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Bad Horse


Beneath the microscope, you contain galaxies.

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Jul
13th
2016

Bronycon post · 7:31am Jul 13th, 2016

I can't say Bronycon was all fun, because I spent a lot of it stressed out or sleep-deprived, and as usual found it a challenge to do more helpful, constructive things than stupid, destructive things. But it was definitely worth it.

I recognized some people by their faces! That felt like an accomplishment. I did not, however, remember all the things I'd allegedly done last Bronycon, or in some cases, the day before.

I was tense Friday because I was still working out what to say on Advanced Writing. When I'd left home, I'd been planning to talk about the importance of structuring sentences grammatically and avoiding "red minnows" (accidental small mysteries the reader must solve to imagine the scene, like "where is the light inside the hold coming from?") so as to minimize the effort readers have to spend figuring out stupid stuff. By the time I reached Pittsburgh I'd decided that would put the audience to sleep. By the time I stopped in Breezewood, I'd decided to talk about how what people considered a story had changed over the centuries.

I was planning to say that stories communicate or reinforce social values, but as usual, comedy was the sticking point. It was hard to see ethics in the Three Stooges. I thought maybe I could say that the Stooges are funny because they're stupid, and being stupid is bad/wrong. Comedy relies on things being wrong, and being wrong requires a value judgement. In a culture like ours today in which you're no longer supposed to say that being stupid is bad or wrong, the Stooges are no longer funny.

Shenanigans had just brought up 3 theories of comedy (Shenanigans--recap in the comments?) SoloBrony, who is at a Pareto optimum for ability in unarmed combat and literary theory--any writer he can't beat in an argument, he can beat up physically--was sitting there too. I asked them both if comedy relied on social values. I was hoping they'd say something brilliant that I could steal for my panel, but they were still arguing when I had to leave.

At that panel, I gave some examples of how I thought the rules of story had changed over the years. I made a couple of dubious points imprecisely, and Cap'n Chryssalid's & Nyronus both took me to task for it. I also spoke longer than I should have, and Wanderer D had to cut his material to leave time for Q&A. :ajsleepy:

A high point of the con for me was during the panel, when Admiral Biscuit came up to the platform and handed me the package containing the tiara I'd brought for Skywriter. I looked at it and cackled madly, and a staff member ran up to me and demanded to know what was in the package. It was nice to get a little respect, by which I mean fear.

(Skywriter did not wear the tiara directly, but placed it on top of his cap, depriving us of witnessing his magical transformation into a drag princess. Please post photos.)

Then I was late to the Sadfic panel because I'd lost my slides (& didn't know GaPJaxie had copies). Mine were the first 2 slides, and GaPJaxie & Pascoite had already gone over them when I got there, so there was nothing left for me to do but sit there and look pretty. :facehoof: But Pasco & Jaxie kept looking at me like, "Where are your do's and don't's?", so I made shit up. :applejackunsure:

Sometime after the panels, I think, I came back to Quills & Sofas (Q&S) to find Shenanigans & SoloBrony still there, and they declared that comedy did, indeed, rely on social values. Sadly, when I tried to recover their conversation from my surveillance tapes of Q&S, they were blank.

My only panel that went as planned--and it was planned to the minute, thanks to GaryOak--was the scriptwriting panel on Saturday. The audience began bleeding away almost from the start, and the hall was hemorrhaging bronies the whole time I was speaking. They clogged the doorways at times trying to get out. I don't know what went wrong--the talk was what it said on the tin, an introduction to screenwriting. :derpyderp2: I think it was quite a good talk, but a lot of people wanted something different. If I did it again, I'd talk less about visual symbolism and review more books about scriptwriting and the trade.

So Friday & Saturday were a mixed bag. But from Saturday night on was mostly a blast. TheJediMasterEd presented me with another elaborate unbirthday gift, my very own cask of Amontillado. The Montressor family seal was drawn by iisaw.

I waltzed with Willow Wren at the Gala, & then we went to ChocolatePony's midnight talk on fanfiction & graphic novels, which contrasted the views of Alan Moore & Grant Morrison.

Your Antagonist was great as Zecora:

This guy had opinions about princesses:

Saturday evening I was walking down Pratt St. with TD & a man came up to us on the street and said that he and his wife and children were desperate and hungry, and could we please spare some change? He was the best pan-handler I encountered all weekend. And yet, thanks to TD, it was the first time that I was approached by a pan-handler while walking with someone else and felt no social pressure to give him anything. :trixieshiftright:

(I was approached by about 6 pan-handlers this year. That's not many for the tourist district of a big American city. I tried to give one horizon's nachos, but he wouldn't take them.)

Sunday I skipped the convention entirely, just going to Quills & Sofas, drinking all the amontillado in my room (I had a lot of help), visiting the Constellation & the Torsk, playing Once Upon a Time and Zendo late into the night and then eavesdropping on horizon's tarot readings 'til even later. Monday, breakfast with Bradel, horizon, Ed, & Willow at Chipotle's, sitting outdoors next to Pratt street in a cool wind.

