Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

Category: Opinion

What’s life like for a teenage LGBT furry fan in Iran?

by Patch O'Furr

Fursona of Rastin, a furry in Tehran

Governments are supposed to represent their people. Instead they often end up representing a few haves against many have-nots. It might put oligarchy and corporate greed first, or theocracy and military power. You can read between the lines of headlines about the USA vs. Iran.

But how often do people in both places talk to each other directly without borders, filters, propaganda, stereotyping, and forced conflict? And when they’re pitted against each other, what could these different societies possibly share in common?

Like pizza, you don’t need to speak the same language to love art. So furry fandom builds bridges around the world. That’s how Croc (@Microdile), a California furry, first made friends with Rastin (@Rastin_woof). Rastin is a 16 year old member of a generation living after the 1979 Iranian revolution, which put religion and laws together, unlike the USA which separates church and state (at least in theory.)

In the following Q&A, Rastin uses forbidden internet contact to discuss forbidden topics — criticizing authority, oppressed LGBT identity, parents who don’t understand, and fandom that isn’t shared by anybody near him. His fursona species isn’t even tolerated (dogs aren’t loved pets in Iran.) What stands out more than differences is the universal stuff in common: creativity and self expression, and wishes to escape to a more peaceful world.

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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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Hindsight is 2020 — Top 20 furry news stories of last year (Part 1)

by Patch O'Furr

My chihuahua was amazed when I sneezed and fireworks exploded over the city. She stopped shaking and did a head tilt, like “did you do that?”

It was New Year’s Eve, and catching a plague kept me from going out. But pets like attention when there’s scary noise, and it made time to write.

This list is for articles at Dogpatch Press. That’s not the only way to get furry news, but how easy is it to get? Trust 1132 published articles here. It takes tons of work that few will do. Or ask those who start new sites, because great intentions often only last a few weeks. (RIP Good Fur News, Jan-Feb 2019).

This site has 6 years in service because it’s about DIY power, like a little sneeze really has power to make fireworks. It starts with one fan, but it needs everyone who sends tips, support, or guest writing, and makes art and events. That’s why 2020’s plans include supporting Moonraiser’s furry blog, a regular guest roundup of furry comics, and too many projects to ever finish (the site has hundreds on file).

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.

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Furry Raiders sex crime case: Arrest for felon tied to witness tampering and Milo’s “troll school”

by Patch O'Furr

Here’s a wild story that has all this: Internet harassment, the disgraced alt-right troll Milo Yiannopoulos, the furry fandom pariah Foxler (known for stories in Rolling Stone and Newsweek about neo-nazi furries and his Furry Raiders group), his right-hand man “Sneps” who has a heroin trafficking record, and their plan to frame a witness for sex crime that Foxler is charged for doing. There was even a bungled plan to target me for reporting. It blew up in their faces, put “Sneps” behind bars, and leaves the crime witness needing vindication after being framed.

If you were Foxler — AKA Lee Miller of Fort Collins, CO — what would you do if:

If you were Foxler, how would you defend from these charges? Maybe get a good lawyer or well-regarded community member to help clear your name?

A smart person with a good future could do that. That’s not Foxler. He got his close friend and Furry Raiders admin, known as Flare or Sneps, and they cooked up a scheme to get him out of trouble by attacking the sources. I helped uncover it and report it to the police, with this result:.

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Bojack Horseman: Animals being more human than real life — review by Candy

by Dogpatch Press Staff

(Patch): It’s a special time to be a fan of this alcoholic, washed-up actor who’s also an anthropomorphic horse. With 5 seasons under his belt (saddle?) Bojack Horseman’s show is in the middle of its sixth, and final, season. 8 episodes arrived in late October 2019, with the final ones coming on January 31st, 2020.

I have to confess to being a bad furry reviewer, because I only got half way into the first season before I heard it got really good. I got too distracted to keep up and it’s been bugging me to watch everything. It’s not just for enjoyment — If I had hooves, I’d be able to kick myself extra hard for missing an interview opportunity with show creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg. He asked in 2015 when I interviewed Adam Conover, show cast member (and his former roommate), but I was too busy covering other furry stuff to reply in a timely way.

Which reminds me that the show designer Lisa Hanawalt‘s spinoff show, Tuca & Bertie, had a single season this year. It was canceled to fan dismay. This would be a good time to ask her what upcoming projects she may have — let’s see if her agent gets back to me. I can pay in carrots!

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Dogpiling on Social Media: Without long term goals, it’s just empty performance – by WhiteClaw

by Dogpatch Press Staff

WhiteClaw previously submitted Why furries should care about politics in 2018.

Dogpiling

Most of us on the internet have probably heard of and witnessed dogpiling. Some of us have even been unlucky enough to be on the receiving end. But nearly everyone will deny having taken part in it.

Even people in the middle of dogpiling will resist the label. According to them, they are: critiquing, complaining, offering their opinion, standing up for themselves and/or others, responding, calling out — and any other number of words and terms that can be used to describe their actions. 

But never are they dogpiling.

So, what is this strange act that seems to be everywhere, but committed by no one? To answer that question, we have to start at the beginning.

