Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Category: Politics

On February 17, don’t go to work – go fursuiting for a General Strike in the USA.

by Patch O'Furr

Political Animals.

animalfarmWhat does Furry have to do with politics?  Nothing. Or a lot.  (Kinda like kink). It’s up to you. Maybe you just like talking-animal media.  Or maybe you like media that’s inseparable from a culture that’s cracking apart.

This group is about talking animals, but it’s made of people, and we don’t exist in a vacuum. (The vacuum is just there to pick up all the shedding.) So for those who care… Let’s recap some previous stories that relate to this, then see what’s up now.

Start with the San Francisco Bay Area.  It has the world’s most dense population of furries, and it’s the epicenter for a rent crisis. That big trend hit the local group when their premiere monthly event, Frolic furry dance was pushed out of it’s home.

Across the bay, on the day Frolic restarted, the Ghost Ship warehouse fire killed 36 fellow party goers at an electronic music show.  It instigated a national purge of underground cultural spaces.  This blog is written from one of those spaces, and narrowly escaped being forced out in a wave of evictions.  Economic class issues are personal here.

Go back to 2012 and the East Coast.  Money, sex and politics crashed into furry fandom in a mini-scandal of “fake news” with the New Jersey FurBQ Hoax.  Looking back now, you might see some of the sparks that turned into 2017’s political dumpster fire. I’m talking about the way the group was split up by dishonesty and xenophobia, and manipulated as pawns for politics.

Furries got scapegoated for having a harmless party. It made me say: “Fun is serious business because it has to do with liberties.”

There’s some examples of how furries have long experience with fake news, they can be vulnerable as a subculture, and they can share a common cause with other marginal communities. (Don’t forget their sizeable queer membership.) You don’t have to agree about politics, but there are good reasons to pay attention. From anti-mask laws, to anti-LGBT legislation and anti-kink moral panic, furries will be part of many fights to come.

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Yiffing for dollars: Furry artists among top highest-paid Patreon creators.

by Patch O'Furr

The planet is in trouble and every species has a complaint these days, so let a dog bark about politics.  If I had a crystal ball to see into the coming Trump years, I bet there would be nothing but murk with occasional mushroom clouds.  The power-hungry pumpkinhead will bring isolationism, extreme nativism, and turmoil for international relations.  He gives lip service about bringing back jobs, but with no plan beyond drunkenly slashing and burning everything: Regulations, facts, the social contract. Don’t be surprised if work involving foreign trade vaporizes with no replacement, leaving only burger-flipping and a Limbo game for wages.  (Burgers will be a nice memory while gnawing rats in the rubble.)

But if the Doomsday Clock stays at a minute to midnight, even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Maybe business will have a bounce.  Not in the old economy way before they had robots do the work, but if they aren’t hiring, what’s better than making your own career?

Look at what’s up on the indie level. And this caught my eye: “Can This Startup Reinvent How Doggie Portraits Are Sold?

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Fandom grows in Southeast Asia – could it bring culture clash with Islam and authoritarianism?

by Patch O'Furr

By Patch O’Furr and Fred Patten, furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

Remember the amazing story about Syrian refugee kids at VancouFur?  They were freshly arrived in Canada from a conservative arabic country, and housed in the same hotel with the furries. At first there were warnings and high caution about the situation.  Then the kids went wild about how cool it was. Remember that happened when you read the culture clash topic below!

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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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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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Frolic ‘the original furry nightclub’ to lose historic venue – community responds.

by Patch O'Furr

The future is as dim as the lighting at The Stud, one of San Francisco’s most loved dive/gay bars.  The property is being swept up in a wave of real estate speculation and gentrification that shows no sign of ebbing.  Some luminaries of local culture are just treading water, while many are sinking under. They just can’t afford to live in their own city any more.

One by one, the lights of San Francisco night life are going out.  Now the Stud is set to close.

On every second Saturday each month, furries flock there for Frolic dance party.  It’s the premiere event for their thriving local scene.  The venue loves furries as much as they love each other, so Frolic has been steadily supported since 2010. Their success bore a litter of furry club events across North America that look up to it for inspiration, from Foxtrot in Denver, to Suit-Up Saturday in Minneapolis.

Calling it “the Original” furry dance party may be debatable (credit may be due for a few rave-type events outside of North America) – but there’s no debating its influence.  It will be very sad if Frolic loses it’s home.

It’s a local story, but in spirit, it touches furries anywhere who love to dance and have their own paw-hold in the nightlife.  Having their own established club doesn’t happen easily for an isolated niche of maligned yet super loveable young people.  Frolic set the bar high for that.  It isn’t your average family-friendly daytime convention – its power comes after dark.  Talking animal-people look and feel better to dance with in the magical murk of a club from an alternate fantasy dimension.  Have a drink and hug one for an experience better than drugs. Or pick one up.  Say: “knock knock” – “who’s there”? – “knot me…” Read the rest of this entry »

Zootopia: “A Call For Balance” – guest post by Alex Reynard.

by Patch O'Furr

Zootopia’s Blu-ray/DVD release is June 7, 2016.

Zootopia_Lionheart_and_Judy_pose

Dogpatch Press welcomes Furry fanfic writer Alex Reynard.  See also Inquisitr.com: “Is Zootopia a modern version of Animal Farm?”  

