loufib

Cashew Lou's Yukon Annex

I've got Pop-Pop in the attic.

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The latest Furry ***Scandal***!!!!1eleven!11
loufib
cashewlou
Anyone in the furry fandom with a pulse, or at least an LJ, has heard by now about the Pennsylvania pervert who solicited fursuit sex with a minor:

http://wbztv.com/politics/furry.sex.pa.2.1024853.html

Almost equally as repulsive have been the knee-jerk reactions from some folks within the fandom itself.

Granted, many folks are realists about the issue, and have, as I do, an unfortunately-that-is-the-way-things-go attitude about this occurrence. Yes, it's repugnant; yes, it is very unfortunate that it happened to be a furry involved, especially since our fandom has on several occasions in the past attracted negative media attention.

But in a fandom that, for the most part, prides itself in tolerance and inclusion, some of the comments and posts I have been reading regarding this incident border on the psychotic. Before I go on, let me make this point crystal clear: I am in no way, shape or form validating or supporting the actions of this sick, deluded pedophile. I will not give the "tolerance equals approval" bullshit argument any credence.

A couple of examples, without naming names: Ban all baby furs from the fandom? Really? Are you so incredibly dense to believe for one fraction of a second that everyone who draws a cub in a diaper is automatically predisposed to pedophilic behavior? This follows the same line of logic from outside the fandom that every single fur in existence likes to fuck dogs and teddy bears. I am amazed I have to point out this simple truth: What may be true for a minority is not true for the entire group.

Watch To Catch a Predator on NBC sometime. It is horrifying to see the walks of life represented by the people who go out of their way to set up sexual rendezvouses with underage children: teachers, clergymen, firefighters, military--many of them parents themselves. Bringing this twisted point of logic to its conclusion, then, do we work to ban teachers, clergymen, firefighters, military, etc. from society? Of course we don't, dumbasses. One idiot freak like "Panda Bear" should not bring damnation to the furry fandom, or even to the baby fur subset of the fandom. One rotten apple does not spoil the entire barrel.

Here's a lovely Cheney-esque quote: ...if we allow this wide open door policy to continue things will happen." Sadly, yes, they will; but that is one of the drawbacks of living in a free society, of which I am proud to say the furry fandom is a part. I would like to ask the person who made this comment: Exactly who do you appoint to weed out potential members of the fandom? Who gets to wear the Brown Shirt and assign the criteria of admission? Or, more succinctly: Dude, what the fuck?!

There are furs I can't stand to be around, true; there are furs who can't stand to be around me, also true. The fandom is large enough for me and for them to avoid one another and still live as members of the same subculture. I am at heart a live-and-let-live sort of person, unless I believe personal or societal harm is at stake. With that in mind, let me emphatically state the following:

I also believe very strongly in the application of just laws (some are unjust and should be struck down; but that is a topic for another time). If someone is engaged in an illegal act, they should be reported to the appropriate authorities and judged by a trial of their peers, no matter who they are. This, luckily, has happened--or is in the process of happening--in the case of "Panda Bear." The legal system is there to protect all of us from perverts and miscreants. They need to be weeded from respectable society, and if the system works correctly (and heaven knows that it doesn't always), their ability to do harm is disabled.

But to attack an innocent group of bystanders--which, in all honesty, is being suggested by some members of the furry fandom lately--for the fucked-up actions of one idiot over which they had no knowledge or control, is purely ludicrous. I have a sneaking suspicion that there is probably at least one pedophile lurking in the numismatic world. Does that mean I, as a coin collector, am to be held responsible for their actions? Of course not; it is just a coincidence that I happen to be a member of the same subset of society that they are.

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Exactly who do you appoint to weed out potential members of the fandom? Who gets to wear the Brown Shirt and assign the criteria of admission?

Don't we have a guy for that? Never seen him in a brown shirt per se... A duster, maybe. ;-)

Hee! High Plains Furry, with a cheroot sticking out of the side of his mouth and a squinty, ice-cold stare. o(:o)

Nicely said, Cashew. I've heard read what Neer said in his journal. It was the first thing I heard about this, but I'm not surpised as I had a feeling the fandom was in for something really big happening to it as it's been away since something big has happened. Though that who "One apple doesn't spoil the bunch" line. Well in a world we live in now. It does for the public that's looking into that said window, so thanks to this idiot. We might all just be see as closet pedos. Which isn't true, but that's labels for ya.

