I often look at deep themes that connect MLP episodes to my life experience, and I will do that here, too:
THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM
This is one of those episodes that trigger my cynical side due to related experiences. In the end they say they got inspired by the play, but really? Charity Kindheart did a big thing before and people were willing to help there, too, despite it being so big. She left and all spirit vanished. I.e. people love bullshit. The obvious point is that inspiration is exactly what did not happen. Inspiration doesn't mean to follow a strong leader when prompted to. It means becoming one yourself. Living what you witness. They proved that they weren't inspired through their inaction after Charity left. But of course people are always eager to state their bogus beliefs about themselves. And in the case of the moustached pony it's not even a surprise: He had shown how full of shit he is before when he mentioned how 'busy' he allegedly is, with not a moment to spare, while lazily enjoying the sun on a float. (Hm, where have I heard stuff like that before? ... Oh right! Galacon 2014 charity song collab project, from The Living Tombstone.)
It's only a happy end in the sense that they found a replacement leader figure and gave her an initial boost. Give it a couple more events like that and then imagine what happens if Coco Pommel leaves. She'd better find a successor in time. ... But what's the point of doing all that if it doesn't really inspire people anyway? How should it be uplifting for the ones making the effort? That gives this episode an unspoken grim afterthought, a sister-message that is overlooked in the limelight of the star.
I would tag-line the episode: "Doing free energy giveaways in vampire town".
All talk, no walk. The usual. It's everywhere. Deviations from it are a rarity.
Also blogged here: http://dowlphin.blogspot.de/2015/09/spoilers-mind-illness-not-kept-in-check.html
In the past I had my anger and frustration in the MLP fandom with people posting spoilers and just not caring whether others might not want that, despite it being common knowledge that spoilers are unpopular. I can understand when the sickos in TV programming feel the need to post episode previews right after an episode - it's tradition because they're afraid people might not watch it otherwise if they don't get a teaser. But from fans of MLP I would have expected better. And this can't just be explained away with autism. I know that that manifest as an inability to put oneself in someone else's shoes, but that alone can't be it. It's good old non-caring about others; low social intelligence. One of the many aspects in which the MLP fandom is just like any other fandom or society in general.
A person who doesn't appreciate being surprised by a new episode, who doesn't enjoy the mystery and wait, but has so little discipline that impatience and own wants determine their decisions, has a mind imbalance. A mind that wants to control and accumulate. A tendency that also seeks to subdue the show to their will instead of respectfully bowing to its greatness and making an effort to live up to it. This issue is not limited to the MLP fandom, but manifests in many areas of society; it's a general problem.
So I had taken my personal consequences from experiences in this area, distancing myself from people and platforms where that common decency wasn't obeyed. Battle-hardened so to speak. But guess what: It's not enough.
Apparently there was a panel at a convention where they catered to that issue and published a preview. I'm quite sure they unmistakably did label it as containing spoilers (because the makers of the show are relatively mature people), but that measure ends at the fans. So what is now reality is that a song from 8 episodes from now (currently the show has summer halftime), melody and lyrics, is being covered by fans. It will likely spread. And you cannot expect spoiler warnings. Because apparently a panel being labeled "spoilers" is not enough of a hint. I do blame the panelists, too, though, because they had to know what would happen.
I remember when I was at a panel where M.A. Larson showed some writing process documents that were not for free publication, only for the panel. Filming and photos forbidden, and that clearly stated. They still had staff closely watching and enforcing that rule. Insulting demonstration of a lack of trust? Nope, smartest decision ever. Because without watchers you'd have to expect there to be jerks calling themselves bronies who would disrespect M.A. Larson himself and try to capture the document anyway. Because, you know, he's just some dude and MLP is just a damn TV show. Heard stuff like this from 'fans'.
They should have run the same rule for the panel where the song was played.
