Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Category: Subculture

Bass Totem brings ravers and furriends to DNA Lounge in San Francisco, October 26 2018

by Patch O'Furr

If you visit San Francisco and you like subcultural stuff, try DNA Lounge. They’re an anchor for night life that supports unusually cool shows.

It’s Sunday night and I just got back from being on stage there with Rachel Lark. She invited me because I answered her need for a furry in her music video. Rachel’s show was advertised with stuff like “sex-positive, musical theatre, stand up comedy, politically charged rock”, and that’s not even mentioning the circus performers suspended in mid air! For the low effort of jumping around and wagging my tail, I left with an invite to be in Bawdy Storytelling, another wild happening. I love when furries get welcomed like this, and it shows how much potential there is for fandom to mingle with other crowds.

Furries vs. goths, and furries vs. drag queens are among previous DNA Lounge shows covered here. A lot of credit for a thriving scene is due to DJ Neonbunny, founder of Frolic Party, whose activity brings recognition well outside of fandom. But since furries started flocking to Frolic in 2010, Northern California has been heating up with other crews starting new events too.

Midekai, Buster, Mr. Disk0, and Cosmo Coyote are some of the crew who talked to me about Bass Totem, their furry-led crossover with local rave events. The upcoming one is part of the monthly So Stoked party:

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6 Exotic Fantasy Animals To Create A Unique Fursona

by Pup Matthias

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

Do you want something different in choosing a furry persona? Are the usual anthropomorphic wolves, foxes, cats, otters, and bears too overused in your opinion, ever with bright neon fur or wings or horns? Even dragons and unicorns are too common in furrydom for you?

There are still a number of exotic fantasy animals that you can choose among that are almost or completely ignored in furrydom. Frankly, some of these are probably unused because they look so ungainly, or are too impractical to exist. Others look too much like other animals. But they’re real in the lists of mythical animals. Some are more prevalent in heraldic art.

Antlered Fish

This is on the coat-of-arms of the municipality of Inari, Finland, in far northern Lapland. The village is on the shore of Lake Inari, the largest lake in Lapland. It is known for its salmon and trout fishing. Lapland is known for its reindeer. A salmon plus a reindeer’s antlers give us this image.

This would probably be more suitable for badge art than for a fursuit. There are not any salmon in furrydom, with or without antlers.

Chakat

The chakat, a 24th-century alien feline centauroid, is the creation of Melbourne furry fan Bernard Doove. He has written several novels set in the Chakat Universe, with covers by furry artists that illustrate the four-legged cattaurs. There are also foxtaurs, skunktaurs, and others, originally created artificially but now (in the 24th-century) breeding naturally. Doove has given another fan, James R. Jordan, permission to write chakat stories. There are no chakat fursuits, but Doove’s fursona is Chakat Goldfur.

Presumably Doove, who is active in Oz fandom and usually comes to America every year for Anthrocon, will give other fans if asked to use his chakats. This is another fursona that is more practical in fan art than in fursuits. (Are there any taur fursuits?)

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San Francisco furries party with Jello Biafra, plus PAWcon, Bass Totem and Decompression.

by Patch O'Furr

Just popping up from the sewer to update you on local news. You might not have seen (or smelled) my rat fursona before, and my fur might need combing, but that goes with being a sneaky rat. Now I’m too excited for stealth because of this amazing flyer. It sure made my whiskers twitch when I saw it, and I don’t think I’ll ever stop smiling about it!

Jello Biafra is the original Nazi Punks Fuck Off guy. I had some readers say “THE Jello Biafra?!!” He was the razor-witted singer for 1980’s punk legends Dead Kennedys. They mocked conservative greed, stupidity, and oppression, and faced down legal bullying from moralistic authorities when the satire struck a nerve. From then until now, Jello has been making albums full of hilarious, raw, protest-inducing rock and roll. It’s liable to give heart palpitations to uptight parents, bland media producers, Klan clowns or the powers of the status quo alike. He’s not just an artist, but a personality known for pranks, running for mayor, doing spoken word and motivating whole scenes as founder of the longest running indie record label. (Alternative Tentacles: “Tormenting the Stupid since 1979!”) His message in all of it is: screw conformity, think for yourself!

