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October 19, 2012
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#85) Why do bronies have such low self-esteem? On websites like Bronysquare and Ponysquare they're always wallowing in self-pity about how much their lives suck, and they come across as being really pathetic. Many of these people don't even know what suffering is. Even if their lives do suck the internet doesn't need to know about it!

Answer: While I'd like to say that people suffering from life problems should be able to receive help online, I do find myself getting annoyed by most of the excessively 'emo' internet comments I come across. I see bronies claiming that they're going to commit suicide more often than I'd like – I've never seen any of them actually go through with it – and plenty do wallow in self-pity, as you say. Then again, it's not hard to see why. Chances are that bronies aren't the most popular kids at school. Those that gravitate towards fandoms tend to be your typical 'nerd' types, which plenty of bronies are. It's no surprise that some of these people may struggle in various ways both online and offline.

Perhaps the internet is the only place where they can feel as if someone actually cares about them? The people who sit there complaining about how bad their lives are may genuinely be suffering; there are plenty of variables that could lead them to being some sort of victim. Then again, plenty of people are just expressing their teenage angst in an overly emotional way, and it's then that people need to buck up and stop being so pathetic.

On the internet, you can effectively be whatever you want to be. If someone does get bullied outside of the internet, I do wonder why they actively make themselves into bullying targets online as well. If I'd been a bully victim, I imagine I would have used the internet as a form of escapism, rather than a place to act exactly like my real-life counterpart. In a sense, I do advocate acting like a different person online, if the 'real' you is prone to being a bit of a punching bag, mainly for the benefit of the person in question – if their life sucks offline, they should take measures to make sure that they don't become a target online as well.

It's a tough one, because human compassion would argue that you should look out for people who are suffering. Then again, I've known people who whine about how bad their lives are despite living in a supportive environment with a secure family. When you comfort someone once it's reasonable; when your comforting words do absolutely nothing, and the person you're comforting continues to complain day after day, I suggest that you leave these people to it.

Again, take this advice with a pinch of salt, as some people are genuinely in need of a shoulder to cry on. Taking that into consideration, however, I think a lot of the time bouts of 'emo-ness' should be ignored. In one situation I saw a person make a suicide journal on DeviantArt, and they received 0 replies after several hours. I refreshed later and the journal was gone, and the member had returned to whatever they were doing before their outburst, proving that their behaviour was some sort of attention-seeking act that they quickly reversed after nobody commented.

When you give people wallowing in self-pity attention, it can often just make things worse; a lot of the time people make 'emo' status updates on social media sites because they just want to see who actually cares enough to talk to them. However, by appearing needy and clingy, you come across as being weak, which doesn't bode well for you on the internet. You have the power online to mask whatever insecurities you have, which is usually a good idea – the world doesn't need to know that you feel conscious about your weight, or that a girl laughed at you at school. Those people who constantly bawl, "I have no friends!" when lots of people are trying to help them out and talk to them about their problems need to shut the fuck up, as well. Ungrateful attention-seeking is the worst kind.

I'll point out that there's a fine line between people that exaggerate how bad their lives are online and those in need of genuine help. I don't condone ignoring people in genuine need, but if there's a person that you know has a habit of moaning about how shitty their life is, you might want to consider just ignoring it. Don't give these people attention and they'll quickly withdraw from their funk. Do remember, though, the types of people who comprise the brony fandom; that might explain why some of them may have low self-esteem.

#86) I've finally gotten myself a free weekend and I know that "Friendship is Magic" is very popular. I'm wondering if and why I might want to get started with "Friendship is Magic"? I have very geeky and nerdy likes, (Anime, "Doctor Who", D&D, Ect.), But could you give me a few reasons why I might enjoy this series: to Brony or not to Brony?

Answer: To begin with, you're definitely not alone in liking "Doctor Who" and Japanese animation and so on; a lot of bronies do, so you'll be in mutual company there. Being a nerdy type of person already puts you in the position of the sort of person who would probably like "Friendship is Magic". It has the feeling of a cult-show to it: lots of memorable quotes and characters, references to sources external to the show and so on.

