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January 24th, 2005

However you may fall on the subject of "Yerfelitism" vs. VCL's more vox populi style, there is one unassailable truth to the matter:

Yerf was (with the exception of the occasional glitch) work-safe. VCL is not.

So I sit here, tapping away on some project, occasionally wanting a "new furry art" fix and not having any place to go. (Or if there is, I don't know what it is!)

While I'm on the topic of Yerf and furry art in general, I'd like to comment here that I'd really like to see more Yerf-like stuff out there ... i.e., for lack of a better term, "clean." One of the things that appealed to me early on as I started exploring the furry genre was a kind of happy innocence. Yes, I know there's spooge upon spooge out there and there always has been, but it seems like there used to also be more light, toony stuff to balance it.

There's more to what I'm getting at than just that, tho ... as the furry fandom has grown, I think some of the standards of people involved has sorta slipped. As I said to jadedfox at FC for instance, the quality of the average fursuit has never been higher -- but many of the people in the fursuits are just sort of wandering around without the sense of performance that makes a really good fursuiter like pandaguy or sk_1 such a joy to watch. My first ever furry bowling event was like walking into a living cartoon, and it was so incredibly fun that it just totally blew me away. It seems like there is a lot less "character" in fursuiting at the moment, which may be a factor of lots of inexperienced people just working out their chops, I suppose.

Last night on the Funday Pawpet Show, Herbie spent several minutes praising Further Confusion for their attention to details, such as the "hieroglyphic wall" at the entrance to the main ballroom, and the obelisk streetsigns ... and I agree, that was exactly the kind of really well-done thing I'd like to see more of. That's one reason I came up with the stage business for Iron Artist -- I was there to entertain the people who came, to make it something memorable and special. It didn't take a lot of work, just a bag full of silly stuff and the willingness to get up there and look like a goofball. But the audience loved it!

There is always a lot of crap thrown at the furry fandom, and I imagine there always will be. But it seems to me that the best way to get past that is to arrange to be such cool, fun people that the crap just has nothing to stick to. I don't mean getting rid of the erotic art or whatever -- a lot of the stuff that's not grandma-safe is still very nice artwork -- but I do mean making that just one tiny aspect of the fandom. Heck, even "happy and innocent" erotica (there is such a thing, actually) is welcome in my book, as long as it doesn't take over.

Strangely enough, this is related to my predeliction for the sing-songy names in Suburban Jungle. Like I mentioned to cody_frost, I love the "classic 'toon" feel of a name like Tiffany Tiger or Brody Coyote ... and it's a feel that seems to be slipping away from the furry genre as it becomes more self-defined. (I'm hardly an old-school furry myself, getting in around '98 or so, but just between then and now I've seen it becoming more rigidly definable, as to what is a furry, and what isn't. I want there to be more 'toonishness in that mix!)

I dunno, am I making sense here?

-The Gneech

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