My Little Pony Wife
March 22, 2013 7:04 PM   Subscribe

The Internet finally reaches its apex as man marrying My Little Pony character writes angry email to erotic pony artist.
posted by five fresh fish (373 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
 
Guys, shut down MetaFilter. We've accomplished what we set out to do.
posted by DoctorFedora at 7:08 PM on March 22, 2013 [11 favorites]


On the one hand, that's terrible. On the other hand, that's terrible.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 7:10 PM on March 22, 2013 [61 favorites]


Holy shit, they were right about the repercussions of gay marriage.
posted by Sarcasm at 7:11 PM on March 22, 2013 [18 favorites]


I actually kind of really like this email, which doesn't seem angry to me at all. He's got some fair points, really.
posted by koeselitz at 7:11 PM on March 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


I dunno. This kind of makes me long for the good old days of Twitter-based public shaming of dongle-jokers.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:13 PM on March 22, 2013 [13 favorites]


That's sad. You can feel the resentment bubbling away under the attempt at 'reasonableness' and self-effacement... I'm sure this guy realises he's in a less healthy place than even he is trying to make out.

which doesn't seem angry to me at all.

If you read the original he starts to get pretty antsy about the addressee's "loathesome [...] penchant for degrading my partner," etc.

With that said, I hope this thread doesn't just descend into "Eww, weird! Gross! Weird!" because that's pretty dull. With that said, there seems to be a pretty strong resemblance to the Dakimakura thing, and similar attempts to latch onto your love/attraction to something so hard that you can ignore the fact that it isn't real...
posted by Drexen at 7:13 PM on March 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


at about the time i turned 19, i stopped being entertained by two-minutes'-hate gawking and started being repulsed/depressed by it

i wonder if it was a hormonal thing
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 7:13 PM on March 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


Who's hate-gawking here? I see admiration and bemusement, not hate.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:15 PM on March 22, 2013


Peak internet will truly come when the artist Rule34s himself having relations with the writer's wife.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 7:16 PM on March 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


@five fresh fish

the internet at large

also, putting this kind of tiny subculture thing up on something with the mass of AV Club and drawing a fuckton of attention to both of these guys is just ugh

don't these people have a movie to review or something
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 7:18 PM on March 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


If this is a troll (and I feel like it is), it's a really well-done troll, subtle enough to be believable.
posted by incessant at 7:18 PM on March 22, 2013 [8 favorites]


NOT SURE IF SERIOUS.

Granted, I'm well aware of "soulbonding" -- you should see the internet fights that some girls have had over Sephiroth, or Severus Snape. And then, back in the Usenet days, there was that whole Minerva Mink thing. This letter is just so perfectly pathetic, though. Maybe I'm kidding myself in the hope that this does not exist.

I have to watch out for my keen desire to mock people who are lower on the Geek Hierarchy than I am. It's not an attractive trait, but it's human, almost comforting. ("Oh, sure, I write Lovecraftian pastiche, but at least I'm not a goddamn furry.")
posted by Countess Elena at 7:19 PM on March 22, 2013 [26 favorites]


My kid's into Curious George. While nothing is immune from rule 34, the MITYH is far more likely to be the subject, and she only likes him because he's George's Dad.

I don't want to be in the position in a couple years where my pre-pre-teen kid runs a search on MLP:FIM, and winds up with this bullshit, and then asks me to explain it. This, the best and most positive girl-oriented pop culture aimed at kids since forever, wrecked by adult guys who identify with each other over how hard they want to do cartoon horses with female voices.

Bronies, this is your mess. Clean it up, or GTFO.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:21 PM on March 22, 2013 [33 favorites]


With that said, I hope this thread doesn't just descend into "Eww, weird! Gross! Weird!" because that's pretty dull.

Actually, I'm pretty okay with dull in this case.
posted by R. Schlock at 7:23 PM on March 22, 2013 [7 favorites]


I actually kind of really like this email, which doesn't seem angry to me at all. He's got some fair points, really.


I'm not sure if you're serious, but I know there are some Bronies on MeFi who take any mocking of their subculture very seriously. To pre-empt: we're not sexist, and we don't think it's funny that you watch a show aimed at little girls (we love Powerpuff Girls). We mock the endless fan art, the shoe-horning in of MLP to everything, the billion page Fallout/MLP fanfic, the tantrums and death threats that ensued when they changed the name of 'Derpy Hooves', and the endless awkward pictures of grown men in pony costumes who finally found their hugbox.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 7:24 PM on March 22, 2013 [7 favorites]


His wife? A horse.
posted by kmz at 7:24 PM on March 22, 2013 [18 favorites]


And for people who say that mocking is destructive: thanks to reading miles of mock threads, I threw away my fedora and my Nice Guy tendencies. Letting people like this know how awkward they are encourages them to develop as human beings.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 7:26 PM on March 22, 2013 [43 favorites]


TWILIGHT SPARKLE IS AN ALLICORN NOW, WHAT THE FUCK?
posted by Artw at 7:28 PM on March 22, 2013 [13 favorites]


Well, the way I see it, the whole 'fictional soulmate' thing itself is 'fine', i.e. none of my business -- you're never going to make rule 34 not be true -- but when it gets to the point of harassing someone else for their own fantasies/art/etc, as if he has to protect all the other instances and variations of the character that other people make as if they were all his own romantic partner.. well, if I got that letter, I'd be wondering how much further he was planning to take it if I didn't "back off" his "lover".
posted by Drexen at 7:30 PM on March 22, 2013




The whole subculture of erotic MLP fanfic is kind of fucked up. I feel kind of bad for the creators of the show, you make a kids show and suddenly the internet is full of fucked up porn of your characters.

I mean, obviously it happens with all shows to a certain extent, but it's way more prevalent with MLP then any other kids show I'm aware of.
posted by delmoi at 7:32 PM on March 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


Drexen: “If you read the original he starts to get pretty antsy about the addressee's ‘loathesome [...] penchant for degrading my partner,’ etc.”

Well, he's antsy, sure, but an actual angry missive could really be a lot worse than this. I mean, he ends with
I assume you'll probably just dismiss this message as the ramblings of a crazy person and likely ignore it, but if by some chance you do take what I've had to say to heart, well... we'd appreciate it.
That seems cordial enough, anyway. And cordial is probably the nicest wrapper this kind of thing can come in.

What I find kind of intriguing is this:
So it's been bothering me lately every time I go on those sites and see a dozen or so pieces of art people have drawn depicting my girl in various sexual situations with the same person over and over, and that person happens to be you.
Am I misreading this? It doesn't sound like this letter is aimed at the artist; it sounds like the letter is aimed at a particular person (character?) that a number of artists like to depict Twilight with.
posted by koeselitz at 7:33 PM on March 22, 2013


Didn't the Japanese have this "fictional soulmate" shit locked down a long time ago? See, this is why our kids are falling behind more and more each year.
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:34 PM on March 22, 2013 [11 favorites]


Thanks for the link to that article, Artw, because I was just thinking about it the other day and didn't know how to find it. Transethnicity is a rich vein of native LOL in the desert of the internet.
posted by Countess Elena at 7:35 PM on March 22, 2013


Everyone involved in this needs mental help.

Including the guy who wrote this for AV Club.
posted by SansPoint at 7:36 PM on March 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'm a brony, in that I keep up with the show, and "know of" things on the surface level of the fandom. But, yeah, wow. I have no idea how someone gets so wound up in something, anything, so as to lose that much perspective. Just... wow.

(Of course, back in August I obsessed over the book High Weirdness By Mail, and have seen Foodfight 13 times.)

Bronies, this is your mess. Clean it up, or GTFO.

What can they do? The word is, there was a group of furries some time back who took exact same attitude to their fandom, which despite popular perception is actually not mostly about fucking Bugs Bunny. Well, it didn't go well.

In any event, the "mainstream" bronies are incapable of stopping J. Random Sadman from doing whatever they want with the characters; this very case is an instance of one brony trying to do that very thing. The main sites, especially Equestria Daily, pretty much ignore this kind of stuff, and are generally safe for fans of all ages. That's all they can really do, and I've noticed you have to look to find questionable pony content. (For some reason I never see any of it, for instance.)

I'm not sure if you're serious, but I know there are some Bronies on MeFi who take any mocking of their subculture very seriously.

Even I have to stop myself from mocking this one. Might I offer this? (yeah it's the letter Dan Savage got)
posted by JHarris at 7:37 PM on March 22, 2013 [12 favorites]


From Otherkin to Transethnicity: Your Field Guide to the Weird World of Tumblr Identity Politics

Holy shit, this is all Judith Butler's fault, isn't it?
posted by R. Schlock at 7:38 PM on March 22, 2013 [8 favorites]


OK. I'm a gonna say it. Bronies are rape by proxy. Girls are not allowed a safe place in pop culture. They are not alowed to have role-models that are not hypersexualized by a "fandom." Guys into sex with ponies are into fucking women back into their place, and not about celebrating the triumph of imagination... and those guys into sex with ponies would never, ever dare air their rapiness without the vast subculture of adult men obsessing over a kids' show aimed at girls. PPG got away with it, Billy and Mandy got away with it... Equestria has to be fucked into submission.

What can you do? Dude, walk the fuck away from that "fandom" bullshit. That's what you do.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:40 PM on March 22, 2013 [29 favorites]


So when the kid and I first discovered My Little Pony we used to watch it by searching for episodes on YouTube. I... would not do that now.
posted by Artw at 7:43 PM on March 22, 2013


@Charlegmagne

that sounds suspiciously similar to the rationale e.g. pranknet people used for their trolling

"we're not creepy or abusive, we're just doing tough love and educating people by applying a LART to their preconceived notions"

take that kind of self-justified filling, and grease it with a thick layer of American prudishness and moral outrage, and you've got something that might taste good right now, but is actually really terrible for you

i'm not a brony but the way people react to this kind of thing is an exercise in chagrin and disappointment
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 7:43 PM on March 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


Having read the article I'd like to praise Sean O'Neal, who's been bringing delightful snark to the AV Club Newswire for at least a year, always against deserving targets.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 7:44 PM on March 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


OK. I'm a gonna say it. Bronies are rape by proxy.
what
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 7:44 PM on March 22, 2013 [56 favorites]


Do we have to blame trainwrecks like this on the Internet? I mean, this is a nice neighborhood. This is where I download audio from the Library of Congress and shit.
posted by Miko at 7:46 PM on March 22, 2013 [28 favorites]


I don't know anything about the brony scene. If you were actually a girl who just plain liked My Little Pony, how much of this crap could you reasonably expect to avoid? Like, is the sexy-sex MLP stuff cordoned off from the rest of the fandom, or is does this kind of stuff just get wedged in wherever?
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:46 PM on March 22, 2013


Bronies are rape by proxy. Girls are not allowed a safe place in pop culture. They are not alowed to have role-models that are not hypersexualized by a "fandom."

Are teenage males not allowed to enjoy Star Trek without having middle-aged women writing slashfic about Kirk and Spock, which is how this stuff got started in the first place decades ago? A media property isn't a "space," anyway, and I maintain it's a definite minority of pony fans who do this. But I always say this when there's a pony thread and no one seems to listen to me so believe what you want.

What some people do with a property doesn't impinge on what anyone else does with it. PONY is actually pretty light on this kind of thing: there certainly is the seedy underside, but it is my understanding that many bronies go out of their way to avoid the sexy stuff, for exactly this reason. I am no spokesperson for the group though, and have no numbers; this is just the impression I get.
posted by JHarris at 7:47 PM on March 22, 2013 [30 favorites]


Miko: People like this existed before the Internet. The Internet just lets them connect with other people with the same sort of strangeness easier and faster.
posted by SansPoint at 7:48 PM on March 22, 2013


what

Yeah, huh? I don't get where you're getting all that from, Slap*Happy. I mean, I daresay it would be nice if there could be things, especially kids TV shows, which were never sexualized by anyone, but that's just not human nature, and I don't see how that's inherently rapacious. All this 'MLP erotica' stuff doesn't intrude into the safe spaces of little girls any more than any other porn does, AFAIK.
posted by Drexen at 7:50 PM on March 22, 2013


that sounds suspiciously similar to the rationale e.g. pranknet people used for their trolling

I'm not against trolling, either, unless it leads to offline harrasment. And sometimes 'tough love' is needed. The main sentiment I've seen when mocking Bronies & Tropers - and one I share - is "there but for the grace of God go I". If my hobbies and obsessions didn't force me to interact with other people I could easily end up in the rabbit hole.

And now that sounds like a euphemism.

For more on strange Tumblr types, check out Watchful Entity. For general Internet mockery there's the F Plus Podcast. And to see the harm furries do, look up them forcing the cancellation of Tiny Toon Adventures by stalking the voice actors.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 7:50 PM on March 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty okay with nothing being sacred.
posted by dephlogisticated at 7:52 PM on March 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


And to see the harm furries do, look up them forcing the cancellation of Tiny Toon Adventures by stalking the voice actors.

...what?
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:52 PM on March 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, huh? I don't get where you're getting all that from, Slap*Happy. I mean, I daresay it would be nice if there could be things, especially kids TV shows, which were never sexualized by anyone, but that's just not human nature, and I don't see how that's inherently rapacious. All this 'MLP erotica' stuff doesn't intrude into the safe spaces of little girls any more than any other porn does, AFAIK.

Except MLP was explicitly created to be a show young girls could watch and enjoy positively. Even the name - 'bronies' - speaks of men coopting it. The popular face of the fandom is creepy males, not young girls.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 7:52 PM on March 22, 2013 [7 favorites]


what

Girls are not allowed a safe place in pop culture. That's what.

Are teenage males not allowed to enjoy Star Trek without having middle-aged women...

Dude, check yourself before you wriggedy-wreck yourself.

PONY is actually pretty light on this kind of thing:

Counterpoint: ALL OF DEVIANTART.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:53 PM on March 22, 2013 [8 favorites]


Like, is the sexy-sex MLP stuff cordoned off from the rest of the fandom, or is does this kind of stuff just get wedged in wherever?

I can only speak for those I've myself seen:

Foremost brony site Equestria Daily has a policy of allowing nothing like this. (They used to occasionally post a "saucy" pic in their drawfriend posts, but even those were tame.)

The podcast Bronyville similarly doesn't mention this at all, except to respond to it (check Ep. 82 for what I consider to be the final ringing response to the Rule 34 implications of bronydom).

The imageboard Derpybooru accepts questionable images, but marks them as such. I hear the imageboard Bronibooru is a bit worse.

Tumblr image boards vary widely, but most of them are pretty tame.

On boards on nerd sites like 4chan, all bets are off.
posted by JHarris at 7:53 PM on March 22, 2013


And sometimes 'tough love' is needed.

That's kind of a bullshit thing for you to decide for someone else based on your own experience, though, isn't it?

And to see the harm furries do, look up them forcing the cancellation of Tiny Toon Adventures by stalking the voice actors.

Not to do the FTFY thing but surely the problem there is stalkers, not furries.
posted by Drexen at 7:54 PM on March 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


Wait what, male viewers whether they are adults are children are not supposed to watch and enjoy MLP even if they are watching it with their kids or sisters because it's somehow invading a special preserve of female empowerment?

I understand not wanting to sexualize a show aimed at children particularly aimed at female children that actually presents decent role modelling but to tar and feather the whole of the MLP fandom just because some people take that fandom to the extreme or into squicky territory is kinda backwards looking.

If I had a son and he really like MLP I would encourage him because honestly it's one of the better written children's shows on TV and even though the quality of the writing seems to be falling off and more stuff like crystal ponies keep getting introduced to increase monetization for Hasbro it's vastly better than many of the other options.
posted by vuron at 7:55 PM on March 22, 2013 [13 favorites]


Without the mockery, in some ways, this was what the Internet was leading up to. I know it wasn't designed this way, but it's an example of emergence, and it's why the web really is changing the world (MetaFilter is as well, as is the fact that I am constantly trying to download sandwiches when I am hungry, because I forget that I can't just download anything I need when I need it.)

I mean, some of these fan identities might have existed before the web -- there was a sort of proto-web in fanzines and fan communities. But, to paraphrase Malcolm McLaren, one person is crazy, two people are weirdos, three people is a revolution. The web has made it possible to find likeminded people, create virtual communities, and evolve a common identity and community in ways that never existed before.

There are two kinds of community building, and I think we're seeing the results of one here and the failure of another. There are bonding social activities, where you get together with like-minded people and do things that strengthen your bond -- posting photos of your favorite My Little Piny characters, creating fanfic, writing glossaries, etc. The trouble with bonding exercises is that, because it is inward-looking, these communities might wind up forging an identity that is in opposition to the mainstream, or to other communities. You see it all the time -- churches split off from each other over difference in reading Bible quotes, birding communities split off over ethics of how to attract birds, community theaters develop a core of actors who actually believe themselves to be in conflict with another core of actors from another community theater. We become tribes, and there are great benefits to tribalism, but when it is too inward-looking, too defined by opposition, it becomes tribal warfare.

Then there are bridging social activities, in which groups that are not alike find common events or goals and work together. MetaFilter can be like this, where people from varied backgrounds come together to discuss things that they find mutually interesting, and where there is a structure in place that enforces respectful interaction. But, in the real world, so are things like neighborhood block parties, or music events that are designed to bring together disparate communities, or even parades. The trouble is, if bridging activities don't have mutually beneficial goals in mind, they can quickly devolve into tribes confronting each other -- and the closer the tribes are to each other, the more they will magnify their differences and attach importance, thanks to the narcissism of small differences.

So what we had here is a classic internet bridging failure. These two tribes -- who are all but identical to outside viewers, and obviously have quite a lot in common -- are instead interacting over perceived slights and offenses, and the rest of us are laughing. And I think this points to a very basic failure of the web -- that it tends to magnify conflict, even when it is utterly inconsequential. Perhaps especially then.

But, then, the web is just a variation of the real world. These bridging moments fail all the time. We as humans need better mechanisms for interacting, and then we can imagine how they might work online. At least the web is good at one of these two kinds of social interaction -- it is superb at bonding opportunities.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 7:56 PM on March 22, 2013 [80 favorites]


and the endless awkward pictures of grown men in pony costumes who finally found their hugbox.

The last use of hugbox on the blue prior to this was at 1:22 AM on May 2, 2010. I had forgotten about the term. Thank you for bringing it back; if you'll excuse me, I have to attend to some miscellaneous internet-entitled types.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 7:56 PM on March 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


Dude, check yourself before you wriggedy-wreck yourself.

I give it as an instructive example: a media property is not a space.

PONY is actually pretty light on this kind of thing:

Counterpoint: ALL OF DEVIANTART.

Yeah, and you can find a lot of other questionable stuff there too. I think that's more DeviantArt than Bronies.

<sigh> I've said all I can say. Just... Bronyville Ep. 82. Those guys are much much more "into" the fandom than I.
posted by JHarris at 7:57 PM on March 22, 2013


I don't know anything about the brony scene. If you were actually a girl who just plain liked My Little Pony, how much of this crap could you reasonably expect to avoid?

Well, in this house all of it, to my knowledge. I dunno, she'll get unrestrained Internet someday but by them there will be a million and one other things to worry about.

Now, ask me about the scourge that is in-app purchases, there's a real parenting problem.
posted by Artw at 7:57 PM on March 22, 2013 [14 favorites]


@Charlemagne

the thing is, you're a goon, and they're sort of steeped in that "constructive abuse" milieu from back before the internet moved on.

it does not seem ethical to be okay with the entirety of the human flesh hate machine being brought to bear against one, possibly teenaged, possibly mentally ill person in order to make them "more acceptable to polite society"

that actually seems kind of wrong

plus, the goal of that kind of shit is never actually to improve people, it's just to bring them more in line with the mob's idea of propriety. it's not about improving anyone's mental health or quality of life, because mocking someone is like the second worst way to try to do that, it's about punishing deviance

it is fucking creepy, whether it's singling out some guy with a crush on a pony, or raiding feminist spaces you deem "too radical", or whatever.

every time i see shit like this go down, i get a little more pessimistic in re: people not being dicks forever
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 7:59 PM on March 22, 2013 [40 favorites]


I want to watch a show or movie, possibly a docudrama saga or like a Point Break type cult movie, but no whacky sitcoms or cartoons please, about a brave FBI agent who volunteers for a multi-year "deep cover" mission in the furry community where he pretends to be one of them very convincingly, Maybe TOO convincingly. then we have flash forwards to his life after his mission is done - like the FBI agent neighbor plot arc in The Americans.
posted by Bwithh at 7:59 PM on March 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


also "hugbox" is basically a straight up anti-autistic-person slur, if that isn't too politically correct for metafilter

also othering is really bad for your empathy centers and will turn you into a dick
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 8:02 PM on March 22, 2013 [23 favorites]


Miko: People like this existed before the Internet.

Oh, darling, I know. I am an Old who predates the internet and has encountered most varieties of people "like this."

To another degree, there's plenty of good cultural criticism that fairly notes that lots of suff "like this" existed before the internet, but not really stuff exactly like this. There are some layered and temporally intense phenomena that require the rapidity, illusory sense of wide community, and transgeography that the internet can create - in effect, the internet is an intensifier and amplifier of phenomena previously mostly private and localized.
posted by Miko at 8:03 PM on March 22, 2013 [6 favorites]


"Hugbox" isn't an actual term for a thing? I thought it was just the word used for what Temple Grandin invented. I'll keep that in mind. (not sarcastic)
posted by Countess Elena at 8:03 PM on March 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


the thing is, you're a goon, and they're sort of steeped in that "constructive abuse" milieu from back before the internet moved on.

it does not seem ethical to be okay with the entirety of the human flesh hate machine being brought to bear against one, possibly teenaged, possibly mentally ill person in order to make them "more acceptable to polite society"


I don't think Charlemagne is being a goon at all. And I think there's a slippery slope you're getting lost down so that somehow you're conflating Charlemagne saying it's alright to shake your head at someone and chuckle, saying "You're a little bent, dude," and full-on 4chan style bullying and nastiness.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:04 PM on March 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think we're missing the point here, which is that this is fucking hilarious.
posted by Optamystic at 8:06 PM on March 22, 2013 [21 favorites]


the thing is, you're a goon, and they're sort of steeped in that "constructive abuse" milieu from back before the internet moved on.

I was a MeFite before I was a Goon, and you'll find that most of SA has the same community standards MeFi has, especially in terms of politics and creating safe spaces for feminism and trans* discussion. I just don't think that anything is exempt from mockery. Quite the opposite- I hold to a 'kill your idols' stance.

I'm a fan of Supernatural, but I'm fine with mocking people who think Sam & Dean's actors are gay for each other in real life and write elaborate fan-fic about things too disgusting for the Blue. I love Adventure Time, and so do most of my friends, but for some reason there isn't as much adult fanfic and fan art as there is for MLP. Odd that MLP has a huge Fallout crossover, but AT doesn't, despite it sharing Fallout's backstory.

I think some 'prudishness' is okay when a kid Googling their favorite show risks stumbling into miles of gory porn. And for adults, having a permanent space where all your flaws are excused isn't healthy. I wish someone had kicked me in the ass at 16 and told me to get off the Internet.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 8:07 PM on March 22, 2013 [6 favorites]


In other words, it's actually an event as old as ad-supported media, known by the 1930s as a "publicity stunt."
posted by Miko at 8:08 PM on March 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wish someone had kicked me in the ass at 16 and told me to get off the Internet.

It's never too late. I can do this for you now, if you like.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:08 PM on March 22, 2013 [24 favorites]


I sympathize with wanting a show aimed at children to remain desexualized, but don't assume that it's only men and boys interested in adding sex to media properties.

