A few years ago, VICE wrote about the genesis of an unnerving presence on the internet.
In this article, they spoke at length about then 23-year-old photographer who had created a long furby using felt and pillow-stuffing; thus birthing a new archetype for sin.
I think this is one of the few 100% original ideas that come along every now and again on the internet, that are in themselves absolutely genius.
After all what is more terrifying than the image of a stretched, worm like tube of fur with a furby face at the end?
I think the answer is, if the long furby starts moving.
This fucking mess started appearing on my feed, along with the surrealist and completely disturbing content found in abundance on the page @long.furby.fam
As you can tell from the captions and very intrusive hashtags, this weirdness is to the point. The entire reason for making these videos seems to be to freak people out.
This is in keeping with a trend on instagram, twitter and the wider social septic tank of cursed content.
This describes basically any media with a lo-fi, unexplainable or unsettling air (with most images or video encapsulating all three of those things with horrific accuracy.)
In her article for the WP, Elizabeth Bruenig surmises a need for some sort of outstanding aesthetic, as for a reason why the freaky is so frequent. As she puts it:
‘Rather than trying to restore meaning and sense where they’ve gone missing, the style aims to play with the moods and emotions of an illegible world.’
To me, this speaks to the need to stay distinct from the corporate and trend-centric culture of the internet. Basically, the long furby is a symbol for the eternal arms race to make the most absurd and incidentally horrifying content online.
This is what I think is part of the genius of this (for a lack of a better word) thing. Since its taking the very familiar kistche of the bestselling toy and adding a flair for the absurd and distasteful.
Plus, the artist has seen fit to add onto the long furby canon a unsettling soundtrack as well as a few new friends for the long furby. Including a beanbag-sized furby mass, a stuff goldfish with teeth and a decapitated teletubby on a stick.
Truly the marketplace of ideas.
I’m not going to go on about the cultural relevance of this instagram page, but I will encourage you to check it out; if not just for the clammy-palm intensity of it.
But for now, the adage remains the same:
You can’t spell cutsiness without the word sin in the middle.