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Estee


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

T

The Diarchy has asked -- ordered, really -- Twilight to attend the Zoology Conference. This means meeting the leaders of various nations, along with making a speech. And with Twilight increasingly suspicious about what all of these extra duties might eventually mean, she's becoming desperate to make it all stop.

There's a briefing book. Long lists of things she shouldn't discuss, because doing so would be seen as an insult. And Twilight has just learned about what Applejack calls 'cancel culture'. So if she just offends enough attendees, proving that she isn't suited for this sort of thing, then she's home-free! It's not as if being offensive is hard.

Unless you're Twilight Sparkle...


(Now with author Patreon and Ko-Fi pages.)

Cover art by SockPuppet.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 45 )

Yeah, that’s twilight alright.

Muligan is Best Mule. You have to give it to him.

(Really, I thought the sports comment was going to do it for sure.)

With a Title like that, I was kind of worried but it was a lot better than I was expecting.

I smell elderberries.
Why do I smell elderberries?
Anypony else smell that?

I liked the weaving in of the MP lore, it was beautifully done.

Heh. Succeeding brilliantly while trying to fail is very Triptych Twilight.

"-- I think they're going to retire," Twilight said.Applejack blinked.

"Say what now?"

"They keep calling me to the palace," the little mare morosely stated as her head dipped, wing joints loosening enough to splay feathers across the floor. "For little things. Like watching them review bills, or supervising Day and Night Court sessions. They wanted me to see how paperwork gets sorted. I keep thinking... they're going to retire. Step down from the thrones, and stick me with everything --"

I remain firmly convinced that the last two seasons were mostly a bad dream, probably brought on by gastric distress (and the Triptych universe has the cook for the job!)

Can't show his face that much around Saddle Arabia." The darkness was increasing. "'course, bein' a male, at least he can show his face --"

Gotta go nope with this Our World reference.

Saddle Arabia delegates | My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Wiki | Fandom

And then there was an odd breeze in the room, something which had nothing to do with the stubborn cloud. It was as if a great amount of air had just been displaced outwards in an outbound sphere.

Wait, wait. Mules - the infertile male offspring of a male donkey and female horse - have their own national delegation??? I guess it must happen rather often...once you've gone Cranky, you never go back?

Good fun.

Estee
Is this canon to the Triptych Continuum? ( Y4? Y5?) Or should it be in the AU folder? :rainbowderp:

Worst. Story concept. EVER!

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It’s shocking how ‘Twilight’ this Twilight is. Funny as heck but shocking nonetheless considering the subject matter.

Well! I think that about covers it. Thank you, Twilight. :ajbemused:

That's just so Twilight, to desperately stumble into accidental brilliance. :twilightoops:

The fuck? Shit mobile site won't let me upvote this but it does display the downvote button. Bullshit.

What a funny story, I enjoyed the ending more than I expected to from the premise alone. I liked the way you deftly weaved the concept of cancel culture into the strict social roles expected from attending an international function. It was very pretty at the start talking about the process of writing. Thank you for the work Estee!

Oh, my. And this is why she's a work in progress......

Ah yes, stories like this are why I still come here. And, as ever, there's one sentence or scene that locks the form. This time it's:

"The suspicion didn't leave the earth pony's face: it simply migrated to the left eyebrow. And throughout the rest of their session, it never truly left."

The best part is that Celestia and Luna both recognize exactly what Twilight is trying to do, and then have to calm down when it backfires spectacularly.

Stupid but enjoyable. Liked

In description:
"because doing so would seen as an insult"
"because doing so would be seen as an insult"?

"An' that why y'get a briefing book"
"An' that's why y'get a briefing book"?

"So many different kinds of vocal chords, tongues"
"So many different kinds of vocal cords, tongues"?

"I got it in on accident before I"
"I got it in by accident before I"?

"heard against adopting it, neither did anypony else"
"heard against adopting it, neither was anypony else"?

"pulling an infant's tram towards"
"pulling an infant's pram towards"?

Well, that was fun. :D
...If not so much for Twilight. :D


11015635
Ah, I just added it to "Unassigned". Though I think that, if it's one of the two of those, it'd be AU, unless the usual bit in the description was accidentally omitted. I hope I didn't act in too much haste, especially since we haven't figured out how to remove stories from a folder, but it seemed like it made sense?

11016030
No, we can always add it later, I just wanted to be sure before posting it.

11016035
Ah, righto; thanks. :)

Oh, that was fantastic. Easily the best speech ever. Bravo! :rainbowlaugh:

And some nice commentary on the nature of "cancelling", to boot. :pinkiecrazy:

11016030

Fixed most of them, and thankee -- but believe it or not, 'vocal chords' can be legitimate. Some people even go with vocal folds.

