"I think tomorrow I'll go endear myself to about 500 furries."
April 12, 2017 3:43 AM   Subscribe

So, the background about this is that the Rocky Mountain Furry Convention for 2017 and into the foreseeable future has been cancelled. It's a bit of a twisted tale (tail?), involving alt-right/neo-nazi furries, threats of violence, failure to pay taxes, and amongst yet more things, a SovCit "legal" letter. This, somehow, came to the attention of the Lawyers And Liqour blog and he wrote a blog post about it, dissecting SovCit viewpoints in light of the actual law and offering some commentary about the furry fandom. And that's where the fun started.

@BoozyBarrister tweeted about his blog post, and he couldn't resist making some observations about other tweets he saw related to the same issue. It was impossible for furry twitter to ignore him.

Lawyers both mundane and furry appreciated his blog post. And then the first badger appeared. And another one. And a third. And then the Badger got a duo with his friend Habeas Porpoise. And then the previously mentioned character reference sheet was created.

A lot, LOT more happened during the day, but finally our hero, the Boozy Barrister, had to go to bed. Some 500 more followers than he had before, a new viewpoint on reality, and I think somehow changed.
posted by hippybear (75 comments total) 56 users marked this as a favorite
 
And then the first badger appeared. And another one. And a third.

mushroom mushroom?
posted by murphy slaw at 4:17 AM on April 12, 2017 [34 favorites]


Also this story is basically my favorite kind of rabbit hole (no pun intended) but it saddens me that the standard Crazy Internet Story in 2017 is "Endearingly Crazy Internet Story from 2010, Now with Nazis".
posted by murphy slaw at 4:23 AM on April 12, 2017 [53 favorites]


It hadn't occurred to me that there is a Nazi fursuit subculture but of course
posted by thelonius at 4:23 AM on April 12, 2017 [10 favorites]


*ahem* Previously.
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:39 AM on April 12, 2017 [3 favorites]


Err isn't it a crime to make a threat that "If you don't do this I'm gonna turn you in for your crime."? One that is old enough State laws exist that mirror the fed?
posted by rough ashlar at 4:51 AM on April 12, 2017


lol he's a good writer too:

The thing that got me wasn’t the “furry” aspect, but the Sovereign Citizen aspect of the whole thing, once again proving that some people have insanity so strong it can bleed right the fuck through a fursuit.
posted by spitbull at 4:58 AM on April 12, 2017 [37 favorites]


And seriously, could you imagine this riot in the mind’s eye of the writer of that letter? Just people in badger suits yanking out gats and opening fire on each other.

Does anybody sell bulletproof fursuits in the US? Given that there's a market for bulletproof school bags, surely there must be one (and if you're already dressed as a giant cartoon-eyed meerkat, you might as well use the extra bulk for armour, you know, just in case).
posted by acb at 5:10 AM on April 12, 2017 [2 favorites]


I'm worried that we've already passed the point that the sovereign citizen movement be handled with kid gloves. They're getting increasingly violent (from an already-high baseline), and the Bundy standoffs and associated murders are the starting point, not the culmination
posted by zombieflanders at 5:12 AM on April 12, 2017 [13 favorites]


*ahem* Previously.

...and I even used my "Tom's of Finland toothpaste" gag in that thread. Don't get old!
posted by thelonius at 5:14 AM on April 12, 2017 [3 favorites]


In other words, it's all fun and games until they start planning mass shootings at Pokemon tournaments.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:19 AM on April 12, 2017 [7 favorites]


I've just started reading the Lawyers and Liquor article, but I must already thank you for the insight into this strange subculture ... one in which the very existence of furry conventions is a shock ("they have conventions") but apparently "every lawyer in the world" recognises Sovereign Citizen bullshit from their bolding and capitalisation habits. ;)
posted by daisyk at 5:49 AM on April 12, 2017 [16 favorites]


It hadn't occurred to me that there is a Nazi fursuit subculture but of course

I obviously missed the "previously," because this is totally new to me. My first reaction was to the absurdity, but a moment of reflection gets me to the "of course."

