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Oliver


Let R = { x | x ∉ x }, then R ∈ R ⟺ R ∉ R... or is it?

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Aug
10th
2019

Points of Canon: S9x15 - 2, 4, 6, Greaaat · 4:49pm Aug 10th, 2019

Once more about the peach. Probably the lamest episode title this season, if you ask me.

  • Chronology markers: School of Friendship is the focus of the episode. Snips obliquely references the events of Common Ground, which would force this episode into Season 9, but I have my doubts.
  • “I have to admit I was a little shocked when Princess Celestia told me she wanted to start a scholastic buckball league. But I was even more surprised that she wanted the first game to be between her school and ours! Apparently, she’s a huge sports fan.”

    • Celestia is interested in sports at all. Previously we could only surmise that she might be, due to her attending the Young Flyers competition in The Sonic Rainboom, which could have been mandated by other concerns. See also cloudball.
    • Scholastic sports leagues are a thing in Equestria, as the idea needs no explanation to anyone.
    • A scholastic buckball league does not yet exist as of this episode. This could have been a chronology marker, but the series has barely any run time left to reference it.
  • “Anyway, we don’t have much time. The game is in two weeks, and I want all of you to coach the team!” This shot is very, very strange: We see ponies constructing the buckball field for the School of Friendship. The issue with it is that I’m fairly certain we have seen this same field in a completed state on numerous occasions before. This would require backdating the episode a lot for it to make sense.
  • “Mmmmaybe the School of Magic could play a few other schools first. Like the Mane and Tail Styling College or the Scroll-Making Institute?”

    • SGU got renamed. Again.
    • “Mane and Tail Styling College” and “Scroll-Making Institute” are, presumably, educational establishments. What exactly do they teach at the latter is anyone’s guess.
  • “Whatever it is, I’ll give it a hundred and twenty percent!” Rainbow is capable of hovering under load while only moving her wingtips.
  • “The cheer squad really needs you.” Snips is wearing a paste-on cutie mark with a ball and a basket on it, symbolizing buckball. Not the first time we have seen such things being used to express fandom, but bears pointing out.
  • “When I went to the Buckball Hall of Fame, I found out buckball souvenirs are big bits.” We’re obviously meant to think that Snips is referencing the events of Common Ground. However, it is possible that he has visited the Hall of Fame earlier than that: He never says that was his first visit, and his lines regarding autographs could just be a realization to the tune of “wait, autographs are a type of souvenir.” As such, this is a soft lock marker, rather than the usual hard lock I would call on such a reference, mostly due to the school field being under construction right here on camera.
  • “I’m Shimmy Shake, and this is Lighthoof.” It’s strange that they are wearing colors not associated with Ponyville, the established colors of the Ponyville team, or the School of Friendship, for that matter. Just where are they from?…
  • “But I don’t know anything about cheerleading.” But she does, doesn’t she? See Sonic Rainboom. Yet throughout the episode, Rainbow behaves as if she has never given any thought to the importance of cheering or the practice. Did someone hit her on the head with a ball or something?…
  • “Point is, if I’m going to make any bits at these games, that squad has to get better.” Snips is very consistent about his profit motive, something we haven’t seen much of anypony do lately. Did something happen to him?…
  • “The trick to being a good buckball keeper is to do nothin’.”

    • Snails is capable of levitating himself directly – instead of just levitating objects he’s sitting on as he was doing at other times.
    • He is also capable of catching balls blindfolded.
  • “It has literally been one day.” I.e. the events of the episode so far have occurred within a single day, during which Rarity managed to make a set of five matching cheerleader uniforms – in very disparate sizes.
  • “Uh, what’re we supposed to do with hay?” Roll in it, I guess?… While the hay is used later, it sure as hell isn’t actually useful, except for concealing Yona.
  • “Yona!” Confetti from the party cannon are reasonably safe from as little as 5m away despite a direct hit. Later, the same egregious safety violation happens to Snips point blank and he survives. Don’t do that at home, kids.
  • “Cheerleading’s never great. That’s why everypony gets up to get a snack during it.” Good to know.
  • “Because everything’s always awesome with you! Or twenty percent cooler! Or whatever!” For Smolder to even know the “20% cooler” catchphrase, Rainbow Dash had to have reused it at some point, right?…
  • “And a good friend reminded me that I can make anything I care about totally awesome.” Indirectly, Rainbow acknowledges Smolder as a good friend.
  • Smolder – and potentially, other dragons – is capable of deliberately exhaling large quantities of smoke without accompanying fire.
  • “I realize the game of buckball traditionally requires an Earth pony, a Pegasus, and a unicorn, but I appreciate you allowing my students to compete.”

