Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Category: Investigation

The truth about the myth that “Deo Killed RMFC” – guest post by Harper.

by Patch O'Furr

It’s very possible you’ve heard the assertion that Deo (DeoTasDevil) is responsible for the demise of Rocky Mountain Fur Con. There’s been a lot of back and forth about it, and allegedly she’s the main and even sole party responsible.  Let’s put aside the various instances of the fallout and just examine the sequence of events pertaining to Deo’s participation.

  1. In January 2017, Deo tweets “can’t wait to punch these nazis.
  2. She receives a reply from someone that they would be amused if she were shot in response to her purported action.
  3. Deo responds asking if this person was threatening to bring a gun to RMFC.
  4. Deo contacts RMFC security to inform them of a potential issue.

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Call for help with the Fullerton Murder story; and The Furry Code Of Silence.

by Patch O'Furr

Furry reached new heights in 2016. Disney came to our party.  There was a low point of a chemical attack on Midwest FurFest that turned into a high quality Vice News story.  Notice the title, “CSI Fur Fest” – I’d like to think it was chosen to make up for the other CSI, who did us a disservice. But this time “the media” earned a nomination for a 2016 Ursa Major award.

It was cool that Vice did that story. The media was on our side.  That’s the theme of this post.

In 2017, there was the unreal experience of Furry Nazis grabbing the wheel for a minute and making us swerve into no-man’s land.  Maybe we’re getting back on track, but don’t relax.  Those headlines were rough, but rougher ones are coming.

Look at California, where you might say Furry Fandom really got started. In SoCal, the Skiltaire House is where you can hang out with the founders of the first convention and have a friendly night of fursuiting or watching animation.  That’s where Jennifer Yost was known as a mom to others, including her daughter Daydreamer Fox. They went together.

One day in the fall of 2016, Daydreamer went missing. The Skiltaire put out an alert. I shared it and got contact from a reporter. Then Daydreamer was found. It wasn’t a missing person alert any more. The Yost parents and a family friend were dead and two other kids were orphaned.

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Rocky Mountain Fur Con backs neo-nazis, sex offender to intimidate critic for reporting threat.

by Dogpatch Press Staff

A Dogpatch Press exclusive report for community interest.

BACKGROUND: A neo-nazi cult-like group (the “Furry Raiders”) is agitating the Colorado Furries.  They recruit members with gifts, grooming, and manipulation.  It makes a classic appeal to people who are desperate to belong to a group. The Furry Raiders self-create an “us vs. them” situation by provoking others so they can pretend to be treated unfairly.   Their trolling includes assault, spreading hate speech, display of nazi-style apparel, refusing to honor meet rules, posting photos of people against their wishes, doxxing enemies to harrass them on the phone, and persistent straw-man attacks at “SJW’s”. In 2016, they provoked wider attention when they tried to gain power at Rocky Mountain Fur Con by interfering with the hotel room block.  In early 2017, they gained more mainstream news headlines.

There is a spotlight on furries and the subculture they love. This report, with participation of many concerned Colorado furries, is not to sensationalize the fringe so media can mischaracterize the rest. Their message is that they care enough to oppose malicious behavior, so protecting a superficial image is less important than making a good community.

Deo, a steelworker in the midwest, was upset about the trolls.  They were ruining what the furry community represents to her.

It made her connect current events to the problem.  She tweeted about punching Nazis.  It was a rhetorical comment in line with the patriotic spirit of entire generations of Americans since WWII.

A troll answered to threaten her.  It involved Rocky Mountain Fur Con.  Deo had never gone and wasn’t planning to go, but cared enough about other furs to notify police and hotel security.* Deo says: “It started when a Furry Raider member @Oliviameles threatened to bring a gun to RMFC – I contacted RMFC con security to warn them.  I never received a reply to my email.” 

(*Update: on 7/16/17, clarification was requested. Deo gave an accurate quote of emailing the con only. It was lumped with “hotel” the con was in, an editing error referencing the quote and email I saw. Deo didn’t contact the hotel or police in Colorado. I was told of consulting local jurisdiction about her safety but they wouldn’t pursue net activity.

