Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

Category: Journalism

Weird Portland, Pepper Coyote and a Sleestak are a perfect match for the dumpster fire of 2020

by Patch O'Furr

Two stories this week are an antidote to a year full of doom, gloom, fire, fury, and not nearly enough hugs and smiles.

First: Possibly some of the peak publicity furry music has ever gotten! Then, a scaly monster stalks the streets of Portland… here’s hoping he does a Q&A for us.

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Take the Furry Fandom 2020 Survey from author Tea Krulos.

by Patch O'Furr

If you’ve ever had to explain to an outsider what furries are, you might be a little weird. Or as I prefer, lovably eccentric. There’s a writer who gets the lovable part, and he wants your help to learn more about furries. You can be part of the research:

Click here to take the Furry Fandom 2020 Survey.

Tea Krulos is a freelance journalist and author who covers subcultures, weird news, and strange personalities. He also writes about local art and entertainment for a bunch of magazines and has his own weekly column. His books are about the Real Life Superhero Movement, monster hunters who chase Bigfoot, ghosts and UFO’s, cryptozoology and more. It makes me want to visit a whole book store just for that stuff — and help him make a new book.

Tea and I did an hour interview and he told me about his research. It was just before he led a weekly walking ghost/history tour. Last time I did one in New Orleans, I was happy to have a trusty guide to lead me on a leash. (It kept me from slipping in ectoplasm or Mardi Gras barf.) I think Tea’s research will make him a trusty guide like that. The survey is sociological and asks about a few debated topics, but I know there’s nothing wrong with writing about them from someone who is just learning and being into the same stuff as me. He says:

Hello furry friends — my name is Tea, I’m a freelance writer and author from Milwaukee, WI. As an eccentric punk rocker, I’ve always had an interest in subcultures, social movements, and fandoms and have written about them several times (including roller derby, paranormal investigators, Real-life Superheroes, music cultures and more) and I always approach the people I’m writing about in a respectful (but truthful) way.

I’m working on a future book that examines a variety of subcultures/ social movements that focuses on the years 2015-2020 under the Trump campaign/ administration. To write it I’m doing a lot of interviews and also surveys directed at different groups of people.

I’ve created a survey for the furry fandom that takes about 5 minutes to complete. Your personal info will not be shared. Surveys like this are helpful in getting some idea of who the group is and if their answers are mostly in agreement or split on issues. I hope you participate (and help share) and the last entry asks for contact info if you wish to talk further.

Thank you and a big thanks to Patch for his insight on the survey questions and for helping me spread the word. Hope you’re all well in this crazy year.

— Tea Krulos
www.teakrulos.com

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Texas civil rights activist murdered by right-wing extremist with furry fan background

by Patch O'Furr

Months of protest and two killings

Michael Ramos was a Black and Latino man killed by Austin police in April 2020. Since April, hundreds of concerned citizens have been organizing demonstrations as the Mike Ramos Brigade to protest police brutality and call for justice.

This week, their member Garrett Foster was killed while supporting the cause. A video from the scene had a witness report of how they were attacked by a reckless driver who drove into the crowd and shot at them from inside the car. Foster’s killer drove away, but they got his license number.

Garrett Foster died on Saturday, July 25. He was a military veteran and had been pushing his disabled fiance in a wheelchair on another one of nearly 50 days of protesting together. “Garrett’s death painfully reminds us of Heather Heyer’s death in Charlottesville when a pro-Nazi white supremacist deliberately drove his car into a crowd of protesters.”Mike Ramos Brigade

From the car plates, the killer was identified as Daniel Perry. His lawyer admitted he was the shooter.

BREAKING: Investigation Exposes US Army Sergeant as Murderer of Garrett Foster. (Archive)

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The Fandom movie: Furry paws seize the media

by Patch O'Furr

Premiering JULY 3, 2020 at thefandomfilm.com.

When the media shows furries, do they get it right?

It’s a constant furry worry. In 2017 it was announced that CNN was making a show about them. Backlash rose about sensationalism, but few critics gave a fair shake to the producers of This Is Life with Lisa Ling. Then it came out and it was a flat-out advocacy piece on behalf of Furry“, said Joe Strike, a fan since the 1980’s who wrote a book that covers the subculture’s run-ins with bad media.

