Two Years of [a][s]

11 Nov 2013 |

I've been an [adjective][species] contributor since early 2012, and I'm proud to have participated in the site's growth and success over the last two years.

I'd like to pitch my two cents into the second birthday celebration. I think of myself as a fan of [a][s] first and a contributor second; and so I'd like to revisit some of my favourite articles.

This is a very short list of four articles that I love. None are from the last six months, so hopefully a few people will be introduced to them for the first time. And for those of us who have been following the site for some time, all these articles are worth reading and rereading again.

Makyo's Kaddish by Makyo, published 21 March 2012

Makyo is a generous and lyrical writer, and this article is one of the best. Makyo calls it a 'fluff post' in the introduction, but nothing could be further from the truth. This is a personal story of Makyo's relationship with furry, touching on personal growth, disenfranchisement and reconciliation, and the feedback between personal identity and community experience.

The article is framed by a beautiful metaphor: the ebbs and flows of Leonard Bernstein's interpretation of the Mourner's Kaddish, a Jewish prayer. Makyo starts with early, youthful impressions of furry and ends up by registering a site that was originally envisioned as "a snarky, burned fur website" (!). To think that Makyo transitioned from that sort of cynicism to become the author of this furry love letter in six months or so is kinda magical.

Art and Money by Makyo, published 11 July 2012

This is one of the first [adjective][species] explorations of one of the most fraught relationships in the furry community: that between artist and client.

Our community is one that we create ourselves. Our art is created by furries, for furries, and the more talented artists find their time and skills in great demand. But how does an artist value their own time? Is furry art too expensive or too cheap? Should the richest furries have special access to the best artists? How does an artist pay the rent?

Makyo wrote this article after interviewing several artists. The research shows: the article is balanced, insightful, and surprising.

Birds of a Feather by Rabbit, published 16 February 2013

Phil Geusz, writing for [adjective][species] as Rabbit, imagines a hypothetical: "Will we, someday, become culturally distinct enough from mainstream society to form a neighborhood or our own somewhere?"

Phil is one of furry's best speculative fiction writers, and he tackles his hypothetical with his trademark lucidity. He doesn't deal in abstract comments; he is a writer of ideas. And so he explores the preconditions that might lead to the founding of a real-world furry district, and how that district might function.

Like Phil's fiction, Birds of a Feather is transporting. The premise is tangible and enchanting. Nowadays, when I walk around some declining corner of an old city, I think about how it might look if it were adopted en masse by thousands of furries. And I smile.

Whiskey Sour by Lunostophiles, published 25 April 2013

Here's an apple among the oranges: a poem.

Luno's poem arrived in my email inbox while I was sitting in an airport lounge: wearing a suit, answering work emails, sipping on some insipid too-hot coffee. I started reading the sharp and colourful lines and was jolted from the mundane world.

Whiskey Sour loosely follows a long evening of drinking and socializing at a furry convention. Luno's lines are celebratory, nostalgic, extreme, faltering, juvenile, regretful, fleeting.

Whiskey Sour is a terrific work of art. It should be performed and celebrated at furry conventions around the world. It should win a 2013 Ursa Major.