I do feel bad for the people who are going to be wondering if their perfectly normal and fun hobby/interest/fetish is going to end up tarred by an association with the alt-right, though.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:49 AM on April 12, 2017 [5 favorites]


I do feel bad for the people who are going to be wondering if their perfectly normal and fun hobby/interest/fetish is going to end up tarred by an association with the alt-right, though.

As if there's not already enough contempt and mockery directed at these folks.
posted by thelonius at 6:03 AM on April 12, 2017 [6 favorites]


I do feel bad for the people who are going to be wondering if their perfectly normal and fun hobby/interest/fetish is going to end up tarred by an association with the alt-right, though.

I guess that's everyone who hasn't already had this happen, really. :(

On the topic of the post: I've clicked through the Twitter links and I love this whole thing, nazi furs aside. The deconstruction of the letter, the furries adopting him as their pet, the fanart! (The character sheet is my favourite.) Thank you for bringing this to my attention, hippybear.
posted by daisyk at 6:03 AM on April 12, 2017 [1 favorite]


My son's ex-girlfriend wore a tail; not a whole suit. And I'm pretty sure she wasn't a Nazi.

But we're in Connecticut, not Colorado.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:12 AM on April 12, 2017


It's always adorable when I see people online going "what is this 'fursona' you speak of? Wait, there are furry conventions? Who knew??" Like, dude, CSI did an episode about this over ten years ago, your GRANDMA knows about furry conventions!
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:18 AM on April 12, 2017 [25 favorites]


Attorneys often have the opportunity to say the cruelest possible thing under the circumstances. "This is a sentence that was probably lifted from someone’s denial of government benefits" is a burn that no aloe could soothe.
posted by Countess Elena at 6:41 AM on April 12, 2017 [29 favorites]


Yeah I'd say "might have assumed association with Nazis" is the last thing the furry fandom needs.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 6:41 AM on April 12, 2017 [2 favorites]


So...is nazism like a virus, at this point? Should we be studying it that way?
posted by schadenfrau at 7:02 AM on April 12, 2017 [4 favorites]


hippybear, this is a wonderful post. I read all the links and it's making my day. I *love* when life completely goes way beyond what fiction could dream up, and this is it.
posted by martin q blank at 7:03 AM on April 12, 2017 [3 favorites]


Our new badger lawyer friend also wrote a follow-up post this morning with some thoughts on how his surprising tactic of "treat furries like people" won him so many friends, and how everyone should feel safe being who they are around their lawyer, where keeping secrets can be detrimental to their case.

On a personal note, bless the Boozy Barrister for making this funny and endearing. I'm not a con attendee but I am a furry, and without this, the wider attention was going to be on sovereign citizen furries protecting fascist furries, neither of which are widely represented, and neither of which are a good look.
posted by Kortney at 7:12 AM on April 12, 2017 [18 favorites]


Yeah I'd say "might have assumed association with Nazis" is the last thing the furry fandom needs.

Anyone who thinks furry fandom is unique in this is not acquainted with fandom just in general. Geek Social Fallacies create an open door policy for Nazis (and also violent misogynists! the more the merrier!) and by the time "Oops, now they're cosplaying SS Officers" happens, the rot is too entrenched to remove without burning things down and starting over again.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:26 AM on April 12, 2017 [10 favorites]


Our new badger lawyer friend also wrote a follow-up post this morning

From the comments-

RhubarbTheBear: "There are few problems that can't be made more tolerable by approaching them like a cartoon animal would. Enjoy your new audience!"

BoozyBarrister: "You say that, but I've found courts tend to frown on my use of a shotgun to make opposing counsel's duck bill twirl to the back of their head."

I love this guy
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:48 AM on April 12, 2017 [28 favorites]


by the time "Oops, now they're cosplaying SS Officers" happens, the rot is too entrenched to remove without burning things down and starting over again.

That may be necessary as far as the RMFC is concerned. Even though RMFC's tax-exempt status has been revoked, Emery is still their official registered agent, and there's another sovereign citizen type who's also on the board. Another member of the RMFC's staff has been pushing the "gosh, the Furry Raiders are just misunderstood" button as long and as hard as they can.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:02 AM on April 12, 2017 [1 favorite]


Just when I thought the world was so fucked up it couldn't get any more fucked up....

