Monday, March 05, 2007

Commies and Furries: I Love My New Job

Yeah, I’m afraid I’ll be posting more sporadically in the future than previously. I left my old job at the staid, boring family newspaper to write instead for an alt-weekly. Last week I wrote a little piece with a blowjob joke in the headline, and this is encouraged in my new work environment! Verily, I am in heaven.

So far, in the past two weeks, I’ve become the only libertarian to register as a non-troll member of a Communist chat forum (because that was the only way to get in touch with this guy I needed to talk to for a story), and today, after clearing it with my boss, I used my work computer and e-mail to join a website for local Furries. (I posted the same picture that’s here on my blog. That might get embarrassing later.)

Anyway, I’m hoping to make contact with the Furries, and convince them to let me talk to and write about them. Meanwhile, I turned in my stories for this week’s issue but have no idea what to write about for next week. I really should try to write something witty and pithy for my blog here, but after being in full-on creative mode all week I only have energy enough to mutter a half-hearted “Bush sucks.” Has he done anything unusually stupid lately? I haven’t been paying attention.

If y’all know of anything cool going on in the western suburbs of Hartford, Connecticut, then for God’s sake let me know.

32 Comments:

Anonymous A Moose said...

Can't even share the blowjob joke with us poor minions?

4:47 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

One of the non-bylined things that everybody contributes to is this police-blotter lineup, where we take police reports or news stories from the past week (funny stuff, nothing serious like rape or murder) and rewrite them with a snarky bent. I found a story about two men arrested for using a blowgun and darts to do drive-by shootings of people, rewrote it with a lightly sarcastic tone, and gave it the headline "You Guys Can Blow Me. Not." (I know, not the greatest blowjob joke in the world, but I didn't have much to work with.) And for this week, I found three separate stories of men busted in law-enforcement Internet sex stings. I combined the three stories into one, and since it so happened that the police officers in all three cases posed as 14-year-olds, I gave it the title "I Swear, She Told Me She Was Fourteen." The article itself contained the line "Connecticut law enforcement's got the hottest faux jailbait in the nation," but I won't know if the editor kept that part in until the paper comes out on Wednesday.

Oh, what I could do if I could get myself invited to a Furry party. Oh my. Oh my oh my oh my.

7:04 PM  
Anonymous A moose said...

Thanks :)

Now, I've been resisting, but I gotta ask and show my ignorance (remember, bald guy, early 40's, three kids, last night in the bar the waitress was nice looking but I told the guys she's too close to my son's playing field, here).

What the hell is a Furry?

6:08 AM  
Anonymous NoStar said...

Moose,

I hadda google it myself and this it what I found, but I have no idea if this is the "furry" subculture to which our Feral Genius refers.

http://www.humantruth.info/furry.html

Or just click on my name.

12:26 PM  
Blogger David said...

"You Guys Can Blow Me. Not."

I knew one of the guys from that story when I was in high school. I wonder what drove him to drive-by blow-gunning?

Don't get me wrong, he was kind of an idiot, but that's just weird.

1:35 PM  
Blogger Anne O'Neimaus said...

According to the latest listing from http://www.newzbot.com of currently-active NewsGroups, there are 41 Groups with "furry" somewhere in their name.

Of these, 19 are clearly salacious (in groups of *.sex.*, *.erotica.*, or *.fetish.* - although several of the latter are misspelled *.etish.*).

Five more are in the "look carefully" questionable groups of *.pictures.*, *.lifestyle.*, and *.lifestyles.*.

I haven't checked out any of these groups, but I suspect this suggestive distribution is related to Jennifer's professional interest in this subject...

1:48 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Yeah, Furries are people who claim to be animal spirits trapped in human bodies, so they like wearing animal costumes a lot. Especially when they're having sex. Unfortunately, I haven't heard back from my online Furry group yet.

Damn. Who would've guessed it could be so damned hard to find sexual nonconformists on the Internet?

3:38 PM  
Blogger rhhardin said...

Just guessing about furry, but over at Chase Me Ladies there's some comment on Shakespeare's 129th Sonnet about an expense of spirit that may apply.

3:46 PM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

Especially when they're having sex. Unfortunately, I haven't heard back from my online Furry group yet.

Ok...hadn't heard that one before. I do know a native woman who is in Jersey (Joisy?) up near y'all who claims to transmorgify into a coyote during the act. Never got the chance to test that theory, the cigarette smoke aftertaste didn't cut it for me.

I can put you in touch with her if you want, but I suspect she's pretty tame otherwise

6:33 PM  
Blogger Anne O'Neimaus said...