Joe Strike’s Furry Nation is the essential fandom history book.

Positive response didn’t satisfy every critic. Some asked why the 3 fans featured by CNN didn’t include more diverse people. But the show (with an asian-american woman journalist) got backlash while asking volunteers to raise their paws and be counted. That seems like damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

In answer to this, The Fandom is a documentary made by the fans. It features outstanding writers (like Joe), artists, animators, musicians, costume designers, event organizers and founders. It celebrates the roots with pro quality and appeal for outsiders who might not have given a fair look before.

For decades this subculture has thrived despite adversity. Bad media is one kind, but not the only kind. Some is internal. Some is homophobic. Some is happening right now with this screwy year. There’s even a villain to tell you about.

$10 million worth of trouble

Anthrocon is the 2nd largest furry convention, led by Uncle Kage (Dr. Sam Conway), the longstanding CEO and fandom public relations figure. It was due to bring $9.9 million to Pittsburgh’s economy in 2020. Now it’s among 70 furry cons canceled by COVID-19. The movie is launching anyways on the con’s dates, without opportunities that could have won distribution. (No film fests either.)

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Terror, Teens, and Furaffinity — How a chain of violent hate incidents links to furry fandom.

by Patch O'Furr

The biggest furry art site FurAffinity is hosting promotion for a neo-nazi mass shooter. Brenton Tarrant shot 100 people in Christchurch, New Zealand in March 2019. Tarrant came from internet radicalizing. He used 8chan to broadcast hate, and is now a far-right extremist hero for copycats around the world. FurAffinity has been closing many reports about it, including mine and others that tipped off this story. Furaffinity’s Code of Conduct (2.7) says: “Do not identify with or promote real hate or terrorist organizations and their ideologies.” They refuse to enforce it.

In Furaffinity’s policy, “organizations” may be a weasel-word to dismiss this as an isolated thing. Treating this as “just art” helps the goal of radicalizing — to worm inside with lying that hate isn’t tied to violence, and violence comes from “lone wolves”. (A goal to provoke, but deny it.)

Single data points make a much bigger chain. When insiders refuse to recognize it or do anything to help, they pass off responsibility to outside sources. This story will be one of those sources, along with FBI docs and current mainstream news that link a fringe of furry fandom to violent hate.

From top left: (1) Furaffinity post promoting the New Zealand shooter. (2) Vice explains hate symbols in it. (3) Furaffinity refuses to enforce their policy.

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Good news! Doggos won’t make you vom-o — and more to know about a zoonotic pandemic.

by Patch O'Furr

Need something wholesome for a time like this?  Investigation found no reason to fear that people might catch COVID-19 from dogs. That’s good for me and my chihuahua child. No more worry about going “aww” for little sneezes!

Plague Bats and Furry Vets

It’s rare for a new disease to jump from one species to another — they’re usually incompatible. But COVID-19 came from zoonotic transmission with no herd immunity or treatment. It’s NOT the common flu. The CDC info page calls it an evolving situation. Brace yourself! Learn key terms that the experts use.

Zoonotic: A virus is considered zoonotic when its origins can be traced to animals. These diseases are known as zoonoses, meaning they are naturally transmissible from vertebrate animals to humans. It’s believed the virus that causes COVID-19 may have originated in bats and spread through a number of species before it was contracted by humans.

I reached out to veterinarian furries for professional comments or a message to the fandom. Zarafa Giraffe works as fill-in staff at many vet clinics. He says:

Obviously, the Covid19 pandemic, and the social distancing it requires, has been devastating to the conventions and furmeets we love so well. The good news is that as far as we know, your dogs and cats are safe, and cannot transfer infection to you. Veterinary clinics are considered essential services, and will continue to operate. Even here in the San Francisco Bay Area, which currently has the strictest social distancing requirements in the US, you’re allowed to go to your local veterinary clinic. If your dog or cat needs medical attention, contact your local veterinarian.

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Furries For Bernie talk about their support for the US presidential candidate.

by Patch O'Furr

Join Bernie Sander’s Furs on Telegram.

