As my first story here, I'd like to kick things off with a bang by posting about my personal favorite pieces of conservative animated fare. Fitting seeing as political messages are more popular in children's movies now than ever.
5.) The Angry Birds Movie
Directed by Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly
Theatrical Release Date - May 11, 2016
The most relevant on the list, this film has the gall to take on a subject that's been of great concern in Western Europe for quite some time now: the migrant crisis. Showcasing both the inherent dangers of unfiltered "tolerance" and anti-nationalist sentiment, Angry Birds is a great watch for anyone who wants not only a fun and witty animated feature but a great social statement that's sure to start a conversation.
4.) My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
Created by Lauren Faust and Bonnie Zacherle
First Air Date - October 10, 2010
Because I had a hard time finding a lot of content for this list that I could truly say was conservative, it's nice to have a long-winded television series for a change. Now in it's fourth incarnation and running on seven seasons, the show continues to build and explore the world of Equestria. Mainly through the point of view of six girls, one of whom is an apprentice of it's ruler, Princess Celestia.
Furry chairman of New Milford, CT resigns due to SoFurry profile mishap: How site design flaws were to blame, and were fixedPosted by Sonious on Sun 10 Sep 2017 - 10:01
The fandom is alight with conversation over a recent political ouster of a Chairman in the small town of New Milford, Connecticut. The story is that a furry by the name of Grey Muzzle had images of his SoFurry profile pages posted on the Facebook page of Rick Agee, a concerned grandparent in the local area. It included Grey's Likes/Dislikes pages which had tied the website tag of “rape” listed under the section of “tolerates”. As a result, this Chairman whose real life name is Scott Chamberlain, was pressured to resign from office and obliged by announcing that would do so on Monday, September 11th.
But why would a politician knowingly put such information that is so obviously going to be exploited into the public eye? The answer is this, he didn’t do it knowingly. Upon further investigation it was found that this was an issue of user error caused by poor graphical user interface design (GUI for short). In this article we go over the causes of this error and how furries can prevent themselves and others from falling into similar predicaments in the future.
Updated 9/10 3:10PM: The Like/Dislikes and Tag Filtering functionalities have been changed to be separated from one another and be distinguishable. The items discussed in this article have been resolved.
Update 9/16: Headline updated to reflect fixes had occurred.
What is free speech?
Of the many rights which are available to us, none is as important as free speech. However, a combination of factors including the high-profile activities of the alt-right in the US, resurgence of right-wing parties across Europe, emergence of various special interest and rights groups and the ease and speed at which news, ideas and, especially, outrage can spread over the internet have led some to question its necessity.
The most concerning statements that I've seen in the furry fandom have been those saying that certain people should not be allowed to speak and should be banned from websites and conventions for holding their views and the idea that it is okay to assault people who hold certain views. In the light of this, I feel it is necessary to explain what free speech is and isn't, why it is important and try to highlight some of the ways in which it directly impacts the furry fandom.
I will start with the Wikipedia article on free speech which describes it thus:
Freedom of speech is the right to articulate one's opinions and ideas without fear of government retaliation or censorship, or societal sanction.
Further down in the article it breaks freedom of speech into three discrete aspects.
1. the right to seek information and ideas;
2. the right to receive information and ideas;
3. the right to impart information and ideas
In some cases these will be limited due to laws regarding privacy or similar rules but such cases will not be considered here as those limitations generally do not affect free speech in the way that it applies to the furry fandom vis-à-vis the expression of alt-right ideas.
In recent years SPR MUCK, a long standing furry fandom MUCK with an international user-base, has quickly seen it's membership decline. In my opinion, this has been caused by a small group of highly vocal users. These users would consistently quote from the playbook of the alt-right, attempt to suppress any discussion of topics such as 'Black Lives Matter' with accusations of being anti-police, and go so far as staging a take over of a location on the MUCK that explicitly allowed political discussion in order to then change the rules and shut political discussion down under claims that it 'only causes drama'. I was very surprised to discover one of these users had been made staff on the MUCK, and wanted to know how this could have happened.
To answer this question, I'd like to present to you an on-the-record conversation I had this weekend with "Snout", the head of policy. This conversation has been edited for terseness. It may serve as an important indicator of the risks of insular fandom attitudes and the peril of existing within a local bubble.
