More Blog Posts740

  • 1w, 6d
    "DoTA" Opinion Blog

    Death of The Author - The self-serving appropriation of someone else's work.

    Here's the thing. I don't believe in the "Death of the Author". Quite honestly, it's little more than an excuse to justify forcing your interpretation into a text and ignoring everything else that influenced the author on their choices—or what they were hoping to say—and replacing them with what the "critic" wants it to mean.

    Now, one very valid point (if somewhat misguided) someone brought up when I discussed it in the comments somewhere, was that (to paraphrase) "The Death of the Author is a force for discussion, and that accepting what the author of a literary work said as fact would basically kill interpretation."

    I disagree, even though I definitely see where that comes from. But let me ask a question: What do Hamlet; El Quixote; The Alchemist; Spiderses; Atlas Shrugged, Middlesex; Meals in Minutes; What Color is your Parachute, etc. have in common?

    They all have a purpose. Every story has a purpose. Every story. And the author writing it knows what that purpose is to greater or lesser extent. The author's voice matters a lot more than some random critic saying that the text must mean something else.

    While "Death of the Author" enthusiasts got away with it mostly due to the nature of literary work vs time vs life expectancy vs ease of communication, it is something that should not even count today, especially with instant correspondence with authors.

    Saying that "No Death of the Author" = "No conversation or interpretation" is a fallacy. To begin with, disregarding the author's intent already puts into question the dubious interpretation a critic might have of a story, but, even if an author intends for a story to say a specific message, the reader can find a different meaning.

    Kafka put it best: "Some books seem like a key to unfamiliar rooms in one’s own castle." It's not just through the final message of the author that a book is internalized and interpreted. It's the journey; the exploration and the challenge of concepts that allows a story to enrich our experience and thoughts.

    The Death of the Author pretends then, that the "critic's" internalization and understanding (or misunderstanding) of a story is a more valid meaning than that which the author wants to convey. In other words, "I hear what I want to hear, understand what I want to understand and my opinion should be more important to everyone else than your intent."

    I'm not saying that authors write perfect meanings or crystal-clear messages. Concepts and ideas are challenged by dialogue, imagery, thought and action all of it with a purpose, be it simple entertainment, satire, philosophy or even attacking. To say that the value of the critic's interpretation supersedes that intent and purpose of a work... that the myriad things that influence any person's mind when putting words to paper is irrelevant once the words are on the paper is folly.

    Any author worth their salt will not say that their interpretation of the final message of their story is absolute because they understand that a story can be a kaleidoscope of possible meanings to each person. A "Death of the Author" advocate just believes in a dual existence of thought: yours and mine.

    It's self delusion and self-aggrandizing.

    It's disrespectful to the author even if some take it with good humor.

    So please.

    Bury that idiocy and stop using it as an excuse to turn what something means into what you want it to mean.

    tl;dr - Just because someone interprets a story differently from what the author intended, it doesn't mean that person is "smarter" or "understands more" than the author. It's the differing experiences and influences (the same ones the critics ironically try to erase from account towards the original text) that shapes their observations and internalization—it might mean something else to someone. A story might clearly be interpreted in many ways. But ascribing to "The Death of the Author" is nothing but a cry to try and take ownership of something that doesn't belong to you and to try and force your dominance by claiming the actual owner and creator of the story does not matter.

    65 comments · 770 views
  • 1w, 6d
    Oh yeah, no false alarm this time!

    New Gunsmoke chapter is up!

    1 comments · 114 views
  • 2w, 3d
    False alarm

    I'm apparently more tired than I thought I was, and accidentally fake-published a non-existent Gunsmoke chapter. My apologies.

    2 comments · 176 views
  • 4w, 3d
    Alright... Author update and Gofundme campaign.

    Welp guys, my first year of MBA went well, except for the lack of a job within a credible distance of home/school. :twilightsheepish:

    Now. I've hesitated to do this, but, times are tough and while it might make me look cheap, the fact of the matter is that I need the help, so I've started a Gofundme Campaign. This will go strictly towards education and certain obligatory payments, and yes, it's most likely never going to reach the goal, but I'm not expecting it to. That's more of an extreme limit than anything.

