Friday, May 1, 2009
When I was 16 I went to my first sci-fi convention somewhere (I think Troy, NY). I drove there in a red VW van full of D & D players, including a guy who spent hours in his garage making chain mail armor (when he wasn’t crafting sundaes at Friendly’s). Besides the thrill of getting away from home and staying in hotels with my boyfriend, I was thrilled with the characters we met along the way. One of my first memories of the con was skulking down a hallway, around 3 a.m., and coming across two people in white bunny suits. One was slumped against the other, receiving a shoulder rub. S/he turned to me, with big black eyes and drooping whiskers, and offered me a slug of cherry brandy. They were so striking, and so strange to me (in a good way). The memory is kinda hazy now and reminds me of Aphex Twin’s vid for Donkey Rhubarb.
Furry fandom is a whole scene in SL, and one I’ve hardly explored. For those of you that don’t know, furries are role players, artists, writers, and other appreciators of anthropomorphic animal characters with human traits. The scene is noted for its anime styled artwork, handcrafted customized fursuits, and, some think, kinky sexual practices (I have to read up on plushophilia). Anyway, a friend of mine is writing a paper about furry fandom so I offered to make a reconnaissance mission into Luskwood, the capital of SL furrydom, to see what I might learn. I donned a steampunk tail and ears and landed in the middle of a small dance party. No one greeted me, and, like most anthropologists making first contact, I felt a bit like an intruder. Then I got to thinking, most animals don’t talk....After a few minutes however, there was some chat, mainly about cheeseburgers. I began scrawling in my notebook and snapping pics of a lovely large chested red fox with a serpent’s tongue, a foxy white wolf with swinging hips, and a twee little raccoon with librarian’s glasses and a brownie camera round her neck. I noticed that most of them were from Texas...then I started imagining W having a secret life as a brandy sipping bunny and got distracted...Luskwood definitely warrants more investigation. Stay tuned...