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On the Sliding Scale Of Idealism Vs. Cynicism, I like to think of myself as being idyllically cynical. (Patreon page.)

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Because some days, you just feel like posting a downvote magnet · 12:57pm May 20th

Roseluck is a pony who believes in Facts, and what she believes about them is that everypony saying something is true can only be the product of mass brainwashing. The free mind recognizes that Evidence is just a hoax with props. So if the government has asked ponies to temporarily wear masks in order to avoid spreading an illness? That can't be the real reason. Something is going on, and only the forces of Independent Thinking stand any chance of saving Ponyville from itself.

Of course, when it comes to the Flower Trio, Independent Thinking is also known as Fear-Addicted Paranoia. Everypony's been trying to tell them that for years...

Which proves the Conspiracy is just that widespread! To the soapboxes!

Yes, that is today's idea. I haven't started writing it yet -- I need to take a walk and consider exactly what the beats are going to be, and then I have to add some research to that -- but I'm hoping to have it up well before local midnight.

...look, you knew I probably couldn't get through this without posting something in story form eventually. I also happen to have three established conspiracy theorists in the cast, along with a host of real-life human idiots to provide inspiration. In a way, this was inevitable, and so I'm letting everyone know what's going on in advance. Because if you're the sort of person who would unfollow over this, then you'd better get a head start.

Oh, and the story's title?


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Comments ( 49 )

"It's not paranoia if they really are out to get you."

Tipper #2 · May 20th · · ·

Well, if we're going to see the crisis in fiction form, I suppose we should be grateful that we haven't seen a bright orange pony with a terrible toupee named Claimed Bankruptcy, who plans to build a wall around the Settled Zone and make the Changelings pay for it.

Even so. Are we certain that the Flower Trio are, well, actually this stupid?

Yes, this is something that would happen. I look forward to reading it.

Estee #4 · May 20th · · ·


First: I'm not going all-out pandemic. This is just going to be a really bad flu strain which seems to be easily passed between ponies. The rating is Everyone and I'm leaving the Death tag off: for the most part, I'm playing the whole thing for comedy.

named Claimed Bankruptcy

Actually, his name is Dubiously Rich. (He's a distant cousin. The rest of the family doesn't like to talk about him.) I've had a story planned for years about his running for Canterlot's mayoralty, and I haven't tried writing it because there is a difference between a downvote magnet and a Comments section which is actually on fire.

(Seriously: he got a mention in Barnyard Barge-Ins. I wanted to have that setup in place. I just haven't hit a day where my level of @$%^ The Consequences is high enough to post it.)

Even so. Are we certain that the Flower Trio are, well, actually this stupid?

Some of Roseluck's beliefs regarding the situation will be taken directly from human claims.

So in other words, I'm going to have readers claiming that no fictional character could be that dumb.

Reality isn't bound by little things like plausibility.

You're a braver author than I. Looking forward to seeing the rend result, depressing though it may be on a meta level.

Isn't that just real real life?

That's a cute mask tho

I would point out that IRL
DJT claims that the Chinese created this virus in a biolab
& the Chinese say that the US army deliberately spread it.
Eric Trump claims that it's a Dem conspiracy
There was also a video claiming that Dr. Fauci created it &
wearing a mask activates it. The video has been pulled from most
media including Facebook & YouTube

Tough for a writer to beat real life.

Estee #9 · May 20th · · ·


the rend result

Typo Of The Day.

Given their fear of bunnies, they're probably more concerned with myxomatosis...

So, the ponies that buy so many haz-mat suits that they are keeping the only supplier in business, are going to try to convince ponies that wearing protective masks is dangerous.

I think, after hearing the twists of logic, Miranda Rights is going to knock on the pharmacy door asking for headache pills.

Well. Good luck. :D

...and then trot into the Everfree to ask Zecora for the good stuff.

