Archive for the ‘furries’ category

The Animal “Team” Does Wonderful Things…

April 11, 2016

They’re quite diverse, yet they work as an office team…the CGI animals presented in a commercial for the messenger app “Slack,” that is.  Headed by a lion boss called “Geoff” who observes a prawn employee (Alan) struggling with an umbrella, the idea of a flying umbrella is born, developed, and implemented by the surreal office team which includes a beaver, goat, rabbit, owl, and sloth.  They all act in accordance with their respective species, with the sloth, for example, moving in slow motion.  The commercial spot is surreal yet captivating, and it works as does the product.

Remarkably, a “bloopers reel” is also available for the commercial, showing such deleted scenes as the prawn falling from his chair, the goat beating her keyboard to pieces with their hooves, and the prawn doing a beatbox routine following his presentation.   This is strange but wonderful stuff…

What Does The Fox Say?

October 2, 2013

what does

– – There are few things that I both love and hate at the same time, and a video by two Norwegian brothers of the comedy group Ylvis named What Does The Fox Say is one of them.  The video begins with a gathering of fursuited people at a home, and many different species are represented; there is a rather good dalmatian, an elephant, and some birds, among others.  Although these scenes are thought to be a reference to the furry fandom, the brothers denied even knowing about furries when this footage was made.  You then have a few awful moments when you think that you are viewing a video intended for a preschool audience; animals are introduced by the sounds that they make, e.g., “A cat goes meow,” etc.  After several such painful introductions, however, the question is raised, “What does a fox say?,” and we are off to the races, or rather, the forest…

…the forest is wonderful, a tree-bordered area shrouded in the night and rich ground fog; I could party there all night!  We are shown the brothers, wearing mediocre fursuits with facial fox paint. Then there are the dancers ringing the brothers, fox-like but not attired as such, more like the Blues Brothers with white shirts and dark ties…they do, however, have some awesome moves!  I didn’t know a pelvis could move like that. .. anyhow, as the brothers launch into their vocals, we hear as part of the lyrics sounds supposedly representative of those that foxes make, with the camera occasionally cutting to a grandfatherly-type reading a storybook to a child and making those same sounds.  It then becomes a matter of interpretation as to whether you think that the sounds made are intended as a parody of the excesses of electronic house music, or are actually intended as imitative of the variety of sounds that foxes make.  We do make over forty sounds for different purposes, including warning alerts and, ahem, calls to lure a mate…(blushes)

The later stage of the video that I love becomes mystical and spacey, with the vocals continuing to refer to the language of foxes as an ancient mystery.  The performing fox-clad brothers are surrounded by spikes of blue laser light, and arise into the air to be suspended there comfortably.   Is there an alien connection? – – I’ll never tell!  The final stage of the video shows a breath-taking CGI fox who enters at the periphery of the scene then takes center stage, arising to stand on his hind legs and singing scat in a beautiful baritone/bass voice, with subtle supportive choreography!   This jazz-oriented fox is alone worth viewing the video for, and could easily become a break-out star.- – I’d buy his albums, this dude has some major pipes!

You’ll either love it or hate it, but whether for the comedic elements, the furry overtones, or the electronic music, What Does The Fox Say is worth a look and a listen, and can accessed on YouTube.  Just don’t ask me about the ancient mystery thing, please.  These are secrets entrusted to only a few, and I’m bound not to tell…wink, wink!

cgi fox

Furries and the Harlem Shake!

March 3, 2013

Harlem Shake

– – The Harlem Shake is kind of a flash mob performance or  “happening,” a kind of random visual absurdity that is both a dance and a song.  Since furries are no strangers to absurdity but rather exist within and delight in it, it’s no wonder that a number of videos are out there showing furries from locations around the world performing the Harlem Shake.- -Anyways, I’d rather see some fursons in well-make outfits performing the number than someone in a cheesy banana suit!

Animal influences have figured in a number of dance crazes, such as the horse dance featured in the Gangnam Style video by PSY, so why not enjoy such things?- -It’s the weekend, after all!  One must learn when to stop making sense…

Furries, International!

