Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Tag: media

“We Want Politics Out of Furry Fandom” is a political statement, and here’s a good response.

by Patch O'Furr

“We Want Politics Out” is politics.

It’s a popular complaint. This fan group is supposed to be for interest in anthropomorphic animal media and nothing more. That boils down to lowest-common-denominator consumerism. It’s like everyone is a bottom-feeding plecostamus in their own fish tank, and what they consume is just random scum growing on the bottom. Who cares where it comes from? Just be a dumb fish.

An unpopular fursona.

The problem is, reductionism doesn’t tell the whole story. There’s a community attached to the way members consume things. And the complaint often comes with attacking care about how things work there. (Stop asking questions about the delicious scum!)

Everyone who’s here in good faith has some kind of care beyond themselves. It can range from management of websites or cons, to health and safety, or being a loose support network. You see it whenever a member gets help with money or a place to live, or even with complaints about FA’s management. When it’s time to talk about bigger stuff, complaining against politics is half-baked activism for the status quo. Here’s why.

Read the rest of this entry »

Vice News and furries, the Fullerton murder story, and “sensational media”.

by Patch O'Furr

Vice’s Furries topic has excellent news reporting. You can find a few missteps, but it has some of the best focused attention that the media has ever given to the fandom, way beyond Furries 101.  One outstanding article is CSI Fur Fest: The Unsolved Case of the Gas Attack at a Furry Convention. Writer Jennifer Swann got an Ursa Major award nomination for it.  Their most recent is Who Makes Those Intricate, Expensive Furry Suits? (Fred Patten and myself were proud to assist writer Mark Hay – I sent a long summary of history, makers, details to investigate, and links.)

Those show that not all media is bad, and talking to them has good results. That’s different from prevailing attitudes against “sensationalism” that blindly treats “the media” as an epithet – as if PBS is the same as the National Enquirer. There’s a world of difference between trashy daytime TV and well-researched long-form reporting. But a fandom grudge persists, for as long as 16 years after stale old incidents we all know and hate. There’s even backlash at members who step out of line. This friend of ours experienced it:

Read the rest of this entry »

Furry YouTube, and Previously on “Culturally F’d”.

by Arrkay

Hey there! Arrkay here from Culturally F’d with a special guest post. I want to open right away with a new T-Shirt design poll, closing on Sunday Nov. 29:

Culturally F’d giving some Sh**ts away

SHIRTS that is! Sign up to our newsletter to enter into a draw for the winning design. Here’s what Rusty has to say about it:

Vote here: https://goo.gl/forms/9NJxjVg11GUq7lqy2

Subscribe to Culturally F’ds newsletter at www.culturallyfd.com to enter the draw to win. If the shirts end up in a tie, then both will end up going to print.

Previously on Culturally F’d

Over on my channel, we discuss how we define our community and how a fur might describe it themselves in: Hobby, Lifestyle, Fandom: Defining Furry.

Bandit from The Raccoon’s Den came onto F’d to discuss how he got started, what it takes to become a YouTuber and conquering social anxiety.

Still bummed out about the US Election? Maybe these 19 unlikely cartoon candidates will cheer you up:

A regular YouTube feature – call for submissions

Do you have a YouTube channel?  Right here on Dogpatch Press, we’re looking to fill in a new monthly guest post.  It will feature all the current and best YouTube videos that furries are producing. The primary goal is to expose more YouTube creators from our fandom to more furries. The secondary goal is to create a video creator network to encourage more collaboration between Furries on the video platform. Please message me (Arrkay at culturally.fd@gmail.com) if you have a channel you want us to include or at least investigate. We are looking for YouTube channels that are up to date and posting new content regularly.

Here are some fine channels that you should subscribe to in the mean time:

Betsy Lee – An animator with an ongoing fantasy series “No Evil”. A very impressive production for a small crew, the story reminds me very much of a dungeons and dragons role-play campaign. You may need to watch the back-log of episodes to figure out what’s going on with the cast of characters right now.

Blü – Blu The Dragon is an australian dancer/performer/choreographer, and does profanity infused vlogs about life and furries.

Culturally F’d – Hey that’s my channel! Every other week we discuss anthro animals in culture and mass media. Everything from cave paintings to what the furry fandom might look like tomorrow. The F’d stands for Furry. We also have regular “F’d Up Dates” with Rusty Shacklefur, a rabbit from the moon. I should also mention we have a Patreon and as of Dec 1 2016, a merch store!

EZ Wolf – Professional quality photography and videography. They are responsible for many music videos, dance videos and dramas starring fursuiters that have gone viral.

Furries in the Media – Aberguine carefully dissects instances where furries are represented in news reports or fiction, and grades them on Accuracy and Spirit.

Majira Strawberry – This fursuited vlogger is probably the most popular furry YouTuber with over 44,000 subscribers. Majira specializes in comedy skits, Q&A’s, and collaborating with other fursuiters in his area and at cons.

