Anthro Northwest expeditiously banned Furlandia board member in 2019 - warns of "cancel culture" in 2023Posted by Sonious on Wed 14 Jun 2023 - 16:22
On June 9th, 2023 the furry world was baffled by a newsletter from Washington state’s convention Anthro Northwest that has since been removed from the internet. On their social media page this letter was headered with the statement “Something had to be said”. The letter opened as if it is about to take an action that would cause controversy to protect their gathering, but then moved forward with meandering prose about the dangers of ostracizing others based on accusation, which they later refer to be related to a phenomenon that has been deemed as “cancel culture”. However, in its statement it also didn’t really announce any action that the organization would take to combat these issues it deemed important to state are occurring.
This meandering and winding prose about “seeing through the glass darkly” certainly caught a lot of attention. Because of the vagueness and the context of being an official statement it led many to speculate what could have prompted the post that read more like a defensive personal blog. Soon other furry conventions and organizations would capitalize on the public relations blunder by making parodies of their own.
But perhaps at the end of the day, the glass that ANW’s chair, Gabriel Felix, was seeing through dimly was that of the house he resided in. The shattered pieces reflected upon him for a past where he ignored his own currently presented ideals. Because while the chair asks the fandom to be slower to judge and to be more judicious with our actions to outcast others among us, on May 8th, 2019 his convention had banned the Furlandia soon-to-be-chair at the time, Richard “Saphy” Thomas, from being able to attend ANW.
Note for clarity: Saphy was the promoted to chair from vice-chair of Furlandia following their 2019 gathering just after he was banned from ANW, the current chair in 2023 (Rex) is not banned from ANW. To make the story more clear the headline working verbiage around the titles have been updated in the article.
On May 24th, Megaplex, a furry convention that has taken place in Florida for two decades, had announced that for the first time restricted attendance to those 18 and over only. This was done in response to a recently passed law, SB 1438, which expands the authority of the government to revoke business licenses and impose fines in response to situations where children are exposed to live performances deemed “problematic for general consumption”.
Many have raised concerns about recent changes in Florida legislation. After reviewing Florida SB 1438 it has been decided that for legal reasons and protection of our attendees, our venue, and the overall convention, Megaplex 2023 attendees must be 18 years of age at the time of registration pickup.
Megaplex has welcomed younger fandom members and their families since its inception and making this change was very difficult. The Code of Conduct has been updated to reflect this change and emails are going out to those affected.
While this change impacts the 2023 convention, it is unsure if this will have to continue for future years. It is our hope that this change is temporary and that we can welcome members of all ages back next year. With this in mind, the public decorum portion of the Code of Conduct as well as standards for programming, attire, and behavior in convention space will not be changing and will continue to be enforced as it has been in the past.
This decision has been a difficult one, but Megaplex has not forgotten about or abandoned our younger fandom members and is looking into options for events and activities to include all age ranges and their family members.
Many have also voiced concerns regarding CS/HB 1521. After legal review, it has been concluded that this does not affect us as our convention is held in a private venue. We are talking with the hotel about the possibility of offering gender neutral restrooms in the convention space. If we are able to offer this we will have them clearly marked on our convention map.
If you have any additional questions regarding any cancellations requested, please feel free to contact us at [our registration team email].
Megaplex; May 2023
Montana amendment seeks to target minor's exposure to "transspecies" content - a word lawmakers do not properly definePosted by Sonious on Thu 20 Apr 2023 - 11:44
A proposed amendment to a Montana bill to protect minors from pornographic materials, and assist in the lubrication of civil lawsuits against corporate adult entertainment entities, has updated the language to include in the restricted materials to include materials that deal with the concepts of transgenderism and also “transspecism”.
It makes this amendment in a clunky manner, basically placing this “transspecies” word under the umbrella of “transgenderism” and never adding how Montana would define what “transspecies” itself means within this law. This can be found in Section 7 [Glossary of terms], section D [Material that is defined as harmful to minors], subsection L [“Transgenderism”]
(l)”Transgenderism” means a person being in the mental state of believing to the person is transgender or transspecies.