English is dumb.

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"Fixed most of them, and thankee"
Thanks and thanks. :)

"but believe it or not, 'vocal chords' can be legitimate. Some people even go with vocal folds."
...Huh. That doesn't match what I found in my brief search to confirm what I thought, but:

"English is dumb."
There is that, as usual! :D
Glorious mess of a language, we've got here.
Anyway, thanks. :)

i see the title and i am afraid that twitter has invaded

That's soo Estee Twilight.

... Am I the only one who kinda wished Twilight would actually get canceled and we would get to see the fall-out of the event between her and the sisters?

The only reason Discord didn't teleport over to Twilight and prostrate himself in open adoration of her, is that he was too busy dying of laughter.

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The fallout with the sisters part is the bit I like to imagine. I see Twilight blurting out the reason she did it and either a) they reassure Twilight that that's not what's going on and there's a nice friendship moment between alicorns, or b) they are shocked and appalled that Twilight saw through them and made such a bold play to outmaneuver them, then declare her truly ready for politics and bounce.

11016264 "Twilight," said Princess Celestia with just a hint of the discouraging tone in her voice that had been used so many times on her accident-prone student, "that was underhoofed, sneaky, and totally unethical."

"Which is why we think you're ready for the throne right now," said Luna. "Come on, sis. I've got our bags packed and train tickets for Mexicolt. Let's get going!"

Perhaps I am reading too much into this, but is Muligan Wootton a famous retired buck(et)ball coach?

Just a little too hopefully, "We could always make a crisis."

Twilight, this is why you're still banned from Ponyville's toy stores.

Yeah, we don't get to see much of the diarchs post-abdication in the comics, but given what's there, I fully expect them to end up trying to conquer their town by next month.

If you tell a yak that his father stinks of elderberries, you're basically sayin' the conception needed some extra help.

Okay, but what if you tell him his mother is a hamster?

she followed the trail of brass nails all the way to the base of the lectern, evened out her notes within the bubble, looked up, and the entire planet hit her between the eyes.

This is such a good line.

there were so many eyes and every last pair (in those places where they were limited to pairs)

Well, that raises some questions. As do the tentacles.

And that's how Twilight Sparkle became the world's greatest political satirist entirely by accident.

The final adult alicorn in the room, moving at the speed of experience, was busy pulling an infant's pram towards the closest exit.

Oh hey, Flurry exists. As an alicorn, going by the phrasing. Also, did Cadence ever have to give a speech at the Conference?

I do hope Twilight explains why she thought that was a good idea. Chastising her is understandable, but it doesn't address the underlying issues. Still, most enjoyable, even if the moments leading up to the speech were some of the most suspenseful you've written. If she actually had gone through with the original speech...
Well, thank goodness she didn't. Thank you for a delightful read.

11016200
Can a spiritual entity even die of laughter?

Twilight Sparkle channels Don Rickles

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Tell him he can't and he'll find a way just to be contrarian.

Twilight Sparkle invents the comedy roast

Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash are furious that they didn’t think of it first. Rarity is torn between the opportunity to insult others and the fact that they won’t believe her. Applejack struggles to understand the concept of using truthful observations as comedy. Fluttershy tries it once, calls a shrubbery “Small”, and can’t bear to continue.

Discord loves every second of it and tries to make referring to it as “Sparkling” someone into a thing.

Like someone else above me said, I was a bit worried when I saw the title of this. However, I gave it a shot, and I'm glad I did.

You did pretty good justice to the issue of cancel culture. It's tempting for any writer to hamfist it and use it as a soapbox, but you gave it way more nuance than many authors would.

I wasn't sure how the delegates would react, but I did lean more toward them finding Twilight's rant funny. Turns out that hunch was correct. I also have to commend the right hook that came immediately afterwards. THAT I did not anticipate.

My only dislike about this story was its length. The story felt a bit longer than it needed to be. Some of the asides and descriptions seemed overly wordy. It was a little difficult for me to stay focused on what was happening. That said, I haven't read many of your other works, so this might just be your writing style and my personal preference not meshing.

Anyways, I was going to write a longer review, then decided it was unnecessary and hypocritical. I'll clinch this by citing my favorite line in the fic.

Twilight wasn't entirely sure what socialism was and based on all the Canterlot arguments she'd heard against adopting it, neither was anypony else.

Congratulations on becoming featured, and thank you for the entertaining read!

I’m just a tad confused by the ending; mules would be the result of donkeys and ponies reproducing, right? So, did word get out to the (surprisingly large) population of Equestria, or is there somehow a kingdom of them?

