Exchanging Fluids on PBS: Your eyes will bug out at this WTF furry video from 1992!
by Patch O'Furr
It wasn’t a science show. It wasn’t mating season on Wild America (the naughtiest stuff PBS usually aired.) This is something more exceptionally special.
The video starts with happy old ladies in pastel sweatshirts, volunteering for a fundraiser. It just screams vintage 1980’s and early 90’s. It’s a sight that reminds me of church telethons, pancake brunches, and satirically-cast actors from John Waters‘ Baltimore. Nobody could make a better audience for a special surprise.
These exuberant ladies are applauding a fundraiser auction of donated art. It includes a serene mountain landscape, a traditional celebration of the season, and a tasteful portrait of a 1920’s flapper woman. Then there’s the gay Furry porn. On Public TV. In 1992. Before the internet gave dirty animal cartoons to the world. (I’m not even sure it was easy to show gay people at the time!) NSFW:
I’m incredulous… how does this footage exist? It’s alternate-reality weird, and I love it!
I want to high-five the artist for pulling what looks like a prank… but if you know furries, it was probably sincere. Biohazard is the artist, active on FurAffinity.
This surpasses what others call performance art or shocking radical art. Others can have their opinions, but I see the power of WTF that makes Furry independent and awesome. It’s pioneer stuff and the best kind of radical BAD taste. But the art is sweet in a pervy way. It seems like the kind of sincerity that built Furry fandom as an outsider, grassroots subculture. Consider trying to show gay people doing this. It makes you think about the power of cartoons. Making you think is what art is for, isn’t it?
The PBS station made sure to give you some nice close-ups, in case you wanted details to bid on it better.
Biohazard keeps a page called “Too Hot for PBS” detailing the story, and how he got banned for this.
The art got bids! Youtube has videos of the same art being auctioned every year from 1988-1992. I was wondering if he raised the WTF factor over the years to sneak it in, until they finally banned him. But no, it’s all somewhat racy. I guess someone prudish got an eyeful, and it was finally too much. Years of showing was a good run. Hats (or pants) off to you, Biohazard!
The PBS station was WITF TV. I was curious about whether they were near Pittsburgh, home of Anthrocon (in other media, known as the home of Mister Rogers and zombie movie master George Romero.) Nope, it’s not too close… but it was the base for TV coverage of Three Mile Island, America’s worst nuclear disaster. Is that why Biohazard chose his name?
Check his site for more shockingly cute, pervy adult stuff. I contacted him – it would be awesome if he comments.
UPDATE: Don’t miss this rare interview I got to do with the artist Biohazard!
I wonder where they ended up?
You mean the artist? Or the art? The artist is still active, his FurAffinity page is above, and I got a short message from him… with luck, I might get his responses to a Q&A for a followup 🙂
But I wonder where the paintings ended up. I’m sure the people who bought them didn’t realize they were buying a piece of history. History depending on who you ask.
No idea, but I have an interview with the artist to post in the next week or two 🙂 I’ll ask him to comment – maybe he can tell you!
I see you are a big proponent of putting gay furry porn on public television 🙂
I appreciate pushing limits… I don’t have any particular way in mind. Canada’s national film board has funded cartoon porn, and European TV doesn’t censor nudity. America could stand to loosen up, and sometimes funny shock value is good for that 🙂
Also, if you think about it… this stands as a fantastic art-prank statement of irony (intentional, or not!) This wasn’t public-funded air time, this was station-funded time they have to spend to solicit funding because the government only gives minimal support. So they were in a sense, put in a position of having to prostitute for dollars so they could put healthy programming on the air. ‘Murica!
I think this falls in the classic protest-prank tradition of Timothy Leary, Abbie Hoffman, Jello Biafra, John Waters, and anyone opposed to the wave of Moral Majority censorship and conservatism of those times. (They are back, under a liberal banner, these days…) It’s almost punk, and definitely in the DIY spirit, even if it was sincere outsider art. There is a cult-loved book full of such stunts. One of my favorite things was getting to hang out with the author/editor… check out Pranks! It’s an inspiration.
Wait, what? Ha! I love it when this sort of thing pushes through because it’s such a non-sequitur. Couldn’t happen now of course, everyone’s too culturally aware / paranoid of that sort of thing. If I’d seen that at the time my tiny mind would have been blown (and I’d have started as a furry even earlier.)
Made me laugh my ass off 🙂 I think me and a lot of others had an experience in common in the 80’s or 90’s… drawing such stuff without knowing it existed anywhere else, then finding out it did… and then the internet made it explode.