Exhibit A being the excesses of the HP fandom, lovingly detailed on Fandom Wank these past 10 years.
posted by rewil at 8:08 PM on March 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


Holy shit Internet. How much crack must I smoke, before I stop feeling dirty and violated by your sick sick crazy all-devouring need to love and cozy up with, and fuck the shit out of everything until it is dead dead dead ??
posted by Skygazer at 8:08 PM on March 22, 2013 [9 favorites]


My first exposure to Something Awful was, I followed a link there from Slashdot years ago, and they had replaced the link target with goatse.

Since then I've seen both good and bad things from that site. I view them warily, and think their culture is kind of corrosive, but the people who brought us Boatmurdered can't be all bad.
posted by JHarris at 8:08 PM on March 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


Enforcing social conformity though outright mockery is kinda a time honored tradition on the internet but I definitely agree that in many cases it's not really intended to engage the target constructively in an attempt to help them but rather ostracize them to the point where they remove themselves from the community.

Of course for some targets any attention even negative attention just feeds their narcissism so they just escalate and make the environment even more toxic.

I understand that it's tempting to call out socially "deviant" behavior but rarely is the internet lynch mob really doing anything other than making the participants feel better about themselves by putting other people down.

If the behavior is truly deviant to the point of crossing ethical/moral/legal boundaries then it can possibly be used in addition to contacting the authorities but I really get uncomfortable about pilloring someone who's deep sense of loneliness and disconnection with humanity results in him empathizing and magic an internal fantasy life with a "waifu" whether it's a celeb or a pony. Yeah it's definitely offputting to a degree for various reasons but I don't think that attacking him is really the way to educate him and is instead more likely to drive him deeper into that internal fantasy landscape.
posted by vuron at 8:09 PM on March 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


(realizing now that "goon" is a specific term for SA users and not a generic slur)

Even so. Charlemagne's specific quote on what kind of mocking he went in was that it was based around "There but for the grace of God go I." I think that's calibrated about right for taking the piss out of Twilight Sparkle's ersatz hubby here.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:10 PM on March 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


Reading back, Bunny Ultramod's comment has it.
posted by Miko at 8:11 PM on March 22, 2013


If I had a son and he really like MLP I would encourage him because honestly it's one of the better written children's shows on TV ...

My 5 year old loves MLPFIM. He asked for and got the Pinky Pie Friendship Express Train for christmas. I'll go chastise him for not allowing girls a safe place in pop culture now.
posted by signal at 8:11 PM on March 22, 2013 [15 favorites]


American prudishness

What? You mean the rest of the world is cool with a 27 year old man "marrying" a cartoon pony?
posted by sweetkid at 8:11 PM on March 22, 2013 [7 favorites]


I just don't think that anything is exempt from mockery. Quite the opposite- I hold to a 'kill your idols' stance.

You know, many people think they have this attitude, but there's usually something, if you look hard enough. And there are objectively good things in the world that aren't deserving of mockery.

It's easy to become a jaded cynic about everything, but there's no real value in that, you just make yourself depressed and become unable to find any joy in the world. From someone who has learned that the hard way.
posted by JHarris at 8:12 PM on March 22, 2013 [10 favorites]


I'd have issue with him marrying a real pony. A cartoon pony? Mazel tov!
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:13 PM on March 22, 2013 [21 favorites]


What? You mean the rest of the world is cool with a 27 year old man "marrying" a cartoon pony?

WHY YES - BUT OF COURSE - FOR EACH AND EVERY PERSON FROM THE REST OF THE WORLD WILL BECOME A FLOWER GIRL AT THE WEDDING
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:14 PM on March 22, 2013 [7 favorites]


Like signal, I've got a little dude at home who watches MLP. Not only do I not feel like he's stepping on girl empowerment, but watching the show helped him shake off some stupid ideas about females he was getting from the sidekicks, damsels in distress, and princesses who passed for female characters in a lot of the "boy" cartoons he was watching. He understands that girls can be heroes now and I'm glad of it.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:18 PM on March 22, 2013 [37 favorites]


If the behavior is truly deviant to the point of crossing ethical/moral/legal boundaries then it can possibly be used in addition to contacting the authorities but I really get uncomfortable about pilloring someone who's deep sense of loneliness and disconnection with humanity results in him empathizing and magic an internal fantasy life with a "waifu" whether it's a celeb or a pony

The thing is I've been that lonely before, and I'll probably be that lonely again. And the way to deal with it isn't to retreat into an easy fantasy world where I marry Princess Marcelline (maybe the Ice King is a Brony). It's to force myself to get out among people and work on my issues and work out and TRY to connect with people.

And I want to reiterate that nobody is mocking normal guys who watch MLP. I'd probably watch it if it was on. We're mocking members of its highly-visible fandom.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 8:20 PM on March 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


JH - you need to apply your basic honesty about games to this. You need to understand how the designer is trying to fuck with you. How the designer is trying to get you to play by bullshit rules, and hoping you won't notice. You are =inches= away from the Eye of Zot - all you need to do is to pretend girls don't deserve to be seen as something other to fuck!

What do you do?

Walk. Away. Dude.

It's the only way to retain your coveted "man card."
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:21 PM on March 22, 2013


What? You mean the rest of the world is cool with a 27 year old man "marrying" a cartoon pony?

In SOCIALIST EUROPE you probably get a tax break for marrying a cartoon pony!
posted by prize bull octorok at 8:21 PM on March 22, 2013 [13 favorites]


You mean the rest of the world is cool with a 27 year old man "marrying" a cartoon pony?

Sure. Where's the harm? To other people, I mean. The way I figure it a core part of personal freedom is the freedom to live your life how you want and not have alleged harm to yourself treated as some kind of danger to greater society unless you're actually hurting someone.

I mean, I guess this is a bad example because this dude is actually harassing someone else. Sure, his tone is cordial, but his message is uncomfortably close to the dynamic of "stop looking at my wife or we've got a problem buddy" territory. But it's not deviance that's the problem with that.
posted by Drexen at 8:22 PM on March 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think there's a slippery slope you're getting lost down so that somehow you're conflating Charlemagne saying it's alright to shake your head at someone and chuckle, saying "You're a little bent, dude,"
there is a difference between saying to yourself that a person is crazy and publicizing their name to the internet using your site that has a million views an hour
Enforcing social conformity though outright mockery is kinda a time honored tradition on the internet
it's a time-honored tradition IRL but nowadays the cops put a stop to it :(
What? You mean the rest of the world is cool with a 27 year old man "marrying" a cartoon pony?
americans seem to generally have more of a problem with sexuality in things than a lot of other countries, e.g. france, japan, etc. also, it's kind of off that you suddenly know how old this guy is; how many other details are we going to find out before this thread is through? i'm sure AV Club isn't raiding this guy, but singling him out like this is irresponsible.

Anyway, I do not trust anyone that takes it upon themselves to "improve" people unsolicited. I trust them far less when their method of unsolicited improvement relies on a large group of people shaming/mocking a far smaller group of people. When it's one dude, and it's a major website that's doing it, I think it's unethical.

It's immensely frustrating to see all the "empathy and tolerance" stuff go out the window because lol internet and it makes me feel like it's all essentially hypocritical, self-pleasing bullshit.
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 8:24 PM on March 22, 2013 [8 favorites]


"his message is uncomfortably close to the dynamic of "stop looking at my wife or we've got a problem buddy" territory."

yeah I don't like that. Also, without the creepy letter I wouldn't have much issue with this, but it's a little false to be all "if not for prudish Americans, no one would think it odd for a man to think he is in love with a cartoon pony." I mean come on.
posted by sweetkid at 8:25 PM on March 22, 2013 [8 favorites]


@This, of course, alludes to you

I sincerely appreciate the way you're trying to listen to your better angels here. I really do.

But there's empathy, and there's failing to tell someone they're using a bidet as a water fountain, you know?

I don't think it does this poor guy any favors at all to pretend he's not acting nuts.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:28 PM on March 22, 2013 [9 favorites]


it's kind of off that you suddenly know how old this guy is

What? He wrote it in the letter.
posted by sweetkid at 8:28 PM on March 22, 2013


plus at least the less civilized parts of the internet are straight with you and say "we hate them because they're weird fucking faggots", instead of doing some kind of thing where it turns out that brony is rape or something and mysteriously our gut-level revulsion and retribution is morally correct and justified
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 8:29 PM on March 22, 2013 [7 favorites]


I understand what you are saying CiS but it's pretty clear from the second quote that the guy really seems to have no idea that his imaginary vision of Twilight Sparkle might be a different imaginary character than the one in the imagination of porn artist guy.

There really seems to be a lack of sarcasm in the quote which makes me feel like the guy is deeply earnest and possessive about his imaginary pony waifu and honestly at that point in time ostracism isn't going to get him to open his eyes.

He's probably used to being ostracized indeed being ostracized probably got him going down this apparently very deep rabbit hole. Maybe he'd be forced to admit that TS isn't real if really pressed but the internet lynch mob probably isn't the one to get that done.
posted by vuron at 8:29 PM on March 22, 2013


You are =inches= away from the Eye of Zot - all you need to do is to pretend girls don't deserve to be seen as something other to fuck!

Indulging fantasies is not the same as raping girls. Given that there will always be a million weird fetishes out there that girls and boys will eventually discover, I think it's missing the point to say that you should be able to claim a 'space' as being kid-friendly when that 'space' is 'everything to do with a particular show' even if it's out of earshot of said girls and boys.
posted by Drexen at 8:31 PM on March 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Bunny Ultramod's comment above is too long to put on a T-shirt and too short to bind into a handbook, although it might make for a decent pamphlet that I'd like to hand out to certain people.

As for this brony vs. brony thing, I don't feel contempt or amusement for either one of them so much as I feel sorrow for the one who wants to marry Twilight Sparkle, after reading the first link that Drexen posted above. I feel sorry for him, without judging what he's doing with his life or his emotional choices, because he's already lost. Even though I think that he has every right to idealize a fictional character as a love interest, I don't think that he has any particular right to tell someone else how they should feel about the character, whether it's also to love the character, think it's cute, think that it's a creepily-well-machined pop culture money-vore, or want to fuck it in ways both extremely explicit and utterly improbable. The idea that one is perfectly OK and the other is an abomination unto the internet? Sorry, don't see it that way.

In part, it's because the brony-fiance actively sought out pics being posted by this one guy, so it's kind of a matter of him looking for things to be offended by, but it's also because people will get off how they will, and they not only have the right to do so but also to share the things that get them off with others who may also get off on that sort of stuff. (And, before you bring them up, no, that does not include pedophilia-oriented materials, because.) I'm genuinely sorry if that might involve your kid's favorite cartoon characters, but that's a talk that you'll have to have with them sooner or later anyway. And, really, conveying the notion to them that some people might make pictures of their favorite characters that look stupid or nasty is probably easier to convey than that a grown man wants to marry Twilight Sparkle. I don't think that it's necessary (and certainly isn't particularly useful) to discourage the Rule 34 artists For The Sake Of The Children, and I don't think that the brony-fiance has much of a case here either, in part because of that "stop looking at my wife or we've got a problem buddy" vibe that Drexen mentions above.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:31 PM on March 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


Slap*Happy, while I am in some ways sympathetic to your complaint... I'm really not seeing it. I have no idea why the pony thing blew up like it did, but I really don't think "girls can't have a show, we must ruin it" was ever part of it. And then I mean, for whatever reason, some folks outside of the show's target audience like it and want to talk about it with other similar people. That's, to me, a fundamentally ok sort of thing to have happen.

Some portion of that group then made some porn and other stuff, and that makes the internet a risky place for young kids to wander around unsupervised, but... that's how it was anyway, right? I'm pretty sure if a young girl likes the show, her parents can help her find appropriate places to find more stuff; the official site is probably pretty good.

ps, "man cards" are total bullshit, please don't try to police gender expression, even in jest. It's just shitty and it means you're trying to work the same levers as these guys. Ugly. Gross.

--

Charlemagne, your whole thing is you going "it's ok to make fun of people because [reason]" and while I understand the appeal (I used to be really into portal of evil types of places that pumped bile through their veins), it's a really corrosive and unhealthy attitude in my opinion.

It is easy and safe to make fun of something. This is why "your favorite band/artist/movie/clothes/etc sucks" is so popular.

It is hard and scary to say "I like this, this is good" because then criticism of whatever you like can feel like criticism of your tastes and worth as a person.

But what ends up being true is that when you're out there and you're saying "hey I really like YA lit" or whatever, and you can talk about why you like it, then you can really connect with people on that. Sitting in a circle and talking shit is a shallow, ephemeral way to bond with people.

--

Regarding the FPP guy, I hope he finds himself in a better place before too long.
posted by kavasa at 8:32 PM on March 22, 2013 [23 favorites]


The real tragedy is that the six year relationship he refers to was with My Friend Flicka. He dumped her as soon as Twilight Sparkle wiggled her shapely young tail in his direction. Now Flicka's hitting the singles bars, but has a hard time getting served, since all the bartenders want to do is ask "Why the long face?".
posted by Optamystic at 8:33 PM on March 22, 2013 [23 favorites]


The whole subculture of erotic MLP fanfic is kind of fucked up. I feel kind of bad for the creators of the show, you make a kids show and suddenly the internet is full of fucked up porn of your characters.

Why isn't the internet is full of fucked up porn of me?

:(
posted by mazola at 8:34 PM on March 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I like what you're saying enormously, overall, kavasa. But I am not so sure that I agree with the idea that all expressed enthusiasms on the internet deserve the same respect. This isn't a band this guy likes. It's a cartoon character he believes is his spouse whose honor he must protect. I am not sure where the line should be drawn between unusual enthusiasm and wrongheaded derangement. But I also do not feel this is a borderline case, either.

I don't think that the "it's okay to like things" message and the "try not to be a frigging loon" messages are mutually exclusive.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:40 PM on March 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Do you guys remember back when entertainment reporters didn't feel the need to bathe everything they wrote in a bathtub's worth of thick, gooey snark? I think I do but it might just all be a fever dream. I do know it's why I quit reading AV Club years ago, though, and it should probably be taken into account that O'Neal (the author of the linked article) is an old, old friend of mine - fuck, he was best man at my wedding and we played in various bands and generally raised a lot of hell together. I tend to stay away from his site because I encounter enough bitter snark in real life; I don't need to seek it out on the internet.
posted by item at 8:42 PM on March 22, 2013 [11 favorites]


Has any corporation ever successfully cease-and-desisted a marriage? That seems like a very possible outcome here.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:45 PM on March 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


O'Neal's snark is my favourite thing about the AV Club, and the reason that I check it multiple times a day.
posted by Optamystic at 8:45 PM on March 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


@DirtyOldTown

the guy is not the focus here. there's literally nothing the internet can do for this dude, and more importantly, it's not the internet's fucking business. it is not my job to police culture. is it the AV Club's job? is the critic-as-cultural-police model not risibly discredited?

it's like, how the fuck do you plan to fight humanity's vicious tendencies if you're willing to indulge them in bonsai form?
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 8:46 PM on March 22, 2013 [9 favorites]


OK I went ahead and read the whole letter and I would like to float the idea that maybe, just maybe, this might be a bit of a put-on.
posted by prize bull octorok at 8:46 PM on March 22, 2013 [8 favorites]


Let's take it too teh Googles!

PONY pr0n:

About 1,900,000 results (0.24 seconds)

Gadget Hackwrench pr0n:

About 23,800 results (0.24 seconds)

Ask a furry if you don't understand those figures.

This isn't a fandom. It's a gangbang.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:46 PM on March 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wait what item? You don't seek out snark but you hang out on Mefi? I thought the only currency of any worth on the blue was the cold hard lucre of freshly minted snark and the resultant bounty of favorites.
posted by vuron at 8:48 PM on March 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


Anyway, I do not trust anyone that takes it upon themselves to "improve" people unsolicited.

And yet, here you are.
posted by gladly at 8:50 PM on March 22, 2013 [6 favorites]


That is exactly it kavasa, thanks.

Slap*Happy, I honestly have no earthly idea what you're going on about now, except for a vague sense you're trying to condescend to me with that "Eye of Zot" thing.
posted by JHarris at 8:51 PM on March 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


It is easy and safe to make fun of something. This is why "your favorite band/artist/movie/clothes/etc sucks" is so popular.

It is hard and scary to say "I like this, this is good" because then criticism of whatever you like can feel like criticism of your tastes and worth as a person.


Thing is I'm very open about what I'm enthusiastic about, and I'm fine with other people doing the same, and I have no problem with normal MLP fans. But why can't we mock people who build their identity around being erotically attracted to cartoon ponies? I don't write fanfic about John Darnielle and Craig Finn fucking at a Replacements show, or think Joanna Newsom is my secret wife. And if I did, I'd be mocked for it.

My brother said hearing about Fallout:Equestria got him interested in Fallout, which is... interesting. I'm surprised there isn't a Red Dead Redemption/MLP crossover, since RDR does have a guy marrying a horse.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 8:51 PM on March 22, 2013


mazola: Why isn't the internet is full of fucked up porn of me?

:(


Do not taunt happy fun internet.
posted by Mitrovarr at 8:52 PM on March 22, 2013 [12 favorites]


This isn't a fandom. It's a gangbang.

And you tell me to check myself before I wreck myself.
posted by JHarris at 8:57 PM on March 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


Metafilter has quite a bit to offer other than snark, and tearing shit down isn't what this place is about. Well, anymore at least - Mefi was once a very different place, just as I was once a very different person (should any of you decide to pull up some of the mean shit I've said here in the past. It's probably time to get a new account.)
posted by item at 8:57 PM on March 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


Slap*Happy, I honestly have no earthly idea what you're going on about now

Yeah, sure. I'm out, now kids. I'm sorry some folks' self-worth is so tied up into adult men obsessing over a cartoon for little girls. I'm very disappointed.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:58 PM on March 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


The part where he takes his plushie out on dates in public is the part that made me lose my shit right there. It's sad...but so hilarious...and sad, and hilarious to picture...and he mentions that he brings her out with his friends....
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:59 PM on March 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Why isn't the internet is full of fucked up porn of me?

rule34 is right next to Ask, at least if you're the right sort of poster.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 9:02 PM on March 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


To paraphrase good ol' TJ, it neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg if a dude has sepia-tinged sexytimes with a pony plushie.
posted by en forme de poire at 9:05 PM on March 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


and he mentions that he brings her out with his friends...

I'm guessing he picks up the tab a lot.
posted by Optamystic at 9:05 PM on March 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


I call BS, that letter is a joke.

Although now I know about the Deviant Art My Little Pony stuff and some people's Christmas presents are taken care of for years to come so reading it wasn't a total waste of my time.
posted by fshgrl at 9:05 PM on March 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


The only time I come across this sort of thing is as an object of ridicule, but I would genuinely love to see some unironic documentation of such a relationship. Does anything like that exist? Is it even possible to take photographs of someone on a date with a love pillow (phrasing?) and not have it come across as mockery? I'm afraid I wouldn't know where to start such a search.
posted by Lorin at 9:05 PM on March 22, 2013


I would genuinely love to see some unironic documentation of such a relationship.

There is this guy who's made the rounds of reality TV shows (MTV true life, my weird obsession) talking about his collection of "real doll" girlfriends.

I can't remember his name but it's something like "Charmaigne"
posted by sweetkid at 9:09 PM on March 22, 2013


DirtyOldTown, in the same sense that hard cases make for bad law, edge cases in any given fandom don't necessarily have anything significant to say about that fandom. I liked the Harry Potter books, enough to get my own copies even though I started reading them well into my adulthood, and I don't feel the need to have to defend that because an adult at a bookstore event for the publication of one of the books got so enraged at losing a costume contest to a child that they expressed the desire to poke that kid's eye out with their wand. (True story.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:09 PM on March 22, 2013


DirtyOldTown - yeah I feel you, they're of course pretty different. But even if you're not according them the same level of respect, I still don't think Charlemagne's position ("we're doing it for their own good") holds any water. The reason we make fun of people is generally to feel better about ourselves, and there's always going to be someone lower on the ladder, right? So even if pony porn guy is maybe on a different rung from the people writing kirk/spock, you know, what's gained by pointing and laughing?

Slap*Happy, the google thing is really not an argument or evidence of anything. It would probably help if you tried to read and think about what's been said instead of pointing at two numbers and how one's bigger or coming up with something about self worth (what?). I mean I get why you're angry about it, but come on.

Charlemagne - because almost any inflection point between acceptable and unacceptable levels or areas of hobby is arbitrary. Me and my boyfriend are going to be having like eight people over tomorrow to get one or maybe two d&d campaigns off the ground. Some of his coworkers were literally aghast that he actually plays dungeons and dragons, like, omg.

I'm not getting this across very well.

What ends up happening with that sort of culture, in my experience, is really poisonous. Cliques, the appointed taste leaders, scandals where a taste leader is discovered to actually do Some Uncool Thing, etc.

And - here look I know I'm getting all psychoanalysis on the internet here - but I've seen the sort of "I have been a sad nerd before! And I like these sad nerd things! But I am still cool because I'm not like Francis over there" thing you're doing before and it's just not a great place to be. Sorry, I'm being really patronizing. I am. But I promise it's better to just own the shit you like without feeling the need to publicly point out how you're ok but those other people aren't.

Exceptions are shit that spirals into real world harassment or other real world bad behavior, and I'm extremely leery of drawings etc that veer into pedophilia.
posted by kavasa at 9:09 PM on March 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Lorin: "The only time I come across this sort of thing is as an object of ridicule, but I would genuinely love to see some unironic documentation of such a relationship. "

Guys and Dolls, (part 2)
posted by the_artificer at 9:10 PM on March 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


ps why am I still awake

I was up at 5am, worked all day at my highly physical blue collar job, went for a run, did a bunch of school reading, why am I not tired, why am I posting about Internet Culture As Tangentially Related To Basically Some Furries
posted by kavasa at 9:13 PM on March 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Well, having been a post-teen in the 60's I was exposed to Tiny Tim. You really have to have witnessed this to appreciate the breadth and depth of the trauma. Mine, I mean. For example, his wedding. On the Johnny Carson Show. To Miss Vicki. I could handle the falsetto and the ukulele, but his obvious and abject sincerity really got to me. Tiny Tim's, I mean. My credulity meter has been permanently fucked.

I am so sorry I remembered this.

So, okay.

I love horses. And Mules.

But he--this guy--loves a cartoon mare. Fair enough. Who am I to judge?

Still, he has no right to be jealous.

and anyhow, eewww.
posted by mule98J at 9:14 PM on March 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is the guy I was thinking of.
posted by sweetkid at 9:18 PM on March 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Although my kid sister had the original MLP's back in the mid-80's, and I was aware of the rebooted cartoon, I had never heard of Bronies. Wow, that's something.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:19 PM on March 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Charlemagne - because almost any inflection point between acceptable and unacceptable levels or areas of hobby is arbitrary. Me and my boyfriend are going to be having like eight people over tomorrow to get one or maybe two d&d campaigns off the ground. Some of his coworkers were literally aghast that he actually plays dungeons and dragons, like, omg.

This isn't playing D&D. This is full-on, Chick Tract, "No, not Blackleaf!" level obsession. This whole thread is Geek Social Fallacy 1: Ostracizers Are Evil. It's on the same level as claiming that because we should homosexuals and trans* people we should also accept that soulbonders and tulpas (people manifesting MLP characters to life through their own thoughts) and multiple systems are real and not just symptoms of mental illness.

What gets me is how sexualized and violent MLP fandom can get and I'm not sure why.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 9:24 PM on March 22, 2013 [7 favorites]


And for people who say that mocking is destructive...