    • One of the competitors is using a butterfly wings spell as seen in Sonic Rainboom.
    • Another is using a horn ring. While a case can be made to assume that this is a horn restraint, theorised by fandom since times immemorial as a means to restrict a unicorn from doing magic, upon further thinking, this shouldn’t be what it is: The flying unicorn isn’t wearing one. And the butterfly wings spell is not dependent on the wearer for power supply, if only because it was originally described as a spell to make earth ponies fly.

      The ring would therefore have to be something that permits a unicorn to magically fuel an equivalent of earth pony strength and endurance, instead. But there are problems with that, as well: Twilight calls it a “magical-dampening ring” – and she also credits Celestia herself with making it. If it was actually a restraining device, these would have to be readily available, and Celestia wouldn’t need to create one.

      My preferred way out of this is to assume that the word “dampening” here is a thaumological term meaning something less than obvious.

  • “COME ON, SCHOOL OF MAGIC!” That was Royal Canterlot Voice by Celestia, wasn’t it?…
  • Lemon Hearts is hanging out with an earth pony mare today.
  • “Final score — School of Magic, five; School of Friendship, four.” So how much pressure exactly was there on the SGU students to win this one?…
  • “I’ll have to start one at my school as well.” Wait. So if Celestia is so interested in sports, why doesn’t the SGU have a cheer squad already?…

A very strange episode.

This is really inconsistent behavior by Rainbow Dash, as previously, she was the only one of the Mane 6 who even knew anything about cheering. It is doubly strange, because whoever wrote it definitely has seen Sonic Rainboom – which opens with the scene that gives us grounds to know that Rainbow knows well what does it mean to cheer. What the aerial intercourse? Literally.

It is also really weird chronologically.

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Comments ( 10 )

Given what we've seen from Tempest Shadow, it's possible that unicorn magic naturally enhances physical prowess when the bulk of the horn is unavailable. This is just a method that can make it available again later.

So how much pressure exactly was there on the SGU students to win this one?

I have to wonder how much pressure was on them to lose it. We saw how invested Celestia was in the game. I'm not sure anyone would want to see what happened if her team lost.
Also, if the game is played until one team gets five goals, when exactly is halftime?

But yeah, this episode has definite continuity issues. Consider also that Pinkie cheered during "Rainbow Falls," yet offers nothing more constructive than a party cannon.

  • “Anyway, we don’t have much time. The game is in two weeks, and I want all of you to coach the team!” This shot is very, very strange: We see ponies constructing the buckball field for the School of Friendship. The issue with it is that I’m fairly certain we have seen this same field in a completed state on numerous occasions before. This would require backdating the episode a lot for it to make sense.

Well, in A Matter of Principals Starlight left quite a big hole in it when Discord pissed her off one time too many, so maybe it needed repairs:
vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/mlp/images/9/99/Starlight_leaves_a_crater_in_the_buckball_field_S8E15.png/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/640?cb=20180806035356

Ugh, this stinker landed on our plates.

“When I went to the Buckball Hall of Fame, I found out buckball souvenirs are big bits.”

I think in that episode the Hall of Fame was brand new, Quibble camped out because he claimed he wanted to be the first person inside it.

Just where are they from?…

I think they just made their own cheerleading outfits for some reason?

Also, is this the place to point out that outside of the Student 6, every pony students of the Friendship School seems like an adult?

Yet throughout the episode, Rainbow behaves as if she has never given any thought to the importance of cheering or the practice. Did someone hit her on the head with a ball or something?…

I want to try and come up with a Watsonian explanation, but I just can't help thinking its the current writers haven't watched any episodes from before season 5.