On August 12, during a "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, a car drove into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing 32-year old Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others. James Alex Fields, Jr., who some linked to a local white nationalist organization, has been charged with second degree murder in relation to the event. On the 14th, VoIP messaging application Discord announced they had deleted AltRight.com's server, and others, citing TOS violations and promising to "take action against white supremacy, nazi ideology, and all forms of hate".
Discord closed, content leaked
The same day, members of the furry community began reporting the "AltFurry" Discord server, an Alt-Right furry community who are associated with Califur's recent security issues. Before the rally, the server had announced on Twitter that members of theirs would be attending. Following a tip about a Dogpatch Press article linking the group (and member TheBigKK) to the Charlottesville rally, people sent in messages from leaked logs of the chat revealing TOS violations, and the server was closed, as well as a second "back-up" server.
During the latest break in the Trump Russian investigations, an email was revealed to show a requested meeting between a Russian contact and President’s son, Donald Trump Jr, to discuss findings to help them against Clinton’s campaign on behalf of the Russian Government. This email has created yet another uneasy connection to the issue that the 2016 election could very well have been decided by heavy foreign influence and manipulation.
However, this is a furry news site, so what does this have to do with anthropomorphic arts or entertainment?
Well the author of the email sent to Trump Jr. to get this meeting set up was apparently made by an eccentric individual by the name of Rob Goldstone. The full story of their interaction and background can be read on Salon’s “Insane in Moscow”: The unbelievable but partly true story of the zany English publicist, the Azerbaijani pop sensation and the “high-quality” presidential offspring”.
When perusing written news articles about furries written outside the fandom you’ll usually run into the typical faire. Some articles will talk about furries and try and introduce their unknowing audience to what the fandom is. Others will talk about the local convention in town and why the denizens will be seeing all these costumes about. Heck, some will not even be about the fandom at all and will just be using the term to talk about pets or the band Super Furry Animals.
However, 2017 has started off on a very interesting foot as two articles showed up on the feed which don’t take the tired and treaded routes. Both looked at pieces of the fandom and their relationship to the recently inaugurated president, Donald Trump and what he stands for in society in general.
One article from Slate covered a Kyell Gold book and discussed how the virtues with in could counter Trump. The other, from Motherboard, describes another piece of fandom and their alt-right tendencies and pondering if crass anonymity can lead to crass actors acquiring power.
So let’s go over these two articles and what they have to say about furry fandom.
I don't watch movies often. I'm not the kind to go out of my way to see films of any kind. Most of the ones I enjoyed I watched with my family on the television or on VHS or DVD. I can count the number times I went to the theater in the past decade on one hand.
And Zootopia is the first movie in cinema history where I can look at the opening weekend box office numbers and count my dollars amongst them. Yes, you heard that correctly. A 30 year old has never been to any movie on opening weekend until this last Friday, March 4th.
But I guess that's to be expected. Afterall, I was the audience it was marketed for. I'm a furry who writes for a furry news website that often covers movies, books, video games and also covers fandom politic. I usually cover the later two with more regularity. However, as with this opening weekend viewing, I find myself in need to make an exception.
In this article, I'm not going to not talk about the movie itself from an artistic and visual standpoint. I'll leave that to the movie experts on this site as there are people better at that aspect. Instead, in the interest of diversity I'm going to instead analyze the film from the perspective that I'm more known for and that is the social dynamic and messaging of the film.
In this interest I will cover two moments. The one that I feel is the movie’s greatest triumph, and the one that is its greatest downfall. As said these will contain supreme spoilers. If you want no spoilers, skip to the conclusion and don't read the comments.
Spoiler warning: Obviously many others are going to be covering the broad review of the movie here, as we at Flayrah are kind of doing a review extravaganza event. There are already some that are general and spoiler free. Therefore, in order to keep things fresh I will be doing one that contains a bit more spoilers than they do. So this is your warning. Only this introduction and the article's conclusion will be spoiler free. The main sections of the article and the comments will be free game and contain spoilers.
KHARKIV, Ukraine, 28 January -- Amid growing disapproval and violent protests that left 4 dead and hundreds injured in the Ukrainian capital city of Kiev, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov resigned on the morning of 28 January 2014.
He and his cabinet will continue in their roles until the President and the Parliament can form a new government to lead the eastern-European nation moving forward.
The protests ultimately stem from the decision of Azarov to imprison former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who was one of the nation’s most outspoken leaders in the effort to integrate the Ukraine into the European Union.