Oklahoma State Senate bill calls for "anthropomorphic behavior" to allow parents to pull kids from public schoolsPosted by Sonious on Tue 24 Jan 2023 - 22:22
The first session of the Oklahoma State Senate has put forth a bill penned by State Senator Shane Jett that focuses on education in the state’s public school system and the allowing of endowments for a parent to pull their kids from public schools.
The 20 page document caught attention on social media by furries due to a highlighting of the law’s claim of a district that could be deemed as problematic because of furry activities.
“Trigger district” means a school district in this state where any of the following concepts or activities have been advocated or tolerated:
g. the presence of any school employee or volunteer engaged in anthropomorphic behavior commonly referred to as furries,
There are 12 other items that also would qualify a school as a proclaimed trigger district. Some of the ones not covered in previous statute include things such as: promotion of Marxist ideology, disparaging the 2nd amendment, promoting animal rights activism, promoting social and emotional learning, climate change ideology that disparages the oil, gas, and farming industry, and instruction about gender identity and sexual orientation that creates 'gender confusion'.
When a school is deemed as a trigger district, it allows the parent to pull their child from the school to fund their education in a private manner through a program outlined in the law known as “Oklahoma Parent Empowerment Act for Kids [OK PEAK]”
Denver Furcon removes PepperCoyote from performance schedule after he attends rally flying pro-Putin flagsPosted by Sonious on Wed 10 Aug 2022 - 20:05
DenFur has announced that furry musician, Pepper Coyote, will not be attending, or performing at their 2022 convention. This is in response to videos, and tweets made by the musician himself, that showed him in attendance at a Center for Political Innovation assembly in Chicago over the weekend of August 6th.
While describing itself as an anti-imperialist organization, the CPI led the meet by flying flags which included the infamous Z insignia that is being used by the Russian forces occupying the country of Ukraine in the current war there. The CPI Twitter account retweets regularly from sources that Twitter has denoted as Russian state-affiliated media.
Update (Aug 21): The CPI has dissolved following accusation of sexual misconduct around leader Caleb Maupin. In response, PepperCoyote has simply stated he's no longer a member of the CPI.
In late January 2022, the internet was flooded with news stories about a concerned parent in a school meeting in Michigan. However the news of the inaccuracy of the salacious rumor didn’t seem to reach one State Senator in Nebraska by the name of Bruce Bostelman of District 23. He instead took the State Senate floor and defecated it with the rumor he, like the woman before him, was appalled by.
The OPB reports that Benjamin Smith, known in the fandom under his fursona name “Polybun”, faces murder and attempted murder charges after he confronted protesters before opening fire into the crowd. Four were injured and one, Brandy Knightly, a sixty year old woman, lost her life in the attack.
Connections to the fandom were fished out by the local Portland community furries as images of the attacker made the rounds. One of the first to report on this to social media was Triss Winters, a furry left-wing activist out of Portland who recalled when Polybun was removed from one of his house parties a decade ago due to him brandishing a knife and threatening to stab someone who took a photo of him at the event.
Furries help push fundraising for Mississippi library after a mayor withheld funding in blackmail attempt to censor booksPosted by Sonious on Thu 3 Feb 2022 - 12:33
Gene McGee, the mayor of Ridgeland, a northern suburb of the capital city of Jackson, withheld $110,000 from the Madison County Library System. According to the Mississippi Free Press, the executive indicated he would not release the allocated dollars until the library agreed to purge any “homosexual materials”.
The release of this news had set one particular furry into activist mode. Soatok Dhole, a non-fiction furry writer who covers issues around the fandom, social media, and technology, started a thread on his Twitter account pushing for help from the furry fandom to help bridge the gap in the library’s funding. In it he linked to the library’s fundraiser whose goal was initially a modest $2,500, but has since extended multiple times due to reaching that threshold and beyond.
