Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

Category: Society and culture

Team games the Zarnitsa way – a gift from Moscow Furries

by Patch O'Furr

Good news helps in bad times. Russian furries like to be part of worldwide fandom, and Erwin, a member of Moscow Furries, has a story about game activities they do in a park. The idea is for any furry group anywhere to share it. Erwin tells how it works:

Furry Zarnitsa

In general, we do quests, which are mostly done in teams. In the beginning, we bring the participants to a park and form the teams, headed by a leader. Then the teams walk around the park and compete with each other by doing pre-arranged activities. In the end one of the teams win and we give them some small rewards.

So far, we have held 6 different quests and 2 simple meets (just chilling with casual games) in Moscow. Here’s some photos from our group on VKontakte (Russian social network).

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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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Interview with NIIC the Singing Dog – New album on the way!

by Dogpatch Press Staff

Guest Doppelfoxx writes fiction and nonfiction, and last submitted a story about NFTs affecting the culture. This interview with NIIC was dual-submitted to Flayrah. NIIC the Singing Dog is a well known furry musician from Philadelphia, with 5 albums of howling electro-pop and over 7 million views across Youtube, Spotify and other platforms. Fun fact: Patch O’Furr jumped around with his live show at Anthrocon and shared funny reactions from his videos. After a period of low activity, NIIC has new music on the way.

(Doppelfoxx): Welcome and thank you for interviewing with us! Who are you and what do you do? Describe yourself in a few sentences.

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FURALITY: Fandom founder Sy Sable looks at the virtual convention with 15,000 furries.

by Dogpatch Press Staff

F.Y.N.N. The Hologram Fox – Furality mascot by @Spainimation

1980’s furry fans first gathered with room parties at science fiction conventions, until Sylys Sable helped co-found the first convention for furries in 1989. Sy was there from the birth of a worldwide subculture to a new kind of experience with virtual furry conventions today. These offer many of the features of live cons, while accommodating more members across geographic and social isolation. The premiere virtual con, Furality, started in 2020 and soon beat the live furry con attendance record. Sy is the guy to tell us why!

Editor note: Sy submitted his story after the latest Furality event in June 2022, but it was delayed. Since then, a situation with VR as a community (of several platforms) could use explaining. In late July, VRchat implemented a security update that seriously upset their users, causing massive backlash and review-bombing. A statement from the company addressed the situation: cheating and Griefing by malicious users was out of control, and their solution was removal of game modding. But many good-faith users depended on mods, including for accessibility (like for disabilities) and felt their creative work was sabotaged by the update.  

Meanwhile, furries talked about jumping ship to other platforms. A friend of Sy (another old school furry fan and VR user) said that Second Life isn’t officially supporting VR, NeosVR is having a tragic fall from “crypto BS” (a feud between owners, would-be investor control and creators), and ChilloutVR is in “very early days… They are in that scrambling to scale stage.” This makes a cloudy future, but Sy’s story highlights what stands out as the best of the community. 

Furality in the eyes of Sylys Sable.

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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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Fearless Furries Celebrate 20 Years at San Francisco Pride

by Patch O'Furr

Photo by AniMajor

Sunday, June 26 marked 20 years of furries at San Francisco Pride. (See the 2019 event and history or the Pride tag for more.) The Norcal Furries made a welcome return after no official parade marching for 2 years of a pandemic. They brought their own float, and it all came together so smoothly, it made an incredibly positive memory.

The biggest change from past years was no longer using rental trucks or Burning Man art cars. This year, Norcal Furries built their own float on a trailer. It was a wonderful asset. Using other people’s was always less than ideal (constrained by costs, time and logistics for loading/unloading, and even height with streetcar wires). All of that was easier under self management.

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Furries at Toronto Pride: “one of the largest marching groups of the entire parade”

by Arrkay

Welcome to Arrkay, a member of the Toronto furry scene (home of Furnal Equinox), and the bird who creates and produces Culturally F’d, a Youtube show that explores anthropomorphic artwork throughout history, culture and mass media. See Arrkay’s tag for previous stories. He’s sharing his story today by request of Patch who just marched with furries at San Francisco Pride. Here’s Arrkay’s on-the-scene report from Toronto Pride.

It was a terribly populated affair, with covid still ringing in the back of my head. Pride in Toronto was as busy as ever. Me and my partner just walked the street fair once, which was enough to satiate our curiosity and for me to buy some new sunglasses. It’s a strangely foreign feeling seeing this many unmasked people in one place.

Parade morning

My signs were made, and my flag was bundled up into my tricycle with water bottles, lunch, a vape pen of mint flavored cannabis and sunscreen. My outfit was a second-hand hyena agenda tank top, some compression shorts usually worn for fursuiting but with a complimentary jockstrap on top. I zip-tied a flag and protest signs to my trike. “Learn Queer History” and “Teach Queer History” with taglines “Always been here, always will be” and “No More Shit!” (a rallying cry from the 80’s bathhouse riots in Toronto).

Cardboard signs that read "Teach Queer History, always been here, always will be" and "Learn Queer History, No more shit!"

A crowd of furries accumulated near the group check-in site. Unfortunately it was nowhere near where we were supposed to muster. Not that it ultimately mattered, we wouldn’t be marching for a couple more hours. Navigating the dense crowd with a large orange trike was difficult, but everyone was generally polite and made way for our slow moving group of animal headed queers.

One of the groups we shouldered our way past was the New Democratic Party, with leader Jagmeet Singh visible with his pink turban.

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Furries return to the 2022 San Francisco Pride parade

by Patch O'Furr

Coming Sunday June 26, 2022

The SF Bay Area has the world’s most dense population of furries, but back in 2012, SF Pride didn’t have activities for the love of anthropomorphic animals. They had a parade contingent in 2002-2005, but it needed help to start again. (See a 2002 video or the Pride tag for more history.) 

Whose job is it to make it happen? Everyone’s. In 2012-2019 I was one of the organizers for award-winning floats in the parade, with hundreds of supporters and members. In 2019 (the second year to get an award) we won “Absolutely Outrageous” out of more than 200 parade contingents. The parade was interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, but finally, it’s here again.

The Nor Cal Furries are going this weekend with a new trailer, built by @Zoren and @MrDisk0Dog and funded by community donations and volunteers to give everyone an experience to remember. (Funds still accepted, anything extra will pay forward.) Here’s how great it was in 2019:

PARADE INFO FOR THE FURRY CONTINGENT:

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Rhythm Bastard and his music: Support your local swole punk rock furry!

by Patch O'Furr

What is Rhythm Bastard? Hardcore Nerdcore Punk Rock. Alternative Laptop Punk. A DIY one-man-band with a furry Florida Man.

“Rhythm Bastard takes the stage armed only with his voice, his guitar and his bandmate, a laptop, playing a mix of punk and garage rock, with music inspired by every thing from video games, anime, comics and everything in between.” – Bio

His newest music is coming on July 1, so let’s hear about it from the Bastard.

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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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