Rule 34 and the Mane Six

Musician MandoPony has been contemplating the sheer quantity of sexed-up pony pictures out there, and yes, there are some pervs in our midst, but there’s more to it than that:

It’s rare for female characters to be strong leaders who can take care of themselves and save the world over and over again, but they exist in this show. It’s awesome. The ponies don’t need guys to “save” them. They don’t need men to fawn over them. (with the possible exception of Rarity!) They don’t need men to guide them. They don’t need men for anything. Neither do they look down on male characters. They’re neither above, nor below, the males. They’re totally equal and very capable of taking care of themselves without help from the opposite sex. It’s true equality. I freaking love that.

For most guys, I think this idea messes with their heads. It’s so beyond their reasoning skills that they have to objectify the female characters in order to accept them. They need to sexualize the characters in order to bring them back down.

This makes sense in the context of demographics: the 15-25-year-old guy who puts impossibly large crotchboobs on [name of pony] likely has yet to adjust to the reality of life among Actual Women. (As I haven’t, but then I can’t draw.) Of course, this failure to adapt goes both ways, so this term is non-gender-specific.

And this theory does not exclude a possibility more blatantly obvious:

People are perverts. They like to draw sexy versions of everything. Male, female, animal, vegetable, mineral, it doesn’t matter.

Then again, when was this not true?

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My life in a nutshell

Even vaguely resembles my desk:

Osborne Executive

The computer on display is the Osborne Executive, intended as the follow-on product to the Osborne 1, two of which I used to own: only a handful of these — and you had to have big hands, because they were large and unwieldy — managed to slink out of the factory before the company went bankrupt.

And given the retro technology that pervades Equestria, I’ve got to believe that if ponies have computers, they’re running CP/M.

(Unsourced picture from Derpibooru.)

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Worst friends forever

Rule 63 of the Internet holds that for every fictional character, there exists an opposite-gender counterpart. Just about everypony in Equestria has been sixty-three’d at one time or another; arguably the most popular is the colt version of Twilight Sparkle, almost universally named Dusk Shine.

The following spammer, caught in Akismet yesterday, apparently isn’t up to Dusk’s high standards:

Dung Shine

I’m guessing he’s the black — um, brown — sheep of the family.

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Fluttershub-Niggurath

All I dare give you is the description:

Little Maddie is a Cthulhu-themed My Little Pony designed by Bigshot Toyworks for Friendship is Maddness, a project encompassing a series of animation shorts and toys.

I assume this was approved by the estate of H. P. Lovecolt.

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Meanwhile in Ponyville

I’ve spent a lot of time plugging my own stories, occasionally noting connections that somehow exist between that world and this one. (And possibly other worlds as well: a reader told me yesterday that I’d somehow evoked the tale of Aragorn and Arwen from The Lord of the Rings for him.)

But this is someone else’s story, and I’m urging you to read it because — well, just because. It’s about 13,000 words. It’s called There Is Love Beyond What Lingers, it came out late on Christmas Day, and I’m hoping that none of you have ever been in this situation, or ever will be.

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When ponies attack

I have to admit, something like this would put me off rather severely:

I had just walked upstairs, into my bathroom, when I heard someone say “la la la la la *giggles*”. Hmmm, that sounds like my daughter’s My Little Pony doll. But … why in the hell is it talking without anyone touching it?

“I love youuu!” it said afterwards.

Now there’s a phrase I don’t hear too often, especially out of the blue. Or, in this case, the pink:

I walked into the hummingbird’s room to investigate and saw that the pink pony was mostly under her bed with just the legs sticking out.

UH UHH, I’ve seen Chucky too many times and there was no way in hell I was going to bend down and pull that damn doll out from under the bed.

I looked at the picture of the pony in question. It’s a G3 So Soft Newborn Pinkie Pie from 2007. Wouldn’t hurt a flea — not deliberately, anyway.

Then again, I keep the batteries out of my own Twilight Sparkle Animated Storyteller, lest she start blabbing in the middle of the night.

(Via The Daily Oat.)

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My very best friends

There is friendship, and there is magic. And there are times when it might take the latter to bring about the former.

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Just a few pony songs

As Twilight Sparkle might say, I wasn’t prepared for this:

Songs of Friendship and MagicHasbro, seeing a need — and perhaps noting the enormous number of mediocre YouTube episode dubs — has put out, at least on iTunes and Google Play, an eleven-track album of arguably the best tunes from the first two years of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. The most obvious omission, I think, is the Cutie Mark Crusaders Song from “The Show Stoppers,” but then it was never intended to be, um, good. Ingram, of course, is the logical person to plug this thing, since he wrote them all, and iTunes lists him as the artist on all tracks. (Which reminds me: whom do we have to proposition to get a collection of William Anderson’s background music?)