(I wish I'd seen ROBCakeran53's reaction to the Torsk. He's a cross between a little kid and a Buddhist monk, which I guess is... a Buddhist monk. He's enthusiastic about whatever he's doing at the moment. I wish I knew how to do that.)

There was also tension, tempers, and tears, and some of each were my fault. There were many opportunities to make bad social mistakes, and I wondered at times how the more socially phobic were handling it. It may have been the most stressful con I've ever attended. But I think it had a happy ending.



THE EDUCATION OF BAD HORSE

I learned many things from Bronycon!

- If your mother gives you a pillow that was made in part from the down from the goose that was her childhood pet in Poland in the 1930s, and which was the only possession her family managed to save during six weeks of fleeing from the Russians during World War 2, you probably shouldn't take it to Bronycon.

- ChocolatePony, the guy who drew the pony tarot cards horizon uses, has a lot of interesting things to say about stories. I knew this already, because I saw him give the same talk last year, but I didn't then appreciate one implication of this, which is that artists in other media sometimes have things to say about stories.

Okay, this is a special case, because ChocolatePony is interested in graphic novels. But the history of art is made up mostly of sets of artists within one medium who were friends with each other, yet I can't recall any artists who had strong friendships with artists in other media. The brony fandom may give us a better chance of forming such friendships than anyone has had before. I wonder what art would be like if we did.

- Doing 3 panels which each require new material is one panel too many for me.

- If you schedule 4 events in a row in 4 different buildings, each with its own material requirements, you are no longer on vacation.

- 2 backup copies of your slides is not enough.

- Hats take up a lot of room in your trunk when you have 20 of them.

- Some people have less fashion sense than me. The hats I gave out are plastic. They're fine for parties or ironic hipster gatherings, but don't wear them to a wedding or a job interview.

- One of the things I like about brony conventions is the lack of cool people. I learned this when I asked a cosplayer if I could take his picture, and he turned out to be a cool person, and it gave me a jolt of social phobia.

I should explain that by "cool person" I don't mean "socially high-ranking". I mean a person with a specific kind of cool, reserved persona that gives the impression he/she is completely confident of zer own coolness, and is judging yours. It necessarily appears unfriendly. This can be misleading. At my high school, the smokers looked cool, while the preppies seemed friendly but were harder to befriend.

- I spend at least one full day a week on fimfiction, because I just spent the ENTIRE DAY, 9 to 6, catching up on my fimfiction feed after a week's absence, and then 6 hours after that writing this blog post. I still have 5 long blog posts to read and several PMs to write--and all that at a lower-than-usual level of responsiveness, and without reading a single story.

- But the most-important thing I learned was: Never eat at Chipotle before starting a 300-mile road trip. Never.

Never. :pinkiesad2:

Report Bad Horse · 1,023 views · #con #bronycon
Comments ( 54 )

But Chipotle is the best!

Great meeting you again! Though, I do have to agree that you seemed stressed whenever I talked to you. Hope you've had a chance to decompress since the con.

Your script writing panel started half an hour before one of the massive VA panels. People probably wandered into the panel in order to have something to do for a while, then left for that. Another issue is that it trotted over some ground covered by MA Larson earlier on the day, when he walked the audience through the Cutie Marks episode script. I watched your panel to the end, and felt that it was a fine introduction for someone like me, with absolutely no experience about this stuff.

But really, it was great meeting you there. Wish I had talked more, but I was so tired midway through the con that I had a hard time stringing together English words, not to speak of sentences. At least I can say I was privy to you planning the great Bronycon Street Banner Heist of 2016, and that I got to play a zen game with 4 of the best writers in this fandon.

Can confirm, Chipotle and long hours in enclosed traveling spaces do not mix well. I almost had to do awful, sinful things at midnight on a roadside once. Instead I did them in a podunk Texas town gas station, and I will forever carry that sin with me.

Everyone sounds like they had a pretty good time, all in all. I hope I can get in on one of these cons before we're driven into the ocean for good.

But hey.

You got 1337 followers now.

So that's cool.

I'm currently very sour grapes on the whole thing. I was saving up to go this year but during the time I was making travel plans and trying to get a passport, well that was also the same time my legs gave out and I wasn't sure I'd recover, so this idea of a party with Bad Horse, Horizon and Skywriter being all in the same room that I couldn't go to is making me rather miserable.

I've heard tell you're surprisingly soft-spoken in-person too. I imagine this is because you carry a big stick.

I heard what seems like a really good definition of comedy from a lecturer of mine back in university - he said comedy is when something happens that ought to be horrible, but isn't. So, say, if someone slips over and falls on their backside, that can be funny; if they slip over and hurt themselves, it isn't, but it might be after they've recovered. Tasteless jokes are hilarious because they're horrible comments, but when they're not being said to people who might actually be affected by them, they don't deliver the hurt they potentially could. &etc.

He defined it better, but it was a decade ago and I can't remember most of it. :trixieshiftleft:

4088326

so this idea of a party with Bad Horse, Horizon and Skywriter being all in the same room that I couldn't go to is making me rather miserable.

