Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Tag: anthrocon

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

by André Kon

2017 is officially halfway over, and boy has it been one hell of a year for the fandom. We’ve covered the official demise of Rainfurrest, 2’s fall from grace and subsequent cancellation at Anthrocon, and more than one fake bomb threat being called into a convention… and we still have six months left to go! Fret not, because while we’ve collected four more of the top stories in the fandom to present to you today most of them aren’t that soul crushing. Most.

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The Confederate fursuit incident shows how you can’t be a troll and a victim at the same time.

by Patch O'Furr

TROLLING ANTHROCON

The infamous Confederate fursuit got a lot of views on social media. The issue started with complaints during Anthrocon and Midwest Furfest in 2015.  By no coincidence, the symbol was pushed on the fandom at the same time as racist mass murder by Dylann Roof led to taking down Confederate flags across the USA.  Then in 2017, during a huge amount of positive news about Anthrocon, the issue bubbled up again like a turd in a punchbowl.

The fursuiter is Magnus Diridian, AKA Rob Shokawsky. He was previously known for causing disturbances by copying the fursuit of Lemonade Coyote to exploit his death for attention. For several years, Magnus was reputedly banned from MWFF and Anthrocon.  He came back to troll with the Confederate fursuit and a Trump sign that violated AC’s Code of Conduct:

Any action or behavior that causes significant interference with convention operations, excessive discomfort to other attendees, or adversely affects Anthrocon’s relationship with its guests, its venues or the public is strictly forbidden and may result in permanent suspension of membership.

Harassment includes … Conduct, dress, or speech that targets, threatens, intimidates, or is otherwise intended to cause distress to other attendees, or to members of protected classes (such as those based on race, age, religion, national origin, disability, gender, or sexual identity).

Magnus chose to bring that suit even though he has many others. There’s no pretending that it was anything but forcing politics on others, since he admits he did it because of “attack” on the flag. According to his helper, he was even  “ghosting” the con to do it. He could have attended like anyone else if he didn’t set out to cause entirely predictable negativity. To be perfectly clear, Magnus was an antagonistic outsider who did not register or support Anthrocon.

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

by André Kon

Greetings, Dogpatch Press readers. We hope you’ve been enjoying the run of What’s Yiffin’? on this website; it’s time for April’s edition! One thing you’ll realize over the course of watching our show is sometimes events happen so close to production time that we can’t include them in the show and they are delegated to next month’s release. The firestorm surrounding RMFC is an example of one such event. Literally a day or two after we wrapped up this episode that whole mess happened, sort of like how the story about 2 Gryphon was pushed back to this month for the same reason. Speaking of 2, here’s the news that’s fit to print!

More details and some additional insight from the show’s writers:

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2 Uncool – a furry celebrity’s disgrace is a test of fandom tolerance.

by Patch O'Furr

Remember when Seinfeld was one of the biggest TV shows, and co-star Michael Richards derailed his career with a racist meltdown on stage? It happened at a comedy show, but it wasn’t part of the act. He apologized, and news said “It is actually one of the most honest apologies that a celebrity has ever given for bad behavior.”

It’s rare to see a career implode like that. Now let’s look at a furry happening that’s not so drastic, but more of a slow burn. A prominent performer in the fandom is being examined for poorly representing it, and found unworthy of support by its premiere convention. Bad behavior has been in plain view for years with no apologies. It took this long to accumulate wider attention. Many members say it’s long overdue, and some find it discouraging that it took so long.

“2 The Ranting Gryphon” has a problem.

His George Carlin-styled comedy has earned 24,000 follows on Youtube and audiences of 1000+ at Anthrocon. I’ve seen and laughed at his show there. But they declined to host him this year. His fans are very upset (almost as if he’s a tenured “house comedian of fandom”?)  2 himself appears to be the info source, claiming to be a victim of invalid attacks by over-offended “SJW’s”. There’s only a vague official statement citing declining attendance, so pointing blame is untrustworthy. A con can pick whoever they want, and they just chose not to pick him; friends and fame aren’t supposed to overrule quality or board decisions for approval. (Free speech doesn’t apply because it’s not between citizen and government – the host is a private organization. He isn’t “banned” and can attend the con. )

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Conventional Wisdom, by Arthur Drooker – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

cw_cover_scConventional Wisdom, by Arthur Drooker. Foreword by James Wollcott.
NYC, Glitterati Inc., August 2016, hardcover $50.00 (191 [+ 1] pages).

This is a de luxe coffee-table art book of photographs by Arthur Drooker, an award-winning documentary and fine-art photographer/author whose work has been exhibited since 1980, and whose studies have been called “visual poetry”. For ConventionalWisdom, Drooker spent three years up to 2015 visiting “quirky” conventions throughout the U.S. “held by some unusual interest groups”. Each convention has about twenty pages devoted to it.