ZOOTOPIA has been out for a while now.  In that time, I cannot count how many times I’ve seen it called “propaganda”.

Left-wing propaganda, right-wing propaganda, commie propaganda, gender propaganda, race propaganda.

It’s ridiculous. And it’s unfair to what the movie actually is.

I’m gonna assume that we, being furries, have all seen the film a kazillion times by now. If not, then this is me HONKING THE SPOILER HORN. TOOT TOOT. I want to start this with a synopsis, so I can talk about how the themes of this cute animated children’s film are really really important.

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My Fursuit Is Killing People – Guest post by Akhetnu.

by Patch O'Furr

Guest post by Akhetnu/Angriff.  Enjoy his previous post, Cultural Appropriation In Fandom, which brought spirited comments.

This fursuit set a record high $11,575 auction price.

This fursuit set a record high $11,575 auction price.

Imagine you are walking by yourself and see someone drowning.  You could easily save the person, but your shoes will be ruined and you would have to buy another pair.  Would you rescue the drowning individual anyway despite the monetary cost of new shoes? 

Most furries, I’d wager, would reply in the affirmative.  So if you would sacrifice $50 or $100 (depending on your taste in footwear) to save someone’s life, why spend $2000 on a full fursuit if that same $2000 could prevent the needless deaths of even more people in need somewhere in the world?

This is the dilemma that Peter Singer poses to us.  Singer is an influential modern ethicist in the utilitarian tradition, both well known and rather infamous for his various viewpoints on euthanasia, veganism, zoophilia, and economic equality (none of which are the subjects of this article).

One of his central conclusions, based on the thought experiment just provided, is that everyone in the developed world can and should live on a basic subsistence level, with all their surplus money being given to the poor around the world.  These could take the form of donations to various NGOs and charities, governmental foreign aid, or self-funded projects. (Assume the programs in question are the kind that have measurable results and where most of the money goes directly to those in need; Charity Navigator is a valuable tool for this). 

In his utilitarian calculus (which prioritizes the results of actions and emphasizes the ‘greatest good for the greatest number’ and overall human happiness and freedom from suffering), any spending on luxuries while others are starving is immoral.

This means my fursuit is killing people. Since rather than donate the thousand or so dollars spent on head, tail, hands and feet (not to mention the reproduction 19th century Prussian uniform) to needy third world people, I instead spent it on something novel that I don’t really *need*…at least not like needy people need food, clothing, and medicine.

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National Hugging Day, #tonytigergate, #FC2016, cool furs and hot news. NEWSDUMP (2/3/16)

by Patch O'Furr

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

Site goes down with high traffic for #tonytigergate – and the hits keep coming.

The Twitter joke of #tonytigergate drew enough mainstream curiosity to overload this site. (An upgrade may hopefully prevent that next time.)  After the story about it was posted here, it kept getting mainstream traction – highlighting a cheeky dichotomy. On one hand, there’s reputation concern – on the other hand, tickling an audience is kind of validating. It’s two sides to the coin of furry subculture and I don’t think that will ever change.

It reminded Fred Patten of something else:

Dear Patch; I vaguely remember that during all the news and publicity in 1987 for  Who Framed Roger Rabbit, there was a report that Charles Fleischer, the voice actor for Roger, got many NSFW erotic invitations from women, addressed specifically to Roger, not to him.

For National Hugging Day, the new episode of Culturally F’d is based on a Dogpatch Press article.

National Hugging Day is every January 21 for normal people.  (It’s every day for furries.)  I propose making a special occasion of it next year. And it was like a big fuzzy hug to get surprised with an entire video based on my article – “Hugs are the handshake of furries.” Wow thanks Arrkay and crew, nice to see you used it!  Anyone can freely use any content on this site that way.

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Costume bans and security, part 2: A furry movie theater worker’s opinion.

by Patch O'Furr

This guest post is by a furry and usher for Cinemark, one of America’s largest theater chains.  He asked not to be named for employment reasons.

He raised an international issue I didn’t think of in Part 1. France has had some high-profile riots and political violence. As a result, since 2011, the country has a law making it “illegal to wear a face-covering veil or other mask in public places”. It’s caused interesting enforcement, like banning costumes on Halloween.  Comments wanted from French furries – has this affected anyone personally?

(UPDATE:) This article was completed on November 13, only hours before a mass shooting in France hit the news. Relevant detail: “Julien Pierce, a Europe 1 journalist… has described what he saw: ‘Several armed men came into the concert. Two or three men, not wearing masks…'”  Fans watching the band “Eagles of Death Metal” were shot.  It’s interesting how heavy metal and violent movies have been unfair scapegoats for moral panic in the past.  Will it increase for costumers?  From tiny conventions to large shows, let’s value culture and liberties.  Let’s also send community sympathies to those affected in France.

– Patch

Guest opinion from a furry theater employee about costume bans.

For a second, I thought the US was considering a rule where costumes aren’t allowed anywhere except homes and conventions (kinda like what France is doing).

First off, I think the rule these theaters made are over-paranoid. I’ve taken a look at the 2012 Aurora Shooting (which started it all).  Here are some important facts I noticed that I think Cinemark overlooked when they made this rule.  (PLEASE NOTE: I got most info from wikipedia, so you may want to verify on your own.)

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