I.e. the events of the episode so far have occurred within a single day, during which Rarity managed to make a set of five matching cheerleader uniforms – in very disparate sizes.

So Rarity has the time, and probably a lot more interest, so why isn't she the coach?

Roll in it, I guess?… While the hay is used later, it sure as hell isn’t actually useful, except for concealing Yona.

I think it was supposed to be a light, easy-to-move platform the cheer squad can move around on to assist in making a pyramid.

  • “Cheerleading’s never great. That’s why everypony gets up to get a snack during it.” Good to know.

Can confirm.

  • Smolder – and potentially, other dragons – is capable of deliberately exhaling large quantities of smoke without accompanying fire.

That was the one interesting thing about this episode. I actually thought it might be steam, based on the color.

And the butterfly wings spell is not dependent on the wearer for power supply, if only because it was originally described as a spell to make earth ponies fly.

Or it can feed off the inherent magic of any pony regardless of tribe.

My preferred way out of this is to assume that the word “dampening” here is a thaumological term meaning something less than obvious.

I like that. Maybe they mean it as "diffusing."

So how much pressure exactly was there on the SGU students to win this one?…

If this was a season 2 episode it would have led to so many unicorn master race memes.

Also, where was the SHU cheer squad?

Ok, Rainbow Dash, who has previously taught Fluttershy cheerleading, acted really weird. But you know who ELSE acted really weird? Twilight Sparkle. Rainbow Dash made it very clear that she didn't want to coach this, and Twilight forced her to do it. And later Twilight pretty much admits she knew Rainbow Dash would hate it at first, but Twilight was willing to pair the cheer squad with a coach who actively disliked her time there, so Rainbow could learn some lesson about coaching activities she wasn't interested in? I bet this was a suggestion from Celestia, it feels like her handiwork. Or maybe Twilight is trying to be an actively bad headmare so the other teachers think they won't need her at the school when Celestia retires and Twilight has to take over running the country.

5103721

Ok, Rainbow Dash, who has previously taught Fluttershy cheerleading, acted really weird. But you know who ELSE acted really weird? Twilight Sparkle. Rainbow Dash made it very clear that she didn't want to coach this, and Twilight forced her to do it. And later Twilight pretty much admits she knew Rainbow Dash would hate it at first, but Twilight was willing to pair the cheer squad with a coach who actively disliked her time there, so Rainbow could learn some lesson about coaching activities she wasn't interested in? I bet this was a suggestion from Celestia, it feels like her handiwork. Or maybe Twilight is trying to be an actively bad headmare so the other teachers think they won't need her at the school when Celestia retires and Twilight has to take over running the country.

She does seem to be imitating the worst aspects of Celestia's teaching style.

In this case, Rainbow Dash isn't a teacher, she's an exhibit. She's there so the students can see her being rubbish and learning her lesson.

  • “I’m Shimmy Shake, and this is Lighthoof.” It’s strange that they are wearing colors not associated with Ponyville, the established colors of the Ponyville team, or the School of Friendship, for that matter. Just where are they from?…

I figure these outfits come from whatever school they attended previously, before they moved to the School of Friendship. They do have an existing cheerleading routine as well, heavily suggesting that this isn't the first time they've done this.

That places a soft time limit on this episode. For students to have recently transferred, to still have their previous school equipment and for them to still have the display memorised, makes a lot more sense in the school's first year. Season 9 is definitely not set in the school's first year, as we've had multiple Heath's Warming seasons.

I'm inclined to agree with Oliver, that this episode belongs early. References to the Buckball Hall of Fame are the only wrench in that, and there are possible solutions that allow him to have visited before Common Ground.

Twilight definitely channeled her inner Celestia here.

“Mane and Tail Styling College” and “Scroll-Making Institute” are, presumably, educational establishments. What exactly do they teach at the latter is anyone’s guess.

Clearly, they teach the ancient and hallowed art of making scrolls that reconstitute themselves from their own ashes when burnt.

