Early next month, Americans will vote for various political offices, including President of the United States, the U.S.'s head of state. This is usually considered a pretty big deal in America, and even the world in general, as America still manages to wield a lot of political, economic and even cultural power on the world stage, despite itself. Some of the idiosyncrasies of the American political system may be a bit opaque to non-Americans (no, we don't really understand what the Electoral College is supposed to accomplish anymore, either). One aspect that seems to be uniquely American is the strong identification of American political parties with certain animals.
A Furry created hashtag trend, #SocialistTeeth, ended up as the top trending tag in the United States after Conservative Bots picked it up to launch criticism at the concept of Socalist policies in general. A Twitter thread by Dream Hyena shows some examples of some of these bot blunders.
As many around the world continue to practice social distancing during this viral moment in humanity, it is of little surprise that some are engaging in unusual behaviors. From collective mooing or howling from their homes, or telling comedy from their backyard, people are finding ways to try and engage with their neighbors from a safe distance. Then there are late show leads Samantha Bee and John Oliver, both known for their time as Daily Show correspondents before getting their own shows on TBS and HBO respectively, who have in a strange turn of events set their sites on the furry fandom in very different ways.
Both have done segments or furry hijynx in their shows, giving our fandom some unusual mainstream attention.
The Fandom is certainly not the first documentary to be done by furries about our own fandom. Over the past decade a handful have been made. Sometimes they focus on a particular incident surrounding an individual such as Rukus. Or perhaps they talk about the group in a way that may be more useful for political discussion within the community rather than introducing us and where we came from such as Fursonas.
I can say that if you were to want to introduce someone to the concept of what the foundations of the community are and its growth in the modern era, then this would be the one you would want to show. It covers our history in the same vein that Joe Strike’s Furry Nation did in book form.
Its release comes at a very appropriate time as the world has been set on pause, so it is a great time to reflect on where we came from and where we are going. This certainly appears to be the goal of this film as it explores the growth of our communal spaces in the world from the 70s to today. You can help support their efforts by buying a copy here.
Furries of past connected mostly via the internet behind avatars and characters of varying species. In chat rooms they would engage in discussion and role play. However, many folks of color found opportunity through being through a world where interaction was through text and art alone. That if they did not discuss or indicate their race then they could see the world in a whole new way. They could finally escape their skin and put on a new one here.
However, no one can live on the internet alone. A systemically racial bias in justice systems throughout America came to a head, once again, in the death of George Floyd, a black citizen of Minneapolis. The cruelty of this death was of grueling note as video was released of Officer Chauvin knelled down on his neck for many minutes until Mr. Floyd stopped breathing.
A furry fan drew an inflated skunk embroidered with the emblem for the Industrial Workers of the World union squishing a hamster in a top hat with the caption of “squash the boss”. Such a piece is not anything too unusual. The oddity that caught the eye of the Daily Dot was that the union itself posted the piece to their Facebook page.
Soon thereafter, the IWW's Twitter account joined in. Though, for some reason, they quietly back out later, as the original Tweet referenced in the Daily Dot article appears to be deleted. (Its text remains in the article despite this – a feature of the standard embedding code for other sites. Tweeters, be wary of this.)
But has furry reached a point where we need to squash the boss and organize? Or are unions barking up the wrong tree? The answer, like the fandom, may be complex.
According to convention chairman Rizzorat, "configuration changes to our payment systems" which include switching payment providers necessitated a delay to "reliably implement and test" them. ConFuzzled registration, previously expected to open tomorrow (Friday, October 11), is now to open November 1 at 20:00 GMT/UTC+0 – British Summer Time to have ended October 27.
Organizers apologized to those who may have "made special plans to be available tomorrow evening to ensure you secure your registration", going further to justify and explain the change, which was felt to be "absolutely necessary to ensure your peace of mind" ahead of the event's 13th instance:
Why are we making this decision? As a result of uncertainty surrounding the UKs departure from the European Union, our banking & credit card handling partners have imposed additional conditions that we’re having to work through. Unfortunately, this is resulting in various operational changes, including (but not limited to), switching our payment partners to ensure we can maintain our normal operations.
We’d like to reassure you all that registration will be going ahead on the new date, and that ConFuzzled is not financially impacted by the above changes. Furthermore, we are fully confident that we can continue to welcome those of you who visit ConFuzzled from EU countries. Whilst we expect travel documentation requirements may change, as long as these are satisfied, we see no reason you should be unable to visit ConFuzzled.
Midwest Furfest has come to learn that being the largest furry convention in the world comes with its follies as news broke of an infamous alt-right provocateur, Milos Yiannopoulos, setting his sights on the gathering. After he went public with this, and word started to spread around, the pressure was on for the convention to make a decision on the matter of this particular would-be attendee.
In a statement released by the convention they said that his presence would not be appropriate for the goal of giving attendees an enjoyable gathering experience.
