Living on the Fringe: Space Elves and the Origin of Otherkin

Beyond the normal reaches of our society lies an endless array of others: some living, some dead; some known, some obscure. This is about the fringe of the fringe.

Otherkin were perhaps once best known as “those people online who think they’re dragons”; now they’re best known as “those people on Tumblr who think they’re anime characters”; but in truth, the origins and history of Otherkin date back much further than most might expect.

A quick definition of terms. Otherkin, or “kin”, are a subculture that identify as nonhuman. This is commonly a spiritual, “I was this in my past life”, identification, but some Otherkin believe their identity is psychological in nature. Otherkin traditionally identify with fictional creatures, such as elves, dragons or fae. A closely related concept is therianthropy; therians instead identify with animals that, whether currently living or extinct, exist. A relatively new addition to the nomenclature are “fictionkin”¹, who identify with fictional characters; unlike Otherkin or therians, many fictionkin identify with beings that, while fictional, are generally human.

Otherkin and therians claim to experience their identity in different ways: via memories, and via “shifts” – commonly mental shifts in behavior, sensory shifts in perception, or “phantom shifts”, where they feel their identity reassert its body via phantom, ie mental, limbs. It is important to note that Otherkin and therians do not claim to physically change, and so-called “p-shifters” are usually a laughingstock in the kin community.

Though today it’s seen as a youth subculture, Otherkin trace their origin to the burgeoning pagan & new age movements of the 1970s. An invaluable timeline by Orion Scribner places the first group that we would today call “Otherkin” in at least 1975, when a group called the Elf Queen’s Daughters placed their first public ad in a pagan quarterly. The term itself dates to 1990, invented as a catch-all for the many non-elven identities Otherkin now possessed; therianthropy found a name and a home on Usenet circa 1994.

But all that can wait. Today, we’re zeroing in one specific facet of the Otherkin community: a elfkin subculture with an involved mythology that flourished briefly, but brightly.

The Elenari started on now-lost mailing lists in the late 90s; in 2000, a newly-created site called the Elenari Nexus became the community’s home.

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Angry Internet Man Has Glasses-Fueled Breakdown

[cw sexual assault, discussion of pedophilia]

Today’s post takes us to the world of anti-SJ blogs, which are an endless circlejerk, a never-ending procession of screams and tired Otherkin jokes issued from a chorus of boring edgelords.

I don’t even really have to introduce this person, as you know their type if you’ve ever navigated the less employable segments of internet discourse. Their Twitter profile, of course, opens up by identifying as some kind of absurd Otherkin type, before segueing into a “if you disagree with me, you’re a bigot” message, because as we know, modern feminism is known for its pro-Otherkin agenda.

patriHave you ever seen a comedian absolutely bomb? Have you ever watched, cringing, as they tried to salvage a terrible act before a hostile crowd? Well, the only thing sadder than a failed comic is a failed troll. Our protagonist today made a post where he made all the Disney Princesses Caucasian and threw them in front of an American flag, and received a grand 21 notes, none of them even angry. His Patreon has raised $10 thanks to the efforts of eight people.

Of course, it’s not hard to see why. Edgelord trolls, by and large, are aiming their work at an audience of fellow edgelord trolls, with the big names regurgitating the same tired memes like a pelican feeding her chicks, but somehow less dignified. The audience of easily outraged feminists reading their every posts simply does not exist. These circles do not intersect, but they’re so eager to believe that they offended someone that they’ll leap on anything as evidence. Anti-SJ blogs fall for parodies more readily than any group this side of Facebook grandmas reading The Onion, but at least that looks like news, and isn’t some outrageously shitty, unsubtle “I’m a black trans disabled agender asexual dildokin xD uWu” Tumblr parody. Anything to escape the fact that they’re sharing their offensive jokes within an echo chamber of people who aren’t going to be offended.

The one exception to their target’s lack of interest is when a blog introduces us to a concept so breathtakingly, bafflingly inane that the broader internet takes notice. And today I want to introduce you to a phrase that’s simple, but endlessly hilarious: “Problem glasses”.

I considered, at first, that this was a parody. But the line between genuine and satirical in the anti-SJ world blew up thanks to four little words: “little white cuck ball”, and GamerGate’s inexplicable war on oddly colored hair showed us that the anti-SJ world does ascribe political significance to the most random shit. So on we go! Patri-Archie-Comic’s stern warning about problem glasses, in its full glory:

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I’m not sure what I can even add to this. “Problem glasses” is an inherently hilarious phrase. “Problem glasses” was not created, it just is. “Problem glasses”, apparently also known as “grandma glasses” or “pedo glasses” (more on that in a bit!), appear to just be…glasses, since the examples offered don’t even look the same.

Words used by “problem glasses” wearers include basic feminist terminology, because there’s nothing anti-SJ types dislike more than incredibly basic terms they don’t understand, as well as concepts like “trans-ethnic” that only exist as anti-SJ fever dreams, and even New Age-y things like headmates and Otherkin. I don’t seem to remember when Anita Sarkeesian declared herself a dragonkin plural with a radical pro-headmate agenda, but I might’ve just missed that video.

Mocking them as “pedo glasses” is interesting, because elsewhere, they’re pretty much fine with pedophiles:

patrip

“As fun as it was to rip into this person and call her a pedo, I actually agree with her opinions, which I tore apart, because…LOGIC AND REASON?”

Let us now just dwell in the magnificence of “problem glasses”, and rue the fact that we can never create something as hilarious, even though we’re trying to be funny.

Found via 9Volt.