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  1. Psychological Analyses Series Links: 1. Fluttershy 2. Applejack 3. Rarity 4. Rainbow Dash Pinkamena Diane Pie is not a pony that makes good first impressions. She can come across as rude, obnoxious, an air-headed chatterbox that never stops being annoying. Many in the fandom, including the writer of this analysis, initially disliked Pinkie Pie because of her first impressions from the pilot, where she acts particularly like an idiot that invades people's privacy for no good reason. The Element of Laughter, as one of the hardest elements to understand, does not help with these impressions as it seems to support the interpretation that she's simple and easy to understand. But Pinkie, she may very well be the most complex of all the Mane Six. Psychologically speaking, Pinkie Pie is difficult to understand, made worse by the fact that Party of One can, on the surface, suggest she's bi-polar, or worse, schizophrenic, poised on a razor's edge where she might snap at any time. Her actions in that episode stand in contrast with her actions in most others, where she's constantly bouncy, happy, and laughing at anything and everything, when she's not spouting off nonsequitors or otherwise acting out. Yet, on careful examination, when taking into account all of the available information, Pinkie Pie does actually have serious mental and emotional issues. Said issues are not, however, Bi-Polar Disorder or schizophrenia. She suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder. To quote Wikipedia, "The disorder typically involves an unusual degree of instability in mood and black-and-white thinking, or splitting. BPD often manifests itself in idealization and devaluation episodes and chaotic and unstable interpersonal relationships, issues with self-image, identity, and behavior; as well as a disturbance in the individual's sense of self. In extreme cases, this disturbance in the sense of self can lead to periods of dissociation. Splitting in BPD includes a switch between idealizing and demonizing others. This, combined with mood disturbances, can undermine relationships with family, friends, and co-workers. BPD disturbances may also include harm to one's self." [1] Pinkie Pie is unusual amongst BPD sufferers in that she is primarily an extrovert, rather than an introvert. She comes alive through interacting with others, and hates being alone. Pinkie's issues are primarily a result of her foalhood. As a filly, she lived on a rock farm. She states during her Cutie Mark story that there was "no talking, no smiling, only rocks." The story makes it clear she expected to live her entire life on that farm...born a rock farmer, live a rock farmer, die a rock farmer, a bleak and terrible existence. One does not suffer that kind of psychological trauma, without developing serious issues as a result. Though there is little real evidence, I suspect she did not often get along with her family, due primarily to the fact that she is so different from them in physical appearance. The others are all various tones of gray, while she is vibrant, electrifying pink. Being so set apart is not likely to promote getting along, though this could manifest either as the rest of her family treating her terribly, or simply Pinkie feeling all the more separated from them, possibly both. Pinkie's whole life changed the day of the Sonic Rainboom. Up until then, she had lived an unhappy, meager existence, directionless, without passion or joy. The Rainboom awakened a real reason for living: to bring happiness to others. Through seeing others experience joy, she can experience it herself. She states it clearly in her image song, "Smile." When she moved to Ponyville proper, or how she came to live and work with the Cakes, is unclear. She became employed as a pastry chef and lives with them in their home, working for room and board, as well a small salary on top. This allows her to throw parties whenever she can, and she throws them with an almost reckless abandon, happily taking advantage of any and all possible reasons to hold a celebration. Unfortunately, prior to meeting Twilight, she had no close friends. The life of a partygoer can provide acquaintances aplenty, and she knew everyone in Ponyville in a distant sense, but she didn't have anyone she could rely on to talk to, to hang out with on a day to day basis outside of her parties. This is consistently backed up by canon: notice how she pursues Rainbow Dash around all over the place in Griffon the Brush-Off, or even how she initially reacted to Twilight when they first met. Although her reaction appears on first glance to be a simple cartoon gag, when viewed in retrospect with the information about her Pinkie Sense, I suspect it was actually her Pinkie Sense going off. After all, meeting Twilight was one of the most important events not just in Pinkie's life, but in the life of everyone in Equestria. Had she not become friends with Twilight, Pinkie wouldn't have been present later in the library during the discussion on the Elements of Harmony, would not