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A Doggo Manifesto
LycanTheory
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Post: #1
A Doggo Manifesto
Nearly a quarter of a century ago, (damn that's a long time) a young, teenage me with much optimism, heart and charisma set out to help grow and strengthen a tiny little, weird fringe group of animal-people known as "furries". Somewhere in my chest of relics lies my first con badge from Albany Anthrocon in 1998 which had an attendance of around 600 people.

I was one of the charter members of a furry coalition which included websites, MUCKs and IRC channels and networks from 1996-2002. In those days, furry wasn't about "normalization" or "respectability politics". We were freaks who found each other and the common ground we shared was more important than whatever trivial differences lied between us. We didn't care what the mainstream thought of us and we focused on the needs and expressions of us, others who were a fundamental part of the community.

Slowly, over the past two decades, I have watched furry grow from barely having enough participants to stay afloat to a massive juggernaut with some conventions drawing crowds of attendees and spectators nearing 10,000. I have also watched in horror and dismay as the "community" aspect of furry sold it's soul to the mainstream for "acceptance" and has become indistinguishable from mainstream US politics. Had I wanted to be part of a toxic cesspool, filled with arguing and stand-offs, I would have gotten into politics instead because it pays more.

As therians, we are now faced with a very similar enemy. We have expanded and grown to the point where people who have no stake in the original founding of the community are infiltrating and pillaging what was once common ground. Our ground... I would argue that at this point we are standing on the edge of a cliff, looking over into a dark, bottomless abyss and there is a hoard of new generation therians and otherkin who are nothing like us, know nothing of our history and do not value our culture trying to bear down and shove us over in the name of "acceptance" and "respectability". Don't be fooled, these people are not for the community, they are not for helping other therians or kin. Their ultimate goal is popularity, vanity, self-image and molding "therian" into whatever they want it to be.

This is where we hold them... This is where we fight...

This is an open call to arms against all those who are working to turn our experiences into a superficial, fickle, soulless husk.

We should remain true to ourselves, our roots and most importantly to each other, no matter what. If we can't maintain those three principles, of were not willing to stand up and fight for those three principles. If we're not willing to fight for each other, those who do accept us for who and what we are... Perhaps we deserve the fate that's coming.

Signed - A real therian
Lyc

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"It takes incredible strength and courage to be different from everybody else, but it's a good thing."
2020-08-15 20:12
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Tdae
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Post: #2
RE: A Doggo Manifesto
*sniff* I've been tracking an enemy which operates on infiltration, division, and deception. You've spotted it. Therians sometimes talk about being more accepted by the public. I don't really relate but I can understand why. There is this dilemma though. Therians deal with issues the public doesn't relate to. Some therian issues are not for public consumption, and some therian issues are dark. I'm sure people would disagree but that's just how I see it. With "acceptance" or "respectability," unacceptable issues have to be made to disappear.
2020-08-16 6:15
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SheilaGrace
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Post: #3
RE: A Doggo Manifesto
It seems, the same phenomenon is happening in US too. It is really sad for me to be honest, because I didn't think it was a global issue... Sad
I think you know I went through the furry community's corruption in Japan. And that's why I'm here. I couldn't be a part of that Japanese community. I couldn't sell myself for getting notability.

I'm not sure if it is the 'side effect' of capitalist economy. But I can see the big common point between those two.
Those who already has big money can make more money, but it's not easy to start from a really poor situation. Likewise, the same is happening on the notability on SNS. Those who already well known can expand their influence pretty easily. And they can convert their influence to economical benefit relatively easily too. But if someone new wants to start some projects from nothing, rather people throw a stone. Perhaps for disturbing someone new's growing of influence. People are sticking too much for protecting their vested rights.

I already decided to not to mind about the number of my followers or favs on DA or somewhere. But I have had minded about it for a long whole when I was younger.
I noticed the 'desire for recognition from others' is really toxic for me. When it came out of my control, anytime I did something bad. So I'm trying my best to control it. I can't kill it off completely, but at least I can reduce it. And as long as it is under my control, maybe I don't make some big mistakes.
I think, those who cannot do that self-control are causing some issues. Maybe regardless of what nation or culture they're based on. But... it is really sad if those who cannot is the majority, and ganging up to justify their inability... Sad

(2020-06-20 16:13)LycanTheory Wrote:  When we allow weakness to fester, it spreads like a cancer and it erodes us in mind, in character and in our relationships with others. We should never aim to be a society that casts off our own personal weaknesses in the form of burden to others, for doing such just drags everyone down, makes everyone crippled. Instead, we should always seek to raise up the weak, to push them and guide them to become strong and help them find the sense of pride, confidence and accomplishment that they deserve.

