Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Category: Journalism

Statement about the tragedy in Fullerton, CA.

by Patch O'Furr

Please visit this GoFundMe campaign for expenses for surviving kids.

There has been a lot of talk about a tragedy this weekend in Southern California.

I wanted to say something about these ties:

This is very sad for everyone. There might be unusual headlines about it, but the social connection could happen with a group of workers, students or anyone else. Killing is against everything our little fan group is for. Thanks are due to the OC Register for telling the purpose in the bottom line, with a quote from a local member: “People come to us to get away from the negative stuff in life.” 

This is a niche interest, so when something like this happens, it’s personal tragedy to us beyond just a news story to others. Many members have lost friends or have very close ties to those who did.  Please send thoughts to them, and the surviving kids most of all.

I felt a little responsible for saying something, because of the way things started to happen when news started coming out.  At first, it was just a call to locate a Missing Person (a fur) who was soon located.  I tweeted that and got a high amount of views.

When more came out, I looked into it deeply to write a big story.  I talked to people close to it, with personal knowledge that nobody else had.  Some info came out that was directed to the police.  Then I saw people local to the story asking for space.  They asked for it to be kept as their story, given time to process, and handled by professionals and cops.  That was when I decided this is beyond fan level.  I removed all my tweets and passed on their message.

I think it really is the worst thing that ever happened with ties to this community. It’s not that unusual compared to other crimes that happen in cities, but I think it’s disproportionately big to a niche group.  It might have to do with 2016’s explosion of interest and positive activity as well – things are just growing.

That wasn’t quite the end of it. The OC Register reporter had a lot of conversation with me due to my initial notice.  They were puzzled about what furries are and what they do. Of course they already knew this was part of the story – that wouldn’t be overlooked.  It made a dilemma – I thought that if tabloids were going to exploit this, maybe a real member should say something to real news.

So I sent the best info I could about the definition of “Furry” and referred the reporter to the same local person who I saw asking for space and respect.  I thought he was already doing a good job of handling it.  So when you see Bandit speaking in the piece, it’s not for attention, it’s because he was asked. Remember that he lost friends, like everyone else close to this story, and that’s the real deal.

There were a few missteps from the OC Register piece (nobody said anything about “sensitive” topics,) but Bandit seems to be getting many thank-you’s for doing a good job from local members.  He mentioned turning down other interviews, and I think that’s a good idea. Say it once and let it go.

I have been checking around to see what comes out. I expect tabloids to try riding this, but most of the few I have seen so far seem pretty negligible, and I hope they get little mileage.  They can say there’s weird stuff with misfit people, but nobody did a crime while participating in one of our activities. In the end it’s just between regular humans.

TL;DR: Was going to write a big report. Stopped to let locals and pros process. I think it’s beyond fan level. It’s awful and sad. There hasn’t been anything this bad in fandom before. Let it process and share good words to anyone who lost friends and family.

UPDATE 9/29/16:

Thank you to the OC Register and reporter Scott Schwebke for linking here.  And thank you to Scott for being professional and sensitive, and doing good detective work.  I believe that Scott’s reporting has helped to stop rumors and confusion.  There was a screenshot of a supposed murder confession that was degraded enough that you could see it was shared hundreds or thousands of times, before it was posted out-of-context on some trashy tabloid blogs.  Scott dug up the source and provided context that I think shows it could NOT have been a reasonable clue of real danger before the incident.  Thank you to everyone in the community who stepped up to provide such info to aid police investigation.  Everyone’s concern will help heal this incident to heal in time.

NEWSDUMP: Stolen Fursuit – Secret Furry Patrons – many media mentions (9/13/16)

by Patch O'Furr

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

Oreo Wolf’s stolen fursuit makes news in Nevada.

KTNV must have been happy to get 200 retweets. How often does that happen for a video clip about a mere $2600 theft, less than a garden variety car accident? Some things are more important than money. And that’s how the station got to share a little of what the furry community is about. Next time a news anchor thinks about laughing at our misfortune, this could help them to understand.


Fandom is big enough to have a few “Stolen Fursuit Alerts” a year. It’s one thing to retweet, but what works best is for locals to search on the street. That’s how Zarafa’s stolen fursuit was recovered in San Francisco. Here’s hoping for good luck for Oreo wolf.

The Secret Furry Patrons Keeping Indie Artists Afloat.

NYMag gives a thoughtful look at the devotion that makes furry fandom thrive. A community that has benefited others as much as received unfair negativity.

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The Enough Already podcast made me look at furries vs. conservatives, Gamergate and Trump.

by Patch O'Furr

EnoughAlreadyBanner

On this podcast, host Fingers Malloy talks about his visit to Rocky Mountain Fur Con in Denver. It starts 20 minutes in. Thanks to Kieran for sending this.

It’s a gentle outsiders’ look.  Fingers has a pastime of making fun of politics, but furries are spared overdone mockery. (“They’re not hurting anyone”, he says).  He mentions past negativity and compares it to picking low-hanging fruit.

