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Category: Crime

NEWSDUMP – Furries In The Media – catchup part 1, (7-20-16)

by Patch O'Furr

Here’s headlines, links and little stories to make your tail wag.  Tips: patch.ofurr@gmail.com.

There hasn’t been a Newsdump in a long time, so expect three updates packed with two months of stuff: 

1. Furries in the Media. 2. Fandom News. 3. Fur-friendly Culture.

Pic: Luke Thor Travis, PGH City Paper

Pic: Luke Thor Travis, PGH City Paper

The media gave warm and fuzzy vibes for Anthrocon.

A few worth seeing after the con:

  • WTAE video: The Making Of a Furry. “Daisy Ruth set the scene outside the Convention Center with April, a local fursuiter who created her own suit, and Camille of CF Studios, an artist who creates and sells creature and fursuits.”
  • WTAE – Beyond the Suit: The World of Furries.  “Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 reporter Beau Berman sat down with ‘Clumzy’ to find out what it’s all about.”
Rika and Rusty.

Rika and Rusty.

Anthrocon news topic – Pets.

PGH City Paper: “It probably comes as no surprise, but furries love their pets“.  Four furs are interviewed.  “Some furries say that getting involved in the community that celebrates anthropomorphized animal personas has helped them become more aware of the needs of shelter animals; understand the emotions of their pets; and strengthen their love of our four-legged friends.”

Anthrocon news topic – “Fursonas” movie.

Post-Gazette: ‘Fursonas’ director takes his Anthrocon ban in stride.

Dominic Rodriguez was banned for breaking Anthrocon’s media policy (filming without permission) in pursuit of unvarnished truth that couldn’t be officially filmed for a documentary.  “Fursonas” showed parts that many furries take very personally or feel shouldn’t be suppressed.  It was divisive.  Some took his movie as undermining good work of the con.  Others took his ban as a politicized penalty for PR control that may be stuck in the past. But furry fandom have been around for decades now and it keeps growing.  When will sensitivities loosen up?

“Fursonas” screened at an independent venue during the con.  I asked Dom if he’s interested in doing a guest post about it. Before his trip, he told me:

“Although I’m banned, I have a feeling this is going to be my best Anthrocon yet. I spent the evening hanging out at the bar across the street and then going over to the river to hang with new and old friends. I go to these things mostly to meet people and have cool conversations. I think that’s more fun than anything they have in the convention schedule, anyway.

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Fur lost in Pulse nightclub shooting, and thoughts of national tragedies that touch the fandom.

by Patch O'Furr

UPDATE: TROLLED… first time for the site.  Whoops!  People died, but don’t bet on the fur name below.  It was a hoax for cheap attention.  Don’t skip the other truthful info here.

pulsePulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, was the scene of a national tragedy in the early AM hours of June 12.  News has spread far and wide about this worst mass shooting in US history.  50 or more lives were taken at a gay club, which is especially meaningful to many during Pride month.  You’ll see a sea of rememberances at the celebrations everywhere.

[Breaking News] Orlando Nightclub mass-shooting. from AskReddit

The event at Pulse happened to be a Latin night.  Comments to their Facebook page mention that the event was shared by more than gay people.  It touched other communities as well – including ours.

pulse2

Let’s focus on what it means to the small Furry subculture, and the impact of such events in general.

For those in Orlando Florida, my heart’s out for you from furry

(Suspicious info below.)  

Kodakoda Coyote died in the shooting, as shared by Soatoak on Reddit.  Here’s his FurAffinity account, listing his age of 20 (as of 2012?)  It gives no further info, except salutes from others.  (This news is rushed out prior to finding if there’s more info, but expect more attention for him.)

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“Shut Up, You’re Weird Too” from furries around the world – NEWSDUMP (5-27-16)

by Patch O'Furr

Headlines, links and little stories to make your tail wag.  Tips: patch.ofurr@gmail.com

Canada’s CBC Radio – “‘Fursonas’ unzips the complex world of furry fandom.” Interview with Dominic Rodriguez (Video the Wolf), director of the movie.

