Deviant Login Shop  Join deviantART for FREE Take the Tour
×

:iconcuddlepug: More from Cuddlepug


More from deviantART



Details

Submitted on
December 19, 2012
File Size
11.5 KB
Link
Thumb

Stats

Views
2,075 (4 today)
Favourites
41 (who?)
Comments
35
Downloads
24
×


#110) What would you say are the biggest misconceptions society at large has about the MLP fan community? Also, what would you say are the worst assumptions society has made about MLP fans that, unfortunately, are generally true?

Answer: I'm not sure how aware of the MLP fandom society at large is, and so I'd first point out that the majority of people do not, and will not ever, have any knowledge of the bronies. Those who do know of them, though, seem to have different perceptions, most of which appear to be negative. Having spoken to a few members of the public about "Friendship is Magic", a common misconception seems to be that the people who make up the brony fandom are either paedophiles or homosexuals (sadly, being gay is still treated as a bad thing by many).

Liking something designed for kids obviously raises assumptions, but it's doubtful that many bronies are paedophiles, and neither would I argue that bronies are more likely to be paedophiles simply because of their interest in "Friendship is Magic". There are myriad reasons why fans like the show, just as there are countless variables that lead someone to become a paedophile, and I think it would be difficult to make a credible case arguing that liking a cartoon makes you a paedophile. Similarly, while there are homosexuals in the fandom, people don't become gay because of "Friendship is Magic". These people would be gay regardless, even if "Friendship is Magic" may have, in some minor way, helped them come to terms with their sexuality. Liking MLP doesn't, though, make you gay in any way, shape or form.

Another misconception would be that bronies are autistic, which is one that I see thrown around a lot. There are, of course, autistic people in the fandom. I've come into contact with quite a large amount of bronies with Asperger's Syndrome as well, which doesn't do the stereotype any favours in a world that still treats people with unfortunate handicaps as inferior. However, I wouldn't argue that having either of the above would make you any more likely to enjoy the show, nor that people who like the show must inherently have some form of latent autism.

That said, some things that are somewhat true about bronies include the argument that many of them are social recluses. From what I've seen on websites such as Ponysquare, there are a lot of bronies out there who struggle to make friends and have incredibly low self-esteem. This is hardly a new case for fandoms; a lot of the time people gravitate towards fandoms because they are lonely and wish to meet like-minded people, and so it makes sense that bronies would be in that boat as well.

Another attack made against bronies is the way in which they sensationalise and over-exaggerate things, and this is also true. On Equestria Daily especially, whenever something negative happens in the fandom there are plenty of bronies who hyperventilate and enter a state of complete panic. The idea that bronies take the fandom and the show too seriously is a legitimate complaint, as quite a few of them do. However, again, this is one of those complaints that can be directed to most fandoms; it just becomes more extreme in the brony fandom because there's the show and the toy range behind it.

The biggest complaint I see (having spoken to some concerned parents about the bronies), though, is one that is unfortunately quite prominent in the fandom, and that is the porn side of things. A lot of people external to the fandom seem to think it's weird that a lot of older fans are into a cartoon designed primarily for young girls. They assume that with older fans being into it, there has to be some sort of mature, sexually motivated side to it; that bronies are incapable of appreciating the show for what it is, and have to toy with it in a perverted fashion. Sadly, there is a heck of a lot of porn in the fandom - all fandoms suffer from the same issue, although with bronies it's arguably worse than some other fandoms due to the tie-in with the children's toy product/show.  

The thing about stereotypes is that a lot of the time they are based on truth, even if the truth is exaggerated. In the case of bronies, you will find examples of what society thinks of the bronies, and they will reinforce those opinions. A lot of what people think of the brony fandom is exaggerated, but you'll find that some complaints, such as the tendency of the fandom to take things too seriously and the fandom's interest and overall leniency towards pornography, can all be confirmed without much argument. The brony fandom is one of the few fandoms who have actually 'named' their porn community (cloppers), which is a disturbing reminder of how prominent that sort of content is.



