Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

Category: Opinion

Satanic Panic in Sacramento targets furries — media reports without consulting any furries

by Patch O'Furr

Zero (white) and partner Siro_Kami (blue)

A misunderstood person moves to a new place, and faces more misunderstanding, but uses creativity to stand proud and reach people who do understand.

It’s a tale told a million times, known by a million furries worldwide (and subcultures of every stripe.) It’s the tale of Frankenstein’s rejected creature, who finds kindness from a blind person, but has to run from the prejudice and torches of angry villagers.

It’s a tale that wasn’t told by a local CBS channel who only reported the villager’s side, “Furries” with satanic symbols spotted near Sacramento County elementary school, parents say. They didn’t talk to any furries they reported about, or mention resources about them for the media like Furscience, or the history of Satanic Panic spreading prejudice and harming schools and communities like theirs.

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Grassroots action: Leadership changes and weeding out hate at Garden State Fur The Weekend

by Patch O'Furr

Garden State Fur The Weekend is an upcoming furry convention set for May 3-5, 2024 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. With their launch only months away, something unusual happened. GSFTW posted an official statement about opposing hate and Nazi-fur groups.

It was followed by an announcement of the con chair stepping down and a new one stepping up. It blames medical issues of the ex-chair, Dashing Fox. Dogpatch Press wishes good health to him. The story could end there, but unofficially, the change was forced by staff resignations. You’re seeing the aftermath of revolt behind the scenes, then getting back on track for launch. Yes, they stood up with the power of collective will to change the leadership for the better.

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LGBT refugees seek asylum with FUR/HELP while Russia limits human rights

by Patch O'Furr

This news is illegal in Russia.

In late November 2023, Russia’s supreme court declared the movement for gay rights to be “extremist.” Mentioning LGBTQ activity without condemning it can get you fined, imprisoned, deprived of bank accounts, and worse. The New York Times says “any news organization, blogger or even an individual” is at risk.

Russian homophobes have pushed for this authoritarian rule for a long time. In 2021, it was proposed against LGBT and associated categories, including furries. This led to Dogpatch Press reports about harassment of Russian furry events that foreshadowed the official ruling now.

The excuse is to “protect children” from gay adults who love each other, as if they were created by an international political group that doesn’t exist, rather than by human nature. Any sign of their existence can be defined as harmful propaganda. The definition is so broad and vague that Russia’s government can punish anyone for anything, even wearing a rainbow. (Fandom is for creative expression, which has a lot of overlap with identity expression, so claims to be apolitical can’t be counted on to protect anyone.) The effects have ranged from putting adult rating on My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, to murdering people in one furry’s story below.

While Russia’s government labels this extremist, they’re protecting people from cartoons while raising murder. People in this upside-down land need to flee for safety.

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Book review – Furry Planet: A World Gone Wild is an enjoyable tour of furries around the world.

by Dogpatch Press Staff

Welcome to guest writer Grubbs Grizzly.

Furry Planet is an Interesting Complement to Furry Nation – by Grubbs Grizzly

Six years ago, author Joe Strike released Furry Nation: The True Story of America’s Most Misunderstood Subculture (Cleis Press), a nicely comprehensive history of the furry fandom. Being very interested in the fandom, I naturally bought and read it. So, when Strike released Furry Planet: A World Gone Wild (includes History, Costumes, and Conventions) (Apollo), I of course purchased it as well.

The book is not what I expected.

Reading the title, I thought it was going to be more history, expanding upon the U.S.-focused first title with a history of conventions and furry culture in Europe, Asia, and other continents. In the book’s introduction, Strike even writes: “Furry Planet: A World Gone Wild remedies Nation’s oversight of the global furry community and in the following pages you’ll meet furs based worldwide who have been inspired by our misunderstood subculture….”

The first chapter, “It’s a Furry World,” starts off promising to stick to what I thought was the book’s premise with a brief look at the U.S. before moving on to a 28-page whirlwind tour of fandoms in the U.K., Europe, Russia, Singapore, China, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. Most of the book after this, however, is about furriness outside the fandom. That is, how anthropomorphic arts have pervaded world cultures in everything from sculpture and paintings to film and performance arts.

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Furry beach-off: The truth about a fight with a megaphone at a California meet

by Patch O'Furr

Blood was drawn by violence between furries in California’s Huntington Beach, in a story that’s raising hype and misinformation. The hot-button term “nazi” is part of it. So is years of peaceful history for hundreds of members, even when a fight between a few of them is like red meat for media vultures who don’t care about the background. Here’s a story with witness evidence for readers who care.

The setting was the 11th annual Sunset Beach Bonfire meet on August 12, 2023. This event in Southern California is so popular, the attendance rivals entire furry conventions. Members of their nearly 1000-strong chat group go for grilling and fursuiting with so many friends, they need a megaphone for crowd control, like to organize group photos. This is a party for people who are full of love and fun who have been very successful at growing it.

In March, the official update channel announced they had reserved space: “It’s a private location with a volleyball playground.” Remember it was private access. Tents and a fursuit lounge were provided to keep cool in the sun. Nobody expected the chill vibes to heat up with a megaphone being used for a weapon, a scuffle on the ground, and an arrest with charges still to get decided in court.

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Fandom conventions targeted by pedophile activist Mark “Didaskalos” Miner

by Dogpatch Press Staff

Mark Miner’s pre-2005 teacher photo, and screens from his more recent posts on social media.