Criterioncast.com reviews Fursonas.  Joshua Brunsting calls it: “…a tender and nuanced meditation on a community that’s still trying to find itself… a noteworthy achievement for having the skill and will to let the narrative breathe.”

Furries Love Zootopia. On Uproxx, they smartly highlighted part of an interview with Video to point this out.

“Brisbane ‘furries’ find community and acceptance inside animal suits.”  ABC News in Australia covers a “haven for the shy and socially awkward”.

Mexican news interview with Paco Panda (Tip: Fred Patten.)  Translated from Spanish. Paco el Panda is identified as an artist in Guadalajara.

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San Francisco Bay Area Furries get one of the best Furry News articles ever.  How the furry community rallied when Zarafa Giraffe lost his head. Don’t miss our articles that mention it here and here already… it’s too good not to link again.

Bay Area Furs are very photogenic.  “Photo Du Jour: Furries Like Taking Tourist Pics Too.”

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Bay Area Furs find out why there should be a Furry award for Best Journalism.

by Patch O'Furr

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Pic: UltraGor

There was a hunt for a missing giraffe…

Zarafa is a furry superstar lately.  But he didn’t go looking for notoriety.  It happened one night after a show when his treasured purple giraffe fursuit was stolen from his car.  It led to community-wide support, and miraculous recovery of the suit. Now people recognize him on the street.

Credit is due to Neonbunny, the show DJ, for pounding the sidewalk to spread flyers.  How many promoters would do it for one show goer?  Dedication like that built a local scene for furry dance parties.

Finding the suit flipped around the loss to amazing extremes beyond Zarafa and a circle of furry friends.  The support drew notice from local media, and they found it irresistible to share:

The San Francisco Bay Area Furry scene drew a journalist from New York.

A new surprise came two months later.  Another news article covered Zarafa’s night out and loss of his suit.  The journalist had been on the scene, but not with intentions to write about drama like that.

Whitney Kimball originally contacted me through Dogpatch Press.  She was looking for leads for a story about older people who may have discovered Furry fandom in later life. (I told her the word was “greymuzzle”). I pointed her to Zarafa, Neonbunny, and Spottacus.

After my introductions, they handled the rest.  Whitney learned about Neonbunny’s “Furries vs. Drag Queens” dance party.  Soon she was flying from New York to San Francisco to be there.  (That’s dedication, right?)  I had nothing else to do with the resulting article (although I’m told the main graphic seems to show me in the background. Nice!)  It’s exciting to share it:

How the furry community rallied when Zarafa Giraffe lost his head – by Whitney Kimball.

It’s a kickass article, according to the feedback.  Have you read many others that talk about the “lightning bolts” you get from wearing a fursuit?  (It invited more interest too – Zarafa was then contacted by Zoomin TV, a euro outfit doing video news for niche channels.) Spottacus said:

‘This is wonderful… it sets the right tone, weaves several threads into a great story with exactly the right feeling, and captures the essence of what is going on inside the head inside the fursuit.”

One furry friend (and journalist in real life) had an interesting comment:

Why don’t we have an award?

The Ursa Major award seems to be all for fiction, even if there’s an “other” category. Fred Patten is a member of the award committee.  He told me: “what to do about non-fiction works with regard to the Ursa Majors is being discussed.”  

Everyfur knows how the furry community regards the dreaded “THE MEDIA”. It starts with supersensitivity, and maybe a hate/hate relationship.  Attention from them seems to cause a defensive crouch with claws out.

But furries are in many ways created by the media. It’s an internet-based subculture of fans. With “The Year of Furry” happening, and furry movies blowing up the box office, I think it’s a good time to stop dancing around this frenemy.

The quality of Whitney’s article makes me want to do more than share. It made me talk about establishing an award because of the story. Whitney liked that:

“WOW, I think that is the most flattering feedback I have ever gotten in 6 years of writing!! Thank you for featuring the story, Patch, I really appreciate it! And I’m happy to hear that the news coverage is improving in general. That Vanity Fair piece was just godawful.”

If “the media” is mostly bad, reward it when it’s good.