Furthermore, I was at a panel where an interview was to be done and they said no questions about the coming season would be answered in order to avoid spoilers for those who don't want that. There was moaning all throughout the audience! Many people there only cared about their own wants and didn't care about whether that would spoil things for 'their fellow bronies'.
I absolutely worship the show, but the fandom keeps disappointing me. And there's no indication for a change, because there aren't really agreed-on standards for the fandom and not enough people with the courage and/or energy to set them.
This comes shortly after an animator spoke about another aspect of the same problem complex in the fandom, about denial, and as expected people demonstrating that denial in the comment section.
And thus I am still on a quest for a healthy environment, because the sickness around me keeps making ME sick, too. Same result, but two totally opposite causes.
The sixth chakra is the mind and/or the third eye or mind's eye, associated with the intellect and situated (at its energetic activity point if you will) roughly between the eyebrows. The seventh chakra is the crown, at the top of the head. It is the connection to what lies above, beyond the egoic mind, the higher or divine realm, where anything is possible.
Between those two points lies the 'unicorn point'. It is where a unicorn horn is located. Halfway between intellect and divine connection to the realm of infinite possibilities. The merging of those two forces can potentially make anything possible, depending on how well the 'software' is adapted to that mode of operation.
All of Equestria is filled with magic. Its nature is channeling, embodying it.
Pinkie Pie is utilizing magic, too, but because her governor facility - the intellect - is not optimized for control and focus, she practices what I (without claiming to understand it troroughly) tend to associate with "Miao Tong Dao", Lao Tzu's no-method path of enlightenment, where you simply wish things or states into existence. Since Pinkie Pie very much surrenders herself lovingly/passionately to happiness and thus an open and strongly radiating heart, that becomes the driving force for her magic. The governor that doesn't govern.
It might sound ironical, but as powerful as Twilight Sparkle's magic is, if there was a danger of Equestria's magic being weakened, hers would be more of a risk factor for that than Pinkie's. Twilight's magic is closest to our habits of generating electricity and other forces through machines, built by applying our intellect with very little use of divine connection. (We mostly work with what's already manifest in our realm and we build machines because we tend to externalize in the impatient pursuit of more power instead of focusing on personal growth by looking inwards.)
I embody various traits, but I definitely have a lot from a unicorn. My Mayan birth horoscope is interesting in this regard. It describes me as a "flint", the divine spark of intelligence, mirror of reality, discriminating emotion from fact, cutting falsehoods away, tirelessly standing to protect, defend or cure others by personal sacrifice. Flints can receive information on inter-personal troubles or the evil plots of others by reflecting in an obsidian mirror. (Socio-political research and personal life guidance in front of a computer monitor? ^^)
I'm kind of in a troubled relation with my galactic tone "10" though, the number of physical manifestation of intentions, ideas, hopes, fears, a powerful energy carrying great responsibility.
I realize that now that I mention it, it reduces the chances of it appearing even more, but it would kinda spoil it a bit anyway, and since I'm not a show writer (wink-wink ^^), it very likely wouldn't have occured anyway, sooo...
Pinkie Pie: (knocks on Rarity's door) Rarity: (being busy) "Who is it?" Pinkie Pie: ("I am) the one who knocks." ^^
Also works great as a knock-knock joke.
Would definitely feel less forced-in than that clumsy Game of Thrones reference we saw.
Twilight was giving a history lesson about some king and an "Idle of Boring Us". Pinkie lectured about the Ba-King instead. I rewatched the episode the very next day because Pinkie.
Conclusion: My Little Pony - Baking Powder Is Magic
Why didn't Fluttershy try to help Discord get a ticket? She just ignored the matter. Nobody knew the mail had delay. This is like Ticket Master again.
Also, I was surprised at first that he supposedly hadn't been invited, since we know Celestia's attitude towards giving the Grand Galloping Gala an interesting touch. I simply couldn't believe she would not invite Discord. (Twilight should know better by now, too. But that's an ongoing issue in general. So hard to get rid of old habits and ways of thinking.)