Did something happen to him?…

Yep. He discovered an easy way to rake in large amounts of money and it promptly went to his head.

theorised by fandom since times immemorial as a means to restrict a unicorn from doing magic

You know, I never really understood why the fandom consensus on that front was that horn restraints would be ring-shaped, specifically, as opposed to full-horn caps -- like the ones the Storm King's army used on their unicorn captives, for instance.

5103721

So Rarity has the time, and probably a lot more interest, so why isn't she the coach?

Because being good at and wanting to make cheerleader outfits is one thing, but being good at and wanting to train the cheer team that will be wearing them is quite another. Or, put another way, for the same reasons that the people who make team uniforms in real life and the ones who coach those same teams are almost always different people.

Rainbow Dash made it very clear that she didn't want to coach this, and Twilight forced her to do it. And later Twilight pretty much admits she knew Rainbow Dash would hate it at first, but Twilight was willing to pair the cheer squad with a coach who actively disliked her time there, so Rainbow could learn some lesson about coaching activities she wasn't interested in?

Yeah, this definitely was a thing. It's uncannily reminiscent of when Twilight herself was forced to engage in a social life she was very vocal about not wanting to engage in and profoundly hated at first, entirely to make her grow in areas she didn't know she needed to.

5103789 That's a good point about how early this episode should be. Also I went back to the Points of Canon for Common Ground, and it wasn't really nailed down itself, so both Common Ground and this episode could be set during Season 8.


5104049

Because being good at and wanting to make cheerleader outfits is one thing, but being good at and wanting to train the cheer team that will be wearing them is quite another. Or, put another way, for the same reasons that the people who make team uniforms in real life and the ones who coach those same teams are almost always different people.

True, but Rainbow doesn't want to train the cheer team either. And Rarity leads and manages an acapella group, that's got to be at least a little like managing a cheer squad.

Yeah, this definitely was a thing. It's uncannily reminiscent of when Twilight herself was forced to engage in a social life she was very vocal about not wanting to engage in and profoundly hated at first, entirely to make her grow in areas she didn't know she needed to.

Except Rainbow is an adult and not Twilight's student, and she's already learn this lesson many times before. Someone was saying on another thread it would have been a much better episode if Gallus had been the student coach or something, and I agree.

5104049

You know, I never really understood why the fandom consensus on that front was that horn restraints would be ring-shaped, specifically, as opposed to full-horn caps -- like the ones the Storm King's army used on their unicorn captives, for instance.

I think it's because the different designs imply different functions in how it works. A ring at the base of the horn would seem to suggest that magic travels up the horn from base to tip, resulting in a spell, but magic which passes through the ring fizzles out through whatever magic or mechanism the author can devise. The spell simply never manifests. And there's a consistent built-in logic to that.

A cap, on the other hand, seems to suggest that the unicorn is still sort of casting underneath the restraint, but it just can't get through for some reason. The anti-magic part could have just as many explanations as the horn ring, but the difference is that it implies that a mere ring using the same magic/technology wouldn't be enough. So unicorns can cast from any part of the horn even if another part is restrained? The energy of magic doesn't follow a consistent path, it just... happens? The logic is less obvious and it raises more questions. Horn rings are more elegant by comparison.

MLP still does the small character moments excellently. Twilight's look of confusion at Pinkie connecting wavy hair with being a jock was perfect.

Rainbow is demoted to cheer coach. Twilight has finally learned how to troll like Celestia.

I like that Snips has gotten character development since we first saw him, and that his interest in making money wasn't a one-episode thing.

For a moment, the most interesting development was seeing that wings and antimagic rings allow ponies to play other positions! Still no way for a non-unicorn to be goalkeeper, though. I was hoping that this was a standard buckball thing but it turns out they're specially made by Celestia.


“I’m Shimmy Shake, and this is Lighthoof.” It’s strange that they are wearing colors not associated with Ponyville, the established colors of the Ponyville team, or the School of Friendship, for that matter. Just where are they from?…

Since they get actual cheer outfits later, I'd guess that these are some kind of dancing outfits; A skirt could certainly add some flash to a dance. Actually, where did cheerleader outfits develop from IRL?