I still remember you said this. We all should make our effort and gather our might for only a constructive way, to overcome the problem. Not for passing the burden to the others, not for letting the problem left unsolved, not even for destroying someone else's effort due to one's personal envy.

I know it's battle. But it not for winning, nor for beating someone down. It is for not losing, not surrender, not be beaten down. It is for surviving. It is for protecting our dignity. It is for being just a way we are.


Of course I join this battle, even if it's an endless one. We must resist against this corruption. My blades are for that.
As usual, I'm here for you, Lycan. To fight with you back to back to protect each other. :)
To survive together, to be happy together. Our struggle is anytime for that. ^_^

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May your destination will be full of hope
~ 貴方の行く末に幸多からん事を
2020-08-16 17:02
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Talarp
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Post: #4
RE: A Doggo Manifesto
I'm here because I've read what @DustWolf wrote.

I agree with both of you. And that's because of those people that I was afraid to come on TG at first, afraid I would be mistaken for them when I actually search for years if there was other people like me and a name for that. When I experience that since early childhood.

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Tala
2020-08-17 6:52
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Atlantis
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he who was called by the storm
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Post: #5
RE: A Doggo Manifesto
I do think this is the last place, or one of the last places left that has people with serious experiences; that hasn't been corrupted by mainstream "kinnie" culture. Was welcome here, which I know I am not entirely, I would be happy to heed a call to arms such as this.

I can be fiery in what I believe to be righteous. In truth this fireyness has been misused by myself in the past when I was too young and new to even have any context for the history of the community. Looking back on it now, I was walking on eggshells around people I should have been stepping on, and stepping on good people I should have been walking around, probably even encouraging. How could I choose to ignore the ridiculous of someone with 100 fictiontypes, and yet dismiss what I now know to be disassociative Therianthropy?
I do think it's about presenting a clean image of Therianthropy that the mass media can be okay with. That's not what it was about for me per say, it was about arguing what I believe to be right, but what I believe has obviously changed because I'm here now. It's a hell of a lot easier for the average Joe to stomache "I identify as X characters because I have mental illnesses and pretend I'm someone else to cope" or "I have a past life as a polar bear" than it is to ask him to understand, or at least tolerate, the actual depth behind therian experiences. Because I think if you asked a real therian how they came to be using that term for themselves, you'd get a lot more than a simple sentence; just a hunch. Not to mention several concepts they probably haven't even heard of before.

Remain true to ourselves, our roots and each other huh? I like the idea, but I think that last one needs work. The therian and otherkin communities are rife with infighting between every single little group. TG doesn't get along with Othercon and Kinmunity, etc so on and so forth. To be honest there's more infighting than getting along. I'd say that's the one, and only, thing I miss about my time on Amino. Unless you were claiming to be a rock, or went against the broader political ideas, you were accepted and loved, unequivocably. On the downside that turned into an inability to question and grow with each other for fear of stepping on toes. But I think if the rest of the therian community had a little bit more of that sort of love for each other than we do, in an unconditional way based on nothing more than the shared experience of our Therianthropy we'd be a lot better off.

Hiraeth
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(This post was last modified: 2020-08-17 8:03 by Atlantis.)
2020-08-17 8:02
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Blayz
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Post: #6
RE: A Doggo Manifesto
I have to throw in my bandanna on this one pretty much by default Lyc. The fools of which you speak are the same which drove me and many others into terrible isolation. Sad

There is real therianthropy as we know it and cherish it here on TG. Then there is Therianthropy Fandom, which is not the same thing. We must guard against allowing TG to become the latter At All Costs, or we will start to look like this Amino thing ......whatever that is!
Tongue

I’ve never felt like it was important to check that out and I sure as hell won’t bother now that I know what others have found!

Anyway, I’ll close with a favourite old quote of mine. Consider it a timely reminder to all.