All of that is why I can’t wait to see him party with furries, the DIY-powered fandom for talking animal media.  Furries breed a loveable kind of identity-play that I think vibes with the art and glam side of punk. That music and its DIY ethic has always inspired me (from the classic 1970’s roots), and this news site is a fabulous result. Another result is the massively popular message to jerks who target kids here like they tried with punk: Nazi Furs Fuck Off!

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Zoosadism leaks: possibly the worst story to ever hit fandom.

by Patch O'Furr

Content warning: extreme animal abuse

Since 2010, US states have begun trying to implement registries for abusers. Take action here.

With no fanfare, public attention was riveted by a leak of private data spread by a Twitter account linking to a Telegram channel. It held compiled .rars hosted on Mega, containing chat logs, images and videos exposing years of activity. It was sourced from secretive chat groups connected to furry fandom.

The data implicated a ring of users sharing fetish material of unspeakably sadistic animal abuse. It was graphic evidence of rape, torture and murder of animals for enjoyment. The briefest skim of the Telegram channel was gut-wrenching. Among plain text chats and links, there was a thumbnail of a tied-up dog being raped with a baseball bat. The public response was tremendous shock and disgust.

There’s a list of some of those videos.

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Furries vs. Evil: Habits in geek social spaces

by Patch O'Furr

This was written as introduction for a planned series. I edited it to stand alone in response to recent events of bad things being exposed. Expect to see it reposted in the future to fit a series. It’s kind of a thinkpiece to provoke open ended conversation. Let’s start with a weird question… (- Patch)

Q: How are furries like Catholic Nuns? 

Aside from silly headgear or being anthropomorphic penguins… this isn’t about being moralistic, but it involves contrasting black-and-white appearances.

Do nuns make you think nice thoughts about The Sound of Music or Mother Teresa, with harmless ladies playing guitar and taking care of orphans?

For a huge contrast, now think of scandals with abusive priests, where churches shift them from diocese to diocese to cover it up. It’s easy to assume nuns don’t do abuse like that. Until news comes out that they do, but the church hasn’t been accountable. This news may be loaded with a certain counterintuitiveness that increases the WTF factor. But in both cases, it’s dishonest to blame individuals for an institutional problem.

Furry fandom is made of loose federations of groups. Almost all of them are super positive and friendly and it would be gross exaggeration to suggest an institutional problem like above. It’s not a church with a pope. At worst, dramatic stories like a ring of abuse in Pennsylvania was limited to personal friendships that didn’t go as far as alleged. (Lupinefox, who was accused of hosting it at his house, was found not guilty on all charges in court.)

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“Don’t dream it – be it!” Interview with Robert Hill about early fursuiting and fandom.

by Patch O'Furr

Art of Robert Hill

Continuing from: Meet Robert Hill: Artist, performer, and history’s first sexy fursuiter.

Furry fandom has many members who were born after Robert Hill’s ahead-of-its-time (but perhaps underrated) role in its late 1970’s-1980’s formation. My previous introduction promised an interview. That involved some convincing to start it (so maybe others wouldn’t have gotten it?) That makes me extra happy to share it now.

For a little more background, you could browse his (very fetishy and hot) Fur Affinity gallery, or his Wiki that mentions successes in getting media notice. Some was for costuming, and some for art (like in the badly intentioned, but well exposed) MTV Sex2K documentary “Plushies and Furries.

When I say “ahead of its time” and mention MTV, the 90’s were a different time than now. Drama raged between furry fans about whether sexy stuff was acceptable, especially in reaction to media exploitation that overemphasized the fringes. A lot of the bad attention came with a nasty streak of homophobia.  In 2018, I think we know who won. It’s not about furries being indecent, it’s about radical self-expression with all kinds of supportive benefits. I’d say change didn’t come from pleading with outsiders to be nicer, but from the power of building a great community within. And the media followed along with some change from exploitation to a gentler view of loveable eccentricity.

All along, there were members who dared to explore what they wanted to express without taming it for outside recognition, but who were fiercely talented enough to get some of that too.

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Hairy heist: Have you seen this fursuit? Truckload of Furry Burning Man gear stolen in Oakland

by Patch O'Furr

MISSING: Animosulo’s fursuit. Can you help? Ask these news sources for attention, and link this article on Twitter (or use their other contacts):

Nacho’s suit was mistakenly mentioned as stolen (relying on info referencing multiple suits.)