I learn that it's more fucked up than I thought.
posted by mikelieman at 8:22 AM on April 12, 2017


What a great story, thanks for collecting it hippybear. I love how furry fandom embraces how silly they seem to people without fear or shame. It reminds me a bit of drag queen culture from the 50s/60s. I'd definitely like Boozy Barrister on my team.

The SovCit guys though, that's like the worst LARP group ever.

So...is nazism like a virus, at this point?

Sort of, in that it is infectious. Only it's not naturally infectious; there are people bent on spreading it. There's a specific attempt by Daily Stormer to recruit and infect folks from 4chan, which is sort of Internet-adjacent to furrydom. That was back in 2015. That white supremacist radicalization helped get Trump elected.
posted by Nelson at 8:34 AM on April 12, 2017 [5 favorites]


I definitely remember Nazi Furries being a thing way before 2015.

Anyway, I'm just ducking in to say that all the furries I know aren't Nazis and they're also wonderful people. It's a pretty cool subculture if you can approach it for what it is.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:44 AM on April 12, 2017 [5 favorites]


This is such a good story. The fanart of the lawyer's badger fursona made me giggle with genuine delight.
posted by Sokka shot first at 8:58 AM on April 12, 2017


I gotta say, the legalese seemes much more tame than what I first imagined when I heard the words "SovCit Furry".
posted by ymgve at 9:16 AM on April 12, 2017 [3 favorites]




4chan, which is sort of Internet-adjacent to furrydom

No, it's really not. Not by miles AUs.
posted by hippybear at 10:27 AM on April 12, 2017 [2 favorites]


Yeah, you're right, I shouldn't have drawn that connection. More context on 4chan vs furries.
posted by Nelson at 10:34 AM on April 12, 2017 [1 favorite]


Thanks, I've been needing a good SovCit WTF lately. We had a SovCit try to argue out of 50 bucks in library fines last month and he was both saddened and excited when I spoke his language and told him that while the ideas in the books he wanted were free to roam outside of the building, their physical construct required that his notational construct pay up. He declined and we just stood there awkwardly for a moment. Usually these things end with the SovCit getting tased, so I was at a loss until he just left.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:34 AM on April 12, 2017 [42 favorites]


Metafilter: Usually these things end with the SovCit getting tased.
posted by MikeKD at 1:38 PM on April 12, 2017 [11 favorites]


A bit ignored that furry art appreciation takes a back seat to fursuits and fursonas again, but I suspect I'm an old man yelling at the clouds at this point.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 2:09 PM on April 12, 2017 [2 favorites]


Speaking of furry art, here's a nice appreciation (from an artist to her furry commissioners) that popped up on my Tumblr dashboard.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:19 PM on April 12, 2017 [8 favorites]


EXPECTO FURTRONUM
posted by kleinsteradikaleminderheit at 2:21 PM on April 12, 2017 [3 favorites]


Usually these things end with the SovCit getting tased,

Or shot.
posted by jpe at 3:02 PM on April 12, 2017


It was MetaFilter that helped shift my understanding from "furries, LOL" to "it's not my subculture, but I'll defend it against people who criticize it". So, thanks, MeFi.
posted by Lexica at 4:56 PM on April 12, 2017 [24 favorites]


Same here, Lexica.
posted by JHarris at 6:36 PM on April 12, 2017 [1 favorite]


Me too.
posted by skycrashesdown at 9:12 PM on April 12, 2017


It's always adorable when I see people online going "what is this 'fursona' you speak of? Wait, there are furry conventions? Who knew??" Like, dude, CSI did an episode about this over ten years ago, your GRANDMA knows about furry conventions!

This lady didn't.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:30 PM on April 12, 2017 [11 favorites]


From jenfullmoon's link:

Is it safe to say you won’t be buying yourself a furry costume anytime soon?
No, I don’t think so. No. You know, you get a little older, a little menopausal, and being in that many layers and layers of fur. No need to be overheating. I’m good.


