Review: Seven Deadly Sins: Furry Confessions, edited by Thurston Howl

Your rating: None Average: 4 (3 votes)

Seven Sins.jpgDISCLAIMER: I have a story in here. Way deep down in the sloth section.

This a collection of dark and often adult tales (or tails, if you pre-fur) that explore the Seven Deadly Sins of Christian fame: pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth. Trouble makers all, to be sure. It's a rich field of study has reveled countless bumper crops of stories (true and fictional) and offers a handy umbrella to pull together the best of the worst of us storytellers.

Even Dr. Who has a Seven Deadly Sins themed anthology out there.

Still, for all the familiar ground these most famous of sins represent, this was an ambitious collection.

Overall, the anthology itself felt a little rushed. Not the stories themselves, mind you. I don't think there were any clunkers here. There were a few stories, however, that left me wondering what they were saying about their selected sin. Each story feels like it got the right amount of editorial attention.

My quibble is of a Macro sort. Seven Deadly Sins: Furry Confessions called for a sharper editorial eye then I think it got. Too often, very similar themes and acts follow too closely in one story to the next. That's bound to happen in the close quarters of the pages between a book cover.

And, I have to admit, part of my kvetch, might be my fault. I read all the interludes first. They knocked my socks off and I skipped every story to get to the mystery tormenting our hosts. As a result, I'm complaining about the holes in a magic show when I went out of my way to see how the tricks were set up before watching the magicians perform.

So, take my quibble with a few grams of a salt lick. THP is a new publisher and they've made quite a commitment to themed anthologies. I feel they are going to get better with each one. I know I'm looking forward to being there to watch them grow.

Presenting my story thoughts in the order that they appeared, with the interludes excluded and withheld to the end.

Funday Pawpet Show ends its run after 18 years

Your rating: None Average: 4.9 (8 votes)

Funday PawPet Show logo The Funday Pawpet Show, a weekly staple of furry fandom, announced on September 12 that it will be ending its weekly broadcast, citing legal and logistical woes, particularly regarding the music industry.

We have come to a cross roads. Streaming video and music copyrights and licensing have become such a tangled mess of pain in the butt. The music industry has made it impossible for the little guy to do anything online. The costs, the bookkeeping, the constant upkeep of trying to keep from getting flagged… It is no longer a labor of love. We thank you all for nearly 18 years of puppet broadcasting support.

The loss of furry-friendly streaming service Furstre.am weighed on their decision. According to site creator Jacktail, the domain name was allowed to expire this month, as no current developers wished to take it on.

Furry chairman of New Milford, CT resigns due to SoFurry profile mishap: How site design flaws were to blame, and were fixed

Your rating: None Average: 5 (13 votes)

Grey Muzzle, statesman and furry fan. 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.

Animated film: Happy Family

Your rating: None Average: 3.6 (5 votes)

Max the wolf-boy.Happy Family (IMDB page) is a 2017 animated movie from Germany, about a family that gets turned into monsters by a witch. It looks like a mashup of The Addams Family, The Munsters, and Hotel Transylvania.

Warner Bros. funded the production, and are distributing it in Europe and Latin America, presumably to be followed by direct-to-DVD sales in the U.S. in 2018. It's based on a book by David Safier.

Is it furry? Well, the family includes a kid who's a wolf-boy, there are talking bats, and VAMPIRES! (Boo.)

Fur Affinity updates code of conduct to disallow hate groups

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (13 votes)

On September 4, Fur Affinity released an update to their code of conduct indicating that works or items that promote hate groups will no longer be tolerated on furry's most popular art site. The new rule in the code of conduct (2.7) states:

Do not identify with or promote hate groups and their ideologies
A hate group is one that advocates and practices hatred, hostility, or violence towards members of a designated sector of society (e.g. Nazism, KKK, ISIS). Symbols specifically associated with these groups will not be permitted in user avatars, non-fictional content, or content intended solely to disrupt the community.

Users who identify with or promote hate groups and their ideologies may be permanently banned from Fur Affinity without warning.

The update has already created a stir in furry fandom. Many were pleased with the decision and felt it was a step in the right direction. However individuals within alt-furry used it to launch a particularly harsh attack on Dragoneer with a sock-puppet account named after his recently-deceased cat.

Free speech and why it matters to the furry fandom

Your rating: None Average: 2.7 (37 votes)

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.

Review: 'The Cold Moons' by Aeron Clement

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (2 votes)

A book cover, showing badgers.You might think, on first glance, that you might not enjoy this 1987 book due to its similarity to Richard Adam's 1972 classic, Watership Down. That's why it sat on my shelf for almost a decade collecting dust, until recently when I felt the need to dip into some more children's literature.

The barebones plot has a group of small, harmless animals, displaced from their homes by man. A group of survivors venture out into the unknown (and very British) countryside with a Moses-like leader. There are trials and tribulations, including a conflict with their own kind, and eventually they find the promised land where they can live in peace... at least for a few generations.

Conduct and harassment policies: what they are and how to enforce them

Your rating: None Average: 3.1 (8 votes)

A clip from RainFurrest 2015's Code of ConductThere's a common line of recent social failure states in furry fandom, and in fandom in general. Not having a conduct policy, having a poorly-phrased or contradictory conduct policy, having an unenforceable conduct policy, or failing to evenly or consistently enforce the policy.

Good, enforceable, clearly understandable, and well-published conduct and harassment policies should be everywhere in furry fandom. But what is the best practice that the furry fandom needs to adopt in the face of not only common every-day jerks, but organised groups such as the Furry Raiders and Alt-Furries?

