Dear zoos, zooey allies, and confused others,
As I continue reading through the Dragon Knight series, by Gordon R. Dickson, I think that Gordon R. Dickson was one of those men that feel attracted to women that are attracted to animals. In at least once case, he seemed to express a sense that he might be particularly attracted to the idea of a woman being attracted to himself while he was transformed into an animal, particularly a dragon.
I think that there are many women who tend to have a negative point-of-view on these sorts of men. I think that they tend to have many prejudices. I will not paint any particular portrait, since prejudices are as diverse as people, but prejudice is always the same in one regard: a prejudiced individual tends to assume that they truly have a clear perception of reality and that anybody that is not inclined to share that prejudice merely does not see the world as clearly as they do.
In the case of Gordon R. Dickson, they would be thinking that of a man who served in the U.S. Army during World War II, proceeded to live his life as a successful and award-winning author, was known to everybody as a truly gracious and charming man, and survived to a ripe, old age in spite of his lifelong asthma. While the one marriage he ever entered did not last for very long, this man strikes me as a very positive individual.
I think that the world needs more people like Gordon R. Dickson and fewer of the kinds of people that would have judged him for his feelings.
I am a scaly, which is a kind of "furry" that tends to identify with scaly beasts instead of ones that actually have fur. Specifically, I like to imagine myself in the body of a dragon.
When I am roleplaying as a dragon, though, the irony is that I come across to other people as more authentic, more likable, more open, and more compassionate. In-character, I tend to be less aggressive toward others, and I tend to be more open to other people's ideas. I can even get along with a conservative libertarian gun nut, while I am in-character, in spite of the fact that I am almost the opposite. Getting into character makes me more open-minded, more agreeable, and really more of a person that deserves to be liked by somebody, and I think that that is very special.
I think the reason why it worked was that the things that I think make a human being worth a crap as a person are really the things that human beings can...if they choose to...have in common with a good animal.
Our animal virtues are really indispensable to our character, and we are really lost without them. Without those qualities, even being extremely intelligent really just makes you come across as a pompous, intellectually overbearing wazzock. Without those qualities, being moral just makes you come across as self-righteous and sanctimonious. Without those qualities, even having good manners makes you come across as greasy and manipulative. Without those qualities, a sense of maturity just makes you come across old and bitter. Without those qualities, being cultured makes you come across as hidebound. It is really impossible to have a marketable personality if you do not have something in common with an animal that eats his own shit.
Pretending that I am a dragon is like a piece of string around my finger that reminds me of this very important point. Without the virtues that make someone say, "good dog," there is really no reason why I deserve for anybody to like me. It is a mnemonic device. It helps me remember.
As I grow older, I need that as a crutch less often, but I still like it. It's fun. It's fun for the same reason that playing touch football is just as fun when you are 60 years old and a grandfather as it was when you were 8 years old. There was a time when that simple sport helped you learn fair play and how you could sometimes have a lot more fun if you tried to follow the rules. Maybe you eventually get to a point in your life where you don't need it for that reason anymore, but it never stops being fun. Likewise, something that once helped me figure out how to be a decent human being still has meaning to me.
There are many furries that try to deny the relationship between zoophilia and furry, but I think that they are fools. The relationship is a simple one.
There is nothing that distinguishes a man from a dog that means that he deserves for me to ever feel attracted to him. It is pardonable for a man to be different from a dog, but it is only that and nothing more, pardonable.
It makes just as much sense if I love one as if I love the other.
Being a "furry" just means that I feel the same way about myself. If I cannot be liked for the same reasons why someone would like a dog, then I do not really believe that I deserve to be liked.
The difference is merely in the direction in which it is viewed.
Until next time I remain your devoted zooey blogger,
Dear zoos, zooey allies, and confused others,
I am abysmally tired of the back-dating. Look, if I have to come home from my morning thing on Saturdays and have no place away that I can sit down, then I am always going to get sucked into whatever is going on at home or get entranced with something or other that is not even slightly related to blogging. I could keep on doing Saturdays only as long as that cafe and bakery was open and I could sit there without interruption away from everybody.
