Dorsai Irregulars

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The Dorsai Irregulars, also known as the Dorsai, or just DI (named after a fictional military force appearing in a series of books written by Gordon R. Dickson), are a volunteer security force consisting almost entirely of science fiction fans.

Contents

[edit] History

They were founded as an organization in 1974 by writer Robert Asprin in response to a need for security at science fiction conventions. Before the DI, security at conventions was normally handled by hiring outside security, which resulted in some friction between them and the con-goers since the former did not have much knowledge of the science fiction fandom.[1]

[edit] The Dorsai

The DI beret and Anthrocon pin

[edit] Dorsai Thing

Once a year, the Dorsai hold their own relaxacon called Dorsai Thing. It is a small, invitation-only gathering for Dorsai, their family and their friends. There is no guest of honor and little formal programming. The sole purpose is to get together at a convention and not actually have to work it. One mark of the good relation between the Dorsai and furry fandom is the ever-increasing number of furries invited to the Dorsai Thing each year.

The Dorsai are heavily involved in filk music, and are likely to be involved in any such activities at cons they attend.[2]

[edit] Dorsai trading cards

John Hall (foreground) and Grant Millard trade their cards at Conclave 31

Beginning at Anthrocon 2006, an anonymous individual began sending packages to the Dorsai Irregulars with "trading cards" of the Dorsai in them. Each trading card contained a picture of a person or book, and facts about them on the back of the card. Inclusion in the cards is not limited to members of the Dorsai Irregulars. Furries such as Uncle Kage and Giza have also had cards made about them.

There are currently two series of cards: "Series A", and "Series 1". It is estimated that there are at least 50 cards in total.

[edit] Joining the Dorsai Irregulars

Membership in the Dorsai Irregulars is by invitation only.[3] New members are chosen primarily from people they have worked with and who work well with the group. Important criteria include a willingness to work selflessly; a reliable good nature under stress; an ability to think on ones feet; a deep sense of personal responsibility; an ability to perform various roles in the organization; and, most of all, a certain undefinable "simpatico" that they claim to know when they see it. There is no official limit or quota on new members but the selection process is somewhat complex and lengthy. Candidates for membership are not informed that they are under consideration,[4] and their induction to the Irregulars usually comes as a surprise to them.[5]

[edit] Alleged Singing

The Dorsai are fond of writing songs about particularly 'interesting' moments.[6] Anthrocon has been the subject of more than a few, such as We're Working Anthrocon and The Anthrocon Recruiting Song.

[edit] Dorsai and Furry

The first appearance of the Dorsai at a furry convention was at Anthrocon 2002. They have returned to provide security services for AC every year since, each time with a larger and larger set of members.

Due to the general good response to their work at Anthrocon, the Dorsai began working various furry conventions. Most of these have now established ongoing working contracts, including FurFright, Furry Connection North, IndyFurCon, and of course Anthrocon.

The Dorsai regularly call on non-members they trust to fill out large contracts or contracts in areas where they do not have enough local members. The last few years there has been a notable number of furs working with the Dorsai at such conventions as MagFest (video gaming and rock'n'roll), Confluence (literary science fiction convention), Conclave (general science fiction convention) and others.

Furry author/cartoonist Mel. White has been a member of the Dorsai Irregulars since 1988, and is credited with originally bringing the Irregulars to the attention of Anthrocon's leadership. Giza was inducted into the Dorsai Irregulars in March, 2008.[7] Noted furry artist Diana Harlan Stein is also a member.

In addition, the Dorsai regularly call on a group of reliable friends and companions to help with heavy staffing required at Anthrocon and other large cons. A very partial list of that group includes Tori Clayton, Samantha Gobeyn (Bookie), Karen Klink, Alex Krumwiede, Geoff Lamb, Miranda Radelt, Dave Roach, Sandy Schreiber, and Max Sprinkle (inducted March 2009).

[edit] Dorsai/Furry Migratory Study

In 2006, Dorsai staffer Mike 'Gooch' Gucciard made up 100 tags such as one would use in tagging migratory (or pseudo-migratory) animals. The tags indicated they were part of the "DI MIG STUDY, ANTHRO 2006." These were given only to full fursuiters, and all were gone unexpectedly quickly.[8] In 2007 a 150[9] tag set went just as quickly. Number 250 was reserved for sale in the charity auction, it went for nearly $300.00. In 2008, there were 250 tags which still seemed to fall short of enough.[10] Tag numbers are unique, each year picks up where the previous left off.

At Anthrocon 2010 the Dorsai announced that the study was to come to an end with Tag number 1000 to be sold at the charity auction. This tag sold for a charity auction record of $1600.

[edit] Controversy

Over the years, there have been various incidents between the Dorsai and con-goers and complaints have been made about the actions of some of the Dorsai. Most of these problems result from an enforcement of rules that are vaguely placed or seem overbearing when enforced in certain situations, such as not being allowed in the Atrium of a convention hotel at certain hours and certain hotel rooms having a porch that was, technically, overlooking and, thus, in the Atrium, as experienced by Dragoneer.[11]

Some furries feel that a few, but not all, of the members do not act professionally and, instead, are rude and disrespectful to con-goers.[12]

[edit] FurFright

Incidents at FurFright 2012 prompted Dragoneer to write an outraged journal entry[13] on Fur Affinity, and ThatDamnWolf to resign from FurFright staff and start an online petition to discontinue using Dorsai Irregulars for security at FurFright.[14][15]

[edit] References

  1. History of the Dorsai Irregulars, from the Dorsai Irregulars website
  2. Filk Music and the Dorsai Irregulars - John Hall, Dorsai Irregulars - Archivist
  3. "How do I join the Dorsai Irregulars?" from the Anthrocon forums
  4. Dorsai Irregulars: Organization
  5. Some Furry Dorsai News, from the Anthrocon forums
  6. The Dorsai Irregular Filk Song Collection
  7. Some Furry Dorsai News, retrieved from Anthrocon's forums
  8. New Furry Species Found, from [Sgt. Steve]'s LiveJournal
  9. Mike Gucciard
  10. Mike Gucciard
  11. Comment on "Attack of the Mechanized Manatees from Mars" Journal Entry - Dragoneer's Livejournal
  12. "Anthrocon Post-Con Report (or: I feel like complaining)" - Furaffinity Forums
  13. Thank You to the Dorsai
  14. Belic Bear and FurFright, Inc.: Discontinue the use of Dorsai Irregulars as a security force at FurFright
  15. So! FurFright...

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