have ventured into the Everfree Forest, and likely Twilight and anyone else who accompanied her would have died trying to face off against Nightmare Moon, with the rest of Equestria soon to follow thanks to the neverending night. So Pinkie naturally reacted by doing her utmost to try to make friends with Twilight, resulting in the invasion of privacy that was the party at the library, much more understandable when viewed within this lense. But if any single canonical event makes it clear just how few friends--ie, none--Pinkie had prior to meeting the rest of the Mane Six, it was the events of Party of One. Within that episode, Pinkie acts out in a number of ways, just like any BPD sufferer would. When she spent a great deal of time with her close friends, all she wanted was to spend more time with them, so she decides to throw another party, inventing one of the silliest possible reasons for it and even outright forgetting her own birthday, because her own birthday wasn't important. No one would want to celebrate her, after all, not in her mind. It didn't even occur to her. So when she saw her friends acting suspiciously, she did what any BPD sufferer would do: she immediately leapt to the worst possible conclusion: they hate her and want nothing to do with her anymore. She is naturally outraged, and expends a significant amount of effort chasing Rainbow Dash around Ponyville as a result, only to eventually end up at Sweet Apple Acres and find Applejack lying, badly, to her face. Like with many scenes from Party of One, it is multilayered, with various levels of storytelling and significance not able to be properly appreciated without multiple viewings. It's metaphorical, rather than literal, as Pinkie Pie isn't really able to teleport around Ponyville at will. For the target demographic, it is comedic and silly: look at how funny Pinkie Pie can be! To adults, on the other hand, it speaks to the depth of her emotions. Though she seeks out Spike to demand he explain what's going on, she's not looking for real answers. All she wants is confirmation of what she suspects, because she wanted to hear from someone else what she figured she already knew: her friends don't want to be her friends anymore. And when she hears it, she falls apart, suffering a serious psychological breakdown. The party she holds in the next scene, commonly held up as the clearest example of her alleged schizophrenia, is actually something that BPD sufferers do all the time: invent a way to try and cope with the emotions. For Pinkie, because she's an extrovert and enjoys parties so much, she created several imaginary friends and held a fake party. She didn't want to be alone. But she knew it wasn't real. It's just an outwardly reflection of her own internal issues. She argues with herself, through the party guests, about how angry she is that her so-called friends betrayed her. It's not schizophrenia at all: just an internal debate, expressed through a party with fake guests because that's just how Pinkie Pie does things. Notice how the voices of the other party guests are the other voice actresses. Like with the previous scene, the party has layers of subtlety not easily grasped on first viewing. Naturally when Rainbow Dash showed up, Pinkie was already so angry that she wanted nothing to do with Dashie. All Rainbow Dash did was present a real, physical reminder of Pinkie's hurt and sorrow, a reminder that Pinkie just wants to leave, immediately. She fights and struggles until Rainbow Dash drags her to the barn at Sweet Apple Acres. When she sees her friends, she rants and raves until she's told they're throwing the party for her, as a surprise party. Upon realizing this she makes a sudden transformation back into her cheerful self. While on first glance this can appear contrived, absurd even, it actually makes perfect sense when placed in context. She's so suddenly happy that her friends haven't actually betrayed her that her moods shifts dramatically, just like it would for any BPD sufferer. Combined with the fact that she's an extrovert, and suddenly her transformation isn't contrived: it's just another metaphor for how she feels in her heart. I also suspect, however, upon further examination of the scene, that she didn't desire to burden her friends with her emotional issues. There's little to no evidence to suggest she ever discussed how she felt with her friends, partially because she probably felt--even if it's not the truth--that her friends might not want to listen, but also because she knew discussing her emotions wouldn't make them happy. It'd make them sad. And if there's anything Pinkie Pie refuses to do, it's make her friends sad. So she hides her depression, the depression she admits to in her song, because she would rather suffer than cause others to be unhappy. Pinkie has demonstrated aspects of suffering BPD in many other cases as well. For example, in Baby Cakes, where she fails to initially realize how much responsibility is involved in caring for children. She sees it as more time to play around with the twins. When she is confronted