Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Category: Subculture

Get freaky at Dante’s InFURno – the Burning Man theme camp for sex-positive furries.

by Patch O'Furr

Burning Man in photos (Reuters/Jim Urquhart)

Burning Man in photos. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart)

Burning Man is the annual, radical art festival in Nevada. It draws creative people of all stripes to a temporary city in the desert for anything-goes social experimenting.  It’s been there since 1990 (the year of ConFurence 1 – maybe we can call them subcultures of a shared zeitgeist.)  It fertilizes the roots of some of Furry’s most exciting activity.  It’s one of those Furry Illuminati connections that casual members may not know. (There’s no Wikifur page for Burning Man).

Find the Burner/Furry connection in my interview with Neonbunny. He founded the festival’s Camp Fur. Those carroty roots grew into his series of dance parties in the San Francisco Bay Area, which led him to found Frolic party in 2010. That spawned a mini-movement of furry dances across North America.

See Camp Fur and what it’s for at Furryburners.com:DSC02200FUR-Events-2

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Wild Things: the festival before Mardi Gras – furry fetish party in San Francisco, Feb 25.

by Patch O'Furr

Guest post by Mark, organizer of Wild Things.

mardi

Art by Kailys Rat

Saturday, February 25, 2017

2:00 PM – 7:00 PM

SF Citadel, 181 Eddy St., San Francisco

 

(Mark:) WILD THINGS is a quarterly party for furries, petplayers, pups, primals, littles, and everyone who accepts them… but the furry community is the heart of it. Our first event was in 2014, but despite very positive reviews and a good crowd, it went on pause. It was the furry community that brought Wild Things back, and fortunately the SF Citadel was very supportive of the idea.

Our return event was in late November 2016. Exactly three months later, now we’re doing the weekend before Fat Tuesday. I love the Mardi Gras / Carnival atmosphere, so the theme is a no-brainer. It won’t have a zydeco playlist, but will have the decor, feel, and playfulness of Mardi Gras.

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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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More Furries Are Being Featured in the Media, and That’s Good

by Pup Matthias

drakerogers-furries-in-the-media-with-aberguine

Art by Aberguine

Is it me or are Furries popping up in news stories more? It feels strange to bring it up, but I swear the fandom has been getting more media attention and a good amount of it has been positive. Yes, I know, it weirds me out too. The reason I’m writing this opinion piece is, in part, because of my own history in the fandom. I got involved with the Furry Fandom around 2009. If you were a Furry around that time you were under the shadow of, what I prefer to call, the “Vanity Fair Era”. Named that cause of the infamous article published by Vanity Fair titled, “Pleasures of the Fur”, in 2001. Which presented the Furry Fandom as a sexual fetish and only as a sexual fetish. Along with MTV’s Sex2K episode, “Plushies and Furries,” and the famous CSI episode, “Fur and Loathing,” in 2003 that painted a clear picture of the fandom to mainstream audiences. Supposedly we are about sex and only sex.

Of course that isn’t true. It’s a part of the fandom but it’s not what defines the fandom. Furries are people who love walking talking animals and how they show that love depends on the person. It is as silly for people as it is serious. You can have a fursuit or not. You can create artwork in the fandom or be an observer. It can be sexual for you and it cannot. We all have different levels based around that same love and as long as we are respectful and understand people’s different viewpoints we bring forward a beauty of community the Furry Fandom provides. Anyone who has been in or actually explores the fandom understands that, but with stories like CSI that wasn’t what people were seeing. It’s why for the longest time, and still to a degree, Furries don’t talk to the media because the media has done a poor job with representing us.

Which has lead to moments like the Inside Edition undercover story at FC in 2015 or several smaller press organizations trying to sneak in to get the right sound bite that fits into the ‘Furries as only a sexual fetish’ narrative. I remember when getting involved with the fandom watching those Uncle Kage videos about how to interact/ avoid the media or how he responded when the media went to him. There was no question about it. If you were a Furry under the Vanity Fair Era you were one of the lowest of the low. Someone to be openly mocked and ridiculed. Something you had to hide.

