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About Metaright

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  1. I don't think I've noticed it that much. If anything, I see a problem with people proclaiming their opinions to be indisputable facts, which is not at all conducive to a good discussion. Also relevant is that "love and tolerance" did not come from the show; it came from the fandom to unite early bronies during the 4chan era. If you ask me, it's well outlived its usefulness, and should promptly die.
  2. Thank you for the suggestion, but I'm afraid that didn't work. I also tried clearing my cookies as well, but that didn't work either.
  3. I keep getting that "come back tomorrow" message, and this has gone on for several days. Does anyone know how I can fix this so I can participate again?
  4. His username is StatesTheOblivious, not StatesTheObvious. Anywho, I'm going to chalk it up to Twilight's personality getting somewhat jumbled by her new humanoid body. As in, her mind is pretty much the same, but hormones and the like still caused her to become attracted to an alien species. This also explains why Spike was able to act like a dog so quickly, as surely barking, growling, and licking wouldn't have come so natural to him otherwise. If you declare that their minds were utterly unaffected, you're left with no explanation as for why Spike, say, licked Twilight's face in order to wake her up. Of course, that still leaves the problem of why Twilight found nothing amiss after Spike did so. Perhaps her human biology also imbued her with a certain cultural knowledge, so associating dogs with licking was enough to distract her from the fact that it was Spike. Even apart from biology, clearly inter-species relationships aren't as taboo in Equestria as they are in our world. A baby dragon having a crush on a pony is a quirk, not a disorder, and ponies respond to Spike's crush in a way not entirely dissimilar to a generic little boy's crush. In fact, the issue of species seems to rarely come up. But I think it really comes down not to inter-species relationships being taboo, but rather that ponies as a species are incredibly open-minded and reluctant to judge based on species. The show makes it clear numerous times that dragons are a mysterious and poorly-understood species that distance themselves from ponies, so it's not like Spike's crush can be seen as normal because of how commonly dragons get pony-crushes. No, it has to stem from something else. I would be willing to assert that under the rule of Celestia, the pony species went from racism amongst itself (that is, racism between Earth ponies, unicorns, and pegasi,) to a species so tolerant and accepting that they have few qualms about a barely-understood species becoming infatuated with one of their own. And while this would also explain, as Fluttershutter mentioned, the existence of mules as the offspring of ponies and donkeys, it creates the odd problem that racism against mules is commonplace. Note the instance in which Rarity used the term "mule" to mean something incredibly negative before being reassured by a mule that he was not offended. So either mules are used to the racism, or the mules of Ponyville understand that Rarity can be a tad offensive. And don't even get me started on what amounts to sheep slavery. So overall we have some interesting things about Equestrian culture that I doubt, for obvious reasons, will be explored.
  5. I see Shimmer's teary breakdown as less of a flank-pull and more of a subtle explanation of her past actions. Sure, she's a megalomaniac and horribly controlling, but when she realized that entire plan, and indeed her entire status within the human world, had crumbled, she just lost it. And if Twilight hadn't offered forgiveness immediately, perhaps Shimmer's defeat could have taken another direction. Say, fleeing a la Trixie, or seeking forgiveness from Celestia. As for her status amongst the other villains, I'd place her above Sombra and Nightmare Moon but below Chrysalis and Discord. She had a fleshed-out enough backstory to not seem arbitrary (like Sombra), but at the same time her motivations were rather unclear. What was she planning to do with her small army of ordinary children? Take over Equestria? Not likely. Whereas the other villains had clear goals, intentions, and logical plans, Shimmer seems to be making it up as she goes.
