Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.
I had some thoughts on your earlier post, which a confluence of other commitments and a sprained wrist delayed my response.
I guess I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, I'm saddened at the general state of things where not wanting to do something kinda shitty to pursue one's passions comes across as ungrateful and entitled. On the other, I'm glad you have something you care so deeply about; something which would make all the crap you'd have to go through worthwhile. Frankly, I'm a little bit envious that you a clear path in front of you for how to get there, even if means you have to do some stuff that feels kinda shitty on the way.
I checked out the video, and it was quite good. Very thoughtful and analytical, but also easily accessible - not as easy a balance as he makes it look. I was concerned at first when he appeared to give an uncritical endorsement of Shadow Over Insmouth without addressing the big honking racist elephant in the room, but boy howdy did he come back to that point later. Great stuff. I enjoyed getting his musings on how and why Lovecraft's writings can appeal so strongly to marginalized peoples even though despite being littered with socially reactionary opinions, descriptions, and themes.
It turns out the group interview with Berlitz is actually a personal interview, which is the last stage of the job process, and it turns out that my Skype Interview with AEON was successful enough to also warrant a personal interview on Saturday. I've also sent out applications to several ALT dispatch companies, two of which have bitten, and one of which I'm expecting/hoping to bite soon enough. Also, my blood pressure prevents me from enlisting in the military (I knew this when I first tried at 18, but I'd hoped that 5 years of healthy living and medication would have improved it enough for enlistment). However, Camp Zama is always hiring civilian positions. I may not be what they're looking for, but it would be great if I could help out some way. Even if I was simply sweeping floors there, I think it would still be a fulfilling and rewarding experience.
Apart from that though, I realized this week what an ungrateful, spoiled, little shit I've been. Yes, any other ALT job I got would simply be a rebound relationship. But so fucking what? I would have had to say goodbye to all my students and my teachers sooner or later, even if I stayed at that school for many years. Avoiding any opportunities a dispatch company could bring me simply because "Oh, it won't be as awesome as it was before" is just an excuse, and an immature one at that.
I didn't pack up my life and move to a country where I only barely spoke the language just to have an interesting gap year or have sex with "exotic" women (although, erm, not that I'd say no to the latter). I came here because it was stories and media from Japan that first made me realize that the world is so much bigger and grander than I ever first imagined. I came here because for all those stories that are available in English, they're only the smallest fraction of what Japan has to offer. I came here because those stories deserve to be told to a wider audience, and told by someone who cares. And if making my way towards that dream of mine means working at a shitty school with shitty co-workers, well who cares? Even hell is what you make of it, and if it means I get to stay in this country, I'm more than willing to carve my own little warren in hell. And if all else fails, and I still don't have a job when my visa expires in August, the US Army is always in need of a few good men, especially now, in such trying times as these. And with my experience and degree in Japanese Studies I could surely find some way to make myself useful (plus, I'd be able to pay off my student debt in 2 years, as opposed to 10 or 15).
At the end of the day, I have to let go of all my reservations, and give this job search my all. No matter what job I work, it's one step closer to my dream, and that's what I should focus on.
Also, on a lighter note, H. Bomberguy posted a video about Lovecraft, which I think everyone would enjoy. Seriously, Arthur, I'm surprised you and this Harris Bomber guy (heheh) haven't already teamed up to fight evil or something. You two seem like you'd get along swimmingly.
They gave no official reason for this decision, and when I asked them for details, they hemmed and hawed and said "Oh, well, you know, it wasn't OUR decision. It was really the BoE's. Nothing to do with us." When I asked the BoE, they hemmed and hawed and said "Oh, well, you know, it wasn't OUR decision. It was really the company's. Nothing to do with us."
Classic bureaucratic run around. I guess some tactics never change no matter where you go. Extra dickish of them not to notify your school about it, especially after telling you they would.
I really love my school, and I really love teaching there. Because of that, I realize that any other ALT position I take would be a rebound relationship.
Huh, yeah. I think I get that. It's a big part of the reason I never finished my undergraduate studies.
