The elevator doors open and a man sprays three quick clouds of Febreze into the sardine-tight crowd. The elevators doors slide shut.
“God, I hate it when they do that,” a muffled voice says from inside a tiger costume.
A man with a safari hat and a fox tail responds: “At the last con I went to, they had huge industrial bottles they were spraying into the elevators.” He pauses. “I mean, it does help with the smell.”
There’s a distinct odor that can only accumulate at a furry convention — the unpleasant scent of hundreds of people capering around wearing animal costumes. But then, it gets hot having a fetish in summer weather.
Costume designers have enough to think about without considering the smell question — constructing a suit that reflects your inner animal. If designer Lynne Low-Hassell understands this better than most, it’s perhaps because she’s also a lizard.
“When I wear my lizard costume,” she says, “I don’t feel like I’m dressing up, but like I’m shedding my human suit.” Low-Hassell, 27, designs and builds costumes for other folks like her — people called furries, who feel most comfortable when dressed as animals…
ObamaCan Glyn Lewis
This past summer while roaming the Frankfurt international airport I picked up a copy of an international publication to see what the rest of the world was saying about Barack Obama’s Presidential campaign. As I looked around the store I found the same story splashed across almost every major daily paper and publication. The print media were hyping Senator Obama’s upcoming visit to the once deeply ideologically divided city of Berlin. A city which had once beaconed the great fault lines of political philosophies for the rising baby-boomer generation of the 1960′s: East vs. West, Authority vs. Freedom, Collectivism vs. Individualism, and Secularism vs. Religious Faith.
As the boomer generation – my parent’s generation – came of age these amongst countless other ideological and cultural forces perforated a number of social institutions. The result was the ominous pitting of young people against old, fathers against daughters, students against administrators, citizens against their government, and radical protesters against those who served their country. As the dust settled on these early years it became clear that in many ways the sprouting generation of the 1960s and 70s had been deeply wounded. Nevertheless, a phalanx of skilled and impassioned survivors, from both the Left and the Right, were being quickly launched into the halls of power within the intertwined network of the political, media, advocacy, and think-tank universes. It was within these halls where many hunkered down and set up base. The unfolding “you’re with us or you’re against us” polarized discourse became increasingly entrenched within a matrix of vitriol, division, and distrust. The back and forth petty power struggles quickly spiralled into full fledge hyper partisan warfare stultifying our politics, and poisoning our discourse. The result has been the ominous corruption of our democratic processes..
Coffee Shop Philosophers Ian Goodnight
It seems to take a great amount of effort to do anything these days as I slowly bring the cup of steaming black acidic hope to my mouth for the first sip of the afternoon.
As I get out my computer and type the first few lines my mind drifts to the memories I have had in this place of solace. Miles tunes are followed by Satchmo, followed by Django and Bud Powell, with an occasional tint of dub flavor.
As I look around at the familiar habitual movements of each player, I realize its an easy metaphor to make. So what is a meadow for? Or does a meadow have to be for anything? If left alone long enough it will be a forest… At least two writers, one printer, two philosophers, and two photographers are mi familia today. It all makes sense mixed among the rays of sunlight shining through cigarette smoke and the smell of foreign beans.