• Member Since 8th Mar, 2017
  • offline last seen 25 minutes ago


absolute total madness

More Blog Posts22

  • 2 weeks

    Coronavirus. Cancelled examinations. Uncertainty. Well, I'm probably going to pack up and travel homeward before they stop my transport. Take this short, hurried fling-out as the start of a hiatus. I will be back at some point. I'll toss out a story I threw together in half-a-day to mark the occasion. Good luck to everyone.

    0 comments · 7 views
  • 13 weeks
    A Few Neat Weapons in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

    And I'm dreading my return to work after a quiet couple of days for New Year, so why not throw up another of these, near-pointless as they are? Sounds alright. Let's do it. 

    Read More

    0 comments · 22 views
  • 14 weeks
    8 Wholesome NPCs in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim


    At least one dusty Old English tome begins in more or less the same manner, though I can't recall the word I'm translating roughly as the above. So, by using 'so' as I have (which I'm fairly certain I do mostly anyway), I'm conceding that this tired spiel is a lazy substitute for the well-structured, pertinent introduction I am chronically incapable of providing. And so to business.

    Read More

    0 comments · 20 views
  • 32 weeks
    10 Sad Locations in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim [SPOILERS]

    So I'm striking two days in a row, with another ranking list and a Skyrim-themed one at that, which must be a good thing. Writing requires practice, and if I'm in the mood, which I am, why shouldn't I put in the relatively small amount of effort required to come out with something? Taking advantage of inspiration when it strikes sounds about right. And these aren't very structured, so it's hardly

    Read More

    0 comments · 21 views
  • 32 weeks
    5 Most Badass Characters in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim [SPOILERS]

    Alright, people, before I even attempt to sift through our vast backlog of candidates, I've got to define what a badass actually is. Which is funny because the term's flexibility is such that, normally, you'd get away with not defining it at all. Because we all know a badass when we see one, don't we. You might disagree all the same when I name names, and say 'WHAT?! HOW?' a bunch.

    Read More

    0 comments · 85 views

MY SON LIKES WATCHING PINK HORSES | WHY My Little Pony Is So Successful: A Shut-in's Dream · 3:31pm Sep 28th, 2018

So, last time we established a whole bunch of things, mainly that I'm going to guide you through this, whatever 'this' is (I tried to make it clear, I failed), in whatever manner I'm feeling (and end up writing) at the time. That it's about blunt honesty and unpretentious presentation of opinion. Yeah, I think that's more or less what those first few para-rants were pointing at. And we left off cliffhanger-style, highlighting how this new group of fans was pissing the shit out of almost everyone they came in virtual contact with. And then I dropped today's little title, then something else and now we're here. Great.

So. A Shut-in's Dream. I know, I can hear the triggering already. 'I'M NOT A SHUT-IN, HOW DARE YOU CALL US ALL SHUT-INS, YOU'RE GENERALISING.' I mean, it's technically self-deprecating, because believe it or not I'm part of this group in some capacity, shut-in or not. I've participated in this fandom; I've criticised it, praised it and a lot of in-between. Which means it's a functional title and not a serious insinuation that all bronies are automatically shut-ins. And what does that stupid word even mean? Some bedroom-dwelling introvert lacking sufficient social skills or understanding to stumble ten yards down the drive without offending the sensibilities of that one middle-aged lady walking her dogs. Sounds about right, more or less what first springs to mind. And it's a stigma ALL participants in Internet culture get hit with whether they fit the description or not. The stereotype certainly has some truth to it. There's no end of 'socially undesirable' so-called nerds out there, and you can bet your wi-fi password you've encountered one at some point in your life, perhaps at your local corner shop, in the juice/sweet section. All stereotypes are grounded in reality, and they'll usually parody what people are insecure about or conscious of. Bad teeth means he's British. A turban, he's a Muslim terrorist. And they're good fun at times but then someone takes offence, and the joke's over, and that's that. You forget about it until the next time you're reminded. No one really takes them seriously. No one who knows a little about whatever's being lampooned at least.

That's the thing. If you're in the dark about something, with very few experiences relating to it, what happens when you encounter its stereotype? And if your experiences were bad? And even more importantly, if the stereotype bolsters the assumptions you'll have made naturally based on those very same experiences? You're kind of screwed, and understandably so. Because you're going to believe the caricature and probably won't even realise you're doing it. It's actually a tactic employed to sway public thought. We're all familiar with the big-lipped, ape-like portrayal of blacks in old cartoons and comics. It's great propaganda, playing on fears and assumptions people have about something they don't really understand, thus bending their views to better suit an agenda. So the next time that geeky kid who walks funny and can't keep eye contact grabs a can of Mountain Dew off the shelf in front of you, you're going to think, 'What a loser.' See? We automatically presume we've sussed this person based on a fleeting experience all to do with external bits and bobs. How his hair looks, how his clothes look, how he moves and interacts. We've figured him out already, and heck, we could even be right. It's like I was saying earlier about the 'socially undesirable' nerd. There is a profile, a list of criteria we think we know, through which we judge people daily, consciously or not. But do any of us really believe that EVERY SINGLE PERSON with long, greasy hair and a quiet disposition is a loser? Bet you some do. All depends on how you define loser.

