What’s Yiffin’? – May 2017 edition of syndicated furry news.
by André Kon
Welcome back, Dogpatch Press readers, to another installment of What’s Yiffin’! In the introduction to last month’s update, we mentioned that due to the manner in which this series is produced, some “big” stories (such as the quagmire surrounding Rocky Mountain Furry Con) are forced ahead one month. Fear not, in case you were hoping for some “hard-hitting” fake news coverage of what is pretty much yesterday’s news by now, look no further – because the What’s Yiffin’ news team has you covered! Without further ado, here’s all the news that’s fit to yiff! Four stories to either amuse your brain, or make you sigh and lose even more hope in the fandom. Or both.
This month’s top story is a doozy whose ripples have been making their way not only throughout the fandom, but has bled out into the mainstream as well. Denver, CO’s Rocky Mountain Furry Con (“RMFC”) was a convention that lasted exactly a decade. It has met its bitter end and transcended into that big slightly overpriced convention center in the sky. Avid members of the furry fandom (or fans of What’s Yiffin’, we know you’re probably out there somewhere) may recall a spot of controversy last year between RMFC and the Neo-Nazi group Furry Raiders. The Raiders purchased approximately 25% of the available hotel rooms at the convention, which created substantial problems for normal con goers. Like a festering wound that’s reopened, the Raiders once again reared their heads at RMFC and this time the whole convention has gone up in flames.
Unable to deal with people who have differing political opinions, many furs requested that RMFC outright ban the Raiders and anyone associated with them from attending the convention, to which RMFC declined. This prompted a fur by the name of Deo to throw down the now classic threat of “I can’t wait to punch some Nazis.” This in turn caused someone equally as dumb on the opposite side of the spectrum to start talking about concealed carry and self defense (basically threatening to shoot someone.) The Denver police investigated these threats and determined them to be something worth worrying about, so the hotel responded by asking the convention to increase security. The problem here is that this would’ve cost RMFC upwards of $22,000 just to hire some off duty police officers to patrol the convention. Unable to handle these costs, Sorin, the chairman of RMFC, decided to call it quits and ended the convention’s 10 year run.
But RMFC’s implosion doesn’t end there. The aforementioned fur Deo ended up receiving a cease & desist letter from convention board member Kahuki Lairu. It was literally signed with a thumbprint, because like the world’s worst Jerry Springer episode, now we’ve got “sovereign citizens” thrown into the fray. For those who aren’t familiar with the concept, “sovereign citizens” disavow responsibilities to the government. This includes concepts such as taxes – speaking of which, fellow news outlet Flayrah discovered that RMFC hadn’t been paying theirs for coming up on a decade. Even better, RMFC continued to bill itself as a “nonprofit” convention, even though its official nonprofit status had been revoked by the IRS in 2011!
In the end, what do we really have to show for ourselves but yet another dead convention? How many conventions need to meet an untimely end, before we as a fandom collectively just get our act together? Or maybe this is a blessing in disguise and the demises of RMFC and Rainfurrest are the fandom’s way of cleaning up its act? After all, like the saying goes, you can’t make an omelette without cracking a few eggs.
HAVING A BLAST!
Let’s shift gears a bit and say hello to our friends in the brony fandom for a change, something we like to try and do at least once a month here on What’s Yiffin’. It’s no secret that with Friendship is Magic entering its 8th season, the brony community is starting to lose its steam, but there are still conventions and meet-ups happening all the time. One such convention — Whinny City Pony Con — took place at the beginning of April and for the most part was just a run of the mill event that carried on without a hitch. That is, until someone phoned in a bomb threat and had the entire thing shut down on Saturday night. We now know the person responsible for the call was a Twitter user by the name @slacka because he just couldn’t leave well enough alone and had to brag about his actions for e-peen points.
