This may confuse our younger readers, who are used to a world where no one would ever shame anyone for their sexual proclivities, but for the first two decades of the Internet's existence, basically the only joke you were allowed to make was at the expense of Furries.

Now, in defense of us proto-trolls, there were no women online for us to hate, so Furries were an easy target. With their bright, colorful fursonas, and their cultlike devotion to Disney's frost-chapped ass, there was a lot going on. Plus, the fursonas of yesteryear were way more embarrassing than the Sonic OCs and thoroughly extinct jungle cats modern furries jack off to.

Used to be every Livejournal circle was comprised of, at a minimum, a celestial thunder-husky, an ultra-ripped carfucker dragon, and a rainbow thylacine with three dicks. Also, everyone was a Super Saiya-jin with a halo AND devil horns. Does that justify how much time we here at Something Awful spent mocking them?

Oh, of course. Every single second. Furries are silly, and to be fair, Furries are the first ones who will tell you how silly Furries are. No one hates Bad Furries more than Furries, and stalker-trolls who are all closet Furries. Every furry community has ended exactly like the Island of Dr. Moreau, which is probably intentional. A furry porn trading card game somehow failed to earn enough money to print their last expansion. That's tragicomic on a Grecian scale.

Porn is the aetheric medium through which the community economy transacts. The financial failure of a porn business in the furry community requires a sort of anti-acumen which borders on a deliberate if self-destructive malfeasance. If you walk into any furry convention's Artists' Alley with a sketch pad and set of Coptic markers, you will stumble out the far end bereft of paper and ink, your pockets stuffed with bitcoin, your brain awash in a rainbow of impossible dicks.

Essentially, the furry community is the single largest distributed arts patronage program in history. The existence and codification of the fursuit belies a profoundly nuanced group dynamic. The consistency of fursuit pattern across makers speaks to an institutionalized approach to not only design, but fabric sourcing and construction.

It's something more than cosplay, a sort of tin-penny spirituality born from the scriptures at the bottom of a Michaels receipt. Furries are no sillier than any other terminally online community. They are better organizers than most of the theory-preaching culture warriors on social media, better at doxxing and deplatforming nazis than half the #OSINT community, and third good thing too.

Babyfurs are still an ongoing problem. Age play as a whole is fucked up, the various & sundry kink communities gotta sort that out, but whatever I'm talking about positive things right now.

A huge, huge motivation for early furry hate was homophobia. That remained the one axis on which we (non-furry dweebs) could punch down, no matter the stated justification. Furries helped mainstream majority-queer online spaces. That made them easy to mock, because they were unashamed enough to be public with their weird art and their dragon wings and their rejection of all the suffocating norms that still make mainstream geek culture an unrelenting hell.

That invited scorn. It hurt to see others free of the shames that wracked us so. Disgust was the immediate response, a kind of unbodying rejection which would seek to purge any otherness from ourselves. Some of us knew it to be queerphobia, and I'm sure that was the motivation for a lot of the early trolling. Others just wanted to be part of the in-group, and there was no easier way to do that than take a swing at a designated punching bag.

Something Awful had a particular response to furries. After creating a subforum specifically for furries to post in, everyone who used it was marked with a custom yellow star avatar, then banned.

I don't know if something so deliberate can rightly be called a Holocaust joke. A tin-penny re-enactment, a perfect internet microcosm reflecting utterly mainstream prejudices. It is indefensible. 

I'm sorry. It was wrong then, and it remains wrong now. I do not know what will happen with the site, but it cannot die with this unsaid: We were wrong.

– Phiz Kalifa (@maltschlitzmann)

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