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We call going to the restroom that we're "going to the litterbox". I didn't realize that meant we (a gay male couple) identify as felines. (We just like cats, and really all well-behaved animals.) What pronouns are we supposed to use? ;)

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Aug 25, 2022Liked by David Farrier

Aaagh I am nonbinary and I feel compelled to mention this but I have seen a lot of people IDing genuinely and in good faith as 'catgender' and other similar microlabels so when I saw this headline (hate-watching Bob McCoskrie) I assumed it had leaked to conservative media pundits somehow because whenever you see headlines like "x child is IDing as an animal!" it's always some slippery slope transphobia argument and I hate having to be the person going "actually I have seen and met some people IDing as catgender"

My point here is that when queer people *do* ID as 'catgender' or other microlabels ('bungender', 'spacegender', 'skygender') it's not *literally* "I identify as this other species", it's "I find this a helpful metaphor to describe my experience with gender" and we'd consider that broadly falling under the nonbinary umbrella. I had a friend who primarily ID'd as a trans man but also used the label bungender as a fun descriptor for just how he enjoyed cute things but also felt vulnerable a lot of the time.

I say all this but all the people I've seen using microlabels are generally teenagers or younger people who often harbour some pretty ugly sentiments against other queer people who's labels they 'disagree' with. For some reason a lot of them hate hate hate bisexual/pansexual women who also ID as lesbians and if you look up the mini-website explainers for various microlabels you'll often see "You cannot use this flag if you think bisexual lesbians are real" which feels indicative that a lot of the kids using these gender labels are sort of just doing high school teenage shit.

Of course this is all a mile away from demanding litter boxes in schools or demanding to be affirmed as a literal cat by their teachers, you'll notice. You're probably already aware of this but QAnon and adjacent movements are trying to do 'grassroots activism' by flooding school board meetings with bullshit conspiracy protests and wow, the bullshit they're shouting made it all the way down to NZ somehow. Not good. Thank you for reading my rant 😔

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Aug 25, 2022Liked by David Farrier

This is a really depressing subject. I switched to the RNZ site a few years ago as my main source. It really raises my hackles when someone tries to tell me RNZ is not a credible news source, and if the government funds media then it must be a government mouthpiece. As though privately funded media is not a mouthpiece. I can't understand why no one is accountable for fake news, no legal structure can take them on. And people really believe this crap. It's so insidious. As for Arise: again, I just can't understand why the police aren't involved.

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Aug 25, 2022Liked by David Farrier

As a trans person I notice these all the time on sites like the herald that recycle overseas stories. The other thing they do that makes me really angry is abuse the word "after". You'll see a headline "teacher arrested after using wrong pronouns for student" but the real story will be that they also assaulted someone in meantime. They use 'after' like a get out of jail free card on truth because if they said 'for' then there would have to be an actual causal link.

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Aug 25, 2022Liked by David Farrier

I'm so glad you noticed the "furries in school" urban legend/hoax worming into mainstream australian news! You are the guy to talk sense about it!

So, I traced the origin of the hoax from inside furry subculture... All the way back to 2008 in mainstream US media. (It probably dated back to jokes on 1990's furry usenet, but that's too fuzzy to trace.)

It was latent for a long time, but I'd even made a "cat box cake" to make fun of it for a furry party in 2014 (on record at my news blog.)

It rose up again in 2021 with the huge anti-trans propaganda push. I commented about it before it hit the mainstream, even got thanked by a teacher who'd been targeted in rightwing blogs.

My tracing of the hoax was then quoted in mainstream debunking after senators repeated the hoax. The NY Times even reported to debunk it, which was a big deal... They only mentioned furries about 3 times ever I could find!

I then shared a map of where the hoax popped up, almost all in the US. I worked to reach out to various places and saw it being mostly tamped down.

Australia was the exception. It jumped across to there in a very fake opinion column by a shitty writer who sourced it to gossip at a dinner party. Funny enough her official account was suspended by Twitter... I wonder why. Other journalists made fun of it.

I hoped that would be the end of it... Months later the same news source ran what looked like a positive feature on furries.

Nope. A new round of it just hit a bunch of Australian outlets, laundering the same bullshit opinion article as if it was a real source.

I was too tired of the bullshit to even respond, it was already so dissipated after the first round, yet back like a zombie. It's good you did!