Let's save up for a whole year. Then we can afford kidnappers!

4088347

Actually, to the first part, I've heard it summarized better:

Fear is the past tense of comedy or tragedy

It was nice to meet you Bad. I thought your insights were fascinating. It's a shame that others got so butthurt over your opinions. I, for one, enjoyed analyzing your logic, and while I didn't necessarily agree with all of it, I appreciated the efforts you made. You made Bronycon a fascinating one this year for me, and I thank you for it.

Hope to see you on a panel next year.

ChocolatePony's midnight talk on fanfiction & graphic novels, which contrasted the views of Alan Moore & Grant Morrison.

If I knew it would involve comics I would've stopped by that. whoops. :derpyderp2:

But the history of art is made up mostly of sets of artists within one medium who were friends with each other, yet I can't recall any artists who had strong friendships with artists in other media. The brony fandom may give us a better chance of forming such friendships than anyone has had before. I wonder what art would be like if we did.

that's why I infiltrated the WriteOff in the first place. :duck:
my cynical impression: writers look down their noses at visual artists, but reluctantly rely upon them for shiny cover art to attract the dull masses toward their new fics. the fan musicians are off on another planet, because embedding music into a fanfic is even tackier than illustrations.
I want to be optimistic, because I've seen some fascinating collaborations across mediums from Bronies. but these are still so rare, and most seemed to stop caring what goes on outside their own field after the early days of the fandom...

All the interviews I've read with panhandlers say they make $100-$200 on a typical day, "working" less than 8 hours, so they're making 3-4 times minimum wage.

I had to walk 1 mile along Pratt St to get to my hotel, several times at 3 AM. I passed by several homeless people sleeping on the sidewalk each time, since the night air was so toasty. This may just be anecdotal observation, but I found 0% overlap between the homeless sleepers and the panhandlers. One example, many homeless women; I couldn't recall a single female panhandler. :trixieshiftright:

I feel like maybe you're holding yourself and your panels to a higher standard than ought be needed or expected at a SmallHorse Con. I mean, panels shouldn't suck, but you're presenting to Bronies, not professors. (Unless Bradel is in the audience. )

I should explain that by "cool person" I don't mean "socially high-ranking". I mean a person with a specific kind of cool, reserved persona that gives the impression he/she is completely confident of zer own coolness, and is judging yours.

Ah, so GaPJaxie then.

But the history of art is made up mostly of sets of artists within one medium who were friends with each other, yet I can't recall any artists who had strong friendships with artists in other media.

How about the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and its successor, the Arts and Crafts Movement?

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

iisaw didn't say anything about that emblem going on an actual cask I am 3000% more jealous now D:

The lesson here is, even if things go pear-shaped, it can still be a learning experience.

GaryOak tells me a lot of different things randomly went wrong this year. But based on his descriptions, the convention scene is still quite robust, because it's the only place where fans and staffers can get together and get completely blitzed. :raritywink:

I hope this won't cause trouble for me next year, since I tentatively plan on attending, and I'm straight edge. :trixieshiftright:

Chipotle: For when you forgot to eat.

4088365 I would like to see Bad Horse distilled into one, super-erudite panel that can focus on the things he exemplifies. It's very weird to have that flavor mixing into all sorts of other panels. He is like the anchovy essence in a hors-d'ouevres table that also includes desserts and drinks. :rainbowlaugh:

4088376 Funny thing is, there WERE other professors in the audience. We're discovering there's some sort of a market panel-wise for 'ARGH SO DRY AND SCHOLARLY' :raritywink:

Wanderer D
Moderator

Wanderer D had to cut his material to leave time for Q&A

Dude, trust me, my stuff wasn't half as interesting. You and the others made the panel awesome. Next time we just need a practice run.

4088367

I had to walk 1 mile along Pratt St to get to my hotel, several times at 3 AM. I passed by several homeless people sleeping on the sidewalk each time, since the night air was so toasty. This may just be anecdotal observation, but I found 0% overlap between the homeless sleepers and the panhandlers. One example, many homeless women; I couldn't recall a single female panhandler. :trixieshiftright:

Well duh, they're all waiting at the [ Greyhound station | Hostel ] waiting for their pan-daddy to bring back those eight dollars they need for a [ ticket | night's sleep ].

I've given out a fair bit of cash to guys on the street before, but it's a little grating when you hear the exact same story from the exact same person two years in a row.

4088594
I personally enjoyed both the Brony Psychology survey people's and the sociology panels to be pretty good. But then, maybe I'm not the best judge.

Beyond the content itself, I was surprised by a question at one of them which bore the implication that the person asking was unsure if any (other, open) atheists were in that room of probably near a hundred people, self-selected out of this community. A reminder, I suppose, that "normal" isn't the same thing for everyone.


4088621
If you did a practice run of all the panels you were on, would you even have time to eat or sleep? :rainbowderp:

In fairness, I think our screenwriting panel went very well. Part of the reason people left is the biggest VA panel that turned out to be incredible was scheduled halfway through our panel, so everyone staying did so knowing they'd miss the biggest VIP panel in the entire convention.

