Saturday, November 17, 2012

Last Night's Interview

Thanks to everyone that came to the Livestream last night ^.^ We tackled some interesting questions, and Lith and I got rather wordy in the process. I hope this makes an interesting reading for folks!

Interview Transcript

Your questions, our answers! Lith and Lithier will take all comers in query format, so this is your chance to learn, to pry, and to educate the world! We're starting with Lith.

Xanes : tell me Lith, how is it being a cat? don't you sometimes wonder how it would be as a Wolf,Dragon, or maybe a lizard.
Lith: Oh o.o Well, I don't know how much I'd want to be a cat if I was born something else, but living with it all these years, I'm inclined to think it rather suits me :3 But it's hard to say how much of my being comfortable in being a cat is just because I'm so used to it, you know? I know I have a lot of traits that people identify as cat-like, so it's kind of hard to say if I'd still have those if I was something else. I guess what it comes down to is-- your species is a part of your identity just as much as anything else. Would I be the same person if I had a different father or mother? That's all awfully philosophical ^.^; But suffice it to say, I'm pretty happy with being a cat. We get it pretty easy-- people don't expect us to do too much, and nobody really discriminates against us like they do against, say, snakes, or rats. And of course I wonder about being something else :3 Don't we all? I'm inclined to think I'd be kind of an... underwhelming example in races like those, though. I'd be a pretty quiet wolf, I imagine, and... well, I don't know, I guess it depends on what kind of lizard I was o.o As a dragon, though...? That's a very odd thought ~.~; I know some of them can fly on their own, and I'd be hard pressed to say I wasn't interested in that... But overall, I think I'm pretty happy with who, and what, I am :3 At least, in these respects...

link45oo : Lith, what do you look for in a significant other? Not just someone who you want to mess around with, but someone on a more intimate level?
Lith: Oh. Well... I guess I'm not too sure ^.^; There's a small problem with the question, in that I don't really look for that possibility in people. I've run into a lot of people that have been interested in making a more permanent relationship with me over the last few years, and sometimes I've kind of gone along with it, but somehow, it's never really worked out... As things are now, I have a lot of friends, and some of those relationships are more physically based than others, but I tend to avoid that sort of thing, I guess. It's never really felt right. Maybe that will change some day, or maybe I'll be kind of a drifter to the end of my days ^.^;; If I had to guess as to the kind of person that might suit me best, though... I guess it'd be someone kind, and patient. Someone that I could trust to be absolutely honest with me, and that I could trust enough to be absolutely honest with them, without being afraid of it all falling apart. I guess... I guess a big part of it would be trust o.o It's kind of a rare asset anymore... Well. I hope that answers your question...

Xanes : do you sometime wonder how is it is being a girl? and has there been times were you wished you were a girl?
Lith: Well, I think I have a bit more insight in a couple ways into what it's like being a girl than most guys ^.^;; Er o_o And not just like that! @///@; But um! I mean. I've been kind of more... sensitive than a lot of guys all my life, and especially as I started... interacting more with guys... I think I got more of a feel of how a lot of women feel ^.^; I even found women tend to make more sense... But sure, I wonder sometimes, even so. Although, usually for more... illicit reasons, I guess. Along those lines, I think that most times I wished I was a girl were when I was a fair deal younger... things like wondering about boobs, or when I was considering the women's locker room ^.^;; If you're talking about in the transgender fashion, that's never really been my thing, no. I've known men that were very interested in being women, and it's a pretty interesting concept to explore, but I've generally been pretty happy with my gender-- when I'm not ashamed to be a man ^.^; It comes up sometimes, especially listening to some girls' horror stories...

link45oo : I've also have another question. Lith, do you have any philosophical thoughts, or just life lessons in general that you want to share with us?
Lith: Goodness. If you'd asked me four or five years ago, I would've had a lot for you ^.^; But I think I've grown just enough to realize that sometimes, just because things make sense, doesn't mean they're right, or best. So my list of absolute truths in life is somewhat... shortened. I used to believe that honesty was absolutely always the best policy-- that every lie is a hurtful thing, inherently. But the world is a complicated place, and people are complicated things, imperfect and full of desperate needs. Sometimes, a lie is what we need to keep going-- and sometimes, that's more important than anything else. I'm getting really vague now ^.^; The only things that have really held up... Balance. I mentioned it before, and I'll bring it up now. The world is all about balance, and if you try to push things too much one way or the other, either the world will push back, or it'll just all come apart. Balance is essential to all things. Every disadvantage comes with an advantage, and every boon comes with a curse. You can call it karma if you like. If you live a balanced life, then you're ready for when life pushes you-- but if you aren't, then you'll be the one that's falling apart. And one truth that is really hard to accept-- something I've been working on for years. Every single person in the world, no matter how stupid or hateful or ignorant or endlessly frustrating they may seem-- is a real person, just like you, full of desire and hope and pain and fear. And it's hard to really wrap your head around that-- we get through life by looking at the people that frustrate us and just saying "oh, he's just a dick," or "forget her, she's an idiot," or some horrible thing like that, reducing the miracle that is a living, sentient being to a single word, a one-dimensional concept. And that is a crime against that person, and against yourself. You might not know what drives them to be who they are and do what they do, but at their core, there's always a dreadfully good reason. Sometimes, this is the best they can do when they're already trying to hold back so much, because it hurts so much inside... And if you can just see that in every person... If we could all come to understand this one fact about each other, and the entire world... I think we could become... better. Objectively, undeniably better as living beings. That's what I want to share, philosophically. It is simple in concept, but mind-crushingly difficult in execution. But it is my one hope.