It generally lowers my enjoyment a bit when problems build up solely due to miscommunication. I know that it is one of the great challenges in the world, but still, it's a lazy technique and effectively made Fluttershy be uncaring. ... Couldn't keep the episode from being quite the enjoyable one though.
Anybody who thinks about shipping now needs to be put down.
At least she's not biting it anymore.
Elegantly implemented Metal Gear reference. (Although the perspective seems a bit off.)
Pinkie knowing it's Discord. Shaking the camera. OMG, so much highlevel pinkieness in one scene!
Shame is all about norms and contrast, isn't it?
And this closet is the jewelry wardrobe. Unguarded of course. Who needs guards in a royal castle? ... Oh wait.
Dear Discord... when the critics say that Maud Pie is funnier than you, then you really need to... ah, forget it, there's nothing you can do.
Pinkie's dress is lovely.
Dimensional portal: Now this is a somewhat more appropriate, not-so-much-immersion-breaking use of that technique. Apparently it's intended to be clashing. I'm just surprised it didn't cause lovecraftian mental distress. I guess they simply cannot fully perceive the otherness of that dimension.
P.S.: Tree Hugger has attained mastery in clichée. ^^
Remember Pinkie Pride with the real-world footage thrown in? It immediately changes the character. By creating such a harsh, sudden connection to a different 'realm', the integrity of the intended realm is compromised. This is what's called "breaking immersion".
Said artistic tools CAN be for a specific reason sometimes, when the context fits, but to me it didn't fit in that episode.
It doesn't have to be that extreme though.
One example of it not being a problem is scenes where they use lighting effects or camera zoom and pan techniques - the latter even has been talked about in praise in Youtube videos. (I don't remember the episode with the scene I'm thinking of, but it was done in an elegant, subtle way, and served a specific technical purpose. It was not a style break, but a style enhancement.)
But lately there was another thing that immediately got me 'off-track in my mind', in season 5 episode 3 (Castle Sweet Castle) right after the intro, there was a zoom-in of what very much looked like painted, with tons of details, some kind of heavy blur filter, gradients and stuff. Well, I'll just post it here, then you can see for yourself - in case you haven't seen the episode. (Don't worry, no spoilers here.)
When I saw that, I lost attention for the plot of the episode, had to check again, was wondering why they would decide to suddenly put that attention-catching style break in there, was wondering whether I didn't pay attention and this was supposed to be a painting on a wall somewhere. (thus: immersion break)
Is there discussion about this specific scene somewhere? Or about the topic in general?
Please spread. People need to know. Too many don't care.
UPDATE: Followup post - https://mlpforums.com/blog/819/entry-18521-little-update-on-the-charity-song-collabs-issue/
Did you notice how deep the imagery goes? Those ponies are like avatars of their elements.
Pinkie's hair is round and swirly, any deviation from the norm won't even make a difference. Any child could draw those endless bends beautifully. Totally Pinkie.
Rarity's hair is exquisite - a real challenge, and artists can get frustrated trying to draw it properly. Totally a Rarity, requiring high skill.
Rainbow Dash wouldn't be satisfied with just some color. She wants the whole color spectrum in there, to stand out, to make people gaze in awe like watching a rainbow.
Applejack's hair is practical and simple, like a bundle of hay, and even colored in that style. Condensed so that it doesn't get in the way during work, yet allowing people to see its fullness.
Twilight Sparkle's hair signals a special snowflake with those streaks, haha. They're a pony's rallye stripes.
Fluttershy's hair flows like water, not resisting things, finding its way passively, just like her personality. The color is rose, basically pastel pink, and pink is often associated with the heart, which is what she'll melt when she looks at you. Her mane even forms a heart!
This means a lot to me.
Recently someone liked my style of drawing, and so I was invited by BountyHunter to participate in a contest to design a background wallpaper for the OUYA gaming console. How could I not honor a personal invitation?