  6. Before I begin, it’s rather important to note that the subject matter of this entire article contains very large spoilers for Equestria Girls, the theatrical Friendship is Magic movie. So if you haven’t seen it yet, you might want to skip this analysis. Go ahead. I can wait. This whole thing was written up beforehand, so I’ve been waiting since before you even got here. Good? Good. Now I’ll just say it- I liked Equestria Girls. I did. As someone who despised Magical Mystery Cure and thinks Twilicorn is a serious step in the wrong direction, I think the movie whose premise sounds like a bad fanfiction is top-notch. The writing is clever, the plot retains its surprises despite being somewhat predictable, the jokes are funny, the songs are up to snuff, and there’s a surprising amount of world- and character-building for a feature that takes place almost entirely in another dimension. And that’s exactly where I plan to focus. Equestria Girls brings to the table four incredibly important revelations that have the potential to rock the foundations of our favorite equine-themed cartoon from this point forward. Or at least, a couple of them do. But we’ll get to those two in a bit. First let’s explore the two rather minor revelations. Interestingly enough, they both have to do with the Elements of Harmony. In Equestria Girls, Twilight goes into the suspiciously familiar world of humans in order to retrieve her tiara. Without this tiara, which doubles as her Element, Celestia explains that the other five Elements will not function. So not only does the use of the Elements require the necklaces and tiara (or “artifacts,” as I will call them), they won’t work if one of them is missing. Furthermore, the only beings who can wield the Elements are the Mane Six. Not even Celestia and Luna can harness them; it’s all up to the six protagonists. Equestria Girls completely destroyed those two bits of information. Because not only do Twilight and the rest of humanized Mane Six wield the Elements sans artifacts, the Elements are wielded with only one being established as a wielder. (No, I don’t consider the alternate dimension-Mane Six-minus-Twilight to be the same as the Equestrian Mane Six-minus-Twilight. They have different memories, different cultures, and exist in a completely different setting. They are different characters.) But those two won’t really come into play all that often in the future. It’s still going to be the Mane Six wielding the Elements, and the fact that the circumstances behind their use has changed will only matter for a small number of episodes. No, the really important revelations will almost assuredly be relevant to the show as a whole. First of all, Twilight is now confident with being a princess. She feels less trepidation and anxiety than she did prior to the movie, and this is important. The show never treats character building like this lightly- it always comes back into play. Coming to terms with her newfound position was a natural place for the story of Twilight Sparkle to go, and this confidence and calmness will most definitely play into how Twilight acts in the seasons to come. Clearly, this is a factor that I’m ecstatic about. People familiar with my analyses will know that there’s almost nothing I like better in fiction than natural, organic character development. This next revelation, though, is one that I’m still not sure what to think about. And given the history of the show and how it deals (or refuses to deal) with such subjects, I’ll put it as bluntly as possible: Twilight Sparkle has a crush. With the very special exceptions of Rarity and her decidedly shallow desire for a prince simply to complete the royal package, Shining Armor and Cadence because that was their entire point, and Cheerilee because she’s frankly unimportant, Friendship is Magic has refused to touch the subject of crushes and romance with a ten-foot pole, and with good reason. Earlier incarnations of the My Little Pony cartoon fell all too easily into the trap of many girls’ programs, depicting conflicts in the form of crushes as incredibly shallow and insipid as perhaps possible. Now suddenly, all of a sudden, our main character has a crush on somepony. Needless to say, this development must be handled with extreme caution. If the writers handle it even slightly poorly, one of the de facto tenets of the show (“We will not portray girls’ fiction as shallow”) will be thrown utterly out of whack. Because when you get right down to it, there are three primary places this revelation could take us, all but one of which will prove catastrophic to the show. First and foremost, it could be handled well, and prove to be beneficial to the show as a whole. Twilight and her crush, Flash Sentry, could mesh well together, and Flash could transcend his role and prove to be a clever, likable, relatable character that serves only to strengthen the show’s dynamic. On the other hand, it could be handled poorly, and prove to be a detriment to the show. Twilight’s character could become insipid and shallow whenever Flash is present, Flash himself could prove to be as worthless and filler as King Sombra, and the Bronies would collectively groan as the show that had previously withstood the grasp of unbecoming girls’ fiction traps suddenly finds itself up the river without a paddle. And then there is the possibility that the show would not handle the development at all. That is, all mention of the crush dropped, all hints at the crush silenced, and Flash Sentry himself made to be as canon as shipping between Lyra and BonBon. At first, that might not sound so bad. We’re back to the status quo, right? Only this time, we have ourselves a shiny new Twilight, brimming with confidence! But it’s imperative to understand that this approach would thrust the show into another trap, and it would be caught between a rock and a hard place. If you ignore the crush but still