4088759 Absolutely. Bronycon runs only a few rooms and they're all huge plus the Mane Event Hall. That means every single panel is subject to being nuked by something completely awesome, and it sounds like scheduling really nailed you guys. Learn to love it, for an attendee it's kind of 'having too many good choices'.

There will NEVER be a moment where it's like 'this writing panel is the only good panel on, everything else is terrible' :raritywink:

So yeah, anybody staying at all is a huge feather in your cap. Mind you, tastes vary and there's nothing wrong with staying for screenwriting over VA appearances. I am very strongly motivated to get some sort of animation/movie out this year, so I can justify being on your screenwriting panel next year. Like I said when we talked, it is a largely secret obsession of mine, and we have GOT to hang out on skype or something and just compare notes or cook up some kind of script to do. I have to start actively Flash animating to do that, because that's a given, but I do have a friend or two also interested in that, and I can handle the soundtrack/audio aspect better than just about anybody :raritywink: (I am doing professional music mixing for $40 an hour and operate a working recording studio, so I have that stuff down cold)

Glad you liked the present! :pinkiehappy:Hope you don't mind I ganked the URL of that picture to use on my own blog. For some reason I can't link images from Google photos anymore.

And hey--post a picture of the box lid! Because I forgot to take one :facehoof:

It was fun hanging out with you! And I think you're being a bit too hard on yourself; what you had to say was very interesting.

Saturday evening I was walking down Pratt St. with TD & a man came up to us on the street and said that he and his wife and children were desperate and hungry, and could we please spare some change? He was the best pan-handler I encountered all weekend. And yet, thanks to TD, it was the first time that I was approached by a pan-handler while walking with someone else and felt no social pressure to give him anything. :trixieshiftright:

Who knew that begging from the Evil League of Evil was futile?

Your script writing panel started half an hour before one of the massive VA panels. People probably wandered into the panel in order to have something to do for a while, then left for that. Another issue is that it trotted over some ground covered by MA Larson earlier on the day, when he walked the audience through the Cutie Marks episode script. I watched your panel to the end, and felt that it was a fine introduction for someone like me, with absolutely no experience about this stuff.

Ditto. It didn't help that the VA Panel at the same time was the VAs reading a script. Namely, Tabitha St. Germaine's fanfic. Well, fanscript. About Luna. And starring all of the mane six.

And it was really good - what I caught of it, anyway (I stayed through the whole scriptwriting thing too).

I heard what seems like a really good definition of comedy from a lecturer of mine back in university - he said comedy is when something happens that ought to be horrible, but isn't. So, say, if someone slips over and falls on their backside, that can be funny; if they slip over and hurt themselves, it isn't, but it might be after they've recovered. Tasteless jokes are hilarious because they're horrible comments, but when they're not being said to people who might actually be affected by them, they don't deliver the hurt they potentially could. &etc.

The problem with this definition (which I have heard as well) is that it is wrong. Pinkie Pie ending her cutie mark story with "And that's how Equestria was made!" isn't horrible at all, but it is hilarious.

Also, puns don't comfortably fit into that definition at all and yet are a major kind of humor.

my cynical impression: writers look down their noses at visual artists, but reluctantly rely upon them for shiny cover art to attract the dull masses toward their new fics. the fan musicians are off on another planet, because embedding music into a fanfic is even tackier than illustrations.

I've never really gotten the impression that writers look down their noses at visual artists. That said, I do think they're pretty different; I think one of the major reasons for the deep chasm between them is that both are very time consuming abilities to perfect, meaning that there are few people who are great artists and great writers.

While in the fandom the musicians and fanwriters have little in common, elsewhere, writers often cross over into poetry and songwriting. That said, writing prose, script writing, songwriting, and poetry are all their own skill, though there seems to be a lot of overlap between them.

I think the hardest thing about visual artists is that visual art has very little to do with storywriting. Only people who do sequential art - i.e. comics - really spend time mastering the underlying structure and form of storytelling, and even then, oftentimes, there are separate writers and artists.

The same applies to animators as well.

There are precious few people who are good at both.

4088581

I hope this won't cause trouble for me next year, since I tentatively plan on attending, and I'm straight edge. :trixieshiftright:

I don't drink. I mostly avoided the room parties where there were lots of loud drunk people, but not because they were drunk - it was more because they were loud and there were like 20 people there. Which is why I ended up skipping out of Trick's party early to hang with Bad Horse. Sorry, Trick. :fluttershyouch:

The people I mostly hung out with at Everfree Northwest didn't get drunk, they just kind of had a couple of drinks. It was very casual and laid back.

4088367

This may just be anecdotal observation, but I found 0% overlap between the homeless sleepers and the panhandlers.

It is impossible to sleep and actively panhandle at the same time. But the panhandlers are on average more functional and more likely to have a home or even to commute into the city to panhandle. Some of the homeless are too messed-up, strung-out, or ashamed to panhandle.