Xanes : do you have family? if you do, then i would like to know more about them. if you don't have a family, then how was your whole childhood?
Lith: Well, I'm an only child, but I did live with my mother and father. I'm afraid that they haven't received proper names from the great overlord of the world yet, so that part's a bit ambiguous ^.^; My mother had a large family, though, so I have a fair deal of aunts and uncles, and some cousins that I meet very occasionally. My childhood was pretty good, all things considered, I think-- my dad wasn't home a lot, but he still got along pretty well with my mom, and they're still married to this day, which seems to be more of a miracle than ever, looking at the world. I still talk with them, probably every week or two, when I'm not trapped in an infinite void with no phone service or internet. I'm pretty distant from the rest of the family, though-- we haven't even gotten together for Thanksgiving in several years now ^.^;

Xanes : why do you like dicks so much? what happend to you when you were young?
Lith: Oh o//o; Er, I wasn't-- you know, molested or anything like that, if that's what you mean. At least, not in that old psych book way @_@ I was pretty... "normal," when I was younger, besides my interests in games and anime and all that. All of... that... didn't really come up until late in high school. I met a girl that, um... well, she fit the definition loosely, and she taught me a lot of things. It was a pretty rough experience, looking back, but... well, I have a lot of fond memories. And she kind of... shoved me headfirst into the lifestyle I have today ^.^;; I have no idea where I'd be if it wasn't for her. Maybe I'd have a steady girlfriend and never have known the difference, or maybe I'd have eventually, um, found out on my own... or maybe I would have just... felt like I was missing something, all my life. But looking back, even with all the regrets I have now... I think I'm glad it happened ^.^; Not all the time, but most of the time.
(Editor's note: These events are described in detail in the story series, 'Learning Lessons.' Check the accounts listed under "Other Places!")

Lith's questions come to a close here, and we switch to an interview with Lithier, the writer and creator.

Xanes : what is your opinion on the furry community?
Lithier: The furry community is a pretty diverse place to make any blanket statements about, or to bear any particular opinion on. The more I've seen of it, the more I've been amazed with just how much variety there is in the formation of groups and relationships, and in what it seems to mean to people to be furry. Overall, one of the strongest attributes of the furry community to me seems to be its sensitivity-- in a good and a bad way. Speaking in the most general way possible, furries tend to be more accepting and welcoming than the average group, or the average stranger-- especially on the internet. Entering any group for the first time, I've seen little in the way of hazing or rejection, and a good deal of kindness, patience, and open thinking. I play now and again on furry TF2 servers, and I've often heard it remarked from other players that they aren't even furry, but the community is so friendly compared to other servers that they keep coming back anyway. I attended a local furmeet all of once, and I was welcomed readily into the group, embraced socially as readily as anyone else, it seemed. And of course, as a writer and creator on SF and FA, I've been the recipient of a lot of kind words and generous sentiments. Overall, the furry community has a very positive sensitivity to it-- but, of course, it also has its negative. Sensitivity has a price, after all. Furries are renowned for their Drama. Emotional turbulence charges exchanges at random, and people will tend to be very open about expressing their frustration, especially with another member of the community. This is, I think, a natural element of an online community-- specifically, it is the polaric opposite of the troll epidemic. In an online community where everybody is cryptic and anonymous and keeps everything to themselves, trolling is a common form of combined entertainment and emotional venting. But in a community where people take the time to care about each other-- that's when emotion enters center stage, full of violent and raw energy. So that's the drawback to a kind and open community-- a sincere and open torrent of emotion. These are the main things I've seen in the furry community that seem to span it from one end to the other, though some of it may be more oriented on the internet community-- I have frightfully little experience with the offline form. But it has proven a fine place to dwell and sharpen my abilities, and I've been very grateful for its existence, and how open it is to all the concepts the mind can conjure. This could be, of course, partly symptomatic of simply being the latest oppressed minority, but that, along with the peculiar question of sensuality in the furry community, is a whole bundle of thoughts for another time.

link45oo : Ever think of having a certain "person" from Lith's past showing up in-game and kind of changing the game?
Lithier: I have had plans for some time to have other actors of sorts make cameos in the game-- some pre-existing, some not. I think you might be surprised who I pull onto the stage, though :3 But! That's for another update. Keep that under your hat.