I am moving the blog to Sunday until my hangout opens back up. At minimum, Sunday is my single day of the week that I have that I am not working in one way or the other, merely having a routine lunch with a local friend and not for very long. Anyhow...
This week's SUNDAY blog is going to be made as a formal apology to the tune by Erik Satie, Gymnopédie No. 1. To all of those that have respect for this tune and its meaning and purpose and its intrinsic beauty, I am sorry. At times, I get caught up in my own fiery passion, as an activist, and at those times, I can forget how quickly a flame of passion can burn itself out if it is not tempered with kindness. The tune Gymnopédie No. 1 is kindness itself, even as overplayed as it is. Some songs truly are overplayed in spite of having no redeeming qualities at all, but this is not the case here. The song, if played properly and with a sense of heart and soul and personal authenticity, teaches us to care, and it could never truly be played in the same way twice and still be Gymnopédie No. 1 as it was intended to be, a true baring of the heart.
Us activists who have a desire to change things for the BETTER can never do so without kindness as a part of what we do. Without kindness as a part of what compels us forward, we might change things, all the same, but we could never change things in a way that we ought.
Defiance and anger and passion are an inevitable consequence of what us zoophiles are going through. We are being defamed. Prejudice and lies are getting spread about us to every quarter of society. We are being cast as ogres, in the public eye, villains of seemingly superhuman heartlessness, and naturally, we are pissed. This is pardonable.
However, there is a difference between pardoning anger and believing that anger really helps us. It does not. Anger is the bleeding of a wound, and if we do not staunch it, we will drain ourselves of the last strength that can hold us together. We should no more feel guilty over our anger than someone that has been stabbed should feel guilty over bleeding, but to let the life blood flow out of us without doing anything to try to slow it down is self-defeating madness.
Giving ourselves a chance to heal and remember what we really believe is the only victory that human beings can have against prejudice and hate. Freemasonry, which is--in the most broad sense--the pursuit by a group of people of becoming better citizens for the betterment and unity of all of society, is only possible if we open up our hearts to each other and let friendship and kindness in.
However, while anger is not really an effective weapon against evil, our own pride in ourselves is. We must learn to be unwavering in our fundamental beliefs. We must learn to defend ourselves with intelligence and maturity. We must learn to stand up for civil discourse as the only permissible discourse that must ever be accepted as valid. We must learn a dedication to good taste. Evil-doers prey the most readily upon those that do not take pride in themselves.
The spirit that lies at the heart of Gymnopédie No. 1 only answers a part of what it means to take pride in ourselves, which is to return ourselves to a sense of civility and therefore squash the infantile reflex to cry out in anguish, but it cannot stand alone. Pride really has five basic dimensions that are reflections of our five senses. Gymnopédie No. 1 speaks only to that which represents hearing. It is a good start, but it is only a start. There is much more left to do.
Thank you for continuing to follow my weekly ramblings. Someday, I hope that my own voice will be lost and forgotten among a mighty throng of more eloquent and effective voices than my own, but until then, I remain
your diligent and devoted zooey blogger,
Dear zoos, zooey allies, and confused others.
Happy Cinco de Mayo! I know that's not what the date on the blog's title says, but as sure as I stop back-dating these things and say, "I will just do it on Tuesdays," I will be the Saturday afterward before I get them out. I will not have that.
I will start releasing these things on Saturday again when my favorite cafe and bakery finally reopens, so I can start sitting there reading and blogging through the afternoon again. Once I get home, on Saturdays, I am surrounded by distractions, including my charming cat...
The Dragon and the George, by Gordon R. Dickson, turned into me reading the entire series. His admiration of science, though, often exceeds his knowledge of it. You cannot really use moldy bread and urine to treat an infected wound. The mold often harbors dangerous neurotoxins, and the components of the penicillium mold that sometimes act against bacteria are not concentrated in high enough quantities to overcome the potential dangerous effects of stuffing moldy bread into an open wound. Furthermore, urine only has a high ammonia content after it has aged, and until then, it is not really sterile. Even then, it would need to be filtered carefully. They used to put stale urine into small beer, calling it "lant," because the ammonia tended to make the product slightly safer to drink (not by much) than local drinking water, but they at least bothered to age it and hopefully at least tried to filter out the impurities. In any case, Gordon R. Dickson is an excellent storyteller, but do not take his advice on bush medicine, please.