By the way...congratulations, Jennifer, on your new job! Hopefully, it is not only more interesting and fulfilling, but maybe it even pays better!

12:28 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Anne, I ADORE my new job, and yes, it does indeed pay better. Not by much--my pay is still pretty low--but I actually enjoy going to work, and finally feel like my life's on the right path. And I absolutely adore my two bosses. (They're very tough, so far as editor sgo, but they seriously know their stuff.)

By the way, the entire article about the sex sting got in, faux jailbait and all.

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you sure you want to cover the furries at this point.
Maybe you can get ahold of some of the cosplayers that show up at ConnectiCon first... work your way up to it.

8:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, don't YOU have a skewed (and incorrect) view of what furry is all about. No wonder no one wants to talk to you. Do some more research.

8:29 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Well, Anonymous, that's why I want to talk to them. If nothing else, I can go to their local convention in a few months.

8:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Yeah, Furries are people who claim to be animal spirits trapped in human bodies, so they like wearing animal costumes a lot. Especially when they're having sex. Unfortunately, I haven't heard back from my online Furry group yet."

Since you're so sure of yourself why don't you just publish that? I mean...wow. After such an extreme generalization/prejudgment I wouldn't expect anybody to venture within a mile of you. I don't think Dr. Phil or any of the Judges get people on their shows by telling the world they're looking for morons to make themselves look like asses.

11:32 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Why so offended, O Anonymous Commenter? If I already knew what the group was about there would be no need for me to talk to any of them. I take it you have no experience with journalism--it's quite common for a writer to walk into a situation thinking "This is going to be A" only to discover "this is actually B." That's why we talk to people or attend events in the first place--to find out what's actually going on.

11:50 AM  
Anonymous SpotWeld said...

The attitude of offence is rational, but in this instance possibly misplaced.

Hello, I was an earlier Anon Poster (8:07PM), different from the current. Hopefully you won’t mind me chiming in with another opinion.

There are sadly many instances of journalists covering the "Furry Fandom" with the initially expressed claim of looking for a "full and complete" understanding of the fan community. The great majority of these articles turn out to be a more sensationalistic "ha-ha look at the freaks" type of story. To assume that this would be your intent is perhaps unfair.

But, as vitriolic as the anonymous poster is in their comments, I can't really fault them for not wanting to see their friends painted with a wide brush into the role of perverts and fetishists (sorry about the mixed metaphor). Your own parting line of, “Oh, what I could do if I could get myself invited to a Furry party. Oh my. Oh my oh my oh my,” unfortunately does point the uninformed to some rather unflattering conclusions about your preconceptions.

You certainly do not deserve to be vilified for an article not yet written, but I’m rather hard pressed to understand why you might think folks would want to inform you about their hobbies when you’ve already decided they are “sexual nonconformists”. To most, the fandom is a parallel to the folks to like to dress up as Klingons at Star Trek conventions; odd certainly, but for the most part harmless and indistinguishable from anyone else in their day-to-day life.

At this point any advice I could give on this topic will probably come off as rudely pedagogical. So I shall simply wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.
If you are still looking for article suggestions; have you looked into the team that the American School for the Deaf (located in West Hartford) is fielding for the FIRST robotics competition? (http://www.asd-1817.org/news/2006/robotics.html)


Sorry for the long post.

2:55 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Thank you for the explanation, SpotWeld. You couldn't possibly know this, but I have a deep fondness for eccentric people, since I've been one all my life. And in my admittedly short tenure as a professional writer, I've written quite a few articles saying "You know those odd people you thought you knew? You don't; here's what they're really like."

The more offbeat a person or subculture is, the more I want to know them. Christ, I'm a fucking libertarian. Furries likely outnumber us by ten to one.

Also, what's bad about being a sexual nonconformist? I'm one. Beats vanilla sex by a long shot.

3:44 PM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

Also, what's bad about being a sexual nonconformist? I'm one. Beats vanilla sex by a long shot.

And you were looking for article suggestions?

How about an interview with John Popper? I'd love to hear how the hell you manage to hide four full size rifles AND nine handguns in a vehicle in secret compartments. Obviously, he didn't do it so well since the police found them, but...well...DANNNNNNNG, John, people tell me I'm bad for a simple 15 rd 9mm backed up by a an ASP and a Surefire E2D.

Anyway, my $0.02 for the interesting article recommendation, but I doubt that would fly very well with your target audience.

5:26 PM  
Anonymous NoStar said...

"...I have a deep fondness for eccentric people."

Jennifer,
At a family reunion, I expressed my fondness for eccentric people and added that often I wished that I was one.

The whole room full of siblings and cousins broke out in riotous laughter. My mother questioningly smiled at me and said, "You mean you didn't know?"