In the below screenshot: 1) Deo’s 1/26/17 tweet is a meme joke about that week’s much hyped news of Richard Spencer being punched. 2) The chair and staff of RMFC confirmed that there were many threats before and after Deo’s tweet and the hotel did not act until March.)

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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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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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Theatrical Panto-animals, Part 3: History book reviews by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

These “Panto-animal” history articles share a discovery of amazing proto-Furry happenings, in an overlooked era of Pantomime theater in Victorian Britain.  Stunning photos show why the topic is worth uncovering.  From those scarce records, a handful of actor names stood out with wide publication in their time for “animal impersonation”.  They were not necessarily playing specific “fursonas”, a difference from Furries today – but they earn fan author Phil Geusz’s general label, “paleo-furry.” Charles Lauri was mentioned in Part 1 – and Fred Conquest in Part 2.

51R-RcAYq6LFred Patten reviews the Conquest biography, loaned by the LA public library.

The best Pantomime theater actors seemed highly diverse in their talents.  That only included a small amount of animal costuming, although a few like Fred Conquest specialized in that.   This biography was reviewed in hopes of picking out scarce Panto-animal details, which have been forgotten by time, because very little was ever printed about them.

This Amazon.co.uk review of the book earned a quote in Part 2:

Now that it has become respectable to admit enjoying popular entertainment, the story of the Conquest family deserves to be better known. They were one of those colourful theatrical dynasties who flourished from Victorian times until well into the twentieth century. Many of them were actors who, between them, took on everything from Shakespeare to pantomime; my favourite was the one who played the animals or “skin” roles.

Fred did find amazing costuming stories, even if most of it wasn’t of the animal kind.  These shows must have been incredible spectacles, the “big budget movie” productions of their time.  I’m very sad I couldn’t find any illustration for the giant floating demon head! Let Fred explain more. ( -Patch)

Conquest: The Story of a Theatre Family, by Frances Fleetwood; W. H. Allen, 1953; 282 pages.

(Fred:) The book includes many illustrations, both photographs of actors, and reproductions of 19th century engravings of fantastic stage plays of acrobatic actors in grotesque costumes cavorting about.  The plays included many scenes of fairies and demons flying above the stage on wires, and there are many accounts of wires and ropes breaking and actors being seriously injured. Read the rest of this entry »

Theatrical Panto-animals, Part 2: Feedback, history and sources roundup.

by Patch O'Furr

Update to Part 1:  “If there was a Museum of Furry, theatrical “Panto-Animals” would be a major exhibit.

My first Panto-animal history article shared a discovery of amazing proto-Furry happenings, in an overlooked era of Pantomime theater in Victorian Britain.  Stunning photos show why the topic is worth uncovering.  From these scarce records, a handful of actor names stood out with wide publication in their time for “animal impersonation”.  Charles Lauri was covered in Part 1 – and here is Fred Conquest:

FredConquestHubbard2

Pantomime plays were popular entertainment, considered beneath the “high arts” realm of British theater.  They were not treated as equally worthy to record or remember, so these photos are all the more special because of it.  These pre-movie live happenings seem forgotten today, compared to the era of cinema that came shortly afterwards – where popular artists like Charlie Chaplin (the first international movie star) gained high respect as subjects to study and remember.

In our time, popular culture has gained respect it never had.  What used to be “nerd culture” is now the biggest Hollywood industry.  The tiny niche of Furries is one of few areas still looked down on, but that seems to be changing as it grows.  I think it’s a great time to rediscover and connect old, forgotten traditions such as Panto-Animal performance – what esteemed Furry fan author Phil Geusz calls “paleo-furry.”

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Everyone knows the FurFest chlorine story – but did you see Tommy Bruce’s documentary blog?

by Patch O'Furr

Midwest FurFest was hit by poisonous gas. I rushed out a short notice, and had tips sent in by friends like Mordi. Soon, the news was everywhere.

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