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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.
Other Work By the Artist:
Remember to employ discretion, and at the same time be sincere. Once again, do not be afraid of yourself.
#128 - I cannot understand why any parent would allow a 7-year old to use the Internet unsupervised. Maybe it is a thing for the new generation of parents?
#129 - I like this answer - it covers the fandom quite well. The fandom seems to be a very emotionally charged one. People feel passionate about their common interest in MLP. Unfortunately, few people know how control their emotions, or how to express them.
It really is true: Some people have begun taking it all too seriously. To me, the message I took from the show has had much greater, longer-lasting impact on me than the animation or the even the fandom itself. Perhaps some fans have just forgotten the message of the show? Perhaps they've stopped reflecting on what they learned from it?
#130 - To me seems a bit harsh to say "Give up on this ridiculous fantasy and start living in the real world." To me, from the question, it sounds like a crush. Crushes on characters or celebrities is perfectly normal and a healthy part of human development, provided they don't interfere with one's school/work/family responsibilities. Fantasy crushes help people develop by allowing them to reflect on what characteristics one would look for in a real relationship. Impossible crushes (with celebrities or characters) may feel "safer" since there is, unconsciously, no fear of rejection. Hence, these crushes can last longer than normal crushes. Though I do agree that it is nonetheless important that the person asking the question understands that it is a fantasy, and know they will eventually need to face a real relationship, along with all the risks it involves.
I've been an out-spoken opponent of R34 art in the brony community. I realize that it'll never go away of course, but the fact remains that there are kids looking up My Little Pony videos because they love the show and possibly know that fans produce their own materials for it. Picture Perfect Pony, Ponylicious, Epic Wub Time, etc. are all highly-rated videos that are high on the list of videos YT shows in a search, so it's possible that kids will see them. It's equally possible that they stumble upon the Pony.MOV series, Twilight Sparkle's Special Message, and other videos that shouldn't be seen by kids. They probably won't understand what's going on, and that can cause damage to a kid because it can scare them, especially as they get closer to puberty.
It's hard to verbalize why people feel this way about kids seeing those things (mainly because when it comes to verbalizing something as abstract as feelings my own verbal skills go right out the window), but there is a danger when it comes to kids viewing any sort of porn. They're not ready for that stuff.
As Cudpug said, kids need supervision when they surf the net, as well as a parent who knows how to say no when it comes to clicking links. There is no reason why a kid as young as seven should have unrestricted access to the internet, even for school. There is simply too much porn and other materials that they should never be exposed to until they reach an age where they can handle it.
#129 Cudpug hit the nail right on the head.
I've never really been a part of the fandom myself. I mean, yes I do produce brony art, I watch videos on the internet, I hang out with fellow bronies, and of course I watch the series. Heck I even call myself a brony as a shorthand way of saying I love MLP. But there's a bigger fandom out there that I will never identify with.
Mainly the reason is that they seem so insecure. I used to be that way, so I know the feeling, but that also means that I don't want to be dragged back into that state of mind. So many fans see change as a horrible thing that should be avoided at all costs, especially with this show. That is unfathomable to me, because in my view, change can result in good things, and you can't just stifle it or else things will stagnate.
Another thing that I find irritating with the fans is that they seem to be under the impression that Hasbro makes the show for them. Since when? I do recognize that Derpy and other things were kept or changed because the bronies liked them and the creators wanted to give a tip of the hat, but the things like references to pop culture and the mature humor are there because the creators need to entertain themselves and are given free reign to do so (provided it falls under fair use). They were in the show from the beginning and where what caused many bronies, myself included, to love the show. I also love the humor and the stories, but I've always loved the things that made it into the show such as the physics equations on Twilight's chalkboard, the Big Lebowski ponies, the Star Wars ending to S2E2, and the "Duck Season! Rabbit Season!" sequence parodied in "Putting Your Hoof Down." However, I'm well aware that the creators only put those things in the show because they love them as well and have been given permission from their bosses to include them. I am not under any sort of illusion that they do it for me or my fellow fans (though that's certainly a part of it).