The very simplicity of his storytelling style is really what attracts me to Dickson. I have read more sophisticated literature, yes, but I found it less heartening and to be less useful as a distraction from the fact that the world around me was burning. Where is that gif that everyone posts of a little guy casually drinking coffee as his house burns around him. Anyhow, I have been enjoying the book.
However, I really ought to get the literature off my brain on the job. Literature does not help you get highly physical work done, and chants to the three-headed goddess that dances among the corpses of the dead do help you get highly physical work done. The chant was conceived by people that worked in similar occupations. I help run an equestrian center, you see.
I can assure you that I have a very strong sense of professionalism, and my occupation is not ever used as a venue for exploring my zooiness. I have very strong feelings about professionalism! It constitutes a part of my personal beliefs.
Okay, fine, I kiss them occasionally! But just that! *blushes hotly*
Anyway, if you are a zoo or a zoo ally, I strongly recommend reading The Dragon and the George by Gordon R. Dickson if you are inclined toward pure pleasure reading. The scenes in which the wolf Aragh interacts with human/humanoid women are substantially zooey, and perhaps there could be something about himself that Gordon R. Dickson never told us overtly. Also, I find it very curious that the hero of the storyline actually gave serious consideration toward transforming his wife and himself into a dragon, kiting off to a cave somewhere, and laying a clutch of eggs together.
However, I am giving far too many spoilers, there! Read the book yourself!
As far as how this book affects my thoughts on zooey advocacy, I feel strongly that the 1970's may have presented the zooey community with several opportunities for zoophiles of the time to start a movement of their own. Subtle or none-too-subtle references to the idea of animal sexuality, at least, in a great deal of literature provided us with fertile soil in which to plant the seeds of a movement. There WAS a movement, of sorts, but it was...sleepy. Too sleepy.
We cannot have a movement that gives us the sense that we are listening to Erik Satie's Gymnopedie no. 1. After all, the song reflects the fact that the man sat and drank himself to death and is therefore in its way sinister in its own right! Someday, we will have another generation like the Boomers come through, and we must be prepared to move with fire, passion, and defiance. We must be ready for rebellion!
However, rebellions are not built at a moment's notice, and truly effective rebellions are really built out of teamwork and cooperation. When rebels figure out how to show up on time and learn how to act as team-players, then rebellions are always successful. The Nordic socialist states were so successful at fulfilling the core aims of Marxist philosophy because the people that live in those nations are rule-followers, by nature. They made social revolution work because they did not act like typical rebels. They worked as a team, and when they made agreements, they stuck to those agreements. When people that are forced, by the unfortunate circumstances of their culture, to be rebels are really rule-followers and team-players, by nature, then their rebellions are always successful.
The hero from Gordon R. Dickson's The Dragon and the George did not go it alone, but he was not even allowed to move forward without learning how to work well with his companions as a member of a team. He did nothing alone. He was often guided by his allies. Such thinking constitutes the makings of a movement.
Anyhow, I will at least try to get my next entry out by the posted date, this Saturday. Until then, I remain
Your dedicated, although consistently tardy, zooey blogger,
P.S.: I want to note that Gymnopedie no. 1 is really one of my favorite songs, and I really have no animosity toward it.
Dear zoos, zooey allies, and confused others,
I am totally loving the Dragon Knight series, by Gordon R. Dickson. It is a very simple storyline. The good guys are good. The bad guys are bad. It is soothing and pleasant fantasy literature, and it has this really sexy English wolf in it, named Aragh! While the plot is relatively simple on the face of it, it reflects how people, during the 1970's, were people that craved a sense of a spiritual journey or transformation.
