Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

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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Furries in war: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine through the eyes of Tillian The Fox

by Patch O'Furr

Has war ever come to any sizeable part of the furry fandom, in 4 decades of growth for this worldwide group?

There are members who went to fight in foreign lands, or maybe had relatives flee when war happened. I’m just not recalling any place where hundreds or thousands of them had their houses shaken by hostile tanks, jets and shelling.

This hobby writer in California is challenged to cover news of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. There are furries on both sides. Recent Russian news here leads me to know about Russian furries sent to Ukraine, where they may kill Ukrainian furries. Furries with political aid jobs will help guide refugees to safety. Others face military conscription to fight back.

They see what I see: “the first time in the history of furry fandom that almost all members of one country are in fact combatants / victims of war.”@DimaOusti

The imperialist attack on a fully-accessible European nation feels as personal as the stress of a fursuit maker forced to flee, leaving his suits and bicycle behind.

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5 shot, 1 dead in Portland mass shooting; suspect Ben Smith was right-wing extremist furry

by Patch O'Furr

CNN reports “The Saturday night shooting in Portland, Oregon, that left one woman dead and five people injured started with a confrontation between an armed homeowner and armed protesters, according to a Portland Police Bureau news release issued Sunday.”

It can be hard to trust police accounts if the shooter wasn’t actually a homeowner, and it was a one-sided attack on unarmed targets until one defender shot back. Those are the claims of some sources. The New York Times has a victim’s account that they were volunteering to reroute traffic for safety ahead of a protest, but weren’t protesting when they were threatened. One victim was a woman who walked with a cane. Oregon Live identifies a slain volunteer as June Knightly, 60.

The sources include investigators who identify the suspect as Ben Smith, 43, an outcast of the furry community. There’s also furries who know Smith, and local journalists with a history of reporting against political spin and suppression. Some of them compared this to other chaotic incidents with unreliable official news, delays and failures to respond until authorities were forced to by public protest.

At the time of writing, the police haven’t named Ben Smith, but the media has. People grieving the tragedy are waiting for the arrest.

It appears that this story may be another incident of right-wing violence with a risk of biased official response. And, it’s another incident from a far-right fringe of furry fandom that the main community strongly rejects. It’s been compared to the July 2020 shooting of Garrett Foster by Daniel Perry, a far-right furry who was controversially let go with no murder charges for a year.

UPDATE (Feb 22): Benjamin Jeffrey Smith charged with one count of second degree murder, four counts of attempted first degree murder with a firearm, as well as four counts of assault with a firearm.

The history of Portland shooting suspect Ben Smith (furry name Polybun) indicates his violence was predictable and motivated by hate. The facts may come from independent reporters and even furry news. Some may be pulled from investigator files because of record deletion we’re watching as the news comes out.

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The Good Furry Award is open for nominations for people who improve the fandom.

by Patch O'Furr

Don’t miss your chance to nominate for the Ursa Major Awards – nominations close on Feb 12!

2022 GOOD FURRY AWARD – Nominate furries HERE.

This annual award is run by Grubbs Grizzly to recognize furries who make outstanding positive contributions to the fandom. The first one in 2019 went to Tony “Dogbomb” Barrett. In 2020 the award (and a $500 check) went to Ash Coyote. In 2021, Cassidy Civet won. Each winner gets a check and a trophy.

There’s a few new things for the 4th award:

  1. Grubbs is shortening the voting time from January to April, and voting will be in May. He’s hoping to do an award ceremony at a certain Reno convention.
  2. Grubbs is asking people to submit photos or videos of their nominees being pawsome, which may be compiled into a video.
  3. This year there will be a new Lifetime Achievement Award, selected by Uncle Bear Publishing in addition to regular awards.

Here’s a list of current nominees that can tell you why people nominate. For example, Soatok Dhole helped a library gain over $100,000 in funding.

Grubbs explains why he started the award on the nomination page:

The Good Furry Award is about community spirit. This is not an award for who is the best fursuiter or artist or writer. It is not about being the most popular or being the furry who is seen on news broadcasts. It is about furries who do good works to promote and sustain the fandom and who represent the best in furry. Examples might be a person who does extraordinary work as a furcon volunteer, or who runs a charity, or who has done a lot to help furries in need, or who does something to promote a positive image of furries to the mundane world. I’m sure you understand the phrase “community spirit,” so nominate people based on that concept. The same goes for groups of people, organizations, and even businesses that help out furries.