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A Tale of Two Kickstarter Campaigns, and the Selling of Identity by Artworktee

by Patch O'Furr

Is your identity a stretch goal?

On Flayrah, Sonious wrote two articles about Artworktee, a popular furry t-shirt company with many happy customers. In May 2019, he wrote a positive story about their charity benefit campaign. Now in November 2019, a shirt selling campaign is not so positively covered. The difference — no charity this time.

After being asked to write, Sonious felt conflicted about giving them “blatant advertisement” as news. It could have been turned down, but wait; there’s more. He found reasons to criticize their campaign launched on October 22: “Furry and Proud Shirts! Show your furry pride with ArtworkTee’s new line of LGBT+ shirts!” On Kickstarter as I write, it has 396 backers pledging $24,758 — likely in the top few percent of furry crowdfunding.

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Rukus movie review

by Patch O'Furr

This unusual movie got 5 support articles before I was ready for a personal review. It’s hard to nail down, so the work got really labored over, but it deserves the effort. – Patch  

Rukus was an artist from Florida who committed suicide in 2008 at age 23. He was a mercurial muse to his friends. Linear storytelling about him could make a sad movie, but Rukus comes from many directions. It overlaps documentary of him, with his boyfriend reflecting on their relationship, and his friendship with film maker Brett Hanover. His enigmatic presence weaves through Hanover’s personal life, which goes from trouble with OCD to finding completion in relationships and art. The life of Rukus becomes points on a trajectory of escape from pain.

The directing style frames lo-fi video with dramatized memories, daydreams and fiction from Rukus. They’re re-enacted by younger and older stand-ins for him, and voiced with animation. It’s one of those arty movies that doesn’t easily boil down to one commercial line, but it’s directed with purpose. When the pieces don’t fit together neatly, the negative space holds a chewy assortment of themes.

There’s repressed abuse, disconnection, and love outside of hetero norms. It touches on conflict with anti-gay religion in the Southern US, but it’s more involved with a setting in furry fandom. Furries have a loveably eccentric subculture of fans for talking-animal media that appears in fantasy art by Rukus, internet role-play, a hotel convention, and a stage play. Those feed the human connections in the movie. You also get to see a costumer called a “whore bear” and a moment of tender toes-in-nose contact that turns into crosswired love.

The movie is outstanding for merging fiction and documentary while drawing from a subculture rarely seen in any feature film. It premiered at the San Francisco Independent Film Festival, where furries came for group fursuiting (with full body costumes that make unique “fursonas”). That’s sort of like how Comic Con cosplayers emulate Hollywood superheroes, but those don’t keep their powers when the movie ends.

Rukus casts animal shadows behind misfits who play muses for each other, and delivers bittersweet satisfaction. You can see it now on rukusmovie.com.

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Murder: All Edge, No Cut — comic review by Enjy

by Enjy

Sometimes review books come here from outside of furry fandom. ‘Murder’ is a comic about an animal-rights antihero, where “animals mysteriously begin linking telepathically” and there’s a “powerful new plant-based badass”. It’s now in issue #2. “‘Murder’ takes readers into the darkest corners of animal agriculture, as one species at a time they begin to hear each other’s thoughts. Only one human, The Butcher’s Butcher, is able to hear their thoughts. As the animals revolt and the world’s food supply comes into jeopardy, the animal-rights activist is forced to decide between his vegan ethics and a world dependent on meat.”

Thanks to Enjy for big effort as always, check out her past writing, and remember we’re fiercely independent enough to be critical sometimes, but with hugs! – Patch

Murder: All Edge, No Cut

Murder is a comic created by the folks at Collab Creations (https://collabcreations.bigcartel.com/) which is billed as an “animal rights antihero” work centering on a vigilante activist and his wife, who fight to inflict the same pain on food company CEOs and ranchers as they inflict on animals ready for slaughter. It is written by Matthew Loisel with art created by Emiliano Correa, who also did work on the excellent Hexes series by Blue Fox Comics. We at DPP were given the first two issues for review.

The first thing you will do, when you open page one of Murder #1, will be laying eyes upon someone gassing an entire building of innocent people because they are working at a meat plant. In the next few pages, you’ll see something that’s meant to be taken seriously, but is unintentionally hilarious to the point where you have to read it over a few times to make sure there isn’t a joke being set up. The protagonist who just committed a literal war crime brutally murders a CEO with a steer, and then we’re led to believe this is the man we should be rooting for.

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The Masked Singer: One of those mainstream crossovers with furry appeal?

by Patch O'Furr

Crossover with the mainstream can make great furry news, like when dogwhistles to fandom pop up in things like Disney blockbusters. That’s why I did an interview with Vulture, the culture and entertainment site. Here’s their articles about the Masked Singer. This one’s worthwhile for fursona design inspiration: The Masked Singer’s Costume Designer Breaks Down All 16 Egg-cellent New Looks.

We barked about performances from Season 1, and sniffed at the costumes for Season 2. Looking at the lineup made me want to know more about them as characters. If they have a backstory with each other… Whose Egg is that? Does the Eagle hang out in the Tree? And who pollinates that Flower?

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