dealers will be $10 per night.
I've still got to sign a contract with a hotel for meeting space, but the closer
to ComiCon I get, the better off I will be able to negotiate a lower price (none
of the hotels in San Diego are able to sell meeting space that weekend, because
all their rooms are taken up by ComiCon, making last-minute meeting room sales
more desparate on the hotel's part). I paid only $400 last year for $1200 worth
of function space.
The exact location will be announced as soon as I have confirmed space, which
will be at least two weeks before ComiCon starts. I have early quotes from
several downtown San Diego hotels right now.
| Darrel L. Exline "Your friendly neighborhood Polar Bear" |
| Director, "The ConFurence Group" |
| 619-223-9482 http://confurence.net dar...@home.com |
|! ConFurence 12: April 19 to April 22, 2001, Burbank Hilton !|
| Pre-registration form: http://confurence.net/pre-reg.pdf |
"ConFurence" is a registered service mark of The ConFurence Group.
Before their are too many comments (since I've already been told over a two
dozen times today and asked numerous questions about this article) let me point
out a few things:
1) This is by far the best legitimate press ConFurence has ever received.
Although it does accentuate some of the more adult aspects of the convention, it
also spends a lot of time with people who attend the con for other reasons, and
even mentions those who are squicked by some of the adult stuff.
2) I did not know that Al Ridenour was even *at* the convention, nor that he was
even a reporter or that he was going to be researching for an article. All I
know from the records is that he purchased a one-day membership on Saturday,
paid cash, and left a PO Box for his address.
3) There *were* two members of the press who were at the convention legitimately
reporting on it: one was Pyewacket, who's been creating an independant film
documentary on furry fandom for a couple years now, and the other was a New York
independant writer named Kym Canter who was researching an article about
fursuits for "Dazed and Confused" a British Magazine which focuses on extreme or
alternative fashion styles (not "lifestyles").
4) Several press organizations who were apparently planning to do tabloid-style
articles were politely asked *not* to attend when they inquired with me about
the convention. Namely "Ruby Wax's American Pie" and "The Daily Show" to name
two of the more prominent ones.
5) You'll notice that the closest the article comes to getting a quote from me
is that they paraphrased some of my views about furry fandom from "The Polar
Den" website. It almost seems like they intentionally avoided talking to me
Yep, got to agree a bit, though in my experience, the press will always
shoot for the "spotlight" and not the real behind the scenes stuff. The 2%
is what they're after mostly in my dealings with them, not the 98% that is
lotsa fun or what not:) This from years in Law Enforcement, trust me:)
>3) There *were* two members of the press who were at the convention
>reporting on it: one was Pyewacket, who's been creating an independant film
>documentary on furry fandom for a couple years now, and the other was a New
>independant writer named Kym Canter who was researching an article about
>fursuits for "Dazed and Confused" a British Magazine which focuses on
>alternative fashion styles (not "lifestyles").
I believe I saw Pyewacket interviewing folks and such, very nice, polite
person after observing the interviews and things he was doing:) Would like
to see the end result myself:)
As for Kym Canter and her fellow reporter, yep, I met them, as a matter
of fact I'm the guy in the Fox Fursuit that was being led around by them and
did a photo shoot out in front of the hotel. They were very intrigued by
fursuiting, not as lifestyle, but as fashion, which through me for a loop:)
We were talking and they mentioned seeing some of the older suit costume
heads in the fursuit lounge, and the one lady said they were just wonderful,
kind of a representative of "Folk Art" Her words folks, not mine, honest =)
Also, they seemed amazed at the plethora and variety of costumes that they
saw, wondering why folks would costume such as this. My reply was (And this
is not endorsed by the Official Fursuit Whatever in case there is one) That
maybe, sometimes folks just enjoy a good laugh, bit of fun, and bring a
smile to someones face, shoulda seen the folks in the hotel restaurant when
the mouse suit made an appearance. :)
The pictures they took of me, and I guess the interview will appear in
Dazed and Confused if what they tell me is true. Worried about it? Naw. No
reason to be, people will always put their own slant on it no matter what,
and for me, was a nifty experience:)
As for fashion, well, I tend to get the chuckles when I think of a
fursuit decorating the window of some place on Beverly Hills Drive as the
"new" fashion craze..=)
And I applaud Darrel for refusing folks who wanted the tabloid articles..