It's really viewing for all ages. I can't imagine anyone objectively watching "Friendship is Magic" and saying that it's awful. They may not like it, but you don't have to like something to appreciate what's good about it. "Friendship is Magic" boasts an attractive visual style and solid animation. It has some good music in it (by TV standards) and the episodes are generally well-written. The characters  are cute and likeable, and the overall messages that the show illustrates tend to be positive.

I'm not going to lie and say that the show is the best thing that has ever aired, and there are plenty of shows currently running that are objectively better than it. In addition, the writing isn't flawless, and the 'morals' that the show teaches are hardly unique for cartoons. Imagine typical children's cartoon messages – that friends are important; that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover; that hard work leads to success – and you have the episodes pretty much sussed-out, although granted "Friendship is Magic" does tackle them in a cute and memorable way.

You don't really have to be a 'brony' to watch the show. I watch "Breaking Bad", but I don't consider myself to be part of a fandom based around it. Similarly, you can easily watch "Friendship is Magic" without being part of the 'brony' thing. I'd argue that you're only really a brony if you associate yourself with the fan-base. If that wasn't the case, adults watching the show with their kids, utterly unaware of the fandom, would be considered 'bronies', which seems warped. Being a brony is more than just watching the TV show – it's about engaging with this whacky fandom, which you may or may not wish to do.

If you're into making original characters, writing fan-fiction, drawing fan-art, geeking out at conventions and cosplaying, you might want to consider joining the brony fandom. If those kinds of things don't interest you, you might still want to check the show out anyway. If you view it without any degree of hype around it, it's a decent show, but you'll probably find that there's better stuff out there unless you really get involved with the fandom behind it. It's worth giving the show a shot, but don't worry if you aren't a fan - you're not exactly missing out.

#87) [Answered by my good friend pap64] I really love "Friendship is Magic", but I also have a soft spot for the first generation of My Little Pony due to it being my first exposure to the franchise as a kid. Is it odd that I enjoy both G1 and "Friendship is Magic"?

Answer: The short answer: Of course not! The long answer, though, is this...

Perhaps one of the reasons you may feel weird about enjoying G1 is that extreme bronies have made it a mission to discredit any iteration of My Little Pony that came before "Friendship is Magic" (or may come after it ends), because in their mind, that series fails to capture the brilliance of this current generation. Admittedly, the first series was indeed hokey and filled with a lot of 80s and 90s toy based cartoon cliches (as was the case with other Hasbro-owned shows like G.I. Joe, Transformers and even Jem). Yet, for a lot of people it was the gateway drug that lead them to being pony fans way before "Friendship is Magic" was even a concept on paper.

Let us not forget that My Little Pony already had fans that collected the toys and even did amazing custom ponies (many which can be seen here on DeviantArt). It can be hard to see that considering just how wild the fan-base for "Friendship is Magic" is. So no, it is not weird that you love the classic My Little Pony show alongside the newest series. If you truly have a fondness for the old show and it means a lot to you, then you should continue enjoying it. Some bronies, as loud as they may seem in their opinions, can't dictate what you should and shouldn't like.

Let us not forget that the first generation of My Little Pony WAS the inspiration for Lauren Faust's own take on the franchise. It was her fascination with the first generation that drove her to create a series that elevates it from being a marketing vehicle into something that is a loving tribute to cartoons, animation and fantasy. So yeah, bronies may condemn the first generation, but without it, there would have never been a "Friendship is Magic".
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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.

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 wonderful *fourdollarponys. Go check out her stuff!
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teygrim Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2012
Wow, you're actually pretty callous. You condemn people for not pretending to be something that they are not and you are annoyed by people who say that they will commit suicide but don't (yet) have the will or the means to go through with it. You don't know what someone else has gone through or what they continue to go through so it is incredibly unfair of you to assume the worst.
Cuddlepug Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2012
Thanks - that's exactly what I was going for.
pap64 Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2012
Regarding #85: I've always believed that the internet has made everyone very narcissistic in their endeavors, depression and personal issues included. We want people to see and hear us, we want their support, we want to be acknowledged. This is a double edged sword as on one hand, it allows us to find support in places that can understand us better, meet friends and grow out of that funk. On the other, people can often abuse that privilege and soon become drama queens just to get the support. Soon, people realize that and will leave you behind. The reason I say that because in my younger days, I used to do that and make every issue a huge thing and would cry and complain about it. I then realized that not only was I abusing the trust and love of my friends, I was gaining nothing out of it, and instead should try to become a better guy.