Self-registration for our event does not imply a given individual’s presence is condoned or appropriate.Our full statement is below, along with a link to our Code of Conduct: https://t.co/bf78xOGSOo pic.twitter.com/0CnTi6AbYt— Midwest FurFest ???? (@FurFest) September 16, 2019
In return there have been statements by the banned individual that they plan on showing up to the event anyway. With this debacle covered by many outlets outside the fandom such as the Rolling Stone, it has inspired other far right political actors, such as the Proud Boys, to claim they’ll try and be disruptive of the event as well. Convention security has been working with the venues and law enforcement to ensure that precautions are taken. Furs have been informing other attendees to take necessary steps and be aware when attending this December’s gathering.
On March 14th, following the announcement by Texas Democrat Beto O'Rourke that he plans on making a presidential run, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) made a tweet incorrectly claiming that the candidate is a furry. This claim stems from video of Beto in a sheep costume was released in January, however his purpose for wearing it had nothing to do with furry fandom activities.
Beto was a part of a band who donned their sheep costumes while performing punk covers on stage in El Paso. The intention was to hide their local demeanor and to play it off as if they were a New Zealand band from out of town, according to a Mother Jones interview. I suppose it's fitting if you are fleecing your band to be more exotic than it is, than a sheep outfit fits quite well.
Furry Youtuber Majira Strawberry and Youtuber YourMovieSucks(YMS), at a combined total of around one million subscribers, had announced that they had planned on accepting a guest spot on a podcast with the Youtuber h3h3 Productions, who sits at 6.23 million. Since its announcement there had been very passionate discussions amongst fur fans on whether this is something that should even be considered. As reasons they should decline critics brought up some of h3h3’s other guests, support of controversial figures, and particular jokes that were received as having transphobic connotations— apparently while h3h3 was actually trying to make a joke at his own expense about his body weight, which seems to be a running gag for his personal feed.
At first Majira stayed stead fast with his commitment to join the podcast. However, as time went on and more fervent messages were received from individuals within the furry community, the strawberry fox eventually relented and backed out of doing the interview.
I've officially decided to back out of the H3 Podcast. After listening to everyone's concerns, it doesn’t feel like the right choice for me to go on the show
I sincerely apologize for the grief I caused the community. I’ll continue to work to earn your trust in constructive ways
— Majira Strawberry (@tallfuzzball) February 22, 2019
This event has driven a stark divide in the furry community, with Furry Youtubers and other content creators getting frustrated about having their peer in the crossfire, while others claiming that Majira had adverted what would have been a disaster for himself and the fandom, believing h3h3 to have ill-intentions.
The furry fandom has a problem. At least that is what is heard when you go onto Twitter, Youtube, or any other social media gathering on the internet these days. As the United States continues to have moments of harsh self reflection as to what their country and leadership represent, the frustrations of those in the fandom from the states has seemingly turned inward on itself.
Many are debating over free speech, its boundaries, and how it is under attack. There is one large article by Rakuen about it on this site, and another by the creator of Dreamkeepers on DogPatch Press. In addition, one particular furry comedian who has received heavy criticism as of late, 2 Gryphon, has decided to join the group of Alt-Furrys in posturing opposition to those that would oppose his views on what freedom of speech should entail.
However, my definition of exercising free speech is a bit different than most would see it. For to me, the meaning of exercising here is not the commonly defined physical exertion required to talk, but instead to expose and cast out the demons schakeling one’s soul and community in hopes of ousting it from the spirit and freeing them from those binds.
So in that sense, let’s strap in and prepare for the long and painstaking process of this exorcism of free speech and its relationship to furry fandom.
A recent video has popped up on Youtube and was sent to me by a corgi friend of mine. Apparently someone by the name of Stefan Molyneux had interviewed a furry in a video named: The Shocking Furry Fandom Conversation. Yes, Really!. Given the thumbnail containing the mugs of the leaders of the Furry Raiders I thought this person was interviewing them, but as it turns out the content of the video didn’t seem to have anything to do with the controversial alt-furry group.
Or at least that is what I thought coming away from the video. As I did more investigation into this Mr. Molyneux and the methods in which he is infamous I started to come to a bit of a more darker conclusions and questioning the intent of the video. Could this seemingly innocent interview with a random YouTuber actually be a propaganda piece crafted to fulfill as a recruitment tool aimed at furries? A way to take aim at those in the furry fandom and have them join the Freedomain fandom, a group which seems to have been noted as having cult-like qualities by some press releases?
Well I don’t know about all that. In fact, the reason I put the word cult in the headline is simply because Stephan put the word sex next to furry on his video’s thumbnail. And like me seeing those two words together for the purpose of click-bait made me eye-roll, I’m sure seeing his organization being called a cult all the time earns similar expression from Mr. Molyneux. Also, inquiring to Patch, he seemed to indicate that Leon was an actual person and the conversation was legitimate. So, with that in mind, I gave it a second watch and highlighted items of interest, both good and bad in the conversation.
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 counciller 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 councilman 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.