I kinda had to push myself to get it finished in time though. Motivation is still an issue, and any encouragement makes a difference. It would be like medicine for my soul to win this thing.
The last time I won (and participated in) an art competition was in my childhood.
So would you kindly help a fellow brony out? If you have a Facebook account, please vote daily for my art:
and spread the message among your friends and fellow bronies.
There's also a chance to win some merchandise for early voters. It's not much, but in case you are struggling with motivation, too, maybe that helps a little.
Thank you! Yay!
This is a brief followup thought to my earlier musings - http://mlpforums.com/blog/819/entry-11579-what-are-your-mane-3/
for clarifying why the focus on the six main characters for the show was such a smart idea regarding writing skill.
The point should be pretty much self-explanatory, so I won't comment on it.
Rarity = intellect - right brain hemisphere (synthetic, emotional, creative, imaginative, radiant)
Twilight Sparkle = intellect - left brain hemisphere (analytical, logical, scientific, rational, inquisitive)
Fluttershy = kind heart
Rainbow Dash = brave heart
Pinkie Pie = driving purpose - spiritual
Applejack = driving purpose - material
Greetings my loyal minio... I mean subj... NO I mean peasa... GAAAAAH - DEAD READER!
The need for expansion of my various activities is a big theme in my life, and in an attempt to find more driving purpose for my creative output, I have decided to extend my web presence to some more platforms,
namely Twitter, Tumblr and Wordpress (and Reddit, but since it's a mere content aggregator, this might only be useful to you if you can't follow me on the other sites).
I cannot guarantee when or how much content will appear, but once I have that avenue available, it might help me get some more momentum. I'm pretty sure I'll be quite active especially on Twitter once I have a certain subscriber base.
So if you like what I do on deviantART and YouTube and the web in general, please consider subscribing to my new Tumblr, Twitter and Wordpress (and maybe Reddit), too and sharing it with others when content appears.
The worst that can happen is that nothing happens and you forgot you even subscribed, so nothing lost. ^^ But I think it's gonna be much better than that.
The general purpose of this move is the realization that I have entertainment (as well as sharing ideas and insights) at heart, living it in most of what I do, and since I almost always try to make even things like mere comments interesting, subscribing to the 'whole package' makes sense.
Audience makes a huge difference!
I'll probably share many things that I find noteworthy. I'll have to figure out how much over time, getting used to those new avenues. Especially I'm not sure yet whether I will post things wherever they fit, or only on the one platform where they fit best. Probably the latter, to avoid administration overhead, since there will be increasing overlap with each new service I join.
My idea at this time is to use it this way:
Wordpress: Proper, tendentially lenghty text-based blogging, like essays or thoughts of the day
Tumblr: Visual commentary, sharing, drawn art that doesn't fit well on deviantART
Twitter: Brief thoughts, very likely to be rich in puns ^^. Maybe also upload notifications and such, not sure at this point.
Reddit: Notifications about noteworthy new works for people who don't follow me on my other sites
So basically I invite you to subscribe in part because I won't use these to document my daily life's every move or boring stuff like that, but to entertain, inspire and enlighten; Being my usual self, communicating and sharing.
My Wordpress blog could contain all kinds of themes, and also the occasional rant. No holding back if I deem it important/relevant/interesting.
(Google+ by the way has very little priority for me at this time. I still haven't forgiven what Google did to Youtube there.)
So... here are all the subscribable links I can currently offer:
http://mlpforums.com/blog/819-dowlphins-blog ⇐You are here
(Technically there's also Cheezburger, but I'm not active there anymore. I'll publish my caption pictures on deviantART and/or Tumblr.)
Wanted to say this. To maybe make you pause and meditate.
It's based on my own experiences.
There is a staunch brony hater who calls me his friend and says he respects me.
He never hurt me. ... Maybe because I don't expect much from him.
But is it wrong to expect at least a minimum amount of decency from a fan of a show like MLP that conveys certain values and is so full of inspiring beauty?