    So, if you're not already one of my Patreons, and you feel like tossing a one time shot at helping me pay for school/food/maybechildsupport in these days of economic uncertainty, even half of 4k users donating a few bucks one time would definitely save my sorry ass.

    Additionally, if you know business people in Detroit that might be interested in an intern or employee, that information is worth a lot to me.

    Thank you!

    ~WD

    20 comments · 482 views
  • 5w, 3d
    New objective

    I've always wanted to go to an Andrea Bocelli concert ever since I saw him and Pavarotti "live" on tv. I kinda forgot about it for a while, but...

    The fire has been rekindled.

    25 comments · 252 views
  • 6w, 6h
    So I don't know about you guys...

    ...but I'm hyped.

    Thoughts?

    23 comments · 805 views
  • 6w, 5d
    New Gunsmoke!

    Ye gods. That took some time.

    I think one of my biggest, most annoying weaknesses as an author is that when I'm nearing the end of the tale, I tend to lose the energy to write. Not the love for the story, mind... but, like Magical Trevor, Lammy, Super Big Mac and others could attest with The Empty Room, it's almost like I'm fighting against myself because I want it to continue, though I know it needs to draw closer to its inevitable end...

    This of course, is a pain in the ass because even if I know where I'm supposed to go—or even where the story has guided me—it seems like I need to force myself to let go of something I got addicted to somehow. I mean, this doesn't happen with all my stories, thankfully, but the ones I have spent time and effort and imagination and even some emotional attachment are particularly hard to push through at times.

    So, today's chapter is not the end, of course, but it ended up being a wall I had to climb to carry on. And I feel like I can now. I hope you enjoy it! Don't forget to leave comments there!

    ~WD

    7 comments · 426 views
  • 6w, 6d
    A Hearth's Warming Tail

    No real spoilers here. Most other people have already covered those, but I did really enjoy this new episode! Well done show writers! I especially liked GothLunaSpirit's song. It was the awesomest. Additionally, it looks like Spike is over his crush on Rarity, which in my book is a bonus: he didn't even glance her way AT ALL. Well done, Spike!

    23 comments · 318 views
  • 7w, 1d
    Random AMA

    With the dude that wrote My Little Dashie and the dude that didn't write anything, but all know anyway.

    Done.

    8 comments · 251 views
  • 7w, 1d
    The Decline of the Alicorn

    Warning: Ranting

    We love MLP:FIM in some shape or form. From troll to earnest author here, it has brought us together as a community and inspired us to write thousands of stories, most of which are hosted on this site if they're written in English. And one of the aspects of the series which we see discussed and argued all over the place is the role and power of Alicorns.

    Which is, in my opinion, "The Thing The Show Writers Truly Fucked Up."

    The difference between Lauren Faust and the show writers is that Lauren understood what made Immortal, semi-god-like characters interesting.

    That a battle between to demigods a thousand years prior to the series had almost vanquished the world into Eternal Darkness stemmed from something as basic as jealousy over popularity is a trope we see appearing from as far as ancient Greece... where if a woman claimed to be better at sewing than Athena, she'd be put in her place and transformed into a spider for all eternity as a punishment.

    Lauren Faust translated this into the series in the traditional style of writing High Fantasy—Celestia (and Luna) are extremely powerful, wise, knowledgeable immortals that have ruled Equestria for thousands of years. Like Greek (and Roman), Nordic, Egyptian, etc gods they can be fooled... but woe to you, if you draw their ire.

    When Lauren left, the show fell into less capable hands in terms of world building and consistency. Less emphasis was placed on character development, and more and more episodes became simply random slice-of-life with no connection. To show an example, with very few exceptions, you can simply shuffle chapters from Season 3 and watch them and the order will still not matter.