How we got covered by KQED in A Secret Weapon of the Progressive Left: Furries by Nastia Voynovskaya.

There was no time for breakfast. It would take a miracle to find parking for the Bernie Sanders rally in Richmond CA. We were nearby and already together after a dance party the night before. Now we could see him speak with 11,000 supporters.

Candy, BerryPecanTart and Lux rode with me. Wild Child and Zahi were there, and Apollo Wolfdog, who we didn’t know, made contact from seeing us in the crowd. We were a litter worth of furries in the blocks long line to get in while Bernie’s motorcade passed 10 feet away. The blazing sun and fursuit photos weren’t as big as a wave from the man himself.

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FBI Ties Nazifurs to Atomwaffen Division — Attacks Targeted US Gov Official, Journalists

by Patch O'Furr

New FBI arrests are putting the heat on Atomwaffen Division. They’re a group with a dream: White supremacy through violent terrorism.

This is the “but not that!” clause you always get from free-speech defenders. Supposedly, neo-nazis just hold opinions you should tolerate, but you never get a good reason why. In truth, if you leave them alone they WILL hurt people. This group is tied to 5 murders.

Now add hundreds of swatting incidents, as announced by the FBI. “Swatting” is a terror tactic of falsely reporting a crisis to send a SWAT team crashing through a victim’s door. It gets people shot by mistake. Their international conspiracy targeted a US Cabinet official under Secret Service protection, journalists who reported about hate groups, and a vape shop. They did it for power, revenge, and a day off from school. (Really).

Doing terrorism to avoid homework sounds like the plot of a whole comedy movie about racist boneheads. For now, laugh at the dopes with me, a cartoon dog.

They’re more evil than geniuses, but they know furries reject nazis. They know tough guys fear being yiffed into oblivion with a Furry Apocalypse. They’re the type raised on easily-abused tech platforms with a mix of moldy old bigotry, ironic memes, and anime. Of course they know nazifurs. FBI evidence confirms it.

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The Worst Year Ever gives the best look ever at furry antifascists; Furries rally for Bernie

by Patch O'Furr

The 2020 American election year has a high-stakes power struggle. But The Worst Year Ever podcast isn’t just staying in the studio to report about it. They’re going out in real life to visit as many different groups as possible and show solidarity. They even got up close and personal with furries!

This must-hear podcast comes from Robert, Katy, and Cody (who also do Some More News, Behind The Bastards and more, with over 340,000 Twitter followers lumped together.) They make top quality media backed by research, wit, and dedication to truth. That’s how the fandom was introduced here.

Until now, outsiders have seen glimpses of a furry fandom struggle with far-right groups. It ties to happenings around the country. But few have gone all the way down our rabbithole to learn unique background that no mainstream media has covered. I had never heard some of this.

How The Furries Fought The Nazis and Won — by The Worst Year Ever

  • Part 1 — A look at the background of nazifurs and the Midwest Furfest 2014 chemical attack. (47 minutes)
  • Part 2 — Fandom responses, a big shoutout to Dogpatch Press at 4:00, and a visit to MFF 2019. (36 minutes)

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Hindsight is 2020 — Top 20 furry news stories of last year (Part 2)

by Patch O'Furr

Yesterday was Part 1 of a list for articles at Dogpatch Press. These stories aren’t just from 2019. There’s some older ones that had revived or ongoing interest in the year. They’re not ordered by most viewed on top (some of them are deeper dives into brief/specific stories) — but these were the top 20 listed in a way that makes a snapshot of a subculture.

11. Mainstream crossover. Margaret Cho barks about furries, pride, and costuming on The Masked Singer.

This is right on the line drawn by queer/weird power that keeps furry fandom independent. Here’s one of the bigger names in mainstream entertainment who has openly mingled with furries. She takes pride in supporting misfits, was Grand Marshall of a pride parade, and was in The Masked Singer as a singing robot poodle. This article with her drew mainstream news to ask for furry opinions of the show. Expect more because the Australian edition has costumes built by furry makers, and the UK edition had fursuits in a sponsor’s ad.

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