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Scootareader Looks Into: Bronies · 8:15am Nov 11th, 2017

I have some good news, my friends. A series of editorials I wrote for a pony news site back in 2013 has been recovered.

The series is called Scootareader Looks Into, and it apparently has 36 entries. I found them on an old hard drive (aptly named Scootaloo) that I decommissioned some years back (due to obtaining a much larger hard drive). As far as I know, the only parts of these editorials that was not preserved was the pictures I'd added in at the end to keep people entertained, so the pictures I'll be adding are not in the original draft. I'll probably upload one of these weekly so you guys think I'm still alive or something.

Also keep in mind that these are quite dated, but I think they're an amazing little piece of history from back when I was a wide-eyed little tyke in the fandom.

Uploaded on: 1/5/2013

If you approached me 3 years ago and told me that I would have 44.3 gigabytes of dedicated pony content, including 3 days of music, 3,232 personally named pictures, 54 fanfictions, 65 fan-made videos, and 53 games in addition to the series itself, I'd have called you crazy. Now, I look at this collection and proudly declare myself a brony.

What makes me different from every other brony? Well, I'm not different. The amount of content a brony has doesn't make them a brony. It's simply how much they love the series, to the point that they consider themselves a fan. There isn't necessarily anything special about being a brony; it's a blanket term for fans of the show. Well, to me it means something different.

When my brother asked me why we were listening to pony music, I told him because I like how it makes me feel. He then asked me, “What feeling is that?” Well, I couldn't really tell him; it makes me feel different than other music. There's no better way to describe it, especially with how wide of a variety of music I listen to. How do you describe what makes an instrumental pony music?

There is a creed that shows up many places in the fandom: Love and tolerate. I think that this simple phrase, inspired by the message of the show, means the difference between us and legions of other fandoms. What inspiration did the show give for this? Well, the message in each episode that illustrated how Twilight Sparkle learned, grew, and accepted everything about her best friends. In addition to being a good way to educate younger children about how to properly handle situations, it made for a very good story for the older crowd, which was the original intention of Lauren Faust.

So, why do bronies exist? I, for one, don't have much interest in other shows; I like Adventure Time, but I don't go out of my way to watch it. The only show that I would ever get up early to catch the premiere of new episodes for is this one; at no other point in my life have I actually wanted to see each new episode as it was released, before or since. There must be something more at work behind the scenes of someone's brain than just a simple show, or it wouldn't have the following it does now.

What did we know, canonically, about Trixie after season one? Only that she was a very boastful unicorn who didn't have the power to back herself up. What did the fandom think? I have a fanfic and several songs that tell me what the fandom thinks. Trixie is arrogant, yes, but after what happened in Ponyville, her home was destroyed and she continued on with nothing but a hat and cape. As illustrated in the season 3 episode, she fell on tougher times and was forced to do things she never thought she'd have to do. This fleshing out of a pony that should never have been given a second thought is iconic to what makes this fandom different.

The same thing has happened with Gilda. What makes her anything? She was rude to all of the ponies, obsessed with being cool, and had about the meanest personality you could think up. She yelled at Fluttershy! Yet, one of my best friends thinks the world of her, and considers her their favorite character. As with Trixie, I have some social media backing up this support of Gilda.

This didn't seem to make any sense to me, at first. Why would the fans care about single-episode appearances that likely would never come back? Then the phrase I'd seen came back to me: Love and tolerance. There had to be something more to these two characters, something that made them worth writing about, caring about, knowing about. The songs I listened to would tell these alternate stories, the fanfics I read would show me what I'd failed to see myself, the fanart would give me a new perspective on all of these characters that I had originally thought were rude, mean, and cruel.

In my mind, I saw Scootaloo as a flightless orphan who looked up to Rainbow Dash as her family and mentor. In season 1 and 2, it's as if she's putting on a brave face, a false pretense that she's fine, to hide herself from her friends. A pony that tries her hardest to be cool, and thinks that being a flightless orphan isn't cool. The season 3 episode made the flightlessness obvious, but the orphan part is still something that only exists in my mind as well as the minds of the fandom.