The iTunes package ($9.99) contains one of Apple’s Digital Booklets — it’s a PDF, no big deal — with a list of who’s singing what and all the words. (Except for “BBBFF,” which got lost in the shuffle; its page in the Booklet contains the opening of “This Day Aria,” which admittedly is a pretty long song.) If you’ve ever wanted to sing along with Flim and Flam’s ode to the Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000, now’s your chance. (At the time I grabbed this album, Flim and Flam were dead last on the iTunes popularity chart, with “Smile” and “Winter Wrap Up” grabbing all the single buys. I can’t explain it either.)

Of course, I love all this stuff unreservedly, “Love Is In Bloom” most of all.

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Derpmobile!

And you know, it’s not banged up or anything at all:

Mitsubishi Starion with Derpy Hooves imaging

The Starion was a major contributor to what used to be Mitsubishi’s performance image, and we may never know for sure if Mitsu had intended to call it “Stallion.” Then again, Derpy’s a mare and may not care.

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Decades after the fact

Every now and then, Jack Baruth throws me a curve. In a piece with the seriously on-point title “Do You Have A Wound That Won’t Heal?” he cites a meme I might have missed:

You are now thinking of her. What is her name?

If there’s any difference between me eighteen years ago (almost) when I started this site and me now, it’s my ability to deal with that question without actually answering it. In fact, I got the core of a pony story out of it. Middle-aged stallion looking dejected on a bench, crisp social-worker mare investigating, and we pick it up here:

“If you’re looking for ponies who need a place to stay, there’s one who sleeps in the old Wheelwright warehouse.”

“Used to, anyway,” she said. “About a week ago he was found dead.”

He cringed. “Something got him?”

“Just exposure to the elements. He’d been hiding out there since before Hearth’s Warming Eve, and it eventually got too cold for him. Old earth ponies just don’t have the same resistance to the cold that the younger ones do. And sometimes they don’t realize that.”

“So your job,” he said, “involves telling me to beware of the cold?”

“If necessary, yes,” she replied. “That poor pony had no money, no family, and maybe if we’d found him earlier, we might have been able to save him.” She sighed. “And now he’s gone. I wouldn’t want that to happen to you. I wouldn’t want that to happen to anypony.”

He looked at her. “I’m sorry,” he said. “I didn’t mean to impugn your profession. I’m just not used to being worried about.”

“And your family?”

“Long gone. Both parents died; never had a brother or a sister. It’s just me out here.”

She persisted. “Do you at least have a Very Special Somepony?”

For a moment, he looked beyond her, away from the coast, toward a place he barely remembered.

Finally, he spoke. “For forty years,” he said, “I have loved only one mare. Well, she was a filly back then, but … but she was always the one.” He shook his head. “If only she knew…”

The rest of the story, of course, is about healing a wound.

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Occasionally Grimm

Fillyjonk defends the fairy tale:

One of the reasons I like fairy tales, and liked them as a kid, is that they follow certain rules. The cruel, the greedy, the evil are punished in the end. The good, kind, honest, and hardworking are rewarded. Suffering is generally not in vain. And while death happens, often the parents of the good kind protagonists are described as dying peacefully after a long, good life. In other words, it portrays a world that seems to me more just than our actual world. (Too often in this world, it seems to me, the cruel do not see the consequences of their actions, and the fact that “no good deed goes unpunished” is a saying tells me this world is less just than it could be.)

I’ll go a little farther with that: the examples of justice being meted out, of heroes triumphing over frightening foes, are absolutely essential for young folks. They have to see that it’s possible to survive something scary, and that wrongs are eventually righted. There’s plenty of time for them to become cynical once they become teenagers.

And now that I think about it, this may be my true rock-bottom objection to Equestria Girls: they took half a dozen examples of Equestria’s finest, who have stared down (literally, in Fluttershy’s case) some of the scariest scenarios known to pony, and dropped them into a remarkably ordinary suburban high school. This is about as useful to a kid’s development as sending Andersen’s Ugly Duckling to the mall for a makeover.

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I am still not prepared for this

About a year ago, Buzzfeed wanted to cast name-brand actor types as My Little Pony characters, and the very first one they came up with was Zooey Deschanel as Twilight Sparkle. Said I at the time: “I appreciate the effort to push two of my smaller obsessions into a larger one.”

Which I promptly forgot about, until Sarah Lovell took this picture at DragonCon and it showed up — as usual, uncredited — on Derpibooru.

It must be said here that I look at a lot of cosplay pix, and Rarity and Applejack always seem to come off well, but I’ve never been particularly keen on any of the Twilights — until, um, now.

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Life’s been good

In which the timelines of Twilight Sparkle and Joe Walsh somehow are made to intersect. Admittedly, neither of them drive, but that’s not the important thing.

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RD TXT

A chap named Rarimi conjured this up during the summer, and I’ve been chortling at it ever since:

Rainbow Dash sends a text message to Twilight Sparkle

(Complete thread, with lots of this, here.)