Finally, they have a rather amusing reaction to the realization that Hasbro is out to make money. Since when hasn't this company, or any company for that matter, been out to make money? I remember growing up and seeing Hasbro's Star Wars line in the stores and really loving all the cool toys they made. Anyone besides me remember drooling over the pictures of the Millennium Falcon or the X-wing toys they put on the back of the figure boxes? Those were the days . . . Anyway, there were a lot of toys made by Hasbro that have never been a part of the saga or the "expanded universe." Cruise Missile Stormtroopers, Luke's Desert Skiff, the monopod Cloud Car thingie, etc. Toy after toy after toy that was there because they knew that kids would want one and buy it, thus increasing their revenue. This hasn't changed just because a group of people decided to like something that wasn't intended for them. I haven't really mentioned the reaction specifically, though. Usually it's one of shock and anger. Well that's rather stupid, IMO. People who have that view need to realize that it doesn't matter how pure intentions are, the reality is that businesses, like Hasbro, need to make money to survive and thrive, especially in this economy. Therefore, they'll be manipulating things around in order to do so if they feel the need to. They know better than to tell the creators of MLP's cartoon how to do their job, but there's no reason why they can't tell them to change a certain unicorn in order to sell a toy variant. Heck, I'm sure if they had a Star Wars show to manipulate they would give it a try. Oh wait . . .
#130 Fluttershy isn't a real person. You may know that, but this notion that a cartoon can become a real being if you wish hard enough is absurd. That's not exactly how you worded it, but the idea is the same.
Cartoons exist only in the minds of their creators (which incidentally relates back to what I said about fans' irrational notions about ownership of the series). There is no changing this. If there were, I would be skipping around the Star Wars galaxy with Anakin and Ahsoka on The Clone Wars. But I'm a logical, thinking person. I realize that no matter how real such shows may seem, there is no way I can ever be a part of them. At least until scientists figure out how to harness the multiverse idea.
Anyway, the point is that although Fluttershy and the rest of the Mane Six are very fleshed out and unique characters, they're still just characters. They are a series of shapes that are animated to match the vocalizations of actors who are trying their best to interpret the dialogue written out for them by a group of talented writers.
A much better solution would be to go out and try to meet girls your own age (and species). There are a lot of them out there who are willing to give you a chance and see if you're compatible. And if you fail, get back up and try again.
#129: 'Bronies' carries a bad connotation. No one wants to associate with that sort of title when you say "brony" and terrible imagery comes up, more often than not. Though, I wouldn't want that title, even if the face of bronies was really weird fanart like ~applebeans makes.
#130: Oh, shoot, you mentioned this a while back, to me. Looks like you actually addressed this as a thing and as much as I want this to be a joke advice-thing, it's a thing that actually exists. Oh god, it exists.
And hope you had a good Valentine's bro!
And on the topic of 129, I also agree that the fandom can be embarassing at a lot of points, really. But, really, the fans who don't go overboard make it worth staying in the fandom.
I mentioned to you before that I'm someone who's fine to look at explicit MLP work, as long as the quality of the art is high (since that's the part I'm interested in), but I absolutely understand that there are not only other fans who don't want to see that sort of thing... but children!
It's a childrens' show, children use the internet now! If a simple search on google gives them adult results, something's wrong!
>.< Adult material like that should exist in a part of the internet you have to go through some kind of password-protected portal to get to. At least on DA and FA (the latter in particular, having a lot of explicit work) won't show you the explicit stuff unless you login with 'view mature work' set to active. But then I still find not only under-18s but under-13s viewing adult work on those sites...
Most websites require you to be over 13 for a reason... I think under 13 year olds should be monitored while using the internet, or restricted to safe sites made for kids (like Moshi Monsters and Neopets). That and adult content should be hidden away a little better.
