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Scootareader


I finally figured out how to put this thing on my profile. This is the best thing to happen to me since Princess Celestia teleported me to Equestria so that I could romance her student and sister.

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Jan
19th
2024

The Artist Review: Stevie Wonder's "Handicap" · 11:57pm January 19th

I know, I know. I've been online the past few days, but haven't posted anywhere. What could it possibly be? I'm certain the Scootastalkers (or, as I like to call them, true Scootafans) have probably noticed my sudden burst of being online and they probably knew something was in the works.

In truth, I have been working on something. What is that something? Well, it has been learning the heart and soul of a dear author on this site. Or, rather, an Artist.

What first caught my eye was the use of all caps. I like all caps. It's a lot of fun. It also quickly interests me on where else our Artist may speak in all caps.

The first place to check is their user page, but alas, it's mostly just a place where, upon being thanked for a follow, our friendly Artist asks if someone will read their stories. They also picked the anniversary of a beautiful march where no insurrection happened to commit an atrocity.

All right, let's go check out their sto--hang on, what?

This... this has to be amazing. Right?


As of now this story will be comment driven that means at the end of each chapter you will put in the comments what should happen in the next chapter.

Oh boy, this has got to have some juicy comments.

This is the story we'll be reviewing today.

Ah, but why the preamble? Why do I care so much about this author? This, my dear readers, is when we look at the art through the lens of the Artist.

As a quick note, this person comes across as adorable in their own special way. I don't want this review to be mistaken as anything but appreciation for this site and its cast of characters. However, it is impossible not to examine this story without first examining the person who wrote it--and inadvertently brought it to my attention. In that same vein, I have never and will never link directly to an author's page, as I have no interest in causing them any real problems. They asked for a story removal, so we'll be going over why and how this happened, and just like J.K. Rowling is now inexorably linked to Harry Potter, so too is our beloved Artist linked to their story.

How did I come across all this, anyway? Cue the bi-yearly FIMFiction login that I now perform, wherein I spot a message in my inbox.

While my original intentions behind creating Absolutely Disgusting are likely misunderstood in absentia, it serves well at occasionally baiting certain authors to message me and ask/demand that their stories be removed, with those authors failing to first do a little self-reflection. They rarely stop to ask, "Why did my story get added?" before they demand that I take action as an admin.

A quick check of the folders that this story resides in confirms that one of the fics is indeed "How Vinyl Scratch Met Stevie Wonder" that has been added--specifically to the Bad Crossover, Bad Pacing, Bandwagon, Detrimental English, Flawed Fact-Finding, Human in Equestria/Pony on Earth, Lack of Emotion, Other, Out of Character, and Poor/Missing Cover Art categories. Whew, that's a mouthful! A whole 10 categories. We'll be using these as a guide to determine whether the addition was justified, and if so, where it applies. Also bear in mind that other fics by this author exist in the group, but this story caught my eye, so I'm going to be talking about this one.

So, let's get a little more background on what may cause issues with the author's story-writing and to either confirm or refute some of my assumptions.

Ah yes, more delicious caps lock. Let's see how partial they are to doing this.


All right... I guess I'll have to try a little harder than that.

What about their other more recent blog?

All right... ignoring the usage of AI to do the heavy lifting for them in the art they are presumably trying to create, if they have autism, then it would change the course of my understanding here. It seems most prudent to ask directly.

I am... genuinely bewildered. Why would this person want prompts for writing about autism, when it's not a condition they experience? It's a very strange conundrum, but is largely what cemented my commitment to writing about this--and helping to understand why I am looking at this person first, as opposed to strictly the story. They are named Artist, after all, and I choose to believe that they would like to have their fascinating mind acknowledged when examining their works of art.

The rest of our conversation in private messages doesn't really go anywhere, but I would like to highlight the ending:

First: Oh yeah, they finally spoke in caps. There's one for the history books, boys.

Second: A troll!? For those who are heavily immersed in the Scootaverse, you'll know I don't appreciate that term. In fact, I wrote an entire blog post about it. I even updated all the pictures so they'll be visible again! Unlike the vast majority of my catalogue of blog posts. :trixieshiftright: Please go look at the pretty pictures and lavish me with praise for trying so hard for you guys, my true Scootafans.