Why did I see something more in this filly, as others saw more in Trixie or Gilda? Love and tolerance, of course. It's taking the differing viewpoints of others and being able to incorporate them into stories that can be told by any number of means: Through drawings, music, interactivity, or simply the written word. This adherence to something special, something unique to our fandom, is what makes us such big news.

I don't know how love and tolerance affects other bronies, but to me, it has made life ten times better. Now I have to wonder after every person I meet; that annoying, argumentative guy at work could have any number of reasons why he is the way he is. The waitress that I met today could have a lot more at stake than just her job, and maybe that's why I just told her she gave me the wrong drink instead of bringing it to a supervisor or manager. I try to treat everyone with the kindness and respect I would give my greatest idol; sure, I'm not perfect, but I try, and that's still something. Isn't that what love and tolerance is about?

So, every time someone comes up to me and asks me, “Why ponies?” I can't give them a straight answer, because they don't know the driving force behind love and tolerance. Bronies do, and that's why I am proud to call myself a brony. Bronies have made the world a better place for me, and the inspiration to be a better person has come from this fandom and this fandom alone. Here's to many long hours spent being a brony, and many more hours spent as a brony.

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Comments ( 12 )

This is a really good article to read.

When you're talking to people you should pay attention to what they're saying, and I mean seriously pay attention. They will instantly like you for it; hardly anyone pays attention to you speak, they just wait their turn to respond. My rule is that you ought to go into a conversation with the presupposition that the person knows something you don't.

I prefer the terms "Pony Fag" and "Horsefucker." "Brony" is such a cringey word now.

How about "penetrator of miniature equines?"

A blast from the past, I'd say. :heart: I wrote this really early on, when I really felt like love and tolerance was a thing. I still somewhat do, but not in the sense that bronies as a whole actually follow it. That's more a symptom of the place I frequented at the time.

I always come into a conversation assuming that I'm wrong and wanting the other person to correct me. If they can't convincingly do so, I shrug my shoulders. If they can convincingly do so, I thank them for the correction. :pinkiesmile:

My sentiments were largely born of the place I was active at the time. That'll be addressed probably in the foreword of the next blog. :rainbowkiss: It was Ponychan.

Can we all just agree that we fuck horses and get it over with?

Eh, it's a good way to go about it (never assume you're 100% right, that's what ideologues do), but I don't think it's very practical to subject all of your beliefs to constant doubt, otherwise you'll just become depressed. Beliefs are all closed off from other beliefs, to the extent where we hold on to certain beliefs more strongly than others even in the face of opposing evidence. That's a Nietzschian observation. This is because we wouldn't believe anything at all if our frames of reference were constantly changing, we need to have some solid footing to function in the world and to which we can project our perspective.

That's why Kierkegaard claimed that people live according to the sensate, not rational thought. I agree with him.


I don't think it's very practical to subject all of your beliefs to constant doubt, otherwise you'll just become depressed.

I seem to be all right, considering. :twilightsmile: My beliefs are solid until questioned, at which point I do my best to remain malleable until convinced of my error.

Beliefs are all closed off from other beliefs, to the extent where we hold on to certain beliefs more strongly than others even in the face of opposing evidence.

I am just as human as everyone else, but I strive to not fall into this trap. I will invariably fall short, but I refuse to simply not try to learn over my own hubris.

This is because we wouldn't believe anything at all if our frames of reference were constantly changing, we need to have some solid footing to function in the world and to which we can project our perspective.

I more or less hold my beliefs until someone cares enough to tell me I'm mistaken, then allow them to be questioned. It's not like I'm constantly in this state of flux. :pinkiesmile:

That's why Kierkegaard claimed that people live according to the sensate, not rational thought. I agree with him.