maintain Twilight’s new confidence, as if everything in the movie besides the crush itself actually happened in canon, you find yourself with an ending to Equestria Girls that goes absolutely nowhere, a potentially great character that never gets mentioned again, and a chemistry that could have worked that will never see the light of day. To put it simply, that would be terrible story-telling. At best, it would be as if the writers are admitting that they wrote Equestria Girls without thinking ahead well enough to utilize the potential, and at worst it would be as if the writers have no qualms establishing a character before completely forgetting about him. The fact is, Equestria Girls can’t be canon in one aspect but not in another. Either you accept Twilight’s confidence along with her crush, or you reject both of them. Cherrypicking which aspects you choose to become canon is incredibly cheap writing, and I’ll be very disappointed if the writers have decided to go this route for Season Four. Alternatively, the writers could take a similar route and pretend Equestira Girls never happened. That is, never bring up the crush, but also write for Twilight as if she never obtained that confidence boost. Essentially, treat Equestria Girls as strictly non-canon at any cost, which includes those revelations about the Elements I talked about above. Honestly, aside from rolling with the crush with good writing, this is the best option. This way, there is no cheap story-telling, no canon-cherrypicking, and Season Four can start with a clean slate. This would come at the cost of having to re-establish Twilight’s confidence, as well as having to consciously forget the new rules about the Elements, lest they be used in a way that doesn’t fit with established canon. But this doesn’t come without its own shortcomings. I know there are fans of Friendship is Magic that look upon Fluttershy-centric episodes with exasperation, as they believe, perhaps correctly, that Fluttershy is just learning the same lesson in confidence over and over again. To them, this makes those episodes cheap. And if the writers ignore Equestria Girls, this is probably going to be a common reaction when it comes time to make Twilight comfortable with her position again. Sure, the movie wasn’t exactly canon, but it’s a piece of character development that we’ve already seen before. It would be acceptable if not painfully redundant. So what are looking at when it comes to Season Four? Potentially some really good things! But then, also some potentially horrendous things that would really dampen the feel of the show. And I hate to say it, but no matter how good Equestria Girls was, Magical Mystery Cure still left a foul taste in my mouth. I’d hate to see it followed up by more disappointment. But I’ll give the writers more than a fair chance. After all, Magical Mystery Cure is literally the only episode of the show that I dislike overall. And no matter how you slice it, that’s a pretty fine track record.
  7. Honestly, I'm going to have to agree with the dissenters on your selection. I don't think the problem is that it's too "corporate", but rather that it doesn't seem to serve its purpose. The stylized 'P' doesn't look like a 'P', so it's a real stretch to look at it and go "That's says 'Poniverse'". The second issue, as others have said, is that it's not identifiable with the fandom. While I personally saw a stylized pony head before I saw a galaxy (that dot in the middle? Pony eye!), I see that I'm clearly not in the majority, and that almost nobody else will make the connection. Jamie, don't get the wrong idea. It's a wonderful logo, but perhaps not for this application. It looks sleek and professional, and would be an excellent logo for a corporation or social networking platform that isn't, well, this.
  8. I agree with you, actually. There's a balance that needs to be maintained, just like with most story elements. That really is where the show shines. Usually, in my opinion, their pacing of the adventure stories is not optimal.
  9. During the self-imposed short vacation I decided to take after getting an article published to the Round Stable (which you should go read if you haven’t already, wink-wink-nudge-nudge), I decided to rewatch some of the episodes of Friendship is Magic that I haven’t seen in a while. I started to notice a distinct issue I had with “adventure stories,” or episodes that place a heavier emphasis on external conflict and lengthy excursions. Namely, when the show decides to engage in worldbuilding by introducing new villains, locations, or story elements, a lot of information is left, inevitably, unexplained. For example, take the two-part introduction of the draconequus that I assert to be best villain, The Return of Harmony. Within this adventure story, we are introduced to Discord and the fact that roughly one thousand years ago, he reigned as the supreme monarch. And while we are told by Celestia that “he ruled Equestria in an eternal state of unrest and unhappiness,” and are treated to a stained-glass representation of the ponies’ suffering, we aren’t actually given a lot of information about him or his reign. What was the reign like, exactly? Did this period closely resemble what Discord did to Equestria upon his release from stone? What were Celestia and Luna like during his reign? How long did the reign last, and why did Celestia call it “eternal” if it eventually ended? These questions, among others, are left unexplained. But this is not necessarily a fault of the story, or of the writers; there’s no way the episode could have maintained pacing while answering all of the questions raised by the introduction of Discord. As viewers, we have to allow the writers to leave certain narrative factors unaddressed. As long as our ignorance about these factors doesn’t interfere with the episode, it’s unreasonable to blame the writers for leaving them