I think way too many furries worry about what non-furries think of the fandom--when in reality, the majority of them don't give us a second thought.

I have to agree with you on that. Though also it's in the fandom itself that people think that artist that draw cub porn or babyfurs are closet pedos. Basically it's just trying to disect one another to see what we are, I guess. Basically I go with "If you like it and I don't. That's fine. 'm not going to stop you. Just don't force it on me, cause then I'll fight back." That kinda thing. Though as long as it isn't hurting anyone or they aren't doing it for real, since it's illegal to do IRL. Then I'm fine. Anyway... I think that this whole thing with the one guy, might not even bring that much attention to the fandom. If it does, it does, but I doubt it's going to be the end all to the fandom.

I honestly believe this will blow over, just like Vanity Fair, CSI, etc.

Me too. That's what I think. Seems that if anything in the news like this has something "Furry" in it. The fandom just gets in an uproar about nothing. Not like it's the president himself that's done this or some high celebrity, cause then I think that would change everything, if it was someone like that.

This one got a lot more attention because it affected the office of a high-level politician, one who has spent a lot of time crusading against just such behavior.

The "perfect storm" of irony was too much for the media to resist.

Yeah, I know. Though I think this is just a moderate thing, due to the position that the person was in. Much more people higher on that ladder. Ya know? Those that are higher to me are like celebrities and someone like the president or those higher up in the government offices. Cause could you just image one of those people doing something like this? The media would have a fucking ball and then all those high talk news analisists and speakers would be dicecting the fandom and all that. Basically the spotlight is on this guy for being a pedo. Not cause of the furry stuff and I think the spotlight is going to stay just on the pedo spot and not more at all. So yeah... The fandom is safe for the time being.

Yeah, I have seen it pointed out elsewhere that the media coverage is focusing more on him personally than on the furry fandom in general. Which is how it should be, in my opinion...and is ultimately better for the fandom than if the media went "OMG furrverts!!!eleven111"

Yeah. XD Like I said. Labels. If the media lables us like "Closet Pedos" or some shit like that. Then the whole population that's watching is going to see us like that. Which is not true. So there again. "One apple does spoil the bunch." Even if it's not right. People just don't think for themselves nowadays, ask questions or talk to other's in said group and go with the mass majority, since they want to be apart of that mob.

But in a fandom that, for the most part, prides itself in tolerance and inclusion, some of the comments and posts I have been reading regarding this incident border on the psychotic. Before I go on, let me make this point crystal clear: I am in no way, shape or form validating or supporting the actions of this sick, deluded pedophile. I will not give the "tolerance equals approval" bullshit argument any credence.


But the thing is, most people hear "underage sex crime" or whatever and go into outrage mode (we call this fauxtrage on political blogs) and they really, honestly, have blinders on. They don't think, they just have an emotional gut reaction. Even people for whom that kind of thing is not the norm. What's more, in a day and age where rationalism is (mostly) the ideal, they think that this is not only acceptable but justified.

I think my problem with emotional reactionaries is that their opinions on this topic are not worth sharing. Everyone realizes that soliciting sex from a minor is wrong, and that doing so will get you in jail. Yet people parade this declaration around like they have fucking unmatched moral courage for taking a stand against sexual predators.

Really, the reason people do this is the reason people have done this for ages—it's a distraction, and it makes them feel better about themselves.

I'm not sure if it's the pitchforks and torches that annoys me about this, or if it's acting like having the moral maturity of a dead fruit fly makes you King fucking Solomon.

It's kind of sad that you need to say the things you say.

Any post like this rides the fine line between honest opinion and preaching, it's true. And the outrage you speak of (which I certainly feel) does, in all honesty, make me feel a little superior. I am well aware of my flaws, and heaven knows we all have them. But I would like to believe I would never embarrass my family, friends, coworkers, etc. in such a colossally horrifying manner as Panda Bear undoubtedly did.

My intention here wasn't so much to emphasize my sense of moral superiority (though inevitably some of that comes through) as it was to offer a cooler-heads-prevail alternative to the "Root all the bastards out!" mentality that some folks seem to have.

Words can be so sucky when they don't adequately communicate what a person wants to say; it's a common writer's frustration.