Oh, I still have my problems and my issues, and every once in a while I get so overwhelmed that I just want to grab a bat, break some stuff and shout at the top of my lungs. But doing that doesn't make my life better. I need to be active, focus on the good and make my life better, which is what some people should learn to realize: that as crappy as your life may be, some people have it MUCH worse, and if those people can deal with it, so can we.
MillenniumFalsehood Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2012
#85 I'm of the opinion that one should always practice what has come to be known as the "five minute rule".

This is where you say to yourself, "I am going to feel sorry for myself for five minutes . . ." then after five minutes is over you go about your day. I do this sometimes when I just feel down, and forcing myself to be happy after five minutes of wallowing in self-pity is actually not that hard. Just think of all the good in your life, and it'll come to you.

Of course, the caveat is that you must recognize the good in your life to begin with.

Many angsty teenagers, like my niece, think the world revolves around them, and as such they tend to devalue the things that matter the most: a good job, family that loves you, a house and home, food on the table, clean air to breathe (unless you live in LA), clean water to drink (unless you live near the Thames), and so forth.

As a member of Engineers Without Borders, I'm painfully aware of how people in other countries live. It's not pretty, and I won't go into it here.

But it brings up an interesting idea that I think needs to be spread, which I learned from our founder. He said that we should stop focusing on poverty elimination, and instead focus on wealth enhancement. Once we stop making poor people out to be poor, we will start to see them in a different light.

The reason any of that is relevant is that in civilized countries like the US and EU, we tend to place value on material possessions rather than the things that matter. But as long as you have a head, two hands, two feet, and a heart, you are wealthy.

A lot of bronies would do good to remember that, and it's something that everybody should know.

#86 I would have to say that yes, you will like it.

Why? The reason is simple: it is written by nerds. ;) Basically, there are a lot of references you will enjoy, and I'll name a few:

My favorite currently is the one in an episode called "The Return of Harmony". The villain in this episode is a godlike being with omnipotent powers, a penchant for the theatrical, and a condescending and contemptuous tone for the antagonists. Sound familiar?

Yes, that is Q from Star Trek, this time in the form of Discord, and he is actually voiced by John de Lancie.

Another is a simultaneous reference to The Terminator, Doctor Who, and Metal Gear Solid in an episode called "Its About Time". Twilight Sparkle, the primary protagonist of the series, is visited by herself from the future. Her future self appears in tattered clothing which is eerily similar to Solid Snake's outfit, and she appears in a ball of electrified plasma like John Connor. He was naked of course, but the ponies are naked in the series, so the switch is actually appropriate. Twilight also asks her future self, "Is there an epic pony war in the distant future or something?" which can also be construed to be a reference to The Terminator. As for the Doctor Who reference, the music in that scene is a synthesized version of I Am The Doctor: [link] Time travel, Doctor Who, do I need to draw you a picture? ;) :D

Finally, the last one I'll mention is in the episode "Applebuck Season". Applejack's brother Big Macintosh has hurt himself and so can't help harvest the apples. Applejack then promises to harvest the whole bumper crop herself, which Big Mac scoffs at. Then A.J. says, "Are you saying my mouth is making promises my legs can't keep?" I wonder how good Applejack would be at flying the F-14 Tomcat . . .

Since you mentioned D&D, you will be in love with all the magical creatures and fantasy elements to this series. They practice magic as a science, not something that simply "happens", they mention classical mythological creatures and places, like the Hydra and Tartaros, and their sun and moon are magically raised and lowered by the two winged pegasi (aka alicorns) Princess Celestia and Princess Luna. They have some pretty nifty adventures as well, ones which may even give you inspiration when it comes your turn to be DM. Finally, the setting is medieval with some funny anachronistic elements (Pinkie Pie has night vision goggles in the Season 3 preview, for instance), so you'll get a laugh out of some of the juxtapositions of modern technology in a fantasy setting.