I agree that it is impossible to divorce oneself from the sensate, but minimizing the impact that it has on decisions is a goal to eternally strive for, in my opinion. It gives one purpose to question their own preconceived notions to have such a goal. It's also the goal that so much of the world's population doesn't seem to want.

The majority of those I have met have this fixation with righteousness. They have to know, they have to be right, they have to be the one that is better. Even in being "the bigger man," admitting that mistake, there is a hubris to it that implies the person who was mistaken is being generous by admitting their mistake, as opposed to honest and forthright. As such, admitting wrongdoing is typically relegated to a swift "oh, my bad," followed by a swift cover-up that tends to belittle or cheapen the admittance--or that admittance is played up, turned into some great noble deed by a true master genius to their disciples in the school of not being a fucking asshole.

The true hubris of admitting wrongdoing is the selfish desire to actually know. If I think I'm right and I'm still wrong, that makes me retarded, no matter how articulately and how zealously I argued my point. I become more retarded by the desire to assign some greater meaning to my beliefs or mistakes than what they are: knowledge. In pursuit of knowledge, one must necessarily let go of such petty desires. There is no greater handicap to acquiring knowledge than believing you already possess the knowledge you have yet to learn--or that you certainly know all there is to know and cannot be taught further on a topic.

Yes, I agree it's a handicap to assume your knowledge is complete. You can live a 1000 years and know less than 1% of all possible wisdom, which is why humility comes from the acknowledgment of your own ignorance. And it's a good thing that you hold onto your beliefs until someone can give a strong counter position. It's good consistency. Live life to its fullest (but not carelessly live, more like open-to-wisdom live).

That being said, I ought to expand on the Nietzschian observation to clear up my main point, although I still have a great deal to think about, and I'm not very steady on the road, and so my explanation might come off as a bit inadequate. But I'll try.

When I say you hold onto certain beliefs too strongly to let go I don't mean superficial ones, like your political views, philosophical views, is the dress really blue and black, etc. I mean your axiomatic presuppositions, the presuppositions which form your roots. Like, an axiom you may hold is that knowing the truth is important, or that you do indeed exist. And if you have reasons for those presuppositions, the chain moves back and those are your new axioms. There's no way around your axioms. You can't hold beliefs in a vacuum, you need some sort of root to start from. Whenever you hear a new point of view, you're judging it with your pre-built axioms in mind without realizing it.

Every philosopher throughout history, all the ones claiming to be truth-seekers of their time, all had their own fundamental biases and conducted their work with those biases in mind. You might say that you understand history, but people 1000 years ago probably had a different frame of reference on history that you haven't even conceptualized yet; it's impossible to get a top-down view of history and see everything when there have probably been many different dimensions of top-down views throughout the centuries. Philosophers say that man is an eternal truth in a constant flux, as a measure of things to come. Everything philosophers have said about man is no longer fundamental, but tells us something about the men of a very limited period of time. Lack of historical sense is the hereditary error of all philosophers.

But don't get me wrong, I'm not claiming to be a moral relativist, I don't like moral relativism. I'm talking about theories of theories: what's the nature of human knowledge, how and why has it changed throughout history—not about the world but about how we think about thinking about the world. So, like I wrote, every generation is bound to its axioms, and you can't change them, sadly enough (or hopefully enough).

Personally? This may sound a little mystic (like believing in souls) but I believe in a meta-truth, a truth which self-evidently describes all other truths. See, I'm a religious person, I'm a deeply religious person, but then that'd depend on what you meant by "religious," because my religiosity is markedly different from Christian fundamentalism, or something along those lines. Most religious people would probably mistaken me for an atheist/agnostic since I don't actually believe in many supernatural claims.

Jesus, I'm writing way more than I'd be comfortable with. I guess I did an okay-ish job on laying down my thoughts, but I'm too damn ignorant to be satisfied. Feels like every month I learn something I never even considered before.

By the way, I have a one-shot story coming out soon which incorporates some of the elements I've described here. So, you know, I'm pretty excited about that.

I think I would enjoy reading it. :twilightsmile:

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