At the time, the fantasy genre, in general, was incredibly niche. An author like J.K. Rowling would not have become a billionaire in any length of time at all. Authors, in the sci-fi and fantasy genres, published to a very small audience within a very small subculture, and while more successful ones like Gordon R. Dickson could sometimes make an actual living off of their fiction, this was not the rule. In fact, literacy was not really held in the same high esteem, in general, that it is held today.
It might be a misnomer for me to identify as a "furry," actually, even though I have thought that I was one in the past. I think that I am really just a sci-fi and fantasy fan that loves dragons and enjoys some light roleplay. To be perfectly honest, I still identify a lot more deeply with the great fantasy and sci-fi literature, which influenced the humble beginnings of the furry fandom, than I do with other aspects of the furry fandom today. I was in my twenties before I looked at very much visual furry porn, and I frankly regret ever coming down with that addiction, which I have weaned myself off of. To this day, literature still has a substantially greater depth of meaning to me, and I feel that I have lost myself at times when I have drifted away from that.
I also feel that I am, deep down, a child of the 1970's, and I don't think that I will ever feel that I have truly had my time in the sun until we have had another generation like that one. I feel that such a generation only comes but once in every lifetime, and because of that, I think that I will be quite old before a time comes when I can feel truly young. For some reason that I may never fathom, literature from that time-period makes me feel that I have come home, not just in the sense of being in the right place but being in the right self.
I think that it was a much more spiritual generation, and the current generation is perhaps the least spiritual generation that has ever existed. These days, people have become so materialistic and so selfish and so shallow that even the best of them cannot fathom sticking out their necks to help someone less fortunate than themselves unless it served their own interests in some way. Millennials have many selling points, but at heart, they are selfish and shallow.
My sense of disaffection with our culture is only amplified by the fact that I am a zoophile living in a culture that has decided to throw zoophiles under the bus with both hands. Other minority groups, in the country, have become so selfish and so self-protective that they are willing to sit by and let us get shit on, even though many of them know that what is being done to us is wrong.
I don't think it's really their fault, though. I think that they have just gotten caught up in the general shallowness and selfishness and pettiness that has been perpetuated in our culture. I think that we have a long time to go before they start to recognize how much this really hurts them also, not just those of us whom they choose to throw under the bus. Their self-mechanizing culture is not really sustainable.
Our culture has a long way yet to go before I can feel that I have come home in body, not just in spirit. Until then, I remain
your devoted zooey blogger, social critic, and literature-fiend,
Dear zoos, allies, and confused others,
I am back to back-dating blog posts that are really a couple of days late. I do not really have an excuse, this time. I could chalk it up to the fact that I was shoving around half-ton blocks of hay last week and strained my back, but that's not really why.
I work at this great equestrian center, and as a matter of fact, I do not have any interesting stories to tell about that. I have a creature of my own that does more for me than an entire herd of thoroughbreds.
I am going to discuss an actual book, this week. I have not read it yet, but one book that I want to read soon is The Dragon and the George. I have always been drawn to books about people getting transformed into animals. In fact, I really got interested in the furry fandom through transformation literature, and I still think that transformation literature has a lot more heart and soul in it than most ordinary furry fiction out there. Stories about transformation are often a sort of spiritual journey.
The particular theme of being transformed into an animal is often a part of a spiritual journey, and the reason why is that our humanity really comes in two parts, according to a growing number of social psychologists. One part of our humanity is our "human nature," which is actually the part of our human nature that we have in common with animals, such as the capacity for feeling, individuality, personal warmth, or even the capacity for learning new things. The other part of our humanity constitutes the qualities that distinguish us from animals, though, and that is called "human uniqueness": this would be qualities like civility, rationality, moral sophistication, or maturity.
Weirdly, though, many of us do successfully learn how to understand our human uniqueness, but we can go through our entire lives without understanding the good things about us that we have in common with animals. I think that the process of learning to understand these more primal things about ourselves is often called a "spiritual journey."
