Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Category: Journalism

Remembering Kim Wall, a journalist who found the best side of furries.

by Patch O'Furr

Furries are on a list of news articles by Kim Wall:

  • How Cubans deliver culture without internet
  • Inside the Ugandan Mall at the Center of China’s East African Investments
  • Asian, queer and dancing defiance: ‘Everything we do now is resistance’
  • When China’s Feminists Came to Washington
  • Ghost Stories: Idi Amin’s torture chambers
  • The Magic Kingdom Meets the Middle Kingdom in Shanghai Disneyland
  • Tour Buses to Sri Lanka’s Battlefields
  • Can This Tiny Island Restore Haitian Tourism?
  • It’s not about sex, it’s about identity: why furries are unique among fan cultures

Does it feel special to be on such an interesting list? It’s on a site for Kim Wall and her work. She was an independent journalist writing about identity, gender, pop-culture, social justice and foreign policy. Tributes from people who knew her paint a portrait of a talented person full of curiosity, who made a warm and lasting impression. Her stories spread that vibe on behalf of their subjects.

This headline understands- “It’s not about sex, it’s about identity: why furries are unique among fan cultures”. The story mentions bad media attention and furries being targets of hate while they celebrate self-expression. In my opinion, we were lucky to get such a good story and it’s one of a handful of the best you can find. This is why to welcome media notice if this little subculture is going to get it.

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Call for artists – be paid and featured as Dogpatch Press Artist of the Month.

by Patch O'Furr

Imagine if every Google search was measured in sweat. In the 90’s, dead-tree newspapers were the place for movie listings, job ads and more. Delivering them was my first job. The Sunday paper was the size of a log, and it hurt to climb hills on a bike with a sack full of them in the middle of a blizzard or blazing heat. Relaxing afterwards with the comics was a treat, and there used to be a lot of good strips. Calvin and Hobbes was my favorite.

Furry has had zines, newsletters, comic books, strips, and webcomics. But I’m not aware of any fandom news publication with a regular comics or art feature adding to commentary. Dogpatch Press Patreon subscriptions are almost at the goal for that. It asks why furries don’t use the political cartoon format – (Wikifur says it had “some of the earliest anthropomorphic or funny animal art.”) Maybe they need a news source to host it? Doesn’t it seem like a worthy match?

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The truth behind a famous, misinterpreted “nazi furries” photo.

by Summercat

[Note from Patch:] Thanks to Summercat for this guest post. It’s a follow up to: Ever hear that Altfurries are just trolls? A real Nazi leader is taking them seriously. More than a few commenters had a mistaken impression that Dogpatch Press was original poster for a photo of “nazi furries”. We weren’t. That was a screencap, and it wasn’t posted to endorse the contents. An automatic feed to Twitter made it the cover image there. 

Summercat continues:

We’re creatures of the internet. We all know that images and photos can be ripped from their context and spread around with new interpretations that show them in a different light than intended. Context matters, even for items that appear to be clear cut.

A prior article I wrote about Altfurs includes a photo shared by Neo-nazi Andrew Anglin. It shows three fursuiters posing happily in front of a Nazi flag.

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Atlantic City Fur Con story sources and issues – Part 2.

by Patch O'Furr

About this story of a racist hate incident (Continued from Part 1:)

You’re looking at sensitive info that needs calm. For example, please don’t post event group pics by themselves to criticize event goers. I don’t support that because it’s not clear which were involved or innocent from one photo. Just as importantly, some people involved with mistakes could use support now.

This follows controversies in fandom in 2017 that peaked with the closing of Rocky Mountain Fur Con. Mismanagement and abuse of tolerance killed the con. This New Jersey event seemed to be near that ballpark. But unlike RMFC, the furry in charge was more caught up in other people’s actions, so it’s not about him so much. And Trenton (the furry who was mistreated) wasn’t making a strong statement like Deo – he just asked for respect.

The story wasn’t tipped by Trenton and he never asked for help. I was watching the chat when he tried to directly solve a problem. It led to intense peer pressure on others by haters, so it wasn’t good enough by itself. I think when haters use such tactics to recruit, it’s not solved by people just keeping to themselves if they don’t get along. Also, if hate groups are trying to grow, waiting until people leave them isn’t the only way to respond. So if there are side effects from publishing a story, there already are effects from not. The best thing that can happen with a story like this is take it as a real issue, then have a calm conversation. I think 75% of fandom drama recently is just about upholding that issues are real and can’t be trolled and denied out of existence. That’s why this article is giving sources. To be honest, I wish this wasn’t going out and it will hurt people, but it would hurt to not put it out. I’d love to see change and growth come from it.

