• Member Since 15th Aug, 2016
  • offline last seen July 17th

Will


Punctual, entertaining, enigmatic and humorous. Those terms are best applied to others. However, these do a good job of describing me: absentminded, long-winded, reclusive and strange.

More Blog Posts12

  • 170 weeks
    A Quick Question

    First, a mandatory apology. I’ve been - well, gone’s not quite the word. Skulking is more apt, I think. My heart was so set on doing stuff with the one story I’ve got posted here that I never even thought anything could interrupt that. Well, as life is wont to do, it got in the way. Now it’s... what, one, two years later (?) and I started thinking about updating.

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  • 181 weeks
    Saw My Little Pony: The Movie (2017) (Western Animation)

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  • 260 weeks
    √A = emotion

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  • 260 weeks
    Why?

    Just give me a moment to gather my thoughts.

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    7 comments · 315 views
  • 261 weeks
    My Own Worst Enemy

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    6 comments · 256 views
Sep
26th
2016

Why? · 9:07pm Sep 26th, 2016

Just give me a moment to gather my thoughts.

Tardy to the party as always, I have only just watched the new episode titled "Every Little Thing She Does." It started rather innocently and ordinarily, with Starlight obviously afraid of messing up a friendship lesson and beginning to freak out in a manner reminiscent of early Twilight. Gee, I wonder why. Couldn't be due to the fact that she's pretty much Twilight minus friends with a bit of moral warping thrown in to provide some personality differentiation, sort of like a less unique/inspired version of Moondancer (take your pick of adjective to use). There's a difference between a shadow archetype and your alternate universe double finding its way into your life, and I'm not entirely sure of which side I'd place Starlight just yet.

Remind me; why isn't she a villain, again? She acts like a more cordial version of Discord, yet at least he seems to be attempting to hold back on using the more destructive or mind destroying applications that come with his vast reality warping abilities. Yes, she's given up on enslaving ponies by the dozen and forcing them to work together in a system based on childhood loneliness - I'll concede that. She's learned that friendship lasts, and that the end of one is not the end of the world. However, she has not learned that it's not okay to remove free will and create mindless slaves of those close to you who will obey your every instruction without question, unless said question is to clear up any confusion that they may be able to recognize in that state (which isn't much).

I started out the episode thinking that I knew exactly where it was going: Starlight gets nervous and attempts to escape having to do her friendship lessons entirely, perhaps by procrastinating or running away briefly. My expectations were thrown out the window onto a waiting road and driven over by a semi-truck immediately upon hearing the language she uses when describing each of the spells in turn, especially the moment that she says "increased suggestibility." Oh darn. Then she casts it, and the assembled ponies look more stoned than me drinking a mug of rooibos tea with three sugars (I know, I'm really pushing the boundaries). Being the naïve, idealistic little ragamuffin that I am, I thought that she would immediately exclaim, "My God (or whatever it is they say there), what have I done?" upon seeing their condition and get to work on righting this wrong for the sake of her friends. Instead, she pretty much shrugs, goes "Meh" and uses them as one would a virtual dating simulator: unemotionally. Some of the mind controlled shenanigans they get up to is even portrayed as hilarious, while I have no doubt that the ponies contained within those bodies are screaming obscenities at their captor for forcing them to butcher their talents in a misguided attempt at optimizing friendship.

The clincher of the whole episode is Twilight's reaction to her use of their mutual friends: "I'm not mad, I'm just disappointed." Princess Twilight Sparkle, everyone - ruler of all friendship everywhere. LITERALLY EVERYONE I KNOW would be absolutely HORRIFIED at knowing that their friends had been mindless drones for the better part of a day, yet Twilight just shrugs it off as nothing, instead disappointed at Starlight for having misinterpreted the meaning of her friendship lessons. The irony here is that they are telling Starlight that she's the one missing the point, when the whole situation seems to be a case of the blind leading the blind where any morals or principles regarding the sacred nature of free will are concerned. And the others were remarkably okay with being trapped in their own bodies and used as automated friendship dispensers for a couple of hours. Who'd have thought it, eh?

Oh well. Mature moral questions regarding the importance of free will in Equestria were swept under the rug in exchange for an extremely rushed, half baked friendship lesson. I am in equal parts horrified and disappointed. I should probably just stop thinking deeply about this show altogether.

Although, the mind control... um... enthusiasts must be happy. So, you know. Yay for them...

What have you done, Hasbro?

Comments ( 7 )

:applejackunsure: That's an interesting take on it. I suppose that since I'm more ready to accept whatever Starlight does, I never thought the whole mind control thing was going too far, but more like what she would have done in the situation at present. But, honestly, I probably relate to Starlight a little too well.

:derpytongue2: At the same time, you made me think of a song, so here's that.

4229155 ...

...

...I've always wondered why I don't listen to songs in the comments. Now I know. It's to mitigate the risk of serious injury. I clicked on the video and waited a while as it was loading until I eventually forgot that I was supposed to be waiting at all. Then it started. I almost launched myself off of my bed and into the back wall of my room - the only thing that stopped me was the knowledge that a second concussion may not be taken as gracefully as the first.

Loss of free will is one of the few things in fiction that genuinely disturbs me. It terrifies me to think that if (and this isn't something that I ponder often, I swear) I were to live in their world, the worst punishment that a citizen who is not or is no longer a major villain would get for taking control of my mind and violating me in any number of ways would be a frown and a tired declaration of, "Son, I am disappoint."