In a story where someone is getting transformed into an animal, I think that the point of the story is, "Alright, you have figured out your human uniqueness, and maybe you have even gone overkill with that. There is still a whole lot you have left to learn about yourself before you can feel like a whole person."
That is a meaningful sort of story to me and one that I have always been drawn to. As an intellectual sort of person, I feel that I can be at the greatest risk of forgetting to appreciate the parts of my nature that I have in common with a dumb animal, and I have even been through the grievous experience of denying or suppressing those aspects of who I was, at least around the people I knew in person. These animal transformation stories and later roleplaying as a dragon helped me develop and understand a part of myself that I was really fearful of exploring in my day-to-day life.
While I have moved past the point in life where I was so repressed, those sorts of stories still hold tremendous sentimental value for me. I think that The Dragon and the George will turn out to be a slam dunk insofar as satisfying that inclination in me, and I think that it's going to turn out to be a great read.
By the way, The Dragon and the George was the basis for the Rankin and Bass film, The Flight of Dragons. If you have not watched that film, then you should fix that. The intro by Don McLean is fantastic.
Until next time,
I am Sigma!
Dear zoophiles, zoo allies, and confused others.
This blog is usually focused on a new work of literature every week, but I honestly just went back to studying Orphic hymns. I am a massive Greek nerd, and I find the Orphic hymns, in particular, to be stunningly beautiful. I really meant to do more of this last week, but I did not use my time for that particular pursuit, then. I have about half of it committed to memory, and it takes little work to get it to come across as musical.
I also went on a very nice walk with my husband outside the local art museum. We used to go there a lot more often, but then it got cold. It is the most beautiful place in the area when the weather is warm but not too warm. The way that the grounds are kept is remarkably civilized.
Over the past week, I am pleased to say that the zooey community came together to help a young person that had been at risk of becoming homeless, and one brave zoo actually helped to initiate legal action to protect him. All of this is thanks to the fact that his boyfriend, who unfortunately lives far away, stood up for him and reached out for help, keeping us updated and keeping up dialogue with everybody that had anything to say. I was blown away, and I feel kind of humbled by the fact that this community has proved to have such huge hearts. Hurray to whoever intervened!
I am going to spend the rest of my weekend trying to get some work done on another project. I don't want to say too much yet, but I am excited to move forward with it. It's pretty dry, though.
Once again, the best lunch hangouts are closed for the duration of this pandemic. That kind of sucks for me because there are so many distractions at home! I can hardly get any reading done!
Until next week,
I am Sigma!
Dear zoos, zooey allies, and confused others,
This will be the first week that I will also be publishing my blog/journal to SoFurry. If anybody on SoFurry wants to read more of this weekly blog, come find me on Zooville.
The cafe and bakery where I usually do my Saturday afternoon reading is still closed due to the pandemic. This is highly depressing because I love the staff there quite a lot, and I have missed them for every single week that the location has been closed. I am looking forward to seeing those people's smiling faces once more, and I know for sure that they will be the same awesome friendly people as they have always been.
Nevertheless, this remains the only day of the week that I really set aside for trying to get myself started on reading in a novel or a biography, and today, I am trying to get back into reading The Plague, by Albert Camus. I heard about it through my husband. Apparently, The Plague was one of the most popular books among gay men during the 1980's, and it was so trendy that the author got mentioned in a song by The Magnetic Fields. Gay men who had lost a friend or a lover to AIDS or gotten diagnosed with HIV themselves would dress all in black, read Camus, and often chain-smoke clove cigarettes. It was a stunningly depressing time for gay men.
The fact that gay men were hit so hard by HIV, during the 1980's, was partly a consequence of the fact that, during the 1970's, gay men had been possessed of a very strong desire to start coming out, but the only people they felt comfortable coming out to were other gay men, which led to the gay community having a lifestyle that was almost entirely centered around sex. They did not just have a little bit of sex, but they had a positively amazing amount of sex. The bathhouse scene was at its height. It was essentially an epidemic that was waiting to happen.