You make some valid points. However, just for perspective I'd offer this: The way you felt about the person who wrote that craaaaazy letter? (And yeah, it was.) That might not be dissimilar to how I felt discovering that "brony" was an actual word and several of you were already familiar with it.
posted by cribcage at 9:28 PM on March 22, 2013 [6 favorites]


On reflection, it probably is disingenuous to suppose it could ever help the guy to call out his disconnect with reality, particularly by taking the piss.

But then, if we're going to be frank about what will or won't come of mocking him, it probably bears mention that a guy so committed to a cartoon wife probably doesn't give two shits whether a comment questioning his sanity gets a dozen likes on MetaFilter.

I find myself in the odd position of admiring the people calling for kindness and empathy to this man, even as I still feel pretty comfortable pointing and laughing.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:29 PM on March 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


Oh no, someone whom we kneejerkingly regard as a weird social outcast writes a strongly worded, abnormal letter to someone who we'd also kneejerkingly regard as a weird social outcast and then latter one decides to air the grievances on the internet?

Wow, could we get anymore normal by not being these guys? The snark train is sure to be chugging away on this one!
posted by dubusadus at 9:32 PM on March 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


So it's like a MLP "waifu". I'm pretty sure most waifu guys are pretty much aware it is on one level fantasy and on another revel totally ridiculous. For something completely befuddling, I just saw this "serious otaku" German review of something called an "onahole".
posted by Ad hominem at 9:33 PM on March 22, 2013


You missed the point. =(

The point is that, for some of his coworkers, playing d&d at all is "full on Chick Tract" etc stuff. So however high or low up the ladder you think you are, there are always people "above" you.

And while I love the geek social fallacies thing, it really doesn't apply here. I have ejected people from groups and events for being shitty, see my "real world" exceptions above. Making fun of the sad man from the FPP* and allowing creepy behavior in your local friends group are not the same. The other things you said are the same are also not. Analogies are not proofs. The time to use an analogy is when someone doesn't understand your point of view because it's too alien to them.

Correct response to unacceptable behavior: "Jim, that's unacceptable and if you keep it up you'll have to leave." Right? This is why this isn't a geek social fallacy.

Incorrect response: going somewhere or hanging out where Jim isn't and sniggering about Jim's behavior, hunting for Jim's online activities to laugh about, looking for people similar to Jim, etc.

So basically unless you are actually friends with this particular cartoon pony and she's really creeped out by this guy and you have some plausible way of getting him to move on, all you're doing is trying to cement yourself as more awesomer than him. And really, hurtling a knee-height bar is not a goal worth setting**.

*of course, phrasing it as "sad man" is basically doing that, so.

**yes, this is an analogy

posted by kavasa at 9:37 PM on March 22, 2013 [6 favorites]


it isn't even that they're attacking the dude, it's about what people who justify this shit can justify to themselves later
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 9:38 PM on March 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


also, Chinua Achebe died today, which is very sad and helps put this whole thing in perspective

I'm off to bed, good night!
posted by kavasa at 9:40 PM on March 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


I occasionally read a site known as Fandom Wank every so often. As one could probably ascertain from the name, they specialize in observing and discussing the weirder reactions to various fandoms; the site recently celebrated its tenth anniversary, and people have been reviewing some of the "wanks from the past" - including:

The one about the guy who considers himself in a polyamorous relationship with his girlfriend and his horse (KMZ referred to it above - it is known to members as "His wife? A horse.").

The one with two women who separately believe themselves to be each in her own mystic marriage to Severus Snape (not Alan Rickman, mind you, Severus Snape) and end up getting into a fight over who Snape loves more.

and The one with the guy who played Second Life and ended up making his character cheat on his real-life girlfriend with another Second Life Character, and when the girlfriend got upset, he threatened to sic his My Little Ponies after her.


....I have just submitted a post to Fandom Wank about this issue, as it seems to combine all three of these classic tales into one.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:40 PM on March 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


MLP tulpas are just another unintended side effect of exposing rinpoches to the internet.
posted by Lorin at 9:43 PM on March 22, 2013 [10 favorites]


Several commenters:
"Enforcing social conformity though outright mockery is kinda a time honored tradition on the internet but I definitely agree that in many cases it's not really intended to engage the target constructively in an attempt to help them but rather ostracize them to the point where they remove themselves from the community."
"But why can't we mock people who build their identity around being erotically attracted to cartoon ponies?"
"I still don't think Charlemagne's position ("we're doing it for their own good") holds any water. The reason we make fun of people is generally to feel better about ourselves, and there's always going to be someone lower on the ladder, right? "


I think people confuse the sort of culture (including the one I grew up in) where family and close friends have the privilege of gently teasing you when you're going over-the-top about things, which helps prevent you from getting too self-important or becoming a bore, with strangers and the public doing it. When your brother teases you about being a D&D dork because you're going on about your character, but your brother also e-mails you links to articles he sees pertaining to D&D, that's just an affectionate reminder that perhaps not everyone in the current conversation is interested in the intricacies of your imaginary person's stats, but he supports you and your hobby generally. When strangers on the internet start teasing, it's not a gentle and affectionate corrective because the relationship of support isn't there, and it crosses into meanness a lot sooner and more easily.


"The only time I come across this sort of thing is as an object of ridicule, but I would genuinely love to see some unironic documentation of such a relationship. Does anything like that exist? Is it even possible to take photographs of someone on a date with a love pillow (phrasing?) and not have it come across as mockery? I'm afraid I wouldn't know where to start such a search."

Fiction, but Lars and the Real Girl?
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:44 PM on March 22, 2013 [12 favorites]




Thanks for indulging the slight derail with those links. The Real Doll is probably the perfect subject for this sort of thing, being so piquantly photogenic and all. I guess what I'm really saying is when he describes a "beautifully hand made custom Twilight Sparkle plushie [...] out on the town to do all the fun things together normal couples do," I want to see that! ...and perhaps have it set to the tune of Harry Nillson's Best Friend.
posted by Lorin at 9:57 PM on March 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Gadget Hackwrench pr0n

That series was cancelled before the first web browser was invented.
posted by ryanrs at 9:59 PM on March 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure that this is a masterfully executed wind-up. It's unhinged enough to be simultaneously compelling, hilarious, and terrifying while still maintaining a semblance of plausibility. Not an easy needle to thread by any means!

Compliments to the author. You truly are the "best of the web".
posted by seymourScagnetti at 10:00 PM on March 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


What gets me is how sexualized and violent MLP fandom can get and I'm not sure why.

We should be careful with the word violent. I'll admit there are some bronies who have unfortunate sexual fixations on pastel cartoon horses, but I've never heard of anyone ever coming to blows over it. But since we're saying "can get" and not "is"....

It's because it's an innocent kids cartoon. The people who create those depictions draw strength from juxtaposing disparate elements. It's the jarring clash of subject and theme. It's why they make them, and it's why the media focuses on them. Perhaps not coincidentally, it's also the source of the best brony humor.
posted by JHarris at 10:02 PM on March 22, 2013


I'm pretty sure that this is a masterfully executed wind-up.

It's not even that good. Read the Fandom Wank website for a while to calibrate your brain to imaginary relationships and it becomes an obvious hoax.
posted by fshgrl at 10:08 PM on March 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's on the same level as claiming that because we should homosexuals and trans* people we should also accept that soulbonders and tulpas (people manifesting MLP characters to life through their own thoughts) and multiple systems are real and not just symptoms of mental illness.

Yes, you should. Apparently.
posted by kafziel at 10:11 PM on March 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


calling yourself a "watchful entity" is kind of self-important and creepy

i wonder if i just straight lack the hormonal brain-chemical balance that makes me get why people think this is cool
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 10:14 PM on March 22, 2013


We can do nothing by hate and shame that cannot be done better by love and empathy.
posted by Scientist at 10:15 PM on March 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


Gadget Hackwrench pr0n

I've never heard of Gadget Hackwrench but the name conjured up an image of a female steampunk verison of Gene Hackman and then I started thinking about how cool The French Connection would be with blimps instead of cars.
posted by mcmile at 10:20 PM on March 22, 2013 [8 favorites]


does anything even need to be done here

there are like 20 problems right now that threaten to cause the extinction of the human fucking race and we're wasting our time because people are writing or drawing immoral things
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 10:22 PM on March 22, 2013 [6 favorites]


That is to say, we shouldn't mock this person because mockery is always an unkind and destructive act, it is something that makes us feel good at the cost of making others feel bad. We shouldn't mock this person because mockery is cruel, and cruelty is wrong. We should strive to be kind, not cruel, and to treat people as we would wish to be treated were we in their place. This is a fundamental tenet of morality. It is not complicated, though executing it is sometimes difficult for imperfect humans to do. Evaluating choices based on cruelty and kindness is a very effective moral razor, when we can remember to use it.
posted by Scientist at 10:25 PM on March 22, 2013 [19 favorites]


Human privilege checklist. Being born with a human brain in a human body is apparently a privilege transcats do not have. I a little bit confused what a non human brain would be, since the only thing we know about the experience of cat brains, or dragon brains, or pony brains,have been conceptualized by humans so I doubt we can know the subjective experience of "catness". Is it possible to be born with a cat brain in a human body? DF knows.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:25 PM on March 22, 2013 [7 favorites]


PONY pr0n:

About 1,900,000 results (0.24 seconds)

Gadget Hackwrench pr0n:

About 23,800 results (0.24 seconds)


Man, okay, I'm a furry, and I haven't seen her full name used in a long, long time. I'm thinking that might have skewed the search results a bit.

That and, I mean, comparing the googlehits between a character and a species.
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 10:29 PM on March 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


there are like 20 problems right now that threaten to cause the extinction of the human fucking race and we're wasting our time because people are writing or drawing immoral things

You've said a lot of things I respected here, even if I did not agree. But this is silly. Even putting aside how poncy that statement is, in and of itself, haven't you been at the keyboard all night with us arguing this one?

There's a sort of weird empathy-off going here. If we just pronounce all of you equally Christ-like in your regard for delusional would-be cartoon horse fuckers, can y'all maybe ease up a bit? Criminy.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:34 PM on March 22, 2013 [11 favorites]


Ugh. Sorry for the outburst.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:36 PM on March 22, 2013


This is the weirdest Pony Request ever
posted by hellojed at 10:37 PM on March 22, 2013 [29 favorites]


See, now that's funny.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:40 PM on March 22, 2013


@DOT
"poncy" is kind of like british "faggy", isn't it.

i'm not trying to empathy-one-up anyone, i'm doing what little i can to say that i think that this kind of public internet crucifixion deal is dangerous and bad.

also, the creepy willingness to attack this guy for his fucking fiction: you don't get to cheer on the internet morals squad when they attack people for horrible cartoon perversion and then act confused when "Lost Girls" gets burned or Mike Diana gets thrown in prison

not even to mention the grotesque appropriation of "rape" to attack fans of a fucking TV show

this issue lies near a nexus of shitty things currently happening on the internet
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 10:45 PM on March 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


"poncy" is kind of like british "faggy", isn't it.

I wouldn't know. I'm American. I used it as a synonym for pretentious or showy.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:49 PM on March 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think it's fiction. But maybe by Poe's Law, it is for real, and some ill person copes with his life by sleeping with a stuffy and writing harrassing letters to porny bronies. I doubt it, but it's true that human weirdness is vast.

I laughed at the snarky writing by the columnist and the send-up written by the letter-writer.

I guess I'm a fledgling brony: I've watched most episodes & admire them for their quality and most of the messaging. But I'm also an adult, so I'm not integrating the characters into my life.

I suppose there's a porny artiste who might have been harmed by the snark and send-up, but I can't say as I care to defend the pollution of kidspace by pervs.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:55 PM on March 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


also, the creepy willingness to attack this guy for his fucking fiction: you don't get to cheer on the internet morals squad when they attack people for horrible cartoon perversion and then act confused when "Lost Girls" gets burned or Mike Diana gets thrown in prison

Yes, you can, because the 'Internet morals squad' (which IMHO better describes people who think its morally wrong to laugh at something so obviously funny but whatev) isn't calling for laws against people angry that other people are disrespecting their cartoon pony wife by drawing cartoon pony porn. We just think its okay to laugh at them and shake our heads in dismay. The 'empathy must extend to everything, all the time, regardless of context' people are the ones imposing their morality. Sure, its bad when people interfere with their targets or start stalking them, like what happened with Chris-Chan. But this is just taking something and laughing at the person's own words.

And Sean O'Neal's usual masterful snark, of course.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 11:03 PM on March 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


So... is there Metafilter fan fiction?
posted by Sing Or Swim at 11:10 PM on March 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


It is not one-upsmanship to point out that the urge to point and laugh, while very human, is also at its base a cruel urge. It is not pretension to suggest that it is better to empathize than to ostracise, to seek the more difficult path of recognizing shared humanity with another rather than ostracising them for their differences -- even if those differences seem strange and outrageous and problematic. It is not showing off to suggest that it would be good to be decent to another human, even as we recognize that they may not be being good to themselves or to others.

I am an atheist, or near enough, but in all earnestness I think that in situations such as this where we are presented with a person who seems troubled and lost, that we could do worse than to turn to Christ as a role model and a guide for our actions. Jesus taught universal, unconditional love for all people -- even for those who are difficult to love, even for our enemies. Modern science, through psychology, also teaches that the most effective way to help a person who is troubled and lost is through kindness, empathy, and "unconditional positive regard." I feel similarly skeptical about both religion and psychology, but here I think they both have it right.

It is precisely when love and empathy are most difficult for us to give that they are most needed. My saying that I feel tonight's subject is such a case is not a pose -- in fact, I have rarely spoken more from my heart on this site than I am doing now. I have made comments on this site that I have later regretted. I do not think that my comments tonight will be among them. This is a statement that I am happy to stand behind: Kindness is always better than cruelty.
posted by Scientist at 11:13 PM on March 22, 2013 [16 favorites]


I just Googled "tulpas" and spent a few moments reading the tulpa subreddit and now all this ponyfucking business just seems so vanilla
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:15 PM on March 22, 2013 [6 favorites]


I just Googled "tulpas" and spent a few moments reading the tulpa subreddit and now all this ponyfucking business just seems so vanilla

A lot of that tulpa stuff on reddit defies not only logic, but rational thought. The idea that a tulpa can refer to you by a name you don't like, against your will, is very odd.

Like this comment:'m the target of certain pejoratives, like "moron" or "nimrod," but in more formal discussion, or to get my attention, I'm simply referred to by the concept of my name

Who was it that said a hallucination cannot tell you information you don't already know? It is pretty telling when your imaginary friend bullies you.

Another very odd corner of reddit is the very NSFW /r/cummingonfigurines. The eroticism of not only ejaculating on an anime figurine, but looking at pictures of other people doing so, sort of breaks my brain.

ponce

ooh ooh, I know this one, I think Eco explained the origin of the word in The Prague Cemetery. Ponce is tangentially related to the word Prince. Originally it meant a flashy dresser, then it started to be applied to pimps, as they were flashy dressers, now it primarily means a flamboyant gay man. As an American, I'm pretty sure I've heard they say poncy on Top Gear but I'm pretty sure it has homophobic overtones, like saying "that's so gay".
posted by Ad hominem at 11:31 PM on March 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


...man marrying My Little Pony character writes angry email to erotic pony artist...

Ah ha ha ha! This guy! Man oh man *wipes tears of mirth from eyes, swallows keyboard to death*
posted by turgid dahlia 2 at 11:32 PM on March 22, 2013


I have no problem believing this is real, by the way. Those of you who are sure it is fake must have been hanging out on a different part of the internet from where I grew up. People can be very strange indeed.
posted by Scientist at 11:32 PM on March 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


So... is there Metafilter fan fiction?

this thread ... probably isn't what you had in mind, actually.
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 11:37 PM on March 22, 2013


You may rest assured hat not only did I intend no homophobic overtones by using "poncy" but now knowing it can be taken in such a way, I'll likely never use the word again, lest I be taken the wrong way.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:41 PM on March 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


"poncy" is kind of like british "faggy", isn't it.

Yes and no and it depends. TBH if you want it to mean something nasty it can mean a lot worse than faggy. On the other hand it can be utterly harmless and just mean a bit pretentious and ostentatious.
posted by Artw at 11:47 PM on March 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


"The only time I come across this sort of thing is as an object of ridicule, but I would genuinely love to see some unironic documentation of such a relationship. "

Married To The Eiffel Tower
posted by threeants at 11:47 PM on March 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


I just want to point out for those of you who never encountered brony subculture before that I count at least four bronies among my friends, and all of them are into MLP for the very same reason that the little kids I know are into MLP--because the show is sweet, and glittery, and has sweetly empowering messages, and pop culture references that amuse.

I for one find it lovely that men should not be ashamed to enjoy a sparkly kid's show aimed primarily at girls, even if it's not my kind of thing at all.
posted by DrMew at 11:51 PM on March 22, 2013 [12 favorites]


Are you kidding? Mefi fanfic is awesome.

This.... I do not know what this is, except that it is well past the event horizon into Scaryworld.
posted by cmyk at 11:56 PM on March 22, 2013


I just learned what a Dutch Wife is. Yes, you sleep with it. Astonishingly, it's nonsexual.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:59 PM on March 22, 2013


So, anyway, this year I got a My Little Pony reference into a Judge Dredd comic, which I guess is payback for all the Bodysnatchers (1978) and Bladerunner references that are in the My Little Pony comics.

Though I'm pretty certain the latest My Little Pony comic uses a 16 panel grid that's straight out of Dark Knight Returns and I'm really not certain how the fuck I counter that.
posted by Artw at 12:02 AM on March 23, 2013 [7 favorites]


"Has any corporation ever successfully cease-and-desisted a marriage? That seems like a very possible outcome here."

TORRENTS ARE ADULTRY
posted by klangklangston at 12:06 AM on March 23, 2013


Well now that I have Rescue Rangers porn in my browser history (thanks Slap*Happy), I might as well ask: how come Gadget Hackwrench porn isn't furry? Is mouse porn just following the trends in mainstream porn, or is something else going on here?
posted by ryanrs at 12:15 AM on March 23, 2013


It's the only way to retain your coveted "man card."

It just so happens I have a case of grey market man cards. Direct from China,same deal as the officially issued ones you get here. Should you happen to have yours revoked, I would be more than happy to sell you one AT LOW COAST. Ships from USA.

ps, "man cards" are total bullshit

hey i am trying to run a business here jeez


Anyway, now I know why my Mom's cat Mr. Sallypants steals My Little Ponies and hides them under the rug. HE IS HIDING THEM FROM THE INTERNET.
posted by louche mustachio at 12:17 AM on March 23, 2013 [11 favorites]


I think there are two types of anthropomorphic animals. Animals with some human features, such as ponies that can talk, and people with animal features like Thundercats. There seems to a continuum. Oddly, they sometimes appear together. Remember heathcliff? heathcliff was clearly a cat that did some human stuff while the Cadillac Cats were clearly people with catlike features that lived as cats.

IMO Gadget Hackwrench is a person with mouse features.

Maybe I should hide from the Internet.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:37 AM on March 23, 2013


how come Gadget Hackwrench porn isn't furry?

This question only makes sense if "furry" means something other than what I understand it to mean.

Unless you're referring to a literal lack of fur. In which case, yeah, she's a flesh-tone mouse for some reason. That's always weirded me out.
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 12:41 AM on March 23, 2013


Re: Goons

Yeah, it's because they are immature people who get weirded out that men like something Goons think they shouldn't. Everything else is after the fact justification based on all the weird creepy shit they actively dig up out of the dark side of the fandom to mock. The hater Goons have seen vastly more of the bad stuff than I have because it's pretty trivially easy to avoid.

This type of creepy stuff is, of course, the only kind of Pony stuff you are allowed to post on SA. You are not allowed to post a thread of the non-darkside stuff. Don't try and bullshit like they have no issue with people who just like the show. That BS only flies over there because nobody is allowed to argue otherwise.

If I posted simply that I liked the show on SA I would be probated or banned for it, as has happened to me.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:49 AM on March 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


"...writes angry email to erotic pony artist."

Keeps thinking this.

... which is kind of appropriate, really.
posted by markkraft at 1:02 AM on March 23, 2013


I think I'd prefer an attack by the many angled ones over this.
posted by Slackermagee at 1:08 AM on March 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


SA thinks everyone on the Internet is a pedophile.Im glad they don't seem to focus on MetaFilter, they would be over here trolling night and day.The other day I was thinking about when they used to have DPPH and it seemed like there was an awful lot of futanari and yaoi stuff there.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:29 AM on March 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think there are two types of anthropomorphic animals. Animals with some human features, such as ponies that can talk, and people with animal features like Thundercats. There seems to a continuum.

Oddly, they sometimes appear together. Remember heathcliff? heathcliff was clearly a cat that did some human stuff while the Cadillac Cats were clearly people with catlike features that lived as cats.

1. TVTropes has you covered there, with the Sliding Scale of Anthopomorphism, Body Type sublist. PONY is Animalistic Animals. The Cadillac Cats are Borderline Petting Zoo People. Heathcliff is a Funny Animal.

2. I found that whole show weird. Heathcliff is a comic strip character, but some of the characters in the show are designed differently from the strip -- Iggy has black hair? (Further confusing things, there was a Saturday Morning Heathcliff show co-starring Marmaduke where the characters were on-model and the stories stuck more closely to the newspaper strip.) Heathcliff had his own cartoon segments, but he also had frequent crossovers with the strictly B-lister Cadillac Cats. The Cats (god I remember their names: Hector, Wordsworth and Mongo [Blazing Saddles reference] -- also there was a girl whose name I think was Cleo) had their leader Riff-Raff [Rocky Horror reference], but he never appeared in Heathcliff cartoons, only in the Cats' own shorts. Also they had that weird car, despite being nominally alley cats, that turned into different forms, for absolutely no good reason at ALL. It was all a transparent pandering attempt trying to gussy up a lackluster license with a marketing exec's idea of what kids like, while the character designer clearly wanted to make a different show and did the minimum work necessary to adapt to the Heathcliff property.

Don't get me started on Rescue Rangers. Not my favorite of the Disney shows. If we're going to derail in this direction I feel like I should turn on the oneswellfoop signal, he's the resident expert on these things.
posted by JHarris at 1:43 AM on March 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


1. TVTropes has you covered there, with the Sliding Scale of Anthopomorphism, Body Type sublist. PONY is Animalistic Animals. The Cadillac Cats are Borderline Petting Zoo People. Heathcliff is a Funny Animal.

I'm glad someone else spent time thinking about it. Even if the Internet is full of people marrying cartoon horses, at least you know you aren't the alone when you think up your cartoon animal taxonomies.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:50 AM on March 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


It was all a transparent pandering attempt trying to gussy up a lackluster license with a marketing exec's idea of what kids like

Oh, I was a kid when it was on, and the Cadilac Cats were unquestionably cooler where I lived.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:52 AM on March 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


SA thinks everyone on the Internet is a pedophile.

SA has a long history of ejecting pedophiles and calling out other parts of the internet for harboring them. If you're going to get all persecution complexy about it that says way more about how you see yourself than it does about SA.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:11 AM on March 23, 2013 [9 favorites]


I feel like someone painted MeTa blue.

(Oh, I see: MetaTalk.)

I feel, like, disturbed that the very NSFW /r/cummingonfigurines exists.

