Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Category: Media

The Cure for Ignorance and Apathy on Furry YouTube.

by Patch O'Furr

Editorial with Sam Hyena in collaboration with Patch.

Ignorance and Apathy on Furry YouTube

Over the last 2 years with the demise of Vine, many Furries have started to migrate over to YouTube. Many have amassed groups of followers, hold regular livestreams on Twitch, or have Patreons. And some have used this platform as a guise to get away with borderline toxic or outright hateful behavior.

The platform makes every click content-neutral. Getting attention for any reason gets advantage over quality, so being edgy plays to the lowest-common-denominator. Lines get persistently pushed, and suddenly things that aren’t debatable at all get some asshole demanding a debate. Is the earth round, is evolution real, should racist altfurries get kicked to the curb after swatting Califur? Yes, yes, and yes, if we’re all telling the truth.  But unending conflict between “sides” is a substitute for good stories, real jokes or having anything sincere to say. It brings the clicks that raise clout for edgy people.

While the line-pushers thrive on conflict, faux-“centrists” tag along and enable them, trying to play all the sides and turning definitions to mush. They do posing about freedom, but really have no side except mercenary selfishness. It’s a cooked-up conflict between people who act in good faith vs. people with none.

In this barrel-scraping free-for-all, there’s many examples of people doing it and it goes way beyond just furries. Let’s name names.

In 2017, JonTron did a livestream with right-wing commentator SargonOfAkkad in support of Donald Trump, which continued on social media and this video, where he promotes reactionary “white identitarianism” while denying that’s what it is. (They love disguising it as “both sides” centrism to cook up a “debate” that spreads the racist side no matter who “wins”.) The first step is calling white a race, for false equivalence between an arbitrary label and specific conditions – like being redlined or arrested for sitting in a Starbucks while black. It’s as disingenuous as saying that incident wasn’t racist because they served black coffee.

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Camouflage, by Kyell Gold. Illustrated by Rukis – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

Camouflage, by Kyell Gold. Illustrated by Rukis.
Dallas, TX, FurPlanet Productions, December 2017, trade paperback, $19.95 (293 pages), Kindle $9.99.

Camouflage is a spinoff of Kyell Gold’s popular five Dev and Lee novels. It features tiger footballer Devlin Miski’s cousin Danilo in a very different plot. That puts Camouflage into Gold’s Forrester University world.

Danilo is an adolescent English 19-year-old white tiger, currently studying at the Student Center of the Université Catholique in Tigue, Gallia, on the Saône River.

“Tigue, like many Gallic cities, contained many identities within her borders. The main campus of the Université Catholique lay on the edge of one of the newer parts of the city, a small suburb that had been built up twenty years ago, stretching sleek glass and elegant steel skyward. Old photos of the Université’s stately limestone buildings from before the expansion showed their red clay roofs over grey-white arches amidst of modest forests and fields. In the Presqu’Ile campus in the heart of old Tigue, ancient limestone and red clay dominated, broken up by cold grey churches, and through them, modern cars honked along the rain-slick street, though down on the riverbank, the babble of the crowd faded next to the light hiss of rain into the river.” (p. 13)

“Currently” is the year 2008, when Dev has just had his press conference in the States announcing that he’s homosexual. Danilo is much more private and withdrawn, and he’s not interested in sports. He hasn’t announced his homosexuality yet, although he does have a gay lover; Taye, a mouse Romany fellow student. (Actually he’s bisexual, but he doesn’t realize that yet.) Readers of Out of Position, the first Dev and Lee novel, will know that Dev was forced to “come out of the closet”. Danilo resents the notoriety-by-association that makes it harder to conceal his own sexual orientation.

“Gah, this was going to drive Danilo crazy. All because some cousin he’d only met a couple times decided to make his sexual preference public. Who did that, anyway? There was a question he could ask: why would you do that, declare that you’re gay in a big spectacle for everyone to see? Nobody needed to know. Maybe when you were a big football star, you lost sight of the fact that not everyone cares about your private life. Maybe you didn’t stop to think about the other people who would be affected by your actions, like your cousin across the ocean who had used you as a shield because he couldn’t play footer, and nobody in this country wanted to play cricket.” (pgs. 14-15)

Danilo’s sister Lena is thrilled by the news (“He’s the first professional athlete to come out. He’s a homosexual. Isn’t it wonderful?”), and is determined to tell everybody, which makes him feel even more exposed. He tries to get away from his classmates by retreating to a private spot he’s found, underneath an old stone bridge across the Saône.

And then suddenly, impossibly, he’s transported back in time to 1508 A.D.

