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Tag: new jersey

Atlantic City Fur Con story responses – Part 3.

by Patch O'Furr

A trial run for a convention had a behavior issue. Part 1 looked at what happened and Part 2 had sources and issues. Before publishing there was a request for comments from the organizer, then others responded. Keep in mind that some of them responded before chat screens were published and seen.

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Atlantic City Fur Con story sources and issues – Part 2.

by Patch O'Furr

About this story of a racist hate incident (Continued from Part 1:)

You’re looking at sensitive info that needs calm. For example, please don’t post event group pics by themselves to criticize event goers. I don’t support that because it’s not clear which were involved or innocent from one photo. Just as importantly, some people involved with mistakes could use support now.

This follows controversies in fandom in 2017 that peaked with the closing of Rocky Mountain Fur Con. Mismanagement and abuse of tolerance killed the con. This New Jersey event seemed to be near that ballpark. But unlike RMFC, the furry in charge was more caught up in other people’s actions, so it’s not about him so much. And Trenton (the furry who was mistreated) wasn’t making a strong statement like Deo – he just asked for respect.

The story wasn’t tipped by Trenton and he never asked for help. I was watching the chat when he tried to directly solve a problem. It led to intense peer pressure on others by haters, so it wasn’t good enough by itself. I think when haters use such tactics to recruit, it’s not solved by people just keeping to themselves if they don’t get along. Also, if hate groups are trying to grow, waiting until people leave them isn’t the only way to respond. So if there are side effects from publishing a story, there already are effects from not. The best thing that can happen with a story like this is take it as a real issue, then have a calm conversation. I think 75% of fandom drama recently is just about upholding that issues are real and can’t be trolled and denied out of existence. That’s why this article is giving sources. To be honest, I wish this wasn’t going out and it will hurt people, but it would hurt to not put it out. I’d love to see change and growth come from it.

The damage incident in the story had nothing to do with racism. It was part of a wider topic about behavior (did it remind you of another con closed by damage?) There was a request for their side first. Also, the line about Graymuzzles didn’t please everyone – sorry guys (you helped found the fandom). Same to good fraternities.

Summary of Part 1:

  • A small New Jersey furry group threw a party at a casino and the hotel was damaged (although it was taken care of.)
  • Radfox, the organizer, then decided to make it a real convention for the future.
  • The chat group for the party had a history of hateful posts.
  • Trenton (who is a black furry) complained about a stereotype meme and asked for better behavior if the chat was official for a con.
  • Radfox redirected offensive posting to an “anything goes” side chat, where members doubled down with racist hate for Trenton.
  • Radfox was peer pressured to discourage listening to “SJW” complaints, but said he was trying to start a real event and couldn’t have racism.
  • Members carried on attacking the concern and Trenton with neo-nazi propaganda, sourced from a terrorist group responsible for 5 murders. About 6 people were most responsible but others enabled it.
  • Part 1 asked: will those members be helping to found or staff a future event, and will fandom support it?

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Furries, frat party, or hate group? Atlantic City Fur Con has an identity crisis.

by Patch O'Furr

In February 2018, Radfox, a New Jersey furry, helped a small group of friends meet for a fun weekend party in a room suite at a casino. The success led Radfox to launch a real convention for a future date. The ad-hoc trial run was named Atlantic City Fur Con.

Behind the scenes, trouble was baked in from the start. Some members seemed to consider the purpose of the con to be frat-style partying and being “offensive“. This comment came in with the original story tip:

Apparently it was bad – lots of noise complaints, there was thousands of dollars in hotel damage. Someone pushed someone into the shower which broke the nozzle or something. Caused MAJOR water damage. It went through multiple floors and into the kitchen.

Review of the Telegram group for the event found lengthy discussion about thousands in damage. A pipe was broken and flooded 12 floors of the hotel.

This is only a minor part of the story. We’ve all made mistakes and had bad luck, and it’s only money, right? It’s not bad like trashing a person.

Radfox was asked for comment by direct message on Twitter on 2/24/18. He told me: “Everyone had a good time and kept within reason, there were no incidents with the hotel or their security.” I asked him again: is it really true there were no incidents with the hotel or their security? His last reply before blocking messages:

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Yiff Panic? Judgement in a Connecticut town shows it’s still not safe to be openly furry.

by Patch O'Furr

“Through Being Cool” by Devo

We’re through being cool
We’re through being cool

Eliminate the ninnies and the twits
Going to bang some heads
Going to beat some butts
Time to show those evil spuds what’s what

If you live in a small town
You might meet a dozen or two
Young alien types who step out
And dare to declare

We’re through being cool

In three stories I’m sharing today, look for small-town closed-mindedness.  It’s a force that propels many furries. If you’re young, have a big imagination and live in a place that can’t contain it, what do you do? Make friends out there in the furry world.  That was me in the mid-to-late 90’s (Woof! It sure wasn’t a phase), so there’s no lack of personal experience for the connections I’m making.

These stories happened in smallish cities near New England: West Windsor NJ (population 27,000), Burlington VT (population 42,000), and – in this week’s news – New Milford CT (population 28,000). They show a bit of honest-to-dog political fursecution.

OK, they aren’t black and white. They have debatable issues about behavior like 1) throwing an overstuffed party, 2) regulating hate groups, or 3) representing political constituents with an acceptable image. But then there’s freedom to have fun and hobbies (or even express private, consenting kinks), instead of being forced into a closet made of overbearing judgement. Who was really harmed in these stories – judgers, or furries themselves?

While you read, stay positive. New Milford is the closest location to the new Tiny Paws con, this weekend. They can’t hold furries down!

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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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Anniversary of the New Jersey FurBQ Hoax – this bullshit cost $185,000.

by Patch O'Furr

Update: read to bottom for new details of the $185,000 cost!

Remember this sad thing? On May 26, 2012, the final New Jersey FurBQ was held for nearly 200 attendees.  It ended seven years of a party loved by a community of friends.  But it didn’t just die – it was killed with controversy and nasty headlines.  The truth was buried under biased and false reporting.

It’s a tale of intolerance and ridicule. Misinformation and dishonesty. Exploiting and scapegoating.  Shaming and moralizing against “offenses” like having fun and serving alcohol to adults over 21.  A fake sex scandal, that provoked our own anti-sex hysteria. Beneath it all, dirty town politics.

They said they had photos of two costumers doing “simulated” public sex. Everyone freaked out and pointed at each other – but it was a wild rumor. The accusations failed burden of proof.  Accusers are responsible to give evidence, but they failed to produce photos or even names, when harm made it critical to be fair.   I say if it happened, we’d at least know names.  If you’re a furry, you know how rumors go. Sure, evidence could have been held for confidentiality – but there’s no credibility for that. Photos didn’t just fail to exist – there were extra allegations of lying, a money incentive, and an unreasonable rush to judgement that was too perfectly provoked. It’s way past time to call it a HOAX. This may be the first headline to do it. (I found support from this DJ who was there.)
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