    You see, she intended the series to be, well, a series. You know, the characters would follow a plot through the season, etc. That did not work for Hasbro and they turned it into what we have today. And I guess that's cool, but, they didn't adapt the characters to that format.

    That is why we keep getting the exact same lesson for characters repeated over and over with just a slightly different presentation.

    But, this blog is not about that. This blog is about what the show writers did to the alicorns.

    Alicorns, by Season 5 are basically nothing special anymore. They just aren't. Twilight's wings might be just made of paper. And Flurry Heart was the last nail on the coffin.

    You see, immortal gods/demigods/semi-gods are not meant to mix it up with your regular mortals because, by their simple status, they are OP. Celestia, like Helios, controls the sun. Luna, just as Selene, controls the moon.

    Now, you might argue (I'm looking at you, Municipal Engines), that Celestia is not a demigoddess, but the fact is that she is built as a character that fits the description. It's pretty obvious as well, that alicorns are not merely "horned pegasi" or "winged unicorns" just from the details discussed above.

    So, where did it all go wrong? It can't be blamed just on Faust leaving the show. She had a "Series Bible" in which the characters and themes were described exhaustively, and whatever Hasbro did, the writers are responsible for following up with consistency, development, and exploration of characters.

    So where did things go wrong? First with the "Hearth's Warming Eve" episode messing around with ancient history, but more importantly,  when Celestia battles Chrysalis.

    That's when shit hits the fan. (Both in the traditional sense of the expression and the fans of the series too.)

    Celestia should have never battled on the same level as regular ponies. NEVER. If she was to battle head on against Chrysalis, it should have been an epic battle, not Kamehameha vs Final Flash.

    Celestia is clearly not infallible, as stated above. She could still have been tricked by Chrysalis. But, with all my love to Chrysy, the bug shouldn't have been a challenge at all in a frontal confrontation. Had she tricked Celestia into giving up, or used more underhanded means to subdue her, the "Worfing" of Celestia would not have removed the aura of power an alicorn is supposed to have.

    This is truly when things go down. We see a character that once stood up one on one vs Discord (even if they needed the Elements in the end) brought down by a ray of love. And yes, I love the argument that Celestia let herself be beat to not kill everyone in the room, but let's face it, we all know deep down that argument is really BS we tell ourselves because it otherwise makes no sense.

    After Twilight became an alicorn, this is exacerbated to the extreme. We get that she's having a tough time, but between her normalcy and Tirek's battle and (honestly, pandering to whiny people that didn't want her to be immortal while her friends would pass away), it manages to completely strip away any mystique to being an alicorn.

    This is why having Luna, Celestia, Cadance AND Twilight amounted to cloud-blasting for the most part in the new series' opening.

    When you have characters like Celestia and Luna, you are not supposed to bring them down to the level of the other characters. They should be aspirations, inspirations, characters that go beyond the understanding of the common pony. Even Twilight at the beginning of the series only understood so much of her mentor/second mother figure... and it was that exact ephemeral grasp at understanding their limitations that made them interesting characters.

    Now, we see Luna and Celestia fight over the presents for a wedding for some dude's they had no reason to go to actually attend. We see them blunder around against the weather, or be tossed around like (let's face it) the Royal Guard. We see them unprepared to face an enemy they already know and defeated before in the form of Tirek.

    They become tools to make the bad guys "badder". And here's where the tie to High Fantasy is important. When you have a Gandalf Figure—if we want Celestia to not be a demigod—you have to take things into account. Gandalf being  Maia is a being of considerable power. He could have done a LOT more than what he did if he had basically released his power and gone full minor-Ainur, but his role was not that. His role was to guide. It's something that immortals do a lot in fantasy (and hell, even Christian belief)—they watch and do not interfere, or won't beyond their duties and personal agendas if they are more like classical gods.

    To keep the mystique of alicorns alive, Twilight would have had to undergo more changes than the show runners were willing to allow or not change her into an alicorn at all; the roles of Celestia and Luna should have been kept more mysterious and arguably, Cadance should have been either a unicorn or pegasus of  royal descent (like Blueblood) and Flurry Heart should have NEVER been born been an alicorn.