I mean... WHY?
posted by Mezentian at 3:21 AM on March 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have no idea why the pony thing blew up like it did

I suspect because it was a genuinely good show. Creator Lauren Faust is a very talented animator and character creator and she produced something that was funny, charming and kind natured without being sentimental. She completely succeeded in her aim to create something that showed that there was more than one kind of heroic girl in the world. Perhaps succeeded a little too well. Anyway, she maintains a deviantart account herself, here, and puts up her original characters and sketches.

Unfortunately, the show got rid of her and since about mid-way through the second season has been declining in quality. For example, I see the end of the second season as being quite a big step away from the 'gang of girls' original series - the only person who can save the day is a male older brother character arbitrarily introduced at the last minute, linked to a new female character by conventional romantic love. Neither the main characters - the friends - nor the autonomous female ruler - Princess Celestia - can cope with the problem on their own.

But in the beginning, I suspect that most of the men who liked it were not fetishists or attempting to destroy a female safe-space - they were just entertained. A lot of bad or stupid things followed after that, though.
posted by lucien_reeve at 3:28 AM on March 23, 2013 [5 favorites]


Unfortunately, the show got rid of her and since about mid-way through the second season has been declining in quality.

So, did MLP get Communitied, or did Community get Ponied?

Creator Lauren Faust is a very talented animator and character creator

I've never actually sat down with any MLP:FIM, but if she's behind Super Best Friends I pretty much agree with that statement.
posted by Mezentian at 3:31 AM on March 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Because I haven't kept up with that news, can someone tell me why Faust is no longer involved? Was that her decision or Hasbro's (or their team)? Since the show has done so great, it doesn't seem to make much business sense to shoo off the creator.
posted by taz at 3:42 AM on March 23, 2013


SA thinks everyone on the Internet is a pedophile.

Aren't the MLP characters meant to be as young as the target audience, at least? So what does that say about people sexulizing the characters? Anyway, this article isn't on SA but on the AV Club, and you can't hurt them any more than Community already has.

I do like that somebody who gained success at great cost is named 'Faust'.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 3:49 AM on March 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Aren't the MLP characters meant to be as young as the target audience, at least? So what does that say about people sexulizing the characters?

I have one word: Snarry.

Like you, I'm a lot iffy on the whole "sexualising" thing, but the people who whom this is - for whatever reason - exciting justify it. Maybe Harry is 18 and able to love Snape unconditionally, or Harry and Snape are the OTP, or maybe Draco and Harry are the same age and that makes the enema porn okay.

I assume they do the same rationalisation exercises with the ponies to make it less skeevy. Unless they are actually skeevy, in which case they don't care.

(Thanks to Fan Fiction Friday I know this stuff).
posted by Mezentian at 3:56 AM on March 23, 2013


Can someone tell me why Faust is no longer involved?

I would be interested to know this as well. It is difficult to know for certain, as Lauren Faust has always been very professional about either sticking to a non-disclosure agreement or not speaking ill of her colleagues.

That said, she left at the end of the first season, having planned out the first half of the second season in detail (including creating Discord for the Season 2 opener). I'm sure if you dig around on her deviantart page - see my post above - you will find her account of things.

Another interesting detail: when Hasbro ordered the makers of fan-game "My Little Pony: Fighting is Magic" (a streetfighter style side-view fighting game with characters based on the ponies) to cease and desist, Lauren Faust contacted them and offered to create original characters for their game. I think they have sensibly grabbed that offer with both hands. I'm not sure what it says about her attitude towards Hasbro, but it chimes with everything else I have heard or read about her, in suggesting that she is very nice!
posted by lucien_reeve at 4:00 AM on March 23, 2013 [5 favorites]


SA has a long history of ejecting pedophiles and calling out other parts of the internet for harboring them. If you're going to get all persecution complexy about it that says way more about how you see yourself than it does about SA.
posted by Pope


Haha, I said what you said, that they have a long history of ejecting pedophiles and calling out other parts of the Internet. I don't know why you think I am getting persecution complexy or what it says about me as we seem to be saying the same thing.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:18 AM on March 23, 2013


If you're going to get all persecution complexy about it that says way more about how you see yourself than it does about SA.

That is a pretty neat insinuation as well. I think SA should examine what seems to me to be reaction formation, and maybe their role in the creation of 4chan. Seems like a bit of "though dost protest too much" going on over there, especially for a site with so many pedophiles they had to eject them.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:22 AM on March 23, 2013


You just replied twice to the same comment. Maybe take a break?
posted by Sebmojo at 4:31 AM on March 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sure thing, I realized I couldn't add that via edit after I already typed it. I'm done with this anyway.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:36 AM on March 23, 2013



Aren't the MLP characters meant to be as young as the target audience, at least? So what does that say about people sexulizing the characters?


I don't think so. The characters aren't in school anymore; they don't get called 'fillies' like the Cutie Mark Crusaders do; they seem to live without parents/guardians, except for Applejack; they seem to be in the early stages of establishing their careers. I've heard one person posit that MLP is actually a metaphor for grad school, which makes a certain amount of sense.
posted by Jeanne at 4:46 AM on March 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


It's on the same level as claiming that because we should homosexuals and trans* people we should also accept that soulbonders and tulpas (people manifesting MLP characters to life through their own thoughts) and multiple systems are real and not just symptoms of mental illness.

Let's not be too liberal with diagnosises of mental illness, shall we? Believing yourself to be the incarnation of a fictional elf is no more stupid than believing in an invisible skygod who made you late for the airport so that you wouldn't die in that plane crash, but did not do the same for the 131 people who did die in it, just less socially accepted.
posted by MartinWisse at 4:53 AM on March 23, 2013 [7 favorites]


Another interesting detail: when Hasbro ordered the makers of fan-game "My Little Pony: Fighting is Magic" (a streetfighter style side-view fighting game with characters based on the ponies) to cease and desist, Lauren Faust contacted them and offered to create original characters for their game.

I don't really have any feelings about MLP (watched it, didn't get into it) but this makes me think very highly of Lauren Faust. That's stone-cold awesome.


I think SA should examine what seems to me to be reaction formation, and maybe their role in the creation of 4chan.

SA's role in the creation of 4chan is nothing more than "A goon made 4chan, and the early population of 4chan was almost entirely people ejected in the Pedogeddon", a huge wave of bans and thread closures in which known pedophiles and topics which attracted pedophiles were banned from SA's anime discussion board, which nowadays prides itself on being a place where anime fans can meet and discuss without having to deal with pedo shit.

I would also note that 4chan has a zero-tolerance policy for pedophilia and that their response to reports of pedo shit is to delete the post, ban the offender, and forward the report to the feds. Which means that if a website doesn't at least do that, that website has a worse policy than 4chan of all places.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:16 AM on March 23, 2013 [6 favorites]


So... is there Metafilter fan fiction?

Cortex swaggered over to Jessamyn, a gleam in his eye and a beer in his hand...
No, no, no.

Blue looked over at Green, as always asking her silly head off about anything she saw. "Can I eat this, you think, you guys". Rolling his eyes behind her back at Grey, looking a bit shellshocked after the latest flamewar he had had to deal with, he couldn't suppress a grin. Green's constant questioning could be wearing, but he couldn't help but like her perkiness all the same Careful now, that's not how you think about a coworker his conscience warned him..

Followed either by ten more pages of angst, or fifteen pages of server side sex and jokes about dongles, depending on the writer.
posted by MartinWisse at 5:16 AM on March 23, 2013 [10 favorites]


[SA doesn't actually have anything to do with this post, and it's getting into extended derail territory here -- so maybe the Metatalk thread can absorb further arguing about that.]
posted by taz (staff) at 5:22 AM on March 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I can't really blame the guy in the article; I have a little special place in my heart for Twiley too.
posted by coolxcool=rad at 5:25 AM on March 23, 2013


I for one find it lovely that men should not be ashamed to enjoy a sparkly kid's show aimed primarily at girls, even if it's not my kind of thing at all.

I would agree. I believe, though, that the point at which one is actually consulting with a series of wedding chapels for the purpose of engaging in a symbolic marriage to one such character from a kid's show might be something of a point too far...

I've actually given some thought in the past to my fondness for the "wank" communities; yeah, there is a bit of mockery involved, and that is kind of mean. So why do I read them?

And I realized that - I actually am drawn to stories like this out of a weird sort of fondness and appreciation. It's the same impulse that makes me love really bad movies like Foodfight or Plan 9 from Outer Space; it's fascinating, and in a weird way admirable, to see someone push the limits of the human imagination. David Letterman once said that it takes just as much brain power to cough up a bad idea as it does a good one; and we all marvel when we see an amazingly good idea, but I am equally amazed when I see someone go just as far into the "bad idea" side, sheerly because of the novelty involved. You know? You think humanity can't come up with anything wholly new when it comes to imagination, and suddenly you hear about a guy who wants to marry Scooby-Doo or something and you realize that imagination is boundless. And so alongside my marveling about how completely mind-bogglingly strange their actual idea itself is, I'm also thinking "but hooray that someone dared to come up with it".

(Well - except in the case of the actual pony fucker dude Fandom Wank heard about, or anyone engaged in anything else that exploits another being's will and autonomy without their consent; that's just horrific.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:48 AM on March 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


Let's not be too liberal with diagnosises of mental illness, shall we? Believing yourself to be the incarnation of a fictional elf is no more stupid than believing in an invisible skygod who made you late for the airport so that you wouldn't die in that plane crash, but did not do the same for the 131 people who did die in it, just less socially accepted.

'Invisible skygod'. Nice. For somebody who's trying not to be insulting you sure insulted lots of people. Otherkin and fictionkin and otaku-kin are closer to people who actually believe they're Jesus than to normal believers, and I feel comfortable saying that they're either seeking attention or are genuinely mentally ill. And I'd love if they (and the people marrying cartoon ponies or sexulizing them) got the mental health care they need! But while they spread themselves and put themselves on the Internet they will be mocked.

It's worth noting that the AV Club is itself home to some pretty extreme fandom behavior, mostly around Community and Alison Brie.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:57 AM on March 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Believing yourself to be the incarnation of a fictional elf is no more stupid than believing in an invisible skygod

Nah, I don't buy that at all. As a friend of mine once said, "It's bad enough to believe in stupid shit because you were raised to believe in that stupid shit and everyone around you believes in stupid shit. But making up new stupid shit to believe in? That's really stupid."
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 6:03 AM on March 23, 2013 [7 favorites]


Well, at least they're not dubstepping.
posted by jonmc at 6:12 AM on March 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, that's because in $Made-Up-Ponyland they dubclop.
posted by Mezentian at 6:19 AM on March 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ah. Anyways, with all this web chatter about it, I imagine this'll be worked into a CSI plot line before too long.
posted by jonmc at 6:32 AM on March 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Law & Order could dust off it's Nerd Black Widow plotline...
posted by Artw at 6:54 AM on March 23, 2013


I thought this thread had nothing to teach me about the depths of fandom. I was wrong. Tulpas . . . ! Bluesleeve here says he has created Rainbow Dash.

The idea is not totally new to me; I heard of "thoughtforms" long ago, but they weren't supposed to be nice. And I did know a teenager in the 1990s who believed in the reality of White Wolf gaming concepts. He was, of course, suffering from untreated mental illness, but I later learned that he was not the only one who believed such things.

I'm reminded somehow of a guy I know only as Stanley. (Wait, here we go.) He was a person on full disability who lived as an "adult baby" and made some money building and selling adult-sized infant furniture such as high chairs. He got himself on National Geographic's "Taboo," and the fame later resulted in a congressman's publicly requesting an investigation from the authorities on whether or not he was in fact disabled enough for SSI, since he could build furniture at all.

The media fallout from that is why I heard of him. Of course, he seemed laughably contemptible to me at first; then something directed me to his website, where I read his life story. It is one of the most miserable I have ever read. (Link; website is adult-baby material, not visibly NSFW but a creepy thing to have in your browser history.)

The pony-waifu guy and the tulpa guy remind me of Stanley, I suppose, because they have this in common: the internal suffering possible to mankind is fractal. As long as we have bright isolated young persons in deeply unhappy social and economic situations, who find themselves with no other joy in life than a random totem of some fleeting comfort never intended for them at all, we are going to have people like this.

Ah, Twilight Sparkle! Ah, humanity!
posted by Countess Elena at 7:06 AM on March 23, 2013 [17 favorites]


Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

The story of /b/: All my pretty little horses.
posted by loquacious at 7:06 AM on March 23, 2013


As @threeants points out above, guy sounds like he might be an Objectosexual i.e. The Woman Who Married the Eiffel Tower. Interesting to know more about this in regards how these people define their sexuality. The women in the documentary are all sexually attracted to inanimate objects, with no predetermined character. It seems that men are more likely to fall in love with objects that portray characters (a gross generalisation, I know). I'd have imagined it to be the other way round. Sheesh. Lots of questions popping into my head.
posted by 0bvious at 7:15 AM on March 23, 2013


SA's anime discussion board, which nowadays prides itself on being a place where anime fans can meet and discuss without having to deal with pedo shit.

I knew I liked it, I didn't know there was a good reason why the quality of the SA Anime board was so high. It's certainly introduced me to some fantastic manga recently (Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, Advance of the Titans, Assassination Classroom etc.).

And what little I have heard about Faust suggests that she is not only talented, but extremely nice as well.
posted by lucien_reeve at 7:24 AM on March 23, 2013


Last night I dreamed I was eating a giant marshmallow. When I woke up, the body pillow with an anime character on it that I'm married to was missing.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 7:36 AM on March 23, 2013 [7 favorites]


It just occurred to me: why isn't he already married to her? I mean, if you're already declaring yourself engaged to a fictional plushie, why not just go whole hog about it by now?

Lars and the Real Pony, indeed.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:49 AM on March 23, 2013


(Boy, this is way too many words spend on somebody marrying cartoon ponies. But I've been the kid who went way overboard on the Star Wars fandom because she was trying to escape other issues in her life, and I've known plenty of these types of intense "Wankfans". This all comes from a place of empathy, pity, and experience.)

OK, you know what, if people want to marry cartoon ponies or claim to be Naruto from a past life or call themselves fairy dragons it is absolutely not hurting anyone and they are free to live their lives their own way.

HOWEVER--their defenders would have to be drinking heavily from a cup of denial if they didn't acknowledge that many people who start riding the Wank Train to Wacky Fandom Town tend to be social outcasts prior towards buying a ticket. They tend to lack social skills, or have family problems, or have trouble making friends, or just be weird or quirky in their behaviors in a way that makes it very difficult for them to connect with the rest of society. And so it is pretty hard to not wonder how much of their intense investment in this alternative, magical identity is because they're people who feel lost and alone and in this alternate identity they've found a way to feel special, beautiful, and loved. It is hard to wonder how much of it is a true belief that they really are fairy dragons with the soul of Naruto married to Twilight Sparkle, and how much of it is driven by the relief of inner pain that comes from finally finding a community with which they feel they can finally connect.

This isn't trying to be patronizing. Like I said, I've interacted with and met enough people who get involved in these intense communities to see a pattern. I've been these people because I was trying to find a way to feel unique and fit in somewhere. While Wankfans are not hurting anyone, the further they subsume "real life" into these alternative communities then the further they're alienate themselves from normal society and the they further hurt their chances to actually improve their social skills enough to form real-life relationships in the real world.

"What's 'normal society'? Who would want to be 'normal' anyway?" you might ask. I'm not talking about everyone fitting into a little box where they love sports and Cosmo or whatever you think The Man wants you to be. I'm talking about really simple social interactions that many of the Wankfans lack--making friends with a classmate through a group project. Or being comfortable hanging out with people from work during happy hour. Or having a beer with your neighbor. Or chatting up that cute guy/girl you see on the train. Or being able to ask your boss for a raise. Or having the self-confidence to backpack through Central America because you're OK using your broken Spanish and guidebook to ask a local for help if you get lost. Or find love, real-life love, with a real-life person, and experience the physical love and pain and joy that comes with it.*

Imaginary characters and people you only know via the Internet, via psuedonyms and pictures and comments, cannot provide the same emotional and physical support of real-world relationships. People who limit their social lives to these realms cannot live their lives to the fullest extent. PonyFan2266 is not going to be there holding your hand when you're in chemotherapy. Twilight Sparkle is not going to be sitting by your bedside when you're in hospice.

It's crude (and often cruel) methodology to use snarking off about Wankfans to encourage them to break out of the worlds in their head and come interact with the rest of us. But I also think it would be a mistake to pretend like this kind of intensely insular, alienating behavior on their parts is a good and healthy thing that will bring life fulfillment and happiness for decades and on their deathbeds.


*And many of us not marrying cartoon ponies aren't great at this either, but we're a lot closer to reaching those goals than if we start investing our time and energy in wooing Twilight Sparkle
posted by schroedinger at 7:52 AM on March 23, 2013 [23 favorites]


He's waiting for the season finale. Can't peak too soon.
posted by delfin at 7:52 AM on March 23, 2013


And for people who say that mocking is destructive: thanks to reading miles of mock threads, I threw away my fedora and my Nice Guy tendencies. Letting people like this know how awkward they are encourages them to develop as human beings.

Ugh, or it just makes them ashamed about things which are completely harmless in the scheme of the entire universe. Unlike nice guy tendencies. But really, who the hell cares if you want to wear a fedora?

I spent a lot of my adolescence hiding my interest in sci-fi and fantasy because dorky and also because there was some hazy shame around the fact that I sexualized characters like Spock and Luke Skywalker and Radu from Space Cases. This was shameful--the fact that most sports fans drool over cheerleaders and plenty of music fans want to schtup Pete Wentz escaped me, at the time. I mean, why is it okay for my husband to want to bone Alyson Hannigan but not for me to want to bone Simon from Misfits? Anyway, for years I was ashamed and so I tried real hard to be some variation of normal, "normal," being "socially acceptable." It took me years to go the other way and get back to SF/F fandom and SF/F writing, and damn, if it hasn't been wonderful. It's so much better here, where I don't give a crap what people think of what I'm into, in any sense of the phrase.

Imaginary characters and people you only know via the Internet, via psuedonyms and pictures and comments, cannot provide the same emotional and physical support of real-world relationships. People who limit their social lives to these realms cannot live their lives to the fullest extent. PonyFan2266 is not going to be there holding your hand when you're in chemotherapy. Twilight Sparkle is not going to be sitting by your bedside when you're in hospice.

Yeah, except no. I'm sure I'm not the only person here who met her spouse on the internet, not to mention many of her closest friends--friends who have supported me in ways that those with whom I'm engaged with "real-world" relationships never have. My family always bought into this "real" > "better" dichotomy, but it seems like bullshit to me, as someone with idiosyncratic interests (not only in geek things but also writing and literature and philosophy and identity politics, which are geek things in a way but more socially acceptable than Star Trek), who finds it far easier to find like-minded people in virtual spaces than in physical spaces. Which isn't to say that the geek fallacies are incorrect. I know better than to tolerate people who creep on me, or to force disparate friend groups to get along. But the fact that there's something to the geek fallacies doesn't mean that there aren't real, tangible benefits to virtual fan spaces. It doesn't mean that my closest online friends aren't really my friends. Because they are.

Anyway, it's interesting, the role fictional characters take in one's private, internal life. Within the realm of fantasy, these imaginary partners can fulfill us in ways that people, in all their thorny glory, never will. People fixate on the sexual, but I think it's the emotional aspects that are more interesting to me. Simon Amstell talks about this a bit in his stand-up:
I did fall in love about five years ago. Fell in love. Five years ago. But with somebody I invented, which isn't ideal. He was based on somebody who existed, but because I had such low self-esteem, I took every negative attribute I felt about myself, converted those into positive attributes, and projected those onto him. Thus he would heal me and complete me in my life. Initially, I just liked him because he was really thin . . . a lot of it is narcissism, really. I've realized that my type is me, but better. Which I think is okay. I just need to find someone who wants himself, but much, much worse.

I went to see him in this play he was in. . . . so I could perhaps meet him afterwards, and weeks had been building up to this moment, and all I could manage when I saw him at the party was a kind of polite nod. And I don't know if he saw it, he didn't nod back, and then I felt awkward about approaching him at all and an hour went past, and I couldn't approach him. And then I saw him leave. I saw him leave the theater, his rucksack on his back, his little beanie hat on his head, and as he got further and further away, it became harder and harder to move. He was gone. Gone.

Three weeks go by of sadness, pain, regret. I've turned him into the only possible person I could be with in my life. A lot of it was ego. I thought he was going to turn into a great actor, who could make people cry, and I thought I was going to turn into a great comedian, who could make people laugh, and I thought that together, we could be like a two man Robin Williams. All the talent of Robin Williams, but in two separate thin men.
It might be easy to laugh at this guy writing angry letters about his fake horsey fiance. But I think we've all been there, as much as we like to deny it--oh, I don't write slashfic about John Darnielle, or whatever. I know I have a rich fantasy life full of relationships and stories (which don't preclude real life relationships at all), and because they're internal--because they're made up of me, I can use them to explore all sorts of things about my own goals and ambitions, what I need to be loved and supported, what I want in my life that I'm not getting. These objects are like adult transitional objects, and they let us take care of ourselves. Our fantasies--our minds--know what we need best. Just like children, who pour their affection into stuffed teddy bears when our mothers are away, we can be self-soothing.

I think that's a good thing. And more than laughing at this dude, I think, if you don't have that for yourself, well, I kinda pity you.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:48 AM on March 23, 2013 [21 favorites]


So the kiddo is watching a lot of Backyardigans now - which to me is nit unpleasant but boring show but it is kind of nice that she's watching something with no crossover appeal or shout outs to adults. It's... relaxing.

I'm also kind of glad she can't stand Adventure Time.
posted by Artw at 9:58 AM on March 23, 2013


The problem with some of the mocking culture is that however it may be justified, as helping someone be less awkward or stopping people from being scammed in Bitcoin, is that those justifications tend to be sidelined compared to the cause of entertaining the mockers. Calling it a good thing is like thinking bullying a fat kid to get them to lose weight is a good idea. It's just not going to work out that way and it's hard to see it as altruistic.

People lose sight of their apparent good guy justification. I can tell you people currently mocking the Tea Party Community over some of the racist stuff they post there are in fact posting virulently racist stuff themselves as part of their trolls to encourage even more racist stuff to point to.

So, that's a dynamic I'm afraid of in context of people who go out of there way to go balls deep into finding all the creepy MLP stuff and giving it a wider audience to highlight how creepy it is. Maybe consider just leaving it be.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:19 AM on March 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


You guys really should lay off on this stuff. I am married to that plate of beans!
posted by Foosnark at 10:23 AM on March 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm not proud of the fact I immediately went looking for Backyardigans pron.

I am proud of the fact that I have no idea what one is.

Hottest The Backyardigans porn Chars:
* Austin
* Tasha
* Uniqua
* Tyrone
* Pablo

Rule 34.

Those were the worst I found.
posted by Mezentian at 10:24 AM on March 23, 2013


I really hope that people reading the FPP know that this is not an accurate representation of the fandom as a whole. The relevant xkcd is right: fandoms are nested fractally.

Incidentally, I hate defending fandoms that I'm in, like video games, anime, and now Friendship is Magic. I feel like I have to justify my own existence, and then also get to be responsible for everyone else who passes under the same banner. This includes awkward teenagers, people who can't write a sentence to save their own lives, and trolls outside the fandom who fly the fandom's flag.
posted by cyberscythe at 10:34 AM on March 23, 2013 [6 favorites]


Yeah, except no. I'm sure I'm not the only person here who met her spouse on the internet, not to mention many of her closest friends--friends who have supported me in ways that those with whom I'm engaged with "real-world" relationships never have. My family always bought into this "real" > "better" dichotomy, but it seems like bullshit to me, as someone with idiosyncratic interests (not only in geek things but also writing and literature and philosophy and identity politics, which are geek things in a way but more socially acceptable than Star Trek), who finds it far easier to find like-minded people in virtual spaces than in physical spaces.