In the eyes of the Reagan administration, gay men deserved what was happening to them, and they felt so strongly about this that they spent a long while deliberately prohibiting any funding for AIDS research. The way that the Reagan administration saw it, if gay men did not want to die of AIDS, then they would give up homosexual sodomy and preferably convert to (conservative) Christianity. Neoliberalism was rising in American politics, and as far as they were concerned, those whom they deemed as inferior really deserved to suffer and did not really deserve for anybody to help them, and those that were doing better deserved to be praised and empowered for having lived better, more productive lives. Prosperity theology was all the rage among religious conservatives. As far as they were concerned, making any effort at all to address the AIDS pandemic constituted interfering in the righteous judgment of God. Even when this position slowly started to become deeply unpopular, the Reagan administration famously said, "Look pretty, and do as little as possible."
What had happened to the gay community was that the very prejudice of their society had helped create these conditions. Because of the fact that the gay community per force could never really feel comfortable or safe, as long as they were out, around anyone except another gay person or maybe transgender person, they were effectively being driven into a sort of ghetto, what I call a "cultural ghetto," where they ultimately self-objectified based upon their sexuality and saw everything about themselves as being somehow related to their sexuality. This was profoundly unhealthy, and it was a large part of what created the bathhouse scene.
Think of it in terms of genetics: remember, in your biology classes, you were taught about the dangers of inbreeding, and you may have heard the term "founders effect" at least once. There are many recessive alleles that are, in effect, normally vetoed by more dominant alleles, so those weaker recessive alleles never really affect the phenotype that is actually expressed in offspring; in the case of inbreeding, the more dominant alleles are not there, leading to serious and often catastrophic health problems. However, I think that similar things can happen in a society: I think that insular subcultures ultimately fail to learn or to accept the difficult lessons that society at large has spent centuries learning and accepting, and because the gay community felt so estranged from society at large, they mistakenly rejected some important centuries-old wisdoms. Their trust in the moral judgment of society had been profoundly damaged, so it became very hard to reason with them about things they were doing that actually were harmful to them. They were not letting in ideas that might have saved them.
There was no doubt that the gay community, in the 1980's, had been struck by a deadly epidemic, but it was not one that could be contained by sealing them away from the rest of society. Unlike the disease that was being spread in The Plague, it was a plague that only multiplied when society attempted to seal it away. Unlike normal epidemics, this was one to which isolation constituted gasoline on the fire.
I think that this lesson from history is one that the zooey community could also stand to learn from. We really cannot be an island. I don't really know enough, on my own, to give a lot of great advice about how to mend our damaged relations with society, but the lessons of history are clear to me. We cannot survive as an isolated community. There is a lot that we and non-zooey society can teach to each other if we give each other a chance. We have made mistakes. The rest of the human race has made mistakes. We are still worth each others' time. We can help each other heal.
While I understand why some members of the 1980's gay community identified with The Plague, I am convinced that it fails to really equate. Some pandemics really can be contained by isolation, but others can only be fought with shared immunity.
Next week, I intend to discuss a more optimistic novel, and until then, I remain
the local shoulder-dragon-in-chief,
Dear zoos and zooey allies,
I don't know why I back-date these things anymore. It is not the 28th of March, but it is really the last day of March. The cafe and bakery that I usually do this in is closed until the worst part of this pandemic has passed, and because I am no longer able to do my usual thing, I...just kind of get distracted.
About 200,000 people are expected to die during this pandemic. Instructively, Hurricane Katrina only killed 1,833, so COVID-19 just might constitute the single deadliest natural disaster of most people's lifetimes.
However, there were many ancient peoples that were not really all that upset about death. They just extended their knowledge of primitive agriculture to how they thought about life: things died and decayed, but then the soil was more fertile for producing new life. The Proto-Indo-Europeans even referred to the human race as "Earthlings" because humans knew and understood the earth and how earth could produce new life.
The ancient Greek word for "earth" was chthon, and because of this, divinities and beliefs that are related to the earth are regarded as "chthonic." Some of the ancient chthonic religions were very dark, and their gods would ruthlessly demand blood sacrifice, thereby leading to entire cultures being slain in order to appease the blood lust of these sorts of gods. Others, though, were actually incredibly gentle and focused on nurture.