    There is no point in being (or being transformed into) an alicorn if the character is basically the same for all intents and purposes.

    Sadly, unless it's in fan fiction, we have to make do with alicorns being nothing more than a regular pony with an extra appendage.

    100 comments · 1,247 views
  • 7w, 6d
    So I found this little gem...

    ...and thought I'd share it.

    Also, writing a new chapter atm.

    10 comments · 933 views
  • 7w, 6d
    On Today's Episode (No spoilers)

    It's the Rainbow Dash one, right?

    After watching the little trailer I lost all interest in watching it, so I'll rely on you guys to tell me if it's worth it. Let me know if David Rapp wrote something that stripped RD of all her growth and experience so far, as the little preview we got seems to indicate.

    22 comments · 519 views
  • 8w, 4d
    A Wild Reading Appears!

    EqD Blogger/Fic Reviewer/Episode Reviewer and author, ABagOVicodin has recorded a reading of my story, Consequence!

    It's pretty awesome and he does an amazing job at reading the story, giving it a lot more intensity than I feel my text ever did. Be sure to check it out!

    3 comments · 178 views
  • 9w, 3d
    Confirmed!

    22 comments · 1,033 views
  • 9w, 4d
    On delays

    Hey guys, my parents are visiting on top of finals weeks, so I haven't had time to write much lately in between them wanting to hang out with their grandson and me, school and doing family stuff in general. More to come soon, but I do apologize for the delays.

    8 comments · 166 views
  • 10w, 6d
    Gauntlet Of Fire

    24 comments · 643 views
  • 11w, 1d
    An hour away...

    15 comments · 614 views
Jan
25th
2013

I've heard a lot of things...

I have marginally followed arguments about it, and honestly, what I will say below might have been said several times, but for now, bear with me.

I know that there are a lot of people angry about the lack of representation of our female bronies. And if you feel that way, you're right.

I don't dislike the documentary. Quite the contrary; I believe it went as far as it could with covering what it was aiming to cover: That the media perception of male bronies is erroneous. Whether they achieve that or not, is up to dispute, but I really believe that they never had the intention to go any deeper than media perception about the male aspect of our fandom.

Which sucks, mostly because that's not what we believed it would be about. I think, if we are to have a Brony Documentary, it has to be done celebrating what makes us strong: that we are inclusive. That we respect and appreciate all members of our community. From troll to outstanding bronies, we, in general accept who each of us are and what we love. Now, before you point out that we ban trolls for excessive attitudes, it is true that we do so, but, there has to be a limit on how much you can annoy people. If you want to argue this point, feel free to do so in another thread/blog, or PM with me, okay?

Anyway, back to the matter at hand.

Are female bronies, (or pegasisters) not appreciated enough? Yes.

Do people think that we, the male bronies, relish on the thought that we are special because we are males who like MLP? Yes.

Are we more special than our counterparts because of it? Hell eFFING no. Nope.

So, the documentary centers on media perception. Not in our history, or who we really are. Are we manly? Or are we Bronies?

I don't see "Brony" as a male word. Sure, the implication is there, but the meaning of it as we KNOW is not simply males. That's Fox News talking. Not Brony talk.

So, here's what I propose: Let's make our own, amateur Documentary FOR Bronies, BY Bronies.

Can we do it? YES. We can.

How? Simple. How many of us are in college? How many of us have editing skills? How many of us are studying communications, sociology, any sort of media studies? We can do it. We can use university cameras, we can cover the whole world BECAUSE we come from the whole world.

We have so much raw talent.

We have united as a community before, more than once to help any of us in need. Let's prove it. We can ask celebrities to help us, but we can do without. I KNOW you all have it in you. I know, IF we want, we can form some sort of cohesive project and make it work.

Are we going to let our sisters go away unsung and unappreciated? Hell no.

Who's with me?

Report Wanderer D · 10,169 views ·
#1 · 179w, 11h ago · 18 · ·

I like this idea.