Drooker claims in his Introduction that a Convention Industry Council study shows that there are 1.8 million conventions, conferences, meetings, and trade shows in the U.S. every year. This book presents some of the most photographically exotic of these. As you have doubtlessly guessed, furry fandom is one of these unusual interest groups. So are the Bronies. Each is covered by Drooker; Anthrocon at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, and Bronycon at the Baltimore Convention Center. Each convention has an introduction of about four pages by Drooker.

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A brief history of who ruined furry.

by Patch O'Furr

fritz-the-cat-movie-poster-1972-1010196225Many people are to blame for ruining furry. This list isn’t comprehensive, and some of the jerks on it caused multiple problems at the same time.

1960’s – 1970’s:  Artists ruined furry.

Underground comic artists made a plan to stigmatize fans of funny-animal comics by putting adult stuff in ones like Robert Crumb’s Fritz The Cat and Reed Waller’s Omaha The Cat Dancer.  It worked well enough to keep fans from openly using the “furry” name until the 1980’s.

1985-1988: “Skunkfuckers” ruined furry.

It was just starting to be OK to be furry in public. Then some bad apples got us kicked out of respectable science fiction fandom.  Look at these 1980’s convention room party flyers from Lance Rund and Sy – this is the kind of thing that made furries get isolated apart from other fans, with our own private shame-cons.

furpy3

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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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The Great Fursplosion of 2016 is getting near. NEWSDUMP (11/10/15)

by Patch O'Furr

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

unnamedNPR interviews Tempe O’Kun, furry favorite author (again.)

Hear the interview on the radio site. Talk to Tempe on his FA post about it.

About a year ago, NPR station Prairie Public’s “Main Street” show interviewed Tempe about cuddly Furry romance writing.  Lucky dog!  It was 23 minutes of super respectful attention.  My notice about it brought Tempe here, to share an exclusive peek at his novel Windfall and work for the Nordguard card game. Thanks Tempe, and keep it coming.

A Zootopia animator “publicly and positively acknowledged furries.” (Tip: Crossaffliction on Flayrah.)

The tweet is taken down.  VERY CURIOUS.  I wonder if Disney is controlling marketing strategy for something they want strictly behind the scenes, to tease but not come right out about it.   This subculture is tiny, but buzz can be mighty.

I sent an interview request to the animator, and told him: “You may be aware that we’re all going NUTS about this movie. Some active areas already have meets organized to wear costumes out to the theater (and I think that’s going to happen everywhere.)”

Some furries have always known that Tony the Tiger is a stud.  Trashy news blogs discovered our crush and went nuts. (They’re late to the party.)

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One Town, Two Cons: Let’s compare and ask organizers about Furry community growth.

by Patch O'Furr

Thanks for help from Poppa Bookworm, and tips from Arrkay (Culturally F’ed) and Fuzzwolf (FurPlanet.) 

The newly established PAWcon is coming up on October 30 – in the same place as Further Confusion.  It made me raise a topic

In the 90’s, ConFurence was THE convention for all furries worldwide.  26 years after ConFurence 0 broke ground, the subculture has gained enough steam for some local populations to get multiple cons.  It’s a sign of a healthy community.  Areas or cities like that make great examples to learn from.  Do they succeed?  What does it say about fan support, and competition or cooperation to grow our awesome fandom?

Five places came to mind:

  • San Jose, CA (Further Confusion and PAWcon, since 2014)
  • Columbus, OH (Morphicon and Furlaxation, in 2012-2014)
  • Toronto (Camp Feral! and Furnal Equinox, since 2010)
  • Boston, MA (Maltese Fur Con and Anthro New England, in 2014)
  • Pittsburgh, PA (Anthrocon and Western Pennsylvania Furry Weekend)

Healthy growth can bring a downside.  Cons are growing large and well-attended enough to have critical security concerns.  This month, Oklacon and Rainfurrest both announced dramatic cancelations due to misbehavior.  Bad faith can get between organizers and their venues, and that gets bigger than internal fandom drama.  However, it’s also natural for problems to grow when a population does.  Be optimistic with a con every week, some place in the world.

Consider the hard work it takes to organize a con, and draw people to fly in from far away.  Organizing could be a paid profession.  Furries are lucky and loveable because theirs come from volunteering.  This brings a risk of burnout and decline.  It’s important to understand how and why.  The decline of ConFurence coincided with the start of Further Confusion, which may have unintentionally divided the pool of supporters.  16 years after ConFurence 10 ended, multi-con locations can show examples for how to sustain what we love.

There’s much more than conventions in the hard-to-measure Furry subculture.  They can only draw some members.  But they can be considered to lead it’s growth.  Con-goers, fursuiters, and fursuiting con-goers may be the most committed members of furry social life.  They spend the tourist dollars that float Furry’s best public profile.  Anthrocon’s $7 million tourism draw has earned more and more enthusiastic coverage.  In 2015, it achieved a new benchmark, with their first public parade that was cheered on by 5,000 regular people of Pittsburgh.  This is what the public sees.

Let’s look for insight from organizers.  Dogpatch Press sent questions to ten cons in five locations:

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