There are self-proclaimed bronies who I, without trying to exaggerate, can only describe as vile scum, fervently perverting everything the show stands for. Sometimes their amount of denial and lack of self-awareness is borderline comical.
Dan Vs. might be another show on The Hub, but when you think "brony", an image of Dan would be among the last things popping into your head, no?
I know, I should expect these things. But it's still saddening.
Feel free to comment. For more extensive discussion, you can also talk here: http://mlpforums.com/topic/101832-some-brony-haters-are-more-decent-people-than-some-bronies
It was an odd dream though, and I wish I had the energy and skill to draw comics from my dreams sometimes.
From what I can tell, a villain was on the loose. There was a scene in a dark castle hallway or something, but I don't remember anything from there. Then there was an icy lake, I was running along the outer rim where there were sheets of ice, and I grabbed Applejack out of the water. A moment later I see Twilight Sparkle ahead, with her back to the lake, acting like she was being threatened by something, defensive and somewhat scared. But when I came closer, I noticed her colors were lighter, and somehow I immediately knew it's not the real Twilight. Without having to think, I swung my katana and somehow mananged to - in a frontal attack - cut off her tail. LOL WTF, why did I do that?! Well, in any case, when I did that, she assumed a slight white-glow and had a wicked-evil grin on her face and that's when I thrust my katana straight through her from top to bottom, leaving a white-glowing line through her still grinning (holographic?) body.
That's when the dream ended.
There are many quizzes out there about which pony you are most like, but those might not present the full picture, with personalities being more or less multi-faceted. If someone asked me, I'd say I am Pinkie Pie first, then Fluttershy, then Twilight Sparkle.
Since I am somewhat versed in the theory of Eastern spiritual energy practices, I tend to view things from that perspective. The mane 6 are interesting anyway, since there are various polarities between them (TS vs. PP, R vs. AJ, RD vs FS).
The body has a lower energy center (the 'roots' if you will, where it's all about a source of very physical energy), a middle energy center (the 'heart', where it is all about emotion) and an upper energy center (the 'head', where it is all about thought).
Today I realized that there is a complementary setup based on that (which can of course be more or less extreme towards either side, but it seems to be a duality):
Some people draw their basic energy, their drive, from Pinkie's playfulness. Fun, unconventional, new, crazy, chaotic things provide a lot of motivation. For other people, this energy source is hard, honest labor, like Applejack, and being productive gives them meaning and driving purpose.
Then, some people's heart is filled with sensitivity and gentle kindness, like Fluttershy, and practicing this, seeing the effect of it in others, provides deep emotional satisfaction. For other people, that comes from boldness and very active interaction with people and the world in general, practicing courage and observing its effects, setting examples, pushing boundaries, like Rainbow Dash. The heart of a lion, so to speak.
Then, some people's mind is designed in a way to primarily appreciate facts and logic like Twilight Sparkle. Ratio-based behavior is what they consider 'valid'. Other people's minds are dominated more by the meaning we can give things - that for example beauty - something that can be quite subjective - is nevertheless very valid and that something of which you cannot evaluate its beauty or that is void of 'subjective charm' has little validity/relevance ... like Rarity sees the world.
This system also fits the three pony races quite well.
So... what would you say is your triforce? And what are your thoughts about this view?
A few thoughts that I had while watching the awesome finale:
1) Tabitha St. Germain does a pretty good job giving Rarity and Luna different voices, but during the singing part, I realized that maybe they should have looked for a different singing VA for Luna (= not Kazumi Evans), because I think no one did not notice how Luna's singing sounded identical to Rarity's singing.
Hell, if nothing else worked, maybe they could just have done some careful pitch-lowering in post-processing. It just felt way too weird to hear Rarity sing from Luna's mouth.
2) Did you notice that Luna was uncredited for a long time? I'm not sure right now, but the first time her VA appeared in the credits in connection to Luna might have been in the beginning of season 3.
