READ THIS!

Welcome to the Therian Guide forums.

You really have to follow these instructions! Instructions will update as you progress.

If you wish to post on, or access most of the content of our forum and our community, please click here to register first, then follow the instructions below. If you have already registered, please log in, in the above "Hello There, Guest!" box.

Thanks for understanding and see you around.



Post Reply 
The meaning of shapeshifter fiction to therians
DustWolf
Therian Guide Staff
Member is Offline
Support pup
Theriotype: Arabian Wolf
Experience: Therian
Connection: Psychological
Reputation: 470
Contribution: tick tick tick tick tick 
tick tick tick tick tick 
tick 
silvertick silvertick silvertick silvertick silvertick 
silvertick silvertick silvertick silvertick silvertick 
silvertick 
.$team.

.
Post: #1
The meaning of shapeshifter fiction to therians
Hello,

I was thinking lately about the way I form relationships and this led me to a way to explain what werewolf / shapeshifter fiction means to (wolf) therians, and how we can understand those feelings better.


I think something that everyone understands, but perhaps few are willing to admit, is that we all wish other people were like us. We want to live in a world where other people can understand our own experiences. I think because of this we sometimes see therianthropy where it isn't.

As a wolf therian who experiences the wolf attributes strongly in my social aspect, I actually form relationships the way wolves do. I have their patterns and mannerisms. I don't know why this is, I just know that it is. Because of this, the relationships I form with non-therians and non-canine or non-wolf therians, are just not the same as what I would have with another wolf therian who shared these feelings. It's the difference between pretend and true love.

For example, snow dogs are known to have retained the wolf need for hierarchy. Not all snow dog therians experience this, but the actual dogs themselves need that structure. If you present to them as a leader or a subordinate, what you are makes sense to them and they are able to place you in their mental concept of a family. They will not treat you like an equal. But more importantly, if you don't act according to your role, they will find your behaviour unexpected or unpredictable and there will be strife.

In the same way, my relationships kinda work with non-therians, but I know they would be poetry if the other person was like me and had the same wolf nature.


Because of this, and considering that wolf therians who share these social traits are exceedingly rare, I wish that I stood a real chance of finding people like this IRL.

From this perspective, werewolf / shapeshifter fiction is very appealing. Not only does it sell the premise that there is a way to change ordinary humans into wolf therians ("making friends" literally), but there's actual wolf people in the media itself, so you'd think other people who are drawn to it would be seeking the same thing I am?!

However, this is not real and real life doesn't work like that. Werewolf / shapeshifter fiction is written for ordinary humans and the creatures described within don't really act like wolves. The people who are drawn to this media are not therians, they're just people who like cheap horror or teen romance fiction and see the wolf as some kind of sexual icon or renegade or something. They don't really have anything in common with me, the elusive shy dog-like wolf creature.


I think this issue of seeing what we want to see in media, also extends to other minorities, not just therians. Like I imagine if someone who is gay or trans looks at the gender identity debates, they probably want to believe that all that was created by people like them, who just don't want to be alone. But that's not true, the political issues were created by the majority to serve their own interests, and the majority is not like any of the minorities.

I think it's valuable to be able to concede that we are fooling ourselves in these cases. The sooner we accept it, the sooner we can move our attention to more productive solutions, to the challenge of finding others like us.

LP,
Dusty

If you think I'm wrong just say so. Let's talk about it.
Most problems are man-made.

[Image: therapy%20wolf.png]
(This post was last modified: 2023-04-26 17:48 by DustWolf.)
2023-04-26 17:27
Save
Quote
Give Thanks
allicorn
Member is Offline
Fly on the wall
Theriotype: Horse
Experience: Therian
Connection: Psychological, Spiritual
Reputation: 3
Contribution:

Post: #2
RE: The meaning of shapeshifter fiction to therians
I certainly do that; reinterpreting human-made & human-serving media about animals in a way that speaks more to me as an animal than the author most likely intended. But that's just art, right? We find in it perhaps some of the author's intent but we observe it through the lens of our own experience, and impress our own meanings onto it. And I think that's okay. Nothing is intrinsically meaningful. We assign meaning to things through our conscious interaction with them. And that meaning is subjective.

