Good afternoon, Dogpatch Press readers. Last month was pretty big for us – it had our news satire show What’s Yiffin’? debut on this website. Nobody tried to kill us or call us mean names or whatever, so I guess that means it was well received. If that’s the case, then today ought to be a great day for some of you, because we’ve got the March edition of the series ready to go. Thank you for making What’s Yiffin’? a part of your entertainment routine.
AND NOW THE NEWS
More details and some additional insight from the show’s writers:
BACK IN BLACK
Squeak Latex, a niche company serving a very peculiar sect of the furry fandom, announced last month that they were back in business and fulfilling orders once again. (Or “pumping up” orders as they so eloquently put it.) This news marks a substantial change in tone for Squeak Latex, who last year had formerly announced that they were up for sale, following issues with time management and material supply. Prospective buyers of the company would inherit Squeak Latex’s name, product designs, customer registry, manufacturing team, and all additional assets required to run the company. Either no offers were made, or none could be finalized, resulting in the company falling into radio silence on social media until just recently.
Personally, neither of us here at What’s Yiffin’? fancy ourselves as purveyors of inflation fiction or rubber art. However we do like to show support for the brave souls who hedge their livelihoods on setting up businesses to serve this insane fandom. For that, we can only offer our sincerest encouragement that the people behind Squeak Latex are able to get back on the [inflatable rubber] horse and ride off into the sunset. And by “sunset” we mean “bank”.
Best of luck, Squeak!
We missed this last time around, but here at What’s Yiffin’? we like to make it a point to try and check in on our “friends” in the brony fandom at least once a month. Nobody involved with this show really follows My Little Pony or its corresponding fandom. But we feel like there’s enough crossover between us and them, that our viewers would at least find it amusing to hear a CliffsNotes version of the goings-on in Equestria.
The biggest story among the cloppers last month involved BronyCon, their flagship convention. In a scoop originally shared by Horse News, a website that can best be described as the brony equivalent of this show, it was revealed that the convention was considering expanding its focus to include fandoms other than My Little Pony to help bolster attendance. These rumors were later confirmed in an official BronyCon blog post titled “Better Together” where the organizers discuss their considerations to include fandoms such as Steven Universe and Undertale under the convention’s umbrella.
These two fandoms were mentioned by name, because over the past several years the brony fandom has been bleeding membership into them. BronyCon saw their highest convention attendance in 2015 (approximately 10,000 attendees) followed by their biggest drop in attendance — 30% — the following year. 30% is closer to half than it is to zero – so this is a mathematically significant figure; say what you will about bronies, but the con organizers clearly have the foresight to notice this dangerous trend, and they’re attempting to make appropriate corrections right now before it potentially gets worse. There’s no word yet on whether or not BronyCon will be adopting a new name but we’ll keep you posted on any major changes that may come about.
IT’S CALLED A HUSTLE
The Academy Awards (a.k.a. “The Oscars”) are the biggest deal in the movie industry. Last month, Jimmy Kimmel hosted this shitshow of an awards ceremony. It was rife with cringeworthy moments – ranging from inviting a bunch of random people off the street into the show under the guise that it was a museum tour – to “Moonlight actually won the award”. Anyways, the Academy Awards are all about rewarding Hollywood professionals whose work was significantly less bad than everyone else’s. In the arena of Best Animated Film, top marks went to Disney’s Zootopia.
Honestly, who didn’t see this coming? Zootopia was a huge deal when it came out. So much that it is considered to be “this generation’s Robin Hood” by the fandom. This is a sentiment that we’ve previously gone on record to say we disagree with. But the fact of the matter is for once in this fandom’s miserable existence, it was really special to have something that we could gather around as a community and enjoy for what it was. There’s a million movies out there with anthropomorphic animals, but by and large, none of them can hold a candle to the sheer amount of fan art and celebration received by this film.
Sadly, however, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Also up for an Academy Award was Pixar’s Moana, a musical that focused on the titular character and her journey to save her island tribe from the evil powers consuming the land. You see, with today’s current political climate Moana was hailed as a progressive victory because “it’s about time Disney had a woman of color as a lead”… negating the fact that Mulan, Aladdin, and Pocahontas have been out for literally at least two decades. The fact that Moana lost in the category of Best Animated Film was seen by some as an affront to minorities, again negating the fact that the entire point of Zootopia dealt with understanding and overcoming hurdles created by race and stereotypes in society. The fact that people looked at these two films and saw them superficially as nothing more than “talking animals” and “brown people” is terrifying.
But anyways, if you’re one of the people still upset that Zootopia took home the gold then we’ve got only one thing to say: “It’s called a hustle, sweetheart.”
For a good many of you out there in furry fan land this news has been somewhat of a silent assumption. Rainfurrest, Seattle’s premiere furry convention, has recently announced that they’re shutting down the con indefinitely. If this news comes as a shock to you, or if you’re not familiar with the controversy surrounding this convention, allow us to get you up to speed.
The most recent convention held by Rainfurrest happened in 2015. It is considered by many to be among the biggest disasters in the history of the fandom, if not #1 on the list to begin with. In recent years Rainfurrest had earned a reputation as a “fetish con” or “diaper con” as a tongue-in-cheek joke among furries – because while most conventions had been taking steps to curtail fetish representation at their events, Rainfurrest seemed to be indifferent toward it.
This reputation reached a critical mass of sorts as social media exploded with photos and stories of people wearing diapers and fetish gear in public, authorities being called, vandalism being done to the SeaTac Hilton hotel, a Denny’s closing down, and countless other instances of just really horrifying events taking place. By the end of the convention the hotel staff had begun leaving very sternly worded notices under the doors of hotel guests informing them of curfews.
Ultimately, the venue was so displeased with the behavior of Rainfurrest’s guests, that they literally broke contract and told the con not to return in 2016. Rainfurrest’s reputation began to precede them. They were unable to secure a venue in time for 2016’s convention, and it was ultimately cancelled.
At the start of this article, we mentioned how tickled we were to see people “making it” in the fandom. Here we have the total opposite of that. However, Rainfurrest’s reputation is something that can do (and probably has done) active harm to the public’s perception of the fandom. Honestly, good riddance; while other conventions were stepping up to the plate and cleaning up their image, Rainfurrest ended up sacrificing the long-term viability of their convention in return for more cash upfront, by means of not turning away the types of people that were no longer allowed elsewhere. Let this be a cautionary tale that no matter how long or how big a convention is, nobody is immune from the repercussions of the actions of those whom they represent.
And that’s the news!
Thank you once again for checking out what we have to offers, and as always big ups to Dogpatch Press for syndicating us and helping us reach even more people in this fabulous fandom. If you dig What’s Yiffin’? you can catch it live as part of the first Gatorbox broadcast of every month; we’re live every Friday night at 9PM (Central) on Twitch, with our variety show that includes this and other original/improvisational humor. We’re also on YouTube and Vidme, and if you’d like to support the show financially we’re on Patreon now as well (and so is Dogpatch Press!!). See you next month, and we hope to see you at our next stream.
- Zootopia: “A Call For Balance” – guest post by Alex Reynard.
- Revisiting Rainfurrest: what can we learn about limits of a growing fandom?
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