Infiltration at VancouFur

Few places want to let a vocal pedophile feel at home, and that’s why Evil Unveiled made a page about Mark “Didaskalos” Miner and his endless quest for acceptance of pedophilia/pederasty/Boy Love. He’s been at it for decades, on places like the Boychat pedophile forum (where he posts as ScotusBaby). It gets tiny recognition like a category on a site to publicize “those who don’t demonize” pederasty.

Hopeless causes have their die-hards, and Miner is now trying to run panels at libraries and anime and fandom conventions, where he might reach supple young audiences that have their guard down. As a former teacher, he uses poetry and classic theater as a cover of legitimacy to harken back to his idea of a golden age — when men were men, boys were boys, and abuse between them wasn’t illegal yet.

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Furries warn each other about casting call for “Life As a Furry” TV show

by Patch O'Furr

A reality show casting call is raising hackles. It presses a hot button of sensitive history. The media can inform and debunk fake news to help us all; but sometimes it lies to make a quick buck or serve the powerful.

(Skip this if you already know about “The Media.”) 

A dogma exists among furries that reporting is offensive, rather than anger at offensive reporting. Dogma can hurt us too, but it started with real offenses. See 2003’s furry-themed episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. It spread a broad caricature of a pathetic loser who donned a cheap costume for sex, which is unfair to those of us who are highly accomplished and sexy in costume or out.

The bad image peaked when internet furries caught notice around 2000. CSI, MTV, Vanity Fair, and others aired exploitation (which isn’t always bad — think cult movies — except when it’s malicious and pretends to be more real than it is.) It ebbed as furry conventions exploded in size. Around 2015 there was a thaw. Nice, well-researched reporting came from independent outlets like Vice and ones as powerful as CNN. Then came the 2022 election and the revival of smear tactics. This time it was maliciously from the right-wing to pit red state voters against minorities. Transphobia spiked up and furries were like stand-ins for the weird, gay boogeyman of tolerance. Debunking fake news about school litter boxes didn’t stop it from repeating. One hit piece by Daily Wire christofascist Matt Walsh used false pretenses to recruit trans people like fandom member Naia Okami.

On the heels of recent attacks: Casting Call Concern

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Fur Affinity bans AI-generated art, but AI has a plot to return.

by Patch O'Furr

Policy update from the furry fandom’s main independent art site.

AI art tools made me think of a term: sequential juxtaposition acceleration.

An AI tool starts with scraping millions of pre-made images from the net. That’s a learning set to combine and interpolate. Prompt it with key words (green grass, old building), and you get approximations of everything that matches. One could call this a form of cheating artists, because people don’t like the scraping of pre-made sources without permission. But after they combine, the output is nothing that ever existed. That’s doing what any artist does to learn from reference, but in a wholesale, industrial way that wasn’t envisioned by the current creative property system.

Back to that problem in a minute, but first think about art context.

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DEBUNKING: The Asheville bomb arrest, Confederate Fursuiter, and Midwest Furfest attack

by Patch O'Furr

Robert “Magnus Diridian” Sojkowski

The 2014 Midwest Furfest chemical attack is one of the biggest unsolved crimes in furry fandom. It has a main suspect who was raided by the FBI, and they found physical evidence (read below). His name is Robert “Magnus Diridian” Sojkowski, also known as the Confederate Fursuiter.

In separate news from July 2022, two men in Asheville, North Carolina face terror charges in a bomb incident. One is a furry and subject of online rumors. His name is Chioke “Tech Coyote” Fugate.

That’s two separate crimes, with two separate suspects… but when the news about Fugate came out, rumors named him as the Confederate Fursuiter. This is critically misleading. Sojkowski made the suit in 2015 and stayed the ongoing owner and wearer, so the identity belongs to him. The mixup came from a meeting in 2017 where Fugate took photos with the suit and possibly wore it once. Why is it a big deal? It led to falsely naming Fugate for the Midwest Furfest attack he had nothing to do with (he was 14 in 2014).

Huge Twitter accounts fueled rumors that Fugate “was the one behind the MFF Chlorine bombing years back” (1) (2) (3), causing many deletions and corrections (4) (5) (6). It’s critical to untangle the two suspects. Remember, the mixup would help both to deny and mislead — and both have records of doing exactly that — so let’s set the record straight.

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Russian police raid Moscow furry meet – fandom sees rising oppression.

by Patch O'Furr

Furries and freedom are the common topic between an incident in America and one in Russia. This builds on previous stories of anti-LGBT harassment and opposing war in furry news on Dogpatch Press.

Let’s start close to home for many readers. Across America, right-wing attacks have been punching through furries to strike LGBT rights. These attacks are based on debunked hoaxes, but in May, one caused real damage in a Wyoming school district. A board member mocked furries and ignored bullied students while the district removed anti-discrimination protection for LGBT people. This shows the rising stakes for anyone included in Pride month, which many furries count as part of their fandom and freedom. These attacks are starting small to aim for a big goal that already exists in Russia.

Across Russia, LGBT people have no protection. Russia’s government treats LGBT identity as a political stance for just… existing. Meanwhile, they’re threatened and forced to hide. But Russians can’t easily protest for rights without punishment. It’s also dangerous to show anti-war beliefs, especially if a group is already disfavored. Their free speech is oppressed as anti-government.

Under these conditions, police raided a furry meet in Moscow. It was first reported by OVD Info, a human rights org that monitors political persecution in Russia:

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