And as I wind it up, looking at the article referenced at the top. The one
where the guy mentioned the dance at 1 am. I was there, and yep, we were
dancing for a long time, as a matter of fact, Author GOH Christopher Rowley
was there for a while too in case ya didn't know:) He had been wondering
what it was, and judging from the smile and a bit of laughter I saw, thought
it all funny and a bit absurd in a fun way:)
Wonder what the reporter would have said had he known that?:)
He should have said hello, we'd have made him feel welcome instead of
looking from the outside:)
All in all, it was a good article, god knows what D&Z is gonna put with
the pictures that were taken of me, but, hey, Andy Warhol's 15 minutes of
fame:) I enjoyed it, had tons of fun, and hope alot of other folks did too.
And at that, I wind this down:) Take care folks, enjoy life and
PS. And really, I don't think this fandom has all of the problems,
honestly:) We just don't hear much bout the
Sci-Fi and fantasy cons here in AFF:)
I think he tried to cover the whole gamut. I mean, he put in my comments how
fandom isn't all about spooge, and some of us are trying to keep our noses
somewhat clean, and yes, there are Christians in Fandom.
Or does mentioning Christianity count for bad press too? :P
Shameless Plug: Visit My site!
Not just ConFurence. If you hang about in ANY of the creativity fandoms
(Science fiction, furry, filk, gaming et al.) for any length of time it's
hard not to get the impression you could count the number of objective
reporters sent to cover conventions on the fingers of one foot. They don't
send the first string to cover these things, and the folks they do send are
usually interested in doing a "look at the freaks" piece. This was actually
a decent article.
> Question to the potential r.a.f. moderators: would you allow this post
> in the new group?
Why wouldn't we? I've said this before, and I'll say it again. RAF
moderation does not seek to eliminate rational discussions about the
fandom. Just because you say something critical of the fandom is hardly
grounds for having your post rejected.
> usually interested in doing a "look at the freaks" piece. This was
> a decent article.
Well. If you consider some of the previous press furry has gotten, I
suppose you might consider this article 'decent'.
To me, it's just another example of how the media can skew things. Kind
of makes you wonder about how they skew reports on mainstream news.
Keep in mind that a newspaper's business is to sell copies of the rag (so
that people will see the advertising). So they want to publish stuff that
grabs people's attention. So sensationalism to some extent is the name of
the game. Telling stories of just ordinary people is pretty boring. The
publishers just have to walk the line between being too boring and reporting
only the wierd stuff. And the reading public has some sense of that, too.
They read the paper to watch out for dangerous things, make sure their
interests aren't being too trampled on and for entertainment. In other
words, the paper knows that the readers want to see something a bit wild and
unusual, along with, and as a relief from, the tragedies and hard business
of running things. And sometimes, the paper even enlightens and instructs.
The article did the job it was intended to. It showed some strange stuff
going on. I was a bit superficial, but there was some solid journalism
behind it. The reporter tried to get to the underlying root of the
phenomenon. He did some of his homework. He looked at the public side and at
the way the topic affects people's lives. But it wasn't meant to be an
in-depth article. So it didn't cover the reason for the convention itself.
It didn't interview the people who arganized the convention. It didn't try
to look at all of the sides of the convention and the people attending it.
After all, reporting about people doing good things routinely is a bit
At least it drew conclusions that were based on fact and were supportable by
research. And it didn't have a pre-formed opinion as to
good/bad/right/wrong. It could have been a little more intense and
involving. But at least it took a look at the effects that the fandom has
had on some of the participant's lives. That brings the report
down-to-earth, one of the tenets of good reporting. It established to some
extent the genesis of the interest in the activities, as well as making the
convention less alien and threatening than it can be at first glance. Rather
informative and enlightening, I'd say. With just a little too much enphasis
on the prurient.
Jim Doolittle wrote:
> To me, it's just another example of how the media can skew things. Kind
> of makes you wonder about how they skew reports on mainstream news.