An example of a chthonic divinity that was focused on nurture was the goddess Hecate. While Hecate was worshiped by the ancient Greeks, she was not really invented by them. She is really a lot older and has been traced at least to ancient Turkey. Hecate was a very gentle sort of goddess that was responsible for taking care of the souls of the dead between one life and the next.
Yep, reincarnation was something that some ancient Greeks believed in. According to those that worshiped Hecate, the souls of the dead lived in the part of the sky between the sea and the orbit of the moon while they waited to be reborn, which was called the "Middle Sky." While the souls of the dead were living in the Middle Sky, they were considered to be on a spiritual journey, and to the cult of Hecate, this was an amazing and adventurous sort of journey with many crossroads.
In fact, Hecate was venerated in any remote place where three paths met...in other words, anywhere that there was a fork in the road. Think of the poem "The Road Not Taken," by Robert Frost. The cult of Hecate would have appreciated this poem intensely, and to them, the very shortness of life was a sort of blessing. You could not take every road in every life, but that was alright: you were destined to be reborn, and someday, you would have a chance to travel that road if you still wanted to. It was not such a terrible thing, to them, that we got once chance after another to make our journey through life. It meant that we did not really have to regret all of the times we had to make a choice and wondered what could have happened if we had made a different choice.
The most sacred animal of Hecate was the dog, by the way, and it was believed that the dog helped watch over our souls between one life and the next. Could some of them have been some zoos who watched a few of their loved ones cross over the Rainbow Bridge in their lifetimes? We that fall truly in love with our animals get hit the hardest by their loss, after all, but we never really regret having known these people throughout their lives.
Yes, there were some Greeks that did believe that Hecate therefore demanded dogs as a blood sacrifice, but based on the hymns, I believe that this would be out-of-character for the original followers of Orpheus, who really thought a lot like the followers of Pythagoras, who were often vegans and were profoundly tenderhearted. The hymn describes a very gentle sort of goddess.
The cult of Hecate that was brought to Greece by the prophet Orpheus is fascinating to me, and therefore, I have been practicing at the old Orphic hymn to Hecate. It is beautiful, and it is really fun to try to learn. You might hear it in the future, someday, when I have managed to get the meter right.
Anyhow, to all of those that are either worried about the expected death toll of COVID-19 or grieving for a loved one that has crossed the Rainbow Bridge not long ago, it might comfort you to know that there were at least some ancient peoples to whom the journey between one life and the next was just our journey onward to our next adventure, and even though I don't literally believe in supernatural things, this sort of thinking really makes me smile.
Dear zoos and others to which this pertains,
This update is backdated to Saturday, even though I was not actually at my favorite cafe Saturday. This pandemic has got all of the good hangouts closed to dine-in customers. It is highly aggravating.
I have some good news on the zooey front, though. I think that the Zooier Than Thou crew have found someone on SoFurry that would be willing to do the work of getting the show uploaded on there. We are really leaning hard into our outreach to the furry community. I personally have never liked hangouts that were mostly zooey related, but I really strongly prefer mixed zooey and non-zooey hangouts where it's always been normal for some folks there to be zooey. Many furry venues fit that description, and while there are some furry hangouts where anti-zoo trolling is rampant, the reason why is that there are a lot of zoos in the fandom: wherever the anti-zoos can get control, they go full-on Nazi against us, so us zoos have to be very organized about keeping those useless trolls out of the hangouts where we actually can get left in peace.
If you are a zoo and also a furry, I will tell you that there are many furry hangouts where you can be openly a zoo, and the longer you hang out and stay out of the closet at these hangouts, the less the anti-zoo trolls are going to think they have any moral credibility. Just make friends, try to get along with the leadership, and don't make any kind of trouble you can't avoid. Most of the time, if you just hang out and be yourself for a while, the in crowd will start liking you, and the sorts of trolls that come in occasionally convinced they are going to start telling everybody else how to think and how to live are going to wander off somewhere else. Don't even bother with scoring points. Once you have a few friends that you know are supportive, they are the ones that matter and deserve your attention, not some troll. Focus your attention on your friends, and stay out.
