Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Category: Subculture

Furry Drama(tic Arts) – The Forgotten History of the Furry Musical, Part 1: Yiff!/< furReality >

by Patch O'Furr

Article submitted by guest writer Duncan R. Piasecki. (Part 2 is here).

Let’s face it: we furries are a pretty theatrical bunch. Fursuiting is, in itself, a form of performance art, dramatic and striking, and probably the most visible aspect of our culture to anyone looking in from the outside. (It’s certainly what is talked about the most in the media).

None of this should surprise anyone here, even those of you who stumbled into the furry internet after straying off the normal path. In fact, it’s not even that surprising to the outside world. One need only look at, say, ultra-successful Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats, or the stage musical version of The Lion King, to see that the visceral drama of humans performing as animals is widely acknowledged the world over.

But that’s not what we’re here to talk about today. No, actually, we’re going into a deeper rabbit hole (har), one that many of you probably didn’t even know about: the furry musical.

No, not the ones with furries as the characters in focus. One with furries in focus. As in, us. As in, fursuiting, going to conventions, role-play, yelling at people online, and that sort of thing. More surprising to all of you, perhaps, is that there wasn’t one, but actually at least two musicals about furries being our regular old selves… both written by people not entirely within the fandom.

In Part 1, we’ll look at a musical where our request for documentation yielded a generous response by the director.  In Part 2, we’ll look at one that seems to be a fading memory with no record to be found – as well as an exciting happening to come in 2018.

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Monster Party Cafe opens in Japan – the first permanent furry-themed business?

by Patch O'Furr

It’s fun to go to themed places that make you feel like you’re in a movie. There’s Speakeasy and Tiki bars, or even Horror and Clown themed bars. For a spooky time, try The Jeckyl and Hyde Club in NYC, Donnie Dirk’s Zombie Den in Minneapolis, or Lovecraft Bar in Portland, Oregon. How about a visit to Toontown?

For some people, it’s more than fun. Night life is real life. Some places support subculture or identity like Gay and Leather bars.

Why not a furry bar? It’s a half-joke/half-suggestion I’ve been making for years. One night a month, you can do dances like Frolic in San Francisco, Foxtrot in Denver, Tail! Party in Long Beach, or Howl Toronto.  But what if there was a place to be your furry self almost any night?

There have been a lot of “fandom firsts” in a short while – some good, some bad. There was the first mainstream-accessible furry movie and the first Furry political scandal.  Now, new ground has been broken by a permanent establishment with a furry theme. It’s an idea that could go much farther, but take a look.

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Furries resist hate, Altfurry Discord logs go public, Casey Hoerth removed by employers.

by Patch O'Furr

Last week, Dogpatch Press linked the alt-right of furry fandom with a violent neo-nazi rally in Charlottesville. It came on a wave of fandom news, synched with the even bigger one in the mainstream.  There’s too much for one update (more is coming.)

Open neo-nazi marching led to nationwide pushback.  It included hate groups being kicked off of many services, from Paypal to Discord. The Altfurries saw it coming in their own Discord group, and soon their group was gone. (Keep in mind that’s not a government act.)

That was a signal for inside leaks to be exposed.  I had access for months but couldn’t talk about it before.  Months of altfurry private communications are now here for anyone to see; what we’ve been saying all along wasn’t exaggeration.  Altfurry really does represent neo-nazi activity they are trying to push into the fandom. It was a huge blow to their pretense of just having different opinions.  The dust will be settling for a long time.

Altfurrydiscord logs get viral sharing and media coverage.

Flayrah covered some of the happenings: ‘Alt-Furry’ suffers blowback after Alt-Right rally leads to death of citizen.

Newsweek interviewed some involved people including Deo, and from the altfurries, Casey Hoerth and Nathan Gate. The journalist is a freelancer who did a previous piece on the alt-right, whose previous experience was writing for Heat Street (a conservative site that recently shut down). I spoke to his editor about reporting with false equivalency. And I spoke to another media source for coverage that isn’t open to talk about yet. Those articles are forthcoming.

Work begins for sorting info.