Not sure what more I can say, other than to repeat my condolences, and my best wishes that one of your applications - maybe NOVA - will come through for you. Hang in there.
No need to apologize for having to take a step back, especially under these circumstances. I still have some responses to ongoing conversations percolating that I haven't gotten it together to type out and post yet - but when I do, please don't feel obligated to reply promptly, if at all. I fully support you taking however much space you need to find a situation which will allow you to stay in the country.
And I meant "YES," as in, "ARTHUR SHOULD DEFINITELY READ 'VIY'."
Yes I rather wish that fat prick would meet with a grisly fate
Yes that's a rather apt summation of the plot
Yes I find that an amusing and entertaining thing to say?
Remember Greyfriars? Remember thinking "Enh, this is okay, but I wish Bunter would run afoul of dark and hellish forces beyond his feeble human comprehension and meet with a grisly and horrible fate?" Well if yes, then I highly recommend you read Viy by Nikolai Gogol.
Okay. Yeah, I mean, I always knew that your fursona was meant to be a refection of yourself, but I never really realized how personal and meaningful the decision process could be. It's almost like choosing a pen name, I guess.
The thing is, I feel like I'm actually quite vanilla. I just have no real filter, and see nothing wrong in discussing sex frankly, and somehow this has allowed me to make friends with some very sexually adventurous and out-there people.
Essentially, your fursona is... whatever you want it to be, really. It's an expression of oneself, whether idealised or warts and all or apartments from one's personality as a character - a personal mascot or totem, if you will. The relationship and depth of context will vary.
Oh, I can very much relate to that. Having friends who are as demented as you are is important.
You...have evidently given this a great deal of thought. I confess my conception of picking a fursona mostly consisted of "Well I like this animal, so what the hey?"
I don't know. One of the reasons we sort of hit it off in the first place was that we could always count on each other to not freak out whenever the other brought up some kinky topic, even if the other didn't appreciate or even enjoy said topic. So I think if I asked him about it he'd tell me flat-out his opinions. He just would never admit defeat if a stranger deliberately tried to shock him.
I chose the pine marten because it's cute and mustelids suit my personality, which is to say exuberant and maybe a bit daft in a charming way. Hopefully. And seeing as my status as a queer white mutt - half-Jewish, with a bit of every European ethnicity from the Caucasus to the Irish coast - had a certain sway in my understanding of privilege and relative rootlessness nationally speaking, I thought an animal with a similar range was suitable (rather than the American species which lives... well, not where I do in the US, however charming a beastie it be). My second option was the Livingstone's fruit bat, funnily enough, because I adore flying foxes and having a smelly, messy gay animal with dreadful eating habits would be delightfully on the nose, but nobody can draw bar wings quite right, let alone those insane backwards knees, so I stuck with martens.
The thing about the more extreme end of kemono art is that it's much like the extreme end of all other doujin material, which is to say it's often in a fairly cutesy (or, if drawing on bara/gei-komi, *manly*) style while portraying fairly extreme material, and being self-published, there is rarely much in the way of editorial discretion or oversight. Hence, even if he weren't shocked by the material, I can understand why he might be cagey. Admitting you've read some of that stuff to other people who aren't already in the know can feel... awkward.
Oh. Oh. Huh. Well, at least now I know where that word comes from. From your description though, while I can say it's probably out of my comfort zone, I still think my friend's reaction would be little more than a disinterested grunt, if for no reason other than to spite whoever sought to shock him.
That...is an unusually specific species. But, hey, you do you. Just remember to do it gently and slowly, with plenty of lubrication. And clean yourself up beforehand so as to avoid UTI's.
When I said kemono, I was actually referring to Japanese furry culture rather than Kemono Friends, which is an odd little show I've been curious about for a long time. Japanese furry art takes a lot of stylistic influence from anime, as one might assume, and overlaps heavily with gay comics culture and the doujin scene. To remain circumspect on the matter, the more graphic material runs the gamut of just how likely any given work is to send the unprepared into shock. Soft vore, while weird, is not the level of sensory or emotional overload I'm talking about.