The Raccoon’s Den – The Docu-Dramadey of the fandom, Bandit and friends explore furry parties of California and dramatizes furry-life outside of the parties. They also have vlog style “Drakes Corner” videos and they produce a podcast “Pawesome”. Check out Patch’s article on them!

Furry.Today – Not a YouTuber, but a great resource for finding new fluffy videos from all sources.

Statement about the tragedy in Fullerton, CA.

by Patch O'Furr

Please visit this GoFundMe campaign for expenses for surviving kids.

There has been a lot of talk about a tragedy this weekend in Southern California.

I wanted to say something about these ties:

This is very sad for everyone. There might be unusual headlines about it, but the social connection could happen with a group of workers, students or anyone else. Killing is against everything our little fan group is for. Thanks are due to the OC Register for telling the purpose in the bottom line, with a quote from a local member: “People come to us to get away from the negative stuff in life.” 

This is a niche interest, so when something like this happens, it’s personal tragedy to us beyond just a news story to others. Many members have lost friends or have very close ties to those who did.  Please send thoughts to them, and the surviving kids most of all.

I felt a little responsible for saying something, because of the way things started to happen when news started coming out.  At first, it was just a call to locate a Missing Person (a fur) who was soon located.  I tweeted that and got a high amount of views.

When more came out, I looked into it deeply to write a big story.  I talked to people close to it, with personal knowledge that nobody else had.  Some info came out that was directed to the police.  Then I saw people local to the story asking for space.  They asked for it to be kept as their story, given time to process, and handled by professionals and cops.  That was when I decided this is beyond fan level.  I removed all my tweets and passed on their message.

I think it really is the worst thing that ever happened with ties to this community. It’s not that unusual compared to other crimes that happen in cities, but I think it’s disproportionately big to a niche group.  It might have to do with 2016’s explosion of interest and positive activity as well – things are just growing.

That wasn’t quite the end of it. The OC Register reporter had a lot of conversation with me due to my initial notice.  They were puzzled about what furries are and what they do. Of course they already knew this was part of the story – that wouldn’t be overlooked.  It made a dilemma – I thought that if tabloids were going to exploit this, maybe a real member should say something to real news.

So I sent the best info I could about the definition of “Furry” and referred the reporter to the same local person who I saw asking for space and respect.  I thought he was already doing a good job of handling it.  So when you see Bandit speaking in the piece, it’s not for attention, it’s because he was asked. Remember that he lost friends, like everyone else close to this story, and that’s the real deal.

There were a few missteps from the OC Register piece (nobody said anything about “sensitive” topics,) but Bandit seems to be getting many thank-you’s for doing a good job from local members.  He mentioned turning down other interviews, and I think that’s a good idea. Say it once and let it go.

I have been checking around to see what comes out. I expect tabloids to try riding this, but most of the few I have seen so far seem pretty negligible, and I hope they get little mileage.  They can say there’s weird stuff with misfit people, but nobody did a crime while participating in one of our activities. In the end it’s just between regular humans.

TL;DR: Was going to write a big report. Stopped to let locals and pros process. I think it’s beyond fan level. It’s awful and sad. There hasn’t been anything this bad in fandom before. Let it process and share good words to anyone who lost friends and family.

UPDATE 9/29/16:

Thank you to the OC Register and reporter Scott Schwebke for linking here.  And thank you to Scott for being professional and sensitive, and doing good detective work.  I believe that Scott’s reporting has helped to stop rumors and confusion.  There was a screenshot of a supposed murder confession that was degraded enough that you could see it was shared hundreds or thousands of times, before it was posted out-of-context on some trashy tabloid blogs.  Scott dug up the source and provided context that I think shows it could NOT have been a reasonable clue of real danger before the incident.  Thank you to everyone in the community who stepped up to provide such info to aid police investigation.  Everyone’s concern will help heal this incident to heal in time.

Fursonas documentary out now – one of the top Furry News stories of the year.

by Patch O'Furr

Here’s one of those media events where a story catches on and gets a lot of coverage at once.  That used to happen very rarely.  Now it’s happening every month or so in 2016, “The Year of Furry.”  The director, Dominic (Video Wolf) is killing it with interviews and promotion.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bay Area Furs find out why there should be a Furry award for Best Journalism.

by Patch O'Furr

ChqFbhOXAAA_AV1

Pic: UltraGor

There was a hunt for a missing giraffe…

Zarafa is a furry superstar lately.  But he didn’t go looking for notoriety.  It happened one night after a show when his treasured purple giraffe fursuit was stolen from his car.  It led to community-wide support, and miraculous recovery of the suit. Now people recognize him on the street.

Credit is due to Neonbunny, the show DJ, for pounding the sidewalk to spread flyers.  How many promoters would do it for one show goer?  Dedication like that built a local scene for furry dance parties.

Finding the suit flipped around the loss to amazing extremes beyond Zarafa and a circle of furry friends.  The support drew notice from local media, and they found it irresistible to share:

The San Francisco Bay Area Furry scene drew a journalist from New York.

