More from Reno – Biggest Little Fireside Chat
by Patch O'Furr
Part 2 of 3
You’re at a smarty-pants club that smells of leather bound books and rich mahogany. The wisest animals are here. On a perch, Archimedes Owl thinks egghead thoughts. In a corner, The Great Mouse Detective gives him an eyeball and orates about the rat race. By the bar, a beatnik goat sips espresso and beardily strokes his beard. A sniffy elephant waiter serves a snifter of spirits. Your armchair is waiting. Bring your favorite tweed jacket, and rest your elbow-pads and paw-pads. Have a chess game by the fire and let’s converse.
Now switch the scene to a con hotel room. There’s cartoons everywhere, fursuiters chugging Monster energy drinks, and party music thumping thru the wall. Ooontz oontz oontz. Shove some stuff off the bed, play video games and hang out.
There wasn’t actual fire in the hotel, but when you hang out with furries… you never know…
After Part 1, here’s how smarty-pants it got with Dane, a fur con newcomer.
Patch: I’ll bet they did good con planning. The turnout was impressive since last year. Good for them. The hotel is inviting.
Dane: The space is pretty good. They want people to gamble. They aren’t gambling, so that’s probably why security is being mean about room parties.
Patch: They must sell the rooms under cost. Free water, free wifi and little stuff like that. Yeah, furries come to hang with each other. But still. It’s good to use a cheap place that’s made for fun. I like how it’s centralized with all the restaurants. Having the con all in one room makes a social space.
Dane: Everyone is so friendly. People are making a commitment to come in. It’s Reno, the desert… it’s not just people from San Jose coming down the street. Lots of people know each other. It’s good to have a guide help you in.
Patch: Subculture is when people get together and it takes on a life of it’s own. There’s people you might have known online for a dozen years and never seen. There’s lots of internet based subcultures, but this one has these hotel spaces for glue. It’s growing a lot. Who could imagine there being one every weekend of the year, somewhere in the world?
Dane: Reminds me of anime cons I used to go to. A bunch of bored students were sitting around in a dorm at MIT, and one of our friends said “I’m going to start one.” They got 5000 people, and we were like whoah… this is real. Now it’s 20,000 or something ridiculous.
Patch: Watch subcultures and hobbies get eaten and digested. Look at comics being the $100 million blockbusters.
Dane: Nerds are cool now. But this one has no owned property, unlike the anime cons.
Patch: Nerds are the new jock. But this stuff can’t be eaten up. No corporation would come sponsor it when people are into Bad Dragon stuff.
Dane: There’s an arms race for people to squick each other more and more. I think Bronies were the latest hipster version of that.
Patch: Maybe if you hang on 4chan a lot. Yeah, you’ll see the brony thing run dry when the franchise runs out. You could say that arms race is a symptom of digesting culture. It’s interesting when furries are set apart. It’s all people making and selling things to each other. It’s both a limit and a strength. It’s free to be itself without outside powers.
Dane: It reminds me of how Cards Against Humanity got big.
Patch: It’s worth watching how it might bubble up in the mainstream. Like it started with people seeing a Disney movie or some gateway. They couldn’t get enough, so they started making their own and it blew up. Now imagine big media referring back to it. It’s like a cycle of nature. They helped poop us out and we grew, and now maybe we’ll poop out something that fertilizes them. It’s very small, but you can see it in a few shows or music videos. Where will it go?