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About this blog

This is self-explanatory, really. If I ever feel like saying something that wouldn't fit its own topic, or if I need to vent in some way, shape, or form, you'll find it here. :grin:

Entries in this blog

 

365

So... it has already been one full year since I logged in to MLPF, has it? It's amazing how quickly time can pass. Entries like this are never easy to illustrate; there is simply so much to say... but no rational order in which to say them. To be perfectly honest, the entire construction of this entry was practically done in reverse order. Be that as it may, I still feel it is only appropriate to write a tribute of sorts, especially today. I have said before that MLPF may have been among the best times I have had on the internet... and in spite of all that has happened in the past year, I stand by that. I have gone through many phases with MLPF, from near enrapturement to outright apathy, but one thing that has remained true in spite of it all is the amazing people whom I have met having a very positive influence on me through the course of the past year. It is enticing to mention specific users who have made my experience here as amazing as it was... but I don't believe now is the time to play favorites. There are simply too many users who have made the Forums (and even places outside of them) such a lovely experience to narrow it down to a select group. I was 15 when I had first logged on to the Forums, and I am now approaching my Bittersweet 17. In that time, I have undergone an unexpected amount of personal growth, in no small part due to these very Forums. Be it coping with envy, regulating my attention-whorish tendencies, learning to accept others' departure and cherish the times you had spent with them... among other things. I suppose I need only tackle my ever-persistent lethargy next. In general, a theme throughout my life is potential without much tapping in to it, thanks to my laziness... but as of 2019, I have decided to finally start turning this on its head. My diet is starting to improve, my negative habits are slowly withering away while positive habits take their place, I am starting to maintain myself in general much better... you understand what I am saying. Due to all of this... as strange as this may seem, I believe I finally understand why Rarity is likely my favorite fictional character of all time. She is the very incarnation of a self-made woman; peerless grace, an ever-charming personality, an overall luxurious and cultured lifestyle, and most importantly, every single trait I have mentioned was borne of her dedication to beauty and culture. In other words... she is practically a mirror of what I could be if I put in genuine effort. In the end, my life has basically become a war of lethargy and short-term gratification VS dedication and long-term satisfaction (with Rarity as the main mascot, of course)... and I don't intend to capitulate to my laziness as I have for the majority of my life. Either way, Friendship is Magic's final season has been unveiled with an absolutely gorgeous trailer yesterday, and I have quite a bit of catching up to do... so I suppose I shall finally get to it. It is unlikely that there will be a time better than this, after all. Thank you very much to anyone who has read through this meandering blog entry, and I hope you have an absolutely splendid day! You have my eternal gratitude for the memories. This was all terribly sappy, I know.
 

The Endgame

I'll admit: I haven't had very much energy lately, so I'm most likely just going to keep this brief. There truly isn't an easy way to introduce this... but I've been strongly considering throwing in the towel on the Forums. Full disclosure: I haven't made my decision yet; I will officially announce what will happen on the 9th of next month... my six month anniversary. While my interest in the Forums has been tanking undeniably for the past period of time... this is a relatively new proposition, so I don't want to make this decision too rashly. Either way, for your sake, I won't guarantee either outcome. This is still a decision in the making, after all. I'll just be blunt: the Forums seem to be crashing down from where I stand. Prominent users are departing left and right, the WPCC Lounge is a graveyard (though I'll admit my interest in the Lounge has been nigh-zero for quite a while now), the Forum Games aren't thriving like they used to... it's all a mess, from my perspective. I've been trying to pep-talk myself into accepting changes on the Forums; change is the only constant in life, as many have said in the past... but I'm sorry; I can't get interested in any of the newer perks and activities. New Emoticons? Meh. Events? Shrug. The Pony World Cup? That's neat... I suppose. New Reactions? Barf. Is any of this the fault of the Staff? No, not at all; I'm always the grouchy old man in these situations. They can't help it if I'm an old wretch at heart. You understand what I'm trying to say, though. With all of that out of the way, I thought it was only fair to give you all a forewarning. As I said, neither outcome is guaranteed; just know that both outcomes are distinct possibilities. Thank you for reading, and have a great rest of your day!

The Recherche

The Recherche

 