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“Naughty Bits” fursuit video shoot with Rachel Lark – sex-positive art in the age of Trump.

by Patch O'Furr

(Adult content)

Armed with a ukelele and raunchy/smart songs like “Fuck My Toe”, Rachel Lark is an Oakland, CA based singer-songwriter with a fierce and funny voice. She has a new song, “Naughty Bits”, that playfully protests against sex-negative politics. It’s a response to SESTA, a law against sex trafficking that throws free expression under the bus. Furry dating site Pounced closed in fear of overreach of the law.

For those of you who don’t know what’s up with SESTA (and I’m not judging, there’s a lot going on these days) here’s what you should know….

1. It equates all sex work with sex trafficking (not the same thing)
2. It hurts sex workers AND victims of sex trafficking
3. It has serious and scary implications for free speech on the internet
4. It potentially criminalizes sex worker solidarity and advocacy

This law sucks, but when things suck, we make art, and that’s the only way out of the despair. Rachel Lark

Rachel wrote an in-depth article about this: SESTA, Sex Work, and Art in the Age of Trump.

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Backbone – a pixel art detective adventure game.

by Patch O'Furr

Thanks to Summercat for this guest post.

Here’s the Kickstarter for Backbone. I’ll save you reading the article. Go check it out. I am more than impressed; I am excited.

Still here? Okay fine, I’ll elaborate.

Backbone, by indie developer Eggnut, is a “pixel art cinematic adventure with stealth and action elements” set in a dystopian retro-future Vancouver, filled with the sounds of Jazz, the scents of Anthropomorphic Animals, and murder.

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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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High Steaks, by Daniel Potter – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

High Steaks, by Daniel Potter.
El Cerrito, CA, Fallen Kitten Productions, January 2018, trade paperback, $13.99 (373 pages), Kindle $1.99.

This is Book 3 of Potter’s Freelance Familiars series, following Off Leash and Marking Territory. It follows the events in Books #1 and #2 without a What Has Gone Before, so you really need to have read the first two. Or just dive into the action.

Thomas Khatt, an unemployed librarian in Grantsville, PA, leaves a coffee shop (along with another customer) after sending out job résumés. A hit-&-run driver kills the man standing next to him, and Thomas suddenly finds himself transformed into an unanthropomorphized cougar.

In Off Leash, Thomas learns that he has been transported to “the Real World beyond the veil” that is ruled by magic. He is given the power of speech, but that’s all. He is told that he is expected to become the familiar of a wizard or witch; an involuntary magical assistant – in practice, a slave to a magus, for life.

“Yet one thing had become crystal clear; I wanted no part of this world. Losing my thumbs, my house and my girlfriend in exchange for the chance to be sold off to some pimple-faced apprentice did not sound like a fair deal to me.” (Off Leash, p. 35)

To quote from my review of Off Leash:

“Thomas decides to take charge of his own life, even if he is not familiar with the Real World yet. He faces the dangers of our “world beyond the Veil” […], and of the Real World, refusing to join the TAU [Talking Animal Union] or to become bound to a magus – or to an apprentice – as a familiar.”

“To stay off the leash, he’ll have to take advantage of the chaos caused by the local Archmagus’ death and help the Inquisition solve his murder. A pyromaniac squirrel, religious werewolves, and cat-hating cops all add to the pandemonium as Thomas attempts to become the first Freelance Familiar.” (Off Leash; blurb)

Thomas solves the murder and gains an ally; Rudy, the wise-cracking pyromaniac squirrel. In Marking Territory, Thomas becomes involved in magical politics, his werewolf girlfriend is turned into a werecow, and Grantsville is destroyed in the magus’ crossfire. Now it’s eight months later. Thomas and Rudy have led the survivors to Las Vegas – or under it:

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Fluff Party in Salt Lake City: a furry dance at one of the two gay bars in Utah.

by Patch O'Furr

Furclubbing: “A repeat/regular nightclub event by furries for furries.” The concept has been spreading since the late 2000’s. It’s a dance party independent from cons. It builds on their growth but takes things farther. It’s more ambitious than informal meets and events that happen once. Those can stay inner-focused, but this brings partnership with new kinds of venues, and new support for what they host. It crosses a line to public space, so a stranger can walk in and discover their new favorite thing. It encourages new blood and crossover to other scenes. It makes subculture thrive. It’s a movement!

Parties that give a Q&A get a featured article. See The Furclub survey for questions and party list. Here’s Fluff Party in Salt Lake City, from organizer Oaken.


The party launch: 

Fluff Party was started on April 28th, 2017, at Club Try-Angles then known as “Bar Night” in the local Utah Furry group. Fluff Party started out with a sizeable furry group, for a small major city, of around 25 attendees. During the 2017 AWU Convention in downtown SLC, “Bar Night” transformed into Fluff Party. The event, held on October 27th, ended up being the largest to date with nearly 75 attendees from Washington, Colorado, and Idaho. This was later eclipsed by the January 2018 Fluff Party which had nearly 100 attendees. In February 2018, the Party extended the weekend to include a Saturday event with its first ever After Party, held at Area 51 Club in Salt Lake City, an 18+ dance club.