#111) The most recent episodes of "Friendship is Magic" have drawn a great deal from the fandom at large, from Trixie's return to Scootaloo and Rainbow Dash's developing sisterly relationship. While this is awesome, I can't help but wonder, could the writers end up borrowing too much from the fandom, eschewing their own ideas for what brony writers and artists have created on their own?

Answer: I would potentially argue that the examples you listed have nothing to do with the fandom whatsoever. Scootaloo looked up to Rainbow Dash in Season 1 episodes such as 'The Cutie Mark Chronicles', as well as during the meteor shower in 'Owl's Well that Ends Well'. As a result, it was only a matter of time before they would have an episode that further explored that relationship. Similarly, the writers of the show confirmed that the return of Trixie was scheduled for Season 2, but was then delayed until the third season. The fandom has a tendency to think that they're responsible for certain directions that the show takes, and I don't think that in many examples that is the case. Wanting to see something and then seeing it happen doesn't make you in control, and neither does it mean that the writers are appealing to the fandom. A lot of the time the things the fandom want to see are quite obvious and inferred by existing episodes; it's hardly surprising when these things end up happening.

I don't see the writers ever looking to the bronies for help. That would be assuming that the writers can't think of good ideas by themselves, which is unlikely, seeing as they've been hand-picked purely for that purpose. I think it would be quite awful if the writers did start incorporating vast chunks of fan-inspired lore in the show, although, as I say, it is highly unlikely that such a thing would ever happen. Bronies would bastardise the product – "Friendship is Magic" is good enough without some outsiders coming along and toying with it. Even if bronies thought they were doing a good deed, different fans would have different ideas, and it would be impossible to find one brony idea that represented the entire fandom. It's best, of course, to just leave bronies out of it.

Certain nods to the fandom probably exist – it's doubtful that Pinkie Pie would have pulled the previous generation face in 'Too Many Pinkie Pies' if the artists weren't aware that older viewers were watching the show, and stuff such as the inclusion of Derpy Hooves are clearly there because of the bronies. But other than the occasional inclusion of a turn of phrase or a slight visual gag, the show isn't making any direct concessions to bronies, and neither should it ever attempt to do so. The writers could theoretically take too much from the fandom (I'd argue that taking any episode suggestions from the fandom would be pretty embarrassing), but, thankfully, the chance of them doing so is highly unlikely.



#112) [Question answered by pap64] What is the deal with "My Little Dashie"? I've been avoiding in fear of it turning into another "Cupcakes" ordeal, yet fans seem to talk about it everyone once in a while, and even created pieces of art based on it, and it just makes me curious as to why Bronies praise the story so much.

Answer: Let's get one thing out of the way first: "My Little Dashie" is no "Cupcakes". There is no gore, no torture nor a very twisted representation of the "Friendship is Magic" universe. It is just a story about a Brony and his rainbow pony. However, the story does have a "Cupcakes"-esque effect in that it manipulates the emotions of the reader by describing detailed scenes that spark an immediate reaction in the reader. Now, ALL forms of fiction are going to be manipulative in that regard because they want you to invest emotionally in an universe that doesn't exist in the real world, yet in some cases behaves quite like our own. But in both FiM stories, the writers wanted to create an extreme reaction in the fans. "Cupcakes" did it with lots of violence and gore. "Dashie" does it with melodrama.

One of the reasons why "Dashie" gets so much praise from Bronies is because it is both a wish fulfillment story and an elaborate realization that the FiM universe is not an easily obtainable thing in our world. The way the author describes the character's uneventful life until this rainbow pony shows up and changes his life "for the better" describe the kind of life most Bronies wish they could lead. The relationship between Dashie and the main character is also indicative of the kind of relationship they wish would exist but deep down know it doesn't and never will, hence why the intentionally sad ending. It speaks to Bronies and JUST Bronies, the kind that have long since disconnected from reality and put themselves in a pedestal in hopes of finding recognition among their peers.