I think my problem with emotional reactionaries is that their opinions on this topic are not worth sharing. Everyone realizes that soliciting sex from a minor is wrong, and that doing so will get you in jail. Yet people parade this declaration around like they have fucking unmatched moral courage for taking a stand against sexual predators.


I observe to friends occasionally that everyone running for a judicial office says that they're running for district attorney or judge or what have you because they want to take a stand against crime. What exactly does this tell us? Has anyone ever campaigned for an office taking a strong stand for crime?

At any rate, I've noticed that furry fandom gets linked in vague hand-waving fashion to pedophilia by critics occasionally, usually of the Something Awful Goon mindset -- which would be easily dismissible but for the way it creates a kind of mind-worm association in those who come across it, so a year later they read something innocuous about furries and think, "there's something sick about them, isn't there?" The in-fandom alarm over this case in Pennsylvania isn't too hard to understand in light of that. Yes, we've had bad media attention before, but this isn't a mocking or inaccurate story about a furry convention. Instead, it's a story which pretty much sounds like it came from the Burned Furs types: "we were telling you the fandom needs to change its ways or something like this will happen, and you ignored us, and see?"

All of Lou's points are ones I agree with, mind you -- there's no group that's guaranteed to be free of criminal activity, and I don't think there's anything in particular that could have been done before or after the fact. I do think that furry fandom is on the whole rather subject to the "Geek Social Fallacies," most notably the "Ostracizers are evil" part, and that makes us loathe to engage in self-examination and criticism. And I think that in turn means that when something does blow up, a lot of the community starts doing the headless chicken dance in response.

Good point; of course, I didn't expect anyone to comment and support what Panda Bear did.

Outside the furry fandom, I believe, most folks shrug their shoulders and say, "Guy's a freak. Good thing they caught him." Inside the furry fandom, like you said--the headless chicken dance.

Well said, my friend. This is why it's always a pleasure. :)

Heh...thanks! All I can do is speak my mind and try to be the best person I can, right?

It seems the fandom is freeking out about this more then the media.
From cnew/associated press:

Berlin used the costumes as an entree to solicit the boy, Frederiksen said.

"It's one thing to be interested in the furry culture, it's another thing to make arrangements to have sex with a teenage boy," Frederiksen said.

"This is not online fantasy or anything like that. This is real solicitation to have sexual contact with a boy and you can't do that."

The overwhelming majority of furs have fetishes or "kinks" that might be considered a little weird by "normal" folks--whatever the hell that may mean. It just so happened that this person in question's kink was illegal to begin with, and he was idiotic enough to try to carry it out in real life.

I can understand a bit of overreaction in the fandom; we have been bitten hard by the media a couple of times. But lobbying to self-censor and curtail "admission"? More than just a little bit bonkers.


Soliciting sex from a 15-year old = Illegal. End of story. No "yeah-but's" or mitigating circumstances.

The only thing I worry about is the media implying that furry=furvert=child molester. The fandom doesn't need that kind of negative press. I can only hope that the public and the media will remember the other 500,000 furries that *didn't* try to arrange a sexual encounter with a 15-year old.

I've heard some people screaming about this need to "self-police" the fandom. Self-police? Like how? Frankly, it's an idiotic notion. Furs don't walk around with "child molester" stamped on their heads any more than non-furs do.

What I get a kick out of is the furs who are hollering the loudest about self-policing and kicking folks they don't like out of the fandom are now having a little bit of a self-congratulating mutual love-fest, patting each other on the back and basically screaming, "I told you so! See?!"

So the spirit of the Burned Furs lives on. We'll see if these folks burn out and exit as quickly.

Yep, the spirit of the "burned furs" will live on, and there's plenty of schadenfreude to go around, so no doubt there's a small but very vocal minority who are going to sing about this for years to come.

I think it can serve as an appropriate reminder that there's a law against having or soliciting sexual contact with minors, regardless of whether you're furry or not.

I think I'm getting old and cranky because I really couldn't care less about fandom politics and the more I hear some members of the fandom talk, the less I care to listen.

Hey, you are preaching to the choir here; I avoid and dismiss furry politics. The stupid, it burns! o(:o)

But this situation just compelled me to comment at length. Personally, the fallout (if any) from what has occurred won't affect me at all.

You've always struck me as a "no BS" kind of guy :) I took the post as what you meant it as..commentary to the big sh*tstorm that erupted on some journals and in some furry groups. :P

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