I'm not talking about whether relationships start online or offline. I'm talking about where those relationships remain. If your online relationship has translated into an offline one, where you are hanging out in person, that's officially a tangible, "real world" relationship. Twilight Sparkle and transitory online-only friends are not going to give this guy the same fulfillment or personal growth as a real, in-person relationship. I have met people online and then transitioned to offline--and the offline transition was crucial for the deepening of friendship. Even if most of our interactions remain online, the act of actually meeting a person adds necessary intimacy to any relationship that cannot be matched by an online-only one.


These objects are like adult transitional objects, and they let us take care of ourselves.

Our inner fantasy lives are an important part of our psyche, of course. But the fantasy lives I'm addressing aren't used as "adult transitional objects", they're not stuffed animals we sleep with at night or fanfiction we write for fun and escape. We're talking about people who have decided to define their entire identity around this fantasy and completely shut out reality in favor of it. That's not healthy engagement with a rich inner fantasy life. That's self-alienation.
posted by schroedinger at 10:38 AM on March 23, 2013 [6 favorites]


. . . But really, who the hell cares if you want to wear a fedora?

That's an interesting question. Clothing speaks to us. Only shallow people allow it to say everything to them, but it's the first message that any sighted person will be able to get before a personal interaction. The typical use of a fedora (or trilby) as referenced here carries the social signifier of "technically clever but poorly socialized young man." Is that right or fair? Not to any innocent party who dons the hat. And yet, there it is. Geeks gotta geek -- but the world turns on regardless.

Disclaimer: I wore fedoras when I was a teenager, and I am certain that they gave just the same impression on me.
posted by Countess Elena at 10:54 AM on March 23, 2013


I'm not proud of the fact I immediately went looking for Backyardigans pron.

I am making my unhappiest unhappy face.
posted by Artw at 11:08 AM on March 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Otherkin and fictionkin and otaku-kin are closer to people who actually believe they're Jesus than to normal believers, and I feel comfortable saying that they're either seeking attention or are genuinely mentally ill."

Two things: Every musician, actor, writer, designer, whatever that you like is seeking attention. It's a big so fucking what. As for mental illness, there's really no way to tell what's a put on, what's a healthy fantasy, what's someone trolling and what's mental illness in otherkin fandom.

There's a lot of ridiculous shit out there, and I don't mind having fun with it, but punch up, not down. And don't excuse masturbatory cruelty with some vague notion of righteousness.
posted by klangklangston at 11:10 AM on March 23, 2013 [11 favorites]


I used to think that cosplay era were kind of dorky and now I think I was being a dick and they are actually awesome, so maybe, maybe, someday I'll look at Otherkin stuff and...

Nah, probably not going to happen.
posted by Artw at 11:12 AM on March 23, 2013


Hey wait now, there is nothing wrong with wanting to bone Simon from Misfits.

None whatsoever.
posted by The Whelk at 11:13 AM on March 23, 2013 [7 favorites]


God this thread exploded. Here's some scattershot responses to some of the above:

Unfortunately, the show got rid of her and since about mid-way through the second season has been declining in quality. For example, I see the end of the second season as being quite a big step away from the 'gang of girls' original series

Shining Armor and Cadence are surprisingly unpopular. You can still find fan art of them, yes, and one of the best series of fan comics* I've seen actually focuses on Armor and Sparkle's first days at the guard academy and magic school respectively, but overall they feel tacked on... like Hasbro wanted to sell Shining Armor toys, pink Alicorns that aren't Celestia (who until very recently was ALWAYS pink in toys despite being white in the show), and Crystal Empire playsets.

* About fan comics. The hidden minefield I've found with these isn't porn, it's glurge, cheap, cloying sentimentality. There's a ton of that out there.

On the three seasons of PONY:
Season 1: Great
Season 2: Very slightly less great
Season 3: Generally so-so, although there are moments -- the episode with Scootaloo in which Luna surprisingly turns up is excellent, for instance.

In Season 3 some of the show's writers had moved on to other things, although the word is a couple might be back for S4.

Neither the main characters - the friends - nor the autonomous female ruler - Princess Celestia - can cope with the problem on their own.

To my eyes, Celestia has pretty much arranged every problem that Twilight has faced, except maybe Queen Chrysalis (another reason the Crystal Empire two-parter is disappointing). It's this hidden subversive undertone to Twilight's adventures -- Celestia is surprisingly manipulative, although that befits a character a thousand years old.

Because I haven't kept up with that news, can someone tell me why Faust is no longer involved?

We don't know why she left. My hopeful *guess* is that she knew Hasbro would push the show in the direction of pushing more merchandise. "Hopeful" because, while I like the show, I don't like children's television that exists mostly to sell toys to little kids who haven't yet become media savvy. HEY SOMETHING AWFUL! If you want to complain about something REAL, complain about THAT!

Aren't the MLP characters meant to be as young as the target audience, at least? So what does that say about people sexulizing the characters?

Yeah, keep flogging that dead horse. What does it say about people trying to pin the PAEDOPHILE badge to people they disagree with? The ponies are not that young; Faust has noted that horses mature differently than humans, and that gave her some excuse to have them out and doing adult things (like running businesses) while still learning kid-level life lessons.

Seems like a bit of "though dost protest too much" going on over there, especially for a site with so many pedophiles they had to eject them.

I'm not going to call them pedophiles either. For those are the people our society has currently branded OKAY TO HATE, and so the floodgates are open. Calling someone a pedophile should be another version of Godwin's Law -- attempting to brush someone with something so horrible that people revulse and flock to your side. It's not honest.

BTW, for the complaining SA does, never forget it was their forums that birthed SWAP.avi upon the world. They have no moral standing AT ALL.

Another interesting detail: when Hasbro ordered the makers of fan-game "My Little Pony: Fighting is Magic"

Yeah, this is a sore point, and it's part of my own creeping disillusionment with Pony, that and what they did to Shards of Equestria. (Not for Hasbro, I've always known they were ruthless corporate exploiters of properties from the HUNDREDS of Monopoly versions they've made. But I hoped Pony was a sign they were getting better.) But yes, Faust is awesome, she handled that very well, and it's an advantage to having a creator who isn't attached to the property anymore -- she can do wonderful things like this unofficially.

'Invisible skygod'. Nice. For somebody who's trying not to be insulting you sure insulted lots of people.

Charlemagne in Sweatpants, honestly? I think you might be served well by browsing through RationalWiki, this is just another flavor of the Flying Spaghetti Monster/Invisible Pink Unicorn reasoning. Suffice to say, it's a pretty accurate, if uncharitable, description.

Ah, Twilight Sparkle! Ah, humanity!

I think Fluttershy makes for a better Bartleby figure, really. "I, um, I think I prefer not to."

I really hope that people reading the FPP know that this is not an accurate representation of the fandom as a whole.

I've been trying to provide that contrast, but some people are willful in their misconceptions. (Or are just arguing in bad faith.)
posted by JHarris at 11:44 AM on March 23, 2013 [7 favorites]


Remember Heathcliff? Heathcliff was clearly a cat that did some human stuff while the Cadillac Cats were clearly people with catlike features that lived as cats.

Oh, Heathcliff... forever to be known as a knock-off of Garfield (though his strip predated Gar's by 5 years) and a go-to comic for The Comics Curmudegeon to ridicule anytime Funky Winkerbean is not being sufficiently depressing.

And also an object lesson on how NOT to expand a comic strip into other media. While most people remember the Catillac Cats (although usually misspelled - but seriously, they never would've gotten approval from the carmaker for the other name) produced by DIC (the French-owned animators who had just had their first American hit in Inspector Gadget), Heath's first cartoon series was made four years earlier, by Ruby-Spears Productions (run by former proteges of Hanna & Barbera) and titled "Heathcliff and Dingbat". Now, most of the Saturday Morning cartoon producers had a slushpile of unsold cartoon ideas that they could throw in as secondary toons on a multi-segment show. And ABC, who bought the first Heathcliff show, didn't believe Heathcliff could carry a full half hour so Ruby-Spears 'sweetened' the deal with "Dingbat and the Creeps", a totally unrealted cartoon about a vampire dog (Dingbat) and his comically ghoulish sidekicks. Anyone remembering that one, you have my sympathy. After a year, Ruby-Spears was able to drop "Dingbat" and make a deal with the syndicators of the Marmaduke comic strip (a totally different company than syndicated Heathcliff, yet those two comics had been 'linked' even before then) to do a "Heathcliff and Marmaduke" show. It only lasted one more season on Saturday Morning.

But Heathcliff's creator George Gately and syndicate McNaught had gotten the taste of easy money from TV cartoons (especially easy because Gately didn't have an active role in the shows so the secondary toons were always somebody else's creation altogether). So they made a deal with DIC, who were looking for 'American' properties. But they didn't have the 'slushpile' of Ruby-Spears, so "The Catillac Cats" were created rather quickly by DIC's Jean Chalopin and Bruno Bianchi with the help of a couple of American writers, one of whom (according to Wikipedia) was a very young Chuck "Two and a Half Men" Lorre. Don't know if that's accurate, but it explains a lot. Designed for Monday-Friday syndication, this version of Heathcliff had a lot more episodes in two years production than the previous Saturday Morning version. But it was definitely the cartoon biz's practice of throwing in random secondary toons, the benign neglect of Heathcliff's creator and the still-new-and-very-new-to-America DIC production company that credits the existence of the odd "Catillac Cats".
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:02 PM on March 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, this:
Well, anymore at least - Mefi was once a very different place, just as I was once a very different person

I don't know, sometimes something comes up and shows the site still has its fangs. Like, oh, Foodfight (ducks away quickly). And MST3K is still huge with MeFites.

I joined March '05, as soon as I found out signups were open again, and had browsed a couple of years before that. What happened, I think, is the site overcame the kind of cynical tearing down philosophy that still holds sway at SA, and I think it might have happened because we get new users here more slowly than other places, so young people who think they know everything are a smaller proportion of the population than much of the rest of the internet.

On oneswellfoop's comment: how do you know these things?!
posted by JHarris at 12:09 PM on March 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I dunno - when he talks about waking up with a horse head on the pillow next to him, I gotta think this guy is yanking everyone's chain.
posted by pointystick at 12:20 PM on March 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


JHarris, I have been semi-obsessed with cartoons since I started making up episode lists for Yogi Bear and Bullwinkle when I could barely write. That's why I'm doing THIS. But when my accumulated knowledge falls short (I had willfully forgotten a lot about Heathcliff), I check out some cartoon-specific sites including Big Cartoon Database. ToonTracker and Jerry Beck's Cartoon Research, as well as IMDB and Wikipedia for general production data, and often it's easy to piece together my knowledge of trends and practices of producers at the time to make educated (sounding) guesses. Then I wait for somebody MORE knowledgeable here to tell me I'm wrong.

A relevant detail about Lauren Faust: she's married to Craig McCracken, on whose "Powerpuff Girls" she got her first big break (but before that, she'd done other animation work, most notably on "Iron Giant", NOT a 'girly' thing) and not only did she work her way up to Producer on "Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends", but the design of the character Frankie is allegedly based on her. Currently, she has gone back to work with her husband on his VERY anticipated new show for the Disney Channel, "Wander Over Yonder". Although I'm kind of disappointed she doesn't have a hot new project all her own.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:29 PM on March 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


And for the record, I always thought having a plush horse head in my bed was a lot cooler than a teddy bear.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:31 PM on March 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


the thing with that kind of "cynical tearing-down philosophy" is that it's always got blind spots and it leads to dumb things being aggressively defended instead of critiqued
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 12:41 PM on March 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Just to be clear though, the vast majority of the pointing-and-laughing on this page isn't about My Little Pony. It's not even about bronies. Most of the serious snark is reserved for the 'round the bend folks hypersexualizing MLP. And even within the subset of people okay with mockery, there are those of us who are disgusted by the last of those, but generally willing to live and let live. But when you say you're marrying Twilight Sparkle and you must defend her honor... I will forever endeavor to have the widest possible empathy umbrella, but that many levels of crazy out, it doesn't make me a monster that it doesn't cover everybody.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:43 PM on March 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm not talking about whether relationships start online or offline. I'm talking about where those relationships remain. If your online relationship has translated into an offline one, where you are hanging out in person, that's officially a tangible, "real world" relationship. Twilight Sparkle and transitory online-only friends are not going to give this guy the same fulfillment or personal growth as a real, in-person relationship. I have met people online and then transitioned to offline--and the offline transition was crucial for the deepening of friendship. Even if most of our interactions remain online, the act of actually meeting a person adds necessary intimacy to any relationship that cannot be matched by an online-only one.

One of my best friends (also a mefite, incidentally) for the past three years is someone I've never met. We've embarked on (successful!) creative projects together. I helped him come out to his family; he helped me pull myself out of depression. We haven't met because, well, he lives halfway across the world and we're broke. But I don't think the fact that we haven't "hung out in person" makes our friendship any less real, valid, deep, important or helpful. In fact, it's much more valuable to me, and certainly more intimate, than my relationships with certain family members.

I'm sure I'm not the only mefite who has had friendships like this one, and frankly I think it's kinda balls to presume that you know which relationships are valued--even cherished--for people you (hey, irony!) have never met.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:53 PM on March 23, 2013 [8 favorites]


I hear you, PhoB. My best friend is an alcoholic grocery clerk in Montreal with crippling anxiety issues who I have also never met in person. He's great, actually, I just mention this stuff to say that I get it. It can be complicated.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:05 PM on March 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


But I don't think the fact that we haven't "hung out in person" makes our friendship any less real, valid, deep, important or helpful. In fact, it's much more valuable to me, and certainly more intimate, than my relationships with certain family members.

Ditto. I'd say there is a *difference* but it's pretty slight.
posted by The Whelk at 1:10 PM on March 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Right, and there's the fact that all friendships are transitory (closer to some online friends right now than some real life friends who I snuggled with in high school). It's mostly the assumption that these online people are somehow as illusory as fictional characters--and more, that they're "not going to be there holding your hand when you're in chemotherapy"--that gets to me. Because my online pals might not have literally been holding my hand through hard times, but in terms of emotional support, they've absolutely been by my side.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:19 PM on March 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Just to be clear though, the vast majority of the pointing-and-laughing on this page isn't about My Little Pony. It's not even about bronies. Most of the serious snark is reserved for the 'round the bend folks hypersexualizing MLP.

I dunno, I'm seeing some pretty broad brushwork on this here canvas.
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 1:26 PM on March 23, 2013 [5 favorites]


It's where I'm coming from anyway. My son loves MLP and I consider that cool.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:27 PM on March 23, 2013


> It just occurred to me: why isn't he already married to her? I mean, if you're already declaring
> yourself engaged to a fictional plushie, why not just go whole hog about it by now?

Hey, lots of guys have commitment problems.
posted by jfuller at 2:12 PM on March 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


Oh, I thought I was out of here when I hit the post button up yonder. But I did want to mention (enough to come back to do it) that I learned about more bizarre skeevy things (with linkies!) here in this single thread on good old hugboxsafeplace metafilter than I ever did in ten years of /b/ and twenty years of alt-hierarchy usenet before that.

Over and out. Maybe I'll go read some encyclopaediadramatica archives as a palate cleanser.
posted by jfuller at 2:46 PM on March 23, 2013


This thread is proof that metafilter is just as fucked up as the rest of the Internet.
posted by spitbull at 3:04 PM on March 23, 2013


So, anyway, this year I got a My Little Pony reference into a Judge Dredd comic, which I guess is payback for all the Bodysnatchers (1978) and Bladerunner references that are in the My Little Pony comics.

Oh, here we go...

DROKK!
posted by Artw at 3:08 PM on March 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


STOMM.

Nicely done.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:43 PM on March 23, 2013


Well, at least they're not dubstepping.

It's called Ponystep, and there are Ponystep DJs. As for the Backyardigans, TV Tropes used to have an intensely creepy page for it that included Fetish Fuel. I hope most of it was deleted.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 4:08 PM on March 23, 2013


So, anyway, this year I got a My Little Pony reference into a Judge Dredd comic, which I guess is payback for all the Bodysnatchers (1978) and Bladerunner references that are in the My Little Pony comics.

Oh, here we go...

DROKK!
posted by Artw at 10:08 AM on 3/24


I don't recognize the MLP reference in that panel but the fact that it exists is one of the reasons people dislike Bronies: they evangelize their fandom everywhere, and in the weirdest places.

I wonder if I'll return to the AV Club and find an angry Brony invasion. The site was once invaded by thousands of angry, barely-coherent Backstreet Boys fans but the page seems to have disappeared.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 4:30 PM on March 23, 2013


Hint: the pony reference contains the word "pony".
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 4:34 PM on March 23, 2013


One throwaway reference in one small narration box on one page hardly constitutes "evangelizing the fandom".
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:37 PM on March 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


It just occurred to me: why isn't he already married to her? I mean, if you're already declaring yourself engaged to a fictional plushie, why not just go whole hog about it by now?

He said "we're planning on getting married next June or July should everything go as planned financially speaking". I, for one, am glad that they're planning ahead. Putting a foal through college is quite expensive these days.
posted by nohaybanda at 5:45 PM on March 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


My only real problem with bronies is that I worry the presence of a huge and profitable adult male fanbase will skew any future shows aimed at pre-teen girls. I can just picture the next Lauren Faust pitching her idea for a girl-packed, empowering series running up against, "Yes, but maybe you should make some changes to appeal to the Brony audience."
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 6:20 PM on March 23, 2013 [5 favorites]


The Backyardigans have dull plots but good music. For a parent in the room and only half listening, the music is surprisingly important.
posted by Area Man at 6:42 PM on March 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


they evangelize their fandom everywhere, and in the weirdest places.

That's not evangelizing. That's referring. Who appointed you the reference police? Anyway, they do it because it's weird and funny to see it. Although I wouldn't doubt that there's a bit of trolling there coming from their direction; remember, 4chan and the Goons birthed the Bronies. They're (you're?) looking in a mirror.

My only real problem with bronies is that I worry the presence of a huge and profitable adult male fanbase will skew any future shows aimed at pre-teen girls.

That I can get behind, but I don't think it's likely, I think most people recognize that PONY is a one-off thing. Part of why it's so big is because of how weird it is. There might be an attempt or two

Of course, the best thing for everyone would be if they didn't make cartoons "for" anyone except people, with content that both girls and boys could appreciate. Which was Faust's objective with MLP: FiM.
posted by JHarris at 7:06 PM on March 23, 2013


It's called Ponystep, and there are Ponystep DJs.

Dubstep has a weird relationship with the pony fandom, with the character fan-named Vinyl Scratch supposedly being a practitioner, or whatever you call a dubstep performer. Dubber? Stepper? Kids today, I tell ya.
posted by JHarris at 7:11 PM on March 23, 2013


ArmyOfKittens: "My only real problem with bronies is that I worry the presence of a huge and profitable adult male fanbase will skew any future shows aimed at pre-teen girls. I can just picture the next Lauren Faust pitching her idea for a girl-packed, empowering series running up against, "Yes, but maybe you should make some changes to appeal to the Brony audience.""

This thinking is evident when trying to find MLP merch to wear in my country. I can get a licensed tee for me easier than for my toddler. I can get porny MLP shirts easier than a licensed tee for my toddler. I ended up buying her a knockoff for Christmas because I could not find anything else that wasn't also going to cost me a packet in shipping. And even then, there were MORE shirts for the adults than the kids. That feels awful to me (not to mention the sheer horror of what it was to SEARCH for MLP shirts in the first place).

And I guess that's the difference between Snarry and MLP-porn - one is sequestered away in fandom and the other has an outright market share. As in there are 30 pages of shirts on welovefine for MLP shirts but only 8 shirts (not pages, SHIRTS) (goes up to 16 shirts if you include tweens) are for kids and toddlers. The rest are for adults. In the actual stores I couldn't really find ANY but when I did it was in the adult section. Her lone pair of MLP pyjamas are old-school and from an op shop.

I did just go and search again and I'm a lot happier with the redbubble search this time around (far less skeezy) but I don't touch cafepress...

JHarris: "Of course, the best thing for everyone would be if they didn't make cartoons "for" anyone except people, with content that both girls and boys could appreciate. Which was Faust's objective with MLP: FiM."

Except that, as sad as it may be, experiences are different. And once a fandom is dominated (be it by middle aged women or bronies) it responds to that subsection. So you get Twilight vibrators, and MLP shirts for adults, as opposed marketing for the initial group. And when there is a large age/gender differential it edges out the disempowered/silenced. And you get a fandom that seems to genuinely believe that the show is for them and cannot understand that their actions (Derpy Hooves) are obnoxious and when gender is also in the mix, sexist. I don't want my three year old thinking it's okay to call someone Derpy because a bunch of bronies think they're educated and aware enough to be ironic about 'derp'. There are subsets of every fandom that have these pockets of entitled ignorance (twincest, Supernatural fans in general, and so on) but bronies are up there with Supernatural for the sheer arrogance of it.
posted by geek anachronism at 7:31 PM on March 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think a greater concern for products and entertainment marketed for girls is the much more overwhelmingly present issue that companies feel boys will not enjoy products with a focus on girls in the same way girls would for gender neutral products (that are usually boy focused in practice). Because of this there isn't as much quality stuff produced aimed at that audience. IMO, the proof that this isn't always true seems like a solid benefit that outweighs the other stuff. It doesn't seem like a negative to me companies might try to recreate that success.

Anyway, I'm sorry you didn't want to pay for shipping but that isn't exactly Hasboro's fault. They aren't out there marketing porn or vibrators. They license and sell everything they think they can wherever they can in a family friendly way, it's what they do and they are a machine.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:52 PM on March 23, 2013


I'm still not sure I feel guilty at all for mocking this one, but I sincerely do appreciate all of the people urging us to follow our better angels in this thread. It's a good thing to hear and it's one of the things I love about MeFites.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:57 PM on March 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


And once a fandom is dominated (be it by middle aged women or bronies) it responds to that subsection. So you get Twilight vibrators, and MLP shirts for adults, as opposed marketing for the initial group.

I don't actually think Hasbro would license the former, and all kinds of other T-shirts with images of kid properties already get marketed for all ages. Hence: adult-sized Perry from Phineas and Herb shirts, which I saw on sale just last night, and of course Disney slapping all their characters on everything regardless. It proves nothing.

Hasbro has handled it so far by making stuff only for the target demographic themselves, and licensing the other stuff out to other companies. Which, for all of Hasbro's faults, is pretty enlightened.

And when there is a large age/gender differential it edges out the disempowered/silenced.

You're arguing that there should be thick lines between demographics, and there aren't, and shouldn't be. You're basically saying either A. it's bad for MLP to be good, because then other people wouldn't want to watch it, or B. there should be some kind of viewing police. Why not go back to 3.5G, where character designs were creepy, animation was the severe low end of the Flash spectrum, and only little girls watched it? Because they only watched it because they were supposed to like it. No one else watched it because it SUCKED.
posted by JHarris at 8:16 PM on March 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


DirtyOldTown: I'm still not sure I feel guilty at all for mocking this one, but I sincerely do appreciate all of the people urging us to follow our better angels in this thread. It's a good thing to hear and it's one of the things I love about MeFites.

