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Editorial: Furry - Our deliverance or our destruction?

Your rating: None Average: 2.8 (11 votes)

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.

The Review: Part IV

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (4 votes)

zootopiaposter.jpgI 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.

This is the fourth review of Zootopia on Flayrah; please check out reviews by crossaffliction, Mister Twister and Equivamp.

Furry gathering held in Ukraine despite unrest

Your rating: None Average: 3.9 (7 votes)

Politics is far from the agenda when around 20 Ukrainian furs attend local event KharCon, reports Grisli Aklark, editor-in-chief of The Furry Post:

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.

Continue reading at The Furry PostPhotos: KharCon 1, 2, 3.5 x2, 5, 6Reports: 1, 2, 3, 4

Online security in furry fandom

Your rating: None Average: 4 (2 votes)

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.

Cat proposed as mayor of Mexican state capital Xalapa

Your rating: None Average: 4.6 (7 votes)

'Candigato Morris', by J Carlos V Padilla 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.

Animation: 'Pups of Liberty'

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

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.

Animated Animal Farm — Sort Of

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.


image c. 2012 Cartoon Brew

Review: 'Francis Goes to Washington', by David Stern

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

Francis Goes to WashingtonDuring 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.

Video: Vote for Mulvar!

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (2 votes)

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.)

Music video: 'Parler le Fracas'

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (3 votes)

The Cartoon Brew website says that Parler le Fracas, a 4:26-minute French music video created by Wasaru for Le Peuple de l’Herbe, is sort of an update of Orwell’s Animal Farm.

Put the emphasis on “sort of”; fat pig capitalists oppressing other-animal workers have been a common image of communistic (as distinct from Communist) propaganda since long before Orwell. Be that as it may, this is superficially anthropomorphic, although it feels more like humans in cheap animal-head masks.

Editorial: For the love of Flayrah; please keep it furry!

Your rating: None Average: 4.6 (24 votes)

Yesterday, Flayrah published the first article tagged as opinion where the topic's relation to the furry fandom was particularly light. Many might even say non-existent. It was a topic of personal interest to the author, who happens to be the main editor at this site.

In the past, when other furry sites made major decisions or policy changes, Flayrah would report on them, and people would give their opinions. In this tradition, I feel it necessary to examine these articles and why they could have been so poorly received, and consider Flayrah's future.

Counterpoint: Health care law threatens U.S. furs

Your rating: None Average: 2.2 (25 votes)

We are young and strange. By tendency, at least, furries are non-conformists with many years ahead of them. That's why the new health care law is a poison pill for our community.

Right now there are people dangling "free" drugs and other medical care in front of us and promising there's no cost; it'll all be paid for by some rich guy. Just let this law stand, they say, and help elect the people who will protect it.

But what are we actually signing away? Our freedom. All of it.

[Ed.: This will be the last story on this topic. A separate piece addresses topic suitability.]

What's the 'Fast and Furious' scandal? Why should furs care?

Your rating: None Average: 2 (37 votes)

Last week the U.S. House of Representatives voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. The charge? Illegally withholding documents that the House had lawfully subpoenaed regarding an ATF program gone berserk.

Pretty much everyone agrees that the Fast and Furious operation itself – which began under the Obama presidency and thus was ultimately overseen by Eric Holder and which involved supplying Mexican drug cartels with weapons without so much as consulting the Mexican government – was an ill-conceived failure, so poorly planned as to border upon the absurd. This much, the administration has acknowledged. But what they seem to want to cover up is, who knew what and when did they know it?

Opinion: Supreme Court decision a good deal for U.S. furs

Your rating: None Average: 1.5 (42 votes)

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Many laws have little practical impact on furry fans one way or another. But this is one we should pay attention to, because it applies especially to us.

Review: 'PKP for President', by Beth Hilgartner

Your rating: None Average: 4 (2 votes)

PKP for PresidentHousecats Fluffy and PKP (Princess Killer Pinknose) had it easy living as the pampered pets of musician Colin and novelist Dana Wickey -- until the humans got into financial hardship, and had to get JOBS that took them out of the house during the day. This was 2001, when American households were getting their first home computers. Dana tries to teach Colin how to go onto the Internet, while Fluffy lounges in the background taking notes.

Once the humans are out of the house for the day, the cats have unlimited access to their new computer to get onto the Information Superhighway. Fluffy wants to make enough money (using the Wickey’s names and SSNs) so their humans can become financially independent, quit their jobs, and return to spending all day at home with their music and their writing and fussing over the cats. But she has reckoned without PKP, her aggressively psychotic sister who doesn’t know when to stop. Soon the cats have become computer-savvy enough that they are in danger of getting Colin and Dana arrested for insider trading …

That was in Hilgartner’s Cats in Cyberspace (Meisha Merlin Publishing, September 2001). Now it is ten years later, but only a few months in story-time.

Brigantine Media/Voyage, Dec. 2011, trade paperback $14.95 (272 pgs.), Kindle/Nook/iOS $5.99.