Tennessee school bans 'Maus', graphic novel involving holocaust history, from school for "language and nudity"Posted by Sonious on Thu 27 Jan 2022 - 17:48
When we discuss adult themes such as a government committing mass murder of its population, authors need to be wary not to say “God Damn” or have an unclothed character if they wish to reach a high school audience. These two items were front and center for the unanimous decision of a McMinn County school board as it barred the Pultzer winning graphic novel of Maus from its district curriculum. Maus is a graphic novel utilizing animal allegory to give a historical account of the holocaust.
The TN Holler has a full article of each of the board’s words on the removal of the book from the school. Many on social media are concerned that this is part of a trend of washing away the sins of authority by those that hold it. Though, given humanity’s inability to resist taking a bite of what is deemed as forbidden knowledge, banning the book within the classroom may rile the interest of rebellious teens to learn more about this banned literature outside the classroom.
On the 20th of December 2021, a school board meeting was held for the Midland Public Schools in Michigan. At this meeting a woman had accused schools around the nation of placing cat litter pans in their gender neutral bathrooms for their “furry” students. A video of this rumor being presented started to go viral among the furry spaces a month later, along with a response from the school board.
The reason for the month's delay to reach traction throughout the internet was that the interaction was shared by the Michigan GOP Co-Chair Meshawn Maddock, on her Facebook account. In her post she seemed to be gung-ho about bringing an end to this cat pan menace. Maddock is currently under investigation over elector schenangans within the state of Michigan during the 2020 Presidential elections.
While the parent in the shared video started with a statement about her opposition to the Test-to-Stay program enacted toward unvaccinated students, the mother found two of her allotted three minutes directed at a statement she heard a child say a few months back about furries, and subsequently, cat pans in the restroom.
New Zealand article about furry that cost tax payers an estimated 0.000000006% of their GDP raises ire of Taxpayer UnionPosted by Sonious on Sun 16 Jan 2022 - 21:18
On January 11, 2022 Dylan Reeve published an article for The Spinoff entitled Who Runs the Internet? Furries. Within the piece he talks to individuals within the Information Technology industry within New Zealand about their hobby of being a furry on the internet in their spare time.
Articles about furry fandom have been increasingly less hostile toward the group since the more darker periods of CSI, MTV, and Vanity Fair in the earlier 2000s. Because of this, this particular article would have come and gone without too much notice, but then someone used its content to spin a rhetorical argument to promote their organization's cause.
In response to the piece, a political organization called the New Zealand Taxpayer’s Union made a loud objection to what they classified as pro-furry propaganda on the government dime. There were many oddities about their response. For one, the Union’s response called for ‘debate’ within the article, but never specified what about the article could have lent itself to confrontation. They seem to insinuate that the furry in the article was part of some far left cabal without evidence, which is why they may have seen need to confront the individual interviewed. There was
also insinuations such that the journalist in question should have collected information on the private New Zealand citizen to forward onto the authorities. Something I’m sure would not be a waste of governmental resources.
However, in this article we will focus on the thing they, as a Taxpayer Union, should probably be most concerned about— fiscal waste. After doing calculations with all available numbers, and even some provided by this supposed government watchdog organization, I found that the amount that the New Zealand government spent on the single article in question is 136.48 ($US). This is 6 billionths of a percent of New Zealand’s total Gross Domestic Product (0.000000006%).
More details about this calculation after the fold.
What does justice mean among furries? An unauthorized account of Megaplex, VancouFur, and Samuel ConwayPosted by charles they on Sat 18 Sep 2021 - 13:07
It can feel a kind of madness when the memory of the world has moved on without you and you are left unsmothered. It is not madness, however. The feeling is called injustice, and what I aim to show in this account of events, beginning in May of 2020 and ending with Megaplex of 2021, is that this injustice is a cultural issue in furry, produced from west coast to east by figures as disparate as Samuel Conway, the Megaplex convention board, and the British Columbia Anthropomorphic Events Association (BCAEA). I take these as case studies because they involve prolific figures, because they are current, or—with the BCAEA—because they are well-known to me even if they are not well known in general.
