• Member Since 27th Feb, 2013
  • offline last seen Monday

Sprocket Doggingsworth


I write horse words.

More Blog Posts160

Jul
31st
2019

Help! My Heart is Full of Pony! - Community · 6:48pm Jul 31st, 2019

Man is a social animal. The evolution of our intelligence can be traced to our simian ancestors' slow transition into hunter gatherers as their native terrain changed. Survival meant working together. It meant strategizing, and that required complex communication which took the form of stories of the hunt. Our capacity as storytellers is what empowered us to learn. It allowed our methods to evolve, and expand in sophistication until eventually, civilization was born.

As humans, it is at the core of our being to contextualize our experiences with narratives. It's hard-wired. Shared responsibility makes up a community. Shared narratives make up a culture.

The modern era is characterized by unprecedented freedom from the toils that our ancestors suffered, and unprecedented isolation as well. How many of us really experience a sense of community in our daily lives? For most of us, it's extremely rare.

A lot of folks turn to fandoms, and online communities. These can be delightful things. I know that for me, the past eight years in the brony world have been a wondrous communal experience celebrating our mutual love of MAGICAL HORSE STUFF. But with online communities, there's always a disconnect - a boundary. We lack a physical stake in each other's actual lives.

What am I getting at?

A lot of people may look at our fandom and presume it all to be a simple infantile escape fantasy into a world where everything is pleasant. But Equestria is not a place where everyone is magically nice to each other about everything. It's not a world devoid of troublesome people. There are bullies. There are shysters. There are frauds and narcissists and flakes and drama queens just like anyplace else. If you have the added misfortune of living in Ponyville, you also have to contend with monster attacks a couple of times a year.

What, then, is the appeal?

Community is at the core of My Little Pony's message, and while I don't presume to speak for everyone, it's a theme that resounds with me on a profound level.

Ponies count on one another. They work together to keep their world running. Winter Wrap Up. The Running of the Leaves. Hurricane generation via communal assembly of wing power. This is not a world free of conflict or toil. It's a world where work has purpose - where communities share mutual goals that demand cooperation - where the shared narrative of their culture is actually enriched by individuals' contributions to it.

The central metaphor of Rainbow Roadtrip is crystal clear. It needs no explanation, nor expansion nor clarification, but I do think it epitomizes the core of MLP's message.

A life without community is gray.

-Sprocket

Please support me on Patreon. That is, if you want to. No pressure of course, but I ask because I do have mouths to feed. You can also follow Heart Full of Pony on Tumblr

Comments ( 2 )

An especially pertinent bit of insight on the eve of the last Bronycon. Thank you for it.

Thank you. :)

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