A new surprise came two months later.  Another news article covered Zarafa’s night out and loss of his suit.  The journalist had been on the scene, but not with intentions to write about drama like that.

Whitney Kimball originally contacted me through Dogpatch Press.  She was looking for leads for a story about older people who may have discovered Furry fandom in later life. (I told her the word was “greymuzzle”). I pointed her to Zarafa, Neonbunny, and Spottacus.

After my introductions, they handled the rest.  Whitney learned about Neonbunny’s “Furries vs. Drag Queens” dance party.  Soon she was flying from New York to San Francisco to be there.  (That’s dedication, right?)  I had nothing else to do with the resulting article (although I’m told the main graphic seems to show me in the background. Nice!)  It’s exciting to share it:

How the furry community rallied when Zarafa Giraffe lost his head – by Whitney Kimball.

It’s a kickass article, according to the feedback.  Have you read many others that talk about the “lightning bolts” you get from wearing a fursuit?  (It invited more interest too – Zarafa was then contacted by Zoomin TV, a euro outfit doing video news for niche channels.) Spottacus said:

‘This is wonderful… it sets the right tone, weaves several threads into a great story with exactly the right feeling, and captures the essence of what is going on inside the head inside the fursuit.”

One furry friend (and journalist in real life) had an interesting comment:

Why don’t we have an award?

The Ursa Major award seems to be all for fiction, even if there’s an “other” category. Fred Patten is a member of the award committee.  He told me: “what to do about non-fiction works with regard to the Ursa Majors is being discussed.”  

Everyfur knows how the furry community regards the dreaded “THE MEDIA”. It starts with supersensitivity, and maybe a hate/hate relationship.  Attention from them seems to cause a defensive crouch with claws out.

But furries are in many ways created by the media. It’s an internet-based subculture of fans. With “The Year of Furry” happening, and furry movies blowing up the box office, I think it’s a good time to stop dancing around this frenemy.

The quality of Whitney’s article makes me want to do more than share. It made me talk about establishing an award because of the story. Whitney liked that:

“WOW, I think that is the most flattering feedback I have ever gotten in 6 years of writing!! Thank you for featuring the story, Patch, I really appreciate it! And I’m happy to hear that the news coverage is improving in general. That Vanity Fair piece was just godawful.”

If “the media” is mostly bad, reward it when it’s good.

If they’ve spread negativity before, it’s part of notoriety that now draws them back.  That’s a monster they helped to create.  Now the more interest grows, the more you have power to say “no” if they ask for access.  Making them work to do better would flip the dynamic.  It would be smart to own that power and award good attention.

Well written articles are coming with growing frequency. It makes me want to start a short list of the best. Here’s a few that I would list for special recognition:

What do you think about an award name?  How should it be organized?  Who could pitch in? 

Look for a second article here soon about more spotlight on Bay Area Furries.

 

 

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

After #tonytigergate, companies go Pro Furry and the Daily Show gets involved.

by Patch O'Furr

brand

The Year of Furry keeps bringing unexpected surprises.  Shortly before 2016’s furry fever explodes with Zootopia, here’s the satirical scandal of #tonytigergate.

Get ready to hack up a hairball about this, if you want furry fandom to get taken seriously without a speck of sexy humor about make-believe mascots.  (Or if you’re prudish and think cartoon kink is worse than ISIS.)  Stuff like this must have Disney’s defensive shields on maximum.

It started with furry flirting at Tony the Tiger’s Twitter account.  In November 2015, news media noticed that he was a long time Furry crush.  The buff, yiffable mascot for Frosted Flakes couldn’t tweet without pleas for his sweet tigermanmilk.  I shared all the news stories I could find about it:

Read the rest of this entry »

A chat with Uncle Kage about Anthrocon’s amazing achievements in 2015.

by Patch O'Furr

kage

This year, it seems like more great press attention went to Anthrocon than ever before.  Take a look!  (Here’s everything I could find in July.)

Why was there rising attention?  One of the big reasons was the fursuit parade.  For the first time in an almost two-decade history, the con took an amazing spectacle seen in private out to a public street.  A lot of the locals must wonder what goes on behind the doors of the con.  Getting to see it drew an enthusiastic crowd of “normals” almost as large as the convention itself.  Apart from the furry/crowd interaction, this was a big deal because of all the logistics and relationship building behind the scenes.  It promises great things to come.

Read the rest of this entry »

Andrew W.K. to join panel at Brony convention; let’s discuss furry con guests

by Patch O'Furr

Flayrah news: 9/8/12

Bronies: are they furry? Skipping that topic, let me just say this makes me like Andrew W.K.:

The unruly, boisterous rocker will be part of a panel answering the question, “What Would Pinkie Pie Do?”… The king of partying hard claims that he is the living embodiment of the positive, party pony.

In this interview, the rocker known for a bloody-nosed image discusses why he’s a Brony, his love for cupcakes, and ponies with “nice, fragrant hair.”
Read the rest of this entry »