But you're right, it's probably helpful to recognize that Wolfen, or Black Beauty, or idk some other thing, were very likely not written for animals to appreciate. Even though we may.

These types of media can still, potentially, be a beacon that leads animals to connect through their shared appreciation. But I probably shouldn't assume, or really even hope, that my new human buddy is actually a horse just because he has a DVD of Spirit on his shelf. The odds are.. not high.

Alli
2023-04-26 20:06
Save
Quote
Give Thanks
sledwolf
Member is Offline
Cat Hearted
Theriotype: working dog
Experience: Therian
Connection: Psychological
Reputation: 18
Contribution: tick tick 

Post: #3
RE: The meaning of shapeshifter fiction to therians
I actually experience relationships similarly to you, Dusty. There is a lot of things that my human pack could never understand, even though they accept me the way I am. It's simply not how they're wired. What I would have with other wolves or snow dogs would be much different and much more akin to how *I* am wired, but I might never have it.

I guess I do have a sliver of hope when presented with such things, or generally when somebody speaks of wolves that way... But I'm quick to reassure myself that it's just an interest on their part, at best. I learned to stop hoping for such things, but if they miraculously come someday, they're very welcome. I just don't want to put myself through disappointment if I don't have a good reason for it.
2023-04-27 5:13
Save
Quote
Give Thanks
Baskers
Member is Offline
Lost in the rocks
Theriotype: Unsure (theropod?)
Experience: Therian
Connection: Psychological
Reputation: 18
Contribution: tick tick 

.
Post: #4
RE: The meaning of shapeshifter fiction to therians
I've definitely looked at werewolf and other arguably therian related media with a similar mindset.

I can't say much on werewolf media, but I view dinosaur and other paleo media, especially simulators in a similar way. Hoping that some might enjoy them for similar reasons to myself.

Non-therian interest for these same things eludes me sometimes as I'm into them because of my animalness. While I can understand the draw behind creature horror for example, I do wonder how non-therians see other things compared to me. Like what more do I misinterpret or struggle to understand because of my nature.

(2023-04-26 20:06)allicorn Wrote:  I probably shouldn't assume, or really even hope, that my new human buddy is actually a horse just because he has a DVD of Spirit on his shelf. The odds are.. not high.


This made me laugh, I've had similar feelings about friends because of "signs" that weren't.

2023-04-28 13:48
Save
Quote
Give Thanks
allicorn
Member is Offline
Fly on the wall
Theriotype: Horse
Experience: Therian
Connection: Psychological, Spiritual
Reputation: 3
Contribution:

Post: #5
RE: The meaning of shapeshifter fiction to therians

(2023-04-28 13:48)Baskers Wrote:  Non-therian interest for these same things eludes me sometimes as I'm into them because of my animalness. While I can understand the draw behind creature horror for example, I do wonder how non-therians see other things compared to me. Like what more do I misinterpret or struggle to understand because of my nature.


This makes sense to me. We live in their world but we can never quite see things exactly as they do. And vice versa.

I guess humans also miss out some aspects of media due to their human perspective. I see interactions between the horses blurred out in deep focus behind some scene in a fantasy show. I see heads turn, ears flick, movement, gesture, and sometimes it's enough tell me little stories - who's bored, who's nervous, who's having fun - about the equine performers that the human show-makers undoubtedly never considered.

2023-04-29 20:43
Save
Quote
Give Thanks
DustWolf
Therian Guide Staff
Member is Offline
Support pup
Theriotype: Arabian Wolf
Experience: Therian
Connection: Psychological
Reputation: 470
Contribution: tick tick tick tick tick 
tick tick tick tick tick 
tick 
silvertick silvertick silvertick silvertick silvertick 
silvertick silvertick silvertick silvertick silvertick 
silvertick 
.$team.