Confidential volunteers are tracing connections and identities in the altfurry logs. A few sample contents include:

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Review – Furry Nation: The true story of America’s most misunderstood subculture, by Joe Strike.

by Patch O'Furr

Furry Nation: The true story of America’s most misunderstood subculture, by Joe Strike.
Cleis Press, October 2017, paperback $17.95 (288 pages), Kindle $10.99.

Here’s what I wrote for a cover blurb:

Like herding cats, gathering the history of furry fandom has been called impossible.  Furries love impossible things, so this is long overdue.  I’m happy to say it was worth the wait.  Joe Strike puts solid ground under the legs of the Furry Nation – genre, subculture, and yes, even kink – with his experience of watching it grow.  This book is for original 1980’s fans, new ones looking back, and outsiders drawn to the weird coolness of talking animals.  There’s many ways to get into it, but this is a unique view of how furries are breaking out.

Joe’s book isn’t the perfect bible for everyone – but expecting that from one book is unrealistic.  It’s just the kind of book that comes from a devout fan, and that’s why I recommend it.

I’ll summarize some reaction to the news that this book will exist: “It’s gonna suck! Who is Joe Strike?” – I knew who Joe was before I knew he was a furry, from his animation journalism. He does scriptwriting and his own comic too. He brings us a history that can live beyond bit-rot, supported by a firmly established publisher. Cleis has a 36-year history as “the largest independent sexuality publishing company in the United States.” It’s smart to focus on the word independent, which means open-minded support from the first ones to take the chance.

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What’s Yiffin’? – August 2017 edition of syndicated furry news.

by André Kon

For a good many of us, summer vacation is almost over and it’s time to return to the reality of classes, or just another day at work if you’re no longer in school. This past summer has been home to a number of controversial events at conventions and in the fandom alike.  We’ve got four more to round things out before all is said and done. Mercifully, there’s no convention drama this month… well, not unless you count Pokemon GO Fest as a “convention”. There’s a lot of things we’d call that disaster, but “con” isn’t one of them (unless you mean “con” as in “to trick”). Anyways, on with the news!

2016 FURRY OSCARS

It’s that time of year again, Oscar season! Not the actual Oscars, mind you, but the fandom’s equivalent of them: the Ursa Major Awards. Awarded to people and projects who go above and beyond in the name of anthropomorphic entertainment, the Ursa Major Awards are community-driven, with initial nominations and ultimately voting open to the fandom. This past month the winners for 2016’s Ursas were announced. The results were full of emotions, ranging from surprise to “ugh, not again”.

First off, the big daddy title of Best Motion Picture went to Zootopia… to the surprise of literally no one. If there’s such a thing as “Ursa Bait”, this was it; in the past decade there’s probably not been such an obvious shoe-in winner since The Fantastic Mr. Fox. Right behind Nick & Judy’s furry fling was Pixar’s Finding Dory, which, while this was a great movie in its own right, stood no chance against Disney’s powerhouse. The results of the Ursas are posted in order of who received the most votes, and coming in dead last was The Secret Life of Pets, a godawful CGI movie. In what we imagine must have been a three-way tie for last place, Sing and Kung Fu Panda 3 also made the bottom of the list.

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Make fandom cooler with local Furry Bazaars.

by Patch O'Furr

Do you like Scooby snacks?  The first time I ate a weed cookie was at a Really Really Free Market. That’s a swap meet seasoned with radical/hippie idealism. People who love principles of mutual aid get together and trade crap they don’t need with others who want it.  It keeps stuff out of the dump and helps people without money. It’s a place to score old books, music or some wiggy threads. They may have potluck food or dumpster dived treasure. Or both at once. (I once lived for two years with Freeganism – oh the stories I have.) And you might score weed (for adults where it’s legal, of course.)

The meet was in a 5th floor artist loft full of good music and fun people. There was a spread of free cookies with a sign to beware of overmedicating. I took one and nibbled a corner. Nothing happened so I went whole hog.  Then it happened… oh boy it happened.

My personal pile of treasure was all donated, so I took the exit to the twilight zone.  On the way down the stairs, I turned a corner and suddenly they weren’t going down… they were going up.  What the heck!?  I continued to fumble my way out while a faint satanic chanting emanated from behind the doors.  Somehow I found the street and got home. I sat down and time-traveled.  When I looked up, I realized that I forgot to shut the front door.  And there was a hooker in my living room (it was that kind of neighborhood).  She asked for a ride, so I told her to try one of those cookies for a real trip.