I'm moving away from where I want to be again. But it's important, this stuff. It's all important when it comes to understanding the CULTURAL side of things, one of those big four categories I mentioned last time. And bronies are shut-ins. They aren't shut-ins, but they ARE. People know this. People assume this. Because all Internet dwellers are shut-ins, because if we know nothing about them apart from what we've seen on the news (which is almost always negative, those guys need to lighten up), that's what we'll believe.  

Our little group certainly began on the web. On 4chan, the infamous message board site. I'll rewind back to that date of ours, 10 October 2010, when 'My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic' first aired. I talked about asking questions. The right questions, or at least better questions. WHO was watching that day? WHY were they watching? WHAT drew them to watch? WHEN did they decide they liked what they saw? Tough questions, some of them.

Who was watching? Well, we don't actually know who or how many future bronies saw the first ever episode premiere. And it doesn't matter too much, because we're talking about the Internet, where you can catch up on anything TV as you please. So let's assume these guys, these forerunners, were the first to watch this show at some point thereabouts. Just people, anonymous Internet dwellers. Why them specifically? Which leads on to the next (bigger) question: why on earth were they watching?

Back to 4chan. The site hosts a board dedicated specifically to the discussion of all things comic and cartoon. It's called Comics & Cartoons, funnily enough, or /co/ for short. And it's here, as you can imagine, all those crazy comic enthusiasts you've heard about and people obsessed with the Simpsons, Family Guy, just pick whatever cartoon comes to mind, do what they do. Where they hang out and chat about their passions whenever and for however long they want. And a lot of moderates and outsiders drop in and do it too, and going back to 2010, at some point someone on /co/ brought up that the My Little Pony franchise was rebooting its TV show. (Super-quick boring history lesson, the My Little Pony brand had existed before this as various generations of toys, with corresponding television series and films designed to promote their products perhaps more than entertain. The brand suffered particularly hard between 2003-2009, during its third generation. Done.) Cartoon enthusiasts being cartoon enthusiasts were familiar with some of the old stuff, and there was a bit of discussion in the build-up without much indication people knew what to expect, or expected anything at all. The first episode aired, some interested /co/-goers gave it a shot, decided it was pretty good, perhaps better than they thought it would be. And that was that.

For a little while anyway. Very soon people were talking about it again. And this time the numbers were up. That's weird enough, but then picture what they're saying being positive, even commendatory. And as the old face of all things 'little girl' moved through its brand-new show's first season, the numbers moved too. All of a sudden /co/ was PACKED with users who, for no apparent reason, were proclaiming their passion for My Little Pony with what must have been (and arguably still is) concerning vehemence.

Let's pause just there and ask ourselves what we in the shoes of ordinary /co/-goers would think about this. They're taking the piss? It's a gimmick? Is it serious? It is? Your guess is as good as mine. And it didn't take long for the infection to spread.

The /b/ board, the roughest part of 4chan. Here murderers have posted pictures of their victims' body parts, and paedophiles vile child pornography. It's a place where ANYTHING goes. So imagine their faces when one second they're scrolling through some of the web's most sordid content, the next they're gawking at happy pony party pictures. This group of /co/-goers had branched out and its membership was growing. /co/, /b/, whichever board you care to name, someone somewhere was posting ponies. Lots of them. Images, gifs, links, memes, videos, show excerpts, the lot.

In this little rewind we've answered a few things already. We know who watched, why they did and what drew them in. Or at least we know who, why and what for the early days of what later became known as the brony phenomenon. Who? Internet users. Why? Initially mild interest on part of a few, later curiosity at the attention /co/-goers were giving something seemingly unworthy. What? Curiosity again.

But that doesn't explain how people stuck with the show, and lost their minds over it, and made it popular. Because the growth wasn't contained to 4chan. Eventually, people got so pissed off at ponies being forced down their throats and the people behind it that the subject was actually banned. You were forbidden as a user of the site to link or mention anything pony-related, the flame wars this generated had been that bad. Which forced the group out into the open, and they promptly descended onto every other platform they could find. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, deviantArt, etc., etc., etc. Anywhere and everywhere. It took off, and people who came across it either leapt onto the bandwagon or developed burning hatred for the show and its overzealous fans.

Leaving us with the same questions. Why were people STILL watching this? What could possibly have drawn them in beyond simple curiosity?

Which means it's coming up, the moment we look away from this fandom and its history and bring in and break down the object of their adoration just as promised.

Next time!

'Nitty-gritty Observations'

Thanks for listening. (It's a bit stilted, the same thing twice, but what else am I supposed to put here?)

Report Acologic · 79 views ·
Comments ( 0 )
Login or register to comment