If they’ve spread negativity before, it’s part of notoriety that now draws them back.  That’s a monster they helped to create.  Now the more interest grows, the more you have power to say “no” if they ask for access.  Making them work to do better would flip the dynamic.  It would be smart to own that power and award good attention.

Well written articles are coming with growing frequency. It makes me want to start a short list of the best. Here’s a few that I would list for special recognition:

What do you think about an award name?  How should it be organized?  Who could pitch in? 

Look for a second article here soon about more spotlight on Bay Area Furries.

 

 

Furry appreciation from film festivals to art galleries, guided by Warhol – NEWSDUMP (4-20-16)

by Patch O'Furr

Headlines, links and little stories to make your tail wag.  Tips: patch.ofurr@gmail.com.

Fursonas Documentary gets great press.

“Fursonas Takes On the Secretive World of Furries—and the Movement’s Furrious Fuhrer”. It’s sensational sounding, but some of the best furry news I’ve read!  The article’s thoroughly on point and the movie is the best kind of documentary. Don’t miss it on Video On Demand this summer.

Dandy Warhols and a bunch of furries featured in film noir music video, with a counterculture icon.

The Dandy Warhols and Joe Dallesandro – “You Are Killing Me” Video.  Joe Dallesandro is “Little Joe” named in Lou Reed’s song “Walk on the Wild Side,” about Andy Warhol’s Factory of the 1960’s.  He’s been in tons of movies.  His crotch is featured on the cover of the Rolling Stones album “Sticky Fingers”.

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Take The Bunny And Run – “Furry heist” is a movie idea waiting to happen.

by Patch O'Furr

Saints-Row-the-Third-7-590x331Beware of costumed bandits.

I’d like to see a lurid midnight movie that crosses a criminal heist plot with a furry convention.  The bandits use fursuits to go under cover.  But their plans get messed up when they become accidental popufurs.

There would be unexpected coming-outs, geek tests and rave drugs, awkward costume switches, and a gauntlet of hugs and dance comps.

Is that an SPH, or is that how you keep a gun in a fursuit?  Who switched the bulletproof vest with the EZ-cooldown? Is that an undercover cop, or just an extremely amorous admirer?  What happened to the gold and why is the briefcase full of Bad Dragon toys?  There might be reluctant yiffing to avoid blowing their cover.

What would you put in the movie?

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VICE looks back on the Midwest Furfest attack, earning kudos for thoughtful journalism.

by Patch O'Furr

You can’t get inside (The Hooded Utilitarian, 1/5/15) is one of the few best “mainstream” articles about furries.  ‘Mouse’ wrote it with the perspective of an insider looking at outsiders who want an inside look:

“Furries are a little ridiculous.  We have an understanding about that.  But every blip of attention, even an attack on our second-most populated convention, investigated by authorities as an intentional act, is an occasion for poking fun.  Midwest Furfest is in Rosemont, Illinois, and this year it attracted 4,571 fuzzy folks.  My wife and I are regular attendees, though this year work obligations found us elsewhere.  Very early Sunday morning on December 7th, someone laid chlorine powder in a ninth floor stairwell.  Nineteen people hospitalized (one of them a good friend of mine), and hundreds endangered and inconvenienced, and all of them odd ducks.  Please remember how odd they are, and that they sometimes have sex, which is odder still.  So the gorge of distrust between our community and the media grows wider.  “We’re just not going to talk to you people any more,” we tell ourselves periodically, when the eye of mainstream culture is upon us.  Mainstream culture then obliges us.  A pity, because insulation from outside scrutiny is poisonous for any human endeavor.  But who is ready to cover us?”

The Midwest Furfest attack was perhaps the biggest spotlight moment for how furries and the media look at each other. The media didn’t come out looking so great. It was strange when a bunch of silly misfits kept the higher dignity.

A new article in VICE (2/11/16) breaks through that recursive mirror.  It’s a refreshingly direct look back, engaging us personally with no giggling about the misfortune of strangers.  It leaves outsider baggage at the door, while reminding us where it is.  The attack is unsolved, but the lack of conclusion doesn’t matter.  It’s about recognizing how impactful the story is. 4_Esv2H4_400x400

CSI Fur Fest: The Unsolved Case of the Gas Attack at a Furry Convention – by Jennifer Swann.

