OK, I am officially in the deep end. Too many deadlines; but I tell myself I just have to line them up in an orderly row and tackle them one at a time. This week I sent in a writer's contract to Bloomsbury Press for a book chapter due this summer. I have also agreed to co-curate two shows, curate one major retrospective, I have a few exhibition reviews to write and my mailbox has produced 6 books that I am supposed to read and give the publishers feedback on. And yes, Ned Pratt and I continue to work on the tattoo project.
And then out of the corner of my eye, what do I notice? Furry culture. Have you? In a nutshell, furries are a sub culture. Take the plush comfort toys of your baby days. Soft, furry, couldn't hurt anyone plush toys. Then put them on steroids. Grow them real big. And they become an alternative identify for some people. Like a digital avatar in a computer game. I find it intriguing. They offer safety, which I think is the real appeal. But they have a darker side too. Like Furry Porn. Where people get dressed up as animals (or whatever) and have sex. OK, it's soft porn.
I am curious about the need that people have to take something out of childhood and repurpose it as adults. I guess it boils down to the fact that we never grow up. It is like our fascination with sports and athletic excellence. We can't all be those things but we want them. We admire them. They create a psychological space that we want to inhabit.
Or maybe it is the otherway around? Perhaps we are looking over our shoulders and noticing something that we missed. Are furries about lost innocence? I noticed furries in at least three places recently: Memorial University has created a society, Easter Edge had a show that paid them homage, and CSI, the television program, used a furry convention as sceneario. When something goes prime-time you know it is here to stay.