Mask/hood bans: Haters love this excuse for war on fun and freedom.
by Patch O'Furr
RANT! Sometimes, you don’t know how good it is to have tolerance, until you see it taken away from others.
In Vermont, fursuiters were mingling with crowds at a Mardi Gras celebration. They were high-fiving people and making them feel like they were in magical unicorn-land, like fursuiters do. Then a town official with a Sequoia up his butt decided that fun should be illegal. Or they weren’t paying the Smile Tax. Or whatever.
Here’s what happened since: The sad fursuiters patiently worked with the town, trying to jump through their hoops to get permits. The town officials stroked their Hitler mustaches, and came up with this scheisse:
- Permit cost: 12 suiters – $540
- Suiters must submit to a Federal and State back ground check.
- The performance areas begin 6 feet off the centerline of the Marketplace and end at the canopy line Entertainers MAY NOT perform within the nine-foot pedestrian right-of way (the area that extends 9 feet from Marketplace building fronts) and MAY NOT perform in the center of the street (six feet on either side of the center line, a.k.a 12 foot zone in the center of the street) There can be no more than eight (8) street entertainment acts on the Marketplace at any time There may be only two street entertainment acts per block Entertainers must locate at least 150 feet from each other and more than 15 feet from a building façade, vendor cart or sidewalk café Maximum performance time per block per day is two (2) hours The entertainer may perform only for one (1) hour segments including breaks before moving to a different block At least one (1) hour shall elapse before entertainer may return to a block The performer must locate at least five (5) storefronts or 150 feet (whichever is farther) from previous location BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH.
What control freaks! That’s a fuck-off list of conditions from those Beigists.
1. A dull, dogmatic, unoriginal person who uses stale language, and disregards the eccentric, daring, decadent, or unusual; a humorless bourgeois.
2. One who lacks charm, joie de vivre, blitheness, or self-expression. A bland, banal person.
What crime? The laws aren’t written with furries in mind. But furries also don’t pose any risk any more than any member of the public. I challenge anyone to show a statistic that they do. (Actually, furry hugs cure cancer.) There’s just fear. Furries can be too fabulous, or remind you of weird internet shit, so they get lumped in as targets for over-judging jerks. This cold, unfriendly, anti-social misuse of a law is why we should tell the law to shove it.
Can someone explain:
If I dress up in an outrageous furry costume and do crimes like making people smile, how am I supposed to get away without being noticed?
When I’m baking inside a giant rug, with tunnel-vision and serious danger of dehydration, I need a handler to look out for my welfare. How am I supposed to ruin yours?
But anyone could be inside that suit! It might even be that horrible guy who does all those racist Youtube comments! Won’t someone think of the children!
I only know dog math, but statistics say “stranger danger” is the rarest. Bad Stuff is most likely to happen in the home and from people you know and trust. Spreading overblown fear makes things worse by keeping people isolated.
Let’s acknowledge that incidents we CAN name are tragic, but rare. They’re caused by criminals on their own behalf, not <insert innocent group.> Let’s also protest big reaches to invent slippery-slope scenarios. That’s what happened in Vermont. The town could only justify being jerks with a trashy headline about a costumed panhandling offense, from hundreds of miles away.
It’s shit like this… Hysteria about stranger-danger is for mental midgets.
Moving on to the disguise issue. I get it: “The KKK” and “Anarchists” and “Thugs” like wearing hoods and masks for bad reasons. You know… those groups that are scary and powerful enough to legislate against… but you also can’t point out how they exist in daily life, unless they announce themselves. They could be anyone, anywhere. Like terrorists, hipsters, and silent farters.
When fursuiters appear, they aren’t holding KKK rallies or burning down your neighborhood. They’re not stealthy about clomping around and hugging things. Let’s extend benefit of the doubt to all such positive, creative activities and oppose these laws. What if cops can’t catch a masked criminal after they do something for real? Well, don’t punish the public for being bad at your job! Give people a break… how about a little Freedom of Expression? (That includes “free hugs” signs, squeakers, and consenting butt sniffs. These are treasured cultural traditions!)
The Vermont Furries were considering a legal challenge against their local anti-mask law. I would dearly love to see a court filing from Fluffy PartyPup.
More about mask/hood bans:
- Anti-mask laws on Wikipedia
- State Codes Related To Wearing Masks – a partial list.
- New Bill Would Make Wearing Hoodies A Crime – An Oklahoma story covers reasons for controversy. They’ll use it as an excuse to escort black people out of malls. It’s just that arbitrary… an excuse to act like really nasty mall cops everywhere.
- Precrime – “A term coined by science fiction author Philip K. Dick. It is increasingly used in academic literature to describe and criticise the tendency in criminal justice systems to focus on crimes not yet committed.”