Simple. Just find a news search engine and type in "Elian".
FFCs4a A- C* D H+ M- P++ R+ T+++ W Z+ Sm RLRB/AT a+ cn++ d-- e+ f h+ i+ j+
The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.
>Well. If you consider some of the previous press furry has gotten, I
>suppose you might consider this article 'decent'.
>To me, it's just another example of how the media can skew things. Kind
>of makes you wonder about how they skew reports on mainstream news.
In every story that I have had personal knowlige of the story has been
distorted. Infact there are documented cases of stories that where
not even the slightest bit true, like a plage in inda that just
Please excuse my spelling as I suffer from agraphia. See
http://dformosa.zeta.org.au/~dformosa/Spelling.html to find out more.
Interested in drawing platypie for money? Email me.
We've got it pretty good, you know. We've got a growing
fandom in which the majority are taking an active role as amateur
creators. It may not be a large role, but most furs draw, write,
roleplay, etc. Contrast that to the mainstream SF fandom, where
most of the fans are passive consumers for the products of a
select few. It's quite a difference. The fandom is this way because
of how it started - with some people making art of a type that the
commercial outfitsd weren't willing to make.
And for what it's worth, I thought it a well-written article. I
could take issue with some of the interpretations, but let's
recall the time constraint under which he was working. If I
spent one day in the New Times office and then had to report
on the workings of the newspaper business, I suspect insiders
might find some holes in my report as well, however hard I
tried to be accurate.
The con can't corral reporters who don't approach the concom beforehand.
Ridenour's article just proves that unknown freelance journalists can walk
right off the street, get a one-day con membership, and proceed toward those
willing to volunteer Too Much Information without having to show press
The reporter was looking for the sordid skew, and he got it. Given that he
leeched much of his information from the web (quoted Darrel's personal
website instead of going directly to the source by phone or e-mail for
face-to-face information; using a retouched photo from CF 9 taken from a fan
webpage in the article), and that he went in as a one-day member, he had no
intentions of being put on a short leash by any press liaison.
Maybe a fandom-funded news service is in order. If we can't trust the
alternative media to give fandom a positive spin, who can we trust?
><<Reading the article, it was obvious the person who wrote it was looking for
>bad things to write. He described a portfolio marked 'General' as unremarkable,
>while going into detail on what was in the 'Adult' portfolio>>
>I think he tried to cover the whole gamut. I mean, he put in my comments how
>fandom isn't all about spooge, and some of us are trying to keep our noses
>somewhat clean, and yes, there are Christians in Fandom.
>Or does mentioning Christianity count for bad press too? :P
You came off sounding the best in the article, so I apologize if what
I said sounded like an attack on your for being Christian. But that
paragraph seemed to bookend your remarks around a listing of prurient
things, as if to say 'we found someone who won't do obscene drawings
like the following:'
I'm basing some of this also on comments made by two friends of mine
who know next to nothing about the fandom and whom I asked to read the
article. They went into a long sarcastic discussion about 'large
throbbing erections' and how does one tell the difference between
those and other types of erections. Yes, it is much more positive an
article than many written about furry fandom, but it's still written
to say 'hey look at these weirdoes.'
Jim Doolittle <dool...@tbcnet.com> wrote in message
> In article <QTHO4.8752$g4.2...@newsread2.prod.itd.earthlink.net>,
> "Kathryn Shapero" <kaysh...@earthlink.net> wrote:
> > usually interested in doing a "look at the freaks" piece. This was
> > actually a decent article.
> Well. If you consider some of the previous press furry has gotten, I
> suppose you might consider this article 'decent'.
Not just furry fandom. Compared to the magazine article one reporter did
after interviewing a gaming group I was involved in which made it clear the
reporter had a major ax to grind, or the short TV spot by the TV reporter
who parlayed one innocent's game of "stay in character while in costume" (a
Vulcan) at a Star Trek con into a report that made her look crazy, or many
another such incident - yes, it was decent. The writer did get some things
wrong, but he didn't cop an attitude from the get-go and make fun of the
Remember - they do NOT send the first string to these things. The first
string gets to cover the *big* stories. Things like our convention are
minor. They send whoever's at the bottom of the totem pole, who has little
experience, goes for whatever's easiest to find, gets things wrong and may
even resent the assignment and transfer this resentment to the subject.