Xanes : why did you make Lith as a cat, and why did you desired to make him gay? is Lith the whole purpose of MVOL?
Lithier: Lith was a character of mine before I started writing properly-- to be perfectly honest, he was originally created for the purpose of roleplaying, back when I had the time for all that. I actually used him to explore my sexuality when I was younger, and I learned a lot about myself through him. He developed his own personality over time, becoming a sort of creature of fantasy based on the best reasoning I could find. He started as a cat because I was just looking for something to play as-- and I owned a black cat. A pussycat, actually. I'd considered several alternatives, but that seemed the most comfortable at the time, and Lith grew into his nature well. I had no reason to change him later-- being a cat was perfect for him, and as he'd said himself, being some other species could change who he was substantially. His orientation is-- he's not gay, but some kind of omnisexual. He is a paragon of open-minded sexual exploration, with a strong fixation on certain pieces of anatomy. If you wanted to pin his sexuality as attached to any one gender, it would have to be hermaphrodites xP But transexual already means something else :p And yes, Lith is essentially the focus of the entirety of MVOL-- the game is, above all other things, intended to be a Lith simulator. That's why suggestions to make Lith some drastically different thing or to go focus more on other characters don't get very far with me-- I might be receptive to the idea in general, but that's not what this game is about. My goal is, in a way, to capture the entirety of what Lith is, in this game. When the game is complete, someone that has played it all the way through, in every nook and cranny, may very well know just as much about Lith as I do. Or at least, that is, in a way, my ultimate objective.

Xanes : do you sometimes wonder how it is being Anthropomorphism ( a real live furry )
Lithier: Well, wondering that is basically how I start every piece of writing involving furries :P My style of writing involves digging into the mechanics of everything involved and trying to kind of simulate every detail of reality in my mind-- and from these details, I pluck the juiciest, the most striking, the most defining parts to write a story. So I spend a lot of time thinking about how it would work to be a living, humanoid snake, or how it works to have one's body stretch in this way, or what the social undertones of certain interactions would be-- because a little snippet of that thrown in at the right moment can really give the story life. If you mean from the perspective of imagining being an anthropomorphic animal myself, though, I can't say that I've given it a lot of thought. Furries engage me as a concept, and I can wrestle with that concept indefinitely and have many fulfilling evenings of contemplation and discovery, but I can't say that I, personally, really wish that I was a humanoid cat, or dragon, or what have you. Some of it sounds cool, but I also have respect for what we are. Our very existence, just as humans, is miraculous in uncountable ways. Humanity is, on the scale of evolution and life, some kind of terrifying explosion, transforming and questioning itself and becoming more and more developed in a matter of centuries where life usually develops over hundreds of millenia. If I try to imagine how it would work for every species on earth to develop a humanoid form at the same time, or for some event to generate all these different species, fully cognizant and capable of abstract thought and the use of tools-- all I can honestly imagine is global disaster. Maybe the biggest miracle of any "furry" world is that all the different species live in harmony in most incarnations, and work together for the betterment of the whole. It's very difficult to seriously consider the implications of a world of furries without first tackling the prospect of world-wide war, considering we humans, as a single species, already have such a hard time getting along... So maybe I'm something of a spoil sport, or maybe I'm taking a bit too realistic or even pessimistic approach to it, but I can't say that it's ever been a big appeal to me as a concept ^.^;

Xanes : do you plan on doing commentary later in the future with people from your stream, or just solo commentary?
Lithier: This particular format doesn't make back-and-forth discussions work quite as well, but I'd welcome additional questions regarding something I've already said ^.^; That might encourage me to keep my answers relatively short, if I can expect people to request that I expound specifically on what they're interested in hearing about xP

Xanes : what do you do for a living?
Lithier: I'm afraid I won't be answering that specifically-- I've kept a rather old-fashioned policy that is part old habit and part statement. One of the most valuable facets of the internet to me is the anonymity-- that anyone can assume an alias and be a new person, and develop their identity from that moment on, independent of the real world. As of this moment, I'm keeping that separation-- I am Lithier, and while there are some extenuating circumstances that might affect me originating in that place called IRL, I prefer to otherwise present myself as an entity on the internet. That might seem strange to some folks, especially with the spread of facebook and tweeting and all that filling the internet with faces and real names, but that is the internet I grew up with, and it's what I cling to now. If I had my way, I'd make my living writing for you kind folks-- but I don't know how practical that will ever be. For now, we will see! And I hope you all will forgive me my strange ways.

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