What a sweet lady. It seems she and her dog really had a nice time at the con!
posted by daisyk at 3:16 AM on April 13, 2017 [4 favorites]


CBrachyrhynchos and other furries in here: I admit that I'm not really knowledgable about furry culture and art (I have friends who are furries but it's not my thing and I've never delved deep), and I know you might not be enthusiastic about the potential reception here, but: if you wanted to make a FPP about furry art from an insider, I for one would be very interested and participate in the thread. (Send me a memail if you do?)
posted by daisyk at 3:22 AM on April 13, 2017 [2 favorites]


Well, ya know... there's furry art, and then there's all the rest of the furry art. I could see trying to put together a post of furry art if I could find good sources of quality stuff that I was willing to post here. All the rest of the furry art is very sexual in nature and quite frankly I find a bit embarrassing. But there's a ton of great stuff out there. I'll open a new window and start collecting tabs for links!
posted by hippybear at 3:28 AM on April 13, 2017 [7 favorites]


The letter cites "United States Code Title 5 Section 500". https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/5/500 Title 5 - Federal Government organization and employees. Not sure how you go from Furries to Government org/employees but perhaps someone will file and we can all read about it in PACER.
posted by rough ashlar at 5:12 AM on April 13, 2017


I've been fairly peripheral to it for a while now, so I'm not the best qualified.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 5:34 AM on April 13, 2017


omg jenfullmoon that's so pure
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:28 AM on April 13, 2017


I've known about furries for like practically decades at this point, since I live on the Internet, but this is the first time I've thought to myself that it seems like fun and I'd think about giving it a whirl! Living in Texas certainly puts a damper on that, though -- it's so hot even wearing normal street clothes is too much sometimes. I can't imagine having a head or face or whatever one would call it on in July. What the hell do furries do when it's too hot for fur?
posted by fiercecupcake at 7:13 AM on April 13, 2017 [3 favorites]


Oh my god, it really has been decades.
posted by fiercecupcake at 7:15 AM on April 13, 2017 [1 favorite]


What the hell do furries do when it's too hot for fur?

Surely somebody will have developed an integral Peltier cooler for fursuits and similar costumes by now? If nobody in America has devised one, they probably sell them in Japan for Gundam cosplayers and such.
posted by acb at 7:33 AM on April 13, 2017 [2 favorites]


OH SHIT! IT’S SOV CIT TIME!

I'm disappointed this con was canceled. Would've been fun to walk over during lunch. Also, the badger caricatures are amazing.
posted by asperity at 7:49 AM on April 13, 2017


Surely somebody will have developed an integral Peltier cooler for fursuits and similar costumes by now?

WONDER NO MORE
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:02 AM on April 13, 2017 [2 favorites]


Oh man, I actually kind of want this Fashion Cooling Scarf for horrible muggy NYC summers!
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:04 AM on April 13, 2017 [3 favorites]


I just love the dog's expression in this pic from jenfullmoon's link (click on the pic for the full version): "OMG BRO HERE IS LIVING THE DREAM"
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:06 AM on April 13, 2017 [2 favorites]


Oh my god, it really has been decades.

Same here. I tried to count it up just now and realized that if my awareness of furries were a person, it could not only vote, but it would be on the verge of being eligible to run for the House of Representatives.

If you like, you can come over to my small lawn and we can yell at kids to get off of it. I live next to a school. There are a lot of opportunities.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 8:12 AM on April 13, 2017 [3 favorites]


The Texas Furry Fiesta convention was JUST held in Dallas, like 2-3 weeks ago. Looks like it'll be in February next year, so maybe you can mark your calendar and make a point to attend.

As far as what do furries do when it's too hot for fur, there are three basic answers. First is, only a small percentage of people in the furry fandom own fursuits, so a lot of furries just put on their ears and tail that they own. Second is, there are two "speeds" of fursuit -- one is a full couch cover of fake fur for your entire body and the other is a "partial suit": head, hands, tail, and feet that you integrate with street clothes so you're not wearing fur over most of your body. Lastly, fursuiters are willing to suffer for their art, and in hot weather they'll typically only be in suit for 20-30 minutes before retreating and recovering.

At furry conventions there is typically an entire room close to the main public space devoted to getting into, out of, or cooling off in a fursuit. This "Headless Lounge" is usually well stocked with water and also has a lot of fans set up, both to blow around the room and also set up on racks so fursuiters can take off their heads and have air blow into them to dry them out, etc.