My brain hurts hurts, and I’m watching the same idiots on the news that you are.

in this case, the words of men in black come in mind: a person is smart. people are violent, dangerous lunatics and you know it.

as a real word example, a group of people decided recently, relatively, that publicly accusing someone of a very serious crime was enough to unperson the guy. when, however, someone from this group of people was also accused in the same way, apparently the accuser did no real wrong.

can i give you the pain pills now? no? i'll take them then.

If only it was fiction, ugh. Can't wait for it though.

1) I love the masks! The ones my wife made for us to use when going out are also pink, but with cats on them. We are the envy of people at COSTCO who are so dedicatedly socially avoiding each other!
2) Go for the story. The people who would unfollow you because you make fun of conspiracy theorists already know you are a member of the Illuminati, and that you go bowling with George Soros every Tuesday, so it’s up to them to speak out on your politicization of this obviously fake disaster.
3) YOLO. So do the rest of us who will truly appreciate getting a good laugh reading another of your cringe comedies involving the sweet, innocent members of the CMC.

Please. PLEASE do this. I would absolutely enjoy reading this. I could say more, but I don't want to trigger the trolls.

I've had a story planned for years about his running for Canterlot's mayoralty.

Just like when his cousin ran in Ponyville, eh? And did a $%^&ing horrible job.

You definitely need to write this, Estee! A story with these three (and knowing how they react to every situation) is going to be wonderfully hysterical.

Well, it fits your style of turning real life horror into technicolor equine adorable horror. I'm in.

So in other words, I'm going to have readers claiming that no fictional character could be that dumb.

And as long as they retain the italicized word, they'll be right. Fiction cares more about making sense than reality does, and the widespread access to information you receive as a member of the free world is proving that. (Yes, really. If the US were actually a police state, the people stating intention to shoot any police officer who attempts to do the job police officers are paid to do would themselves have been shot by now. They certainly wouldn't have been given a platform by the news the way they have and probably shouldn't have been.)

Georg #21 · May 20th · · ·

5265858 I made one (well, the wife did the sewing) with MLP-themed cloth and shoestrings for the ties, since one sure way to drive me nuts is to put elastic behind my ears. It's in my vest pocket along with a kerchief one, hand sanitizer, pencils, and various other purse-like things Real Men carry but don't admit. (Summer makes me long for cargo shorts just to store all my stuff.)

Personally, I think California takes the cake on this one when they decided to ticket people parked in their cars, watching the sunset while eating take-out dinner. Seriously, they took a bunch of social distancing people locked in their cars, put *unmasked* police officers to block them in, forced them to roll down their windows, and gave them all thousand-dollar tickets... Oh, that's why they did it. Cash, the ultimate reason.

Picture Miranda Rights issuing a ten-bit ticket to Roseluck from two Celests away (using unicorn cheating), then Roseluck running away from it because it's contaminated. Chase her all over town, "I just need you to sign it!!" Then of course having Roseluck pay the fine with bits that have been properly 'decontaminated' with five different caustic substances until there's only a faint outline of bits against the bubbling slime.

I would have guessed that they where going to be the toilet paper hoarders. They type that completely over react and create runs on stupid things because they failed at understanding what was really needed. Plus you need to separate how the ponies choose to do things, rather then our governors did.


Then Dash flies overhead to check out the commotion and sneezes over the entire socially distant crowd from just high enough to ensure broad coverage of falling virus-laden droplets. Miranda then demonstrates the unicorn field version of a "temperature inversion preventing a rising mass of hot air (with a multi-hued mane) from escaping the local weather".

This scenario just has got so many possibilities!!!

I heartily approve of this title.

I would have also accepted One Flu Over The Cuckoo's Nest.


The depressing thing is that there's probably a substantial number of people on the other side of the fence who would unironically use this term to describe the current situation.

Like, I have a feeling you're going to get people (who don't know you) expecting it to take the opposite stance and getting all stoked up just based on the title alone. And then getting upset when they see what it's really about. :twilightoops:

Granny Smith absentmindedly scratched behind one ear. "Reminds me of the big intestinal pandemic that caused such a ruckus when I was just a filly. What was it called now? Oh, yeah! The Great Constipagion! In Ponyville it took most of a year before things got back to being regular."