July 19, 2012

– – The furry movement is sweeping Mexico…well, perhaps not sweeping, and I don’t mean cleaning the streets, but at least gaining followers.  While certainly not every fan is a fursuiter,  one Mexican notes that “When I have the suit on I feel like I can do things I otherwise wouldn’t.  I can be friendlier, more affectionate.  I think people think its more acceptable like this than if I didn’t have the costume on.” 

We note this here because the furry fandom boasts an international following that may conservatively be estimated to be in the thousands.  While this blog is not exclusively furry, it does aspire to draw furries, as well as those interested in animal influences in popular culture and scientific or speculative information related to animals.  Something that always awes me in examining the demographics of this blog is that we draw readers from around the world!  While the majority of our readers do hail from the United States, we regularly draw viewers as well from the United Kingdom, India, Canada, Poland…fully 14 countries other than the U.S. as of yesterday!- –Yay!  We must be serving some interests and purpose here, and when I figure out what it is, I’ll pass the information on.

Anyways, the presence of each and every one of you is welcome and appreciated!  <group hug>

DirecTV’s “Grandson With A Dog Collar”

February 21, 2012

– – Some people regard this commercial as hilarious while others regard it as an ad full of stereotypes and prejudice.  It’s DirecTV’s “Don’t Have A Grandson With A Dog Collar” ad which like  others for the same company takes us through a chain of events sequence illustrating the consequences of making a bad or wrong decision.  In this one, it seems that if your cable is on the fritz, you get frustrated.  When you get frustrated, your daughter imitates.  When your daughter imitates, she gets thrown out of school.  When your daughter gets thrown out of school, she meets “undesirables” (-shown hanging out in a video game room, gasp!).  When she meets undesirables, your daughter ties the knot with undesirables.  And when your daughter ties the knot with undesirables, you get a grandson with a dog collar!  Don’t have a grandson with a dog collar, we are admonished…get rid of cable, and upgrade to DirecTV!

Now dog collars themselves are worn by a variety of different types, including actual canines as well as some goths, heavy metal fans, sado-masochists, and furries.  It’s a personal decision and a personal statement that doesn’t mean that the wearer is bound for a life of crime, or that social deviance is inherently bad.- – No, I don’t wear one, but I’m I’m fine with it if you do…and I can see how some people of alternative life styles might be offended by this commercial.

On the other hand, the expression on the face of the painfully straight grandfather as he sits at the end of the commercial  holding his dog-collar wearing grandson is priceless!  It’s a fish out of water scene that might be a scenario for a sitcom…

The Orange, the Black, and the Furry…

October 26, 2010

— There are those who wish that every day was Christmas; I couldn’t stomach that!  It’s bad enough that Xmas has expanded its boundaries to be promoted and pushed for the last two months of the year; the stores have their “trim-a-tree” shops ready to pounce, and very soon you’ll be hearing your first Xmas carol and commercial promotion!  Poor Thanksgiving is almost pushed out of the running as a road bump in the annual Xmas express.

I could do, however, with a little more Halloween!  It’s a wonderfully weird and twisted holiday, one in which the imagination reigns supreme, and even the mundanes are free to let a little of their inner selves out.  Halloween is furry-friendly, and always has been; alternate identities are what the occasion is all about.   If you want to wear a fursuit or maybe just ears and a tail, no one is likely to give you a second glance on October 31st.  I can still remember wearing a leopard suit when I was in elementary school, kind of a case of an animal impersonating a different species.  I suffer a mild depression when Halloween’s over,  just as some do following Xmas and knowing that it will be a long wait until my time of year is here again.  My interests are still Halloween-esque year round.- -It’s my world, and welcome to it!

But the real deal is almost here, and the question is…are you ready?!

Furry in the Field: the Mascot Experience

October 20, 2010

– – What’s a great job for a furry?–Why, mascotting, of course!  Not that every mascot is a furry…some mascots represent humans like warriors, archetypes,  or historical figures, and some are unidentifiable weird creatures that don’t exist in reality.  Additionally, not all those playing mascots are of the furry fandom, although working as a mascot or having contact with one may lead to further identification and empathy with animals.    Many mascots of high school, college, and professional teams are identifiable animals, and that’s where the fun as well as the challenge begins!