Anyway, Cudpug mentioned also that it's a great little cartoon. There are of course better shows out there, but it stands head and shoulders above most of the stuff on TV nowadays and is quite entertaining on it's own merit. The humor is very mature for a cartoon, with no low-brow jokes in the series, the writing is excellent (again, for a cartoon), and the characters are three dimensional "people" instead of 2D cardboard cutouts. Each of them has dimension and flaws, which is something I think anyone can appreciate considering how other cartoon characters are written.

#87 There's nothing wrong with this.

Take it from me, a Star Trek fan.

The original Star trek show was produced in the sixties, and it definitely shows. The sets are obviously particleboard on 2x4 construction, they used gels on the lights to make it look like the rooms were changing, the Enterprise was obviously a model spaceship, and the costumes and props were plain and looked like they were made on a shoestring budget. The writing, honestly, was rather hit and miss as well. For instance, you do NOT want to bring up the episode "Spock's Brain" at a Trekkie convention or else you will get a lengthy lecture on how bad it was by rabid Trekkies. Another thing about the sets is the alien worlds were obviously a sound stage with paper mache' rocks and plastic plants.

But we all still love it, even to this day. I am a big fan of that series in particular out of the many Trek series in existence, and I still find myself popping in the old VHS tapes I still hang on to because I'm too cheap to buy the DVDs.

But in 2009 J. J. Abrams created a reboot of this classic series, with a recast of the characters, a new design for the Enterprise, and an awesome adventure story that a lot of people love. It's got flaws (what movie doesn't?), but it's a fantastic romp.

Thing is, some fans of the new series don't generally like the original series, and some fans of the original series don't like JJTrek. One sees TOS as dated and hokey, and the other sees JJTrek as all SFX and no substance. But there are a lot of fans, like me, who love both of them for what they are: a space adventure on a grand starship with a gallant crew led by one of the most famous captains in all cinematic history. And you know what? There's nothing wrong with that.

My Little Pony has some parallels to Trek (besides John de Lancie, of course ;) ). They both have had numerous reboots, both were on their last legs until recently, and both received a brand new reboot that has attracted a whole new generation of fans to the show. Now, I will say that TOS Trek is FAR superior to G1 MLP in my opinion, because G1's characters are weak and a show lives or dies on its characters. But all the same, you can't deny your love of a series just because fellow fans seem to deride it. The exact same thing happens in Trek all the time (I have routine debates with my niece, another Trekkie, who thinks Star Trek Voyager is superior to TOS. Don't worry, fellow Trekkies, one day I will show her the error of her ways. At least she's not a fan of Enterprise . . .), and if you love both, then that's awesome, because it means you have even more MLP to love than we G4 bronies do. :)
Lazyboierick Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2012
Well I am well known at school if that counts as popularity but, also you can't judge on appearance anyone could be a brony.
z1gg3h Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
In regards to #85, you again, hit the nail on the head. I found it hilarious though. My life isn't brilliant and I'd like it to be, but no one on the internet needs to knows the in and outs of it, and I sure as hell don't let it effect me online. I do, however, offer sympathy and (if they have the tolerance) help to those who are struggling.

In most cases it just ends up with me telling them to pull their head from their backside and look at REAL suffering. Granted it doesn't work all the time, but when it does, the individuals in question are nicer, less self centered and most importantly, happy.

It's a 2 in 15 success rate though. Most people don't want to change, because as you say, they feed off attention.
ender1200 Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2012
#87 i think that the reason some of the bronies are so very vocal agains all older generations is that the grew up seeing MLP as something to be scorned. Now that they found themself fans of one of the shows generations they feel the need to distance themselfs from past generetions that they used to mock and redicule, a lot of time as a way to showcase their masculinity.

