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Cashew Lou's Yukon Annex

I've got Pop-Pop in the attic.

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Outburst: The Aftermath
I am going to speak on this topic only once. Those who want to know the details, they are behind the cut. Those who don't can move along.

Yes, I flew wildly off the handle and posted to my LiveJournal something I should have just kept to myself until I could simmer down. We all act sometimes in the heat of the moment and regret something we can't take back. This isn't so much an apology as it is a statement of fact. The apology--albeit a qualified one--will come in a bit.

A note of background first. On Sunday evening, I found out a close friend in high school and college had driven to a remote state park and shot himself. This took what had already been a fairly shaky bout of depression and sent it into an honest-to-god spiral. On Monday, I had a few furs pretty much snap on me; I know my online behavior can be aggressive and discomforting to some, and I readily allow that was the source of their anger with me. I own up to my faults, and I realize they can be plentiful. I recount these things not for pity, but for a presentation of how things go sometimes. Life will do that. And it can be a great test of a person's integrity when such situations arise.

My integrity at that point was at absolute zero--and I blew it in the most cataclysmic manner possible. I focused all the anger I had felt against certain members of the furry fandom and sprayed it, shotgun fashion, in a vitriolic spray over the entire fandom, attacking friends and enemies alike. Retrospect vision is always 20/20, and I see now this was a horrific thing to do. Though I recanted and took the post down hours later, the damage was done--and rightfully so.

I have been told more times than I can count this week that I need to face up to my actions, and accept the consequences with some modicum of grace. I have every intention of doing so. Many, many furs will be angry and upset with me for a long time to come. I have that coming. Many will never forgive me. I suppose in their minds I have that coming, too. I can't stop how people have reacted to me in the past or will react to me in the future. Believe it or not, many a worry-filled hour has passed with me wishing that were not so. But I would be a fool to think I can control what others think of me.

So...here is what I have decided.

The web page is gone, and will very likely remain so. I haven't concluded this 100 percent yet, but I am leaning in that direction. Bennie has been gracious enough to allow me time to give this decision very careful consideration. This decision, if it becomes permanent, is not one of spite, but one of personal comfort and well-being. The web page--once a great source of joy to me--had become more of a burden than anything else.

I had complete strangers approaching me on a regular basis, demanding what I should write in my stories, how I should re-write stories I had already written because they didn't care for story points or outcomes, and precisely what artwork I should commission and post to my page. Right or wrong, I was getting the impression that my page was no longer a forum of personal expression than it was community property, with many who visited it deciding they must have a say in its content. Further, I was being fanboyed by proxy; absolute strangers were approaching me and demanding I get Artist X to draw something for them. Nearly every day's email contained a request regarding when the next update would be.

Even worse, I found myself becoming more aggressive in commissioning and requesting artwork for my page. Feeling the push from behind from the hands of many strangers, the demand was for bigger, better, more, more, more! As those who know me well can attest, I don't respond to continual stress very well, and the upkeep of the website was becoming one of my life's chief stressors. It was a paradox; I felt compelled to keep the most vocal fans of my page happy, while at the same time growing to hate their demanding little guts. The point is, though, I was pushing more artists to draw for me and my page, irritating the hell out of quite a few of them, I am sure.

I still love furry art, and I always will. I will still commission pictures and sketchbook drawings from time to time--though at nowhere near the pace I have been for the past eight years. But commissioning and requesting more for the web page than for myself? Those days are over.

A lot of folks are jumping down my throat about the 95% comment I made about furry, that percentage being worthless (in my words). Again, as a qualifier, it seems that a very large percentage of furs I came into contact seemed to range from slightly negative to downright assholes. My exposure did feel at times to run up into the high nineties, percentage-wise. I still feel a very strong sense of disgust and disappointment with the overwhelming something-for-nothing attitude of many in the fandom.

Now, the apology. I have made many good friends in the furry fandom. Heaven knows why, but they have stood alongside me when I have had outbursts like this before; it tends to be my nature once in a while. Do I promise I will never be irrational again? Of course not. Do I promise to work on my many issues? Yes, as I have been for several years now. Many here can attest I used to be much, MUCH worse, flying off the handle at the tiniest provocation at LEAST on a weekly basis. I can only guarantee I will be me. That is fine with some folks, repulsive to others. And I am working on coming to terms with that.

To the friends I have in furry: first, thank you for talking to me over this past week, and your support both public and private. Both have been very sustaining, including some of the "tough love" some of you gave. I would rather die than hurt any single one of you; it sounds trite and dramatic, but it is the truth. I included you in a hateful blanket statement that in no way and at no time was ever directed at any of you. Most of you, to your eternal credit, realize that.

To those in furry who dislike me: you dislike me. I will have to deal with it. I feel little compulsion to say anything more than that.

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There have certainly been days when I felt like that about my own primary fandom. *hugs*

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