Sometimes I do, and sometimes I find it tediously sanctimonious. And a lot of it in this thread was the latter, to me.
posted by gadge emeritus at 9:10 PM on March 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


JHarris: "
You're arguing that there should be thick lines between demographics, and there aren't, and shouldn't be. You're basically saying either A. it's bad for MLP to be good, because then other people wouldn't want to watch it, or B. there should be some kind of viewing police. Why not go back to 3.5G, where character designs were creepy, animation was the severe low end of the Flash spectrum, and only little girls watched it? Because they only watched it because they were supposed to like it. No one else watched it because it SUCKED.
"

No, I'm arguing that if you are a fandom with enough power to edge out the intended audience and that intended audience is little girls AND it's being done through means like sexualised art that maybe, just maybe, how much you enjoy the damn show isn't actually the core of the problem.

I'm still wondering where most of these MLP shirts for kids are because seriously, welovefine seems to be the licensed vendor and, like I said, they're skewing really really heavily to an adult audience (with stock and with the designs). Yeah, not wanting to pay the price of the shirt+ simply for shipping is my own issue, but since there are apparently no licensed vendors in Oz doing shirts for kids, I'm still thinking it's an issue.

But mostly I do not give a fuck what people watch, or enjoy. I do care about what they create a fandom around (hence PhD!) and I also care when a fandom starts getting entitled about something in a way that is so incredibly entwined with gender. Watch it, buy it, draw whatever the fuck you want, but I don't want a bunch of bronies exerting more power as fans than the little girls/children, just because they're adults and willing to swing their dicks around and be the 'face' of it. When they honestly think that they are entitled to make the show more adult (Derpy Hooves again) to assuage their interests. That's my concern. I mean, I know the stats and the ideals and the theories and I know I'm a minority but when it comes down to it, I still think what I think. And that is - when bronies sexualise MLP for their own gain, or act like they are entitled to push the show into more adult territory (via the ever-present 'in joke') at the expense of girls (and boys) enjoying the fandom, then they are participating in a misogynist culture aimed at silencing women.
posted by geek anachronism at 10:43 PM on March 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


I was under the impression that welovefine was only the brony-specific licensed vendor.
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 10:58 PM on March 23, 2013


I'll be honest, googling around on this the kids apparel selection does seem to be a lot more sparse than I expected or else I'm not looking in the right places. I'm not sure to what degree you can blame the bronies for that though.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:17 PM on March 23, 2013


No, I'm arguing that if you are a fandom with enough power to edge out the intended audience and that intended audience is little girls AND it's being done through means like sexualised art that maybe, just maybe, how much you enjoy the damn show isn't actually the core of the problem.

I've already gone over that the great majority of bronies don't make or exchange sexualized art. Also, "if you are a fandom" is nonsensical, bronies cannot be narrowed down to the actions of a single person. You can't say bronies have a sense of entitlement -- it may be that not even half of them care what the cross-eyed pegasus is named. Pretending they are a monolithic block is foolish.

WeLoveFine makes, to my knowledge, all the brony shirts. They aren't the only licensed vendor altogether it seems; some show-accurate plush toys are coming out from a license, it seems.

I do care about what they create a fandom around (hence PhD!)

Argument from Authority.

I had written something up concerning Derpy Hooves for my previous comment and deleted it before posting. Well, here goes:

The term "derp" is somewhat problematic, but is not a slur. It was coined by South Park, which is a somewhat transgressive show, but is still basic cable. 4chan and other sites appropriated it for their own use, specifically, as a babble-word used to deride another's statements (as in: "herp derp derp derp"). It is insulting, but until the whole thing went down it was firmly Internet Lingo. More importantly: some consider it worse than others, and some don't consider it bad at all, a joke word, and not a mark of insensitivity.

As I said, it's impossible to speak of bronies as being of one mind. But of those who were upset, generally, it was not because their fan name wasn't being used for a character, but because it was used, causing incredulous cheers to go up throughout the fandom, then the episode was edited after the fact. That's not entitlement; it's rejection.

I think (again, I can't speak for everyone) most bronies have gotten over it since then, especially when it was revealed that the writer of the episode favored the change, because of her own developmentally-challenged son Soren (who, it turns out, is the inspiration for the character named Sorin').
posted by JHarris at 11:28 PM on March 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


On the difference on shirt selections:

As I said before, generally Hasbro handles products aimed towards their target demographic, and licenses the fandom stuff to other companies. This is why the toys sometimes seem disconnected from the show, such as having a pink Celestia for a long time. Sometimes they include fan names for character toys in a later revision; the character named in toys as "Heartstrings," before it came out, had become popular in the fandom and dubbed by fans "Lyra" from cameo appearances in the show. The toy guys cannily changed the name to Lyra Heartstrings.

I don't think, however, that Hasbro is in the clothes business. And We Love Fine is a general licensed apparel company; they do lots of properties that aren't MLP. So, the absence of Pony clothes appears to be a fluke of licensing, and shouldn't be taken as indicative of Hasbro's direction for the brand. I think Hasbro management is fairly standoffish about the show's frankly freakish popularity, judging by their editing of Derpy/Ditzy, and the Cease And Desists they sent to Shards Of Equestria and Fighting Is Magic.
posted by JHarris at 11:39 PM on March 23, 2013


The problem isn't in being an adult fan of the show, but in misappropriating it.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:40 AM on March 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


JHarris: "I've already gone over that the great majority of bronies don't make or exchange sexualized art. Also, "if you are a fandom" is nonsensical, bronies cannot be narrowed down to the actions of a single person. You can't say bronies have a sense of entitlement -- it may be that not even half of them care what the cross-eyed pegasus is named. Pretending they are a monolithic block is foolish."

It doesn't need to be a monolithic block - it needs to be big enough and loud enough to present like a monolithic block. Which is what the bronies have done with the MLP fandom. Is it the worst out there? Hell no (Supernatural, I'm looking at you, with Sherlock not far behind) but it is the biggest and the loudest that is centred around a little kid's show that is primarily aimed at little girls. That is where the disconnect is and where the notions of gender imbalance come from.

JHarris: "Argument from Authority."

No, argument that I genuinely give a fuck, think this is a worthwhile topic and have some experience/insight with fans, fandom and gender. Talk to me in three years, but even then I won't be an expert on bronies.

JHarris:
"The term "derp" is somewhat problematic, but is not a slur. It was coined by South Park, which is a somewhat transgressive show, but is still basic cable. 4chan and other sites appropriated it for their own use, specifically, as a babble-word used to deride another's statements (as in: "herp derp derp derp"). It is insulting, but until the whole thing went down it was firmly Internet Lingo. More importantly: some consider it worse than others, and some don't consider it bad at all, a joke word, and not a mark of insensitivity.

...

I think (again, I can't speak for everyone) most bronies have gotten over it since then, especially when it was revealed that the writer of the episode favored the change, because of her own developmentally-challenged son Soren (who, it turns out, is the inspiration for the character named Sorin').
"

So, the writer was uncomfortable enough, but derp isn't a slur, is only somewhat problematic? And the fans are only upset because someone, somewhere, realised it was a really bad idea to use it as a character name to appease/appeal to the bronies? But hey, they agree because the writer has a disabled kid, so they're alright people?

I am not really arguing that bronies are worse than any other fandom, except that they are one of the biggest misappropriators of children's entertainment and that has knock on effects from merch (which isn't just their fault - see the pinkening of Celestia, but the licensed vendors ARE reacting to the brony $) to the tone and the expectations of the fans. The reason I keep comparing it to Supernatural is that there is the same crossing of fields/boundaries between the writers and the fans, and the same kinds of reactions when things don't go the fandom's way - it's just that Supernatural is an adult show whereas MLP is for kids.

I will own this: I really fucking wish there was something truly amazing and awesome for kids that disaffected adults didn't co-opt and fuck into Rule 34. Even in the non-Rule 34 ways, I'm kinda sick of everything for kids having to have this peurile layer for adults. I think it's why I like Pixar - sure there's the adult layer but it isn't simultaneously juvenile humour.
posted by geek anachronism at 2:14 AM on March 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


A monolithic block for the creepy stuff? No, not that I've seen.

The most shocking thing I've learned in this thread is that Supernatural apparently has some massive online fanbase. I've somehow managed to miss this completely even with somewhat liking the show.

I am kind of worried at this point that traditional western audiences may instinctively recoil at anything that picks up a non-traditional audience or challenges gender roles.

If Shezow picks up any mainstream success in the US it will become an icon for some folks who are going to celebrate it for smashing gender barriers in a way children's entertainment has not done before. It will also, I promise you, be sexualized by another sort of audience that gets off on the gender bending. It will also be an outrage to all the conservative Christian folks out there.

This is going to increasingly become an issue we have to confront as rigid gender roles crumble and demographics merge. Until we see some real solid evidence that it would not be a good trend, I'll hope for the best.
posted by Drinky Die at 2:29 AM on March 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


(Also, if it works a part of finding mainstream success will be that people just like the show and don't care about any of the gender politics)
posted by Drinky Die at 3:10 AM on March 24, 2013


Constant Vigilance
posted by jeffburdges at 3:16 AM on March 24, 2013


Wait, we're allowed to hate on adult fans of stuff aimed at kids now? Because I despise all the slash fiction written in, say, the Harry Potter universe. But then, not every fan writes fan-fiction, let alone slash fiction, let alone slash fiction between adults and children.

As with fans of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. You can't judge the masses of people who like the show by the actions of some folks who can't help but sexualise or make violent or otherwise force their adult concepts into something aimed at a younger audience. As far as I can tell, bronies for the most part - like, indeed, most fandoms - are comprised of a group of people who really enjoy a piece of media, with those who do things like draw character porn or think they're married to one of the characters being outliers. Vocal, creepy, and often distressing, but only the merest fragment of the fandom.

So when it comes to things like this, I just try to be happy that something of quality is getting recognition and attention, which can make a nice change.
posted by gadge emeritus at 8:59 AM on March 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'm arguing that if you are a fandom with enough power to edge out the intended audience

This doesn't happen. TV shows aren't a "space", and little girls cannot be "edged out" of My Little Pony. The show hasn't changed at all.
posted by spaltavian at 9:14 AM on March 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


I'm kinda sick of everything for kids having to have this peurile layer for adults. I think it's why I like Pixar - sure there's the adult layer but it isn't simultaneously juvenile humour.

Frankly, I'd be surprised if there weren't any Rule-34 types of subculture for Pixar films - there is for just about everything.

I get the sense that you think that this kind of thing is intentionally given space to grow by the show's creators, and that's just not the case. J.K. Rowling did not write the Harry Potter books with the intention that, someday, grown women would fight online battles over who should be married to her characters, nor did she create her characters in such a way to encourage fan-created stories about things like Draco fucking Hermione in the nose (and my hand to God, I am not making that up). This kind of fanhood is created entirely, solely, and wholly by the fans themselves.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:15 AM on March 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


It doesn't need to be a monolithic block - it needs to be big enough and loud enough to present like a monolithic block. Which is what the bronies have done with the MLP fandom.

Disagree. You can strongly assert it, and I can strongly assert right back. It doesn't get us anywhere; strong assertions only work if no one can obviously challenge it. I think the media presents bronies as this huge block because LOL GUYS LIKE PONIES they've gotta be outliers right? But the block is gigantic.

No, argument that I genuinely give a fuck, think this is a worthwhile topic and have some experience/insight with fans, fandom and gender.

Yeah, well I know more about bronies than you. Do I really? Who can say, it's not a useful arguing tactic from either side. It still sounds like you were trying to say I'm right because I'm an X.

So, the writer was uncomfortable enough, but derp isn't a slur, is only somewhat problematic?

Just as I said. Derp is problematic, but it's not N-word problematic, and it's possible for two reasonable people disagree about how much of a problem it is (to my understanding it's usually used for attacking others in forum arguments, not against the truly developmentally challenged), AND most non-internet people had never heard of it when it was used. Hasbro is a giant corporation and will always err on the conservative side. The brony reaction tended to be upset about that, for the reasons I mentioned above -- rejection.

I am not really arguing that bronies are worse than any other fandom

Oooh yes you are. Not unless you're also arguing that all fandoms are intrinsically made of entitled little shits.

The reason I keep comparing it to Supernatural is that there is the same crossing of fields/boundaries between the writers and the fans, and the same kinds of reactions when things don't go the fandom's way

I don't see what you're talking about. Well, I don't know anything about Supernatural. Maybe it's influencing your view incorrectly, or maybe you're correctly seeing a trend in the offing. I'd prefer to call it based on what actually happens.

I do know that the best episode of Season Three was written partly by a fan, and I also know that Star Trek (from TNG on I think) sometimes used fan-submitted scripts, and they didn't necessarily hurt it -- at least, in the way you refer to. You can't get more fan/writer crossover than that.

I will own this: I really fucking wish there was something truly amazing and awesome for kids that disaffected adults didn't co-opt and fuck into Rule 34.

You know the text of Rule 34, right? If it exists, there is porn of it. No exceptions. Not only was it inescapable before the term "Rule 34" was made up, but some people (not just bronies, PEOPLE) use it as justification to make porn of the weirdest things they can think of, partly for the LULZ. Like dragons having sex with cars. (Google it. Or better, don't.)

I submit you might be taking a media presented popularly presented image off a thing and accepting as if it were the thing. That you are letting yourself be dissuaded from accepting a huge thing because of a small group of people, who because of their visibility are taken to be more representative as they are. And I am here to say this because I've seen things like this happen before, but this time I know something about what I'm talking about, so I view it as kind of my duty to try to defend something small yet unexpectedly awesome about the world, guys liking cartoon horses, so it doesn't get trashed like, say, Occupy did, and does to this day. Go look at a MeFi thread about that sometime. Ugh.

Frankly, I'd be surprised if there weren't any Rule-34 types of subculture for Pixar films - there is for just about everything.

Again: "If it exists, there is porn of it. No exceptions." But if it IS a fact, you can get on with accepting that the existence of people making sexy pictures of thing isn't a big deal, so long as unnecessary attention isn't drawn to it. Expressing shock at its existence is that attention. Anyone can make porn of anything; its existence proves nothing.

Sometimes I do, and sometimes I find it tediously sanctimonious.

You are in need of some enlightenment. Here is a koan. Meditate on this for awhile. Warning: it's also from a kid's show.
posted by JHarris at 11:37 AM on March 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


CiS: This whole thread is Geek Social Fallacy 1: Ostracizers Are Evil.

If it's a geek social fallacy, it's not one that's common among the communities I see, who are very clear about setting up their little boundaries and shibboleths.

Where I start getting a bit nervous is when the project goes from "this person is taking it too far" to "of course they're taking it too far because they're a ___."
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 12:21 PM on March 24, 2013


[Couple of comments deleted. There is a MeTa in progress if you feel the need to compare bronies to any kind of sexual predator, thanks.]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 1:48 PM on March 24, 2013


(It's closed, but yeah we can try and just avoid that)
posted by Drinky Die at 1:48 PM on March 24, 2013


As I've said a thousand times in this thread, it isn't about gender or age policing. Most of the people criticizing bronies love kids shows, and probably even watch MLP. It's the inability of Bronies to say "yes, many of the MLP fans are creepy, and we don't want to encourage that." Instead they just double down on defending them because a 3 year old TV show has become such a large part of their identity. I love Bob Dylan but I don't defend the guy who got arrested for going through his garbage. I just spent $200 on Springsteen tickets but if you tell me you're astrally married to him I'm going to back away very slowly. Why is it so hard to adapt the Supernatural strategy of being proud at NOT being one of the creepy fans?
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 2:20 PM on March 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


because i get my pride from not being that guy who gets his pride from not being that guy
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 2:30 PM on March 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


You can post that another thousand times and it won't change that nobody here is doing the things you say they are.
posted by Drinky Die at 2:39 PM on March 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


CiS, What you say isn't what I'm seeing. What I'm seeing is people trying to brush the whole fandom with the Creepy Paint. Look at Slap*Happy's comments above: It's not a fandom, it's a gangbang. That set a certain tone for the thread.

Listen to the guys on Bronyville. They're some of the biggest fans you could ask for, one of them has a "pony name," but they're still really well centered. Most of them know that it looks silly being fans of such a thing, but they gotten over it, and even poke fun of themselves for it. MST3K Mantra dude.

That's it for me, I've got a thread about a completely different "Twilight" to obsess over. MIKHAIL GORBACHEV IS MAI WAIFU.
posted by JHarris at 3:41 PM on March 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


[One comment deleted. As ever, if you want to talk to a mod directly about a moderation decision, please use the contact form.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 3:57 PM on March 24, 2013


JHarris: "Oooh yes you are. Not unless you're also arguing that all fandoms are intrinsically made of entitled little shits. "

Yeah, I kinda am. I'm just arguing that bronies do it in a different manner. Not all fandoms, but a lot of them, yeah (Christ, just look at the complete fail that was someone on tumblr announcing Teen Wolf getting a third season, someone reposting without tags, suddenly SHERLOCK and then death threats).

JHarris: "I don't see what you're talking about. Well, I don't know anything about Supernatural. Maybe it's influencing your view incorrectly, or maybe you're correctly seeing a trend in the offing. I'd prefer to call it based on what actually happens."

Supernatural has an enormous fanbase who act ridiculously inappropriately at cons, sexualise a relationship in a transgressive way (incest) and seem to be under the impression that it should become canon. And the writers interact with the fandom a lot and there is a lot of entitlement happening about why the writers should obey the fans.

(There's also an amazing subgroup who are convinced the two main actors are in a gay relationship and are disgusted that someone would get married and have children to hide their secret illicit lust for their coworker...)

JHarris: "You know the text of Rule 34, right? If it exists, there is porn of it. No exceptions. Not only was it inescapable before the term "Rule 34" was made up, but some people (not just bronies, PEOPLE) use it as justification to make porn of the weirdest things they can think of, partly for the LULZ. Like dragons having sex with cars. (Google it. Or better, don't.) "

Yeah, already seen that one. Along with the Draco one. I know fandom, please don't lecture me on the text of Rule 34 - what I expressed was a wish. A wish for something like a sacred space for kids to grow up that wasn't then sexualised (or if it was, in a way that the kids don't have to come across) (aka kiddo is less likely to find ABDL stuff than to find MLP porn). It's an impossible wish (as you say, people like to porn up the weirdest things) but it's a wish nonetheless and one that I'm finding I murmur more and more often as I watch my kid grow up into a media saturated culture and as I drown myself in fandom.

JHarris: "You are in need of some enlightenment. Here is a koan. Meditate on this for awhile. Warning: it's also from a kid's show."

*wince* Mr Rogers is a cultural thing I think. I mean, that's lovely, but I'm an Aussie so I don't have any enculturated response other than 'why is he taking off his jacket? Oh, nice shoes.' I think I get what you're saying on the neighbourhood thing, but it is really hitting the Geek Social Fallacy - I actually don't want MLP-porn in my neighbourhood. And that's okay. I have any number of reasons for it, but just because I'm a fan doesn't mean I have to accept and justify the excesses that are genuinely creepy (to me, and from my feminist/nerd perspective). And here's the thing, when you have a bunch of grown men saying the fandom is them, and their wants/needs/desires, railing against the show remaining primarily about children and not them then, yeah, there are unsavoury overtones.

Just so you know, I'm a mother, I watch far more kid's TV than you, and I probably did so even before kids so please do not be so condescending, okay?

To be clear, I am not saying 'of course they take it too far, they're bronies'* but that there is a very vocal, very active segment of bronies (not MLP fandom, bronies) who do indeed take it too far. I've got a slightly different stake in this fight to the Supernatural one (that creeps me out, as a fan and just as a human being who doesn't like seeing people sexually harassed for their work) but the stakes are different because this is one of the few genuinely awesome shows for little girls and it's spawned this giant movement that doesn't want to accept that Rule 34'ing a kid's show, with ponies, crosses a lot more lines than even Snarry.

*they are people, that's why it's taken too far.
posted by geek anachronism at 4:41 PM on March 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


what I expressed was a wish. A wish for something like a sacred space for kids to grow up that wasn't then sexualised

if my own experience growing up and reacting to media i like is any indication, it's they who are doing the sexualization

i'm still pretty young and haven't completely forgotten how it was, so yeah
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 4:47 PM on March 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


it's spawned this giant movement that doesn't want to accept that Rule 34'ing a kid's show, with ponies, crosses a lot more lines than even Snarry.

Wait, how do you know it's a giant movement? Why isn't it the same size as the number of (very vocal) Harry Potter fans who ship and slash adults and children, especially considering that in pure number they undoubtedly dwarf MLP fans, what with their fanbases being of very different sizes?

In other words, why do Snarry fans get a pass while the porny sides of MLP fandom tar the rest of the fandom with their existence?
posted by gadge emeritus at 5:38 PM on March 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


This thread has been genuinely fascinating. It has given me a lot of ideas to gnaw on (because I do enjoy thinking about culture).

Weirdly, perhaps, the first one that's tickling my brain is the intersection of (the decline of) religion in the most general sense and this whole very-new-to-me phenomenon, to the extent an intersection exists.

Like I said, fascinating. Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:39 PM on March 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


geek anachronism, I am done arguing regardless, but I can accept now that you're at least trying to argue from a good place, and that's good enough for me. Remember though: it is a mistake to generalize from particulars.

As for the Mr. Rogers clip:
Fred Rogers is the closest thing Metafilter has to a saint. (Jim Henson is a close second.) He was a genuinely good man with absolutely no hateful bone in his body. They he could, and did exist proves something about human nature: that unironic goodness is possible. I think the realization that here was a man immune to snark might have been the beginning of a reexamination on the part of the userbase.

The koan is the lyrics. Specifically:
Let's make the most of this beautiful day!
While we're together, we might as well say,
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
Won't you be my neighbor?


If I explained it, it wouldn't be a koan.
posted by JHarris at 6:01 PM on March 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


what I expressed was a wish. A wish for something like a sacred space for kids to grow up that wasn't then sexualised (or if it was, in a way that the kids don't have to come across) (aka kiddo is less likely to find ABDL stuff than to find MLP porn). It's an impossible wish (as you say, people like to porn up the weirdest things) but it's a wish nonetheless and one that I'm finding I murmur more and more often as I watch my kid grow up into a media saturated culture and as I drown myself in fandom.

Fair enough; I got the sense that you were claiming that the creators were intending for this to happen, and that's not the case. That was all I was saying.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:05 PM on March 24, 2013


For more information, the classic comment on Fred Rogers is Pastabagel's famous one from 2007. HOLY CRAP, IT'S GOT 1,001 FAVORITES.
posted by JHarris at 6:14 PM on March 24, 2013


In other words, why do Snarry fans get a pass while the porny sides of MLP fandom tar the rest of the fandom with their existence?

First, they don't get a pass. If this was about creepy Harry Potter fans I'd react the same way, and I do joke with friends who are into HP about the creepier fans (see the comments about Supernatural).

Also, most Harry Potter characters are at least human, and some of them do have relationships in the books. And the series is popular enough that the fans aren't so defensive and insular. But yes, I think Sean O'Neal and the rest of the Internet have mocked Snapswives and the rest of the crazy HP fans.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 6:29 PM on March 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's hard to believe you are still honestly unable to grasp the difference between mocking creeps (problematic for various reasons but understandable) and attacking an entire fan base.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:15 PM on March 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


i was fortunate to move from a small town to a medium-large american city, wherein i made the discovery that no one actually cares what i think is creepy or, really, even wants to find out

it's been a tremendous weight off my shoulders, and the brainmass i used for having lots of opinions on things serves me much better in its new capacity of helping me choose fonts
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 8:48 PM on March 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


(Oh, just to be completely clear to g.a., the Mr. Rogers clip wasn't directed towards you, but to gadge emeritus' call of tedious sanctimony. It wasn't intended to be condescending, to anyone actually, but you least of all. Sorry about that, I was trying to reduce comments.)
posted by JHarris at 9:45 PM on March 24, 2013


gadge emeritus: "In other words, why do Snarry fans get a pass while the porny sides of MLP fandom tar the rest of the fandom with their existence?"

