Colorado furry convention Rocky Mountain Fur Con has been canceled. Funds collected in advance of this August's event are to be spent on existing liabilities, and refunding attendees and dealers where possible; any remainder will go to the convention charity.
While their official statement cites rising security costs, the closure follows the controversial issues surrounding CEO Kendal Emery (Kahuki Liaru), and the "Furry Raiders" group. It has also been discovered by Flayrah that the convention's parent company's Federal tax-exempt status, obtained in 2009, had lapsed, and it had not filed taxes for a period of seven years, while still claiming to be a registered 501(c) non-profit. In this investigative report we can identify the issues that have contributed to the end of Denver's furry convention.
Blake T. Sanderford, known as Xanth in furry fandom, was arrested last Wednesday for "crimes against nature and aggravated cruelty to animals" after posting an online video of himself sexually molesting a dog. [FoxTrotFever/furrydrama_2]
Sanderford, a resident of Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, was arrested January 18 after State Police received a complaint about the video. He remained in jail on Thursday on a $11,000 bond.
Sanderford's computers were seized for further investigation; his dog was taken into the care of the Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter.
Update (25 Jan): Insane Kangaroo reports contacting the shelter, who said the dog had been transferred to a foster home. When asked whether she would be put down, they replied "we don't put down animals which are the victims."
As the remaining conversation is now off-topic, comments have been closed.
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.
Dream Field Comics, creators of Softpaw Magazine, spin-off Finding Avalon, and Ulster, have closed. The publisher was notorious for their popular pornographic magazines depicting young furry characters.
Softpaw's US$20-$25 issues consisted of 64-96 full-colour glossy pages containing a mixture of comics, pin-ups and stories.
At press time, most Dream Field titles were in stock at Rabbit Valley.
Update (19 Jun): Dream Field co-founder Jery Softpaw provided an explanation for closing:
I wanted to talk to people who are passionate. That was a good line to draw: if you’re going to go so far as to make or buy a costume, you’re passionate about furry. When I asked the people in the film if you consider furry a lifestyle, half of them said no.
JS: Other than the badges of the furries interviewed, there’s no furry art in the film. Do you think you should’ve included some art?
DR: The thing I knew when I went into this is everybody has a different way of experiencing and appreciating furry. There’s no way to please everybody or to accurately do justice to everything unless the movie was six hours. I had to be selfish and focus on what really mattered to me which is furry as an identity and as a community. I love art and you can show footage of people drawing; but I wanted to do something different, something I cared about. I wasn’t going to spend four years on something I didn’t care about.
When people say furry isn’t a lifestyle I understand that, but when they say it’s just a hobby I think they’re almost giving it a disservice. There’s so much wrapped up in it, and I think people in it take it seriously. I don’t want people to think [the fandom is] just freaks obviously, but it was important people cared about what they were talking about.
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.
Producers of the show have been looking for furs since mid-2010, and also sought to buy fursuit photography. Other announced episodes cover sleeping with a blow-drier, eating toilet paper and thumb-sucking, while past seasons featured eating chalk and extreme tanning.
Many furs fear a repeat of The Tyra Banks Show, whose host presented furry as a sexual fetish.
Last week, a Neswbyte was posted linking to an opinion article by Perri Rhodes on a site named Furry Times, covering the controversial Furry Raiders. It ended with with the following indictment of Flayrah from Ahmar Wolf:
It has always been a policy of mine no matter who you are, and if you have something to say and I would say Perri Rhoades, (who did an excellent job). That you should be allowed to speak, that no one has the right to shut you down…period. Like some tried to do on Flayrah.
Ahmar may have been referring to those who disagree with Perri using our comment karma system to rate down her scores of comments. No one on Flayrah staff had censored Perri. In fact people can still comment there if they wish, including Perri. However, in a fit of irony, Furry Times closed comments on their article which had shamed other sites of censorship.
Let’s take a look at why a site preaching for free speech cut the conversation short on their own controversial article.
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.
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.