Now if you want to be a mascot, don’t think that there are oodles of opportunities; it’s probably easier to land a job on a professional sports team that to be a professional mascot!  There are only about 125 professional mascot positions available in the United States, so opportunities are few, with many interested applicants for the few available positions.   This doesn’t rule out college or high school mascotting practice, or for that matter, dressing as a cow to promote the local dairy!

A mascot is a furson of many talents, a kind of actor/actress and performance artist who really must learn to work it!   You’ve got to be able to kind of get into the skin that you’re wearing, both physically in terms of the performance demands and psychologically;  you have to learn the politics of working with individual coaches and advisers, and understand what behaviors are acceptable and expected and where and when to manifest them.    There are schools where the finer points of marketing a mascot are taught, and where aspiring mascots are helped with everything from costume design to performance tips.

There are horror stories, too…of mascots being abused by drunks or opposing fans, and of user-unfriendly costumes worn in earlier times.  Dry-clean only costumes if neglected could become infested with fleas, and when chemicals were put on to kill the fleas, fur could fall off!   Today’s costumes are lighter and even machine-washable, weighing in at around ten pounds.  Compensation is better, and fans appreciate, support, and when necessary defend their team’s mascots.

Even after you take it off, the costume stays with you, kinda like the “furry inside” experience many of us in the furry fandom can relate to.  Mascotting is really both a sport and a performance art, and it deserves more recognition and rewards…

Ursine Unexpected!

September 22, 2010

– – A regular furry character appears, in all places, on The Cleveland Show, a spin-off of Family Guy. This character is Tim the Bear, who is a telemarketer working at the local cable company with Cleveland.  Voiced by Seth MacFarlane, Tim speaks with a Slavic or Eastern-European accent, and is the son of a black bear and a kangaroo!

Tim tends to be a bit naive about American culture, and is partially a psychological derivative of Steve Martin’s Wild and Crazy Guy persona.  Tim has an ursine wife, Arianna, and a son, Raymond.  Tim has deep religious convictions, and considers it racist when someone screams because he is a bear.  He often accidentally slashes things with his claws, something that he’s quite ashamed of.

While I’m not a great fan of The Cleveland Show, it’s nice to see the infiltration of furry characters here, who seem to fit in rather well as bears in human society…and yes, he has a Facebook page!

Basil Brush, Superstar!

June 22, 2010

– – Kids these days would probably roll their eyes at the notion of being entertained by a hand puppet, but in the days of yore young ‘uns were entertained by such as this and worse…

Combine a star who’s a hand puppet with British television and humor and you have Basil Brush, a fictional fox character who may be a glove puppet yet grows on you (like a glove), and can be hilariously entertaining. Created in 1963 as a children’s show character, Basil has evolved but always been portrayed as a well-spoken fox who can be appreciated on a variety of levels. A puppet who claims to dislike puppets, Basil’s most prized possession is his “brush,” the traditional name for a fox’s tail (for which we are rightfully known).

In more current incarnations, Basil has been depicted as having a family that is every bit as dysfunctional as many of our own. With his “Boom!-Boom!” catchphrase, I ‘d be proud to call Basil my foxy friend…

A Horse, of Course!

June 1, 2010

– -I had earlier mentioned in this blog how I played a rooster in a second grade class play, wearing a woman’s nylon stocking over my head and face to which were attached a construction paper rendition of a rooster’s comb and beak.– Well, bigger and better animal impersonations lay ahead for me, specifically in college when I played Don Quixote’s horse, Rocinante, in an adaptation of  the musical, Man of La Mancha. It could have been far worse…the only other furry cast member was Sancho Panza’s donkey!  I considered myself to have had the glory role…and yes, that’s me in the image!

I really got into this, wearing a large black paper mache horse’s head crafted by the Arts Department. My equine body was black cloth with an underlying skeleton of two by fours artfully made with hinges to allow compression of the body in scenes that called for me to be lying down.  Unfortunately I was not anthropomorphic, and had no speaking lines.  Perhaps they’ll someday revise the play, and allow his horse to advise Don Quixote!

It was not until years later that I realized I was actually a fox…but hey, foxes are sly, and perhaps playing a horse was just a form of camouflage for me at the time!

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