...I specifically mentioned them as a creep part of HP fandom? I don't think that's a pass, because I sure didn't mean it as such. Snarry, in general, is creepy as fuck. And I am horrified at a lot of the kinkmeme requests but I have to say I am not seeing nearly as much chan/shota as I used to within fandom (pre-strikethrough was peak-creep I think) and part of that has been the reactions of the rest of fandom in saying "stop, too far, go away" (and the legal ramifications of supporting it). There is an understanding that it is just going underground, still being created in a sub-forum, but it isn't disrupting the flow as much as it was.

And I tend to think of fanfic and fanart differently - fanfic exists almost contextlessly but fanart doesn't, in that I can read whatever I want in public, around my kid, in church, wherever and without a serious invasion of my privacy/space, it affects no-one. Whereas you cannot do that with visual stuff, with fanart. Just like there is a difference between scrolling past fanfic and your dashboard being full of unexpected, unwanted porn, because it comes up under the MLP tag. I can't look at certain tags in public because I don't want to expose people to sexual content against their will. It's a context thing - if none of us were unwantedly exposed to Rule34!MLP (while searching for canon stuff for a kid, in my case) then I'd probably be speaking from a very different place but as it is there is no way to prevent anyone walking behind me on campus, while I do genuine research, from getting an eyeful of graphic porn (MLP or otherwise) because the technological 'fix' for this (community standards and creating sub/other communities) cannot be applied effectively in the current forms (particularly tumblr, but it's spreading back out again). The aggregators without curation, and so on.

I am thinking out loud here, but fandom uses and is used by the technology it embraces and it's one of the reasons that there is the crossover between the gen!fandom and the Rule34 contingent, and the tension. Which is less of an issue with fanfic over fanart. And MLP inspires an amazing amount of fanart (any media) so I think that probably plays into it. Fanfic is less intrusive to accidentally stumble accross, and less likely to be publicly stumbled across as well.

And thanks JHarris - it really has been an enlightening argument for me.
posted by geek anachronism at 12:19 AM on March 25, 2013


As a Snarry fan, I don't appreciate being called creepy when all I do is write and read stories about two adults in love. I'm also a fan of Supernatural (although I don't slash it), and you are attacking very diverse groups of people with a very nasty and ignorant brush.
posted by PrimateFan at 2:06 AM on March 25, 2013


Why do you identify with the entire fandom? You can enjoy Harry Potter or Supernatural without defending the worst elements of the fandom. Hell Supernatural has a few episodes that directly take the piss out of the fans - and they don't even address some of the more vile stuff.

As for 'Snarry', its cool if you're into it in private but, assuming it means 'Snape/Harry', there's a difference between a relationship between a student and a teacher and 'two adults'.

None of this is relevant to sexulizing underage cartoon ponies.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 2:55 AM on March 25, 2013


So now we're specifically talking about the underage ponies?
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 3:32 AM on March 25, 2013


I don't identify with the entire fandom. I see people in this thread making statements such as "Snarry is creepy", so I feel I must speak up for us non-creepy fans. By Snarry, I do mean stories where Harry and Severus are romantically linked, but I'm only interested in ones where the romance occurs when Harry is 18+ and no longer a student. That's the most common form.

Furthermore, while I don't believe instructors or TAs should be romantically involved with students in actuality, I see nothing wrong with the ever popular fantasy provided all individuals involved are adults. It's not my thing, but I wouldn't call that fantasy creepy anymore than I would call BDSM creepy.

Snarry was brought up by individuals presumably annoyed that fans are sexually interested in material made for children. While MLP seems to fall into that category, I'd argue that Harry Potter is not. I intend to show my boys MLP at a younger stage than I will show them Harry Potter due to violence.
posted by PrimateFan at 5:03 AM on March 25, 2013


So now we're specifically talking about the underage ponies?

Hrrrm. Now it's occurring to me that the Backyardigans like may actually be drawn CP, as those characters ARE kids.

(I didn't look, and am not going to FWIW)
posted by Artw at 6:28 AM on March 25, 2013


Waitaminnit... I'm not supposed to make fun of people who get engaged to cartoon TV characters, or people who consistently draw erotic images of said cartoon characters?

...

Seriously?
posted by Debaser626 at 9:59 AM on March 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


Do you make fun of the mentally-ill?

And it seems pretty certain at this point that the person claiming to be "engaged" to a cartoon character isn't serious about it. The people drawing the pictures are probably doing it as much to troll as anything else. The only thing sure here is that the A.V. Club is using the letter to drive site traffic, and they have no incentive to look beneath the surface to motives on either side.
posted by JHarris at 11:20 AM on March 25, 2013


Letting people like this know how awkward they are encourages them to develop as human beings.

So how's that working out? Have a lot of success stories to report? Get many grateful letters from the people you've set straight?

Have you reached the peak of human development already, or would you like some mockery to help you along the way?
posted by Zed at 11:39 AM on March 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Waitaminnit... I'm not supposed to make fun of people who get engaged to cartoon TV characters, or people who consistently draw erotic images of said cartoon characters?

As I said before, it's understandable but a little problematic. People's sexual expressions can be extremely intimate and central to their personality. They can be expressions of a drive they don't understand more than a choice, a result of a trauma when they were growing up, or a harmless kink. It's best to let people deal with these things on their own privately or with a professional if they are uncomfortable with what they are doing or it is harming themselves or others.

On the other hand, when we are talking about mocking people online it's about people who have intentionally taken that intimate side of themselves and published it for the world to see. When it's something they know is way out of the mainstream, they kind of have to expect the results of it in a world of people who love to laugh at other people. Don't do it if you don't have a thick skin.

The line is a bit blurry for me when you have communities based around enjoying this mockery though. Sure, somebody may have posted something online about their kink in a forum meant for it, but why do you have to go to that forum to search them all out?

The additional problem with that group is that the more they search for something to mock the more likely someone will cross over a line and invade someone's privacy with doxxing or hacking type things at which point there is really no defense. It's not something the majority does, but when you get such a large group involved you can't really control what happens.

So yeah, this stuff is funny in a sad way so go ahead and make fun of the people for it. Just don't base a lot of your entertainment time around looking for things to make fun of.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:06 PM on March 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


And it seems pretty certain at this point that the person claiming to be "engaged" to a cartoon character isn't serious about it. The people drawing the pictures are probably doing it as much to troll as anything else. The only thing sure here is that the A.V. Club is using the letter to drive site traffic, and they have no incentive to look beneath the surface to motives on either side.

There's such a huge volume of this stuff in the fandom that I doubt its a troll, or if it is a troll the trolling is a very small part of it. As for 'driving traffic', there are a few Newswires a day and I bet they're mostly read by regular readers of the site. We love Sean O'Neal's snark, but the main traffic drivers are probably still Nathan Rabin's My Year Of Flops and related columns and the TV recaps.

Odd that everyone loves the site when its mocking Food Fight or A Talking Cat!?! I suppose if people were getting off to the bad animation we'd need to respect them.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 1:46 PM on March 25, 2013


Odd that everyone loves the site when its mocking Food Fight or A Talking Cat!?!

Generally mockery/criticism is more well received when it is punching up or on an equal level. A critic from a major publication writing about a commercially released film is on relatively even terms with the target studio. A critic from a major publication mocking individuals over aspects of their personal life is kind of punching down.

Engaging in a media climate in which that sort of thing is encouraged can be mostly harmless, as will likely be the case with Mr. Twilight Sparkle, but I don't think you need to think even remotely hard to come up with an example where a media figure punching down could have tragic results.
posted by Drinky Die at 2:00 PM on March 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


@artw
It's gross as hell, but please, let's not use phrases that make throwing people in prison for cartoons sound reasonable, especially when they have their origins in far-right internet circles.

I know and am friends with dudes who have gotten into trouble for having John Howard comics, so anything that reminds me of that road is not something I'm cool with. You're free to avoid people you think are gross, but people experiencing legal repercussions for fiction is not something I think is just, and historically, it hasn't been a very good thing.
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 2:02 PM on March 25, 2013


@artw
It's gross as hell, but please, let's not use phrases that make throwing people in prison for cartoons sound reasonable, especially when they have their origins in far-right internet circles.

I know and am friends with dudes who have gotten into trouble for having John Howard comics, so anything that reminds me of that road is not something I'm cool with. You're free to avoid people you think are gross, but people experiencing legal repercussions for fiction is not something I think is just, and historically, it hasn't been a very good thing.
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 9:02 AM on 3/26
[+] [!]


Wait, you had erotic comics about the toadlike former Australian Prime Minister John Howard? That's cause for alarm.

And I don't see any issues with Artw's comment, but all I know about the Backyardigans is that ultra-creepy TV Tropes page. I don't support prosecuting people for art, but drawn CP could both be a warning sign and, I've heard, something used to groom victims.

The additional problem with that group is that the more they search for something to mock the more likely someone will cross over a line and invade someone's privacy with doxxing or hacking type things at which point there is really no defense. It's not something the majority does, but when you get such a large group involved you can't really control what happens.

Goons have an explicit rule against that and AV Clubbers are too busy perving on Tom Hardy and writing fanfic about the Star Trek writers room to invade anyone.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 2:11 PM on March 25, 2013


@CiS
Goons have an explicit rule against that

That's cool and all, but the internet doesn't work that way. "Your" guys may not do anything, but when you spread it around, you ensure that someone will. It's irresponsible, and if you're holding yourself to a higher standard, it looks hypocritical.

Also, what I meant was that the term "drawn CP" was popularized by a spinoff of the Free Republic forums.
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 2:23 PM on March 25, 2013


A rule can't really restrain the bad apples just like I can't stop somebody from drawing cartoon porn if they want. Doxxing and hacking happens with this stuff and often the official rule doesn't mean much.

One of the most hilarious moments of the Goon Bitcoin threads involved taking advantage of a security vulnerability on the Bitcointalk website to deface it with an inside joke from YOSPOS.

The rule only extends to what gets posted on the forums (sometimes ignored) and not to what is going on in IRC or with folks from 4chan who get involved and don't seem to have much respect for any rules.
posted by Drinky Die at 2:24 PM on March 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, what I meant was that the term "drawn CP" was popularized by a spinoff of the Free Republic forums.

I doubt Artw knew that, though since he's writing Judge Dredd maybe he's secretly a facist out to stop cartoon porn. I'll never hear 'Gaze into the fist of Dredd!' the same way.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 3:27 PM on March 25, 2013


I've never heard it as a phrase before, TBH, I just thought the "drawn" modifier was necessary sO I wasn't calling it just CP, and I called it CP because hey, who wants to type that out?

The characters in that show are all explicitly kids, is what I'm saying - that's significantly grosser than pony porn.
posted by Artw at 3:31 PM on March 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Odd that everyone loves the site when its mocking Food Fight or A Talking Cat!?! I suppose if people were getting off to the bad animation we'd need to respect them.

There is a substantial difference between sad people drawing porny pictures and movie-making. Besides the ever-insightful Drinky Die's note about punching up instead of down, movies are made to be seen by lots of people, and are promoted to be such.

When a random guy makes questionable pictures, it's something he probably shouldn't have done, and likely wouldn't had he realized the implications. When someone makes a movie, it's a business proposition, and one that depends on publicity to have any chance of breaking even. And the only mental illness involved is the willful type that sometimes comes from getting a business degree and reading Ayn Rand. In the case of nearly all movies, it takes the efforts of a lot of people working in concert to get the thing made. Each one is a kind of monument to persistence in any case.

This is part of why the best good-bad movies are entertaining at all: someone hoped and dreamed, and reached for that ring, and it was made of crap. That makes those movies funny, but sad at the same time. While to people of any level of enlightenment porny pony pictures are a lot more sad than funny.

Also: most people are nowhere near as good at mocking things as they think they are, regardless of the subject matter.
posted by JHarris at 4:38 PM on March 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sean O'Neal, however, is as good as he thinks he is. Here's one example, and he writes several Newswires a day.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:05 PM on March 25, 2013


When a random guy makes questionable pictures, it's something he probably shouldn't have done

I am not comfortable with this. This is the way you think if you want to end up banning Naked Lunch or something. When people do things "they shouldn't", the natural inclination is to stop them. It's a mental paradigm which allows people to justify raiding artists and doxing internet activists.

Maybe I'm a nutty leftist, but it seems like this should be obvious.
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 5:06 PM on March 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


While to people of any level of enlightenment porny pony pictures are a lot more sad than funny.

I'm sorry I haven't reached the exalted Buddha nature where a man getting angry that somebody drew pornographic pictures of the fictional character he married in a real church isn't absurdly funny. Surely the Dalai Llama would not crack a smile at that spectacle!
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:07 PM on March 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am not comfortable with this. This is the way you think if you want to end up banning Naked Lunch or something. When people do things "they shouldn't", the natural inclination is to stop them. It's a mental paradigm which allows people to justify raiding artists and doxing internet activists.

Maybe I'm a nutty leftist, but it seems like this should be obvious.


There is a slight difference between art and drawn porn of children. I support the former, even when it involves photos like in the Bill Henson controversy. But I think I can be wary of drawn images of sexualized children without being an authoritarian. At the very least they could be a warning sign of abuse.

I don't understand the defensiveness.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:11 PM on March 25, 2013


I was talking about pony porn in that last post. But, yeah, you can be as wary as you want of anything, but when you start thinking it's appropriate to have the law enforce that, you're getting into bad territory.

I am so defensive because the world (or at least Europe and to a lesser extent, the States) appears to be undergoing a vast rightward/authoritarian slide, and anything that is reminiscent of that really disturbs me, whether it's the revival of the concept of "degenerate art", or the acceptance of sadism in the service of maintaining order, or whatever. I don't know whether it's being caused by economic contraction or other environmental factors, but I do feel like I'm seeing something real. The bottom line is that freedom of expression is fucking important shit and not to be trifled with.
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 5:28 PM on March 25, 2013


Sean O'Neal, however, is as good as he thinks he is.

I directly contradict your statement. He's okay, but not great.

I don't understand the defensiveness.

I think you willfully don't understand, anything. I think you're arguing in bad faith. I think all your objections have been addressed elsewhere in this thread. And I think you use a pose of being jaded to avoid having to actually engage with anything. I can say this because you're exactly like me circa fifteen years ago.
posted by JHarris at 5:50 PM on March 25, 2013


It was actually MLP that helped me realize that, all those years, that armor of cynicism had only been weighing me down. I can't express how liberating it was, to find out that it's okay to just like things.
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 6:29 PM on March 25, 2013 [6 favorites]


I'm exactly the same way! I'm super-sincere and earnest to a fault! And yet I somehow manage to express my sincerity without telling John Darnielle I'm secretly married to him or drawing Jake the Dog using his stretching powers to molest Max Weinberg! You can be sincere and not love homemade porn! In fact, I'd be angrier about that stuff being made about things I love (like Fallout!).
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 7:05 PM on March 25, 2013


I'm exactly the same way! I'm super-sincere and earnest to a fault! And yet I somehow manage to express my sincerity without telling John Darnielle I'm secretly married to him or drawing Jake the Dog using his stretching powers to molest Max Weinberg!

Who exactly do you think is suggesting a person can't?
posted by Drinky Die at 7:09 PM on March 25, 2013


I'm exactly the same way! [...] In fact, I'd be angrier about that stuff being made about things I love (like Fallout!).

You are not exactly the same way.

An important part of learning that I was allowed to like things, was learning that other people are allowed to like things too.

Other people like things I don't. That is not a failure on their part, nor on mine.

And once you're done mocking people for liking the wrong things, it's not a very large step from there, to being done mocking people for liking the right things, but liking them wrong.
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 7:23 PM on March 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


And yet I somehow manage to express my sincerity without telling John Darnielle I'm secretly married to him or drawing Jake the Dog using his stretching powers to molest Max Weinberg!

THIS is why I say you're arguing in bad faith. I'm not even going to explain it again. Read the damn thread!
posted by JHarris at 7:46 PM on March 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


And once you're done mocking people for liking the wrong things, it's not a very large step from there, to being done mocking people for liking the right things, but liking them wrong.

It's cool to like things! You can like anything! But yes, there is a right and a wrong way to like something, and when it crosses over to liking something in a seriously obsessive way that's unhealthy to the person and the people around them than it is a wrong way!

I like Bob Dylan by buying his records and going to his concerts. AJ Weberman likes him by going through his garbage. Is there really no difference between the two? Or should I patiently listen to every fan who comes up to me and starts to tell me how she and Bob were married in a past life?
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 8:06 PM on March 25, 2013


I guess I missed the part where the pony fiance guy buttonholed you and you were stuck listening to him talk about his fictional bride-to-be?
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 8:18 PM on March 25, 2013


should I patiently listen to every fan who comes up to me and starts to tell me how she and Bob were married in a past life?

In that case you might say, "This topic makes me uncomfortable and I am concerned that you may not be well, excuse me."
posted by Drinky Die at 8:22 PM on March 25, 2013


(and now, a word from JHarris' better angels--)

CiM, do you realize that you have basically called your fellow MetaFilter members pony pornographers?

- reprise mentioned that FiM helped him to unironically like things.
- You said you unironically like things too, but you don't pretend you're married to X, or draw erotic art of Y and Z.

These are things reprise has not said, but you there implied he does, as you have all bronies, which include some of your fellow MeFites. No member has been applauding the things mentioned in the FPP -- there have only been people condemning (in one way or another) or refusing to condemn.

I think it's probable that you wrote that without intending that meaning. Still, though.
posted by JHarris at 8:25 PM on March 25, 2013


On an earlier topic - people were asking if anyone knew why Lauren Faust left the show. Now, I don't know anything about her particular case, but I know a few people involved in the show, and I've also had some indirect contact with Wizards of the Coast employees. These things together have allowed me to formulate a general rule of thumb:

If you're wondering why X left Y, where X is a person, and Y is a project operating under Hasbro's governance, then the reason is almost always that X is sick of Hasbro's shit.

Individual Hasbro executives may mean well, but Hasbro is, by all accounts, an utterly miserable company to work with.
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 8:33 PM on March 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Uh, wow. Okay. I guess I've been dodging around this, because I didn't particularly want to state this for the record, but I suppose I might as well. Especially since I think I may have inadvertently implied something that wasn't true.

So here's how I personally feel about pony porn:

Pony porn makes me feel icky. So I avoid seeing it. So far, that's been working really well.
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 8:45 PM on March 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


CiM, do you realize that you have basically called your fellow MetaFilter members pony pornographers?

I'm trying very hard to avoid that thought, since I don't want to think of the guy who knows everything about Roguelikes and the resident Alien expert that way. But many people in this thread equate mocking the worst of Bronies with mocking everyone who's ever like MLP, which is what I have not argued at all. I don't know why casual MLP fans identify themselves that way. When Sean posts a Newswire about crazy Supernatural fans I don't write a thousand comments defending them.

It's a tiny bit hypocritical given how he posts stories to titilate the rabid Alison Brie and Tom Hardy fans, but those are both of-age human beings.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 8:55 PM on March 25, 2013


You can repeat over and over that you aren't mocking Bronies in general, but you know...we can read the thread and your participation in other threads on the topic of MLP. You started out doing just that and have been defensively trying to disclaim it ever since without actually changing your arguments. You also react with extreme defensiveness whenever anyone brings up goons who clearly have a general distaste for the fanbase.

The main sentiment I've seen when mocking Bronies & Tropers - and one I share - is "there but for the grace of God go I". If my hobbies and obsessions didn't force me to interact with other people I could easily end up in the rabbit hole.

Discussing mocking bronies, not specifically creeps.

Even the name - 'bronies' - speaks of men coopting it. The popular face of the fandom is creepy males, not young girls.


Asserting creepy males are the face of bronies.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:06 PM on March 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think the extreme defensiveness of many of the MLP fans is also an issue, and I'm a bit worried that MeFi might end up as a 'safe space' for many of the Internet's creepier subcultures.

Also from the Meta, the defensive MLP fans you are encountering here will create a safe space for creeps.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:09 PM on March 25, 2013


But many people in this thread equate mocking the worst of Bronies with mocking everyone who's ever like MLP, which is what I have not argued at all. I don't know why casual MLP fans identify themselves that way.

Perhaps not, but you've indicated that you feel we've been remiss in failing to mock them.

And I can't help but notice an odd little syntactical dance you did there, regarding the term "brony". In the language I speak, a brony is an adult fan of FiM. What does it mean in your language?

of-age

And here we go again with that. Is it just the porn of underage ponies that bothers you? Because my understanding is that there's a lot less of that.
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 9:11 PM on March 25, 2013


There's a difference between a 'brony' and an MLP fan. It's the same way it's easy to mock Trekkies/Trekkers but nobody cares if you're just a casual Star Trek fan. Bronies are marked by a level of devotion and obsession that casual fans aren't.

I defend SA from random slander aimed at discrediting it. I love the AV Club, who actually posted this article, but it seems nobody has any actual dirt on them.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 9:11 PM on March 25, 2013


Also from the Meta, the defensive MLP fans you are encountering here will create a safe space for creeps.

I stand by this, and I've had this worry ever since MeFites defended Reddit during the Creepshots scandal. I don't want us to be another 4Chan, where everybody who's too creepy for another forum is accepted.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 9:14 PM on March 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, kinda, but if you mock Trekkies, you come across as kinda an asshole, and an asshole with 30-year-old prejudices to boot.

(Seriously, if you watch the movie Trekkies and don't come away thinking that they're some fundamentally decent folks with an odd hobby, you pretty much have no soul.)
posted by klangklangston at 9:14 PM on March 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Uh, okay, well, I don't think we're going to be changing our usage to match your personal definition of the word.

Trekkies/Trekkers

Oh hey, I know a lot of those! I've learned that, as a general rule, the difference between a Trekkie and a Trekker is that a Trekker is someone who's uptight about the word "Trekkie" for some reason.
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 9:16 PM on March 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


There's a difference between a 'brony' and an MLP fan. It's the same way it's easy to mock Trekkies/Trekkers but nobody cares if you're just a casual Star Trek fan. Bronies are marked by a level of devotion and obsession that casual fans aren't.

That is definitely not even remotely close to a universally accepted definition, but even were it so you would still be miles over the line for calling people creeps for being devoted fans of the show.

I stand by this, and I've had this worry ever since MeFites defended Reddit during the Creepshots scandal. I don't want us to be another 4Chan, where everybody who's too creepy for another forum is accepted.


There is no possible way you honestly have a belief Metafilter is in danger of becoming 4chan. But stand by saying Bronies here are doing that all you want, just stop trying to deny it at the same time.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:18 PM on March 25, 2013


I don't want us to be another 4Chan, where everybody who's too creepy for another forum is accepted.

At least we don't have the img tag anymore.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:18 PM on March 25, 2013


So, hey, funny story.

My sister has anterograde amnesia. She had a seizure a decade ago, and since then she can't remember anything that happened between 1996 and, oh, about five minutes ago.

Except, oddly enough, Star Trek. She remembers the whole series of Enterprise just fine. Chemically, physically, neurologically, it makes no sense. It's got to have something to do with her passion for the show.

She never went to a convention. She had no costumes or uniforms. I don't think she even had a poster. But she was always an avowed Trekkie.

I will brook no mocking of Trekkies.
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 9:28 PM on March 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'm trying very hard to avoid that thought, since I don't want to think of the guy who knows everything about Roguelikes and the resident Alien expert that way.