The damage incident in the story had nothing to do with racism. It was part of a wider topic about behavior (did it remind you of another con closed by damage?) There was a request for their side first. Also, the line about Graymuzzles didn’t please everyone – sorry guys (you helped found the fandom). Same to good fraternities.

Summary of Part 1:

  • A small New Jersey furry group threw a party at a casino and the hotel was damaged (although it was taken care of.)
  • Radfox, the organizer, then decided to make it a real convention for the future.
  • The chat group for the party had a history of hateful posts.
  • Trenton (who is a black furry) complained about a stereotype meme and asked for better behavior if the chat was official for a con.
  • Radfox redirected offensive posting to an “anything goes” side chat, where members doubled down with racist hate for Trenton.
  • Radfox was peer pressured to discourage listening to “SJW” complaints, but said he was trying to start a real event and couldn’t have racism.
  • Members carried on attacking the concern and Trenton with neo-nazi propaganda, sourced from a terrorist group responsible for 5 murders. About 6 people were most responsible but others enabled it.
  • Part 1 asked: will those members be helping to found or staff a future event, and will fandom support it?

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Furries, frat party, or hate group? Atlantic City Fur Con has an identity crisis.

by Patch O'Furr

In February 2018, Radfox, a New Jersey furry, helped a small group of friends meet for a fun weekend party in a room suite at a casino. The success led Radfox to launch a real convention for a future date. The ad-hoc trial run was named Atlantic City Fur Con.

Behind the scenes, trouble was baked in from the start. Some members seemed to consider the purpose of the con to be frat-style partying and being “offensive“. This comment came in with the original story tip:

Apparently it was bad – lots of noise complaints, there was thousands of dollars in hotel damage. Someone pushed someone into the shower which broke the nozzle or something. Caused MAJOR water damage. It went through multiple floors and into the kitchen.

Review of the Telegram group for the event found lengthy discussion about thousands in damage. A pipe was broken and flooded 12 floors of the hotel.

This is only a minor part of the story. We’ve all made mistakes and had bad luck, and it’s only money, right? It’s not bad like trashing a person.

Radfox was asked for comment by direct message on Twitter on 2/24/18. He told me: “Everyone had a good time and kept within reason, there were no incidents with the hotel or their security.” I asked him again: is it really true there were no incidents with the hotel or their security? His last reply before blocking messages:

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The Diversity of the Latin American Furry Fandom – by Rama and Patch.

by Patch O'Furr

This started with a guest submission by Rama the Golden Liger, a fur in Honduras. I collaborated with a lot of editing to smooth out the language and add extra info and another point of view. Fred Patten helped connect with even more furries who sent info at his request. Thanks Rama and Fred! – Patch

The Diversity of the Latin American Furry Fandom

We know how furry fandom started in the U.S.  As it grew there, the mainstream media, the internet, its memes and popular YouTubers, and other influences put the fandom within a stone’s throw for many young people. Now across borders, different cultures are experiencing a growth of furry fandom among many international influences they already have.

Latin American furries are a result of all this exposure.  The internet helped many young people get interested in the art, behavior, and culture of the furry creatures they see on the screen.  Many Hispanic furry fans are males mostly from around age 15 to their 20’s.  They came across fandom through friends, memes, anime, manga, and fan art.  There are popular YouTubers like Khazoo, who spread the term “furry” through his videos.  Of course, there was also Zootopia spreading popularity of anthropomorphic animals around the world.

(Patch): International reach reminds me of studying animation under an “old master” who in 1989, helped lead a nonprofit mission to Latin American countries to reduce AIDs among street children. They traveled around to test screen educational cartoons on the side of a van. The audience was poor kids who were vulnerable to exploitation and had low access to schools. The films they were shown were life saving, and most importantly to this story, the language of cartoons was universal across borders to all levels of literacy. Of course internet users in 2018 are the main topic here.

Khazoo is an example of how furryness spreads now. This teenage Spanish-language Youtuber from Mexico may not be known to English speakers. He was born in 1999 and only uploaded his first video in 2016, but soared to 31.5K followers on Twitter and nearly 600,000 youtube subscribers so far – much more than any specifically furry internet celebrity! How did he start? According to a wiki about him (use Chrome/Google Translate), Khazoo started with general teen audience content like gaming and cartoons. While he joked about being in love with Judy Hopps, fans called him “furry” but he denied it, until finally admitting it to everyone – a story I’m sure we can all laugh about in any language! 