“Going from the concert to the panel rooms, having to shut things down because of some pathetic lowlife’s idea of a joke, was devastating.” – Charlie Worthley, convention co-chair
Worthley determined @slacka to be the culprit based upon the user’s oddly specific behavior, and the fact that he was openly gloating about his actions in the livestream of the convention itself where police and SWAT were visible during the shutdown. It is not yet known if any legal action was taken against Slacka. Information from him directly has been difficult to obtain because he blanked his Twitter account after the incident. One thing has been consistent however. That’s the sentiment toward repercussions for calling in fake bomb threats and “swatting” people; many believe more needs to be done to prevent things like this from happening. There should be better ways to tell what is and isn’t a credible threat, and appropriate actions should be taken against the latter.
After the convention was shut down on Saturday, festivities resumed the following day for the convention to at least end on a proper high note.
Last month was April. That meant only two things: Easter, and cheap chocolate the day after Easter. For our friends in Britain, Easter also meant that Channel 5 was showing the animated movie Watership Down to celebrate the holiday. Those of you who’ve seen the movie or read the book the film was based off of know exactly why this is kind of screwed up. Those of you who haven’t, but have noticed the image over to the left, have probably pieced together that at some level something isn’t quite right. Don’t let its nature as an animated film or its cast of cute bunnies deceive you. Watership Down is a pretty horrifying ordeal; the book was written by a World War II veteran, and many believe the contents of the book are based upon his experiences in the war. That’s the level of “real” we’re dealing with here.
Watership Down holds no punches, and is quite gratuitous with its scenes of extreme violence, gore, and even literal death. To give you an idea of how far the animators went, there’s a scene where a group of rabbits suffocate underground. They went as far as to animate their deaths in so much detail that they included the bursting of the capillaries in their eyes. This is like Final Destination levels of messed up, and again Channel 5 elected to show it over Easter weekend. As you’ve probably guessed, this irritated more than a few people who bemoaned Channel 5’s decision on social media, but this wasn’t the first time the station pulled this stunt. A spokesperson for Channel 5 told British news media that they were starting a tradition, and that Watership Down would be airing on Easter every year.
Keep fighting the good fight, Channel 5. If there’s one thing that we’ve learned from British television it’s that they have no shame in showing movies and films that’ll completely ruin you for life. (See also: Threads.)
On April 24th the Twitter account @ExposeTheFandom existed for exactly one day before shutting down. Expose’s goal was to highlight the problem of bestiality within the fandom by screenshotting profiles and conversations from the Telegram chatroom “ZooFurries Society” to put names to potentially illegal activities. Screenshots taken by Expose consisted of user profiles, as well as excerpts of conversations of people complaining about state laws or hinting/bragging about performing illegal acts. Reception to Expose was about what you’d imagine from people unaware of the problem, with most condemning the actions shown in the screenshots and applauding the unknown account owner(s) for their actions.
However, not everyone was pleased to see the fandom’s dirty laundry being aired out for the world to see. Namely many of the implicated. Defenders of the chatroom insisted that Expose’s evidence was fabricated, and that they were all victims of a bait and switch where they had been added to a Telegram chatroom whose name was changed to something zoophile-related and screenshots were taken to defame them. While it would be entirely possible to perform a bait and switch, keep in mind that we’re dealing with an active chatroom of over 900 furs. Occam’s Razor suggests that this simply isn’t the case here, and what we’re looking at are actual snippets from the Telegram group.
In response to Expose, GSD Lovedog (the owner of the Telegram group) closed down ZooFurries Society. The group was promptly remade under the name “The Zeta Corner” and presumably is still in operation, waiting for @ExposeTheFandom2 to inevitably make its appearance.
That’s a wrap on April’s most interesting stories from the fandom, thank you for checking us out! As always, we’d like to invite you to come check out What’s Yiffin’ when it is broadcast live as part of the first Friday show of Gatorbox, every Friday night at 9PM. Follow us on Twitch so you’ll know when we are live!
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