All right, story. Let's start seeing what tags apply.

This cover art is actually fine. I'm not going to make any assumptions on where the art may have been created in light of a recent blog post mentioning ChatGPT, but it looks fine to me. I gotta give this point to the Artist.

Poor/Missing Cover Art [ ]

I'll address the Other tag real quick too. Here's as I explained it in the original Forum post:

This is only for stories that don’t seem to fit the criteria of any of the other definitions, but still make you cringe somehow. It’s not just another place to add a story you don’t like; if there’s something you can’t quite put your finger (or hoof) on specifically, but you just feel your skin crawling, it belongs here. This should only be used for stories that don't belong in any other folder, but still belong in this group.

Frankly, this just doesn't meet my standard of the tags being meaningful critique of the story in itself, and more often than not, stories just get added to this category for the hell of it, as opposed to being the exclusive tag, which was its original reason for existing. Time for a stealth removal.

Other [ ] for all stories forever

On to the description!

Vinyl couldn’t come up with the right song, she needed to come up with a song for her platinum record that she was going to sell at the music store where she worked.

Repetitive... in the first sentence.

Detrimental English [x]

But there was one problem, Vinyl had lost inspiration for writing.

The DJ and her friend were sitting on a park bench trying to come up with a song, when they heard a nice melody coming from across the street.

Little bit of LUS I see. Lavender Unicorn Syndrome as defined by Urban Dictionary:

Lavender Unicorn Syndrome occurs when, instead of using a characters name or a pronoun, you repeatedly use other descriptors for them, such as "the baker," "the ninja," "the dragon."

Common in Fan Fictions, the term spawned from the Friendship is Magic /fic/ board where writers would refer to Twilight Sparkle as "lavender unicorn" rather than using her name to describe when she was doing something.

Also started the sentence with "But," which is improper English, but not enough for the Detrimental English tag. LUS, however, is, and having repetitive text in the opening sentence also is. It's actively harmful to the story.

As of now this story will be comment driven that means at the end of each chapter you will put in the comments what should happen in the next chapter.

I mentioned this section above, but user-driven stories tend to... not be written all that well.

Cover art made by [redacted] on deviant art.

Blocking the URL for posterity, but this does appear to be genuine artwork from a genuine artist, based on his other art. I like to hope that Artist commissioned this artist for his art for her art, but I don't know what kind of business relationship the two possess, so no judgment either way.

Ratings have turned off on this story, I am done with people shitting on my stories just because they do not like the topics that I write about, if you motherfuckers, don’t like the story you can just scroll away. It’s not that hard if you have hands, but some of you probably don’t because I had to disable the ratings because you motherfuckers keep down voting this story to oblivion without telling me why.

Fuck you.

Now we get to the core of the dilemma. If this is a comment-driven story, but the author calls us motherfuckers and assumes we have hands--which is quite ableist, as some of us were born with hooves and can't do anything about it :applecry:--now it becomes practically impossible to separate the art from the artist... right? They say, "I want your help to write this," then blocks criticism and insults their readers in an incredibly amusing way. :facehoof:

There's also a contradiction here, because on the one hand (or hoof, so as not to omit those with handicaps, or hooficaps for those with hooves), they say:

you motherfuckers keep down voting this story to oblivion without telling me why

But in their all caps comment below, they say:

I DON’T LIKE TO BE TOLD THAT MY STORIES ARE NOT GOOD

Which one is it, then? Do you want me to downvote your story without explaining the reasoning, or do you want me to tell you why your story is not good, and hence why I left the downvote? :unsuresweetie:

Anyway, how about we motherfuckers get to the first chapter, "How Vinyl and Stevie Wonder met."

One warm summer afternoon in Ponyville,

Boring start, but this is one of the hardest things to get down, and is something I struggle with as well. Coming up with a first sentence that hooks the reader is difficult, but nearly all established authors know how to avoid this pitfall. To use the old adage, "Read a book."

Vinyl Scratch and her friend Octavia were sitting on a park bench, trying to come up with a song. Ponies came and went doing their daily tasks, every once in a while one would stop to listen to them as they worked. But the two mares felt like what they wanted to accomplish wasn’t going to happen anytime soon.