There are a range of cooling systems that fursuiters buy, from basic freezer ice pack vests to complicated recirculating coolant systems. They aren't integrated into the suits -- they're worn as a separate layer under the suit.
posted by hippybear at 9:45 AM on April 13, 2017 [12 favorites]


There are a range of cooling systems that fursuiters buy, from basic freezer ice pack vests to complicated recirculating coolant systems. They aren't integrated into the suits -- they're worn as a separate layer under the suit.

If a newbie comes in wearing a properly-fitted fursuit, does one assume they are the Kwisatz Haderach?
posted by zombieflanders at 9:54 AM on April 13, 2017 [4 favorites]


Only if it's a kangaroo mouse costume, so we can call them Muad'dib.
posted by radwolf76 at 10:11 AM on April 13, 2017 [4 favorites]


I've met one of the furries from the first picture in jenfullmoon's link (the one on the left; his name is Clumzy Lion). I attended my first furry convention last month and had a really great time... there was just a joyful energy with so many people feeling free to express themselves.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 11:12 AM on April 13, 2017


showbiz_liz: "It's always adorable when I see people online going "what is this 'fursona' you speak of? Wait, there are furry conventions? Who knew??" Like, dude, CSI did an episode about this over ten years ago, your GRANDMA knows about furry conventions!"

The 10K. Man I'd love to find someone to introduce furry fandom to.
posted by Mitheral at 8:27 PM on April 13, 2017


@RhubarbTheBear has made a radio jingle for BB.
posted by hippybear at 1:07 AM on April 14, 2017 [1 favorite]


It's somewhat tangential, but I'm beginning to wonder if the clash between Alt-right and, well, everyone else, is going to take its hardest immediate tolls on fandom and specifically conventions, who really aren't able to absorb security costs for real, not volunteer,security.
posted by corb at 5:26 AM on April 14, 2017 [3 favorites]


So the lawyer is at a furry convention this weekend, and appears to be enjoying himself. Check out his twitter feed for various observations.
posted by hippybear at 1:44 PM on April 29, 2017 [4 favorites]


YES omg I really assumed he was just saying that
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:01 PM on April 29, 2017 [2 favorites]


There's a T-SHIRT now and also he put up a post on Friday on legal issues specific to furries, which actually gets pretty serious. Talk about leaning into it!
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:11 PM on April 29, 2017 [7 favorites]


I've been watching his whole thing sort of on a back burner, and I've found him insightful and charming although more than a tad overwhelmed. It's been entertaining. My favorite tweet from him so far this weekend is something like "I've never seen so many people excited to see a lawyer".
posted by hippybear at 2:16 PM on April 29, 2017 [4 favorites]


Also that t-shirt is awesome and I might get one even though lawyers really don't need merch money.
posted by hippybear at 2:17 PM on April 29, 2017 [1 favorite]


"At some point today I'll return home. Can I REALLY go home, though?

I have seen the elephant...I have seen so much of the elephant." April 30 Sunday morning.
posted by hippybear at 7:19 AM on April 30, 2017 [1 favorite]


Real Talk: Met a woman...
posted by hippybear at 2:28 PM on April 30, 2017 [1 favorite]


He's started an alternate account, @BoozyBadger, to segregate his furry life from the rest of his life.

Basically, he's done what every furry does.
posted by hippybear at 9:49 PM on April 30, 2017 [7 favorites]


And now he's written a post-mortem of his weekend. Apparently he had a good time. :3
posted by hippybear at 6:59 AM on May 1, 2017


From the post-mortem:
Guys, they have a fucking airline pilot.

Airline pilots actually make up only a tiny fraction of the Furry Fandom, and while everyone assumes when they see one, there's going to be some fucking going on, that's a misconception. Most of the furries who fly planes don't fly them for the fetishistic sexual aspects at all.
posted by radwolf76 at 11:59 AM on May 1, 2017 [5 favorites]


Honestly, following @BoozyBadger has been one of the best things to happen to my twitter feed in ages. He's having so much fun! Even if he did google something he probably shouldn't have.
posted by hippybear at 8:08 PM on May 2, 2017 [1 favorite]


His panel at FurtheMore has been released in audio format, for those who want to get that involved.
posted by hippybear at 8:26 AM on May 4, 2017 [1 favorite]


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