Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

Category: history

The fascist fringe of furry fans: the Eastern Orthodox connection.

by Dogpatch Press Staff

NEW AND IMPROVED guest post with update at bottom!

Here’s a community access guest post with anonymity to protect sources. New readers will benefit from background in the Altfurry tag, which documents a loose fringe of pests who include terrorists like Portland mass shooter Benjamin Smith. The guest author says: “they’re a nasty bunch… this is a great way to get all this info out. There’s so much information most furries don’t know or have context for. I appreciate that you’re willing to go up against these people.” It’s hosted with opinions belonging to the guest. – Editor 

(PART 1 / 2) – Notable names and their ties and tells.

This report is meant to shed light on a particular strain of furry fascist that is far more ideological and militant than Altfurry ever was, with most people involved orbiting Reagan Lodge, a die-hard fascist and furry artist who has been in the fandom for 2 decades but was not exposed until 2020. The common pattern between all of them is an obsession for drawing furries and military imagery, often themed around historical conflicts and authoritarian regimes. (Their obscure ideologies/dogwhistles get a look in the second half.)

Reagan Lodge AKA Sulacoyote

The Kevin Bacon of the twitter far-right. Reagan Lodge, aka Sulacoyote, has been in the furry fandom for years, drawing art of furries in Nazi uniforms or the armor from Jin-Roh (an anime beloved by online Nazis). He somehow got quite the following despite drawing like this; (red labeled by editor.)

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The illicit allure of Smokey Bear, US Forest Service mascot

by Patch O'Furr

The annual Ursa Major Awards are open — Vote now for the fandom’s favorite creations!

Out in the wild, I saw a human sharing some very furry-adjacent news. Suzyn was on a group for paid Slate podcast subscribers, and this story was her suggestion for one they should do. If they wouldn’t, I thought someone should. Thanks to Suzyn for her parts, and I added comments for furry readers.

There was a related Slate story from December 2020: When Did Smokey Bear Get So Hot?

It shows his buff yiffability predates furries. Don’t blame us! Hot anthropomorphic animal people are just nature’s way of showing imagination is healthy. Proof:

When Smokey was a newly-minted mascot, there was a risk to taking this farther. The 1950’s American government, preoccupied with Red Scares, might have forecasted a subversively thirsty fandom and made their love forbidden.

A law passed in 1952 made it ILLEGAL to misuse the image of Smokey Bear. (Not Smokey THE Bear, the Forest Service gets salty about that). You could be JAILED. Here’s the law: 18 U.S. Code § 711“Smokey Bear” character or name.

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Origins of an urban legend: “litter boxes for furries” joke gets revived for moral panic

by Patch O'Furr

Update: Thanks to The Daily Beast for linking this and quoting me. – Patch

No school ever had litter boxes for students who identify as animals. So how did the rumor explode into mainstream consciousness, like bad diarrhea from a diet of concern trolling and right-wing blogs?

In January 2022, the malodorous myth rose from local news in Michigan to the New York Times: Litter Boxes for Students Who Identify as Furries? Not So, Says School Official. Furries in the Times is a rare achievement. (Check the 1996 example at bottom of this story.) That isn’t simply debunking, it also has cultural potency for a post-truth era full of flat-earthism and Qanon cults.

I can’t count how many headlines there were about one incident. One is just absurd, but it keeps happening. That shows cynical calculation by Otherphobes. They’re demonizing minorities by proxy, with a target behind the target. It’s a cousin to transphobic memes like “I sexually identify as an attack helicopter” using weirdos to make it easier to swallow. But before we digest that, let’s go to the splatter zone and trace the patterns.

At Dogpatch Press, I’m obsessive about tracking media mentions and memes, and we also do debunking — like for a misinterpreted “nazi furries” photo — and I’d been asked to trace the old litter box myth before. So I dug deeper than the mainstream news. Furry News has the real shit.

The oldest mainstream source I found is in this 2008 photo from Anthrocon in Pittsburgh. He’s a broadcaster who likes furries, although it’s complicated.

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Anti-LGBT Russian government morality activist visits and harasses fursuit walkers

by Patch O'Furr

From the fursuit walk in a video posted by Skip Doggy on Russian social media. SEE Q&A at BOTTOM about the walk.

“Here it is – the price to be a representative of the Moscow Furry Fandom.”

Furry fan @Matvey_Muhin has a story that goes with media reports like this one from PinkNews: “Russia considers officially branding LGBT+ groups and furries as ‘extremists’“.

BACKGROUND: The reports look at political homophobia in the Russian government, and a commission that claims to protect morality. The reports say the commission chairman, Andrey Tsyganov, called for the government to help law enforcement by listing ideologies on their extremism list. The list includes the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, and the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) of Alexey Navalny, a jailed opponent of Russian president Vladimir Putin. Listing these groups allows banning related gatherings and media, and Putin has been using it to squash his political foes.