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The Snake’s Song: A Labyrinth of Souls Novel, by Mary E. Lowd – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

The Snake’s Song: A Labyrinth of Souls Novel, by Mary E. Lowd.
Eugene, OR, ShadowSpinners Press, March 2018, trade paperback, $11.99 (210 [+ 1] pages), Kindle $3.99.

ShadowSpinners Press says, “Labyrinth of Souls novels must contain the idea of an underworld labyrinth. The form of the labyrinth and the nature of the underworld are left to the fevered imagination of the author. […] Most stories will lean toward dark fantasy but science fiction, horror, psychological thriller, Noir, mystery, etc. will be considered.” The Snake’s Song is its sixth novel, and its first furry one.

The Snake’s Song is a work of fabulism rather than traditional furry fiction. “The snake sang,” it begins. “The snake sang and mice knew better than to listen. Mice and rats and songbirds and frogs – none of them listened to snakes. Songbirds and frogs sang their own songs; mice and rats told stories. None of them listened to snakes.

And neither did squirrels.

But one day, a gray squirrel named Witch-Hazel stopped to listen to a soft hissing carried on the wind, a susurrus coming from a tunnel, hidden beneath a bush. With melancholy sighs and mesmerizing murmurs, the hissing voice sang a song of days gone by, days long ago when the earth and sky and underground were bound together with a river that flowed in endless, looping circles; tree branches embraced the heavens, and tree roots held the depths in their woody arms; and all the creatures of Earth could make a pilgrimage into the sky to meet the All-Being who had created every animal.” (p. 13, reformatted)

Squirrels don’t listen to snakes, but now Witch-Hazel does:

“‘Tell me about the All-Being,’ Witch-Hazel asked breathlessly.

‘The All-Being is why birds can fly, fish breathe water, beavers are builders, and bees can turn pollen into honey. Each of them reflects the glory of the All-Being.’

Witch-Hazel wondered how she reflected the All-Being’s glory. ‘How about squirrels?’ she asked.” (p. 14)

Is the snake trying to lure her into its underground lair? But she dimly remembers her mother telling her of the All-Being when she was a tiny kitten, and of the Celestial Fragments – the Sun Shard that grants strength, the Star Sliver that grants endless breath, and the Moon Opal that grants flight. Witch-Hazel is too wary to follow the snake into its hole, but she can’t stop thinking about the Celestial Fragments and the All-Being.

“Witch-Hazel pictured a creature with one bat wing and one sparrow wing; a green cat eye and a yellow coyote eye; a long rabbit ear and a round mouse ear; a deer antler and an antelope horn; a hoofed foreleg and a webbed paw; a mountain lion’s golden haunches and a squirrel’s silver tail – because no creature on Earth has a tail more beautiful than a squirrel.” (pgs. 17-18)

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Artists wanted – Hugo the Pink Cat is Artist of the Month, April 2018.

by Patch O'Furr

ARTISTS WANTED! Please share. Artist of the month is a program to commission and promote furries. It’s paid by site funding with gratitude to patrons. There will be a headline post for the chosen furry, and regular comics may be added too. Here’s art that previously appeared, and this month’s banner and comic from Hugo the Pink Cat.

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Chlorophylle et le Monstre des Trois Sources, by Jean-Luc Cornette (writer) and René Hausman (artist) – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

Chlorophylle et le Monstre des Trois Sources, by Jean-Luc Cornette (writer) and René Hausman (artist). Illustrated.
Brussels, Le Lombard, March 2016, hardcover, €14,99 (48 pages), Kindle €9,99.

Thanks, as always with French bandes dessinées, to Lex Nakashima for loaning this to me to review.

I am a big fan of the original Chlorophylle stories written and drawn by Raymond Macherot (1924-2008) in the 1950s and 1960s. They have all been reprinted in an attractive three-volume Intégrale set, which I applaud and recommend.

Today Le Lombard is having new adventures produced of many of its most popular comic strips of the French-Belgian “Golden Age” of the 1950s and 1960s, by the most prestigious artists of today. (You should see what has been done with Mickey Mouse!)

Both Cornette and Hausman have had long careers in the French-Belgian comic-book industry as both artists and writers. I will speculate that the main attraction of Chlorophylle and the Monster of Three Sources is Hausman’s detailed watercolor art.

I can appreciate it intellectually. But on a basic emotional level, it seems wrong. It’s like seeing a Donald Duck or Uncle Scrooge story by Jack Kirby or Art Spiegelman in their own art styles – or, contrariwise, a Captain America adventure or a Maus episode drawn in Carl Barks’ art style. But this is being done deliberately.

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