Square One

Starting a blog like this is pretty difficult, since there isn't a good place to start... so with that said, let me just get straight to the point, instead of just meandering about. Ever since I started homeschool in 3rd grade... I've developed a habit of sorts. I'm not sure if going to a public school would have prevented this, bus that's besides the point. Basically, I don't take long-term breaks. Sure, I'll take 30 minutes off of my assignments to grab a meal, but that doesn't mean that I'll stop doing them that day, even during the late hours of the night. Perhaps I'm a workaholic? Who knows. Regardless... this habit always makes me reach the same outcome in my personal interest in hobbies, and I don't want it to happen again. What is this process that I'm referring to? Well, it goes hand-in-hand with how I don't take breaks, and this has become a pretty consistent (and most likely unhealthy) series of events. So, basically... I start a hobby, or take part in some sort of activity, usually specializing in one thing. For example, I'll start watching movies in a certain franchise, play games in a certain franchise... you get the idea. When I develop an interest, I go all out, basically. When I start getting involved in these interests, I start vehemently keeping up with them; I join their Forums, I buy the merchandise, I watch the movies, I play the video games, etc. and etc.. This is where the "no-breaks" tendency of mine comes in. When I stat getting tired of the hobby... I don't take a break from it, I just keep pursuing it. The process goes like this: I do something new, and I love it. I continue to do the thing, and I love it. I continue to do the thing, and I love it. Then my first sign of burnout comes along; I get a little bit tired of it. Normally, someone would take a short break when they reach this stage... but not me. So I continue to do the thing, and I like it. I continue to do the thing, and I like it. I continue to do the thing, and I like it. Then my second burnout phase comes along. Even if someone was pretty persistent, they would probably realize that they needed to throw in the towel for a little bit... but you know me better than that. So, I continue to do the thing... and it's alright. I continue to do the thing... and it's alright. I continue to do the thing... and it's alright. Inevitably, my third burnout phase comes along. At this point, it's pretty much vital to take a break from the activity, or I run the serious risk of never wanting to come back to it... but, worst case scenario... I persist. So, for some odd reason... I continue to do the thing... and I hate it. I continue to do the thing... and I hate it. I continue to do the thing... and I hate it. And then, my fourth burnout phase comes along... but it's different this time. I'm not merely burned out on doing it anymore, I'm absolutely incinerated. Any chance of me ever coming back to a hobby which I've reached this stage with is infinitesimal. This is basically what happened with me and video games; I just kept going at it again and again and again and again... completely ignoring the outright displeasure I was taking in the activity... and it was too late by the time I decided to stop. It has been 8 months since I've last touched a video game... and I still dread the thought on some level. I'll admit that a few games have piqued my curiosity... but those are fleeting at best. Regardless, I'm sure you get the idea by now. I'm sure that you realized that I bolded one of those lines, right? Well, that's what stage I'm in with the Forums. If I don't just take a step back now... I'm going to regret it. So, with that said... I'm going to be taking a break for a while. I can't say how long I'll be away, but I'll estimate a week or so. I want to leave the Forums on a high note, rather than repeat history. I've burned out on YouTube videos, I've burned out on some varieties of music, I've burned out on Godzilla movies, I've nigh-irrecoverably burned out on video games... I'm sure you understand by now. I'm always left a hollow shell after those burnouts as well. Maybe it's just because I have so little going on that any distraction needs to last as long as possible to make me feel a sense of purpose... I don't know. Either way, I've been locking myself in a vicious cycle ever since I was young of becoming a hollow shell, finding a truly fulfilling interest, and then becoming a hollow shell again... which leads to me starting back at Square One. The Forums have been some of the best times I've ever had on the internet... and I don't want to grow sour to them. I don't want them to just be yet another hobby which I'll throw into the recycling bin after I'm finished with it. So, with all that said...   𝓢𝓽𝓪𝔂, 𝓯𝓪𝓫𝓾𝓵𝓸𝓾𝓼, 𝓮𝓿𝓮𝓻𝔂𝓸𝓷𝓮~! 𝓘'𝓵𝓵 𝓼𝓮𝓮 𝔂𝓸𝓾 𝓪𝓵𝓵 𝓼𝓸𝓸𝓷~!

The Recherche

The Recherche

 

The Future of the MLP Community: A Blathering Essay or Sorts.