by reality and Twilight offers to help, she reacts with scorn. Instead of viewing Twilight's offer reasonably, she sees it as Twilight insulting her, saying that Pinkie is incapable. Or in other words, she views Twilight's words in the worst possible manner. When she finally realized she couldn't handle the twins, she broke down crying, out of frustration, a perfectly understandable action that almost anyone in that situation would have done, BPD sufferer or not. Notice, too, how sad she became when confronted with Fluttershy's accusation in Putting Your Hoof Down. She was accussed of being obsessed with parties, essentially told by one of her closest friends that her life was meaningless. Though we did not see it touched upon in the episode, I suspect it took Pinkie a long time to calm down, and that, like with her experiences in Party of One, she didn't speak too much about it with her friends. When Pinkie encounters someone she's unable to make happy, she becomes frustrated and confused. Consider how much she pursued being Cranky's friend despite the fact that Cranky clearly wanted nothing to do with her. She couldn't accept that she was making someone unhappy, so she continued to do everything in her power, despite the fact that she wasn't seeing some of what she was doing wrong. Her inability to understand that some of her actions were inappropriate is another clear sign of BPD. Truth is, Pinkie likely would have been devastated beyond belief by what she'd done if she hadn't gotten lucky with the knowledge of Matilda. Pinkie's knowledge in that episode backs up something I stated in my original analysis regarding her Pinkie Sense. Her Pinkie Sense is clearly magical, far beyond the normal magic of Earth Ponies. It influences how she thinks, how she acts. While she often flits around, seemingly paying little attention to everything around her like a hyperactive squirrel on crack, she's actually just being bombarded with too much information. This is how her Pinkie Sense functions, I grants her something of a sixth sense, an ability to perceive everything around her more deeply than others can. She has experienced bouts of wisdom, possesses an eidetic memory--what is known in layman's terms as a photographic memory--and can occasionally create something wondrous and new on the spot, as she did in Griffon the Brush off when she built a flying machine in mere MINUTES. She might very well be the second-smartest of the Mane Six, or possibly even the smartest, depending upon how one views her able to intuitively understand everything around her on a deeper level. That's not to say she can see everything: she's often blind to some of the more obvious things around her. One cannot rely upon intuition alone to always solve a problem, as she demonstrated when she attempted to use it to figure out the culprit that mutilated the MMMM cake. But the magic of her Pinkie Sense is quite special, a useful tool she uses in her pursuit of making others happier. Though little evidence exists to suggest it, I am willing to believe that the Sonic Rainboom unlocked her Pinkie Sense, and that prior to the Rainboom she was unable to access it. It is arguably a power only the Element of Laughter could have. The Element of Laughter, as I stated, is the most difficult to understand. Though all of the Elements are more than they appear on first glance, Laughter especially seems like it shouldn't be a virtue at all, at first. It's not just about laughing at the world, nor is it about the act of laughing itself bringing joy, though certainly laughter can do that. It's about being able to stand strong in the toughest of circumstances, the ability to cope no matter what life puts you through. It's the ability to stand against life's trials and refuse to be rendered helpless, the refusal to give into depression and hopelessness. It's about not giving in. Pinkie, for whom life itself is a struggle, epitomizes Laughter because she understands what it truly means. She strives to make others happy, to put a smile on their faces whenever they are down, because she knows how hard it is to cope with tragedy and sorrow. Her entire life is all about expressing the Element of Laughter through everything she does. Questions still remain about Pinkie's background. I would like to see, in Season Three, more episodes that go into her life, especially her life on the rock farm. We never saw her grandmother during her Cutie Mark story, after all--I'd like to know more about her Granny Pie. Most importantly, though, I feel Pinkie just plain deserves more screentime. She can be hard to appreciate, harder still to like, but she's a fantastic character all around. [1]http://en.wikipedia....nality_Disorder