I wish there was a way to travel to a world full of furries. That would make some amazing blogging for you.  But you can make it happen where you live. The coolest thing about this fandom is how it’s so DIY. It’s like a sandbox for whatever you want to make of it.  If you live anywhere that has furries within petting distance, try getting together with them to throw cool events.

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The truth about the myth that “Deo Killed RMFC” – guest post by Harper.

by Patch O'Furr

It’s very possible you’ve heard the assertion that Deo (DeoTasDevil) is responsible for the demise of Rocky Mountain Fur Con. There’s been a lot of back and forth about it, and allegedly she’s the main and even sole party responsible.  Let’s put aside the various instances of the fallout and just examine the sequence of events pertaining to Deo’s participation.

  1. In January 2017, Deo tweets “can’t wait to punch these nazis.
  2. She receives a reply from someone that they would be amused if she were shot in response to her purported action.
  3. Deo responds asking if this person was threatening to bring a gun to RMFC.
  4. Deo contacts RMFC security to inform them of a potential issue.

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How furry fandom is rejecting neo-nazis, “Altfurs” and Furry Raiders who target kids for hate.

by Patch O'Furr

Get ready for a big topic about toxic behavior, the cult-like groups doing it, how they’re targeting kids, and how the fandom is cutting ties with it for positive progress.  This is a followup to last week’s article: “The Confederate fursuit incident shows how you can’t be a troll and a victim at the same time“. It focuses on the source of the problem:

  • At Anthrocon 2017, a troll provoked drama with defenders who claimed he was being unfairly censored.
  • The defense missed a basic point – he was an antagonistic outsider who was banned and didn’t register or support the con.
  • It showed how trolls twist facts about consequences for bad behavior, so they can pretend to be the victims.
  • Posing as victims requires a scapegoat (“SJW’s”). The misinformation is being spread like cult propaganda.

Anthrocon’s letter recognizes how the troll was pushing a “political message” on others.  It’s an example of recent fandom activity by alt-right “altfurs” and their enablers.  They do it with a twofaced pose that they want “freedom”, want “politics out of fandom,” and are just giving “their side”. But “their side” relies on false middle ground. (In other words, saying the earth is round doesn’t require Flat Earthers to give their side.  Newspapers don’t interview vandals to get their side.) The real goal is to exploit and undermine the fandom behind a false front of “freedom”.  That includes grooming and recruiting kids, trolling and harassing, dodging accountability, and worse things like welcoming literal neo-nazis (see below.)

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Who let furries in the goth club? Death Guild vs. Wild Things – Monday July 3.

by Patch O'Furr

July 3, 9:30 PM – 2:30 AM

DNA Lounge, 375 11th St, San Francisco

Facebook event page

“Bring a dead stiff squirrel and get in free!”  Yes, that’s a real long-time promise by Death GuildI can’t say what happens to the squirrels, but I can tell you about this legendary club night. It’s the longest running one for weird dark music in North America. That means gothic rock, industrial, darkwave, EBM and synthpop, with an ambiance like The Addams Family gone cyberpunk:

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Harassment in fandom needs to be taken seriously – guest post by Lamar.

by Patch O'Furr

Thanks to Lamar for submitting. His articles on Flayrah include this recommended one: “Furry, not an obscure little fandom any more” – it’s as relevant today as in 2011.

A couple of weeks ago I put out a call via Twitter, helpfully reposted by some high profile people, to see if I could get any first hand reports of how Convention and Security staff handled issues at Conventions.

I had exactly three replies in total. One saying that they had once reported someone vaping inside the convention space. One security staffer who was unable to discuss any details but expressed that incidents of harassment do happen, and have to be handled correctly and with care. And finally, another con staffer who accused me of being on a “fishing expedition” and using rumours to ascribe bad faith.

And outside of twitter I talked to a young member of the fandom, who continues to receive targeted convention related harassment. I’m going to call him Adrian, but that’s not his real name. Adrian shared copies of the messages. They include slurs and rants, including for instance “You ATTENTION seeking c***”. Adrian received this harassment, for speaking out about what happened to him at a convention some years ago. I ask him to talk about it.

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