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Knock sensor

Joe Sherlock didn’t quite hear that song correctly:

Recently, I was losing myself in the sublayers of a Google search, when I came across the lyrics to “Let ‘Em In,” one of those trite but can’t-get-it-outta-your-head ditties from the mid-1970s. By Wings. You know the one. With the McCartneys warbling, “Someone’s knockin’ at the door …” I always thought it was some kind of bizarre religious/political statement:

“Sister Suzie, Brother John,
Martin Luther, Falun Gong …”

Well, Google informed me that there is no reference to the China-outlawed spiritual group, Falun Gong. The correct phrase is “Phil and Don” — a nod to the Everly Brothers, who were an inspiration to Paul in his early years.

So, to Phil and Don Everly, my sincere regrets.

Mr Sherlock should not feel bad. Some of us are starting to hear pony names in that same song.

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Three

If the pony content seems even higher than usual, there’s a reason for it: it was three years ago today that My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic was unleashed upon us unsuspecting humans, and while I admit to not having noticed it until nearly the beginning of Season Two — well, you know what they say about the ardor of converts.

This song closed out Season Two, and more than once I’ve called upon it to dispel the blues. It’s not the actual last scene, but a video compilation of various scenes in that episode. And if two pony fans meet, perhaps through a dating service, and fall in love, you can be absolutely certain this song will be played at their wedding. So let’s get this party started:

May we all live happily ever after.

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I don’t know, I’ve never furfled

There is now, for some inscrutable reason, an online-dating site for pony fans:

BronyMate is a dating site and social network for the Brony community who are fans of the cartoon show My Little Pony (MLP).

Now the last time anypony collected statistics on the matter, the fandom was about 80 percent male and 75 percent unattached — and about 25 percent INTJ. To me, this looks like a catastrophe waiting to happen. (Then again, almost anything involving dating looks to me like a catastrophe waiting to happen.)

Interestingly, at least to me, their blog link, for the moment, redirects to the blog of FurFling, an existing dating site for furries. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I probably should have looked over their questionnaire, just to see if they asked “Do you even yiff?”

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Never saw her as a college-mare type

This turned up, uncredited for some reason — listed source is a Dropbox account — at Derpibooru:

Rainbow Dash's GED

“Jennifer”?

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The least possible thing

A chap on reddit reports that he got sacked for visibly being a fan of My Little Pony:

I’m a guy in his late 30s who works(or worked) a regular boring 9-5 Job. On my work computer I had decided to set a picture of Applejack as my desktop background, I figured it was no big deal, nobody would see it anyway and it was certainly no different than the other guys in my office using pics of their favorite sports teams or their cheerleading squads. Anyway a few weeks after having no issues with it I got called in by my boss who essentially tells me it’s weird and it makes people uncomfortable that I have a “tv show for little girls as a background” (how did he know about it?) but I acknowledge this, keep my head down and change it back to the standard default background.

The comfort of coworkers evidently was set on a downward spiral at that point:

Which brings us to this past week. On Wednesday, some of my co-workers were talking about it and Brony culture. I tried to talk with them about it and I subsequently got mocked. It was a few guys against me which I thought was weird as I don’t make fun of the stuff they like, but all the sudden it’s cool to make fun of a tv show I like? Then on Thursday somebody (or somebodies?) had told some more people in the office about it and people started making little jabs in the hallway about liking shows for girls and stuff, I did nothing to bring this shit on, but they were letting me have it. Then yesterday my boss called me into his office, told me people were uncomfortable working with me (I do nothing but sit in my little hell-cube and do work all day, I hardly interact with anybody) and that they were going to have to let me go. WTF? Can they even fire me for that?

In most states, they probably can, unless he can demonstrate that there was some form of proscribed discrimination involved, and so far as I know, pony fans are not a protected class under federal or state laws.

Of course, had he been, say, a Breaking Bad fan, I doubt if anyone would have said a word, unless he’d been keeping Walter White™ brand meth at his desk.

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The phone has been doubled

I spotted this on Derpibooru, tagged “Seems Legit,” and went hunting.

Nokia phone promotion

And the following turned up at Windows Phone Central, supposedly in an email to a forum poster:

I’m getting highlights for the upcoming Nokia Press Conference:

1. The Nokia Tablet will named “Nokia Harmonia” and it’s powered by Windows 8.1.

2. The Nokia Lumia Phablet and it’s powered by Windows Phone 8 GDR3.

Why the Nokia Phablet still part of Nokia Lumia series? it’s because of Nokia Lumia 625.

3. (For the brony fans.) It will unveil the MLP:FiM Season 4 Nokia Exclusive Trailer showing Nightmare Moon Returns.

4. Your favorite apps such as Instagram, Vine and My Little Pony will coming to Windows Phone.

5. Nokia Lumia 1020 will promote MLP:FiM Season 4.

Guess whose wireless contract just ran out?

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