out. In fact, leaving out factors actually lent a hand in establishing Discord as a formidable threat; since the only detail about his reign we’re given is that it can be represented by an image of ponies on marionette strings bouncing over an inferno, we can allow our imaginations to fill in the details for us. And as has been observed in the past, nothing is scarier than what our own imaginations are capable of creating. But eventually the curiosity can become rather nagging; exactly what happened that made Discord so terrible? And now that he has been re-introduced, reformed, and is implied to become a recurring character in the future, the details of his reign are no longer a missing piece of Equestrian history; they are a missing piece of the important personal history of Discord, Celestia, and Luna. Three important characters would have their characterization greatly improved should the details of Discord’s reign be more thoroughly explained. (Of course, resolving this ambiguity would inevitably result in a veritable army of ships being sent to dock, if you catch my drift.) And these, the consequences of leaving Discord’s reign unexplained, are only the beginning. Everything that we don’t know about Discord necessarily represents a piece of the past. But another adventure story contains a rather massive piece of current, ongoing events in Equestria that the show seems to have just forgotten about. Of course, I’m referring to the Changelings. Just like with introduction of Griffins all the way back in early-Season One, almost everything about Changelings has been brought to question and promptly dropped. We know painfully little about them- their biology; their culture; how sentient they are; their political structure; where they disappeared to after getting their holey flanks handed to them; the only things we know for sure are that they feed off love, they have a queen, and they can change appearance. Certainly the show wouldn’t outright suffer should these details about the Changelings go unexplained, but the fact that the writers introduced an entire new species, put them in the spotlight, and proceeded to never bring up again is indicative of a trend that I feel could really affect how people perceive the show. As it is, one of the great strengths of Friendship is Magic is that is finds a functional balance between slice-of-life-style episodes, that focus on domestic and interpersonal conflicts, and adventure stories which, as I’ve said, emphasize external conflict, evil villains, and worldbuilding. But lately the show seems to be slipping into a less, let’s say, refined attitude of worldbuilding; namely, the writers have introduced a large number of different antagonists, locations, and historical events but have almost refused to expand beyond what is absolutely necessary for their initial introduction. This has the effect of making worldbuilding feel cheapened, new villains feel insignificant, and adventure stories, along with their serious, the world-is-about-to-die conflict, seem shallow, and at times almost facetious. King Sombra and his introduction are a perfect personification of this problem; a generic background (“one thousand years ago this villain did bad things, and now he’s returned”); a flimsy justification for why he’s been gone (“we turned him into shadow and trapped him in a glacier”); almost no actual screentime and roughly eight seconds of speaking time across both of his episodes (“Rargh.” “Yes.” “Crystals.”). And though the few details we’re given of his reign are rather grisly, the fandom has not been shy about poking fun at how ineffective Sombra was as a character. Perhaps worst of all, King Sombra is, as of yet, our latest new villain. So there’s no telling if, Faust forbid, we’re going to be introduced to more Sombras as time goes on. But the problem, even though it is exacerbated by characters like Sombra, is still present when we’re given well-developed (by comparison) villains; there are volumes of fanfictions that attempt to fill in the blanks about Discord, the Changelings, Griffins, and even Princess Luna and Nightmare Moon. So it’s not Sombra that’s the problem, (though I’ll never tire of reminding him how much of a problem he is on his own); it’s the sheer amount of worldbuilding that the show has employed. If there are dozens of questions raised by Sombra alone, there are too many to count that relate to everything else the show has introduced. At this rate, no matter how well-developed they are, introducing more villains threatens to turn Friendship is Magic’s adventure stories into mere baddie-of-the-week distractions. Which is why, in order to remedy this and rescue the adventure stories from the cusp of irrelevance, I think the greatest solution is to stop introducing more villains. At least, for the time being. But Metaright!, I hear you hypothetically interjecting. If they don’t introduce more villains, where will the adventure stories come from? The answer lies, paradoxically enough, in the same season as King Sombra. Trixie. Discord. Babs. Princess Cadence and Shining Armor. Starswirl the Bearded. All of these characters have something in common: The writers never forgot about them. They all returned, sometimes against our wildest predictions, in Season Three. Some for redemption, some for character-building, and some for plot, but they all once appeared to be one-shots. And this is a terrific trend that the show has started. At this point, sixty-five episodes strong, we have enough characters and unanswered questions to allow the writers to stop giving us more. This would have two grand benefits: One, it would prevent more characters like King Sombra from seeing the light of day. Two, and most importantly, it would necessarily lead to development of the characters we already have. In fiction, a small cast of well-developed characters is infinitely more interesting than a large