#2 · 179w, 11h ago · 1 · ·

*raises hand*

#3 · 179w, 11h ago · 1 · ·

Very nice.

#4 · 179w, 11h ago · 1 · ·

That sounds like a fantastic idea. Honestly, I'm surprised it hasn't already been done.

#5 · 179w, 11h ago · 1 · ·

You have my mental support.

#6 · 179w, 11h ago · 4 · ·

I've never even thought of "brony" being strictly for guys, nor have I ever considered myself special for being a male audience member.   I mean shit, I'm pretty sure there are more guys that girls watching the show, so really that would make them more special than us.  I haven't seen the documentary, and I kind of don't want to because I'm afraid that they presented bronies as people who have thousands upon thousand of MLP dolls and sing all the songs on trains.

#7 · 179w, 11h ago · · ·

Nah, I'll pass :applejackunsure:. But good luck nonetheless.

#8 · 179w, 11h ago · 7 · 2 ·

There are girls who like ponies?!

#9 · 179w, 11h ago · · ·

I shall support this! (I am amateur fan-artist. :3)

#10 · 179w, 11h ago · 7 · 19 ·

I like girls.

They have boobies.

I like boobies.

#11 · 179w, 11h ago · · ·

I'd be up for helping how I can, though I don't have much in the way of artisitc ability. I'm somewhat good at organization *pushes his chaotic room out of sight*

#12 · 179w, 11h ago · · ·

I 32'nd this:pinkiehappy:

Comment posted by NorthCrusader deleted at 7:03pm on the 25th of January, 2013
#14 · 179w, 10h ago · · ·

Yes.

#15 · 179w, 10h ago · · ·

I'm waiting for the dvd version to come out so I can watch the special features. But as to your point I think the makers realized that Pegasisters were neglected as part of the fandom but by that time it was too late to add them to the documentary.

#16 · 179w, 10h ago · · ·

I am with you on this

#18 · 179w, 10h ago · · ·

Edit: Ah, now I see, that’s much better. I don’t have the skills to help so I’m out.

#19 · 179w, 10h ago · · ·

I can write, I can voice act...I'm in!

Wanderer D
Moderator
#20 · 179w, 10h ago · · ·
#21 · 179w, 10h ago · · ·

FOR QUEEN AND COUNTRY!

sorry, got carried away there

Wanderer D
Moderator
#22 · 179w, 10h ago · · ·

>>750844 Dude, thanks, that was completely opposite to what I was trying to say. I'm sorry I insulted you, but thanks again for catching it.

#23 · 179w, 10h ago · · ·

I should empathize, I would like to help in anyway I can, to whatever extent. considerding that my teaching puts a lot of effort on me, I'll try to do what I cna

#24 · 179w, 10h ago · 1 · ·

Thank you so much for this post. That's all my feels in written word. :pinkiesmile:

And I would definitely be onboard for assisting this to get off the ground. If I'm completely honest, I've felt a bit resentful about 'not existing' in some places despite having just as much stake in and love for the series. Not resentful in a 'rawr I hate guys' kind of way, because that's stupid. Just :fluttershysad:.

>>750822

Hon, you're not helping.

#25 · 179w, 10h ago · 3 · ·

are not Paleosteno and Saberspark working on a brony documentary?  saber made "ballad of the brony" and paleo did something similar.

#26 · 179w, 10h ago · · ·

I have some editing and animating skills. I'm all for this idea. Let me know if I can help!

#27 · 179w, 10h ago · · ·

You have my support.:rainbowdetermined2:

#28 · 179w, 10h ago · · ·

This idea doesn't sound too bad. Very well, You have my editing.

#29 · 179w, 10h ago · 1 · ·

In short, IMO, the whole documentary was a circlejerk idealization of bronies.  I hate how they focused on fox news, there were plenty of other news outlets that ridiculed bronies.  I also didn't like how they painted conservatives as the enemy.  I am a conservative/libertarian and also a brony.  They completely skipped over and ignored the gritty, dirty origins and parts of the brony fandom (e.g. 4chan).  They painted the bronies like a bunch of "loving and tolerating" hippies.   "Ohhh~ just look at those poor little bronies they are misunderstood special snowflakes".