That’s how Tsyganov wants to legally discriminate against LGBT people, supposedly to protect kids from “propaganda” — making it extremist to discuss LGBT people breathing and existing, as if they come from recruiting. The logic shows conservative belief of what a family should be, with a goal to enforce it by squashing LGBT people. Straight families with children are supposed to thrive through this false understanding of how sexuality works. They could just as soon seek power by squashing interracial dating.

Tsyganov started with such a reach, and blasted off from earth like Sputnik when he added LGBT+, radical feminist, child-free groups… and furries.

What’s the problem with furries, again? The logic is: (1) People on the internet make weird porn. (2) Some of them are furries. (3) Fandom freedom includes tolerance for LGBT expression. (4) Kids are in trouble while those exist. Those things don’t necessarily overlap, but it raises stereotyping about non-traditional gender and sexuality. This got furry porn site e621 banned in Russia (an easy target that shows the government was already watching.)

Furries face such attitudes rooted in old bigotry. Of course fandom isn’t exactly an identity, but it makes a community. Targeting their expression is just around the corner from direct homophobia. Compare how in the 1970’s, Disco music was targeted for being made by LGBT and minority people, even if the music itself is just music. So if furries belong on an “extremist” list, imagine getting attacked for dancing to the Ra-Ra-Rasputin song!

@Matvey_Muhin faced this with fellow furry Skip Doggy. He wrote:

“Can you imagine that Andrei Tsyganov came to our furry walk Tsaritsyno, Kolomeskaya. He continued to accuse us of pedophilia in front of children. But Skip drove him away. When a high-level official comes to us personally, it shows his madness. Long story short – the Christian radical and anti-vaxer is attacking us (especially me and Skip). Here it is – the price to be a representative of the Moscow Furry Fandom.”

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A Call for Preservation of Sources for Furry Fandom History

by Dogpatch Press Staff

Guest post by Gamepopper, an indie game maker and animation fan in the UK.

As a British furry who was interested in the history of the furry fandom, I couldn’t help but notice most of the subject was centred around the United States. This was the case in all the articles and convention panels I could find, and most blatantly in the book Furry Nation: The True Story of America’s Most Misunderstood Subculture by Joe Strike. This United States focus continues to this day with videos and documentaries such as The Fandom by Ash Coyote discussing the history of the fandom from the beginnings at science fiction and comic book conventions in California.

As a result, I took it upon myself in 2017 to look into my own country’s perspective of the fandom. This part-time hobby of mine culminated into a lecture at ConFuzzled 2019, The History of the Furry Fandom in the United Kingdom, which focused on the growth of the fandom from the earliest known gathering of twenty fans in 1987 to the present day conventions of over two thousand furries. I spoke about the housecons and fanzines in the nineties, furmeets and mailing lists in the noughties, and the British furry conventions and the difficulties getting them off the ground. I also allowed audience members to make comments and ask questions throughout, which you can listen to in the recorded version uploaded to YouTube.

Watching it in retrospect, I’m still proud of the amount of content in the work, in spite of a few factual errors and omissions that a few people have noted. On the day itself, it went over better than I ever anticipated, with a full room of attendees giving a huge round of applause at the end and many furries coming up to me to appraise my work. One of those people thought that the full history should be written down, and, given the amount of work I had already done, I felt up to the task.

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You made it to 2021! — A look back at the Top 20 Furry News stories of last year. (Part 2)

by Patch O'Furr

The Ursa Major Awards are open for nominations! Check the Recommended Anthropomorphics list for stuff to consider.

(Part 1): You made it to 2021! — A look back at the Top 20 Furry News stories of last year.

Here’s more review of last year’s news from Dogpatch Press. These are highlights for this site, and they’re not listed by biggest or most-viewed, it’s a mixed bag of big stories plus inside stuff only a fandom knows.

(11) International animals — What’s life like for a teenage LGBT furry fan in Iran? and Meet Unid, the only known furry from Sri Lanka.

There’s so much going on outside North America. Furry scenes are coming up in Latin America and Southeast Asia. Art is common language for far-flung fans who’d never meet any other way. One in Iran thinks war should be about the best pizza. One in Sri Lanka dreams of coming to a furry con one day.

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Meet Unid, the only known furry from Sri Lanka.

by Patch O'Furr

There’s an island off the southern tip of India, with a small furry animal on it, looking out for who else may share the same fandom. Through the internet, other creatures reach across the ocean and an international fandom works its magic. They may not all speak the same language, but they can share the art and everything else that furry fans call theirs.

Previous stories here have found furries in places like Iran. Today, meet a furry from Sri Lanka. A species so rare, there may only be one. The story tip about Unid came from Zinger, who wanted to share a friend’s wish to singlehandedly bring the fandom to his country. In return, we can learn what it’s like to live there.

Furries contain multitudes. If a fandom is a Venn diagram of overlapping interests, it looks plaid. So let’s find out more of what Unid is into. Are there Sri Lankan nerds? If a con happened there, what would everyone eat, hear or see? How about a heavy metal show?