Search my Twitter plus "hoax" for links to all that. Here's a few.

https://twitter.com/DogpatchPress/status/1528752735155265538

https://twitter.com/DogpatchPress/status/1504792812184735745

https://twitter.com/DogpatchPress/status/1534585254383476737

https://twitter.com/DogpatchPress/status/1557778576962818049

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Aug 25, 2022Liked by David Farrier

Coming from Austria and a family dealing (or rather, not at all dealing but suffering/dying from) with multigenerational Nazi-induced and -inflicted trauma, it is utterly baffling and horrific how Goebbel's weaponising "Lügenpresse" (lying media) has reared its brutal, murderous head again, in 2022: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/10/24/the-ugly-history-of-luegenpresse-a-nazi-slur-shouted-at-a-trump-rally/

With the amplifying power of social media algorithms, the "real" media has a bigger moral mandate than ever to focus on getting their facts right to combat those kind of slurs, instead of letting the alt-right push the Overton Window into full-blown diarrhoea. However, the fact that some of our biggest media conglomerates are owned and run by, let's face it, fascist kleptocrats - means we seem to have to no choice but repeat the worst trauma in history, but with the added apocalypse horses of climate and ecological collapse, nuclear winter, and AI.

This is all massively depressing and anxiety-inducing. Another reason why I'm enormously grateful to you, David, and Webworm for keeping up the good fight, investigating, and sharing facts and voices that otherwise would get drowned in SHIT. Your mahi seems to be cutting through some of that, I think it's amazing that Christianity Today has taken up the story. Now, I gotta go fight my cats for a space in the litter box >^..^<

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author

And it goes on:

"Senator Ralph Babet slams Year 8 student who reportedly identifies as a cat

A United Australia Party senator launched a seething spray after reports a school supported a student’s decision to identify as a cat."

Etc

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Aug 25, 2022Liked by David Farrier

Sadly all to true. You only have to follow international news feeds and even major stories typically make it to our feeds in NZ a few days later.

Nice to see that Christianity Today actually referenced David's articles and the work he had done, even going as far as including a hyperlink to see the original work. Such a simple thing to do, so why can't our NZ media do this too?

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Aug 25, 2022Liked by David Farrier

Murdochs' Malevolent Media MachinationsTM can &@$% off. Australia has had enough this week ... Crikey has called Lachy's bluff AND Murdoch Royal Commission is getting closer.

https://www.crikey.com.au/2022/08/25/murdoch-inquiry-zoe-daniel/

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Aug 25, 2022·edited Aug 25, 2022Liked by David Farrier

If anyone wants to read a whole book on how this fake news laundering works and about how bad it truly gets, written by a guy who used to write and spread such fake news himself and so can speak from experience, I highly recommend Trust Me I'm Lying by Ryan Holiday.

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I can confirm that the “kids identifying as cats” nonsense has reached the ears of my aunt and uncle, who swear that it’s true. As much as I love them, my aunt refers to transgender people with outdated slurs, taking away their humanity. As someone who’s coming to terms with her sexuality (after years of internal homophobia), it’s heartbreaking to hear and read these fake “stories.”

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Aug 25, 2022Liked by David Farrier

I gave up on the nz herald a few years back. Getting great local coverage through the spinoff and stuff atm, and supporting with funding as I can, but I do worry good journalism needs more than they can get through current models. Paywalls are an issue, which argues for credible publicly funded sources like the bbc and npr. That their reputation suffers in certain groups is a major concern, and I don’t think I can face all that this morning! Tired of the hostility…bring on the weekend😁

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Aug 25, 2022Liked by David Farrier

Thanks for this story. It’s Sisyphean, this calling out of the liars.

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Aug 25, 2022Liked by David Farrier

These invented news stories have been around for a long while but are now so common they’re harder to identify. Back in the 80s mainstream NZmedia solemnly reported that a “looney left” London borough council was refusing to use black bin bags since they were disrespectful to Black people. Weeks later the papers acknowledged that the story was found to have been invented by a right wing British journalist, The original story was prominently headlined. The correction was a small para on page 16.

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Aug 25, 2022Liked by David Farrier

Australia standing up to the Murdochs' has global repercussions...

https://www.crikey.com.au/2022/08/24/lachlan-murdoch-suing-crikey-political-reactions/

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It’s been .... interesting to watch how manufactured outrage has changed over the years. When I was in high school the local Fox News channels started pushing a story that kids were crushing up Smarties and snorting them, or pixie sticks, for fun. To the point that we all had to take home a note that stated that inhaling crushed smarties could lead to an infestation of maggots in your nasal cavities. Which is both horrifying and also basically completely untrue.

Meanwhile, we were smack dab in the middle of Ohio, where the opioid epidemic was (and still is) raging. No one ever snorted any candy, but I have lost ten classmates to Heroin overdoses in the last decade and a half. It does make the misdirection feel all the more tragic, in a way.

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