Enough Already is for pop culture and conservative politics. In fact it shares some serious connections to senators, governors, Fox News, etc.

There isn’t a big overlap with conservatives and furries. We talked on Twitter after the show, and they were curious to know why? I gave a very generic reason of demographics.  There’s no politics about being a talking animal and we come in all stripes.  But young and queer people tend not to be overly enamored with the right-wing or christian fundamentalists. That goes both ways.

yiffstick

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Dogpatch Press and Adjective Species covered by The More You Know podcast.

by Patch O'Furr

The More You Know is a new video podcast hosted by Victor Dimitroff. Season 1 Episode 4: Media in the Furry Fandom talks to guests Pup Matthias (David) from Dogpatch Press and Makyo from [Adjective][Species]. While Victor is still in the beginnings of building his channel, I see a lot of promise in his approach to finding guests and planning notes for good conversation of interest to furries. Take a look.

This is about media by furries, not outsiders.  Specifically the kind that covers what’s going on within the subculture.  There’s much more than you would realize just from talking to friends.  That’s why it’s so fun to start and run your own channel.

Victor comments about how Dogpatch Press seems to find endless stories to fill our regular posting schedule. So how do we find them all?

For the answer, watch Victor’s Q&A and then read our site(s).  You see, it’s a bit of a secret recipe.  But the foundation of everything everyone does in this fandom is about participation and loving what we do. That’s not really a secret at all.

With all the stories out there about furries deserving to be known, and all the dislike for the trashy kind in the mainstream, I take it as an informal mission to Be The Media. I am furry fandom, and so can you!  (Ha).  Check our About pages for how to share your story tips or guest posts. We want you.

Thanks very much to Victor, Makyo, and Pup Matthias.  Everyone had in depth chat the whole time.  I wish I could have been present to give more details about the site founding, mission, and investigating stories (I’ll be there in the future.)

It’s a watershed year for furry stuff, and it’s going to be fun to look back in 2017.  Hope you look forward to many great stories to come.

More from The More You Know:

  • Episode 1: The Tech Trio (using Google Hangouts on Air.)
  • Episode 2: Zootopia (with guests November and Kristofur.)
  • Episode 3: About the Host.

NEWSDUMP – Fur-friendly culture, mascot boot camp – (7/25/16)

by Patch O'Furr

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

Mascot Boot Camp in the Washington Post.

They sent a reporter to Mascot-Boot-Campattend Mascot Boot Camp. It’s run by Dave Raymond.  “Dave was the original Phillie Phanatic — the first to inhabit the green costume in 1978. In the mascot community, he is something of a founding father.”

Dave is also founder of The Mascot Hall of Fame. It’s scheduled to open in Indiana in 2017.  They said that he has run the Mascot Boot Camp for more than 20 years and it will continue at their new venue. Here’s a video for the 2016 camp.

In 2015 I did a series about crossover of fursuiting and professional sports mascots. Look for update articles next week with a Q&A from Uncle Kage, an MFF organizer, and Cornbread Wolf (who fursuits for fun at sports games.)

Frog and Toad are a proto-furry relationship story.

The New Yorker covers the beloved classic children’s book series by Arnold Lobel. “During his career, he worked on dozens of children’s books, both as a writer and as an illustrator… His specialty was animals and their misadventures.”

According to his daughter:

“Adrianne suspects that there’s another dimension to the series’s sustained popularity. Frog and Toad are ‘of the same sex, and they love each other… It was quite ahead of its time in that respect.’ In 1974, four years after the first book in the series was published, Lobel came out to his family as gay. ‘I think ‘Frog and Toad’ really was the beginning of him coming out'”…

frogIt’s interesting to look at how anthropomophism, character and sexuality came together in simple friendship stories. You don’t need to know about the author for the stories to be just as good, but the writing is very personal.  These are mainstream children’s books, but I might dare to say that the hidden meaning gives them more in common with furry fan fic than anyone but us would understand.

“Furlesque” at Cincinnatti Fringe Fest.

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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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“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.

 

 

Positive news for furries but they can’t be tamed – NEWSDUMP (4-21-16)

by Patch O'Furr

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

Boston Globe: Furries are finally having their moment.

It was originally titled “Revenge of the furries.” The revenge is on haters who should accept Furry as something that’s always been around, and not exotic weirdness. “Finally” is a good word to see about one of the most genuinely loveable subcultures of the internet age.

At FWA.

At FWA- photo by Maura Friedman.

Furry Weekend Atlanta: Journalist gets it.

“I was fascinated to meet people who are so invested in a niche, often ostracized interest. It’s hard, emotional labor to love anything society labels uncool – teens everywhere can attest. But thousands of those people – fursuit fans – were coming together, and I got to be a respectful witness to their community.”

That’s beautiful.  Thanks, Maura Friedman.  And there’s also this: Furry Weekend Atlanta takes over Downtown.

Escapist Magazine: COSPLAY DOSSIER – Why I Love Furries.  A wonderfully positive piece – there’s a lot of those lately, and who’s complaining?

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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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