“Knowledge and Wisdom is the Real Power”
Cool
Blayz

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”I will Not carry myself down to die! When I go to my grave, MY HEAD will be HIGH! That IS a choice!”
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2020-08-17 8:21
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DustWolf
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Post: #7
RE: A Doggo Manifesto
(2020-08-17 8:21)Blayz Wrote:  this Amino thing ......whatever that is!

Therian Kindergarten.

LP,
Dusty

Most problems are man-made.

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2020-08-17 9:00
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Atlantis
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Post: #8
RE: A Doggo Manifesto
(2020-08-17 9:00)DustWolf Wrote:  
(2020-08-17 8:21)Blayz Wrote:  this Amino thing ......whatever that is!

Therian Kindergarten.

LP,
Dusty

Worse than that honestly. I mentioned the one good thing about it...the bad things were very very bad. Nobody questioning anyone elses experiences. An echo chamber where any other ideas were agressivly removed.

An actual therian kindergarten would be a nice place for young kin to learn and develop. This was not that place. There was no learning and developing. They were very kind though to those they felt fit within their echo chamber

Hiraeth
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2020-08-17 9:48
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DustWolf
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Post: #9
RE: A Doggo Manifesto
(2020-08-17 9:48)Atlantis Wrote:  
(2020-08-17 9:00)DustWolf Wrote:  
(2020-08-17 8:21)Blayz Wrote:  this Amino thing ......whatever that is!

Therian Kindergarten.

LP,
Dusty

Worse than that honestly. I mentioned the one good thing about it...the bad things were very very bad. Nobody questioning anyone elses experiences. An echo chamber where any other ideas were agressivly removed.

An actual therian kindergarten would be a nice place for young kin to learn and develop. This was not that place. There was no learning and developing. They were very kind though to those they felt fit within their echo chamber

While that may be true I don't want to bash anyone. There is enough negativity in the world.

It has been discussed several times on the staff if there was something we could do, create some kind of place for therians under the age of 13 to be able to explore therianthropy through play (e.g.: Roleplay), however even if we forget about the legal problems (COPPA), nobody has the kind of time to tend to a large amount of young therians. So the best we can do is make this somebody elses' problem (Amino; hey apparently large corps don't have to care about the law) and hope that they'll be able to spend time with each other.

This is the principle "put them all in the same room and hope for the best". Obviously this hasn't produced the best results (primarily because some older people persist on Amino and end up trying to prove they are above play by excluding all younger therians from their cliques, often by creating these arbitrary rules), however... We don't have a better alternative than to recommend anyone under 13 go to Amino, and people who are old enough to take Therianthropy seriously, come back to TG and be honest with yourself.

LP,
Dusty

Most problems are man-made.

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(This post was last modified: 2020-08-17 10:24 by DustWolf.)
2020-08-17 10:02
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LycanTheory
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Post: #10
RE: A Doggo Manifesto
(2020-08-17 8:02)Atlantis Wrote:  TG doesn't get along with Othercon and Kinmunity, etc so on and so forth. To be honest there's more infighting than getting along. I'd say that's the one, and only, thing I miss about my time on Amino. Unless you were claiming to be a rock, or went against the broader political ideas, you were accepted and loved, unequivocably. On the downside that turned into an inability to question and grow with each other for fear of stepping on toes. But I think if the rest of the therian community had a little bit more of that sort of love for each other than we do, in an unconditional way based on nothing more than the shared experience of our Therianthropy we'd be a lot better off.

Love, respect for each other on a very basic level is something myself, Zef, Dust, Eli and every other staff member have been working behind the scenes to establish for a long time.

What's not more broadly known because it's all taken place behind the curtain is that we've made multiple attempts at being diplomatic with other communities such as Kinmunity and Othercon, only to have our good-faith efforts be rewarded with betreyal and back-stabbery by their administration. Regardless of the people who run these communities, we recognize that their members aren't all the same types of people. We harbor many Kinmunity refugees and I anticipate that we'll harbor some of Othercon's people once the new relationship energy wears off and the toxicity of their leadership is exposed.

That said, we've had great success in our diplomatic efforts with r/Therian and Werelist because they are lead by mature and reasonable folks. My point here is that we don't value and don't want intercommunity drama, we make continuous and consistent efforts to be diplomatic but sometimes it doesn't work.

Lyc

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"It takes incredible strength and courage to be different from everybody else, but it's a good thing."
(This post was last modified: 2020-08-17 16:05 by LycanTheory.)
2020-08-17 16:04
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