What has Postfurry been?

From Postfurry Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

What follows is a big wonderful braindump from Kincaid, one of the folks originally responsible for Postfurry (dis)organization. Not all of this is required or expected or even often-seen in Postfurry as it is done nowadays, but a lot of it is, and the whole thing tells a lot about where Postfurry came from.

Elements of Postfurry

  • Kink
    • fetish based on unreal things
    • xenofetishism, fascination with alien beauty
    • "making people nice"
    • using BDSM and hypnosis to experiment with power dynamics, empathy, and trust
    • basing scenes around narratives for sex instead of actual sex; expanding sexuality into the unreal
    • the fetish of finding new things to fetishize
    • umbrella term for all the kinks that can only take place in an imaginative world
  • Spirituality
    • an exercise in making DIY, non-hierarchical pantheons
    • an attempt at "daughter/son" religion instead of "father/mother" religion: spiritual entities that we create to be assistants in cosmological exploration, front-ends for the Divine, little gods for whose behavior we are solely responsible, not vice-versa
    • playing with the erotic aspects of reality-bending
  • Psychology
    • fascination with liminal states
    • extension of natural neuropsychological tendencies
    • keeping of "headfriends" long into adulthood
    • using furry metaphors to explore altered states
    • using postfurry to interrogate the boundaries of "human" behavior and how real/necessary they really are
    • sociological and psychological theories of play
  • Furry Culture
    • extending roleplaying tropes to real life
    • bringing metafiction to furry roleplaying
    • a refuge for sensitive, otherworldly, introverted nerds
    • the notion that furry doesn't need to be realistic; the corollary that reality doesn't need to be realistic (i.e. our social and mental worlds are mostly abstract and arbitrary anyhow)
    • merging furry with the world of theory -- taking things from literature and academic as inspiration for our perverted flights of fantasy
    • an attempt to split the difference between the furry "fans" and the furry "lifestylers", taking the neo-pagan elan of the alt.lifestyle.furry folks and cutting its literal-minded tendencies with more critical and metaphorical ones
    • discuss Daphny's remark about otherkin/trans narrative from this Kotaku article.
    • going beyond "furry is a way of life" to "furry is a counterculture, with potential social significance, a preparation for a world of virtual identity, self-narrative, and constant immersion in non-material realities"
    • first step is to answer the question of "Why furry?" not with some literal-minded justification (i.e. history, anatomy, pantheism), but with "For whatever reason we want"; the second step is to answer the same question with "Because it's a subculture where the answer is 'for whatever reason we want.'"; the third step is to ponder WHY furry is so good at accommodating "for whatever reason we want," and seeing just how far you can stretch those reasons beyond what was previously considered "furry" -- the same way other "post-" movements have taken genres apart and put them back together with new influences
    • mention soulbonders and otherkin as part of the spectrum -- postfurs are somewhere between them and fans!
  • Philosophy
    • extending queer identity theory to species and fantasy selves
    • political culture of radical empaths and daydreamers
    • self-referentiality and Hofstadter -- meta-reference opens the door to so many interesting things...

Postfurry Roots

  • furry lifestylers
  • Callahan's Crosstime Saloon
  • transhumanist sci-fi
  • genderqueer movement
  • literary theory
  • semiotics and postmodernism
  • metafiction
  • inadvertently perverse action cartoons
  • postmodern/eclectic/chaos magic
  • guerrilla ontology
  • Discordians and Subgenii
  • psychedelia
  • BDSM culture
  • beatniks and flower children
  • Robert Anton Wilson's theory of "neophilia"
  • "Religions of Paradox and Play" in Margot Alder's Drawing Down The Moon

Frequently-asked questions, with few answers

  • Isn't postfurry basically just sci-fi furry fetish?
  • Why is there so much freaking latex and plastic?
  • Do you people know how pretentious you sound?
  • What were the DScream, Puzzlebox, and 12Fold?
  • Do you know how clumsy and sentimental your work sounds?
    • Yeah, of course we do. It's folk art.
  • By calling it "postfurry" are you saying what you're doing should replace furry?
    • Yikes, no.

