There is friendship, and there is magic. And there are times when it might take the latter to bring about the former.
As Twilight Sparkle might say, I wasn’t prepared for this:
BIG News!! It's finally happened… Hasbro has released the official soundtrack of Seasons 1 & 2 of My Little… http://t.co/coBWexLBre
— Daniel Ingram (@dannyimusic) December 6, 2013
Hasbro, 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.
And you know, it’s not banged up or anything at all:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A chap named Rarimi conjured this up during the summer, and I’ve been chortling at it ever since:
(Complete thread, with lots of this, here.)
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.
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.
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?”
This turned up, uncredited for some reason — listed source is a Dropbox account — at Derpibooru:
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.
I spotted this on Derpibooru, tagged “Seems Legit,” and went hunting.
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?
Atoma is the planet on which the bad evil but disarmingly casual Tyrant lives. As with most science fiction, the entire planet has one (1) political system. As with 50s science-fiction, it has an science-type name, although “Atoma” is like “Earth,” in the sense that the planet is named after the material it’s made of. I always thought that calling this place “Earth” was like calling it “Dirt.”
He’s not the only one thinking that way. From the Hearth’s Warming Eve pageant, starring Pinkie Pie as Chancellor Puddinghead and Applejack as faithful secretary Smart Cookie:
Pinkie Pie: The air! The trees! The dirt! This dirt is the dirtiest dirt in the whole dirt world!
Applejack: And fertile, too. Perfect for growing food.
Pinkie Pie: In the name of the Earth ponies, I think I’m gonna call this new place … uh … Dirtville.
Applejack: How about “Earth”?
Pinkie Pie: Earth! Congratulations to me for thinking of it.
Don’t even think about Uranus.
Fimfiction, home of a hundred thousand or so pony stories, including a
handful hoofful by me, has a lot of “groups,” which are explained in the site FAQ thusly:
Groups combine the functionality of some of the raddest bits of Fimfiction’s infrastructure. For one, they can be used to find stories that interest you; groups exist for all types of stories. So, if you like adventure stories, enjoy tales of humans in Equestria, or just want to read about cute pony pairings (shipping), there’s a group for you — especially useful if you want to get updates any time a story is added to a group with an idea you particularly like. Groups are also the site’s de facto forum interface — in most groups, any user can create a thread, and you can get notifications sent to you when a new one is created, as well as seeing thread activity on your dashboard. Finally, groups are just an awesome place to meet members of the community — they’re a whole subsection of Fimfiction’s functionality, where users can run events, organize contests, or just hang out.
Two of the stories I’ve written have been selected for inclusion by members of the group called Good Grammar Directory, which disallows stories with three or more syntax errors. (No quality assessment of the actual story is intended or implied.) I was wondering if I should be insufferably pleased with myself, and then I got a look at the group’s logo:
One regular feature in The Week magazine is called “Best Properties on the Market”; it consists of half a dozen or so very special real-estate offerings on a two-page spread, with a photo or two and listing information. I’ve even gotten blogfodder out of it once or twice.
This week’s collection was titled Equestrian properties.
Um, no. No. Not even. No es posible, señor.
You’re looking at Valentine Farm near Norwood, Colorado, and here’s some of the write-up from the listing agent:
Certain properties exude excellence the minute you step foot on them. Valentine Farm defines itself as such a ranch. Comprised of a meticulously renovated turn-of-the-century Barn, two remodeled turn-of-the-century cabins and separate 6-car garage, this idyllic compound overlooks 120 verdant acres including a magnificent 10 stall equestrian center with caretaker residence.
But this is the clincher (emphasis added):
Two generous sized ponds and prolific irrigation create a lush setting and provide perfect conditions for significant hay production.
Well, there you have it. The sellers are asking $4,375,000. Celestia only knows how much that is in bits.
Testing this new notebook with Windows 8 is busy fashion designer and efficiency expert Rarity.
Well, at least it wasn’t the Worst Possible Thing.
(Plucked from an EqD Nightly Roundup.)
On the off-chance that some of you are curious about my none-too-secret side activity, here’s a look at where a lot of it happens:
I’ll vouch for, um, much of that.
Usually I screen-print Y!A stuff, but this is a bit long and I’d prefer the text to be searchable, Just In Case.
The question: “Is it weird to like My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic?”
Short answer: Maybe. But here’s the rest of it:
I would prefer a woman to answer this.
I am a 21 year old male, but I am not overweight or jobless. I am worried however that it is weird for me to like My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. I don’t own toys or merchandise from the show. I take it as it is: an entertaining cartoon much like Bugs Bunny or Sponge-bob (before it started to suck). Will women think it’s weird if they find out? I try to hide that part of my life.
Let me make it perfectly clear that I do not obsess about the show or anything. If it is on, I watch it. But I don’t go out looking for a DVD collection.
Not being a woman, I’m not going to answer this poor fellow directly, but I’ll say this much:
(1) I can cite no instance where a woman who might have been interested in me suddenly lost interest after discovering my own involvement with pony — which, in most cases, takes about 45 seconds to a minute.
(2) Buy a plushie. It’s not a guaranteed key to her heart, but you might be able to wedge the door open.
Incidentally, one of the Office Babes (Senior Division) showed up yesterday in a pony T-shirt, and a Generation Three — MLP:FiM is Generation Four — pony T-shirt, at that. There’s always the possibility that the object of your affections has already been assimilated into the herd.