“Furries make the internets go”: a Behind The Meme story with Durango Dingo and Summercat.

by Dogpatch Press Staff

Thanks to Summercat for starting this story about a long-lived and frequently-shared meme. He chatted with Durango Dingo, who is pictured in a suit from Fursuits By Lacy and Nick (Fursuiting.com.) This meme continues to spread from the heyday of Myspace to now, like when it was shared in 2018 by “Swift On Security”, a 263K follower mainstream Twitter account. (- Patch)

Summercat:

Hi Durango. I’ve been wanting to get the background from you on the “Furries Make The Internets Go” picture for a while. When was it taken? Where was it?

Durango / Riverton:

Oh LOL. Took that at work one day on Halloween, back in 2007. I did the whole wear fursuit at work thing. One of my roommates at the time put the text on it and posted it online someplace. It just took off from there.

Summercat:

Do you feel comfortable sharing where it was? It’s perfectly fine if you don’t want to; I try to avoid saying who my current employer is. Also how did your coworkers react to it?

Durango / Riverton:

Durango’s other fursona, Riverton Otter (Durangodingo.com)

I used to run a data center in Atlanta. We sold it, so I don’t know what the status of the place is any more.

I passed out candy to everyone. We all had fun with it. We didn’t have very many employees at the time.

Summercat:

Who made the Durango suit?

Durango / Riverton:

It was one of Lacy’s first.

Summercat:

What’s been your reaction to seeing the picture explode into the net?

Durango / Riverton:

I get a laugh out of it really. I’m surprised it’s still making the rounds this many years later.

“Behind the meme” continues the topic from Summercat’s previous story: The truth behind a famous, misinterpreted “nazi furries” photo.

The “Nazi furries” story revealed how a meme from 2009 was taken out of context from a museum visit. It wasn’t made to praise neo-nazism. That was a relatively major twist to frequent sharing. Every month or two, someone discovers the photo and posts it to Reddit, getting thousands of views. Incoming traffic from those reposts shows that they now get balanced by Summercat’s story in the comments, debunking popular misunderstanding. It isn’t just a fun story, it’s also an antidote to internet misinformation.

But the story wasn’t that simple, either; the photo gained further context showing that nazi furries actually WERE part of the community the photo came from, so the popular misunderstanding wasn’t completely off base. It was funny that debunking of the story needed debunking, too! Subjects of the story popped up to offer their own takes on the whole thing, making a very successful investigation of internet culture.

Not so successful was an attempt to investigate another long-lived meme – the “furry comes out to disappointed parents” cringe photo. This one gets thousands of views in reposts and has a Know Your Meme page. The photo subject was contacted but didn’t seem very enthusiastic… 

Patch:

Hi (anon furry),

At Dogpatch Press, recently we did a story covering a famous “nazi furries” photo from 2009 that was spread around a lot without permission of furries in it. It told the true story.

There’s another widely spread photo like that with you in it. You know the Christmas photo with parents? Some people don’t believe that the photo actually shows them being disappointed, just that it was a candid moment in between happenings on a busy holiday.

Would you chat about it to help make a sympathetic article telling the story about the photo, so people can know the truth? This can help in the future, if someone starts spreading a photo, people might say “wait a minute, let’s find out if this is real or not.”

Anon furry:

K

(- Patch)

Do you know other memes that could make a good investigation story? Let us know!

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