3) It took Twilight a while to think about Discord's bookmarks (it was obvious to me right away), and it makes sense considering she didn't really accept him as a friend, and then she said that she hates to admit that Discord might have been trying to be a good friend after all. ... What the hay? Now how is that meant?! Why do you hate being wrong about your belief that Discord hasn't changed? Shouldn't you be happy that you might have been wrong, hm?
Just as you should be happy when you were wrong a moment later when you told Pinkie regarding the key and the box "I don't think that's gonna work." and it did work.
Twilight Sparkle didn't believe in Discord's change because she had trouble with changing herself.
But she is/was also delusional, because while sometimes she is open about her resentment for Discord, at one point in the finale she said:
"How can he do this? I thought our friendship meant something to him."
This sounds quite arrogant. She merely tolerated Discord, like an inconvenient necessity to keep in check, and then she says something like that.
All I can say is that I have witnessed this degree of trouble comprehending basics of friendship and sincerity in people, so I'm not saying this is unrealistic. It's just that I'd have expected better from Twilight Sparkle. ... Hm, then again... I sometimes say the same about real life people.
So Twilight said: "I thought he had changed". But her attitude towards him didn't change that much.
Someone once told me something I'd call remarkable spiritual wisdom that's worth exploring:
People change once you change your perception of them.
This ties into the next point...
4) Some people say they expected Discord to be playing Tirek for a fool, but not me. I think he did the betrayal because he didn't experience much friendship from the mane 6 except from Fluttershy, so his old life was still enough of a temptation. He felt like Fluttershy was merely providing him an anchor of friendship in an otherwise unaccepting social environment.
If anyone deserves the title "Princess of Friendship", it should be Fluttershy. I empathize a lot with her regarding this matter, and had I been around in Equestria, I'd be the best of friends with Discord, especially in tandem with Fluttershy. (But maybe this is also because of my Pinkie nature.)
5) Then there was that huge plot issue that was like the absolute low point of the finale writing:
Virtually everypony in Equestria knows about Alicorn Princess Twilight, yet Celestia thinks she can 'hide' the fact that there is a fourth princess and have their magic safely tucked away in Twilight.
The huge blunder with the stained glass window was just the icing on the cake that further underlined how she totally didn't think this through.
6) There was a remarkable scene where Discord was robbed of his magic. He mixed his old ambition with his new virtues and thus put trust in a villain, as Fluttershy would have done.
It is then very nothworthy and surely fully intended by the writers how just like Fluttershy a moment before regarding Discord's betrayal, Discord, once betrayed by Tirek, weepily said the same thing, that he didn't see it coming. Identical dialogue. This underlines how much influence Fluttershy as a true friend had on him, while he was lacking the strength and virtue of the friendship from the other five ponies, thus he probably sought it from Tirek.
7) The end credits state Tabitha St. Germain as the VA for Photo Finish. Where did Photo Finish speak? I didn't notice that.
8) It would have been cool if the alicorn-depowerment left them looking somewhat different, Luna for example in her season 1 look, and Celestia maybe without her mane multicoloring. Also, while it was probably impossible due to lack of the necessary writer foresight, it would have been neat if Luna's flank speckles turned out to be something she got due to her Nightmare Moon phase. (But we already saw a kind of 1000 year flashback where she had them, so this would have been a contradiction.)
Oh well, speckles aren't anything uncommon for horses, so I guess it's fine.
9) And now... I invite you to check out the 12 caption pictures I made to express various other brief thoughts that came up during watching the finale as well as hunting for good frame captures. I didn't link the pictures here directly because the descriptions are part of that style of my commentary.
inspired me to make a tongue-twister. Try to say this fast:
"Fluffle Puff Plus Princess Plush Fluffle Puff Plus Princess Plush Fluffle Puff Plus Princess Plush Fluffle Puff Plus Princess Plush Fluffle Puff Plus Princess Plush"