And something more on topic... what would be nice, from a separate server base as big as the internet, that logs the IP's of families from where and information among who is adult or still a child.
If a adult logs his/her child into the internet, this database simply prevents any form of mature content from being exposed to the child. It would be a neat feature and need a better indepth discussion on.
When I was under 13 my parents made accounts for me online on sites I wanted to be on, so they checked the site first and made sure I was safe.
It worries me that so many parents just don't understand (or worse yet, don't care) is dangerous for children...
How can I get Fluttershy to be my marefriend on Valentine's Day?
Have all the internets for being able to take this question seriously.
As for Princess Twilight, I have nothing against her, but one thing I fear in the future is how will she handle her life later, stay in Ponyville with her friends or rule in Canterlot where her friends are no longer with her while Shining Armor is already in the Crystal Kingdom.
And for your second point, we did get a hint that this is just 1/3 parts of this whole story, we'll just have to wait and see what happens in season 4. I still think we might not end up with a permanent change.
Well, it is pretty sad to hear. But honestly, Derpy's official voice sounded like already a mother while the Youtube version makes her sounds younger.
Oh, and I didn't take the question seriously for one second, despite my answer
It's fine to love a cartoon character, as long as you realise and accept that they aren't real, and that you are enjoying a powerful emotion through a fantasy. There's nothing wrong with that...
But if you say that you want them to love you back? The answer is 'tough'.
If you insist that they can, or do love you back... :/ well you've crossed the crazy line.
This is where I draw parallels between the Brony fandom and the Japanese Moé fandom.
Moé is about female characters who are innocent and submissive. Who are never seen to be engaging in romance (because that would make them unpure), and who make innocent mistakes. Fluttershy is very much, what I would call, a moé character.
While the moé fandom is about non-sexualised characters (that the character is pressumably a virgin), the fans themselves fall helplessly in love with their 'perfect fantasy girlfriend', and begin to fantasize about them. This is where the adult fan-comics and fan-fictions are made, and bought up like hotcakes.
For both Bronies and Moé, I do think it's fine to have a character you fall head over heals for, but it sincerely worries me when someone refuses to accept that they are fictional. Love them like idols, but remember that they will never be yours, and will never love you back. Maybe you'll one day meet a real person who will represent the values you loved about that character.
I feel a little sad that people want to just call this person crazy. They're crazy for thinking cartoons can love you back, but I think they're just deluding themselves with hope. They aren't crazy for falling in love with a fictional character who represents the values they seek in the 'perfect spouse'.
I think it's healthier to love an idol until the right person comes along than to move from relationship to relationship searching and clinging to people who you think have the right qualities.
But it's definitely unhealthy to give up on human relationships altogether and believe the fictional character would love you back
Now... not so much. The fun had not been doubled by the bronies lately for me, it has been halved at best. All the stink over Alicorn Twilight (good grief it hasn't even aired yet!) and Hasbro's C&D on Fighting is Magic have really put me off. Guys, you love the show and that's great. But its not yours. The Mane6 are not yours, and while it sucks that Hasbro didn't write their C&D until Fighting is Magic was so far along in development its fully within their right to do so.
Ugh. Anyhow sorry for the rant.
In regards to the first question here, I'm not sure letting a 7 year old on the web unsupervised is a good idea. Many parents i'm acquainted with won't allow it at that age, and its a parenting decision that makes sense to me.
I guess a more worthwhile rant of sorts would be to ask 'Why is this fandom somehow more special than any other fandom'? You see plenty of fan content, cosplays, and whatnot generated by members of other fandom but not as much the entitlement and over-inflated sense of self importance. Is it just a verbal minority in your opinion?
On a side-note I hadn't noticed the animation on your icon before, its very cute.
I don't think it's necessarily a vocal minority. I think the fandom in general attempts to project itself as something unique and therefore 'special'.
Hell, I'm easily one of the most cynical, skeptical members of the fandom, but season 4 has +20 episodes confirmed! Who isn't excited about that!?