“Uhh!! why can’t we come up with any songs!?” Vinyl yelled. “It’s hopeless, we have been trying to find a good tune for over an hour!”

Lack of Emotion [x]

I may rescind this later if sufficient emotion exists, but the emotions displayed here are quite flat.

Instead, Vinyl’s ears popped up and all she could focus on was a soft but catchy tune she heard coming from across the street.

We're three paragraphs in, and the meeting is already taking place. This assumes so many aspects of the reader's experience it's insane.

There needs to be time to set the scene, immerse us in the world, and build up to the meeting, otherwise there's no suspense that gets paid off when the meeting occurs. There's no banter, no frustration build-up, no crisis past "man we suck at writing music." You gotta let these things cook in the oven for longer before jumping to the next thing. It's practically oozing with impatience, like... like you didn't even want to write it. :rainbowderp:

Bad Pacing [x]

“Vinyl, are you even…”

“Shh…” Vinyl cut her off by raising a hoof up to her mouth.

Damn, rude.

Out of Character [x]

the song he was playing was one they had heard before. If they remembered correctly it was called Superstition.

Octavia could see he had talent while Vinyl could tell he had style worth mentioning.

“This old stallion has style,” Vinyl whispered softly.

So, they are familiar with Stevie Wonder's music, but they don't know who he is? This seems like a contradiction.

Vinyl walked up to the pianist with a satisfied grin, “That was really inspiring! Name’s Vinyl, Vinyl Scratch. My roommate and I here were just having trouble coming up with a new song but I think you gave us the breakthrough we needed.” She said holding out her hoof to shake his.

God, the pacing... :twilightoops: Is Vinyl just going to steal Stevie's music? She's going to steal from a supposedly blind man?

Oh, right, you guys probably don't know this: Stevie Wonder is (allegedly) not blind, according to some people.

What possible explanation could there be for him to catch that mic stand? That's right, there isn't one. Man can see. He ain't special. Unlike us hoof-havers.

Octavia snapped out of her mild state of euphoria

The song's been over for at least several seconds, she even walked with Vinyl to approach him. Why would she still be acting like she's lost in the music?

“Hey Vinyl, I think he’s blind, he can’t see your hoof,” Octavia whispered.

It's as if the author did no research into Stevie Wonder's "disability" and has no idea that he's not blind.
Flawed Fact-Finding [x]

Looking at the stallion, she noticed he didn’t seem to make eye contact with her either.

Maybe he's just autistic. :unsuresweetie:

“So, you figure it out I can’t see you,” The Stallion said with a grin.

Stevie would never admit that he's blind because he's not blind. You'll never find a quote of him openly admitting it for this reason. Don't look it up, I sure didn't. :eeyup:

“Ah, where am I?” The stallion asked, the question stunning the two mares.

“You don’t know??” Vinyl said in surprise.

The stallion shook his head,

He just wandered in and started playing piano in a town he didn't even know the name of? :rainbowlaugh:

“I want to stay here a while,” The stallion answered.

“Why do you want to stay awhile?” Vinyl asked in response to that sudden statement.

“Because my friend Ray is here, I am visiting him for a couple of days,” the stallion said.

“Do you mean Ray Charles!” Octavia excitedly asked.

“Yes, my name is Stevie Wonder by the way,” the stallion said with a wide grin.

“That is awesome!” Vinyl yelled.

“Yeah, but It would be even more awesome if I had a room to stay in.”

Firstly, yeah, that dialogue flow is terrible.

Secondly, what is this, some kind of pony afterlife? :trollestia: Ray Charles is no longer with us, but Stevie Wonder is. The only way these two would be interacting is if they both died. Do you want Stevie to die, Artist? Is that your sick pleasure? :raritydespair:

“Wonderful, I just need to go get my luggage from the train station, I’ll be right back,” Stevie said with a grin and then he left in the direction of the station to do just that.

How do you think he knows the way to the train station for the town he doesn't even know the name of? Because he can see. Don't listen to any "doctor" who claims otherwise.

“Because you don’t seem fine, I mean your allowing a complete stranger, yes he’s famous, but he’s still a stranger, into our home.”