Like the article? These take hard work. For more free furry news, follow on Twitter or support not-for-profit Dogpatch Press on PatreonWant to get involved? Try these subreddits: r/furrydiscuss for news or r/waginheaven for the best of the community. Or send guest writing here. (Content Policy.)

The Buck Ups play fun classic songs with a two buck show.

by Patch O'Furr

Don’t miss your chance to nominate for the Ursa Major Awards – nominations close on Feb 12!

There are furry music labels, furry DJ’s for furry dances, and furry bands. Here’s one with a good look. Many of them are like musicians in fursuits… but this is a band with a fursona. A deer duo, acoustic and rustic, and playing with hooves; that’s neat. OK, maybe the hooves are imaginary, but this would go well with furry camping. Here’s what they say about music and fawndom.

From Stagger Lee and Bucket:

Born out of a very chance twitter friendship, the Buck Ups have been making music together now for just over two years. It wasn’t until late of 2021 that the duo began their own twitter page – @Buck_ups. Posting for a year prior under both Stagger and Bucket’s own accounts, the two decided it was time to put forth the effort to centralize their sound. Here you’ll find our love for primarily 60s and 70s feel good music, with some surprises thrown in – as well as our favorite comedic gold unscripted moments and why we’re aptly called, “the Buck Ups.”

In 2018 Stagger Lee had started posting drumming videos to some classic rock songs, when he did a mashup of four Led Zeppelin tunes, and Bucket hesitantly posted his first guitar comment video with the tagline “Hey, wanna start a band?” The two still find it fate, as Bucket noted many times how he debated for a long time about actually posting a response like that. A fast friendship ensued. Bucket has been playing guitar for over 16 years, and Stagger a relatively new comer to the instrument just over 2 years. The two deer have been sharing ideas and songs they find near and deer to their heart for their twitter audience.

We’re probably a-typical of your furry music scene which primarily focuses on electronic music. Never afraid to be different, the two bucks love to share their quick less-than-2-minute snap shots of fun classic songs. It’s about having fun, and not taking ourselves seriously. We get tangled up in our antlers, we forget lyrics constantly, and chords are often made up on the spot. The banter is raw and real, the takes are often many – but we can’t wait to share more music. It’s about keeping music alive and breathing new life into these songs you forgot about.

Like what you hear? Want more? Give them a follow or bring them to a con. They won’t get frozen in the spotlights with stag fright if they have this much fun.

Like the article? These take hard work. For more free furry news, follow on Twitter or support not-for-profit Dogpatch Press on PatreonWant to get involved? Try these subreddits: r/furrydiscuss for news or r/waginheaven for the best of the community. Or send guest writing here. (Content Policy.)

2 Days Left to Nominate for the Ursa Major Awards!

by Patch O'Furr

Furry fandom’s Ursa Major awards honor the best, most loved anthropomorphic creations of the past year (2021.) There’s just a short time to nominate what the public can vote on. Get yours in while you can. Movies, art, books, news magazines, and more… which ones will the community choose?

Nominate HERE for the Ursas, but don’t wait until it’s too late! February 12 is the deadline.

Volunteers run this. Please support them so they can make a community award possible.

Since 2001, these awards have been run with long hours of unpaid work. The volunteers would appreciate any support you can give to defray costs for a website, making and mailing awards, and more.

Categories:

  • Best Anthropomorphic Motion Picture
  • Best Anthropomorphic Dramatic Short Work
  • Best Anthropomorphic Dramatic Series
  • Best Anthropomorphic Novel
  • Best Anthropomorphic Short Fiction
  • Best Anthropomorphic Other Literary Work
  • Best Anthropomorphic Non-Fiction Work
  • Best Anthropomorphic Graphic Story
  • Best Anthropomorphic Comic Strip
  • Best Anthropomorphic Magazine
  • Best Anthropomorphic Published Illustration
  • Best Anthropomorphic Game
  • Best Anthropomorphic Website
  • Best Anthropomorphic Costume (Fursuit)

Like the article? These take hard work. For more free furry news, follow on Twitter or support not-for-profit Dogpatch Press on PatreonWant to get involved? Try these subreddits: r/furrydiscuss for news or r/waginheaven for the best of the community. Or send guest writing here. (Content Policy.)