Overall, the content seemed rather rushed to me. There are so many other ways that they could have brought the same message across without throwing mind control into the mix (and I'll be honest: I can't figure out what the moral of the story is. "Don't hypnotize your friends" seems like a bit of a strange thing for six year olds to learn). It was so clunky; Starlight didn't even receive so much as a slap on the wrist for her antics in the castle despite the fact that, regardless of intentions, removing the will of others is inherently wrong in every sense of the word. It felt sort of like the end to "The Times They Are A Changeling," what with the rampant hatred and slurs against changelings immediately being erased with a song from the main character of the episode, despite the fact that he could have been under changeling control all along. Of course, the writers probably knew that small kids would lose all interest in the show if it started digging even ankle deep into geopolitical relations, conflict of opposing ideologies and alien principles, and the true implications of easily accessible mind control; for that reason, I'm sort of okay with how that episode ended.

The reason that the new episode horrified me was just that something so destructive was portrayed not only as something humorous and benign, but freely available to the general poulation if they only know how to combine the right spells. Plus, none of them will receive any sort of punishment for their highly unethical actions. What the heck?

4229272 :ajbemused: Oh, sorry about that. Should've put a loud warning.

:duck: I suppose I'm just much less phased by the whole removal of free will thing. I sometimes do this with anime, and I always do this with pony, and that is go in with a blank mind so as to not dig too far into something. If I'm reading/watching a mystery then that principle flies out the window, but her I generally try to ignore things that go too far simply because: This is a show about cartoon horses doing cartoon things.
It's not so much that it can't go deep like it does in the S5 opener which really is a look at how the communist ideals Starlight had could be corrupted so easily, and how that is not a good thing for society, but sometimes the show is literally about how to have a good time with everyone and not make people feel left out (See; What about Discord? S5 E22).
It can be god to dig into something like this every now and again, but doing it too often cheapens the child like wonder I can get when I watch the episode with a blank mind. Also, as much as I value Honor and balance, I'm sometimes on the morally lose side when It comes to proper ethics which may or may not influence how much I justify 'technically' evil actions. I won't say that I've never rooted for the bad guy before.

4229294 I sorta understand. I don't believe that I've ever rooted for the bad guy before (unless his name is Iago, or Kaneki - assuming of course that he counts as a bad guy in some way some of the time), but it does make sense to me that people would do it if he's a compelling or especially enigmatic character.

I realized my mistake after the episode was over, but by then it was too late. I will never be able to watch it the same way again. My mind just refuses to shut up, so every single second of every single day I have to be thinking about something. This episode was just unfortunate enough to bring up a taboo subject in a lighthearted manner at the most inopportune time. It's not Brandy and Mr. Whiskers, so I assume that any time mind control or hypnosis is brought up it'll be addressed seriously as has been done in the past as with almost every other villain. Now, the most blatant mind control in the series was used on the good guys by a supposed good guy, and it grated on me in all the wrong ways. My reaction was honestly just me being me while my mind comes up with an excuse to think of something (plus, the entire episode was genuinely disturbing given the series as a whole).

4229322 :rainbowhuh: Yeah, no, the whole apple --> hatching chicks thing was pretty disturbing, context be damned. It was kind of a fucked up episode in general when dug into, and that is a valid concern. It's never easy to discern what goes in black or white when treading morally gray. Hell, my own series very much dives into morally gray all the time, and others may not call it that, justified or otherwise.
Provided the Iago you speak of is the one from Julius Caesar, I can't really say I wanted him to fall in the end, but I much prefer the poor misguided Brutus as my 'bad guy' in that story. Iago was a dick, but didn't have any flair or justification for it. As for Kaneki, I don't think he really counts as a bad guy for being messed up by that torture like he was. If you really want a good bad guy to root for, go watch Death Note. That will twist your sense of justice and fight your morals.

4229401 Apple --> hatching chicks? Okay, now I'm worried. Perhaps my mind was thrown for such a loop that it decided to delete chunks of the episode from memory for the sake of my own sanity, as I genuinely cannot remember anything that even remotely resembled that in the episode. Of course, that just means that everything I try to think of to fit the description you've given comes out 55% more squicktastic... and in pony form! Hooray for self-induced mental trauma!

The Iago I was referring to was the one from Othello. I wanted to hate him. I really did, honest. However, as the story went on I just grew to absolutely adore the guy as a character. By the time Othello strangled Desdemona in bed near the end of the play I was silently cheering for both her death and Othello's suicide from my place in the audience, completely elated knowing that Iago had come out triumphant regardless of his capture. Only once the play was over did I realize that they were the tortured good guys and he the narcissistic murderous sociopath with unjustified angst over a rejected position in the military and that I, by extension, was an absolute bastard for having supported him wholeheartedly in his selfish bloodbath. I went home and reassessed my morals long and hard that day.

4229645 Kek. I've read the play, but for the life of me can't hardly remember any of it. I even saw a production of it and still can't. Jeez. I was thinking of Cassius, not Iago. Iago is only a parrot in my mind, which is probably why connections were not being made. But uh... Yeah, you should probably rewatch the episode without thinking about it. Might clear things up at least.

On a side note, you would love Light Yagami and Lelouch V Brittania from their respective shows. Especially if you were rooting for that Iago.

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