You know, I don’t always agree with the Oatmeal on some things (it’s especially off when it comes to religion, but I’m trying to restrain rants on that), but boy, when it is spot on, it is SPOT ON.
So yeah, I want to watch My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (MLP:FiM), and comment on it and all that stuff but… well the official site only includes the last half dozen episodes or so.
Only other place to watch it is iTunes and… well I won’t use the language I feel is appropriate to discuss iTunes since the Angry Video Game Nerd might then sue me for shtick infringement.
So, you know what? As wrong as it might be (pretty sure there’s a special Hell for it), I’m totally pirating MLP:FiM and watching it! You want it paid for, Hasboro? Then put the full seasons up for sale then…
Before I start this new discussion series, may as well go over the large elephant in the room first.
Bronies. Why bronies?
Well I think there’s several possibilities, none of which are mutually exclusive and the combination of which will probably vary from fan to fan.
- It’s a good show – If it’s not a saying, it should be, but good art transcends its initial goal. For example, a painting or sculpture designed for religious purposes or edification can appeal to people not of that religion. Thus, while the show might be created specifically for little girls, doesn’t mean that it can’t rise above that if the craft and quality of the show is good enough. And it is! Heck, there are shows made for adults that aren’t half as good as this one.
- Rebelling against Nothing – This is a bit more nebulous. Let’s imagine a moment that each generation of teenagers (since that category was invented) has a need to rebel against the culture, tastes, and values of its predecessors. However, instead of abandoning that rebellion when older, they carry them forward and enshrine them as new cultures, tastes and values. If these suppositions are true (a big ‘if’ I admit), where does this leave us? First there was the restrictive, conservative culture of the WW2 generation. Then the “hippyness” of the following baby boomers. Now we seem to be in the nihilism of the gens X & Y. So, if you’re the next generation, what do you rebel with now? In truth there’s only one way to rebel against a culture built around the tastes and values of nihilism: sincerity. If irony and detachment are what’s “in”, then the only way to rebel against it is to enjoy something sincerely and be attached to it. Which leads us to…
- Humor/Trolling – Part of the reason teens (well people in general) rebel against social norms, is because it’s funny, particular with people’s reaction. The more people react, the funnier it gets. However, with a society of irony and nihilism, nothing gets a reaction out of anyone any more – the most outrageous thing you can think of is probably passe in San Francisco. Unless it’s ponies. Since the vulgar and crude no longer get a reaction, there’s only another option: the innocent and honest. Some bronies feed off disapproval like the Fonz.
- Modern Religion – A learned man I greatly respected once taught me about how in the ancient times and for ancient people religion was indistinguishable from nationality & culture. It’s hard for us moderns to grasp this concept, especially as most of the surviving religions of this day cross nations and borders, however that doesn’t mean it has gone away. Humans have always been intensely tribal and it shows no signs of changing any time soon. As such, even though the deities might not be officially named, that doesn’t mean the nations of today still don’t have the first principles and fervent commitment of proper religions. If you’ve spent much time (or have some awareness of) America, you know that “love and tolerance” are in many ways the universal faith of the nation. As anyone who has attended a worship service can attest, people like to have their beliefs edified and affirmed; thus MLP:FiM isthe religious show of this nation and time.
Of course I know the real important question in all this. Is Nate Winchester a brony?