User:RayneVanDunem/On the Mouse Problem sketch
My comment in reply to one's discovery of The Mouse Problem.
"There's already a WikiFur article on it. http://en.wikifur.com/wiki/The_Mouse_Problem
I just watched it, and of course it was alluding to the moral and media panic of the late 60's and early 70's surrounding such hot topics as homosexuality (in fact, there are often, to this day, moral panics surrounding clandestine sexual activities at so-called "rainbow parties" and other "scary" events that adults "must protect their daughters" from), but the fact that the Monty Python combined mouse fursuits and mouse roleplay with sexual affinities as a plot device (to satirize the media panic of that era) in 1969, decades before such (eventually real-life) activities became a bit more common and serious-minded to cover in media, kinda makes Monty Python an accidental pioneer in that regard.
If one compares it to today's external (and sometimes internal) view of the furry fandom, he or she can see just how long furry has been viewed almost exclusively within a sexual, fetish context; I think Vivisector's | explanation put it best. John Cleese's character in the sketch is a good example of how most of those who do hold an affinity to anthropomorphic/furry fetishism (even if that affinity is not entirely sexual) may not feel comfortable in describing that affinity to someone who asks questions about it from a non-furry perspective.
Finally, I think that the Mouse Problem sketch is, from a 1960's-1970's perspective, an explanation of how those things which are deviant from the norm (like fursuits and roleplay) can be immediately paired with those things which are fetishist-sexual (and, thus, publicly taboo) in nature; such topics are repressed, which results in a stifling (both from the self and others) of relevant discussion and debate outside of the realm of the weird, freaky and psycho. This is even more apparent in the delegation of "suitable content" to children, and the public anger which is bound to result from an exposition of that same "suitable content" as a draw for an older-aged fetish interest group. Fursuits and roleplay are both seen as actions which are only suitable for children "who don't know any better" or those children who are "only having fun", while the same is technically off-limits to those who are "responsible" "thoroughbred" adults (although some women are given a pass at the suiting if it is meant to make the woman a bit more demure and "child-like" - say, Playboy bunnies or dominatrices in "cat"suits - or a bit more sexually-attractive to the unconditionally-"responsible" adult man; even then, it can only be in certain settings or for few and very specific purposes - mostly sexual - and must be dismissed as "pillow talk", since outside of such settings the woman is seen as less than her initially-perceived worth if she pursues such suiting or roleplay any further).
Let's go further and say that cartoons, comics and animation - which have also formed a core and essential part of the furry/anthropomorphic fandom - are usually delegated or geared to younger audiences, while those older audiences who may enjoy the consumption of the same material are publicly seen as nostalgiacs or "wanna-be teenagers"; it's only slightly different for, say, political or social cartoons which exist solely for the external, non-cartoon-related point of the artist's own conveyance.
What I see in Cleese's character is someone who fears being publicly seen as a wanna-be child because of his obsession with a "child-like" fantasy or impulse in a society that looks down upon anything "child-like" with a parent-like condescension. However, he also fears being seen as someone who wants to use a fantasy that is officially ascribed by that society to a certain, lower age group and apply it to adult actions or activities, whether that is his intention or not. Mixing the two is prone to set off a moral panic or a fit of public revulsion if it is amplified enough for a communicable reach into the wider (less cosmopolitan) population.
Furry/anthropomorphic fandom is seen by the public as doing just that (mixing the child's official obsession with the adult's official activity), probably more so than any other fetish culture or genre fandom culture, and it will be seen and treated in like manner for some time to come. This sketch was only a precursor.