4088596
The OODA loop never stops, so aren't you always inside it?
Doesn't comedy usually slow down and hold the tension rather than speed it up? Think stand-up comedians.
What's an example of content-independent comedy?
Are you being serious, or are you trolling again? I can never be sure.

4088367

my cynical impression: writers look down their noses at visual artists, but reluctantly rely upon them for shiny cover art to attract the dull masses toward their new fics.

I plead slightly guilty, but it's not so much looking down on them in general as being offended by their arrogance about story. Writers don't imagine they can draw, but animators, cartoonists, and everyone else imagines they can write. I admit it's more common to find an artist who can write than to find a writer who can draw, but the web has many beautifully drawn comics with bad writing, and fan animations hardly ever bother with a writer. Double Rainboom was a particularly offensive example of a massive project that received massive publicity but had no writer. A lot of animators get caught up in little visual gags and don't seem to notice their lack of story. It's like a writer not noticing the difference between the artwork of Girl Genius and XKCD. Looking down on artists is a reflex of wounded pride.

It's also a result of animators messing with the script to add visual gags, sometimes trampling over characters and the world as they do. Writers usually have no defense against animators, who get to change things after the writer's gone. Changing a camera angle or a character's expression or tone of voice can change the meaning, the character, and the story.

Alright, way to make me do an entire seminar on comedy....


There are three major theories of comedy that are widely accepted and studied in philosophy of humor.

Superiority theory- this is socrate's theory that comedy is about taking something that is held up in high acclaim and knocking it to the ground. When something is great, respectable, and honorable, you figure out how to ruin all of that. Socrates hated comedy because he thought of it as a tool of lesser men, but it really just becomes something of an equalizing force against this pretentious notion of class. This is where we get a lot of slapstick humor from.

Incongruity theory- this theory is a more modern theory where the general idea is that humor is caused when there is a difference between the world we perceive and the world we experience. We like to think that the world functions in exact ways based on probability, but in doing so we fail to account for all of the strange happenstance that is possible in the world. The black swan encounter is something perfectly reasonable in comedy. This theory explains more intellectual humor than the last theory but doesn't necessarily prove all humor.

Relief theory- this is the psychological theory that functions by many of the same principles of incongruity theory but also asserts that we laugh as a means of relief of other intense feeling. It is like being scared of a strange shape in the dark, worrying that you have to prepare to defend yourself, only to turn on the lights to see that it is a mop. Laughter can come as a response to a build up of tension, which is a common things in stories.

If you look at all three theories, there is a general concept of perception. Humor does not lie in objects but rather in the relationships between objects. You get more laughter out of people by introducing new ways of perceiving the world to other people.

On saying that comedy means to make statements about societal values, I'd like to say that it needs to take note of them, but I don't think it necessarily need. After all, that is what makes the fool so interesting. You never know what is or is not serious. Humor has 2 general social purposes: Social glue and social corrective. It isn't exactly a sword and shield, but maybe a sword and a wine glass. Social glue is a reinforcement of some kind of values or culture, and social corrective is attacking elements of society to show flaw in them. In a way, humor is very much about societal values, but even the notion of enforcing societal values is the type of pretentious harangue ripe for a joker of superiority theory to knock back down to the ground. Humor has social purpose, but I don't think it means that comedy necessarily is trying to declare a right or wrong way to act on the whole, because it can and will create many conflicting arguments in the same discussions. The issue is not that humor doesn't have social role, but that it may not be the purpose of the comedic piece to try to make statements or change society, and it doesn't determine whether the comedy has succeeded or failed at it's task if it does not make that statement adequately. Comedy can do lots of things, from make you laugh, to make you hate yourself for laughing, to make you think. Its all very interesting stuff. I certainly enjoy and try to follow the idea of dramatic comedy, but I also think it is problematic for anybody to try to tell comedy what it can and can not do.

To approach comedy there are two ways to set up jokes in narrative. It is either natural or artificial. Neither are inherently better than the other, it is just a matter of approach. The natural approach is using the culture of the reader as the baseline for humor. There is no need for set up in this case because the set up is already inherent in how the reader thinks. This is obviously a gamble, as you may misread the reader, or it may just be something outside of a cultural value. The other method is to create a perception in the reader. Sometimes jokes take set up, where you have to change how the reader thinks or interprets information, and this is perfectly fine, it just might take longer than the first method. Between the two it is simple. You either go with the flow or you make waves.


People often have a hard time coming up with comedy because they are used to dramatic or tragic writing, which often deal with people of greater character brought down or overcoming a tragic flaw. We want to be our dramatic heroes. However, comedic characters tend to have more flaws than usual, because it is easier to play around with. Much of comedy is the art of bad decisions, or being told to do things one way and then taking them in the opposite direction. So much of comedy is built up on misdirection of expectation that it is good to have characters that are problematic. If you look at Community or Arrested Development, all the characters have major flaws. Jeff Winger is a scoundrel who thinks everything is about him and that he can talk white into black and day into night. Britta is pretentious for prententiousness's sake, often getting involved in social justice shenanigans she doesn't actually care about and gets jealous when others try to participate as well. Troy is often stupid and jockish, and tries very hard to keep up ideas of manliness, even in the face of being a total nerd. Ahbed has difficulty separating reality from fiction, and even if he is correct on a meta-scale, it makes him a diegetic Cassandra. I could keep going, but you get the point. These characters have a lot in the way of flaws because comedy thrives on mistakes and issues. The more flaws you have the better for comedy. The contrarian is probably the king of comedy.