Postfurry Philosophy

  • has roots in a phenomenon of fantasy-prone people continuing to have rich imagined internal lives well into adulthood
  • perhaps also in the proposition that something in our culture is stimulating more of this imaginative "virtual" life
  • in particular, the Internet has given these fantasy-prone adults a safe place to "come out" to each other
  • inevitably, this has led to a desire to bring these fantasies -- and the joyful social connections made under the
  • importance of joy and festivity to postfurry culture
  • importance of paradox and "play" in the sociological sense, cf. Margot Adler
  • a means of dealing with fissures in our neurology and identity that many of us have felt since we were young
  • a "microgenre" or "microfetish" melding transhuman/cyberpunk attitudes about bodies, identity, virtuality, and personal freedom; high-tech fairytale aesthetics; transformation fetish; psychedelia; non-dualistic philosophies in queer theory; and the animation of our childhood nostalgia
  • mental, narrative, and ritual transformation as a lifestyle, with animal people as the preferred front-end
  • an aesthetic of alienness, a xenofetish, valuing the novel, paradoxical, complex, or liminal for its own sake -- loving things we have been told are on the outside
  • a "transspecies" movement paralleling the "transgender" movement -- not in any way insisting we are *physiologically or genetically* non-human, but opening up a category of "socially non-human" -- taking on names, personas, and histories of our own creation and rejecting the self-serving ones that society hangs on us
  • saying that one's narrative "reality" need be hooked to physical reality only to a certain degree -- so much of our social reality is based on fictions imposed by mass opinion to start with -- rejecting the idea that we are who our parents named us, defined by our jobs, given a loyalty and affiliation based on what nation and species we're born into, as if being human obliges us to any specific behavior, appearance, or propriety beyond basic kindness towards other humans
  • inherently somewhat leftist, in that we believe in the improvability of human nature, a certain degree of cultural relativism (in that we love to play with hypothetical cultures), hive minds, and multiplicity of narratives and perspectives instead of one objective and unchanging historical truth, and some of us really really really like jargon associated with left-wing identity politics :)
  • we're also keen on sex, pleasure, and harmless-but-transgressive behavior
  • values emotional sincerity and openness; pursues pleasure out of a sincere belief that pleasure is a "useful" cognitive state -- bliss reduces the urge for conflict and hasty, survival-driven thinking in places where it's not productive -- we want to create safe spaces for Nice People to play very very perverted mindgames in safety
  • we're very uptight about respecting "OOC" consent even as we play with it -- we play consent games because we're genuinely curious by the moral phenomena -- we play with ethics because it's a matter of huge interest to us
  • cultivation of a Cosmic Trigger-style suite of persona modules, alternative reality filters, and other tools
  • Further elaboration needed on
    • neurotypicality
    • magic and postmodern animism
    • Why we do things like talk to our plushies and let them live vicariously through us
    • gender fuckery
  • (A way of taking the basic concepts of furrydom - adoption of alternate personae, casual roleplay, unfettered intimacy - and pushing it to the next phase; not abandoning but pushing the boundaries further)
  • phenomenon of “imaginary friends” and imaginary worlds persisting among adults, normalizing
  • themes of “making people nice” in our roleplay
  • metaprogramming tools
  • building empathetic communities
  • fantasies of artificiality among the non-neurotypical
  • playing mental, physical, and social control games in order to understand how they work, and soothe the parts of the human brain that is innately obsessed with them
  • this is a game we play because we’re human -- it’s innately and immensely humanity-affirming to play these games -- but it’s also affirming that we’re not limited in our identity and behavior by our species and our assigned set of neurological urges
  • a safe haven for people who aren’t neurotypical
  • a sense of kink and fetish as tools, not as things that define us but as things we can define. Broadening of horizons, modular combining of tropes, rather than narrowing to more and more specific combinations.
  • extension of animism into an emotional toolset for modern life: plush shamanism, warding behaviors, etc.
  • expanding the “queer” concept into forms of perceived misembodiment or different embodiment beyond gender and sexuality, extending into species, history, name, metaphysics, reality level...
  • [add more!]

Things Postfurries Like

  • Aeon Flux
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • alien alphabets
  • the blue metal junk from Nova Express
  • Borg assimilation
  • butch girls
  • creepy dolls
  • dehumanizing names that are just strings of numbers and letters
  • designer drugs
  • faceless masks
  • gasmasks
  • glossolalia
  • glowy things
  • headsets
  • hive minds
  • imaginary numbers
  • imaginary people
  • inflatable clothing
  • inflatable people
  • lava lamps
  • monotones
  • The New Sincerity
  • paintball guns (and the artistic uses thereof)
  • posture collars
  • retrograde amnesia
  • sensory deprivation
  • sissy boys
  • superpowers
  • third eyes
  • third genders
  • TRON
  • ultraviolet
  • utopias with dystopian trappings and vice-versa
  • vending machines
  • Weeping Angels
  • WiFi implants

Criteria for Postfurry/Fluoroculture/xenofetish media

  • an exceptionally attractive or lovable alien character
  • a piece of out and out xenoperv bait
  • an alien or stigmatized character unexpectedly revealed to be a good or appealing person
  • philosophically insightful in a way that might stimulate a bright teenager to start questioning consensus reality
  • deals with an emotion like joy, trust, love, or compersion that we highly value (preferably as an explicit theme, not just an emotion it causes in its own fans!)
  • portrays a normally villainized/taboo transhuman phenomenon (like hyperintelligence, mechanization, or hiveminds) as benign or ordinary
  • advocates the healthiness and necessity of inner fantasy worlds
  • especially relevant to “fantasy-prone geek” culture for other reasons, such as accurately or lovingly portraying geek culture in RL
  • looks at reality through a radically alien or countercultural perspective
  • “Would you describe this media as part of Operation: Mindfuck?”
  • fantasy that evokes a sense of otherworldly longing, liminal states, or one world intersecting another
  • anything that addresses mind or body “weirdening”, especially if it goes against the grain and portrays it in an unusually positive light
  • Not just shows that are really intelligent, funny, or high-quality
  • Not shows that are “subversive” only in being nihilistically cynical or shocking
    • shows that use cynicism or shock in ways that ultimately promote useful things are fine
    • cynicism/bleakness/disturbing content alone does not disqualify an entry, but good entries should have some element of the transcendent and wondrous, not pure grimdark/snark
  • [add more!]