If they know who Ray Charles is, then why don't they know who Stevie Wonder is? Is it because Ray died 20 years ago, and Stevie only just started his afterlife in Ponyville? Damn, you morbid. :duck:

Vinyl could almost see the excitement dripping out of the grey mares’ ears.

“Well, I guess that sounds good,” Vinyl responded. “But last time I checked there’s my bed and your bed. You better explain to me what ‘extra bed’ you’re talking about and where we are going to get it.”

WTF Fetish [x]

It was at this moment Octavia realized what situation she put herself in. “Vinyl,” she said sounding like she just made a mistake, “I’m going to the furniture store. Can you make sure our place is tidied up before he gets there.”

WTF Fetish [ ]

You're no fun. :trixieshiftleft:

When the stallion reached Vinyl she said, “So I guess it’s just you and me, I’ll lead you to our place.”

“Where is Octavia at?” Stevie asked.

How could Stevie have possibly known Octavia wasn't there? Because he's not blind. :coolphoto:

“With my chill personality, I get that quite a bit,” he said in a matter-of-fact mannerism.

What a self-masturbatory thing to say. Unless the Artist is attempting to get us to hate Stevie for his celebrity and lack of blindness, this line just suuuuucks.

“How can you play the piano like that if you’re blind?”

You already know why. :moustache:

By the time Pinkie came back with her instrument, she saw that Stevie and Vinyl were nowhere to be found.

So Vinyl and Stevie are both assholes. Or perhaps we would prefer motherfuckers. :ajsmug:

The stallion wasn’t expecting somepony here to know his name, seeing as he just arrived in Ponyville that afternoon. But he intended to find out who it was, “Yes, it’s me, may I ask who am I talking to?” Stevie asked.

“Of course you can ask, but you should already know,” The raspy voice answered.

It was then he realized who the voice belonged to, “Ray!” Stevie said in excitement.

If Stevie were blind, he would have a much better capability to recognize a voice he's heard before, especially if it's his friend. Further proof that he's lying about it. :rainbowdetermined2:

“Well you’ve come to the right bar, believe me, this place is full of ponies who would like to be like me, but they’re not. Here, let me show you what I mean,” Ray said as he walked over to the piano and sat down “Instead, they come here to drink and then they ask me for advice.” He started playing a song that vinyl had heard before, the song was called hit the road jack.

First, is every character in this story just a jerk? Second, no shit Vinyl's heard the song before, Ray Charles is famous and she presumably is familiar with his work, especially if he's a famous musician living in Ponyville.

The ponies that were sitting at the bar started putting money in a jar that was placed on the piano lid.

“Yeah keep it coming,” Ray said as he felt the jar getting fuller.

First, asshole. Second, how can he "feel" the jar getting fuller? Third, does he really need the bits? :duck:

“Well, like I said before, my roommate and I were trying to come up with a song earlier, but we couldn't, so I guess what I'm asking is could you look over what we have?”

Vinyl forgets in like 0.2 seconds that these guys can't see--all one of them, the one guy who can't see being Ray Charles, since Stevie Wonder is clearly not blind.

Stevie picked up the piece of paper, as he turned it over seemingly trying to look for something.

“Stevie, what are you looking for on that piece of paper?“ Vinyl asked.

Because he can fucking read it, Vinyl. :flutterrage:

“Hey, Ray, what are you doing?” Stevie asked in annoyance.

“We need to take you home,” Ray responded in a very calm tone.

“I ain’t no baby, Ray, I can take care of myself!” Stevie yelled at Ray, then he stormed out of the bar.

Actually unhinged douchebag behavior. I fucking hate Stevie Wonder's depiction and not just because he's lying about his disability, unlike me with my hoof disorder. If this is who Stevie really is, assuming the Artist researched more than just the musicians' greatest hits, then I'm glad he's going to die soon.

“My ears are very sensitive, almost like a superpower,” Ray said in his calm voice.

Unlike Stevie's ears, since he can see and his ears haven't compensated.

Ray went over to Octavia to introduce himself, clicking his tongue to find that he was in the kitchen.