I realize that I what am saying is indeed quite harsh and a very broad generalization of the fanbase, but it doesn't take a creative writing master to see that the story is merely grand escapism served with tons of melodrama and a "real world" aspect to make it "heavier" and leave a deep impact on its reader in the most unnatural way possible. It's no different from those romance novels with the fantasy settings and the super model men on the cover some ladies love so much.

Now, I am not saying that you can't enjoy escapist media every once in a while. The real world CAN take a toll on our psyche and we do need to escape into other worlds to relax and feel vindicated for a while. We do want to see true love blossom, good defeat evil and be part of a world that is different from ours. The problem rises when people try and make the fantasy world the only world they know, and disconnect themselves from the real world. As I stated, the real world can be a mess, but we live in it and to survive we need to get out, make the most out of ourselves, create significant relationships and learn as much as possible about ourselves.

"Dashie" just further fuels the belief that most Bronies have reached that delusional state in life and need to imagine themselves as being owners of one of the ponies to make sense of it all. That is a dangerous mentality to follow. I know that people like it for what it is and some people love to shed a tear too (if the success of movies like "Titanic" are any indication). But on the whole, "My Little Dashie" is just wish fulfillment thinly disguised as a dramatic story with weight so that Bronies can praise it as one of the best "creative endeavors" the fanbase can produce, and thus prove to the world how amazing and revolutionary they are and blah blah blah...
Next Issue:

==>
Brony Advice: Your Questions Answered #113/14/15!
#113) Three months ago...I went to brony meet-up in my local area. I won't say where it was so it won't look bad on other bronies from the area but there were about 17 people there. One was a guy and he and me got on really well at the meet-up. We decided to meet up a few more times just the two of us. We met up three times and everything was fine. I found out he smoked pot and drank a lot at the third meeting and said I didn't like it but he was okay with that and I didn't mind too much. Anyway after that we were talking through Skype like normal but he was kind of excited to meet up again and he said he loved me. He lives about an hour and


Previous Issue:

==>
Brony Advice: Your Questions Answered #107/08/09!
#107) So this isn't very easy for me to just come out and say to some guy I've never really talked to, but based on some of the answers I've read from you, you seem to know your stuff. You see, I have this really big problem right now. I seem to have a strange attraction--no, addiction, to Rainbow Dash. It's not a sexual attraction, it's a love attraction. The funny thing is I don't even like her personality. Well, at least in the show. The fan-fic versions of her are probably what tipped me towards her. But anyways, what I need is for some way, any way to get her out of my mind or something. I don't want to hate her, I just want to not be at


Brony Advice is both an active collaboration with artists and an advice column, in the simplest of terms: I want you to send me notes if you have any problems, secrets or comments on the pony fandom of any nature. It doesn't matter how embarrassing, offensive or vicious they might be - if you want someone to comment on them in an unbiased way, send them over. Maybe there's something within the fandom that you particularly despise, or perhaps you're feeling sad and need to hear some friendly advice? Whatever the motive, send me a note with your comment or question.

I'll then respond with advice and commentary and post the answers up in future installments. Users will remain anonymous, so you don't need to worry about your feelings and thoughts getting out onto DeviantArt. You may find that some of the things that you've personally been feeling will be addressed.

Feel free to note me if you would like your questions and observations to be answered in an upcoming edition. Every edition will be engaging with three issues. The above three featured today were submitted by anonymous deviants.

In this issue, my friend ~pap64 contributed an answer. As Brony Advice is collaborative, I thought it fair to get some answers from other people connected to the fandom, to give some other interesting perspectives on issues. Many thanks to him for his contribution!

Artwork by the ultra-talented *quila111. Go check out their stuff!

Other Work By The Artist:

Add a Comment:
 
:icondlowell:
DLowell Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I have read a lot of your columns and thought that your analysis and advice were pretty interesting (even though some of the Q's should be common sense, but that's just my opinion) like your views on 'clopping' and the analysis on little Dashie fan-fic. I gave the fic a read and found it kinda 'meh'.