Comedy is often like comedy. It defies all rules just because it feels like its, because those rules are our expectations. It is the ultimate thing, in that the silliest thing for comedy to be is to be serious. Comedy is an interesting beast, and I think that makes it fun to study. Anyway, I've talked for way too long on this.

4089049

Getting inside the loop means creating a new stimulus before your opponent has finished reacting to the old one

Ah! Yes. A good one-two punchline.

Or else you end up with say a Shakespeare "comedy" which is not funny, because then it just means a story with a happy end.

I'm afraid Shakespeare comedies were meant to be funny. I'd say this proved an unbridgable cultural gap between us and Shakespeare, except that many people still (think they) find Midsummer Night's Dream and Twelfth Night hilarious, which makes me sad. :unsuresweetie:

srsly people, 12th Night is shit, stop performing it

Shakespeare never performed 12th Night in public

I think Shakespeare wrote some funny stuff in his tragedies, like the Yorick scene in Hamlet or Falstaff in Henry V, but it's a cruel fatalistic humor that's hard to grasp today. (Falstaff is a monster, tho that isn't as obvious to people who don't know how the provisioning and training of troops worked under Henry IV. He basically murdered all of his men by spending the money the crown paid him to train and equip them on women and drink.)

Stand up comic long jokes are no funnier than a good pun, they just feel more satisfying because they engage other emotions too.... The funny part is because the discovery comes so fast, all at once, that you are overloaded with an emotion.

I know what you mean, & that's a part of humor, but you're using the word "funny" to mean a small subset of what most people mean by "funny". I use "funny" to mean things that make people laugh. Situations and stories can be funny without speed of information being involved. Tension can be structural.

"Did he just say something racist? Is this a racist joke?" This tension is then resolved very quickly. "Oh, wow, yes it is a very racist joke! Now I know!"

If that were all, ending with something not racist, like, "Three," would be just as funny. It usually isn't.

Anyway trolling and being serious are the same thing so you can take it either way

Comedy and being serious can be the same thing, because comedy requires truth. Trolling and being serious are opposite at the literal level, because trolling requires deception. Trolling can be "the same thing" only to one who sees thru the trolling, but the essence of trolling is making it difficult to see through the trolling. It's comedy in which the stupider half of the audience is tricked into playing the straight man. If you aren't deceiving half of your audience, you aren't trolling.

4089049

Stand up comic long jokes are no funnier than a good pun, they just feel more satisfying because they engage other emotions too.

Long jokes are just a product of needing to set up a perception. It is not inherently any more or less engaged with other emotion as any other kind of jokes.

The sped up structure is in the format of a joke. I am talking wee micro. The punch line comes at the end, why? It resolves the tension inherent in the build-up. The funny part is because the discovery comes so fast, all at once, that you are overloaded with an emotion. It is the same as when you laugh suddenly because you feel like crying. laughing is all that you can do because you are overwhelmed, because of the speed of the input that sent your brain crashing.

I think the issue here is that you mistake the elements of presentation for the elements of humor. Saying things quickly, short and sweet, are par for the course for everything in screen writing. I've heard it as the "Snap, Crackle, and Pop of dialogue." Snap being how quick and crispy you can say something. Crackle being the freshness of the way your are saying what you want to say. Pop being the use of subtext. If it was all about making things quick, then making everything faster would inherently be better to the point where it would just be condensed blips of sound, but it really isn't that way. Comedy still has to be understood.

Humor can be found in how people say something as much as how funny the content of what is being said, and it is hard to separate them, but you can tell when someone only knows about humor from how something is said rather than from what your are saying. Many a terrible "abridged series" suffer from having nothing clever or humorous to say but insist on saying it in funny ways. Abridged series in ponies is a good example. Friendship is Witchcraft has no idea what is necessary to make something funny. They throw things at a wall and hope that it works. Occasionally you get something like sweetie bot or shining armor being a corn dog obsessed exaggeration of jock tropes being funny, but much of the content leaves something to be desired. The Mentally Advanced Series has an excellent understanding of how to use humor in ways that don't rely on telling a joke quickly.

Humor is often a hard thing to piece apart on its own, because it is almost never going to be one medium at a time. There is often auditory and visual elements along side the mental elements, so there is a lot of area where humor can be derived. The way something is said can be humorous simply because it is vastly different from the appropriate/expected response or even that we associate the way it is being said with something else. Anything can be funny if you yell about it in your head long enough. Visuals can be humorous in the way that they happen, disregarding the rules of how we think things should happen. Because so much humor is about expectation, there is a lot that visual humor can do with speed simply because it means you can't react quick enough to change your expectation. Speed certainly helps, but speed does not equal humor.