To the enquiry: An ichneumon is a kind of mongoose, notoriously ferocious for its tiny size. That said, although viverrids do hold a special place in my heart, my 'sona is a European pine marten. :3
I myself read the Julianne Neville translation of NotGR, which I thought was alright, though I've been told that the Sarah M. Strong and John Bester translations are better. Don't read the Joseph Sigrist and D.M. Stroud translation.
I see. I must say, Buff Fox Dad is quite the silver fox (tee-hee), though personally I find the girl cuter. She's probably in high school though (ugh). That's the problem with watching a lot of anime these days. I can't fawn over the cute girls without feeling like a filthy ephebophile anymore. I asked my friend about those two anime, and his response was essentially "Oh...yeah! Yeah, I know those two. Enh, I mean, they're okay, I guess. You'd probably like them." I don't know about the Kemono doujins, but knowing him he has a high tolerance for internet shenanigans (I learned what vore was from him), so I don't expect him to feel that scarred by anything he saw. However, in fairness, the internet is a vast and scary place.
I feel kind of bad for not really finishing Kemono, because not only have several friends recommended it to me, but it's also really popular with my students, and watching the same shows as them is a great way to bond and show that I'm not just some scary foreigner. But I just...wasn't feeling it? It just didn't click. I had a similar experience with Eromanga-sensei, though I at least still watch that, albeit sporadically.
I have to ask, two last questions,
1) How do you pronounce your username? Because I keep thinking it's like the German "Ich bin Schnappi, das kleine Krokodil", but I don't know for certain
2) Is your username also your fursona name? Because apparently an ichneumon is an actual mythical animal, which, y'know, killed dem kleine Krokodils. And dragons. And cockatrices. Come to think of it they seem like violent little bastards.
Hmmm. My significant other informed me that Gingitsune has much the same appeal as Natsume Yuujinchou, but with a Buff Fox Dad as a deuteragonist, so decent anime and manga with furry appeal certainly exist (and Aggretsuko adds to that number), but all told... I get a feeling your friend has read some kemono doujinshi, and let me tell you, some of that shit is *wild.* But that’s kind of the point of doujin manga: You have complete creative freedom. Which can mean so, so many things.
If Miyazawa was pressured to hide his sexuality (which is, again, a reasonable theory), it would have been due more to political (he lived to see the rise of imperialism and fascism, both of which stress the importance of keeping the bloodlines pure and making lots of pure-blooded babies) or social (he grew up in a small, rural town, which tend to be known for distrusting and destroying anything they deem too strange and different) reasons than religious (Christianity certainly exists here, and a friend/tutor of mine is in fact Christian herself, but it's never gotten big or powerful enough to have that major an effect on the national policy or zeitgeist).
Another possibility that occurred to me is that the relationship between Giovanni and Campanella is left ambiguous for the same reason their race or nationality is left ambiguous, to more easily allow anyone to project their own experiences with love and loss. I myself have never lost a lover (cripes that sounds silly when I type it out), but I have lost family, so the angle of Miyazawa's sister appeals and resonates with me, and depending on the experiences of whoever is watching the film or reading the book, a different relationship may seem more apparent, one that will more deeply resonate with them.
You're right. The vibe I get from those two is very much akin to the feeling of first love. And if I made it sound as though I overtly opposed a gay romantic reading to the story, I must apologize. I think it's a perfectly valid and appropriate way to view the story. However, whether that was intentional on the author or director's part is something which I'm unsure on.
Believe me, as someone who wrote his Senior Thesis on Kenjy Miyazawa, and who visited his museum when I studied abroad in Iwate, I also have a lot to say about him. Indeed, I still want to translate some of his works (I don't think it'd be humanly possible to translate all of them in a single lifetime, but one can dream).
Also, I asked my friend if he knew any good furry anime, and he paused for a while before replying "I...know furry anime." The only one he thought was good enough to recommend or even admit to reading unironically was Beastars though, which I haven't read myself, but have seen art of.