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Loneliness and Why I Like Scootaloo · 4:11am Mar 26th, 2013

(First permanent blog post, I think!)

So, I was editing stories earlier today, trying to get caught up on work, when I was sent a big block of text from The Hollow Kingdom of Big Macintosh.

Now, I know I don't possess the mental prowess or the literary skill to appropriately weave the kind of idea that he gives in his latest chapter, but it did get me thinking. I initially dismissed this feeling as the standard feelings of loneliness, but then I applied it to what I know about Big Macintosh.

To those reading, I am putting my hierarchy of favorite ponies, in public, for all to ridicule.

Favorite Recurring: Scootaloo (1st), Big Macintosh (2nd)
Favorite Mane 6: Twilight (3rd), Rarity (4th)
Favorite Background/Filler: Lemon Daze (5th), Derpy Hooves (6th), Applejack (loljk)

The numbers after the characters signify my favoritism in the overarching scheme of things, as well. Interesting that I lumped them into groups of two based on their significance as characters, and it just so happened to go from 1 to 6 all organized-like, isn't it? I know, I think it's weird too.

Herculean obviously has a good grasp on how Big Macintosh feels overall based on how he explains the character's thoughts in Exhibit N. To those who'd rather read my blog post and not go read his awesome story, in short, it describes the societal stigma of loneliness being something that one can choose to break, rather than something forcing the individual into their current life. At the end, it's stated that Big Macintosh doesn't feel lonely, despite other ponies thinking he must feel lonely... so he must not be lonely, right?

Now, I can get into a big theological debate about this, but I'd rather not. I'd rather tie this in to why I like Big Macintosh.

Simply put, I'm an introvert. You'd never guess if you met me, though: I speak a mile a minute, can get people to do things just because I ask them to, and am generally considered the leader of most groups I'm in. I was the “herd leader,” as it were, by the other students at my previous vocational training center, eventually managing to get a turnout of 46 people to watch the season 3 premiere, the majority of them non-bronies, simply because they heard me talk and were inspired to try something new. However, this has not always been the case.

Approximately two years ago, I forced myself out of my position of seclusion to become an effective communicator, and found that I possessed the charisma to command others with little more than a few words. I'm not trying to be boastful here; it's just an observation that I've made. This was a big change from my previous ability to get people very mad at me very quickly, and my ability to never apologize or say that they are correct.

I parallel this to the feelings Big Macintosh has. I've never been lonely, ever; maybe alone, but never lonely. I'm far more content to sit on my computer and not associate than I am to talk to people... which isn't to say I don't like talking, because I definitely do, with the right person. It's just not something I was good at before, and now I am.

From the inside looking out, I see others who are facing the same struggle to communicate as I did; I don't see it as a barrier, but rather a way to enable them to become less reliant on human communication.

Put a man in a room with his own mind for long enough, and he's bound to lose some sanity. Put a man in a room with another man for long enough, and one of them will probably end up killing the other. It's just human nature.

Put a man in a world with the inability to speak correctly, and he'll find companionship with his own mind and learn to survive off limited interaction with his fellow human being. Not requiring another person to talk to for long periods of time can be a very good skill to have, and solitude is becoming more and more difficult of an ability to attain.

So, Big Macintosh can survive in solitude. Right? Not so much. Despite his shyness and man-of-few-words mentality, he has an incredible source of interaction with other ponies: his family.

Because I like organizing things, let's break this down into two things: family and friends. These are both the most common sources of human interaction, and both are very influential as to how we grow as people.

Family is the association we're familiar with, broadly speaking. They're those that we associate with because we feel a kinship, a bonding with them, that is quite unlike anything that can be felt towards a friend. Big Macintosh feels this kinship toward the other members of the Apple family, regardless of whether they are related by blood. This fulfills his need for social interaction by giving him what a shy pony wants. Only wanting to deal with people we're familiar with is a common characteristic amongst the shy.

As such, I guess I could partially disagree with what Herculean said about how alone, yet not lonely, Big Macintosh is, though I can see how, given what Big Macintosh is going through mentally in the story, he could feel that even family doesn't know him; regardless, we don't really know for sure how much he talks to the other Apples, though it can't be that uncommon for him to do so.

Oh yeah, I did mention Scootaloo in the title! I had never been able to explain my reason for liking her so much before, but thanks to this excerpt I read, I feel I at least partially know why I like that little orange filly so much.

Having the life I've had, seeing what I've seen, and knowing what I know, I tend to have a pretty positive outlook on what's going on around me. I get irritated with people who complain about free food just because it's not gourmet, I roll my eyes at people who whine about simple chores to keep their home clean, and I stare murder at people who speak to other people as if they're sub-human.

Why? Because I really feel privileged, sitting on this computer and typing my thoughts for potential millions to read, though likely only one or two have gotten to this point. I've had a good life, and it will only get better. If my biggest worries are what's for dinner, not how I'm going to get dinner, or if I'll ever find my soul mate, rather than if I'll live to see the next sunrise, it stands to reason that I should feel humbled by my having things granted to me.

What about those who aren't as lucky as me? For them, I sympathize and help directly where I can. Maybe I can't give a whole lot considering my financial situation, but I like helping those who aren't as fortunate as myself. It's the right thing to do, in my mind.

And what does all this have to do with Scootaloo? She's one of those disadvantaged that I sympathize with, of course.

But how? She seems like she has everything she needs, doesn't she?

As others have written extrapolations on in the past, Scootaloo's backstory isn't really discussed in the show. In fact, the show has gone so far as to make Scootaloo's backstory an obvious hole in the greater scheme of things. Don't believe me? Go watch the only Scootaloo episode, Sleepless in Ponyville. Apple Bloom has family, Sweetie Belle has family, and Scootaloo... she can just automatically go. No asking parents. No siblings who might want to come along. She just hears Rainbow Dash will be there and immediately volunteers, no questions asked.

Now, is Scootaloo lonely? That goes back to the family and friends thing. We have no idea if Scootaloo has any family—if you ask me, it's unlikely—but she does have friends. Two of the sweetest, most amazing friends anyone (or anypony) could possibly ask for. Just observe how the three of them interact and you can see.

However, whether you have the best friends in the world or the worst, there is still no family interaction here. If Scootaloo was a shy pony, instead of bold and tomboyish, this would be a major issue. It still should be a problem, though... there's so incredibly little that Scootaloo has concerning familial interaction that she has no regular social interaction. Considering her personality, she must have been very, very lonely before Sweetie Belle met her.

I ask myself, “Why is Scootaloo so darned happy all the time, then?” She has no family, and she had no friends for a long period of time, yet she emits no sign of reclusiveness or sorrow, as a normal intelligent creature would. In fact, she actually seems overjoyed to be alive. Perhaps that's it?

Unthinkingly, I made Scootaloo into an extension of my personality. As somewhat of a subconscious decision, I wanted to be more like her: Bold, sociable, and optimistic. Whatever may have happened in my past, or even the small irksome things that may happen in the present, I will always hold my head high and push forward, taking the difficult and the challenging with a smile... because that's what Scootaloo does.

Here, we reach something of an anomaly. Big Macintosh doesn't feel lonely, despite being alone much of the time, and yet he has family to support him, as well as his disposition being far more inclined to ambiguity.

Scootaloo, on the other hand, is nearly the opposite side of the coin: She seems to thrive on attention and spectacularity, and will instead actively seek out ponies who will find and support her.

How is this possible? The same alone but not lonely stance can't apply to Scootaloo. She has to have been lonely, by virtue of who she is if nothing else.

Based on this, Scootaloo is a beacon of willpower and inner strength, if she can overcome her demons as quickly and simply as she has. She has incredible mental fortitude and a deep, compassionate heart (she doesn't want her friends worrying about her).

She's the kind of person I hope to become someday.

There, I said it. I want to be like Scootaloo. She's been an inspiration for me to become a better person, to turn into the kind of human being that enjoys what life they get.

Instead of regretting her dark past, Scootaloo presses on toward the brighter future. That is the kind of life I want to lead.

Call it speculation or a crackpot theory, but that's how I feel my little scooter-toting flightless pegasus influences my life. Despite all of the things that make her imperfect—alone, even—she is always happy, playful, and a wonderful friend.

So, even though Big Macintosh is a more accurate reflection of who I am, my favorite lies squarely with the reflection of who I want to be. Construe this how you will, but Scootaloo... is my hero. :scootangel: :eeyup:

Also, I blame Silly Filly for making me stay up way past my bedtime writing this.

Report Scootareader · 475 views ·
Comments ( 14 )

Wow. That was a very deep and well thought out blog. It's rather inspiring to see you put so much effort into something that, sadly, will only be seen by a very small amount of people. Perhaps if you put this level of spirit and enthusiasm (not to mention word count and paragraph size.) in your fiction, your work would vastly improve. :scootangel:


Why, you cheeky... I'll take it into account. :twilightblush:

I think I may have worded that a bit....harshly. My apologies, as it is nearly 1A.M. in my part of the world


I prefer blunt critique over flowery language. You're fine, sir.

If it were not this bloody late, I'd be tempted to read the rest. Book marked at The Scootaloo bit.

947639 Late, try right now!! 2:18 in my part of the world, and still ticking! It just KEEPS TICKING!!! :pinkiecrazy:

Soo much writing in one blog..... I'ma have to read this thoroughly when I get home from school today..... :twilightsheepish:

I'm glad people seem to be picking up on the vein of loneliness with that first chapter. I didn't bring it up just so I could leave it behind.

Thank you for your continued support.

So the loner unfolds his tale for the few likewise minded because he feels obligated to.

...obligated to what exactly? Why is there a need to tell others on a site like this information about yourself? If they really want to know, they can ask. Or visit. If they are nice enough, I might even speak to them...what? Somewhere is here? I'm not prepared for them! Leave me alone!

This is how I thought for the longest time. I know your problems of being shy and basically antisocial all too well, scoots. In fact a battle against being so shy takes pretty much up your whole life. I know mine does at least.

I had awesome help from my little sister (who really dislikes ponies...:ajsleepy:) in socialising though. She literally dragged me into a pub and met there with a friend. I often sat there, drinking my coke (I dislike the social prompt to drink alcohol in pubs...and such beverages in general too) and listened to the two of them talk for hours on end. To put it simply, I was bored out of my mind at first. But slowly I talked back to them and although I disagreed in many points with the two of them, there were a whole lot of awesome nights too.

I still felt like my antiscoial old self at that time, just with an extra activity. What pushed me over the edge was seeing (and realising) a person like me in a course I had to take. She was really unhappy but never let somebody close to her. I spent most of my time trying to warm her up and maybe I helped her. But the whole story with her definitely helped me. It also showed me how hard life seems to you if you are lonely. And you implied yourself, being lonely is very close to being the way you are.

So you compare yourself to Big Mac and Scootaloo? You could pick Dischord (he is the only one of his race and never had a friend before Fluttershy - and some chaotic hobbies he uses to deal with that possibly) and Pinkie Pie? (She presumeably comes from a rock farm, lives far from them in another town and is basically so insecure that friends not wanting to come to one of her parties throws her 'over the edge'. Yet she still wants to be everyponies friends and even forgives Gilda...)

I think you picked the two of them for different reasons. But seeing as I don't want to psychoanalyse you without ever seeing you (or knowing basic things like your name for example) I won't divulge further into this.

But know this: every day you battle, every little chance for a friend you grasp, even the littlest of all thanks you will ever get - all of that it is worth. Most of the people actually are happy that you talk to them since everybody is shy to some extent and it's always easier replying than initiating in any conversation.
If you hold that little thought in your head, it may make getting such an outgoing personality like Scootaloos a little easier. It helped with my problems at least.

>> Jagg
Seriously!? After reading (or not reading) all the deep thoughts scootareader posted you're posting about time!? Who cares what time it is? Some of us who have problems similar to the ones scootareader described don't sleep for days! I haven't slept in five! So quit your stupid posts about staying up to read this. :twilightangry2:

I really like your post scootareader. But I have one question. Is it possible to feel the kind of lonely that comes from a lack of family, even if you have a family?

First, Jagg is fine. Thanks for coming to my aid and all, but it really wasn't a bother. :pinkiehappy:

As for your question, I think being estranged from family is a type of loneliness. In The Hollow Kingdom of Big Macintosh, Big Mac has the strength of family, but he still is very much alone. He can't speak to anypony about something that makes him a part of who he is, no matter how much he wants to. That in itself is a type of loneliness.

Likewise, while I feel a kinship with my family, that doesn't mean I have particularly close ties to any of them. While I appreciate what they do for me as family and I treat them in kind, there is a separation of sorts that I feel toward them, and I'd imagine they feel the same separation toward me.

I think most people feel a type of loneliness that is conditional love. People who appreciate you, not because you're a good person, but because you're related to them. Sure, it feels good to be a part of the life of others, but just because they're family doesn't mean that they truly want you to be a part of their lives.

So, if you have family that is only family because they have to be family, yes, you will feel pretty lonely, I'd imagine.

Shit, you were verbose in your blog posts from the very beginning. :rainbowderp:

Yeah, I've always been pretty exhaustive in my words. :twilightblush:

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