As for my reaction to the part where Dashie had to go away, it reminded me of the time where I had to give one of my dogs (a beagle, notorious for being escape artists) away since I couldn't take her and 2 other dogs to NYC... =(

But yeah, "My Little Dashie" is kinda just 'hype'.

While I may not 100% agree with everything you said and that they might not work for everyone (since not every person has the same circumstances and what not), but I can tell that they were well-thought out.

Kudos to you.
Reply
:iconthe-necromancer:
The-Necromancer Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Intriguing again. Damn how I enjoy opinion writing! (I will likely watch yer account after this...)

As stated in 113-115, I'm new to the brony fandom. (to be honest, I'm an unapologetic lover of many things "adorable") In specific regards to this column, I encountered references to "Cupcakes" and "My Little Dashie" on YouTube. The video tribute to the former rather reminded me of Happy Tree Friends, which is delightfully sick and twisted and utterly macabre. That being said, I'd be concerned about anyone who over-indulges in that form of Escapism. The latter, on the other hand, I'd only caught snippets of information on. This column has elaborated a bit on "My Little Dashie" for me, although I am frankly undecided on whether I will hunt it down or not.

As for the writers incorporating nods and allusions: As a long-time Star Wars fan, I've noticed that writers for popular media tend to enjoy incorporating references to things they like or enjoy themselves. As MLP is a children's show, I'm also confident that much like Disney's habit with their family movies, the writers of the show throw little things in there that entertain the parents who may be watching with their children. As stated, it's a tradition of sorts that goes back decades in children's entertainment. Hell, I rewatch some of the things I liked as a kid from time to time, and as an adult, realize how "that line was pretty clever" or "no way, they didn't just make a nod to what I think they did". The fact that fandoms generally take themselves too seriously (Star Wars, Star Trek, Marvel, the list does go on and on!) is a known truth. While some companies and the creative minds behind our favorite shows/comics/movies may choose to let the fans have some say is appreciated, it is not overtly common. (Blizzard might be an exception, even they put a MLP reference into Diablo III, an otherwise dark and semi Gothic game). Nor should the fandom expect it. Especially any fandom whose entertainment is primarily for children rather than older teens/adults, the writers will generally be thinking about how to portray positive messages to children while making it entertaining for said children. In the case of most kids shows, this is also followed up with toys and other merchandising. Hasbro just so happened to get far greater results (and thus potential customers) than expected with FiM.

All in all, I really enjoy MLP. And that is coming from a guy who, as a kid, was not too big on MLP back in the 80s. (My sisters, on the other hand...) But as they say, everything old is new again. And as an adult of broad tastes, I can honestly say the fourth interpretation of MLP is something I enjoy just as much as House, Star Wars, or Romantically Apocalyptic.

That is all everypony. My two cents worth turned into a five-spot, me hap think.
Reply
:icondestinydecade:
DestinyDecade Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I always think that 111 was one of the most interesting because of the fact that some of the episodes were really awesome. I still feel that it's cool nonetheless.
Reply
:iconmillenniumfalsehood:
MillenniumFalsehood Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2012
#110 There's really nothing more I could add to this, but I'll give it a shot.

One of the biggest misconceptions about bronies is that they're all man-children. First of all, a lot of fans are women as well, though certainly a majority are men. But a lot of these men hold regular jobs, go to college or a university, have families, are in the military, or otherwise are productive members of society. I get the feeling from a lot of the public who are aware of us think of us as freaks who live in their parents' basements, stroke the manes of their brushable figures, and watch My Little Pony while their mothers pace the floor wondering whether they'll ever get a job or finish school. While I'm certain there is at least one person out there like that, because I believe in statistical probability, it's just not true for the most part.

I do have to agree that the biggest negative perception that happens to be true is the porn. It's a sad reality of the internet that if it exists, there's porn of it, and if porn doesn't exist, just give it time. Images like this abound on the internet: [link] so it's no surprise that MLP would generate similar "art." The big problem however, and the thing that separates clop-art from regular R34 art, is that this is a children's show we're talking about, and since kids will search for pictures of their favorite characters online, it's inevitable they will eventually find some NSFW images of the Mane Six. And even the filters are not enough, because I've seen a non-filtered image of Derpy giving a guy a blow job here on dA. But as I said, it's a sad reality of the internet, and probably one of the biggest sources of shame for the Brony community.