Fads are phenomena that have always fascinated me. Isn't it kinda funny how quickly something can be shone under the spotlight, only for it to be old news shortly afterward? I'm not quite sure why, but I find this pattern to be oddly... hypnotic. I once spoke to an individual in a YouTube comment section, and long story short, he compared Celebrities and passing trends to fireworks; very colorful, energetic, and exciting... but also very short lived and easy to forget about. While this is an apt example, there's one small crevice in this analogy; what it leaves behind. That is to say, once the dust settles and the next big thing comes along... there will still be remnants of the previous trend, in the form of its core audience. If you ask me, we're currently undergoing the transition right now. While we as a community have been on a decline for quite some time, the final nails on the coffin are being put into position, and the hammer is about to strike. Stores have stopped carrying brony related merchandise, the show's views have taken a dip, the movie didn't quite live up to its financial expectations, MLPF and EqD have taken a hit in terms of web traffic... you get the idea. Though there have been debates regarding this, most can agree that bronies were a fad. Considering this, there's only one question left to ask: how many remnants will there be, and how long will they last? Well... I can't directly answer this question, but there are quite a few factors which will play into this (both for and against us). There is one thing I believe will be the determining factor to the future of the MLP Community, though... Generation 5. In my opinion, this will most likely be the decisive period which will decide everything. While My Little Pony will be around for quite a while with or without us, I believe Generation 5 will decide the size of the brony community in the coming years.  As I said; there are a lot of things playing into this, so I'll list the ones I believe to be the most significant. FOR US: Initial Generation start hype. For the sake of example, look up comic book/graphic novel sales statistics on long-running franchises, and you'll find a pretty consistent pattern: the first entries in a series will usually be the top sellers, alongside the finales. In the eyes of the average consumer, a comic labelled "Batman No. 1" is a lot more approachable than "Batman No. 277."  Not to mention; first impressions are everything, so if Hasbro plays their cards right with the marketing, they could very well kindle a spark that could last quite a while. The brand name's value. This one is self-explanatory, though it's worth pointing out: My Little Pony is (and has been) a very iconic name in the general public, and thanks to the brony community, we might have an even better head start here. Regardless of what happens, most of us can agree that Generation 5 will sell well, though probably not quite as well as Generation 4. Either way, My Little Pony is a household name, and that alone will drive sales and the general fanbase upward. The large former fanbase. Due to the fact that MLP was such a huge sensation which as since ended, this means that MLP has a few potential "reserves." Though many people have simply moved on with their lives, some may be itching to return, but haven't had a prime opportunity to yet. This leads to the last (and probably most powerful) aspect... Nostalgia. Believe it or not, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is approaching its 7th anniversary. Though this isn't ancient, this is quite a significant time gap; young girls who played with Gen 4 MLP toys are approaching their adolescent or teenage years, which is about the age where they will experience nostalgia for the first time. Not only this, but thanks to the aforementioned former fanbase, Hasbro might be able to play into their nostalgia as well. This doesn't even cover the even older MLP communities which may display an interest in Gen 5, but the Gen 4 fanbase is the most significant. Regardless, Generation 4 has left a profound impact on countless people, and it has created memories which will be cherished by many. If Hasbro is smart enough to recognize this and capitalize... we could see something truly amazing rise form the ashes. AGAINST US: Lack of similarities to Generation 4. Unfortunately, any long running franchise with a large enough following will start to create more and more subdivisions in its own community. There have been many in the brony community already; Twilicorn, Starlight Glimmer, villain reformations, The Friendship School... you get the idea. Though these are definitely significant, I don't think any of them will be as monumental as Generation 4 moving onward into Generation 5... and whether we like it or not, the transition is going to turn a lot of people off, due to the fact that it won't be what they initially fell in love with. The smaller initial community. One of the main reasons that Gen 4 became so popular is because its popularity became a closed loop; it was popular, so more people became interested in it, so it became more popular, so more people became interested in it (...). Though the MLP name carries a lot of weight, the initial draw of Generation 4 isn't going to apply this time around. Hasbro can be as clever as they want, but it simply won't work as well during this phase. Why? The lack of surprise. Another huge reason that MLP became a huge sensation was due to the demographic subversion on a nigh-unprecedented scale, which genuinely caught the general public off-guard. This lead to many people investigating the issue, and sometimes even becoming MLP fans themselves. The thing is... people liking ponies again won't catch anyone off-guard this time; that has happened once already, so they know to expect it now. There will always be new bronies to enter the fray, of course... but most of the people who will ever be interested have already come and gone during the golden years. We can't rely on shock value anymore, so we're going to need to play by the standard rules from this moment forward: remain a good franchise, or slowly wither away. Overall loss of interest. Let's face it; the MLP fandom has died down for a reason. The fandom rose to prominence, and now it has fallen out of it for the reverse reason it rose: it was getting less popular, so more people lost interested in it, so it became less popular, so more people lost interested in it (...). Not to mention, being exposed to something long enough inevitably leads to one losing interest in it after a period of time; we can't like the same things forever, after all (not many of us, anyways). While the show itself was something that most bronies enjoyed quite a lot, and definitely a key factor in the franchise's rise to prominence... the central reason we were so huge was due to the community. Without this, we have lost our greatest strength, and the primary reason we were ever shone under the spotlight in the first place. Needles to say, I personally believe that Generation 5 will be a turning point in the franchise for these reasons... but whether we like to admit it or not, the golden years are never coming back. Nostalgia has been described as "delicate, but potent" many times in the past, and this statement is very true; we are naturally hard-wired to view the past through rose-tinted glasses, no matter how truly good or bad it may have been. Naturally, this will lead to folks wanting the MLP Fandom to return to its former glory... but in my opinion, this isn't a very healthy mindset to hold. I'm sorry, but while MLP certainly has an excellent opportunity to become popular again, it will never reach the heights of Generation 4, due to the aforementioned factors working against us. In my opinion, the best thing we can do here is hope that Hasbro plays the hand it has been dealt well, so the MLP franchise and community can remain healthy after its prime. I have compared the brony community with Sweden many times... and I always get the same strange look until I explain myself. As many of you know, Sweden was one of the greatest powers on Earth in the early 18th century, and very few nations could challenge it... but as the natural cycle goes, it eventually collapsed. I like to place our community's priorities alongside Sweden's due to this: should we desperately cling onto our glory days, hoping to birth a new era which simply can't happen due to the circumstances that surround it... or should we make the best of our situation, and be sure that we as a group stay happy and healthy throughout the many years to come? Either way... thank you for reading this ramble of mine, and have a nice day~! May the brony community live a long and healthy life!

The Recherche

The Recherche