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Zarafa’s stolen fursuit found in San Francisco, after big support response.

by Patch O'Furr

san-francisco-furry-zaraffa-cable-carHere’s a nice story of community problem solving.

Any time there’s a furry event in San Francisco, Zarafa Giraffe is there. He gets around so much, that he was the featured image (with me too) when SFGate news mentioned “furries” in a silly little story about “The Most Embarrassing Google Searches” per state.

Zarafa is iconic for SF Bay Area furries.  So it was a shock to hear that his fursuit was stolen:

SAN FRANCISCO FURRIES NOW TARGETS FOR ROBBERY.

That’s very nice personal coverage from Broke-Ass Stuart.  He’s a well known San Francisco personality who does travel writing, news blogging, TV hosting, and even ran for mayor.  The news tip came from Smashwolf.  It made great press, counting the city as a place for the wild and creative, and furries as a unique part of it.

Broke-Ass Stuart linked Dogpatch Press.  There was already a story here about the scene of the crime – a crossover between the subculturally hot Frolic furry party, the big party Bootie, and it’s venue, DNA Lounge.

Drag Queens vs. Furries at a legendary San Francisco Party – January 30, 2016.

The fursuit theft happened with a car break-in.  Furries speculated that they were specially targeted, but consensus held that the carry case was a random target.  There had already been high-profile efforts to reduce car robbery in the neighborhood with assistance from night life venues. NBC News reported about DNA Lounge: “After thieves targeted club staff, performers and guests, the promoters chipped in to hire security guard Jonathan Yancey.” (More at SFist.)

As crushing as the loss was, the stage was set for a very visible search.  (The attention shows what I take as a credo… if you don’t like what the media does, Be The Media.) The hunt was on to find a missing purple giraffe.  He’s a good fursona… how many of those are there?

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Revisiting Rainfurrest: what can we learn about limits of a growing fandom?

by Patch O'Furr

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Everything was happy and peaceful with the furries, until… Overflowing hot tubs damaged the Rainfurrest hotel.  The con’s current status is still seeking a new venue. There’s been much public discussion about bad behavior leading to this.

Separate from that drama, there was an issue about organizing their dealer’s room in 2015.  High demand vs. limited capacity made pressure to compete for tables. Rainfurrest decided to manage it with a new Jury Selection process that left many feeling shut out.  The same issue has happened across many cons.

For dealers, the pool is feeling crowded. For everyone else, more crowds makes more strangers with weaker links to keep peace.  It’s a village vs. city situation.

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Murder and the furry community – the untold story of ‘Night Horse’.

by Patch O'Furr

Every community has its crimes. This story is not unusual in that way. It’s just sad in a human way.

This small subculture has suffered at least a handful of murder stories – mostly on the victim side.  This week, there’s word going around that an especially deadly mass shooting in California took a friend of the community.

There were unsolved double drive-by murders of Rrroofus and MetalHead in 1996 – considered a case of mistaken identity.  In 2010, there was the death of “Starblade”.  He was the inspiration for the “fuck you I’m a dragon!” meme, and an outcast who suffered fatal acquaintance violence after nobody believed his claim to be in danger. In 2015, domestic violence took the life of Sasha Tigress.

Some were more dramatic than deadly:  In the UK in 2009, there was an absurd murder plot by two young lovers (all lived to tell, but some went to jail).  The 2014 MWFF chlorine incident got at least one headline calling it attempted murder.

And then there’s a story so brutal and pathetic, that I’m sad to put it back in anyone’s memory since it ended in a murder conviction in 2011.  If there’s anything good to see here, let it be loving family memories of the victim shining through.

Why now?  It’s been over since 2011, and I don’t know anyone who has to do with it.  It just came up as part of a short list of tragedies in the past.  It seems like news reports left some things unclear.  And the victim suffered disrepute and might deserve to have the story told right.  This has bugged me for a long time.

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