Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Tag: free speech

The Milo Story, Nazi Prevention, and A Simple Hope – by David Lillie of Dreamkeepers

by Patch O'Furr

Welcome to David Lillie, artist of Dreamkeepers, a comic with a connection to here via Fred Patten’s reviews. A fantasy comic doesn’t need to tie to current events, but that changes when it embraces controversy.

Dreamkeepers did that by hitching their marketing to Milo Yiannopoulos in 2016, buying an ad on his show and giving him a fan art fursona. Milo was known as a demagogic celebrity who rose with Gamergate and the alt-right, and fell by condoning pedophilia. He addressed furries by bashing them on Breitbart, as I mentioned in this article about looking at conservatives before Trump was elected. But the topic here isn’t really Milo, it’s the things he rode in on, and they need to be clearly defined.

Regular readers will be familiar with reactionary groups aligned with the alt-right, like Altfurry. An honest look will find them inseparable from racism. Despite their claims to be defenders of free speech, I think they aren’t motivated by limitations being imposed on freedom, but the opposite; they’re reacting to society getting too free for the targets of their hate, who they consider lesser humans. Their leaders want unaccountability for it, and many of their collaborators simply don’t understand the greater context, or don’t care as long as they personally come out ahead.

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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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“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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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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Bad news for fans who plan to see highly anticipated movies in costume.

by Patch O'Furr

In March, Zootopia is going to bring all the furries!

Everywhere furries are, they’re talking about meets for Zootopia’s opening week.  My area has a proposed meet (without even a location) and already 44 are signed up. At this rate, they’ll pack a whole theater of their own (and it’s being arranged.)  Mention the idea, and without fail everyone loves it. Many want to go in fursuit.  I won’t be surprised if furmeets makes headlines.  I feel like this movie will bring Furry Fever like no other.  Is this happening in your area, too?

Why go to the movies in costume?  You’re just sitting in the dark.  Well, for some it’s just a great excuse to celebrate a shared experience with fandom. (NOTE: There has been a lot of confusion about this.  It doesn’t mean to wear a costume DURING the movie.)

Here’s a sign of the hype.  In June, maker Crafty Critters went outside furry preference for all-original characters by making a Nick Wilde Cosplay fursuit.  It appeared astonishingly early after Disney’s June 11 release of the Zootopia trailer – just in time for Anthrocon.

Nobody knows who the owner is.

At Anthrocon. Nobody knows who the owner is.

Buzz kill – Theaters are getting paranoid about security and banning masks. (NOTE: the entire article was completed prior to tragedies in France.)
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