It was a bit denser than the other panels I attended but I did enjoy how you talked about the history of stories.

4088903

I plead slightly guilty, but it's not so much looking down on them in general as being offended by their arrogance about story. Writers don't imagine they can draw, but animators, cartoonists, and everyone else imagines they can write.

my comment was one-sided, and I was thinking of making fun of the other art forms too, but I think this is true. I didn't realize how little I knew about writing until I started to try a little myself. many probably think of writing as simply combining Dialogue + Purple Prose, not realizing what lies beneath the surface level... storytelling and structure and themes.

(but to be fair to the other side, writers may freely admit they can't draw because they don't have the motor skills and proper tools, but not understand that's just the surface too. I've seen more than a few that have no grasp on colors or composition, but try to 'direct' an artist anyway (it's basically like that early Rarity episode) )

It's also a result of animators messing with the script to add visual gags, sometimes trampling over characters and the world as they do. Writers usually have no defense against animators, who get to change things after the writer's gone.

This is what I find a little depressing. Whoever's in charge of a project calls the shots, and everyone else is competing to get their own talents noticed before it gets watered down by a producer. even the artists become mercenaries. It's friggin Hollywood or something. These things aren't collaborations.

on a positive note, I think it could be changed. I don't want to see everyone just stay bitter at each other, because that goes nowhere. in the spirit of FiM, perhaps there could be more harmony with a little cross-pollination of ideas. (more on what I mean by that below, in my reply to TD)

4088863

I've never really gotten the impression that writers look down their noses at visual artists. That said, I do think they're pretty different; I think one of the major reasons for the deep chasm between them is that both are very time consuming abilities to perfect, meaning that there are few people who are great artists and great writers.

While in the fandom the musicians and fanwriters have little in common, elsewhere, writers often cross over into poetry and songwriting. That said, writing prose, script writing, songwriting, and poetry are all their own skill, though there seems to be a lot of overlap between them.

I admit it's a view I only have when I'm trying to be overly cynical, I'm sure most fanfic writers enjoy looking at fanart just fine. and I agree that it's asking too much for people to be proficient in multiple fields. I think what's been missing for a while is simply appreciation and understanding between the different types of creativity.

as an example, this fan-album from years ago fascinated me at the time. it was just one guy's love letter to some of his favorite fanfics, nothing more. another example is Rainbow Factory, which started as a concept song first and inspired the fanfic. the fanfic's sequel, Pegasus Device, itself inspired another song by another musician. I thought it was so amazing to see this kind of back-and-forth within a fandom, and I wanted more to follow.

though now it seems like, in general, the rest of the fandom doesn't notice fanfics. everyone's at least aware of Cupcakes, My Little Dashie, Fallout Equestria..... and Background Pony too, because it got a lot of fanart. beyond that, they either have a FimFic account or don't read at all. :fluttercry:

4088594

A Bad Horse panel -- an hour of where he gets to say whatever the f*ck for as long as he wants and the rest of us just try to keep up?

Worth the price of admission. :twilightsmile:

4088903

I plead slightly guilty, but it's not so much looking down on them in general as being offended by their arrogance about story. Writers don't imagine they can draw, but animators, cartoonists, and everyone else imagines they can write. I admit it's more common to find an artist who can write than to find a writer who can draw, but the web has many beautifully drawn comics with bad writing, and fan animations hardly ever bother with a writer.

Almost everyone is literate, and most educated people are at the very least capable of writing a decent essay.

Writing a story is vastly more difficult, and we generally have pretty marginal training on how to do so. But it isn't at all obvious that writing essays and writing prose fiction are vastly different endeavours to many people, and so they don't recognize how hard it is to "write". The fact that we refer to all of it as "writing" is itself probably unhelpful in this regard.

On top of that, writing a story is harder than constructing the little pieces; writing a few lines of dialogue can make you think you can write a story, thus allowing you to keep sinking in deeper and deeper without recognizing flaws in plot, pacing, story structure, or other issues.

It's like a writer not noticing the difference between the artwork of Girl Genius and XKCD.

In all fairness, that's a very different axis. XKCD is extremely iconic; Munroe is capable of drawing quite well when he actually wants to do so. He isn't the best artist ever, but he is capable of drawing more than stick figures. Some of his landscapes are very pretty.

That said, he didn't start out a very good artist; it took him many years to get good at it and do a lot of the fancier, prettier things he later did.

4089496

though now it seems like, in general, the rest of the fandom doesn't notice fanfics. everyone's at least aware of Cupcakes, My Little Dashie, Fallout Equestria..... and Background Pony too, because it got a lot of fanart. beyond that, they either have a FimFic account or don't read at all. :fluttercry:

A number of artists at BronyCon knew who I was, most notably White Diamonds.

I think a big part of it is simply people not coming across stuff. Something which exists in multiple mediums is more likely to be something that someone will come across and read.