  2. Psychological Analyses Series Links: 1. Fluttershy 2. Applejack 3. Rarity 5. Pinkie Pie Rainbow Dash is the freest of spirits, a soaring soul that can't truly ever be tied down. As an athlete, she's phenomenal. As chief weathermare of Ponyville, she's excellent. As a friend, she's trustworthy, for the most part. But she can also be incredibly headstrong and stubborn, arrogant and brash, and fairly rude. Her Element of Loyalty is tricky to pin down, not because it's difficult to understand in and of itself, but because it can often be difficult to figure out when Rainbow Dash is actually exemplifying the Element. But the truth is, Rainbow Dash lives her Element every day of her life. Loyalty isn't just about sticking up for one's friends and supporting them in their endeavors. It's also about being true to one's convictions, to their ideals, their hopes and their dreams. There are also levels of Loyalty, intertwined within each other. It may seem simple enough to stand up for your friends, support your home and your country, but what about when those conflict? When you have to choose between helping a friend or saving your home from destruction, who are you loyal to first? How do you cope with that decision? Rainbow Dash probably doesn't concern herself with thinking things like that through during her day-to-day, because thinking isn't quite her strong suit. When she's faced with a problem, she just faces it head on, hooves up and ready to punch. Whether it's going straight after Nightmare Moon in the pilot, kicking a dragon in the face in Dragonshy, or any others of numerous examples, Rainbow Dash does not shy away from her problems. She fights through them. When she sees a problem she can handle, she'll swoop in to deal with it. She'll stand up for people if she feels she needs to. Consider, for example, her decision to defend Fluttershy in Cutie Mark Chronicles, the decision that led directly to her performing the Sonic Rainboom for the first time, gaining not just her a Cutie Mark, but the rest of her future best friends as well. Thanks to Hurricane Fluttershy, we can now assume that Rainbow Dash was already friends with Fluttershy prior to this event, meaning she was happily swooping in to rescue her friend, just as she always would. I suspect the challenge for a race was Dashie's way of trying to get back at the bullies who'd been teasing them both. Yet at times, as I said, Rainbow Dash is forced to choose between two different Loyalties. She may be friends with Fluttershy, but she also knows Fluttershy well enough to realize when she might become a burden. Her insistantly antagonistic attitude towards Fluttershy coming along in Dragonshy was not, as it might appear, her refusing to be loyal to her friend, but simply her choosing the loyalty to the Princess and to the mission over being sensitive. Rainbow Dash isn't exactly the most patient of ponies after all. Why waste time comforting Fluttershy when they had a problem they needed to deal with right then and there? They simply didn't have time to deal with Fluttershy's issues, so to Rainbow Dash she felt it would better to leave Fluttershy behind and deal with her later. Rainbow Dash has made this decision on numerous other occasions as well. Gilda's return liked caused Dashie some heartache after the whole situation went straight down the tubes thanks to her having to force Gilda to leave. It'd been a struggling choice between her old friend, whom she'd been friends with for years, and her new friends that she hadn't known for very long, but she chose her new friends. Not because she wasn't being loyal to Gilda, but because Gilda had demonstrated she didn't deserve that loyalty any longer. (As an aside, I do have to wonder if Rainbow Dash ever discovered that Gilda had scared Fluttershy as horribly as she did. I could easily see Rainbow Dash decided to knock Gilda's head in after that.) She's also shown loyalty to ideals. When she saw the Buffalo of the desert near Appleloosa losing control over their sacred stampeding grounds, she saw no reason to be loyal to the Appleloosans simply because they were ponies. She saw an injustice and she sought to correct it. And in her mind, the Buffalo had claim first because the land had been theirs for possibly centuries prior to the settlers moving in. Then there's the way Discord played onto her sense of loyalty. I haven't addressed Discord much during these analyses because canon suggests the mind-warping Discord performed didn't have much of a long lasting impact on them psychologically. (Though my headcanon rules otherwise, I can't exactly fill these analyses with too much of that.) But Discord played her perfectly like a harp because he forced her again to choose between two loyalties, in this case loyalty to home or loyalty to her friends. And, as before, Rainbow Dash is consistent in her approach: she chooses the immediate problem over the long-term one. She believed Cloudsdale would crumble to pieces, and had no way of knowing that was a blatant lie. But that's not to say she won't look after her friend's well being when she doesn't have an immediate problem to cope with. She's proven this on several occasions as well. One of the most important things she ever did for a friend, after all, was her rescuing of Pinkie Pie from the party's pony's psychological peril. She probably didn't quite understand the depth of Pinkie's emotions, but she knew she couldn't just leave Pinkie in that