cast of Sombras, and reserving adventure stories for the development and growth of characters we already have will help mitigate the huge amount of unresolved possibilities. The greatest hurdle the show would have to tackle with this approach is that the adventure stories might not have an actual antagonist. But at the same time, the bulk of the show’s episodes don’t have antagonists, and rely on conflict between protagonists. There’s no reason, then, that we shouldn’t believe the same could apply for two-part adventure stories. And yet, the opportunity is still there for antagonists without going through the motions of introducing an entirely new character. The Changelings and Queen Chrysalis are missing-in-action, and their return would lend itself well to an adventure story. Nightmare Moon could show up once again, and the writers could put to rest the question of whether she is part of Princess Luna or an external creature*. Even Discord, who is, for the moment, redeemed, could begin to relapse into his old ways. Clearly, then, adventure stories can continue to exist without introducing any new villains that would open more questions than they answer. The show is in the perfect place to expand the elements we’ve already seen and to grow the characters we already know. This could even work in tandem with Twilight’s ascension to the life of an Alicorn; as familiar faces return and are thwarted, the Mane Six could begin to feel more confident in themselves, no longer having to tackle mysterious threats that they know nothing about. Will introducing new villains anyway doom the show? No, of course not. But there are so many ways that it could benefit from bringing the focus onto expanding and growing what it’s already introduced, so even presenting us with more well-developed villains might prove, eventually, to be a detriment. And if more villains means more Sombras, “detriment” is an understatement. -- *I know something about this was covered in the comic series, but I like my canon to be presented from the infallible pens of the show’s actual writers. Plus, not everyone reads the comics.
  10. At this point it's not set in stone. As I understand it, I'll be a regular writer if they think I contribute enough articles of sufficient quality. So right now I'm a guest contributor, but I could be promoted in the future if I continue writing.
  11. Hello, several people on here that regularly tuned in to my analysis! I'm overjoyed to announce that the secret project I mentioned before is complete- an original analysis, written by yours truly, has been featured on The Round Stable. For those unaware, The Round Stable is a pony-centric blog that specializes not only in news, but also in analysis and editorials. Over the span of the last couple months, I've been working with the editors in order to get my writing up to snuff to be put out there into the Interwebz, for all pony fans to enjoy and ruminate on. The article is titled The Pinkie Pie Principle: Humor From Characterization. It deals with how Friendship is Magic utilizes humor to aid in building the characters, but also how, with Pinkie Pie in particular, humor and characterization can be used in less-than-ideal ways. I'd like to thank any regular readers I may have garnered since I began Pretty Pony Analysis. Without this outlet for my thoughts, I never would have taken the leap and contacted The Round Stable. As for the future of this blog, I hope you'll all be pleased to hear that I'll be posting here semi-regularly once again. Obviously, not every little bit of analysis I think of is worth the effort to put through the editing process, and not everything I analyze is really in-depth enough to be published. So this blog will function much like it has; my analysis and thoughts will go here, with my more extensive and in-depth writings saved just in case. At this point, I'm not a full-on contributor at The Round Stable, but it is up in the air at this point. Depending on how things go, I may or may not be admitted to the team. While it is far, far too early to jump to the conclusion that I'll become a regular contributor there, I can assure you that it is not outside the realm of plausibility at this point. So, there ya have it. Thanks for the reading my ramblings on this little corner of the Internet, and I hope you'll continue. I have plenty of ideas for things to write about. So if you enjoy my writings, why not come along? We'll see together where this all ends up. Yours, Metaright
  12. These are by no means the only two things, but they get to me a whole lot. First, when commas are placed like this (with an actual YouTube comment as an example): A comma does not go there. Just because you would pause if you said the sentence out loud does not mean that you insert a comma. Two, I am very, very tired of seeing people put things like this on Facebook: You only need one exclamation point. You only need one, dang it. That's what the exclamation point is for- to signal an exclamation. More than one exclamation mark is redundant, not increasing the exclamation. The only thing that increases when you add more exclamation marks is how much my opinion of you falls. On a general note, I see my high school teachers make idiotic grammar and spelling mistakes all the time. Mistakes that I knew to avoid when I was literally ten years old.
  13. Ah yes, another one. The vast majority of the time, swearing is incredibly immature. I believe it demonstrates a lack of self-restraint, a lack of courtesy, and, at worst, the intelligence and maturity of the average twelve-year-old. Because of this, I have almost no respect for adults that swear flippantly, and even less for children that do so. Usually, if you ask me, swearing is a sign of incomplete maturation. Now, bear in mind I'm referring to flippant, excessive swearing that serves no actual, useful purpose. The post above this one, for example.