(You might add  @burningman, and do send suggestions.)

Last time this happened…

A few years ago, Zarafa Giraffe’s beloved purple giraffe suit was stolen. He became furry-internet-famous (and a San Francisco celebri-fur, even to average people on the street.) There were stories by SFist and Broke-Ass Stuart and a journalist flew in from New York. The theft was sad but the outcome was happy.

Zarafa had been at Frolic Party, a legendary monthly furry dance party at The Eagle in San Francisco (which helped spark a whole movement of them across North America.) His fursuit bin was a tempting target for car break-in thieves. Neonbunny, founder and organizer of Frolic, personally hit the pavement to post flyers, along with some help. Thanks to his tireless work not just to promote the party, but care for it’s goers, there was an answer and the giraffe rejoined Zarafa.

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Furry Socialism: You’re Soaking in It! – by Tempe O’Kun and Dralen Dragonfox

by Patch O'Furr

Thanks Tempe and Dralen for this guest post, a good followup to my “heart of the furry economy“. – Patch

The furry fandom is big and complex. We each have our own groups of friends, and our little sub-fandoms centered around specific shows and interests. It’s easy to not see the fursuit for the fluff.

Once it a while, it’s worth taking a step back and looking at it as a whole.

Furry is incredibly socialist.

This seems like a weird statement on its face. How can a community of people who like cartoon animal media be socialist? Well, we make, buy, and sell things.

“But wait!” you might say. “That’s using money! Furry must be capitalism!”

Socialism doesn’t mean abolishing money, like they do on Star Trek. It just means the economy has to benefit regular people, instead of companies and a handful of the ultra-rich. In fact, since the Furry fandom literally invents itself without some overarching canon coming from any one movie, TV, animation, or comics studio, no one person can ever control who gets paid for their unique creations. This power resides in the creators themselves and the furries who support them. Furry is open source.

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ArtworkTee issues and the heart of the furry economy

by Patch O'Furr

There was a lot of recent drama about Artworktee, an indie operation catering to furries. This video covers how it started, but there’s a lot more to say.

I had mixed feelings on watching it unfold on social media. “But Patch, isn’t reporting not supposed to have feelings?” I’m a fan like any other, and “objective fan” is an oxymoron.  I couldn’t pretend not to be one, or miss the point of having an independent subculture by fans, for fans that’s best written about from inside. For this story, I dug deeper into some of the issues involved:

  • Complaints about underpaid artists.
  • Questionable practices for the business of art.
  • The mission and allegiance involved in profiting from fandom.
  • The stakes of overlooking problems and calling it “just business”, vs. how formal business can solve problems too.

Let me try to bring understanding from several perspectives, including the travails of small-business, and the devotion of grassroots fans. This is a great case for that stuff, because it’s not every day that a business comes from this niche fandom that kind of resembles mainstream startup companies. Until now, the most successful commercial enterprise like that is probably Bad Dragon.

Pro-fans and profiteering

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Meet Robert Hill: Artist, performer, and history’s first sexy fursuiter.

by Patch O'Furr

(Don’t miss the interview with Robert!)

Come my pelted pals, gather around… and look back to the distant, dusty past Before Furry Cons.  A time when seeing a sexy “fursuit crush” in public was as unimaginable as looking at them on a phone in your pocket. (A phone with the brightness dialed all the way down, of course.)

It was the 1980’s, when apparently everything was written by eye-blasting lasers with no dial-down button, so wear your raddest shades:

Let’s meet a pioneer. It’s not a label anyone chooses, but what else do you call the first fursuiter at the first furry convention? (ConFurence 0… actually a test before the first one). And they weren’t just a generic cute thing you could see at Disneyland, but a *look away kids!* pleather-clad dominatrix deer. Schwing!

Astonishing vintage VHS footage of this Bigfoot-like creature was unearthed by Changa Lion, archivist for the Prancing Skiltaire (the furry house run by the founders of ConFurence in Southern California.) When Changa posted Hilda’s 1989 con video to Youtube, it went viral outside of fandom (with over 75,000 views to date). Then he found an even earlier one that few have seen until now.

In a way, these are like the Declaration of Sex-Positive Furry Independence. (Obligatory disclaimer for subscribers to the squeaky-clean side of fandom: that’s just one kind of furry, not all of them.)

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