situation either. Then there's how she looked after Fluttershy in Hurricane Fluttershy, exactly the way she should have. She may have been brash and a bit impatient with Fluttershy at first, but she still looked after her, because Fluttershy is too important to Rainbow Dash. When Rainbow Dash encounters a problem she can't smash through head on, she becomes super frustrated and flustered almost immediately. Whether it's something as arguably mundane as a lack of cider, or as heartbreaking and nerveshattering as an inability to perform a Sonic Rainboom on demand when she was relying on it to help her win a competition, Rainbow Dash tends to lose control of her emotions and her actions. This can manifest differently at different times, but it usually results in an overanxious, even sad loss of confidence. The cider incident saw her trying to eat the cider from dirt, for pony's sake. The ways in which Mare Do Well stomped on her confidence time and again each time she thought she had an edge left her close to the point of a psychological breakdown. Her continuous inability to perform a Sonic Rainboom on demand when she had been able to do so as a filly was the most nerve shattering of all. Rainbow Dash does not usually demonstrate anxiety in performances. Her nervous breakdown during the events of Sonic Rainboom was a result of her potentially seeing her life long dream shattered because she'd spent weeks, months, even possibly years trying to duplicate her feat from her foalhood, and constantly failing. As she is fond of saying herself, Rainbow Dash hates losing. She hates being unable to do something she'd done before even more. She'd gambled her lifelong dream of becoming a Wonderbolt on her performance in the Best Young Flier's Competition, and all of a sudden on top of everything else, here comes Rarity to show her up instead of supporting her. It's no wonder she nearly lost control of herself. Yet even then, even in the midst of that, she still managed to perform. Granted she probably would have been barred from future competitions had she not succeeded with the Rainboom to save Rarity's life, but that's beside the point. The Sonic Rainboom itself is truly special. Through it, Rainbow Dash created a special connection, a bond between her and her future friends that would one day wield the Elements of Harmony to save the world not once, but twice. But why was she unable to perform it on command until she needed it to save Rarity's life? Because the Sonic Rainboom ITSELF is her power of Loyalty. Her sudden ability to perform it as a filly is far too coincidental in its timing to be anything other than the result of her Element. That Sonic Rainboom awakened Fluttershy's ability to communicate with animals, showed Applejack the way home, granted Pinkie Pie the ability to finally, truly smile(as well as possibly awakening her Pinkie Sense), opened the rock for Rarity, and even allowed Twilight to unleash her true magical potential. This one event more than any other forms the basis for why I believe every single one of the Mane Six were BORN to be the spirits of the Elements of Harmony, because here Rainbow Dash proved her Loyalty to her friends before she'd even met them. When she needed it, when she had to save Rarity's life despite the fact that Rarity had arguably ruined the competition as well as Rainbow Dash's chance at obtaining her life-long dream, Rainbow Dash was able to wield the Rainboom again, this time for good. Unfortunately, her Element also leads to one of her biggest failings, her stubborn refusal to accept anything that doesn't fall within her own view on life. When Rainbow Dash gets an idea in her head, she sticks to it, with it. She doesn't let it go and will fight every step of the way with anyone who says otherwise. Like Rarity, Rainbow Dash can have a bit of an ego problem at times. Unlike Rarity, it comes not from a desire to be appreciated so much because it falls right into what Rainbow Dash believes to be fact. She believes she's a fantastic flyer, so when other ponies compliment her on her flying abilities, she's happy to hear it. When she became praised for becoming a local hero for a brief time during the events of The Mysterious Mare Do Well, her ego ran away with her just a tad because again, the accolades she received were those she feel she deserved because she is just that good. She'll pat herself on the back anytime she wins and succeeds, and because she hates losing, she's not against using tricks to ensure her victory. And when she feels an activity is beneath her, she'll scorn it till the cows come home unless something forces her into it. She also hates being something she's not, because she feels she she isn't being loyal to herself and her ideals. Hence why it took a broken wing and a hospital stay to force her to finally start reading for fun, and why it took her so long to admit to her friends that she enjoyed reading. Her Element, however, does not compel Rainbow Dash to follow the rules. Unlike some of her friends, Rainbow Dash is too fanciful, carefree, and chaotic a spirit to be