Frankly I think the news media would do well to consider that the average
person's experience of them is of the reporter who came to the PTA
installation and got all the names wrong.
> To me, it's just another example of how the media can skew things. Kind
> of makes you wonder about how they skew reports on mainstream news.
At the very least, everything tends to be skewed by the attitude of the
person reporting the event. I'm not sure I ever attended an event covered
by the media where the report matched my memory of it.
///Vicky's drama debut! http://home.earthlink.net/~kayshapero/cinder.htm
I would like to add I did NOT give permisson for him to quote that off my
website. That was on my website to discourage those kind of commission requests
(Which I have gotten in the past, and have NOT gotten since I posted that)
That is not an actual quote from the written interview he gave me.
Just to clear that one up! :)
We *did* have a good handle on press this year... at least those who *announced*
themselves. Al Ridenour never approached anyone at the convention as a
reporter... and most of his quotes in the article were either taken verbatim
from statements on websites or via inoquous-looking EMail queries *after* the
convention was over.
Don't assume that we didn't have a good handle on the press. Believe me, that
was one aspect of running the con that took a lot of time and was *very*
carefully kept invisible to the public because of the political repurcussion
potential. There were several factions of the media who were asked not to
attend after their initial queries, including "Ruby Wax's American Pie" and "The
Daily Show", just to name a few.
"Darrel L. Exline" wrote:
> spam-...@pobox.com wrote:
> > With luck, CF will have a press liason next year to
> > help 'suggest' those who'd make for good interviewees.
> We *did* have a good handle on press this year... at least those who *announced*
> themselves. Al Ridenour never approached anyone at the convention as a
> reporter... and most of his quotes in the article were either taken verbatim
> from statements on websites or via inoquous-looking EMail queries *after* the
> convention was over.
> Don't assume that we didn't have a good handle on the press. Believe me, that
> was one aspect of running the con that took a lot of time and was *very*
> carefully kept invisible to the public because of the political repurcussion
> potential. There were several factions of the media who were asked not to
> attend after their initial queries, including "Ruby Wax's American Pie" and "The
> Daily Show", just to name a few.
Nice to know that furry fandom is learning (albeit sometimes the hard
way) that certain shows are NOT there to promote your cause, but to
shove it even deeper into the closet. I still remember the time the
producer for that crap HBO show "Sex Bytes" tried to get some
plushophiles to go on camera (probably to even film them boinking their
plush Babs Bunny too). Good thing that never went anywhere.
-- Michael (just wishing the press would just once go ask the Mike
Curtises and Dwight Duttons instead of the "Bondage Bob"s or "Hossi"s in
You and the subsequent msgs are missing the critical point, to an
outsider who wants to do a grabbing story, "freak show" is the obvious
take on any genre con, even more so with a con where people wear fur
suits. No editor would run a sympathetic story about any fandom, simply
because no one would read it. People want a spectacle, be it freakish or
sordid, and a reporter knows that. Getting a positive spin on furry
fandom simply isn't going to happen. Corralling the press into showing
them only the good and pure fandom only means they won't bother to file
the story, as there is no "story" in it.
The best way to get a complete and accurate story out, IMHO,
is to promote as much press coverage as possible. It keeps
people honest. A single reporter, writing about a topic his readers
have never heard of, doesn't have much incentive to dig for facts.
His audience has no way of checking the accuracy of his story.
If, on the other paw, he knows that several other papers and TV
stations are likely to carry news about the same event, he's going
to work a bit harder to make sure he gets all the facts.
Still, fur what it's worth, I think this reporter did quite a creditable
job. I wish certain parties hadn't rabbitted on so cynically about
their seduction techniques, but that's hardly the reporter's fault.
> bevnsag <bev...@home.com> wrote:
> > People want a spectacle, be it freakish or
> > sordid, and a reporter knows that. Getting a positive spin on furry
> > fandom simply isn't going to happen. Corralling the press into showing
> > them only the good and pure fandom only means they won't bother to file
> > the story, as there is no "story" in it.
