I Have No Idea What I'm Talking About
After submitting my last article to The Source, I was told how many people remembered a CSI program that dealt with furries, which was entitled (I believe) "Fur and Loathing". I would like to go on record as saying that the television program is less accurate than the Weekly World News. At least the WWN has the grace to say they're full of [Watch your language, Lynx!—Editor].
I have never seen Fur and Loathing, so I researched it. What I found restored my faith in humanity - the faith that says "the more public the voice, the more witless the message."
The "private party" with several people exerting themselves in "fursuit"—which is the term for an animal costume - was the most blatant example of the CSI producers' willful idiocy.
First, understand that the tail I wear is NOT a fursuit. It is an accessory. A fursuit is a head-to-toe costume.
Second, let me tell you a bit about actual fursuiters (people who wear costumes) at conventions. First of all, many of them install small fans in the masks to blow air over their faces. There are "headless lounges" at almost every convention, which is a room where a fursuiter can go and take his mask off. There are strong fans (we're talking industrial-grade here) everywhere, and lots of cold water to drink. Are we getting the picture here? Fursuits are hot, and not in a way conducive to strenuous activity.
Also, fursuits are expensive. We're not talking a $300 business suit, where you face the dry-cleaning bill with apprehension should it get stained. We are talking a costume that costs $800 dollars—that is, $800 off the rack; custom-made suits can cost several grand—and a dry-cleaning bill all but the richest furs would positively dread should it get stained.
PeterCat puts it best in his online article "CSI 'Fur and Loathing' Episode": "With that kind of investment, dedicated costumers aren't willing to wreck their fursuits by attempting to have sex in them . . . Wearing a fursuit is damned uncomfortable. There is a real danger of heat exhaustion and dehydration from staying in suit too long, or performing strenuous activity."
With that in mind, it is (or should be) no surprise that very few people at a convention actually wear a fursuit. PeterCat puts the number at around 5%.
Thirdly, not all furries enjoyed being touched by people they don't know. Below is a comic by Furry Artist HollyAnn describing her reaction to strangers giving her hugs.
What more can I say?
It is true that the producers got advice from a professional costumer who is a furry, but he was only allowed to deal with the costumes, and was not allowed to voice his objections to the portrayal of the fandom as a whole.
This isn't the first time that the furry fandom has been bashed on television - indeed the whole episode got its plot from an earlier show called "Plushies and Furries", which was filmed by Rick Castro and aired on MTV - both of whom were looking for shock value (what else is new?), rather than any sort of accuracy. An anonymous poster on "Pressed Fur" wrote, "MTV and Rick Castro pulled a snow job on the furry community and the MTV viewers. Among a whole slew of false representations and suggested-but-untrue references in the film (the list goes on and on, almost the entirety of the presentation), the most blatant trick which you should be made aware of since your posted information pertains to it is that the scenes between Yote and his mom were arranged and faked on camera at the request of the director, Castro. The convention depicted was not only not his first convention, but his mother knew about his interests long before the cameras rolled. He has publicly admitted this on the community costuming mailing list."
Yote, virtually the only fur interviewed, was 18 at the time. The show had him "come out" as a furry to his mother. It was compared to a Jerry Springer show, in that Castro talked to the kid, talked to his mother, and then had the shocking truth come out. Yote later explained that the entire thing was faked. As he later wrote in an email on a mailing list "I had told my mom about [sic] furry ages ago, and even shown [sic] her the fursuit."
Much of what he said about the furry didn't even make the airwaves. As everyone knows, MTV plays what it wants you to hear, and this show was no different. As Yote said, "that that pissed me off because durringthe interview I did talk alot abotu the various aspects of furry, and how to every one its different, some people likeing it for sex, or others for the art, or others simply because it FEELS right.... guess it didnt make the final cut..." [sic] He also apologized to the entire fandom for his role in the show; taking comfort in the fact that his friends stayed with him.
So why did Yote do it? Apparently, Rick Castro "kinda twisted my arm into the whole thing... after he flew me to MFF he kept tellign me how I was obliged to do it all and how I owed him.. so I couldnt back out of most of it." [sic]
Interestingly, the "Plushies and Furries" episode can only be found on bootleg video tapes these days - apparently Rick Castro was later caught in faking scenes for a "documentary."
CSI has targeted just about everything as being deviant, freakish, immoral, murderous, and downright wrong - episodes about the vampire culture and gamers come to mind, and how many episodes show families in a favorable light? Not many.
I suppose one could consider everyone to be freaks. Those in popular media seem to be freakishly fascinated with portraying anyone who doesn't measure up to their freakishly restricted definition of "normal" as freaks, hoping that "normal" people will freak out. *Rolls his eyes.*
Below is a list of sites you should really visit: