• Member Since 4th Jun, 2013
  • offline last seen 11 hours ago

Bootsy Slickmane

Retired writer and graphic artist.

More Blog Posts136

  • 30 weeks

    Sometimes, I make the mistake of looking at my stories here and their comment sections, and I get that old itch to make pony stuff again. I had a lot of fun doing it, after all, and I do love to entertain. I still have a lot of trouble getting any creative work done, of course. I haven't even had any real interest in it for quite a while, now. But even beyond that... well...

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    7 comments · 154 views
  • 43 weeks
    A Collab Relic

    A few years back, Samey90 and I started writing a story. A story about a little group of young pony friends hanging out at a lake. We did most of the writing on it, but it kinda fell by the wayside. I drifted away from ponies and retired, and it looked as though the fic might never see the light of day. But now, that story has finally been

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    1 comments · 120 views
  • 58 weeks

    1 comments · 139 views
  • 77 weeks
    A Surprise Shadowbolts Story

    Do you like the Crystal Prep Shadowbolts? Do you like stories with romance in them? Do you like a grittier and more realistic (and cynical) take on Equestria Girls? Then you might want to have a look at the story below the break. I think you'll like what you find.

    And no, it's definitely not the Shadowbolts Adventures series, if that's what you guessed by who's doing this promotion.

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    1 comments · 224 views
  • 88 weeks
    The New Fimfic

    Is it April again already? Because this new site update is a joke.

    Edit: Okay, it's not a complete joke. There's actually a lot of good stuff in this new update. Bugfixes and cool stuff galore. Buuuut there are also some not-so-good changes, and the flood of new code seems to have broken... everything, at one point or another.

    4 comments · 227 views

What I Thought About "Appleloosa's Most Wanted" · 6:37pm May 3rd, 2015

Spoilers ahead. Episode review

I've been going into all these new episodes blind, so I knew nothing about it other than the title and a shamefully unspoilered image of Braeburn in a cast on Derbibooru. Not much to go on, but that's how I like it. So I start watching, and come to find it's a CMC episode. Neat. I wonder what they'll be doing out in the wild, uh, south. Doing fun stuff with the Apple Family? Getting to know their relatives? Hanging out with Braeburn and giving him some development?

Oh. They're obsessing over their cutie marks. Again. Man, I thought we were past this. They haven't been doing any on-screen crusading for a while, now, and it was so refreshing to see them doing something else. Oh well. It's just my preference. Besides, this actually makes some sense within Season 5. Babs got her mark not too long ago (presumably), so it makes sense that the Ponyville CMC would be thinking about that again. So it's okay.

One of the early things I noticed as I was watching was that the dialogue felt a little awkward. I dunno, it just felt a little bit off. Not like things the characters wouldn't say, just a little uninspired. Not a big deal to me, though, because it wasn't like some big, glaring problem. Just a little thing I noticed. At the very least, a whole lot of it was fairly expository. This is gonna lead me to dump out a can of worms all over the floor by getting into dialogue and things not related to the plot being present in a story, and this isn't the place for that, so I'm going to move on.

Hehe. Okay, that harmonica gag was pretty funny. Oh, and look, Sweetie has started using magic more. That's really nice to see. Despite not getting to see Braeburn develop much in this episode, I liked most of what I saw. He felt more like a character than just a stallion who yells the name of his town (though he was still entertaining as such). He didn't do much here, but he was nice to see again.

So other stuff happens, and we come to learn that some outlaw has been going around trashing rodeos around Equestria. His name? Trouble Shoes (yes, it's two words in the credits). This whole aspect was interesting to see. I've had a couple conversations about how there doesn't seem to be any law enforcement presence in Ponyville aside from one hospital security guard. The royal guard was there a few times, but all they did was protect the princess and her assets. Kinda strange that Appleloosa has a sheriff and deputies (though it goes with the wild west town style). They're probably just there to deal with rattlesnakes or something.

So the CMC, in their infinite stupidity, decide to go out and find this outlaw. Not to bring him to justice, but just to find him and tell the sheriff. Still pretty dangerous, though. So then they walk around in the rain, nothing really happens, and they find an abandoned shack. Hmm, I wonder if Trouble Shoes lives there? So they head inside, Mr. Evil Shoes comes back, and... wow, this guy is a total klutz. He must be some kinda jinx or something, like Eugene from Hey Arnold. Interesting. So, all those rodeo disasters must've been accidents, eh?

Yeah, they were. Poor guy just accidentally wrecks everything he touches. Too bad, too, because he seems like a pretty nice guy. This is a character archetype we haven't really seen before, outside of Cranky Donkey, to a degree. He's downtrodden, beaten down by the world, and just wants to get by, but he can't help but be drawn to the thing he loves (rodeos). It's sad, really, especially with him believing his cutie mark was for bad luck. That would seriously throw a giant wrench (or spanner) into the machinations of cutie marks, because that would mean you could get a cutie mark in something that's actually bad for the bearer. Although, actually... well, I'll get to that later.

So everything plays out as you'd expect, and everypony ends up okay at the end. Par for the course. No surprises, here.

Overall, it was okay. There's nothing that really stands out to me, here. It's predictable, there were some good moments, but I doubt I'll be watching it a lot. I liked seeing Braeburn, and I like Trouble Shoes. He was neat and his design was different and nice. So yeah, I'd probably give this a 5/10. This is not a bad score, but it's not a good score, either. Middle of the road. I enjoyed some of it, but there isn't much here to keep me coming back. The fact that nopony talked to the CMC and just assumed they were foalnapped is annoying, too. I get that they didn't want to get in trouble, but way to throw a poor stallion under the bus, kids. And then, there's my problem with this episode...

Alright, now I'm gonna get into something bad about all this. A mighty, glaring problem with this episode. I know I said that I probably wouldn't focus on the stuff I didn't like in the episodes, but this is a problem too big for me to ignore, and the episode wasn't fun enough for me to let it go. If you loved this episode and don't want to see me rip a big hole in it, feel free to walk away now. I won't judge you.

Still here? Okay.

Trouble Shoes is, well, troublesome for the world of MLP as we know it. I don't mean his rodeo-wrecking prowess, I mean what he means for cutie marks. This stallion got his cutie mark while doing a rodeo routine, and doing pretty well. But then he screws up and makes the judges laugh, and we're supposed to buy into the idea that he misinterpreted what his mark meant? This doesn't work. It just doesn't. If his mark was for making ponies laugh at his clumsy antics, why did he get it before that actually happened? He was already accident prone, so it's not like it was a new thing he discovered. He got his mark seemingly at random, almost like the mark caused his accident. It couldn't have, though, partly because he was already breaking everything before, and partly because cutie marks don't change ponies. They've established that pretty thoroughly by now. The Cutie Pox was a disease specifically stated to make ponies act weird, so that's not a factor.

The biggest problem is that he never had a revelation about what his talent actually was. He wasn't doing something that made him go, "Hey, I'm good at making ponies laugh. Like, really good. Maybe this isn't so bad. Maybe I could do this all the time." Bam. Cutie mark. But no, that didn't happen. He was doing something that had nothing to do with acting like a clown, got his mark for clowning, and then did something clown worthy. It doesn't jive with what we know about cutie marks. After all this time of figuring out how cutie marks work, this episode comes along and just kicks it all in the nads, making it confusing all over again.

Why didn't they just make him a blank flank and have him get his mark at the end of the episode, when he really realizes how much he can entertain ponies as a rodeo clown? That would've made much more sense, and could've been totally heartwarming. The CMC would probably be terrified to find a pony who was a full-grown adult and still had no cutie mark, though, so maybe that's why they didn't go with that. Might send them into shock at the idea that they really could be blank flanks forever. They weren't afraid to see a cutie mark for bad luck, but Luna had just told them that they wouldn't get a mark for something they didn't want (thank you, Luna, by the way, for dispelling some awful headcanons). Maybe they never believed what he said it meant because of that.

I dunno. The only way I can reconcile this new information is to believe that we, the viewers, have been straight-up lied to about the way cutie marks work, because this episode doesn't follow the rules as we've been told them. This may even contradict what we were just told in this season about how you can't get a cutie mark for something you don't want, since Trouble wanted to compete in rodeos, not be a rodeo clown. He only settled for clowning later. Gimme some time and I might think up a way to make this facet of the episode work. Like, maybe somepony cast magic and gave him a mark before his time (if this episode is actually building up to Starlight's return (which I still doubt she'll do), this could be interesting foreshadowing). He was like, "This is what I was meant to do," and the universe was just like, "Nope, this is," and brands his butt with a mark for something he never wanted. That's horrifying. The bottom line here is that it doesn't make sense. It's a big hole, and I don't know if I can plug it. Maybe someone else out there can. I certainly can't ignore it, though.

Young Trouble Shoes was adorable, though, so at least there's that.

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Comments ( 8 )

The only way I can reconcile this new information is to believe that we, the viewers, have been straight-up lied to about the way cutie marks work

Or the writer of this episode just disregarded all of that, or missed some of the writers' meetings about this season, or the script had some last-minute changes that weren't adequately vetted...

What's the saying? "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity."

But yeah, it does seem odd that he'd suddenly get a cutie mark that seems -- no matter how you interpret it -- completely unrelated to anything he was interested in or already good at.

maybe somepony cast magic and gave him a mark before his time

Can't be done. Twilight herself tried to do it at Apple Bloom's request back in the first season, and never got a cutie mark to stick for more than a second or two.

I was going to give this horribly-written episode a 5/10, but I just couldn't bring myself to do so. I disliked it too much.

Well, yeah, it was bad writing. It's canon, though, so I'd like to figure out a way to make it mesh. My best guess was magic, but...

Can't be done. Twilight herself tried to do it at Apple Bloom's request back in the first season, and never got a cutie mark to stick for more than a second or two.

This is true. This was also before Starlight showed that one can remove cutie marks, and just with her own magic (since she said the staff was fake). If cutie marks can be removed, perhaps they can be planted as well. Twilight doesn't know everything.

I thought about giving it a lower score, but I meh'd so hard that it was difficult to work up any manner of real displeasure.

Well, yeah, it was bad writing. It's canon, though,

True; I suppose we as a fandom will have to find a way to reconcile it unless/until we get a good explanation from the show staff.

If cutie marks can be removed, perhaps they can be planted as well. Twilight doesn't know everything.

A valid point.

The way I see it was this: Troubleshoes said he knew he was meant to entertain ponies, and that's what he was doing when he got his cutie mark. So, the cutie mark wasn't specifically about making ponies laugh, just entertaining them.

The idea of getting a cutiemark for something you don't want/can't do isn't entirely unheard of. That was the entire plot of "Magical Mystery Cure" after all, that the five ponies were cursed with Cutie Marks whose purpose they could not fulfill.

Also it's important to remember that a Cutie Mark is a sign of who you ARE, not who you WANT to be. Children want to be all kinds of things that they will never be (Hell, that was the original idea behind the Cutie Mark Crusaders in the first place, that they wanted to be anything and everything, but weren't anything yet), so deciding that what he wanted to be as a Blankflank child is who he is destined to be is a false assumption. If anything a pony who gets a cutie mark contrary to what he thought he wanted as a child is more realistic than every single pony having their destiny lead to their childhood dreams.

I dunno, just my thoughts on the matter.

Magical Mystery Cure was caused by irresponsible use of a spell, though... huh, there really is a precedent for magic giving marks to the wrong ponies.

Bloom and Gloom is the latest word we've gotten on marks. Luna says that... huh... yeah, she totally says that a cutie mark is for who you are, and... ouch. You're right. You're right, and this episode still kinda horrifies me. I still don't think how he got the mark makes sense, but I guess 3041068 has the best explanation for that. Still weird to me, but okay. But now we have a new issue: the moral of this new episode.

If I'm understanding this correctly, the combined moral, whether intentional or not, is that you just have to accept who you are, even if it's something you never wanted to be. If you can't seem to do what you want, give up and be what you're suited to. I can't decide whether that's a terrible lesson or a great one. It has merit, but at the same time, it's really a downer and pretty cruel to just say, "Stop trying to do what you love and be the clown you are."

Trouble was very upset that the judges laughed at him, and only accepted being a rodeo clown after years of depression because he couldn't do what he loved. He wanted to compete, not make a fool of himself. He didn't want to be a clown even after all those years. He only accepted it because... I don't know why. I guess he was tired of not doing anything with his life. If he's alright with it, I guess it all worked out, but damn. I dunno how I feel about all of this anymore. That poor stallion just can't catch a break, and had to settle for being laughed at. Maybe that mark really is for bad luck. He was doing fine at the audition before it came and distracted him.

Applejack had no right to punish them, she should've just minded her own business and stopped telling the CMC what to do, she is not the boss of them, and what she and the sheriffs did to Trouble Shoes......I swear when I saw them do that to him, I just wanted to slap all of them.

Because from what I've seen, Equestria's got a bunch of jackbutts for police officers and don't even know the first thing about law enforcement.

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