Twilight wasn't entirely sure what socialism was and based on all the Canterlot arguments she'd heard against adopting it, neither was anypony else.

Probably doesn't help the average layman that not even socialists will proffer what socialism is, and will go out of their way to disavow any form which doesn't net them the gains they frequently promise (which is pretty much all of them).

The ending was depressing, but I wouldn't expect anything else from you. If nothing else, it is very true to the bleaker picture you paint.

If she really wanted to get dropped from consideration as a replacement for the sisters, she should have just insulted them directly.

The smart thing of course, would be to wait until the sisters give her their powers and authority, and then stick them with the paper work and leg work she doesn't want to do.

Unfortunately, any plan of her breaking free of their control, hinges on her growing a tougher constitution, something this Twilight seems incapable of doing.

This needs a sequel of Twilight just running. Just gone. Running in fear from the future throne her butt will get glued to.

And every land she goes to they think she is hilarious.

11046323
>Probably doesn't help the average layman that not even socialists will proffer what socialism is

Oh, but we do. All of us do and quite frequently, loudly, and over one another. And every one of a thousand different factions, each from one of numerous different lineages that flow out of the works of a dozen different economists and philosophers--every one will give you a different answer. The syndicalists from the anarchist branch will tell you that socialism is when unions freely associate and organize to fulfill productive needs. Just don't call it a "state!" Leninists and their many, many off-shoots--from the ever-splitting trotsyists to the utterly detestable dengists--will tell you that socialism is when the state is controlled by the proletariat (because they never actually read Capital itself and don't understand that capital rules the "ruling class"). Althusarians like Richard Wolf will tell you that socialism is micro-economic entities like co-operatives, and organized labor groups like the IWW will echo that even though they share the syndicalists' goals. Settlers-reading red-painted liberals who like Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders will tell you that socialism is when the government does nice things (funny, the "conservative" liberal factions say the same thing). Armchair-sitting, self-impressed, "infantile" marxist communists like me say that socialism is the economic reality that will inevitably result when the dialectical contradictions of capitalism cause the value form to collapse as capital can no longer feasibly produce specific commodities ("the means of subsistence"--it's a long story) at the rate that it needs to perpetuate itself. There are plenty more too, from the quasi-capitalist followers of Proudhon to the meme-spouting NazBol trolls to the post-modern, post-structure, post-reason post-leftists.

The definition of socialism does not really matter, though. It is invariably nothing more than an abstraction, a concept with no material foundation. What matters is the definition of capitalism, because that is the reality in which we find ourselves.

"-- y'kiddin'? Step down ? Retire? Who's gonna manage Sun and Moon? An' you know Luna. Even if they thought it was a good idea at the start --" another snort "-- for whatever Tartarus-chained fool reason that might be -- Ah give her two days without bein' able t' boss somepony around before she went to a tea shop an' flew behind the counter 'cause nopony was mixing stuff the right way. She's gotta be in charge of somethin' --"

Considering the near canonical fact that Luna would have a working retirement, Applejack has it right.

" Alright, let me just... *summons a replica uniform* see, you have to replenish the grounds every 10 pots... And for Java's sake use a descaler on the water! Oh, hello, welcome to Moonbucks, this will take a few minutes, but may I take your order?"

Just... Buying out a local chain of coffee shops and turning into an empire while Celestia just sits and tries to convince her to take a vacation.

"-- y'kiddin'? Step down ? Retire? Who's gonna manage Sun and Moon? An' you know Luna. Even if they thought it was a good idea at the start --" another snort "-- for whatever Tartarus-chained fool reason that might be -- Ah give her two days without bein' able t' boss somepony around before she went to a tea shop an' flew behind the counter 'cause nopony was mixing stuff the right way. She's gotta be in charge of somethin' --"

Alright. Can someone please explain to me why the sun and moon are capatilised here? I don't get it 🤔. And these stories are too long winded for me to usually read, and understand everything.

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Short answer: because in this setting they're proper names for unique entities (that almost certainly are not a sun and moon as we understand those to be).

I thought the plot was gonna be that the translator made everyone hear something good instead :rainbowwild:

Honestly, I really loved Applejack and Twilight's discussion of cancel culture. A lot of the time controversial topics of any kind (especially on the internet, and even in internet fiction) are presented really heavily from one side or the other, with little to no quarter given to any other perspective, but I felt like their discussion did a good job of addressing both the good and the bad of cancel culture IRL, offering the reader some genuine food for thought, while also setting up the highly amusing rest of the story. Well done!

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