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The Furry House – a base for creativity and community.

by Patch O'Furr

Ever been to a furry house

They don’t smell like barns or zoos, with shedding all over the place. But they are full of nerdy games and comics, fursuit parts, and framed animation and fursona commission art on the walls. Sometimes there’s art that might cause awkwardness during a pizza delivery or surprise visit from mom. But it’s not for them. It’s by and for fellow furries when they get together for meets, parties, art jams, and movie screenings as a community.

A furry house is a special place. It’s more immersive than activity by yourself. If you live there, you’ll never get PCD. It’s a dimensional crossroads where the limits of reality dissolve and you can be furry 24/7.

Inside the P.S.

Inside the Prancing Skiltaire.

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Artists and authors, be in the book Furry Nation – January 6 deadline!

by Patch O'Furr

Here’s a special announcement from Joe Strike.  Joe’s a writer and reporter about animation for the New York Daily News and Animation World Network. His website shows work with TV cartoons you may know. He’s a first-wave furry “greymuzzle.”  And he talks like a velvet alligator on the phone.

Joe has an incredibly exciting book coming out.  He’s putting the story of furry fandom in print from an established publisher.  He wants your help.book

I want to tell your story in Furry Nation.

I’m in the final stages of writing Furry Nation, the first book to chart the birth and growth of furry fandom and its relation to the anthropomorphic instinct that’s been part of civilization from prehistoric cave paintings of animal people and animal-headed Egyptian gods to the modern day. Furry Nation will be published fall 2017 by Cleis Press. To learn more visit www.furrynation.com

Furry Nation will include a handful of profiles of furry artists, published authors and craftspeople. (Furry sculptures, clothing, accessories, etc.) If you’d like to be in the book, please contact me by December 26 at info[at]furrynation[dot]com. I want to hear about your work, your first interest in anthro characters, and how you found the fandom; please include links to your work. (Sorry fursuiters but that section of the book has already been written.)

Thanx much!
– Joe Strike

Write to info[at]furrynation[dot]com, by January 6.

 

Personally, I have been urging the creation of a coffee table furry book for years – from the history and graphics, to fursuit fashion photography.  Like the kind of beautiful but info-packed bibles that Taschen is known for.  (I even outlined such a book – but what a big project that is!)

Now I’m delighted to hear that Joe has a contract with Cleis Press to publish Furry Nation in fall 2017.  Cleis has an eminent 36-year history as “the largest independent sexuality publishing company in the United States.” Don’t get too mad about being grouped with erotica; emphasize independent.  It’s a chance-taking, open-minded platform that can do justice to an alternative subculture.  They explain on LinkedIn:

Cleis Press publishes provocative, intelligent books across genres. Whether literary fiction, human rights, mystery, romance, erotica, LGBTQ studies, pulp fiction, or memoir, you know that if it’s outside the ordinary, it’s Cleis Press.

51561577Don’t overlook more cool books! Dogpatch Press’s own star guest poster, Fred Patten, has Furry Fandom Conventions, 1989-2015 from McFarland Press.  (That’s an academic/reference publisher where you’d find the book in a library.  So you might consider Joe’s the “first” as a narrative history on the shelf at an indie or alternative bookstore.)

Fred’s Publishing for Furries article helps to show how special these are in the publishing world.  Until now, there’s been almost nothing at book stores.  Whatever you’re looking for in a furry book, these are extremely cool happenings.

And I can’t wait to see more. Grubbs Grizzzly (of Ask Papabear) has The Furry Book on the way, too.

Book by Grubbs, cover art by Charleston Rat

Book by Grubbs, cover by Charleston Rat

Furry Bowling record: 297 attend ‘When Furballs Strike 25’ – interview with Kijani of FurLifeNW.

by Patch O'Furr

If you only saw furries in the media, you might think they only meet at cons.  But after the con, there’s local events you won’t know about unless you’re tuned in to their channels.  Some of them are established with their own names, venues and dedicated dates. You can go and say tonight, this place is ours. That’s a sign of a full-fledged subculture.

Independent furry dance parties are well covered at Dogpatch Press.  That’s adult night life. But for all ages, there’s furry bowling.  Big bowling meets can be bigger than small cons.  They happen all over the place, but how many does the furry world have?  I doubt anyone knows!

I’d love to know more, considering how fabulous some of them seem.