Estee #27 · May 20th · · ·


One Flu Over The Cuckoo's Nest

May I use that for the chapter title? (I'd been considering Unmasked Crusaders.)


Like, I have a feeling you're going to get people (who don't know you) expecting it to take the opposite stance and getting all stoked up just based on the title alone. And then getting upset when they see what it's really about.

Gee, I wonder what that's like.

Go right ahead.

I have several independent sources saying that horse anuses are self-cleaning. >_>

I really want to read that


Then what would you suggest as a stupid item they would hoard? They have the market cornered on the cheep hazmat suits what could they purchase in bulk that anyone with common sense wouldn’t over purchase?

I am looking forward to this. I’ve been reading through some of your old stories, including ‘Sonic Rainbigot,’ so I’m very interested to see how you handle this issue.

Trouble is, Pandemic implies across countries - so unless it has drifted in from Mazen the correct term should be epidemic.

So, how about Epidumbic? Or even EpicDumbic if you really want to hit the puns?

I am really looking forward to this one...

every time i hear "conspiracy" i think of...Flat Earthers.
definitely the DUMBEST thing ever.
it's SO OBVIOUSLY wrong it's beyond pathetic.
i made the mistake of visiting "the flat earth society org" a few times, long ago.
half of it is just them babbling that "The Conspiracy" has falsified EVERYTHING.
-every book ever.
-every photo and video ever.
-every barometer, scale, etc. ever.
-every TELESCOPE ever.
and this one's a Doozy:

"everything on the Internet has been faked by The Conspiracy."

NOT exaggerating, one of them posted those EXACT WORDS during a discussion about Lunar Eclipses.
the REST of the site is PROFANITY.
the WHOLE site is just swearing and "The Conspiracy."
AND they ALSO believe EVERY OTHER conspiracy you can name, including "5G causes coronavirus".
just for fun i will share a video debunking part of a popular flat-earth propaganda book:

You should have them hoard toothbrushes! Because obviously the masks are an attack on their mouths and teeth’s which will cause them to starve to death or whatever. Just something stupid to hoard.

Doitdoitdoit. I love your work!

Although for some reason I have this image in my head of the three of them targeting Fluttershy in some way because of her isolation... to their discordant peril.

Everyone should watch the Adam Ruins Everything episode where he tackles conspiracies. He explains why they can be dangerous and why, even after providing all the facts debunking a conspiracy theory, people cling to them.

And here... we... go!

Enjoy the go!

I applaud the title.

While I am looking forward to this story, I have such a low tolerance for stupid it's probably going to piss me off.

Still looking forward to the tale.

That sounds about par for the course for Cali. I'm glad I managed to escape.

Sometimes a writer needs to do something to get it out of their system. If this is a therapeutic thing for you, I hope it gets out what you need it too.

Putting a pony veneer on politics isn’t likely to be popular. I know I hate to see heavy political commentary invading my preferred escapism.

It’ll find an audience, I’m sure.

If I ever write my novel-length story, one of the characters briefly met along the way would be a doomsday bioterrorist who wants to clear the planet to make room for the next intelligent species. Several round-trip plane tickets between Wuhan and Ravenholm are discovered in his possession.

Don't worry Estee - we still love you. :pinkiehappy:

I've often wondered how many members of the Flat Earth Society really, seriously believe that stuff, vs. how many of them just think it's fun to wind people up by pretending to believe it and competing with each other to see who can come up with the most outrageous claims. For some people, every day is April Fool's Day, and if you don't agree, well, you're just a square who obviously hates fun and deserves to be pranked...

General answer to flatearthers is a question, "Show us your maps, you know one of each side of Earth, if it's flat there is two sides like a coin." Usually quiets the unserious ones.

The best chuckle I hear on face masks is "If you can smell flatulence through them, how do they stop a virus?":rainbowlaugh:

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