“But I don’t know anything about cheerleading.”

Getting Fluttershy to say yay isn't the same thing as knowing anything about cheerleading routines. Dash may remember liking to cheer, but I can believe that her focus has always been on the athletes and the teams rather than the cheerleaders. Do we have specific evidence otherwise?

“The trick to being a good buckball keeper is to do nothin’.”

Snails is an idiot savant who can't train anyone else, apparently. It's surprising the team did as well as it did! Yeah, Snails, it comes easy to you now due to a mix of talent and practice, but other players need to develop those reflexes.

The flying unicorn isn’t wearing one.

I missed that! They came sooooo close to not forgetting an important detail... I think it makes more sense to just assume she was supposed to have one. Or maybe it's so she can cast feather fall in case the flight spell fails, and people just have to watch for her using magic until an automatic (automagic?) feather fall device can be created. While the fandom has proposed antimagic horn rings since forever, I'm not sure pony society would ever have made them common. No doubt there have been experiments, and maybe a rare medical device to deal with out-of-control magic, that doesn't seem to be a common problem. Nevermind, I just realized this would HAVE to be a thing for stopping criminals from picking the locks on their own cells. But ponyville's justice system is something the show never thinks about...

“Final score — School of Magic, five; School of Friendship, four.” So how much pressure exactly was there on the SGU students to win this one?…

Was this an exhibition match or actually part of the... what do you call it, not tournament, 'season'? I was left with the impression it was an exhibition match as the league has only just been formed and needs more schools to join it. In any case, remember that the Friendship school's coaches all discovered freakish talent for the sport as soon as they tried it, and aren't good communicators. SGU has probably put considerably more study into things.

“I’ll have to start one at my school as well.” Wait. So if Celestia is so interested in sports, why doesn’t the SGU have a cheer squad already?…

Have sports really been a thing? Pegasus stunt flyers is all we've seen until buckball... well, and bowling. But now you've got me imagining wizard duels with a stadium, cheering fans and cheerleaders and all and I kind of want to see that.

5108673

Actually, where did cheerleader outfits develop from IRL?

See Wikipedia – it has some surprising revelations. The iconic short skirts appear to originate in the US sometime around 1950s by being derived from earlier school uniforms. In general, the practice is more of a US thing than anywhere else.

Do we have specific evidence otherwise?

Not really, however, the knowledge of the role of the practice is clearly there in Sonic Rainboom, which is what I feel cognitive dissonance about.

Or maybe it’s so she can cast feather fall in case the flight spell fails, and people just have to watch for her using magic until an automatic (automagic?) feather fall device can be created.

Actually, the magicked-up wings are a handicap by themselves: We know that pegasi can use their wings to smack the ball. The magic wings are made “from gossamer and morning dew,” i.e. are very fragile…

But ponyville’s justice system is something the show never thinks about…

The show never thinks. Period, full stop. FTFY.

Have sports really been a thing? Pegasus stunt flyers is all we’ve seen until buckball… well, and bowling.

Baseball has been shown. Hoofball has been implied but we never actually saw it. Various races have been shown.

Yeah, sports are a thing.

But now you’ve got me imagining wizard duels with a stadium, cheering fans and cheerleaders and all and I kind of want to see that.

Amen.

5103721

I want to try and come up with a Watsonian explanation,

Simple, for al people refer back to that scene, it had nothing at all to do with cheer leading. That was about cheering, as in doing so from the stands as an audience member to encourage whoever you are cheering for. Not being the one down on the field trying to encourage people to be doing that.

Given RD has issues with understanding points of view without some personal frame of reference to do so from, and her being who she is, when has RD likely ever needed help getting hyped up to cheer for an event she was at? So, given she's never needed it, this being RD, she wouldn't come to the conclusion any other pony would need it, either they are hyped and excited and ready to cheer, or they aren't and she'd question why they even bother showing up to the event then. As such, ponies whose whole job is to try to get ponies to do something they'd be doing naturally anyway without them is redundant and useless in her eyes. Ponies are there to watch the game, anything else is just pointless filler.

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