16 12 / 2012
13 11 / 2012
Greetings all- as minor health concerns force me to step away from BronyRock for a time (perhaps a long time) I am embracing a new project which will no doubt be less strenuous for my body. I have several hundred letters written by Bronies, each telling their own unique path to the fandom. I have read every one and drawn some conclusions about MLP:FiM, Bronies and human nature. I am currently getting ready to produce some form of multimedia collection of these stories. The following is my first draft of the introduction to the work. Your thoughts would be appreciated as this will set the tone for the whole of the project.
BRONY STORIES: INTRODUCTION
What we now call the Brony fandom began on 4Chan, a place some see as a microcosm for all that is cruel and baneful in mankind. Due to the freedom anonymity provides its users 4Chan provides real time documentation of a culture bereft of sympathy, love or remorse. Actions there have no consequences, and when left unsupervised 4Chan revels in its own depravity- matter in motion, in a Leviathan war of all against all.
So then, how could a community with the self-given motto, “Love and Tolerate” be born of a culture of hate and intolerance? The answer is self-evident if we only examine the origins of hate and intolerance.
Hate and intolerance are feelings born of fear and insecurity. One political party does not hate the other- they fear the ideas of the other are a threat to the security of their liberty. A racist does not hate his neighbor- but fears his own imperfection. Fear and insecurity are the primary motivators in aggression and sadism.
So how does fear and insecurity lead to the popularity of a heart-warming children’s television show among the Internet’s most wretched hive of scum and villainy? The very nature of the show itself may be a salve against the primary motivators of hate.
The characters are flawed- like us. The world is imperfect- like ours. And the solutions to each episode’s conflicts require sacrifice, understanding and just sometimes rethinking one’s own convictions. Just like our world.
The character’s flaws are not manufactured, as is common in family programming, simply to create a transient conflict that can be resolved in 20 minutes or less. The characters do not begin and end in an angelic state, accidentally or unrealistically stepping into the dark side just long enough to be brought back by the machinations of the gods. The very premise of the show implies a journey to learn and become more than they are. The problems in the show are derived from the characters themselves, and the resolutions are never fantastic (even when they involve rainbows).
There is an authenticity in the conflict and resolution cycle each episode offers. More often than not the conflicts are caused by each of the mane six’s own flaws, and the resolution comes in the form of reconsidering themselves objectively. Ego is laid aside and in its absence truth can be found. This may be why some 4Chan users herded together around the show. In it they saw an out, a way to defeat the cycle of insecurity and fear which was eating at them. They had, perhaps, come to 4Chan because it offered a safe haven for their deviations, a place where nothing mattered and they did not have to face the repercussions that come with acting hatefully in real life. What some found, I think, was the strength to evaluate themselves and believe in something better.
But while every community is subject to the frailty of human egos, it would be difficult to say that those we call Bronies today have much to do with the initial spark of life 4Chan breathed into the communities primordial origins. Those in the fandom today, by and large, were not moral deviates acting with belligerence and violence. The current fandom is not made up of hateful people who found redemption in candy colored cartoon ponies.
I will suggest, however, that for many the show did provide an out. I suggest that many in the fandom today were prisoners of fear and insecurity. They did not however direct these feelings outward, but inward.
When the banner of love and tolerance flew and the Internet responded many Bronies, many of us, found a simple truth that will hopefully stay with us long after the series has ended, the conventions have closed and the last image of Scootaloo under Dash’s wings has been drawn: That love and tolerance begins with ourselves.
And through the series of letters I am calling Brony Stories, I hope to demonstrate that My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has succeeded in teaching many of us to love ourselves. There can be no greater gift.