> The best way to get a complete and accurate story out, IMHO,
> is to promote as much press coverage as possible. It keeps
> people honest. A single reporter, writing about a topic his readers
> have never heard of, doesn't have much incentive to dig for facts.
> His audience has no way of checking the accuracy of his story.
> If, on the other paw, he knows that several other papers and TV
> stations are likely to carry news about the same event, he's going
> to work a bit harder to make sure he gets all the facts.
Do you really believe that? If anything, it would be who could report
the biggest/worst freakiness. The press has absolutely no reason to be
"fair" or 'accurate" in their reportage of fandom. Do you really think
that the mainstream media actually cares?? Even among fandoms, furry is
a tiny and inconsequential sub-set that no one outside the fandom gives
a rat's ass about. We are not important to the larger world, and
expecting anything other than ridicule and scorn from the larger public
is a fool's dream.
> bevnsag <bev...@home.com> wrote:
> > Do you really believe that?
> Yes, I really do believe that. Is it really that inconceivable
> that a newspaperman might have professional pride, and
> want to outdo his competition?
Yes, it *is* inconceivable. Always has been. A lot of stuff goes on that
doesn't get any room in the media (newspapers, TV news, etc), or else is
so totally warped as to lose all connection with reality. Matter of
personal experience here.
As far as competition, remember Watergate? All those reporters knew that
& worse was happening, but wouldn't do a thing until someone *else* went
*That brings this thread back into at least some vestige of furriness.
Yes, I really do believe that. Is it really that inconceivable
that a newspaperman might have professional pride, and
want to outdo his competition?
" Because I REALLY care about your happiness..."
Visit my website @ http://members.xoom.com/HJGpage/
for deals on Furry art & comics
Brian Sutton wrote:
> I'm afraid I've got to side with Steve on this based on a couple of things. My
> experiances in the engineering business covering greenhouse gasses and the
> Montreal protocals, details upon request, but mostly on an artical I read about
> Civil war recreationists.
> There was an article in Wall Street Journal about people who dress up and
> recreate events from the American Civil war. Even the Wall Street Journal
> couldn't help but focus on the geeks in that fandom.
> Actually though it did help my morale a bit. Once I knew that even Civil war
> recreationist had geeks I felt that having odiuos fellows in the fandom is just
> part of the nature of the beast.
And I have seen the media coverage of real news, related to the local
aerospace biz or some other event that I happened to have some inside
knowledge of, and even then, the media just doesn't get it right. Some
of it is bias on the part of the reporter and or editors, but a lot
boils down to simply getting a superficial impression and running with
it, regardless of whether it is right or wrong. Despite all the lofty
claims of journalistic professionalism, they are mostly simple content
providers for infotainment-like filler to go around the advertisements.
And again, some dinky fannish sub-genre like furrys simply doesn't rate
any kind of legitimate attention at all.
>Ostrich <ost...@fysh.org> wrote:
>: bevnsag <bev...@home.com> wrote:
>:> Do you really believe that?
>: Yes, I really do believe that. Is it really that inconceivable
>: that a newspaperman might have professional pride, and
>: want to outdo his competition?
>It's inconcievable that any truley talented reporter would want to do a
>story on a genre fandom convention at all. That's why we usually get the
>bottom of the barrel ones or worse, tabloid reporters who know what they
>want and will make it up if they can't get it legitimately. Face it, a
>furry con is at best an item to use as filler on a slow news day and even
>then would be too boring to print without a little sleaze included.
Then manufacture your press. Look at the Trek fandom. For all of
people laughing, many of these people are not constantly shown as
freaks in the media. As I mentioned some time back, the local news
stations and newspaper carried very positive articles about the local
StarFleet group, because they went to the Shriner's Hospital and
entertained kids, and helped raise money, in costume. The fat badly
made up Klingons everyone laughs at when seen in cons went and made
kids happy. This is something furfans can do. Get the best fursuiters
together at cons and go to hospitals, or something similar. Show the
positive. And make sure the local press knows. This is something a
good press liason will do, which is perhaps even more important than
keeping out the tabloids and the shock journals.