Don't get me wrong, I liked the documentary overall but that does not change my above opinion.

Edit: good luck with your documentary endeavor.

#30 · 179w, 10h ago · · ·

I'll help, as a female brony who dislikes the word Pegasister for those same reasons. I can do some art, write, probably voice act (never tried, but I can keep up a discussion with myself for hours, so why not?) , and don't have an Alicorn OC. I'm totally in.

So, what do you want me to do? Publicize, plan, draw? I'm off school for a week, so I've got pretty much almost nothing to do.

#31 · 179w, 10h ago · 1 · ·

Saberspark (creator of ballad of the brony) is already making a documentary that is going to do that and more. I saw the "official" documentary as a simple introduction. The brony cronicles (the name of the fan one) is suppose to look at the fandom more closely and more critically.

#32 · 179w, 10h ago · 7 · 3 ·

I don't see how female bronies don't receive the respect they deserve. I don't know about anyone else, but I can (in my own opinion) that the talent majority of females compared to males, only in ratio, is higher in the female range. There are more talented male bronies because there are more of them.

Point is. Women are better than men, and I don't care if anyone wants to try and argue this, I'll take it to my grave.

#34 · 179w, 10h ago · 1 · ·

I'm in.

One thing though... we should form a group for this and actually have some organization and formally, we should start AFTER season 3 because right now we don't know if Twilight is going to become Princess or not and how that might affect the community

a good example of a brony documentary is The Ballad of The Brony by Saberspark... its a one man work, but the editing is excellent and covers from Seasons 1-2.

Comment posted by RedScarWolf deleted at 7:10pm on the 25th of January, 2013
#36 · 179w, 10h ago · · ·

>>750872

I agree with you in full. I would put something else intelligent here, but you already did.

Wanderer D
Moderator
#37 · 179w, 10h ago · 4 · ·

>>750875 Then we throw in our support. But there doesn't need to be only one, right?

#38 · 179w, 10h ago · · ·

I kinda think a more critical and objective doc would piss people off a lot more. There are a lot of things in this fandom that are better left uninvestigated.

#39 · 179w, 10h ago · 1 · 2 ·

But, but, D! There are no women on the internet! Only really effeminate men!

#40 · 179w, 10h ago · · ·

I may not have editing skills, but damn it, I have a web camera and things to say! Count me in!

And yeah, I never thought of "Brony" as a masculine term, despite the "bro" part. I just never thought about it that way.

#41 · 179w, 10h ago · 1 · ·

So a documentary focused on the fandom, male and female, and how we act among ourselves? I could get behind this. I don't know what I'd be able to add to it, but I like the idea.

#42 · 179w, 10h ago · · ·

I'd be more than happy to help out in any way that I can!

Pax
#43 · 179w, 10h ago · · ·

You have my calculator.

#44 · 179w, 10h ago · · ·

The only help I can get you is bringing coffee.

#45 · 179w, 10h ago · · ·

oh, and I was under the impression that the term "brony" came about because the pony fad originated on the /b/ board, and b + pony = brony. I don't know for sure if this is true; either way I never considered it particularly exclusively masculine.

#46 · 179w, 10h ago · 1 · ·

Yes, I'm with you.

~Syn3rgy

#47 · 179w, 10h ago · 1 · ·

>>750806

you're terrible :rainbowlaugh:

I'm in!! :pinkiehappy: not that i have any talent with visual arts of any kind :ajbemused:

#49 · 179w, 10h ago · 2 · ·

I VOLUNTEER!

(Yes, I do like this idea, not as a snub or anything but I just love this idea in general and would like to participate if I can.)

Alexstrazsa
Moderator
#50 · 179w, 10h ago · 4 · ·

Let's make our own, amateur Documentary FOR Bronies, BY Bronies.

You're proposing a dangerous thing, D.

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