#111 I've often thought of the idea that Bronies give the writers ideas akin to an ant pushing on a tricycle and thinking that because a child happens to pedal in the direction he's pushing that he somehow had control over where the child is heading.

Folks, My Little Pony is not just a couple of dudes and some actresses doing an internet show. It's a huge collaboration involving hundreds of people who work long hours to create a twenty-minute program every week. Creating a television show is a matter of coordinating several departments and getting them all to agree with each other on various things like music and timing, and it's a small miracle that a show gets made at all. But above all, decisions are made long in advance. As Cudpug pointed out, the decision to make a second Trixie episode was made at least a year before they created it, probably during one of the first brainstorming sessions. It was pure luck that the character was so popular, and pure coincidence that the fans got an episode surrounding her at all. In all probability, if she hadn't been popular, the fans would wonder why they were making an episode for her, when the decision to make an episode was made before it was even known whether she would be popular in the first place.

This doesn't mean certain nods can't be put in. Things like the huge Star Wars homage was probably intentionally done during production of the actual episode because the storyboard artists knew that there were a huge number of Star Wars fans in the audience (I'm pretty sure Sibsy has said something to this regard on her dA journal). But then, the decision to have a celebration scene of some kind was probably made long before the first . . . well, I want to say cel of animation footage was made (is there an equivalent term for this in Flash?).

Bottom line, you can see where the analogy is pretty accurate. While the fans do have some effect, like a child pedaling away from the ant, much of what happens in the show is completely out of the control of the fans. Which is for the best. The last time I can remember a fan being in charge of a show was Star Trek Nemesis . . . and those of us who've seen that little gem know how well that turned out.

#112 pap64 had a pretty good answer, but I wanted to add my own spin on it.

Many of us Bronies are what you might call "single". As in, our social skills are subpar and can be a block to getting a girlfriend/boyfriend. As a result, we tend to live vicariously through our favorite characters, cheering them on when they make a right choice in a relationship and criticizing them when they do something stupid.

The unfortunate implication is that many of us don't have children. But a lot would probably like having a progeny (I speak from my own experience). We want someone to pass on our fandom to, to nurture into someone who is at least tolerant of geeks and nerds, and the fanfic My Little Dashie is something that enables us to do this vicariously through the main character.

This I think separates it from your standard "ponies come into the real world" fic, because it shows a relationship forming. Yes, it requires a bit of reading into in order to get the reaction I described, but it is something at least I have experienced while reading the story.

Now again, I think pap64 hit the nail right on the head regarding a bronies' desire to have their own sentient pony to interact with. I myself have been guilty of this (just as I have also wished to join the Rebel Alliance or Starfleet, the latter of which may be a reality with the discovery that the Alcubierre Warp Drive is now a real possibility). But I think it is a step above the rest with the extra dimension of character growth and the idea that it's not as simple as "man finds filly, raises into a pony, pony gets taken away". From what I understand, this is something every parent, including my own, went through when their children leave. I've shown the story to my own parents, and they told me it was similar to how they felt when we all left the nest. So in that respect, I think My Little Dashie deserves at least some praise for showing the pain of children leaving their parents and how it feels when they go away to live their own lives. The last scene where everything disappears is said to be reminiscent of how a house feels after the kids take their stuff with them.
Reply
:iconthewrongesttrousers:
TheWrongestTrousers Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2012  Student Digital Artist
110: Pretty much my thoughts: there and answered back, again.

111: I always thought it was a bit of an ego stroke of Bronies to think that their fanfictions affected the show's direction, in terms of story. I mean, it wouldn't be too hard to figure that Scootaloo would eventually have an episode centered around her and Rainbow Dash, considering how much the character adores her. Trixie's return was planned for season 2, as you've stated.