I could have chosen other case studies. There’s no scarcity of them—every few months there is a new bad story about a furry-run community group, a fursuit maker, a popular furry personality, or, most recently, a furry convention. This account, in its intention, is both to attempt a brief history of furry spaces since May of 2020 and to explain them as a part of a larger, overarching, and cultural issue. I do this in part because when there is a bad story every few months—one which often involves trauma of some kind—and numerous smaller pains arrive in the weeks in between, it can feel as though you have walked into a numbing fog.
The details become fuzzy and their dates more distant in memory, although they may have only happened months or weeks ago. For others, however, those bad stories aren’t just stories—they are real things that happened to a person and the numbing fog is not always so kind to them. It can feel a kind of madness, and historicizing them, putting them into context and connecting them with other, similar events, is my choice of remedy.
I grew up a nerdy theatre kid who wanted to be a punk. It taught me that I loathe the spotlight (I was compelled by an editor to add this section on myself). I get stage fright, with only the shakiest of legs, and, while I have an excellent memory—as this account may demonstrate—my perpetually flat affect made me unsuitable for serious acting. After that, I turned to writing, first stage plays, then later and with much more enjoyment, fanfiction. Furry as a subculture was a short leap away. While doing what amounts to queer/feminist studies at university, I joined a small poetry community on FurAffinity in 2016, and, unexpectedly, encountered a few poets who were upset whenever my poems mentioned punching Nazis.
My furry experience has continued in that general fashion ever since.
In Tulsa, Oklahoma, Tails and Tornadoes is a young convention that's been running in the Central U.S. state since 2019. Its premiere year was reviewed here on Flayrah by one-time contributor Koori Kitty. Like the weather system it was named after, the con has subsequently found itself in a whirlwind that's rattled its organization.
The first shakeup was one that affected most gatherings, in that its second year was unable to be held in 2020 due to COVID-19 closures. But on top of this, the same year brought in political fallout from the final year of Trump's presidency. Riots in the American Midwest soon spurred worldwide protests following the murder of George Floyd by a law enforcement officer, where the unarmed black man was strangled by a knee to his neck that was held there for over eight minutes. The entire duration of the strangulation was recorded on a smartphone and shared over the Internet.
The United States government, under the leadership it held, decided to go against the advisability of de-escalation in these matters and instead responded with hostile rhetoric. Given the shutdown of many non-essential jobs due to the pandemic, this created a perfect storm of vocal protests and rioting towards an unsympathetic system, sentiments that spread far beyond the Midwest where the murder took place.
Update: Correction made about staffing shifts from 2020 to 2021 in Tails and Tornados per Koori.
As it turns out, Flayrah never reviewed Five Nights at Freddy’s when it was released to much fanfare in 2014. But to be fair it never won an Ursa Major, getting beat by a Pokemon remaster in 2014 and Undertale in 2015. What a bullet the furries dodged on that one, huh?
You see, in recent days, the independent creator of the franchise, Steven Cawthon, had his sizable political contributions to members of the Trumpian Brigade(™) picked up by Social Media. The candidates in said brigade typically speak about the subversion of American Values and see people who are outside those “Values” as an enemy. They use this fear to get people to donate money to them.
To highlight this, we see Cawthon’s statement in response to this revelation. "I felt [Trump] was the best man to fuel a strong economy and stand up to America's enemies abroad, of which there are many" he goes onto indicate that he prioritizes the need for this foreign defense over the issues of American citizens' treatment by their own government with, "even if there were candidates who had better things to say to the LGBT community directly, and bigger promises to make, I believed that their stances on other issues would have ended up doing much greater harm to those communities than good"
Basically he is noting that we should fear foreign governments more than we should our domestic one. Which is usually a position that people who are generally left alone by their own government can comfortably have.
Interestingly it is this quote that made me think of the story of Five Nights at Freddy’s in a whole new way. So let’s go down this Bonny hole— metaphorically, you freakin’ furrys!