Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled One intrepid reporter journeys into the nexus of furries, vapes, and alien impregnation culture
Screenshot: YouTube

Look, if you were to tell us 10 years ago that this whole “furry” thing would someday evolve into a lasting, complex meta-culture of sexual fetishes, post-ironic memes, conspiracies, occasional Nazism, and inclusivity activism, we’d have probably laughed ourselves out of breath, then returned to discussing how My Beautiful, Dark, Twisted Fantasy rules and Kanye will never, ever disappoint us. Today, furry culture is about as brain-breaking a topic as one can get for us normies, so, unless that sort of thing really speaks to you, you’d be forgiven for not paying it a whole lot of attention.

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Well, maybe we should be keeping a closer eye on those kids, because shit is getting super weird over there, as Andrew Callaghan and his All Brakes No Gas roadshow has discovered.

If Callaghan’s wide-eyed, thinly-veiled disbelief looks familiar, it’s probably because you recognize him from last week’s sojourn into a flat-earther convention in Dallas. His latest dispatch comes from “the largest anthropomorphic cosplay event in the world”: Midwest FurFest in Rosemont, Illinois. There, he meets all manner of, um, enthusiasts—from your “standard” furry friends to dank vapers to, um, people who use specialized phallic sex toys to pretend aliens are squirting eggs into their orifices. The usual.

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We reached out to Callaghan about his experience and he revealed that his sojourn was a life-changing one. “I love furries. I honestly expected an orgy of zoophiles and incels, but it was quite the opposite,” he tells us over text message. “Furries are an all-inclusive fandom and creative refuge for a lot of different sorts of people, a lot of whom grew up as outcasts. Also, there is something objectively fun about dressing up as a buff, 7-foot lemur with 14,000 of your homies.”

His video reflects this, as there genuinely seems to be a pretty large spectrum of people at the event, from nice-seeming, simple connoisseurs of odder subculture life to the kind of weird-ass guy who wears a “Make My Dick Work Again” ski cap. In the end, Callaghan seems to have found his inner furry when he debuts Franklin, the Fantastical Fuck Falcon.

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Fly high, Franklin. Fly high.

Andrew Paul is a contributing writer with work recently featured by NBC Think, GQ, Slate, Rolling Stone, and McSweeney's Internet Tendency. He writes the newsletter, (((Echo Chamber))).

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