9177041_origfurries_vs_klingons

Here’s a special look at the thriving community of the Pacific Northwest furries. (Member pics: Whenfurballsstrike.net)

November 12, 2016 – When Furballs Strike 25 – Fursuit bowling in Kenmore, Washington. 

  • ‘When Furballs Strike’ appears to be the biggest bowling meet for any furry community. If it was a con, it would just enter the Top 40 by attendance.
  • Their nearest rival for size is a bowling meet in Brazil! How many outsiders are in touch with that corner of fandom? It shows how widespread this is.
  • The Pacific Northwest furry community has remarkable activity. Does any other have an event calendar like Furlife on Meetup with over 2,000 members? (Disney’s marketers went to Furlife to reach furries for Zootopia.)
  • Furry dance parties have tried to get established in the Pacific Northwest without the success you might expect, making this their biggest meet.  (And their popular local con Rainfurrest shut down, but an unprecedented four are now proposed there.)

I talked to Kijani Lion, meet organizer:

Tell me more about the broken record?

“The record that was broken was actually our own record for “largest attendance at a furry/anthropomorphics fan bowling meet”. We had 297 attendees at When Furballs Strike 25, which broke our old record of 271 at When Furballs Strike 22. Before that, the Brazilian furbowl Furboliche had the record with 248 attendees at Furboliche 4 which took place Halloween 2015.”

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Tales From the Guild 2: World Tour is OPEN FOR SUBMISSION

by Pup Matthias

tales-from-the-guild-music-to-your-ears-edited-by-anthroaquatic-67102“Our world is one rich with diversity and culture, but how would civilized animals change that?”

That is the question Ocean Tigrox asks for you to write about in the upcoming anthology, Tales From the Guild 2: World Tour. Building from Tales From the Guild: Music to the Ears, the purpose of Tales is not just to have another outlet for Furry stories.

…we want to showcase great furry stories and show what we as a guild support. In addition to that, we want to help fund the guild while paying authors for their hard work. Thirdly, we’re using the anthology to help teach others about what goes into working a slush pile and editing an anthology.

This is what the Furry Writers Guild uses to help support themselves and showcase what they are all about.

In the words of the Guild itself, “The purpose of the Furry Writers’ Guild is to promote quality writing in anthropomorphic fiction and to inform, elevate, and support its creators.” The guild is there for others to come together to learn and support each other in our craft as well help promote our work and what we love about furry literature.

But how did the theme World Tour come about as the next entry for the book?

Because it was the guild anthology, we let the guild help out in choosing what theme to use. We had members of the guild suggest themes and voted on it. It was a very close vote with the runner up being “The Beast Within – Species issues within a modern world” which could be used for the next Guild Anthology theme.

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36 dead at warehouse party fire in Oakland – community mourns, fears backlash.

by Patch O'Furr

Help here: Relief Fund for Victims of Ghostship Oakland Fire

fireGhost Ship” was the name of the warehouse in the inner city of Oakland, California.  I’ve often visited the neighborhood under the booming overhead trestle of the BART train.  The warehouse was zoned for business, but harbored a live/work space that was built under the radar of building inspectors.  It was funded by parties and rent from people living in RV’s parked there.  It was home for a collective of artists and musicians from the cultural underground of the San Francisco Bay area.  Many were pushed out of previous homes by pressure of rising rents. These most expensive costs in the country are making a crisis for culture.

Friday, December 2, was the date for an electronic music show.  Golden Donna was headlining with the L.A. label 100% Silk.  It wasn’t a rave just for dancing and fun, but a deeper connection of creativity.  Many watchers were themselves into producing music, or making big-scale art for festivals like Burning Man.

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Here’s why furries are on a secret list at the California DMV.

by Patch O'Furr

Thanks to Pup Nacho for his news tip below.  First, let me ask: Are knots funny? 


If you’re giggling like I did when I posted those, you might be Furry Trash.  And you might appreciate how they only make sense for those in the know.

Having unique language is a mark of a fully-fledged subculture.  They call it slang, vernacular, cant, or cryptolect. Fans of fantasy fiction and role-playing might know about Thieves’ Cant (for criminals, beggars and hustlers, traveling performers, and carnival workers); those who study Queer theory may know Polari. (See Atlas Obscura: The Forgotten Secret Language of Gay Men.)  

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