Ultimatly G1 wasn't different tahn any other Suterday morning cartoon of the 80. Even My Little Pony Tales, the second series had it's good momnets and some claim it was better than the original.
G3 is considered bad by all acounts thow, but it only started at 2005 long after the frenchise soldified it's image. it was allso only sold as direct to video, and much of it was sold together with the toys
BB-K Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Woo, #85 looks pretty depressing. I used to be like that. :(

#86 seems like when we're young, cartoons do get us into our minds since we love things that are very colorful. :)

#87. Older cartoons tells us to compare how the past looks like on how criterias like storytelling and the technologies were used during the days. But most importantly like the G1 series, it has deeper storylines than G4, in my opinion that is, it's slightly darker as well. But the most obvious ones you can see are the colors it look on TV & of course, drawing style which the ponies are more complicated than those of G4. So far, I still recall some great memories during the G1 times. :) So to answer your question, it's your choice. :) We can tell MLP as a whole, but not everyone will like the whole thing, especially the problematic G3. There's an instinct also said that people like the modern things but hate the past ones. I remember some people told me that their younger friends kind of like the modern 3D Smurf movie (Which to us older people and those who remember that 80s cartoon, it sucks pretty hard and getting their childhood memories raped) while the cartoon version hates them, either they didn't watch them before or maybe just don't want to touch very old dusty things.
Berlioz-II Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2012
I think the real question to #85 is "why does the world think their lives suck so much?" Or let's rather just say that first world problems are major problems to those who don't know real hardship. Has nothing whatsoever to do with Bronies or Ponies or anything else equine oriented. The fact that the great majority of people I know online (most of them non-bronies) are seeing a psychiatrist for whatever problem they have, tells me that this is a considerably wider issue that the world needs to sort out first before worrying their butts off for depressed bronies. It all really just stems from the fact that as our comfort levels have steadily risen, insignificant problems have started to lever themselves into larger ones than they really are as people no longer need to battle against disease or to somehow ensure the continued flow of food on the table. Therefore, as human nature decrees, you can never have everything be peachy-keen and people drag misfortune from wherever they can, real or imagined, which is not helped by being bombarded with reports of wars, the end of the world, religious nutcases, murders, bombings and a whole bunch of other "news" items daily, making people easily feel rather despondent to question the point of continuing on. All this while families are more often than not disintegrating due to giving up when they can't deal with even the smallest personal problems to the point that family members are alienated from one other to the extent of not being able to function as a consummate unit any longer, and only increasing the misery in their psyche. It's a larger sociological problem that envelops more and more people as the years go by, and the brony community is certainly not exempt from the general doldrums of humanity's pain (even if some people indeed are just attention seekers). If it bothers you, then deal with it or go away. Should any of that made any sense to you, then you probably have a problem and need to go see a shrink ASAP!

#86 See a few episodes and make up your own mind. That's what I did.

#87 Of all the older Pony series, G1 is perhaps the most passable as far as any of these series go. It still comes across to me as a cheap cartoon with the sole intention of making kids cry at their folks to go buy pony toys for them, but it still has qualities to it that won't make it a massive waste by any means (particularly in cartoons of that period). However, I think it can be stated rather objectively that the franchise name quickly went spiralling downwards once the original cartoon ended, with each new version of the franchise somehow finding a new low to sink to (the baby ponies one was a particularly disgusting lurch). So I'd say it's no real surprise that the MLP name was pretty worn and tattered with horrible reputation by the time FiM actually started. Therefore the fact that an actual MLP series was created with real care and desire for quality has magnified its shine over the older, dated, and less well-regarded entries from yesteryears... including G1. That in no way of course means you can't enjoy any one of those older versions as well (or even all of them) and I really don't see why people can't just make up their own minds whether to enjoy something or not without being somehow obligated to share the opinions of a vocal majority/minority, how ever the case may be. We do still have free will last time I checked.
BB-K Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
G1 may not be experimental as of today, during those times it was meant to be like taking a toy franchise or stories from books and bring them to life via cartoon or movie for the very first time. As we can see it's cheap, but what do we expect during those times, we don't have internet, 16:9 beautiful display from LCD TVs, and pre-Adobe Macromedia Flash of course. :)
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