austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Gutenberg is cranking out The Bible with a centerfold

Sunday we had breakfast-or-lunch, whichever, in our hotel room. Not a cold one either. While bunny_hugger did some grading Saturday night I popped acros the street, to the Kroger's. My main goal was buying candy and stuff for the Raccoons And Procyonids SIG. Secondary goal was to see if there were anything we could get for breakfast. She'd be running the Bunnies SIG at noon, the time when lunch stuff gets brought into con suite, so the alternative would be grabbing a Pop Tart or some fig newtons or the like and calling that a meal. And I spent a frightfully long time thinking: do we have a microwave in the room? I guessed right, on the strength of a faint memory that the coffee maker was sitting on top of something that was the mini-fridge. So I got some Morningstar breakfast sandwiches, vegetarian analogues to Egg McMuffins, and we were quite happy with the results. We'd have them again Monday morning before setting out, which ordinarily would have let us get home a tiny bit earlier than we actually did.

We got a quick look out on the patio, where the Rabbit Rescue people had another pair of bunnies, and warned people that the Bunnies Discussion was going on in the boardroom in minutes. I'm not sure anyone followed us, but we could see the patio from inside the boardroom. If nobody were there, you could've glimpsed the rabbits too, at least in principle.

The Bunnies SIG was dominated, as you might expect, by Zootopia. I'm a little surprised it didn't dominate every panel everywhere at Anthrohio, but obviously the Bunnies SIG has a special interest in this. One of the con staff brought a Judy Hopps plush, one that looks like it should stand up but actually can't, so kids can play Scrooched Off-Balance Judy Hopps. He'd also claimed to have some kind of connection to the Zootopia animators which I missed, and so was happy to lavish on everyone production details and early drafts and other inside information that for all I know was even true. I should say I don't have any reason to think he was wrong, and it's not as though he said anything obviously absurd (``they figured predators can eat bugs and fish and best not bring it up on-screen at all''), but I'm also not sure he said anything that wasn't floating around the Furry Rumors Passed Off As News networks.

Anyway, it was all a successful sig with people talking about what they liked about rabbits and why. As these things will it drifted into talk about old-time Usenet and mucking, since that's where bunny_hugger and I come from, and particularly where her main character comes from. Also a weirdly passionate debate about whether Anthrohio was a continuation/rebranding of Morphicon or was a wholly new convention that happens to share the time, location, crowd, vibe, and much of the staff. Yes, the issue of whether cake decorating contests are rare came up. bunny_hugger de-escalated the subject. Unresolved: what kind of horrible exploitation is going on that the Zootopia universe has dairy products?

Immediately after this, and in the same room, was my Raccoons and Procyonids SIG. This was better-attended than previous years' were. I imagine part of that is I spent Friday and Saturday carrying around a trash bin telling people when and where it was, and nagging them to vote on the 'Trash Panda' name. I'd promised to reveal the results at the sig and of course put that as one of the last things of the hour. If anyone expected otherwise they don't know how publicity gimmicks work. And all the driving for publicity worked in getting more people in, although there weren't that many of the ringtailed community.

But raccoons have always been scarcer than you'd imagine. There's easy reasons to suppose that popular animals like rabbits or mice or guinea pigs are underrepresented: they're prey animals. They eat vegetables. This suggests a meekness that guy-dominated furry fandom is slower to warm up to, at least as primary characters. Raccoons, I suspect, are underrepresented partly because they have these squat, un-sleek bodies, and they are so hard to draw what with needing so many complicated lines for their eyes and tail patterns. And the tails don't expand into huge cottony puffballs without looking absurd. Still, that leaves raccoon fanciers a special set.

So we engaged in traditional activities like sharing character backstories and tipping over the trash cans, filled with the candy I'd gotten from Kroger the night before. And talking about Coon's Candy, which is just far enough north of Columbus there's no organizing an expedition there, however good their candy is.

And how did the Trash Panda vote come out? Fair enough since you've waited this long. Despite bunny_hugger's fear that everybody was going to vote 'Yes' now that I made them aware of it, the vote was closer than I figured. Since I also included a checkbox for ``I am a raccoon'' (or related species, like coati or kinkajou or the like) I could also compare results between the furry community at large and the raccoon community. And they voted:

Trash Panda: Yes Or No?
Position All Furries Raccoons
Yes 53 7
No 24 1
Maybe 3 0
Abstain 1 1

``Maybe'' was a write-in a couple people put in. ``Abstain'' is there because one guy just checked that yeah, he was a raccoon, but expressed no preference either way. Anyway, ``No'' put up a better showing in the general community than I expected. I'm shocked by how fondly the raccoon set takes ``trash panda'', though. Maybe they're trying to reclaim it. There were some other amusing write-in notes although a month after the event the one that stands out was ``they should be called fabcoons''. Maybe so.

Trivia: There were 1,860 separate blueprints filed with new York's Department of Buildings for the construction of Rockefeller Center. Source: Great Fortune: The Epic of Rockefeller Center, Daniel Okrent.

Currently Reading: Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How it Changed America, John M Barry.

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