#104) Aren't bronies and furries the exact same thing? I think it's funny that so many bronies get offended when they're compared to furries. I don't see furries getting quite as offended about the comparison. Hah.
Answer: This is really the million-dollar question: are bronies and furries the same thing? The answer is, awkwardly, a little bit of both. Let's set the cards upon the table: there are all sorts of variables that come into the equation when defining exactly what a brony is. That's the first difficulty; if a brony is merely an adult watching the show, then you can't effectively argue that they're furries by definition just for doing that. If you did, then any parent watching the show with their child, or anyone who watched "Watership Down" or "The Animals of Farthing Wood" as children, or myriad other cartoons about animals, would be furries, which is ludicrous.
Just watching "Friendship is Magic" doesn't create a latent association with furries, despite what some people might tell you. Would watching a documentary about polar bears make you into a furry? Not at all, and the same logic would apply here. That said, when you start looking at both of the fandoms, you can certainly see trends that exist across both that suggest that while bronies and furries are not the same thing, they do have similarities and overlapping tendencies. Creating a ponysona is virtually the same as creating a fursona; people may get on my case about that, arguing that furry OCs are more anthropomorphic than ponies, and yet, funnily enough, a common counter-argument from cloppers that I often have thrown at me is that the "Ponies have human characteristics, making it more acceptable." It's funny how we cherry-pick arguments that suit us for a given purpose, isn't it?
Honestly, furry sites quite often host "Friendship is Magic" art, which seems to suggest, as you observed, that furries have less of a problem with bronies than the other way around. This may be because a relatively negative stigma is often attached to furries, and bronies wish to distance themselves from that. Never mind that bronies also have a fairly poor reputation online for much the same reasons as furries (and for a few reasons unique to the bronies, as well); to many bronies, the association with furries is too much to accept. I'm not going to go into depth on where the brony and furry fandom differ – suffice to say that both are appreciators of things relating to animals/with animal features, and there are many similarities in how bronies express their interest in the subject matter with how furries do. Dressing up in fursuits, for example, is done at pony conventions; role-playing is an incredibly active part of both as well, especially with the aforementioned original characters.
Ultimately, then, it really depends on how much of a brony you are. If you do go to conventions dressed up in a big Rainbow Dash fursuit, while role-playing with your ponysona and drawing copious amounts of art of said character, then I don't really see how you can't be regarded as a furry, at least to an extent. You may have some sort of prideful mental blockade against the association, but really, any differences are so minor that they fall into obsolescence. A lot of furries dislike the brony community as much as certain bronies dislike them, and would argue for hours over tiny details that separate the two groups. There are also plenty of furries who are also bronies, and vice versa; it's really quite a peripheral disagreement, when both are pretty much equally disliked by most of the internet. To outsiders, both fandoms are frequently seen as being animal-abusing weirdos; in such circumstances, perhaps bronies and furries would be better off being buddies? Strength in numbers, and all that.
#105) My most concerning question about the Brony fandom is why does it seem that just about every "Brony" I run into is a complete ass? It seems that no matter where I meet them, whether it be in real life, or on the internet, I can't find a "Brony" that is generally a good person. It seems that all I find are these "Brony trolls" (for lack of better words), whose sole purpose in life seems to be having fun at others' expense.
In my own personal experience, I've run into these "Bronies" who have hacked games, putting themselves at an unfair advantage for their own gain (as a gamer, this can be very frustrating), to constant bantering and bickering from Bronies (whether it be toward these "haters" or not).
Now you can pass this off as just "people having fun on the internet", but isn't this kind of fun exactly what the show tries to fight against? Isn't the ultimate moral of our beloved show to be the very best person that you can, not only to those you care for but to all living beings on Earth? It kills me that I've seen Bronies preach "love and tolerance" one second then turn to insulting another person's entire way of life the next. It's sickening.
What do you think? Do you think it's all in my head, or have you seen this more than your fair share of times yourself?
Answer: Liking "Friendship is Magic" doesn't make you into a good person. Too many people seem to believe that liking the show requires you to be a saint. It creates unrealistic expectations towards a bunch of people who, like everyone else, are flawed. Nobody is nice all of the time, and just because people like MLP it doesn't mean that they have to represent any form of social virtue.