Believe it or not, the best kind of activism anywhere is to just come out, stay out, and keep on being yourself. Scoring points, winning pissing contests with trolls, and other ridiculous drama really takes us backwards, but anytime that you are just being your regular everyday self and yet out as a zoo, you are tearing all of the anti-zoo arguments to pieces. The way that most zoos are, once you get to know them, simply does not fit the anti-zoo arguments, and when people's supposedly invincible logic consistently does not match up with reality, their entire case just falls apart. Just stay out, and be you, whether in the furry fandom or any other venue.
For the most part, furries are extremely zoophile-friendly, and any pockets of trouble that you do find are merely a reaction to this fact. I have always preferred them over strictly zooey social venues, and to this day, I spend considerably more time at them than at strictly zooey venues. I get to meet highly diverse people from all over the world, and I get to meet people that have many different points-of-view. I think that us zoos that are also involved in the furry fandom should keep on opening up to other furries. Just coming out and going on with business as usual makes a big difference.
Until next week,
I am Sigma!
Dear zoos, zooey allies, and all of you that are in that gray area,
I have a very good excuse for missing last week's update: I was helping my good friend @TogglesHappyZoo create and host the first episode of Zooier Than Thou, Season 2! As all fans of the show already know, Zooier Than Thou was always intended to outlast its creators, and I am very proud to be counted among the show's dynamic and courageous leadership.
Back to blogging, though! Today's book was The Cat and the Curmudgeon, by Cleveland Amory. As a feline zoophile, I feel a deep connection with Cleveland Amory's experience of raising his quirky and headstrong cat, Polar Bear. This is a book that I have read before in the past, and Amory's prose has helped awaken a special sort of gentleness in me that has really been empowering.
Amory did something with Polar Bear that I have always enjoyed doing with my own cat: he walked Polar Bear on a leash. Rather, he stood there while Polar Bear sat. If you are thinking of leash-training your pet cat, the good news is that your cat will most likely enjoy it quite a lot. However, I suggest packing a very lightweight folding chair for you to sit on while your cat sits down, fairly frequently, to engage in long, long periods of intensive bird-watching, and you might also want to bring a good book with you, just in case your cat decides to take a nap while basking in the sun. Don't get me wrong because your cat will walk plentifully, but cats have more imagination than to just patrol a perimeter and be done with it.
Reading this book again sort of reminds me of something that us zoophiles really ought to spend more time talking about, which is the fact that we actually do have a relationship with our animals besides just having sex with them. Many of us are at least as obsessive over finding ways to have fun with our animals as any other pet-owner. Acknowledging and engaging the sexuality of our animals is really just a part of the same drive, which is to embrace the fact that our animals are a significant and meaningful part of our lives.
However, not all of us zoophiles are pet-owners, and for a long time, I felt a little bit prejudicial toward zoophiles that are sexually involved with other people's animals. I think that the reason why was that I believed that this kind of behavior was going to draw negative attention to other zoophiles, but after having a conversation with @TogglesHappyZoo about this, I realized that he was right: the people that hate us do not acknowledge any such nuance. Nothing we do will ever be good enough for the worst of them, and until we have more allies than we do enemies, us zoophiles need to stay united, rather than getting wrapped-up in petty squabbling and finger-pointing. Blaming other zoophiles for the cruelty and maliciousness of the anti-zoophile mob constitutes taking the blame off of the people that are hurting us and putting the blame onto other people that they have been persecuting. Maybe I would not have advised a fellow zoophile to leap into someone else's horse's paddock in order to have sex with that horse, but that person does not really deserve to be punished disproportionately. Regardless of what I think of trespassing, disproportionate punishment is just as revoltingly unjust as punishing people that have done nothing wrong at all. It is still injustice, and we ought to stand together against injustice. Moralizing at each other when we do not really have to will not help our situation.
Let's stick together, and let's try to change the world.