.
Post: #6
RE: The meaning of shapeshifter fiction to therians

(2023-04-29 20:43)allicorn Wrote:  I guess humans also miss out some aspects of media due to their human perspective. I see interactions between the horses blurred out in deep focus behind some scene in a fantasy show. I see heads turn, ears flick, movement, gesture, and sometimes it's enough tell me little stories - who's bored, who's nervous, who's having fun - about the equine performers that the human show-makers undoubtedly never considered.


It's like observing dogs for me in ads and other performances. The disonance between what they are saying and what the scene is about is usually extreme. It's honestly just disappointing how little people in general understand animals. Or at least what they think they can get away with.

LP,
Dusty


If you think I'm wrong just say so. Let's talk about it.
Most problems are man-made.

[Image: therapy%20wolf.png]
2023-04-29 23:17
Save
Quote
Give Thanks
allicorn
Member is Offline
Fly on the wall
Theriotype: Horse
Experience: Therian
Connection: Psychological, Spiritual
Reputation: 3
Contribution:

Post: #7
RE: The meaning of shapeshifter fiction to therians

(2023-04-29 23:17)DustWolf Wrote:  It's like observing dogs for me in ads and other performances. The disonance between what they are saying and what the scene is about is usually extreme. It's honestly just disappointing how little people in general understand animals. Or at least what they think they can get away with.


I can imagine! Over-use of foley is a constant. Every horse on TV is constantly vocal, even when they're conspicuously visibly not being vocal. Scene begins with horse drawn carriage approaching the camera - you can bet those horses are whinnying loudly. In reality, we're a fairly quiet folk much of the time.

I bet it's the same with with your folk, and others. Human audio editors drop in extra animal noises because, to their human viewers, hearing animals voices just adds to the ambiance of the scene and doesn't really mean anything.

2023-04-30 10:00
Save
Quote
Give Thanks
DustWolf
Therian Guide Staff
Member is Offline
Support pup
Theriotype: Arabian Wolf
Experience: Therian
Connection: Psychological
Reputation: 470
Contribution: tick tick tick tick tick 
tick tick tick tick tick 
tick 
silvertick silvertick silvertick silvertick silvertick 
silvertick silvertick silvertick silvertick silvertick 
silvertick 
.$team.

.
Post: #8
RE: The meaning of shapeshifter fiction to therians

(2023-04-30 10:00)allicorn Wrote:  I bet it's the same with with your folk, and others. Human audio editors drop in extra animal noises because, to their human viewers, hearing animals voices just adds to the ambiance of the scene and doesn't really mean anything.


Getting a bit off topic here, but with dogs usually they're kept focused with something so they sit still in the shot and this is very obvious, because they're basically saying stuff with their body language like "ready for you", etc. But the shots are about other topics.

For example, I think in the show Star Trek Enterprise there is a scene (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNm-jObYscA) where the dog is said to miss a character in the movie and they show the dog and he's like obviously laser focused on a treat held off-screen and waiting for it to be dropped.

It feels like people don't really care about the dog's body language at all and are like "hey look here's a dog", as if they were some kind of object placed in the scene, and that's supposed to be enough.

Of course I accept that getting a dog to understand that the camera is observing them and that they are in an act on a specific topic, like they do with their human actors, would be a lot of work, that would add no particular value to most of the audience. And I also accept that a suspension of disbelief is required for us to even accept that the human actors aren't just pretending (even though some of the best television was shot when the actors were the same kind of people as their characters).

It's just that as a canine therian, the dogs' behaviour jumps out at me and it just looks like bad acting. It's also a bit creepy. Imagine one day we encountered actual aliens and they shot video where the humans' emotions in the shots are way off. Tongue

LP,
Dusty


If you think I'm wrong just say so. Let's talk about it.
Most problems are man-made.

[Image: therapy%20wolf.png]
(This post was last modified: 2023-04-30 11:03 by DustWolf.)
2023-04-30 10:36
Save
Quote
Give Thanks
Post Reply 


Forum Jump:


User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)