Also, consuming a story requires a bigger time commitment than watching a video in many cases. Many people read at like 200-300 WPM, meaning even a 1000 word story takes them 3-5 minutes to read, while a 5000 word story might take them 15-25 minutes.

...what happened to the pillow?

4089705 Turns out I left it at a friend's house near Baltimore. I'll get it back... next year?

4089628 I was thinking more of a scholarly cage match. Possibly with large inflatable mallets. Hey, it works for MY panels :rainbowwild:

I will say this. I gorged myself on writing panels that weekend, and your failure, as big as it was, was vastly more interesting than many other people's "successes." You had the guts to say something and ambition counts. You flubbed it, but you were rushed and worried and under pressure and throwing out a thesis that flies in the face of dozens of truisms literary theorists have accepted as truth over the last couple hundred years and deal with subjects you probably weren't as familiar with as you are literature itself. That's a tall order for anyone to pull off with grace, mate; if you don't believe me, you should hear about my undergrad thesis some time.

The fact is, stagnation and playing it safe mean you'll never move forward to real success. Failure just means you're one try closer to succeeding.

Also, bee-tee-dubs, you completely misspelled me and Chryssalid's names.

Your monologue was one of the high points of a rather high weekend.

- 2 backup copies of your slides is not enough.

It depends on how the backup copies are expected to reach their destination (the panel). If they're expected to reach the panel through the same route, then I would agree. No number of backups would be sufficient in that case since the failure of one to reach the destination implies the likely failure of all others. If they're expected to reach the destination through more independent routes, for example by giving each copy to a different person that is expected to attend the panel, then two backups are probably sufficient.

Something analogous can be said about memory.

The audience began bleeding away almost from the start, and the hall was hemorrhaging bronies the whole time I was speaking. They clogged the doorways at times trying to get out. I don't know what went wrong--the talk was what it said on the tin, an introduction to screenwriting.

You know exactly what you did. You should be ashamed of yourself. Or proud. You should have strong feelings about what you did.

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Or that. We could do that. I'll bring popcorn. :twilightsheepish:

It was great to meet you! I'm exceptionally grateful we got Monday, because it was exactly the kind of conversation I was hoping to get out of the authors' dinner. Probably will just skip the dinner next time. I loathe the temporal and emotional drain of the logistics arguments that go into large outings.

Zendo was also great. You hit a sweet spot for it. In hindsight I feel guilty interrupting it for the Tarot readings, which were a far more passive spectator activity for almost everyone in the room. It sounds like at least you got some interesting observations out of it to feed into your stories, for which I am grateful.

Felt like the panels went well in general, and the parties were lovely. I had a great time overall.

4088798
Definitely hit me up on Skype. I'm not sure when I'm going to write more scripts due to my other projects, but I'd love to talk shop with you at the very least!
4088860
Your wish is my command. You'll need to remove the "i." before "imgur.com" in the link in order for it to work after you've opened it. http://imgur.com/4pAf5iw.jpg

4091219

Thank you and bless you! :trollestia:

4090200

TWO THESES ENTER
ONE THESIS LEAVES
TWO THESES ENTER
ONE THESIS LEAVES

4091405
And thank you for being my liquor guardian angel at Bronycon again!

4091515

Whoa! If I'm a guardian angel of ANY sort then they are seriously shorthanded in Heaven.

On the other hand--gives us a chance of getting in, right? :trixieshiftright:

4091683
What kind of heaven would it be without booze? :trollestia:

4090340 Thank you!

(What was your undergrad thesis? Why did you even have an undergrad thesis?)

Also, bee-tee-dubs, you completely misspelled me and Chryssalid's names.

Not completely! I got several letters right.

4091219

Actually, the link doesn't appear to be stable: it'll work for a few minutes, then break. Any ideas? I'm stumped.

4091861
Fimfic hates imgur. You should be able to take the "i." out of it, then save it and reupload it as you see fit.

4091933

Okay, I found a place to stash it. thanks!

4091770

Honors Degree required them. Mine was on the thesis that philosophy is a prime mover of historical action, that, essentially, men will act as they believe in their given circumstances is necessary, just, or permissible, and as a case study I linked the decay of the French Republic into out and out fascism during the Terror as being linked to certain toxic ideas inside of Rousseau's philosophy. Essentially once they had accepted Rousseau's premise that vox populi was infallible, that idea became a rhetorical crowbar with which Robespierre pushed the nation into mass murder and with which he used to harass, shame, silence, and then eventually murder all his rivals until only he and his cabal of sociopaths were left in the government before the Thermidorean Reaction ousted them.

I still think it's a solid thesis but I was writing over the course of a few days, compiling and formalizing months and months of research without proper support from either of my mentors, one of whom looked down on me but seemed too afraid to tell me so, and the other who just seemed to find me quaint. A proper exploration would take months more of more hardcore research than I had on hand. I also had a really clumsy and stupid section where I tried to do a contrast for the American revolution as being essentially less Roussean and more Lockean and therefore more stable and less prone to bloodletting and police-stateisms. I'm also just a much better critical thinker than I was then, and less emotionally invested in the whole mess, and so more able to work on it.

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