You don't understand my meaning. I asked you if you know you have called your fellow MeFi members, who ARE bronies, pony pornographers. Because you DID call them that.

But many people in this thread equate mocking the worst of Bronies with mocking everyone who's ever like MLP, which is what I have not argued at all.

You DID argue it. Up there. See my "better angels" comment. I (want to) think you didn't intend to say it, but you should know, you said it. I wouldn't ordinarily make a point of this, but you've been doing it like that the whole thread.

When Sean posts a Newswire about crazy Supernatural fans I don't write a thousand comments defending them.

As I ALSO said in the "better angels" comment, no one has defended them. SOME have refused to condemn, which isn't the same thing at all.

I don't want to think of the person who's made a number of great MeFi posts as someone who would slur members.

The main sentiment I've seen when mocking Bronies & Tropers

If you're mocking tropers in general as well now then it might just come to blows between us.

There's a difference between a 'brony' and an MLP fan.

There is no difference, except "MLP fans" also applies to kids. "Brony" is a general term. If you like the show and aren't a little girl, you're a brony. You don't have to call yourself that, participate in the general fandom, or do anything else but watch it willingly. There is no brony organization, there are no leaders or bylaws. If this is a simple problem with the perceived meanings of words we can solve it right here.

I don't want us to be another 4Chan, where everybody who's too creepy for another forum is accepted.

You don't have to worry about that in any case. MeFi is heavily moderated.

At least we don't have the img tag anymore.

I mourn it frequently, but even with it we're in no danger of being 4chan. We have the entry fee, and there is no anonymous posting except in rare, moderator-approved cases in Ask. And, you know, mods.
posted by JHarris at 9:44 PM on March 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Brony" is a general term. If you like the show and aren't a little girl, you're a brony.

Or a little boy, or an adult woman.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:48 PM on March 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Or a little boy, or an adult woman.

Your cleverness has made your meaning unclear. Do you suppose JHarris forgot to exclude them?

I know a few women who are bronies.
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 9:56 PM on March 25, 2013


I've seen a lot of different definitions, the most common I've encountered is simply a male fan of MLP. The definition that comes with the negative obsession baggage makes sense for someone coming from the SA context in which the show and fans are only allowed to be discussed in a negative light. You don't get someone saying, "Uhh hey, I'm a brony and all I do is watch the show," so the view of the fanbase as a whole gets a bit distorted.

I don't think Trekkie is a terrible comparison really, it's just that you have to be precise when deploying a word with multiple definitions when using it to negatively and incorrectly declare large groups of people creeps.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:02 PM on March 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


for what it's worth, i think approving of headspaces that lead to shit like the chris-chan clusterfuck is "creepy"

i think websites that are built/were built around that kind of deal are "creepy"

no one seems to give a shit! but i think that, and i am entitled to my opinion. lol.
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 10:12 PM on March 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Since it came up--

Some people tried to push the term "pegasister" for adult female fans, but it has not met with widespread adoption. "Brony" is not generally considered to be gendered.
posted by JHarris at 10:33 PM on March 25, 2013


alludes' comment mentioned chris-chan, which I hadn't heard of before. One web search later and I have lost most of my remaining faith in humanity. Yikes.
posted by JHarris at 10:38 PM on March 25, 2013


Yeah, the mockery culture is a big part of what makes 4chan what they are, their unhealthy obsession with MLP aside. One concerned about the devolution of Metafilter might keep that in mind.

I wrote something online recently regarding transgender issues that really resonated with someone enough that they sent me an e-mail. It was a young person from a big square US state with transgender feelings who has a weird kink in addition. The kink is of the harmless but understandably widely mocked type. They expressed the feeling that they would never find a partner that would fit them. An e-mail later this person was telling a complete stranger they are having suicidal thoughts.

I tried my best to respond but I honestly don't know much about transgender issues or suicide or this kind of kink aside from what I have read online and talked about with friends. I directed them to resources for support, suggested professional help, and had a friend who knows more about this kind of thing get in touch.

It's going to be hard for a person in that situation to find happiness. If you have a weird kink, there just isn't going to be a lot of choices out there. I'm concerned that mockery of these sorts of people can make that situation even worse because they don't even look for a partner out of fear of the social repercussions. Maybe some will turn to unhealthy emotional or sexual relationships with a fantasy world?

This isn't about looking goofy in a fedora, the consequences for all involved are a lot greater. I can understand a reaction of disgust. I can understand a reaction of mockery, but on some level as understandable as it is I kind of have to say, "Grow up." After I got someone in touch with the person I was e-mailing with the last thing they said so far was, "if anything you helped me know i am not absolutely alone." I think if I was out there mocking this person's hilarious kink I might not have gotten that e-mail in the first place.

Just offering an alternative point of view to "wants to post pony porn here" for why some might not want to endorse the mockery.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:39 PM on March 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


Yeah, the mockery culture is a big part of what makes 4chan what they are
Indeed, but SA's "keep-the-poors-out-with-a-graded-account-system" deal is to my mind way more sinister.
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 12:35 AM on March 26, 2013


SA's system isn't to keep out poor people. It's to impose a cost on shitposting. The paywall is, as it is on Metafilter, one of the primary reasons that SA (like MeFi) is a good place to post. Without it, controlling the userbase would be impossible and it would be functionally impossible to impose any sort of controls or sanctions on people who don't fit the site culture, who are bad at posting, who are obnoxious or extremely unpleasant, or who are otherwise a hindrance to the site rather than an asset. MeFi does the same thing for the same reason.

(If you're mad about archives/platinum/av fees, well, a) those things cost money to provide and b) SA's expenses are massive.)
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:10 AM on March 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


It might not be "to keep out poor people" in the same way that capitalism isn't "to generate poverty, wreck the environment, waste resources, and suck the very blood out of everyone but an ever-decreasing fraction of the population", but things don't always work as intended, you know?

It would seem to me that when you penalize people disproportionately because they have less money, you're implicitly steering your site culture in the direction of those who have more (never mind that the idea of "controlling the userbase" sounds kind of anti-populist).

Even with MeFi, there seems to be a definite twist in the direction of e.g. professionals and the upper-middle-class, which, well, if a lack of "shitposting" is something that correlates closely to having a largely upper-middle-class userbase with the discretionary income to join your site, it seems like there are some class implications for what "shitposting" is.

As for not fitting in with the site culture, the site culture seems kind of vicious and defensive, just going by what I've seen in this thread and heard on the internet, so it makes you wonder if maybe a system like SA's, that relies on money as a means of quality assurance, isn't a little toxic.

I mean, if making people pay money to use something were really that useful, you'd think country clubs would be some of the smartest places on Earth.
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 2:07 AM on March 26, 2013


It costs literally $5 more than MeFi to join, and the 'community standards' are what you'd expect for a large community. Most of the rules are simply codified versions of unwritten MeFi rules. But based on your comments on this site you seem to hate any restrictions or even questioning of content, and you seem to enjoy defending the most unsavory sites you can find.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 4:36 AM on March 26, 2013


Charlemagne in Sweatpants: I don't support prosecuting people for art, but drawn CP could both be a warning sign

There is a slight difference between art and drawn porn of children.

So, to be clear, would you support prosecuting people for "drawn CP"? Either way, what would that have to do with people drawing sexual images of animals?

(I didn't know there was such a thing as "brony" until this thread. But I do know that "pony" does not mean "young horse". This common mistaken belief may be why drawn CP came up.)
posted by spaltavian at 4:40 AM on March 26, 2013


@CiS

I'm not insulting your site, I just think it's wise for people to understand when they are financially privileged, and what that means. I'm not advocating we centrally plan all websites, force everyone to accept all users and content, and abolish money, but having a realistic view of yourself is necessary.

And, not to step on toes, but someone indicated that I should ask whether "bronies" were as much of a problem when they were a hip joke. I don't know anything about the movement, so that question may make no sense.
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 5:40 AM on March 26, 2013


alludes' comment mentioned chris-chan, which I hadn't heard of before. One web search later and I have lost most of my remaining faith in humanity. Yikes.

I don't know how extensive your web search was, but I can safely say that you have but scratched the surface. Chris-Chan is fractally awful; every time you think you've reached the limit, another facet opens up, and it is exactly as horrible as the last one.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 6:54 AM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Chris-chan is a fractally horrible person and we know this in part because there are people devoted to painstakingly documenting the ways in which he is broken.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:37 AM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


and to poking and harassing and bullying him so there's more brokenness to document.
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 11:02 AM on March 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


Yes, my faith in humanity was broken by people attacking him. He may be horrible but he's mentally-ill, that's known about him. The people attacking him don't have that defense.

On SA's entry fee: I've considered paying it in the past, and probably will someday, because hey, Let's Plays, although if I'm not mistaken there's a second fee for archives? I don't know, a lot of other sites manage not to charge for things like that, but then I haven't really looked into it. This thread has not made me more willing to join up.

CiS: But based on your comments on this site you seem to hate any restrictions or even questioning of content, and you seem to enjoy defending the most unsavory sites you can find.

GROAN. What the hell are you, the Joe Beese of PONY?
posted by JHarris at 11:24 AM on March 26, 2013


(gets up on Twilight's soapbox)

Some time back there was this site called Mystery Usenet Theater 3000, a site that hosted "MSTings" of fanfiction found on the internet. They took fanfiction and interspersed it with comments from MST3K characters, to try to give the same effect of the show and tear down the fic in the process. Two popular targets: Stephen Ratliff (author of the infamous Marissa stories, early and prominent examples of a Mary Sue in fanfic) and David Gonterman (Sonic fan, furry, and self-insert fic and comic author). For a while I read it fairly frequently. Over time though my interest in it began to fade, as I made several discoveries that inform my opinions and behavior to this day.
  • Most people are nowhere near as good comedians as they think they are.
  • Sometimes, the only difference between a good and a bad thing is someone standing to the side telling you which it is.
  • What first looks like straight, uninterrupted hating on the part of the MST3K show cast is actually finely modulated in most cases. There's a reason most of its jokes aren't isomorphic with LOOK AT THIS HORRIBLE THING ISN'T IT HORRIBLE. And the show's goofy acting and set design is done deliberately to dull the show's fangs.
  • A MST about fanfiction is itself fanfiction.
  • As someone said earlier in this discussion, punch up, not down.
  • When you hate something bad enough, it looks an awful lot like love.
It's this last point that's most relevant here. I think one of the reasons Goons might attack the guy is because of self-recognition. As CiS said above, "there but for the grace of god go I." Regardless, in any event, certainly mockery isn't going to fix anything.
posted by JHarris at 12:16 PM on March 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


That wasn't a very good MST of those MST fan fiction guys. I didn't laugh once.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:32 PM on March 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


So, to be clear, would you support prosecuting people for "drawn CP"? Either way, what would that have to do with people drawing sexual images of animals?

I wouldn't support prosecuting them, but I would support investigating them to see if they had actual CP. I also would ban them from a website a moderated; I fail to see how this is a controversial position. As for cartoon animal porn? Um I really don't want to draw fine distinctions; I don't really want to hang out online with people who draw it.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 3:15 PM on March 26, 2013


I fail to see how this is a controversial position.

I don't think it is, but your posts in this thread do so seem to conflate people who use/create those images with all adults who enjoy the TV show. Your targets haven't been very clear in the thread.

The idea that the show is being "co-opted" by Bronies is, apart from being nonsense, but that applies to the entire "group". When you then throw in CP moral panic, I it really starts to look like you're calling them all creeps.
posted by spaltavian at 3:30 PM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Drinky Die: "Yeah, the mockery culture is a big part of what makes 4chan what they are, their unhealthy obsession with MLP aside. One concerned about the devolution of Metafilter might keep that in mind."

Mockery is not the same as criticism, or critiquing, or outright comcern. I criticise the MLP!porn brigade because their actions contribute to a hostile environment within the fandom for the target audience of the show. The same way I criticise any fan who produce works that hit PG-upwards and don't tag it, or use warnings for the major squicks - it creates an environment that is sexually hostile to anyone who isn't on-board with the kink.

I get concerned when people try and justify their sexual interest being publicised with accusations of Victorian/rightwing nonsense because I am not saying 'never' or 'only in private' but I am saying 'not in public where everybody has to see it' - technology modifies what public means, obviously, but it still stands. Just like I don't want to see someone fucking at the bus stop, I don't want to see ponies fucking on tumblr when I've blacklisted the NSFW tag.

And I critique the involvement of adult men in the MLP fandom and how it modifies the merch, the fanworks and the activities of the fandom when the original audience was little kids, and how that modification can create a hostile environment for the original audience.
posted by geek anachronism at 4:28 PM on March 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't think it is, but your posts in this thread do so seem to conflate people who use/create those images with all adults who enjoy the TV show. Your targets haven't been very clear in the thread.

Huh? I've made the distinction multiple times in this thread, even pointing out that I enjoy many kids shows and would probably enjoy MLP. 'Bronies' as a self-selected and named group of evangelical fans includes many creeps, and people who instantly identify with that group seem to be trying to claim that an attack on ANY of them is an attack on ALL of them. I have, again, repeatedly said that isn't the case. If somebody debones his dog to make him more like Jake I won't defend him on the grounds of being an Adventure Time fan, and while both Charles Manson and I love The Beatles and the Beach Boys I don't go around claiming he's innocent because of that (though I know people who do).
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 4:29 PM on March 26, 2013


Your quotes haven't vanished from the top of the thread or the meta yet. We interpret your attack as broadly on male fans of the show because that is what you wrote. You later clarified that you used a word you hold one definition for that is far from a standard definition.

I am a big fan of accepting clarifications when people imply something they didn't mean and target something like that more broadly they intended.

However, I'm less generous when you are at the same time ascribing the misunderstanding not to your poor choice of words or simple miscommunication but to the people you are talking with being creeps.

Mockery is not the same as criticism, or critiquing, or outright comcern.

That particular comment was not directed at criticism or concern such as the concern I have also personally expressed in this thread, but at a culture of mockery. I apologize if a miscommunication has led to a defensive reaction, my bad.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:45 PM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Mockery is not the same as criticism, or critiquing, or outright comcern.

Perhaps. Even if so, most of what I'm seeing here is mockery. And at least one person extolling the virtues of mockery.
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 5:13 PM on March 26, 2013


Perhaps. Even if so, most of what I'm seeing here is mockery. And at least one person extolling the virtues of mockery.

And honestly? When you've gone so far beyond the pale, like the person in the OP has, a bit of mockery might help. I know that sites like Nice Guys of OK Cupid and Fedoras of OkCupid helped me curb some of my bad habits. Do you never rib your friends about bad haircuts or spending months mooning over the same girl?

The other thing is the Brony in the OP - and many other obsessed fans - are pushy. They're angry. They want other people to accept their twisted versions of reality, and call out other people who don't think the actors from Supernatural are secretly boning. They try and stalk voice actors or sue JK Rowling. They're entitled, and if you have a problem with kids easily stumbling into pony porn they call YOU intolerant.

When somebody is really harmless but odd, like Ulillillia, people leave them alone. When somebody is a Brony but otherwise cool, like Andrew WK, people leave them alone. But this kind of aggressive defense of singular fantasy and self-chosen definition is the same behavior that leads to attacking Fake Geek Girls and people who insult gamers.

You're not a persecuted minority. You're people who like a TV show too much.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:40 PM on March 26, 2013


When somebody is a Brony but otherwise cool, like Andrew WK, people leave them alone.

Most people aren't aware of the phenomenon at all and have no opinion. Among those who have a negative opinion though they are not so careful in who they target. For instance, I know of a popular website on which any normal discussion of the show like you would have for any other show is banned and there are threads hundreds of pages long mocking people for things such as simply appearing in a picture at a convention and looking awkward.

if you have a problem with kids easily stumbling into pony porn they call YOU intolerant.

Are we still talking in context of what you have seen here? Could you please quote for us when that has occurred?

And honestly? When you've gone so far beyond the pale, like the person in the OP has, a bit of mockery might help. I know that sites like Nice Guys of OK Cupid and Fedoras of OkCupid helped me curb some of my bad habits. Do you never rib your friends about bad haircuts or spending months mooning over the same girl?


I might gently mock my friends within the limits I have learned from knowing them so well to try and help them out. I'm probably not going to do so with strangers because I'm not sure where the line might be between helping and hurting. Tough love is one thing, tough "I'm indifferent about you but this is fun for me and hey, it could help you stop being such a weirdo?" is something else.

Having a concern with the unhealthy and troubling aspects of something is not an automatic license to mock. Pointing this out is also not evidence of a lack of concern for the troubling aspects.

self-chosen definition


If you are referring to your use of the word Brony to attack people you are again clearly engaging in a bad faith discussion. There is not a world where your definition is King and only delusional obsessed fans say otherwise.

We don't have to determine which definition should be more accepted because that is a somewhat subjective discussion, but it is simple fact that there are multiple other definitions that have been adopted that are at least just as valid as your own. In that scenario, you do not get to use people taking issue with your word choice as identifying with the negative baggage in your definition.

You are operating from a mind space in which the word Brony includes a negative meaning. So, to your mind if someone defends them from being called creeps they identify with that negative baggage.

Here is what is actually occurring. People who do not associate with the negative baggage do not like being accused of associating with it so they are attempting to communicate that to you.

You're not a persecuted minority.


Are we still talking in context of this thread? Who has suggested they are?
posted by Drinky Die at 6:13 PM on March 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Again, Drinky Die says it better than I could.

And honestly? When you've gone so far beyond the pale, like the person in the OP has, a bit of mockery might help.

Have you read through the thread? That guy is almost certainly speaking facetiously. Not to say that people like that don't exist, but that's a poor example. Anyway, you've said that before, almost in that form, in response to the same situation. I invoke the rule of Ko; your argument is obviously not working. If you're honestly trying to advance your opinion, you shouldn't REPEAT THE SAME THING MORE LOUDLY but try a different tactic?

The other thing is the Brony in the OP - and many other obsessed fans - are pushy. They're angry.

Get this -- believe it or don't, but I'm the most laid back version of a brony possible, I write no fanfic or comics, I go to no conventions, I certainly don't dress up, and I only publicly identify as a brony here and once in a while on EQD. The show is literally nothing more to me than something I watch once in a while, occasionally read about, and occasionally make injokes about because Belonging Is Fun. I am only a "brony" in the broadest sense. But I end up loudly arguing on their behalf here when people attack them, because I feel I need to defend my simple right to like something. Effectively, you are CREATING the thing you rail against. And you don't engage with anything people say unless you can attack it. I've seen red staters with more self-examination than you.
posted by JHarris at 6:41 PM on March 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


You're people who like a TV show too much.

So you are, in fact, directing these comments at your fellow MeFites.
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 6:54 PM on March 26, 2013


You're people who like a TV show too much.

So you are, in fact, directing these comments at your fellow MeFites.


As I've said before, I'm fine with people liking the show. But when people act like they're persecuted because people mock nuts, obsessives and pornographers who like the same show they like than yes, I do have a problem with it. If somebody writes an FPP about AJ Weberman I'm not going to spend thousands of words defending a guy going through Dylan's garbage 'cause Dylan fans need to stick together.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 7:09 PM on March 26, 2013


I'm not defending him because he's a brony. I'm arguing against setting him up as some sort of effigy for throwing overripe tomatoes at because he's a human f███ing being.
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 7:16 PM on March 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


But when people act like they're persecuted because people mock nuts, obsessives and pornographers who like the same show they like than yes, I do have a problem with it.

You have been asked for a quote to back up the assertion that people are claiming they are a persecuted minority because you mock these things.

If somebody writes an FPP about AJ Weberman I'm not going to spend thousands of words defending a guy going through Dylan's garbage 'cause Dylan fans need to stick together.

That is an absolute beauty. You are arguing that your point must be right because people replied to your posts to point out their disagreements.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:19 PM on March 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


Also, you should provide a quote where someone argued that Bronies need to stick together with creepy bronies. Just keep in mind that if participation in this conversation signals an unhealthy level of obsession with the topic, it applies equally to both sides.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:44 PM on March 26, 2013


Yeah, I've said it before, but I'm done here. I think CiM isn't unintelligent, has a good chance of working his way out of this perspective eventually, and, if he is like me, ten years from now he'll find this thread again and shake his head sadly at how he once was.

I do that quite frequently. I'd like to spare him further instances of that. At this point I think we're just making him circle the wagons. I'd like to think, when (if) that does happen, we'll be waiting to greet him with the Party Cannon.
posted by JHarris at 7:58 PM on March 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


Just wanted to quickly add on to Bunny Ultramod's excellent comment. The ideas about bonding and bridging originate from Robert Putnam's theories about social capital in "Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community."

(While there is much evidence to refute his central thesis about society in an antisocial death spiral, the bits about community building are spot on, imho.)
posted by iamkimiam at 10:56 PM on March 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


"But when people act like they're persecuted because people mock nuts, obsessives and pornographers who like the same show they like than yes, I do have a problem with it."

But you're making an attribution error when you're arguing that those nuts, obsessives and pornographers were all somehow caused by the fandom, which is the inference from arguing against "bronies" as a category. Bronies don't define themselves as nuts, obsessives and pornographers, and there's not a reasonable presumption that being an adult and into an animated show makes someone into any of those.

To take another maligned genre of fandom: The lead singer/main guy of both The Gories and The Dirtbombs is also a furry (and a Trekkie). He's the leader of one of the coolest bands in America, and is still into something profoundly dorky. He doesn't make being a furry cool, but he pretty much proves that it doesn't mean you can't be doing awesome stuff just because you're a furry — that being a furry is kinda a "so what?" thing.

For me, the FPP story can be funny because it's about novel communication, plaintive earnestness and obscure interests. I can laugh at the dude who wants to marry a Pony because I can laugh at myself and the same faults that'd lead me there if they were more pronounced. There's a difference between not taking someone's claims seriously — that the dude is gonna marry a MLP — and trying to make his life worse by antagonizing him.

And honestly, as someone who's had presumptive assholes try to mock me out of things that I enjoyed, well, I like my life better now that I'm into what I like and don't really give a fuck about other people's judgments on my aesthetics. I mean, seriously, you can't be a guy who defends earnestness in indie rock from ironic sneers and then turn around and blast someone else's earnest appreciation for something with those same sneers. If you do, you come across as a fickle asshole, and as one of those stereotypical hipsters (god save 'em).
posted by klangklangston at 11:35 PM on March 26, 2013 [7 favorites]


As far as I can tell, the problems with sexualization of MLP took root because of the pre-existing similar issues with sexualization in the anime community. There are a lot of anime shows focused on younger girls and often targeted to that demo that were routinely sexualized and 34'd as well as a thriving commercial hentai industry with a lot of "junior college not underage schoolgirl" wink wink stuff. Japanese culture just kind of has a thing for cuteness and innocence that can easily pass over into the weird.

The western anime fanbase was more likely to be receptive and enthusiastic to MLP than anybody outside of the target demo because they already were open to shows not quite targeted at them. They brought their existing weirdos along for the ride. When the fanbase grew out of places like 4chan to more general audiences the darkside was just there all along and ready to grow out of control.

I think the response to it when it shows up with MLP should be the same as the response with the anime community. The fans are the fans and they are fine, the obsessive fans are the obsessive fans and they can be off-putting, and the sexualizers are something else, deal with them appropriately.
posted by Drinky Die at 2:13 AM on March 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


I usually point to Bronyville episode 82 to refute PONY haters, but this doesn't require downloading a many-megabyte, hour-long podcast episode: The Brony Infographic.
posted by JHarris at 10:37 PM on April 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


I am giving you five favorites for that.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:14 PM on April 12, 2013




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