That said, by saying that every brony is an ass, you're also suggesting that bronies are a unique case, which isn't especially true. Plenty of people are asses, and it just so happens that you've been exposed to a lot of bronies who fit that bill. I'm not saying that most bronies aren't asses – most of them probably are, because most people are in general – but I am suggesting that by arguing that bronies are worse than other people, you're potentially overestimating their ability to suck.
I find your point about bronies hacking video games to be relatively superfluous – that's just bad luck, but it's hardly a common theme throughout the fandom. Plenty of people get an unfair advantage by fiddling around with games, and the majority of those people won't have even heard of the fandom. Constantly 'bantering and bickering' is an interesting one, because bantering is very different to bickering. Bantering is jovial in nature and light-hearted; you can't really dislike bronies for that. Bickering, though, is a legitimate concern, and one that you see in the brony fandom a lot. You do see the same from other fandoms, I'd point out, but it is certainly something that you will undoubtedly see from bronies.
Most interesting of all, however, is this quote from your question:
"Isn't the ultimate moral of our beloved show to be the very best person that you can, not only to those you care for but to all living beings on Earth?"
This is a common misconception. Nowhere has the show ever suggested that; while the general themes do permeate the show, they don't define it. What you're doing there is watching a show and applying your own reading to it; one that is largely tossed around among bronies, but not one that the show itself crafted. "Friendship is Magic" doesn't teach you morals that you wouldn't get from countless other cartoons, dealing as it does with issues such as overcoming jealousy, selfishness, bullying and so on. This sort of symbiotic relationship between people and 'living beings on Earth' that you're speaking of isn't actually expressed in any way in the show. You can infer something to that effect from the friendship lessons, but don't fall into the pitfall of thinking that the show is preaching some sort of message of moral righteousness. You are very much exaggerating the intention of the show.
'Love and tolerance' doesn't work: people fail to adhere to it; it creates unrealistic expectations of people; and, like the last point, it's not derived from the show. Bronies who latch onto it are living in a pipe-dream – humans are far too petty and vindictive to ever love and tolerate everything, and neither should you even feel compelled to do so. Not everything should be tolerated. There are some things that are, without a doubt, unacceptable, and I would agree with you that it is sickening to see people using 'love and tolerate' as a shield when they're on the defensive, and some sort of weapon of acceptance when they're on the offensive. It's a completely redundant phrase that means nothing, and anyone who says that they live by its code are, from a realist's perspective, barely living at all. To criticise things is to improve them; if you loved and accepted everything, nothing would ever get done. In conclusion: some bronies are asses, just as a lot of people are; some of your comments are vast generalisations while others are reasonable.
#106) I am a brony, and there has been this nagging question running through my mind. I am a heavy fan-fiction writer, and am gearing toward writing a MLP fan-fic of my own. Should I be worried about the possible hate this might bring overflowing my messages?
Answer: Only if the fan-fiction sucks – then you'd probably be better off keeping the idea to yourself. However, if you think you have a story that is worth sharing, then go ahead and make the thing. I'd tell you that you'd have to watch your grammar and the like, but as a group bronies are hardly the most authoritative literary critics. I once did a study into a rather terrible fan-fiction that was full of typos and errors and found that it received nothing but praise:
"You're an AMAZING writer!" one fellow posted.
"This could be a published book, holy shit!" another added.
Scanning the first (enormous) paragraph I spotted seven grammatical errors, two misspellings, an assortment of syntactical oddities, some weird diction surrounding speech and a complete lack of knowledge about how speech should be written in general. But that was good enough to be published, according to a user who had too many numbers in his name for me to remember it. Even in this advice column, with its utterly informal tone, simple things such as spelling and punctuation are vital.
All of this is to say that you don't have to be a good writer to become a popular writer in this fandom. If you did, "My Little Dashie" would have been panned as a flowery and faux-sentimental collection of teenage ruminations that would have been laughed out of any respectable publishing house. "Fallout Equestria", meanwhile, would have been dissected and torn apart to remove inevitable filler and the over-stuffing of sentences with endless adjectives. Bronies don't tend to be published novelists, and so it's understandable that their stories wouldn't be perfect. Therefore, you shouldn't be too worried about criticism from any literary angle. Further to that, as long as you don't write anything too distasteful, I can't imagine what 'hate' you would receive; probably no more than any other brony writer does.
Go: be the creative power-house you were born to be!