8:36 AM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

Help!! Jennifer's been kidnapped by a group of commies and taken to a furry sex party!!! Someone send a search team and let us know when you hear from her!

(ok, not really, just getting a minor attack of withdrawal out of my system here..back to reading DC Parker Decision stuff during breaks due to lack of Jennifer...)

11:11 AM  
Anonymous Stevo Darkly said...

"Help!! Jennifer's been kidnapped by a group of commies and taken to a furry sex party!!! Someone send a search team and let us know when you hear from her!"

She has a new life now, A Moose. She has moved on. From now on, she wants to be known as "Jennifurry."

Okay, seriously, for those of you concerned about Jennifer's approach, this topic suggestion came up in another forum, causing one incomparable Dhex to implore:

""if you do a furries piece i would suggest avoiding the "whoa, these people are weird" angle cause it's been done to death and it's kind of what everyone thinks when they see furry art ...""

To which Jennifer replied:

""No problem; my rule when writing is, unless I'm writing about someone entirely scummy I always treat them respectfully. If you get a reputation as "the writer who always skewers her subjects" then nobody will be willing to talk to you.""

So I don't think you need to worry.

11:40 PM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

She has a new life now, A Moose. She has moved on. From now on, she wants to be known as "Jennifurry."

Dammit, did I make that mistake again!? So what I really wanted was "Ravings of a FURRY genious" instead? Sorry, my bad ;>

5:31 AM  
Anonymous NoStar said...

Jennifurry is a whole new critter, so it should be Ravings of a Furry Genus

9:15 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Thus far, my attempt to get a job with a phone sex chat line in hopes of writing about it has been an utter failure; I think they Googled my name and figured out I'm one of those media jackals. So I'll try with another company and a fake name.

9:22 AM  
Blogger Anne O'Neimaus said...

So I'll try with another company and a fake name.

Feel free to co-opt Anne O'Neimaus - nobody would figure that's fake...

3:26 PM  
Anonymous A moose said...

Thus far, my attempt to get a job with a phone sex chat line in hopes of writing about it has been an utter failure

Why does the concept of Jennifur trying to pull off a phone sex job have me laughing my overly large ass off?

3:28 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Because, Moose, you know how catastrophically bad I'll be at it.

5:01 PM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

Because, Moose, you know how catastrophically bad I'll be at it.

Reminds me of a movie...

"...The horror......the horror...."

So, anyway, if you're successful in implanting yourself as a mole, will you be wearing....::ahem::....furrrr, by any chance?

Ok, enough of that. Seriously, how does one go undercover as a phone sex operator, and what kind of article are you looking to write about it? Meaning, what angle if you have one? I can't see much to write about in guys spending way too much money listening to a woman over the phone while beating off, but perhaps I'm just jaded.

6:36 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Actually, Moose, the original idea was to do an informative article along the lines of "here's how the pay scale works, here's how you make the calls," and so forth, with the added humorous touch of me being most likely completely incompetent at it, despite being told many times that I have a nice phone voice.

However, I've been having such difficulty landing the job that I'm halfway considering an article called "Who do I have to blow to get a job in phone sex, anyway?" Except I'm not yet ready to give up.

6:58 PM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

Actually, Moose, the original idea was to do an informative article along the lines of "here's how the pay scale works, here's how you make the calls," and so forth,

I will admit that I had never even had a passing thought about how one would go into that line of work. Wouldn't it suck if you made, like, $258,000/yr or something at it?

with the added humorous touch of me being most likely completely incompetent at it, despite being told many times that I have a nice phone voice.

Careful...the "nice phone voice" is not necessarily something you want to be tagged with. At least in the areas I've lived my adult life in, that kind of statement is typically followed by "and you know what that means." Hnestly, I didn't, so I said "er...no, what does that mean?" It seems to directly correlate with the scale reading, the better the phone voice, the higher the scale reading.

Having seen recent pictures on Reason before they were removed due to adolescent carrying on, I would say you probably don't have so nice a phone voice ;).

3:53 PM  
Anonymous Stevo Darkly said...

Good luck getting the phone job, Jennifer.

I know I'd be bad at phone sex. I'm too visual and tactile, and when verbalizing I stop to think too much.

I used to know a girl who said she'd once been a telephone sales operator for Frederick's of Hollywood, or maybe Victoria's Secret, I forget which. She'd regularly take calls from a male fetishist who would always ask her to describe this or that model of high-heeled shoe. She used to go on at length about the height of the heel and the straps, etc. to torque him up, until he finally would go silent on his end of the line...

2:12 AM  

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