Newsbytes archive for August 2017

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Contributors this month include 2cross2affliction, dronon, Equivamp, Fred, GreenReaper, InkyCrow, Rakuen Growlithe, and Sonious.

Harvey crashes furry convention Mephit Fur Meet

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

Remnants of the hurricane that created historic flooding and devastation to Houston, Texas and the surrounding suburbs continue to move northeast. For one furry convention convening this weekend in Olive Branch, Mississippi, the timing of its arrival is causing travel headaches for those who hoped to arrive on Thursday evening.

The convention announced via Twitter that nearby Memphis Airport in Tennessee had closed due to the storm:

Major flooding is also occurring, which will cause headaches for those on the ground as well. Fortunately, the forecasts indicate that this storm will clear out by early Friday morning so it will hopefully not put a damper on the entire weekend's activities.

Convention goers are advised to follow the convention's Twitter feed for further updates.

Kemono Friends - Finding ones identity among animal friends

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (4 votes)

Neko.jpg“Kemono Friends” (けものフレンズ) began in Japan in 2015 as a mobile game. A manga was serialized in “Monthly Shōnen Ace” (one of Japan’s “telephone book”-sized comics magazines) from May 2015 to March 2017, and a 12-episode anime TV series was broadcast from January 10 to March 28, 2017 on Wednesdays. Sequels are currently in production.

The plot is that Japari Park is a huge island zoo of real, extinct, and mythological animals. A mysterious substance, Sandstar, turns all the young female animals into “Friends”, Japanese cute girls about 10 to 12 years old with furry ears and tails. Kaban is a girl who wakes up in Japari Park with no memory of who she is or how she got there. Her first friend is Serval, a girl with serval ears & tail, who names her Kaban (bag) because of her backpack. Other characters they meet include Raccoon, Fennec, Alpaca, Crested Ibis, Jaguar, Beaver, Prairie Dog, Moose, Gray Wolf, and others. Lucky Beast, a mysterious robot rabbit, seems to be in charge. Kaban is helped by Serval and Fennec through the Park to learn who she really is.

Everyone expects “Kemono Friends” (in English, “Animal Friends”) to come to American TV and DVD soon. But for now, if you like Japanese animal girls (ears and tails only) of more species than just cats, dogs, and bunnies, then you can watch “Kemono Friends” on Steam's gaming service, or Crunchy Roll.

'The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature': You know what I'm saying?

Your rating: None Average: 4 (4 votes)

thenutjob2nuttybynature.jpg"Somehow, my job now requires me to sit and watch THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS."
- Guy Lodge, Guardian film critic, via Twitter, Nov. 9, 2016

"So much for peaceful protest."
- Surly, squirrel

Currently, this movie sits at a paltry 11% at Rotten Tomatoes, from 47 reviews (not a big number of reviews for a wide release movie). A grand total of five professional reviewers found enough decent in the movie to muster "fresh" ratings there. This 11% percent matches the original's score, though it had double the positive reviews with 10 of its 89 reviews finding something nice to say about it. So, obviously, not the most critically beloved movie franchise ever.

However, I didn't exactly follow the critics' consensus with the first movie, what with giving it a spot on my annual top ten list. Fred liked it too, in his review of the movie for Flayrah. And I won't be agreeing with the critics again for the sequel (you'll have to ask Fred if he's even seen this second one, though).

But, you know what, who cares? I mean, as I write this, the top story on Flayrah Lamar's article on the alt-right, while Equivamp's take is a little bit below it. Who cares if the cartoon squirrel movie is good or not; it's not like it has anything to say about the real world and the things that are happening in it right now.

Right?

Are insular furry communities and MUCKs at risk of Alt-Right takeover?

Your rating: None Average: 2 (31 votes)

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.

Furrydelphia: Philly's fourth bite at the furry apple

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (5 votes)

Philly Metro's "Inside Philly's first furries convention" offers a compelling summary of our fandom's latest (and quite successful) convention. But its title betrays a lack of research. While Drayne and his team are to be congratulated for bringing a new furry convention to the City of Brotherly Love, it is by no means the Demolition of the Adams Mark Hotel. 
© Douglas Muth (Giza); used under CC-BY-SA 4.0 first… nor even the largest furry con held there.

The first honour belongs to Furtasticon, chaired in November 1994 by Trish Ny – which was also furry fandom's second convention, spun up in the space of a few months, allegedly after perceived anti-furry sentiment at Philcon. [Drayne was being born at the time, but was aware of prior events.]

Then there's Furstivus, which drew 238 – organized by SkippyFox and friends on short notice to replace 2012's New Year's Furry Ball. One must also consider the giant next door, Anthrocon.

Review: 'Bunnicula, A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery' by Deborah and James Howe

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (3 votes)

A book cover, showing a rabbit that looks similar to Dracula the vampire.In the days before mobile phones and the Internet, people would have to have conversations with their pets to keep themselves from going insane. That's how it is with the Monroes, a nuclear family with two young children, two careers, and two pets: a cat (Chester) and a dog (Harold).

And every day, when the family members head out of the house, they leave their pets unsupervised to indulge in their vices. Chester reads horror stories; Harold daydreams about food. Life is perfect.

Until the day the Monroes go to a Dracula film, and come home with a little fluffy bundle of a rabbit in a shoebox full of dirt.

From the Yerf Archive