Some 475 kilometers (300 miles) to the east in Ukraine’s second largest city, Kharkiv, the situation has been tense but different. Most of Kharkiv’s residents speak Russian and many do not actively support the integration of the Ukraine into the EU, due to already deteriorating ties with Russia.
A small gathering will be occurring this weekend in Kharkiv, but politics are not on the agenda for discussion. KharCon, a small furry convention that meets several times a year, will take place this weekend, from Friday 31 January through Sunday 2 February.
Hopefully, all Internet users have, by now, heard about the United State's widespread spying programme which has recorded huge volumes of data passing through America. Just as concerning is the looming, default porn block in the UK which will not only block porn by default but also violence, alcohol, smoking and Internet forums, among other things. These programmes should be of major concern to all Internet users. They are also a perfect opportunity to talk about online security.
32 days before the mayoral election in Xalapa, capital of the Mexican state of Veracruz, a feline candidate is making a mockery of the ruling coalition's politicians on social networks.
"Candigato Morris" has his own iconic posters and other campaign materials, and has captured the public fancy with such slogans as "no more rats in Xalapa" and "in Xalapa it suits you to vote for another animal; vote for Morris".
According to his Facebook profile, Morris, who was born in Xalapa, "promises no more than the other candidates" and "sleeps a lot, which is the ideal profile for a mayoral candidate."
It's yet to be seen whether the candigato's weakness for "quilts, sheets, pollows, couches, and clothing in general" will be his undoing. Still, given his charisma (and the fact that his campaign page has over 18,000 'likes'), the PAN and PRD coalition candidates may be in serious trouble come July 7.
Pups of Liberty: The Boston Tea-Bone Party, an educational animated short film by Bert and Jennifer Klein’s Picnic Pictures – available on DVD from Amazon.com for $15 (or from izzit.org); 18 minutes -- about the outbreak of the American Revolution, featuring dogs as the American colonists and cats as the British oppressors, has been referenced on the Internet since 2009; but I do not believe that it has been reported on Flayrah.
This new Cartoon Brew post reveals that it was made by moonlighting Disney animators, including many top names.
Of more anthropomorphic interest, however, is the commentary on this article, arguing whether it is “natural” to portray cats oppressing dogs. Why not dogs oppressing cats? Or cats oppressing mice? Or mice oppressing cats? Or any animals oppressing any other animals, because this is a humanocentric concept that animals do not really share?
Do any Furry fans have any comments on this? The Cartoon Brew’s website is open.
Andy Serkis is a well-known actor, both in front of the camera and… behind the animation, as one of the world’s most famous motion-capture models. You’ve seen the results of his work as Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and also in movies like King Kong and Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Now Cartoon Brew has passed along the word the Mr. Serkis is looking to direct his own feature film — and wouldn’t you know it, he plans to do it using mo-cap! George Orwell’s famous allegorical fantasy Animal Farm has been filmed before of course, via traditional animation and also puppetry. Now Mr. Serkis has bought the rights to the story and has it currently in development, hoping to direct the film himself. No word yet on a projected release date, but Mr. Serkis is currently working on a “proof of concept” short film to help him secure financing.
During World War II, David Stern, then assigned to an Army newspaper in Honolulu, wrote 15 short stories for Esquire about a nameless brand-new U.S. Army 2nd lieutenant fighting the Japanese in the jungles of Burma. The naïve 2nd lieutenant is helped by a talking, flying Army mule. The humorous military fantasies, satirizing the Army’s bureaucracy, were very popular. As soon as the War ended, Stern wrote connecting material to turn the separate stories into a single novel. Francis was published in October 1946, and sold so well that it went into several printings.
A couple of years later, Stern was out of the Army and was drawing a target on the political establishment. His sequel, Francis Goes to Washington, was a true novel. The 2nd lieutenant, now civilian Peter Stirling, returns to an average East Coast postwar life as a bank clerk. When Mayor Parker, the head of his local Democratic party, invites him to be its common-man candidate for Congress, an “ordinary fellow”, he feels nervous yet honored – until Francis reappears to reveal that the Mayor, known to insiders as “Slimy” Parker, is a corrupt political boss who plans to use him as a patsy.
NYC, Farrar, Straus & Co, September 1948, xii + 243 pages, hardcover $2.50. Frontispiece by Garrett Price.
Whatever you’re for, Mulvar is for it, too. And he’s anthropomorphic, also. The Cartoon Brew website brings us this ultimate candidate, created by Montreal animator Patrick Désilets for this 2012 election year. (Note: Loud audio.)