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 named Bob who likes furries, although it’s complicated. More on Bob in a minute.

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Smells like a furry con: HUFFaromas creates erotic fragrances like Werewolf Balls

by Patch O'Furr

We don’t do ads at Dogpatch Press. This site isn’t here to grow an audience or even monetized, besides a Patreon tip jar where lovely patrons cover meager costs. (I call it beer money that keeps me writing.) Today, I’m writing just for fun to share the WTF moment I got from an entrepeneurial vision with a whiff of genius.

Furry is a tactile word. Fursuits have the message, “Hug Me”. It’s in the DNA of a fandom, where visual art manifests our fantasy selves. There’s writing and music, but art that evokes touch is a backbone of it all. It’s a world where one of the senses is rarely up front… until now.

Wet dog smell: Now you can get that in a bottle, adorned with uncensored erotica to enhance the tingle. Furry Musk-style scents are the most unusual olfactory products I’ve ever seen. HUFFaromas creates them to delight you, like Bad Dragon for your nostrils.

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Further Confusion 2022 is canceled, and a volunteer staffer speaks about the experience

by Patch O'Furr

Contract terms and angry messages

The cancelation of San Jose’s Further Confusion, among the world’s largest furry cons, was sad for everyone involved. Hopefully they will weather this and return next year. It must have been maximum difficulty at last minute during an unprecedented spike of the Covid pandemic.

The stakes are laid as soon as a furry convention signs a contract to fill a hotel. They get a block of rooms and are on the hook to deliver hundreds of rentals. It takes special circumstances to get released from the contract. If the terms don’t specify a zombie invasion, expect a bill while sharpening your machete! The pandemic must have given them a dilemma: Face a six figure debt or be a spreader event?

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NFT’s bring hype, greed, and fraud; Creativity will suffer, says guest writer Doppelfoxx

by Dogpatch Press Staff

(Editor opinion by Patch): Cryptocurrency isn’t for me, because… (1) The energy use hurts the climate, (2) I wouldn’t try volatile trading without being highly informed, (3) I have no interest in heroin or hiring a hitman. That’s a popular stance among furries, but let’s not just be popular. One should know their enemy.

In theory, this blockchain technology is for decentralized exchange, kind like Paypal + Bittorrent for outsiders. In theory, I’d say it has some worthy use. Why? Look at Wikileaks, which did whistleblowing about governments — and was cut off from traditional funding — or even consider how to fund furries with identity and expression issues beyond borders. I also wonder if crypto’s energy use could reconcile with sustainability through computing advances, but ask a cryptographer. I’m not techie enough to understand the math beyond science fiction.

Basically, if you see blockchain tech covered by me, it’s from learning and putting things on record. Like its influence on the record highest fursuit auction, or the fandom’s only auction site. (I’ve never covered NFT’s.) Do you want it covered differently? Send a guest article! The following opinion piece covers NFT’s, another blockchain concept that isn’t interchangeable like currency. This isn’t vetted by a tech editor, so please use the comments for feedback. (- Patch)

The Furry Fandom, artist culture, and the dangers of Non-Fungible Tokens  

 

Cryptocurrency isn’t a new thing to a lot of people. Most safely assume that it’s a common matter to discuss by now. From one trend to another, it seems like the over-publicized success stories, scam emails, and ads that badger you to invest or download this or that app never stop coming. Yet while furries are notoriously well versed in technology, for most of us, it’s just background noise. Spam, business con tactics, and maybe hearsay from the friend of a friend who invested; it all sounds almost good enough to break through our skepticism… but not quite.

However, early in 2021, things suddenly changed. A digital work from Mike Winkelmann (AKA Beeple), entitled ‘Everydays: The First 5000 Days’, sold for $69.3 million USD. It was entirely unexpected for most of the online community, and the term NFT exploded like crypto did before it.

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