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Magnus Diridian asked for an interview, so we talked about an attack on a convention.

by Patch O'Furr

An unresolved issue

You may know Magnus Diridian (AKA Rob Shokawsky) as “The Confederate fursuiter” who’s banned from furry conventions. What happens after being arrested for trespassing at Midwest FurFest 2017, and featuring in a news article about troll activity? How about a challenge to clear the air and explain things. That is, if a simple case of people being bothered by unwanted behavior needs any further explanation at all.

There don’t seem to be many people asking for it. But long story short, Magnus got in trouble and wanted to explain. I took the opportunity to talk, but not in the way he hoped. Honestly I’m not interested in rehashing what everyone already read about the 2017 arrest. He’ll have his day in court.  Something else was an open and bothersome issue, and I focused on that instead.  The previous article only hinted about it. Now I’m going to be really direct.

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Florida furry dead, police hunt serial killer.

by Patch O'Furr

Anthony, AKA James Firefox, was age 20. As a furry fan, he shared fandom creativity through music.  As a person, media reports say he was autistic, but reaching for independence. Public buses in his neighborhood in Tampa, Florida took him to his job where he was packaging hurricane relief supplies.  A light glance at his online profiles shows that he expressed frustration about social difficulties, but seemed to find a lot of happiness with music, cartoons and furry art.  Sometimes it was edgy but other parts showed self awareness like criticizing memes about the las vegas shooting out of sensitivity for others.

On October 19, he got on an unfamiliar bus line when his usual one was shut down. He ended up in the proverbial wrong place at the wrong time and became an unlucky statistic. He was the third victim of a series of shootings in Tampa’s Seminole Heights neighborhood that appear to be done by a serial killer.

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R.C. Fox arrested for child pornography, furries question fandom connections.

by Patch O'Furr

High profile fur R.C. Fox is in legal trouble. When interviewed by police outside his home, “he admitted there ‘might be some’ child pornography on his computer” and “he has ‘a very small interest in’ pornography depicting children and admitted to having about 50 videos containing it on his computer.”  R.C. was known for meet organizing and media appearances that bring a spotlight now. Here’s a long video about it by Ragehound. The case is in court.

It brought in a reader tip – (thanks Meow Mix):

Recently there’s been some furries involved in meets and cons popping up in the news for pedophilia and child porn. There’s the RebelWolf/LupineFox ring, and more recently R.C. Fox has been charged with child porn possession. (Location/photo/birthdate in the news matches R.C. Fox).

These sorts of charges have come down on furries before, and the fandom has in the past welcomed such people back, only for them to offend again. One of the more well known cases is Growly, convicted in 2001 of having sex with a 14 year old, and after release was banned from furaffinity for a conversation with a 16 year old. Despite this, he still is allowed to volunteer for conventions and furmeets.

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Yiff Panic? Judgement in a Connecticut town shows it’s still not safe to be openly furry.

by Patch O'Furr

“Through Being Cool” by Devo

We’re through being cool
We’re through being cool

Eliminate the ninnies and the twits
Going to bang some heads
Going to beat some butts
Time to show those evil spuds what’s what

If you live in a small town
You might meet a dozen or two
Young alien types who step out
And dare to declare

We’re through being cool

In three stories I’m sharing today, look for small-town closed-mindedness.  It’s a force that propels many furries. If you’re young, have a big imagination and live in a place that can’t contain it, what do you do? Make friends out there in the furry world.  That was me in the mid-to-late 90’s (Woof! It sure wasn’t a phase), so there’s no lack of personal experience for the connections I’m making.

These stories happened in smallish cities near New England: West Windsor NJ (population 27,000), Burlington VT (population 42,000), and – in this week’s news – New Milford CT (population 28,000). They show a bit of honest-to-dog political fursecution.

OK, they aren’t black and white. They have debatable issues about behavior like 1) throwing an overstuffed party, 2) regulating hate groups, or 3) representing political constituents with an acceptable image. But then there’s freedom to have fun and hobbies (or even express private, consenting kinks), instead of being forced into a closet made of overbearing judgement. Who was really harmed in these stories – judgers, or furries themselves?

While you read, stay positive. New Milford is the closest location to the new Tiny Paws con, this weekend. They can’t hold furries down!

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