I... what? Is he a fucking bat? :unsuresweetie:

I actually looked this up to see if Ray utilized echolocation, and found a WikiDoc page documenting notable cases of human echolocation. There is a case of someone using clicks to echolocate, but that person is Ben Underwood. Ray Charles does have an entry on the page, though--in the "fiction" section, where a movie depicting him suggested that he used the soles of his shoes to produce sounds that let him see his surroundings. The tongue click is not a Ray Charles thing and Ben Underwood, who is notable for having pioneered this technique, was alive from 1992 to 2009. I actually support Flawed Fact-Finding and not just because of the "Stevie Wonder can see" conspiracy meme due to the inclusion of the tongue click.

“No, I use echolocation to get around, bats use that as well,” Ray responded.

Is he a bat pony, then? :eeyup:

“Stevie doesn’t use echolocation, he uses his sense of touch to get around, and he uses his hearing, and sometimes his sense of taste.”

Also his sense of sight, since he can see.

“Well, hi, may I ask who are you?” Octavia asked when she noticed Ray.

“My name is Ray Charles,” Ray said to Octavia. “I’m an old friend of Stevie.”

“Octavia,” the grey mare said in greeting.

But... she knew who he was when Stevie mentioned him. :trixieshiftright: I also wouldn't believe for a second that Vinyl and Octavia wouldn't know of the existence of a famous musician in Ponyville.

Author's Note:

This is the story I wrote for fun I hope that you enjoy it.

I sure did enjoy it. :twistnerd:

So, let's do a final tally.

Bad Crossover [ ]
Bad Pacing [x]
Bandwagon [ ]
Detrimental English [x]
Flawed Fact-Finding [x]
Human in Equestria/Pony on Earth [x]
Lack of Emotion [x]
Out of Character [x]
Poor/Missing Cover Art [ ]

A 6/9, the nicest score possible. Alas, this does not mean I will remove the story from my group, but I don't feel Poor/Missing Cover Art applies. As far as Bad Crossover and Bandwagon do or do not apply, well... I'm not reading the rest of this story to find out if there is a crossover, and I don't know enough of the current fads of the site to know whether Bandwagon applies, so I will trust in the sensibilities of the person adding the story to have made their determination in good faith. :scootangel:

So, what is the lesson to be learned here? Perhaps it's that this story was shackled down by the shortcomings of its author. Maybe it's that I just read an entire AI story, or maybe a story with an AI prompt, and I am none the wiser, though I'd reckon that if the story were written by AI, there would be less apparent grammatical mistakes. Or maybe it's that someone aggro'd me to ask very sternly that I remove their story from a place that it belongs, and I saw a comment written in all caps lock.

At the end of the day, you cannot separate the art from the Artist, and this story is no exception. No matter what potential there is to a Stevie Wonder in Equestria fanfic, if you aren't seriously, sincerely inspired by and in admiration of the work of legendary artists, then your art will suffer in turn. This felt like a chore to read, so I can only imagine it was a chore to write, and art should exist because we feel inspired by the idea that must be created in order to be experienced.

Also, put a chair in front of Stevie Wonder. If he eats shit, it's because he's pretending to be blind. This is a suggestion, Artist, so that Stevie can make it to Ponyville sooner.

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Comments ( 5 )

I guess WTF Fetish may refer to the author in general (she's suspiciously into disabilities). Also, she's most likely a troll, judging by her overall activity in the comments and forums (many of her comments seem like not all the marbles are present, but when she needs to dunk on someone, she suddenly breaks character and her English gets better).

You're wrong, that didn't feel like a chore to read. that felt like 8 hours of fuckin manual labour.:pinkiesick:

The author seems to be obsessed with disability even though she's not even disabled,:ajbemused: and one time she said that she hoped I could read her stories when i get the time, so I checked out her stories (just looked at the tags and summary though now I'm glad I didn't actually read them) and said that romance stories and S.O.L stories weren't my cup of tea and she immediately assumed i was saying her stories were shit

5764427

(she's suspiciously into disabilities).

Now that I think abt it...she might actually have a disability fetish :pinkiegasp:

5764966
I didn't include a portion of private messages, as it's up to the individual to share details of their life, but Artist did express to me that they possess a physical disability. It would be contrite of me not to mention such a detail, but it should in no way affect their story writing ability. Just a small correction to the claim that she is not disabled, assuming she was telling me the truth. :eeyup:

5764975
Oops that was really dumb on my part. But still weird how obsessed she is with disabilities

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