The most affect the fandom would have is stuff like Derpy... and we all saw how that turned out...

112: Summary of my response to the fanfic of "My Little Dashie": Egh. Pap64 hit the nail on the head with that one.
Reply
:iconmiffthemorfin:
MIFFthemorfin Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2012
As someone who doesn't like to and will never identify with this group and the franchise, I can safely say the ignorance you face is much due to the fact that MLP is made for children. A guy breaking gender bounds isn't an excuse for respect. It's a question of maturity that anyone is free to ask and scrutinize. It's great that you've got each other's backs. And I'm sure this idea isn't new, consider it advice from someone not like you.
Reply
:iconmillenniumfalsehood:
MillenniumFalsehood Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2012
You're right about this idea not being new. It's at least as old as the Star Trek fandom, one of the oldest if not the oldest fandom to exist, at least of the modern model. Trek fans have always had each others' backs, because it was considered abnormal at the time for an adult to enjoy science fiction. Sci-fi had up until that point been considered purely for children, at least outside of the hard stuff like Isaac Asimov and Arthur C Clarke, because it was pure escapism with little connection to the real world. As a result Trek fans were often ostracized and made fun of, a trend that continued well into the 90's. It's only comparatively recently that it's become accepted to like Star Trek.

At the same time however, while breaking gender bounds isn't something that necessarily should command respect (though it does indicate a trend that people are breaking away from the 50's mentality of "Women are women and men are men and never the two shall meet"), it should be praised that people are trying to change society for the better through programs and charities. Not all bronies are this way of course, but a good many of them started being more openly supportive of charities and projects, and I'm told it's been a major boost to the awareness of some charities out there.

Also, I feel that maturity really isn't a part of the equation. Many of the jokes on the show are written so that an adult could enjoy them, and a lot of the references, if not all of them, are targeted specifically at older people, with references to things like Star Wars, The Big Lebowski, the Terminator, Doctor Who, and so forth. In addition, the characters are three-dimensional and the dialogue is well-written (some of it wouldn't be out of place on shows meant for an adult audience like The Big Bang Theory). It's meant to be enjoyable on two levels, so I'm certain that it's not a question of maturity for someone to like Friendship is Magic. I can understand why it might appear that way, but I've always believed it's stupid to criticize something while being ignorant of same, so I have to believe people who hold this notion are speaking out of ignorance for the most part. I would hope you have checked out the show to see whether there is some merit to it, though.
Reply
:iconmiffthemorfin:
MIFFthemorfin Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2012
My notion wasn't about having each other's backs but about the "made for children" aspect and where most of the ignorance comes from. Be that as it may, the show has changed based on "new" viewer feedback. I would safely say that the original direction wouldn't have incorporated references from other shows exampled by you, had you not watched it and praised it. So definitely I would argue that maturity is a factor. Much of what you face involves the "original" intentions the show had, that ignorant people will dig for. I'm just point this out for the people here who don't understand the "why" for their hate despite their avid participation and advocacy. But I'd like to add that it's not just gender bounds but age bounds that are being broken here.

I have given the show the benefit of the doubt and watched 3 episodes. I could not see why you liked it.
Reply
:iconmillenniumfalsehood:
MillenniumFalsehood Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2012
That's perfectly fair. I wouldn't hold it against you for disliking something I like if you legitimately gave it a shot.

I like it mainly because it's a breath of fresh air. The characters are three-dimensional, the references are awesome, the stories are funny and interesting, and the character growth is great. For a kid's show. I do like shows like NCIS and Big Bang Theory, but sometimes I just want to unwind and turn my brain off. MLP allows me to do that.

But as I said, I respect that you don't understand. It's no big deal, and I'm glad you explained you opinion without the kind of vitriol that one might expect on YouTube. :)
Reply
:iconbluedevilhunter:
BlueDevilHunter Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Prety much agree.
And look how small the imternet is. Hey Millennium! How are you?
Reply
Add a Comment: