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January 2022

Newsbytes archive for December 2021

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Contributors this month include dronon, earthfurst, GreenReaper, and Rakuen Growlithe.

Furs around the world raise $727,748.23 in 2021

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As the world started to show recovery in 2021, the giving nature of the furry fandom also has shown a rebound from the shock of 2020. This year furs raised a total of $727,748.23 for various organizations, an increase of 31.2% from the prior year's half million total.

The video breakdown of each of these events was provided by Thabo Meerkat.

A spreadsheet of the data can be viewed here.

2022 pandemic convention closures and postponements

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As a new year comes upon us, the article which has served us from the start of the pandemic to this point in keeping track of closures and cancelations of furry gatherings shall be put to a close. That article with historical information around closures for the pandemic from the years of 2020 through 2021 can be found here.

Unfortunately we are not through our long night in these woods quite yet as recent news from Further Confusion has shown. They will be postponing their gathering due to the a new wave of the virus. Therefore this, like the prior article, this will be used as a archive for 2022 conventions who need to close or suspend operations for the year.

Last updated February 28th 23:45 ET. Latest update description: FurcoNZ Postpones 2022

Super Animal Royale - A 2D Fortnite for the furry

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It is well known to many Flayrah readers that there is at least one of our contributors that has a habit surrounding a game by the name of Fortnite. They usually write reviews for movies and not games, so this is no big deal. That third person battle royale shooter was a spin off of its inspiration PUBG: Battlegrounds. Given its more stylized graphics and quirky building mechanics, Fortnite became a powerhouse and caught on in the consumer markets much to the chagrin of those who like the more realistic and rough stylings of PUBG.

But if it’s anything that the battle royale genre teaches you, it is that just because you’re the first to hit the ground, doesn’t mean you’ll be the last one standing.

Regardless, if there is one thing for sure most of this site’s target audience can agree on is that neither of those games is really “furry”. Sure there are skins in Fortnite that let you dress up and you can write an article listing them out for the fur-curious gamers playing it, if you really want to. But it is very certain that the characters fighting it out in the battle in these games are very much homosapiens. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Luckily for furs in 2021, a new battle royale game was released officially that may appeal more toward the anthro enthusiast. Super Animal Royale is a game of genetically modified animal folks fighting it out in a dilapidated Disney-esque amusement park called Super Animal World to try and be the best of up to 64 contestants thrown into this battle of the death by being the last animal standing.

Book reviews: 'Mistmantle Chronicles' and 'Mouseheart'

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Mistmantle Chronicles With temperatures down, and entertainment options becoming more and more—homegrown, let's say—it's a good time to catch up on that new-to-you material that aligns with your interests. Here are two of those lesser-known but deserving properties, marketed toward youth. For those of you who were sold on The Secret of NIMH, Redwall, and everything in between, at first view.

Mistmantle Chronicles

The Mistmantle Chronicles by M.I. McAllister has jacket flaps that compare it to The Wind In The Willows and Watership Down, although as you can see from the first installment's cover, there's much more of a Redwall yen in this series. As they say, though, DON'T judge a book by its cover, as the experiences of brave squirrel Urchin on the titular island carry their own identity. This flies in the face of origins that speak to many favorite role-playing games, as he evolves from his discovery on an empty beach to his eventual destiny in foiling a royal coup.

Camaraderie and species characteristics also run heavy in this, as in Redwall, however there is a noticeable amount of personification of reactive emotion and atmosphere as well, where dread and evil are given concrete outlines. Given my frequent mention of the property in the paragraph, you can gather the audience to which Mistmantle speaks. Dig on into this if you're part of that audience, since Miramax has purchased movie rights [albeit in 2004], and some sort of photo-play is probably not far off.

New Zealand article about furry that cost tax payers an estimated 0.000000006% of their GDP raises ire of Taxpayer Union

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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.

Ursa Major Awards open for 2021 Nominations

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Ursa Majors Awards The annual Ursa Major Awards have opened for nominations for the best furry content for the 2021. You may enter your nominations here. The categories up for nomination this year are listed below. Be sure to get your entries in before February 12th.

  • Best Anthropomorphic Motion Picture
  • Best Anthropomorphic Dramatic Short Work
  • Best Anthropomorphic Dramatic Series
  • Best Anthropomorphic Novel
  • Best Anthropomorphic Short Fiction
  • Best Anthropomorphic Other Literary Work
  • Best Anthropomorphic Non-Fiction Work
  • Best Anthropomorphic Graphic Story
  • Best Anthropomorphic Comic Strip
  • Best Anthropomorphic Magazine
  • Best Anthropomorphic Published Illustration
  • Best Anthropomorphic Game
  • Best Anthropomorphic Website
  • Best Anthropomorphic Costume (Fursuit)

A large list of recommended items from each of these categories can be found here if you are looking for examples of work within each category. You may select content that is not listed on this recommended list as long as it was published or created in 2021. You may also only nominate work for categories you are familiar with and leave the rest without entries.

Opinion: The top ten movies of 2021

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Top ten movies of 2021

Streaming services such as Disney+, HBO Max and Netflix were important for movie fans in 2021 due to the still ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. My review of Raya and the Last Dragon began with a lengthy digression involving the pros and cons of streaming before going into whether it was worth watching (more on that in a bit!). Sing 2 was the only movie I reviewed last year that I actually watched in a theater – the non-theatrical Rock Dog 2 was the only other movie I didn't stream to review, but instead watched on a rented DVD. It feels like 2022 could go either way; I might get to watch movies in theaters more often, or I might not. But that's the future. Right now, we're talking about 2021.

This is a year-end top ten list. If you're at all unclear on what I'm counting or not counting as a "2021 movie", I used to spell it out, but in recent years, I've just linked back to the older lists. One thing to note: though obviously you're on a furry site, this is not specifically a furry list. However, I traditionally name a best furry movie in addition to a best movie, period; for 2021, it was Raya and the Last Dragon. Each title links to IMDB or a Flayrah review, with better descriptions of movies you're unfamiliar with than I can give in this format.

Michigan school board meeting littered with furry conspiracy around cat pan in bathroom

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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.

Tennessee school bans 'Maus', graphic novel involving holocaust history, from school for "language and nudity"

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Maus 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.

Digging Up Positivity: January 2022

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Hello, and welcome to the first episode of the fifth year of Digging Up Positivity! This episode we do highly various members of our community both new ones and older guests with some updates. And there will be some news from nature and the wonderful world of animation. And if you would like to get your paws on the T-shirt I am wearing or get some other Thabo merchandise, check the end of the video! As for now, let’s get started with the charities!

Art Spiegelman's Maus: A Timely Appreciation

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I was just going to sit on this particular entry until a later time, since Maus is a novel I rather grew up with, having discovered it in college. Current events have ratcheted my schedule up to today. See the details in Sonious' article.

As such, Maus is also the latest example in a long line of important literature to see censorship such as To Kill a Mockingbird, 1984, or even The Lorax. Like any of those other examples, the motivation for this censorship grays in contrast to the social and cultural impact the work has.

The story re-imagines the memoirs of a Holocaust survivor, through the anthropomorphic template of Jewish mice suffering at the paws of SS cats. The involved plot revolves around main character Artie and his tight-knit neighborhood of survivors, as they reflect on the horrors of the past. Of course, the weight of these events is more than enough to color their relatively safe present. Much of the novel does indeed read like a Jewish Historical Society compendium, and does not skimp an iota on content of the dire situation they survived.