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Q&A with Christopher Polt PhD., who teaches a Talking Animals course at Boston College (Part 2)

by Patch O'Furr

We’re back after Part 1 of the Q&A with Christopher Polt, PhD., from Boston College. His Twitter is full of art and animation history that welcomes furry fans.

Rate My Professor loves him.

(Dogpatch Press:) It was interesting that you mentioned teaching a course in talking animals. Tell me all about it! Since when, and how unique is that, and how is it being received? What sort of students are in it and what are they studying in general?

(Christopher Polt:) I love that course — the material is so fun and weird and meaningful. The basic question we ask is, “What are we doing when we speak by using animal voices, and what does that say about our attitudes towards humans, animals, and the lines we draw between them?” It’s also my chance to teach some cool, off-the-wall art and literature. We read Apuleius’ Golden Ass, which is a novel about a guy who accidentally turns himself into a donkey and goes on a journey through the Roman provinces (think The Emperor’s New Groove, but much sexier and more violent), and Nivardus’ Ysengrimus, which is the earliest major collection of stories about Reynard the fox, an archetypal animal trickster.

Sometimes I also take students on field trips to tie historical material we’re learning to lived experience. One of my favorites has been to a local pet cemetery. We spend a few days talking about how Greeks and Romans use animals to think about divinity, mortality, and the afterlife, and we look at epitaphs and funeral poems for dead pets, which are often written from the animal’s point of view. There’s a great example in the British Museum, which commemorates the life of a dog named Margarita (“Pearl” in Latin), who died while giving birth to puppies:

https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/G_1756-0101-1126

She talks about chasing other animals through the woods, how she used to nap on her humans’ laps and sleep in their bed, and how she barked a lot but never scared anyone. So after we read a range of things like that, we go to the pet cemetery and read modern grave markers, and we compare how people grieve for animals differently and what they choose to celebrate and memorialize about them. My favorite is this one for a cat named Useless:

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Q&A with Christopher Polt PhD., who teaches a Talking Animals course at Boston College (Part 1)

by Patch O'Furr

It wasn’t long ago that Furry Twitter found Christopher Polt, PhD. and his threads full of art and animation history that whole-heartedly welcome furries.

His content isn’t just catering to fandom — it goes deep into history in a fun and engaging way. But the parts with furry interest reminded me of another account profiled here before, Ancient Furries. I asked him if he wanted a brief “Great Accounts To Follow” article, and it led to a much more involved Q&A. It’s special to get such effort from a professor who handles lots of students and curriculum! Here’s Part 1, with Part 2 posting tomorrow.

(Dogpatch Press): I see you’re a Classicist and Assistant Professor at Boston College. That looks like a super active place (with beautiful architecture!) Can you talk about what it’s like to work there and what the job involves?

(Christopher Polt:) If you like Collegiate Gothic, we’ve got you covered! It’s a nice place to work — supportive colleagues, friendly and bright students, freedom to teach mostly what and how I want. Each semester I teach two or three courses, which are a mix of intro/intermediate ancient Greek or Latin, advanced seminars on Latin literature (esp. Roman poetry), and courses on ancient culture that don’t require knowing ancient languages (some examples: Roman spectacles; art and resistance under the early Empire; and “Beast Literature,” which is about talking animals in ancient and modern literature and film).

I also spend a lot of time on research and writing. My first book, which is coming out from Cambridge soon, is about how Romans in the 1st century BCE used theatrical comedy to think and talk about their everyday lives and relationships.

I’ll bet Covid has really affected everyone at colleges everywhere, what’s your story for that? You mentioned starting to tweet about Disney history a few months ago, is that using social media to maintain energy with your work that got disrupted by the pandemic?

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A 1990’s fax to troll Confurence shows how long there’s been culture war with furry fandom

by Patch O'Furr

Hairy Horny Freedom

Media was different in the 1980’s. There was a TV channel just for music videos. Furry fans got their fix from Saturday morning cartoons or cult films on VHS. Smartphones, Twitter and Facebook didn’t exist. Sharing a meme could need paper mail or a fax.

On MTV, there were lots of metal videos with men who acted macho but looked like hot women. Think: bikers in mascara who switched meth for hairspray. They sang about love over widdly-diddly guitar wizard pyrotechnics. (They were rockin’ like Dokken.) There was an arms race to be the most Glam until Grunge bands stole their place. But first, they were challenged by disco DJ music, minus the hair farming and augmented by rapping and controversy.

In Miami, a club scene rose up that thrilled crowds with rappers doing porn lyrics. Horny young people loved it. The rappers were a few young guys in the Air Force with a music hobby named 2 Live Crew. A recent rap history podcast (Mogul) tells the story of how their song “Me So Horny” went huge even without MTV. It helped rap cross from black to white people, and also pissed off a lot of them.

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