tied down by silly things like rules. If she feels the need, she'll break them whenever she can, and often will flaunt it in the process. She hates losing, so it's no wonder she opted to cheat during the Iron Pony competition and later during the Running of the Leaves. She wanted to finish her book, so she happily committed petty theft without even a hint that she'd feel guilty about it afterwards. She'll prank anyone she feels like--it took Pinkie Pie to keep her from pranking Fluttershy, after all. This isn't to say that she'll just do whatever she wants and damn the consequences, but it does show that when she feels the need, she won't let rules stand in the way, and she won't let them tie her down. This, ultimately, is why I feel she will never succeed in becoming a Wonderbolt. It's not that Rainbow Dash in incapable of performing to the level of standards the Wonderbolts set--she's proven on many occasions that she could probably outperform all of them without breaking a sweat. She was even able to perform a Sonic Rainboom ON THE UPSWING AGAINST GRAVITY during A Canterlot Wedding, from a cold start at that. It's also not the fact that Rainbow Dash is totally incapable of discipline--she isn't. She keeps a regular training schedule and constantly practices. She even has a black belt in karate, the sort of thing one can't exactly earn if they're incapable of disciplining themselves. But Rainbow Dash does not allow rules to tie her down. The Wonderbolts, being the kind of organization they are, based upon the real world Thunderbirds, Blue Angels, and other military air flight teams, would likely require that same level of military discipline from Rainbow Dash. As anyone, including myself, who has had experience with being in the military can tell you, the kind of set schedule and demand for doing every single thing as someone else says would drive Rainbow Dash utterly insane. She doesn't really live her life with any sort of structure. She naps when she wants to, does her weather work when she wants to, trains when she wants to, and does everything when SHE wants to, not when someone else tells her to do something. She just wouldn't be able to stand the level of demand they would place upon her. Even if she could stand it though, I imagine she wouldn't much care for life as a Wonderbolt. She might enjoy the spectacle, the adoration, the ability to strut her stuff for everyone to see and get paid for it at that, but she wouldn't be able to spend time with her friends. She'd miss them too much. More importantly, her sense of Loyalty would come into play again, compelling her to return to her friends and her life in Ponyville and stay with them. In fact, this is how I suspect an episode dealing with her joining the Wonderbolts would go. She would succeed, join them, and then feel so much regret that she'd quit and return to her old life. What she would do with her life after that, I don't know, but she would figure out something. Rainbow Dash is not the type to become morosely depressed and suffused with anxiety for too long. She would find another passion to pour her life into. That, really is, the heart of what makes Dashie who she is. She's passionate. She takes charge. When she wants something, she makes it happen, and doesn't let others stand in her way. She sticks by her friends throughout it all, and can be counted on to always be there for them when they need her. Her depth can take time to appreciate, and her abrasive behavior can rub some the wrong way, but I feel she's a fantastic character because of the traits. With luck, future episodes in Season Three and hopefully beyond will explore this depth in more detail. Like the rest of the Mane Six, she deserves it.
  3. BLANKETY, BLANKETY, BLANK. Now that both days of Bronycon are over, with me having attended the event on both days, I'd figure I should share my thoughts on Bronycon and the fandom. The week before the convention, I had my doubts at whether I truly wanted to attend, and whether I even wanted to be part of entire fandom anymore. Over time my interest had been eroded, but after attending Bronycon I can honestly say that I have my interest and enjoyment of the fandom peaked once again. Even my dad, who attended, now has some interest in the fandom and the show, at least to see what all the fuss is about. To begin, I'd like to thank all the members who attended the MLPForums meet up. That would be Apple Bloom, SkullBuster, Marco23p, IHazTommyWiseau, The Media Brony and The Phony Brony. These guys were all great and fun to hang out with. I remained quiet for most of the event, even being referred to during dinner as "the silent protagonist". Even though I was silent as Fluttershy all day, I did feel completely comfortable with talking as much as I wanted around these guys. It may have not been a lot of talking from me, but once I got over the initial shyness when first meeting the group, I was able to feel relaxed. The event itself was great. So much pony, everywhere. The vendors had a great variety of merchandise, from the common trading cards and brushables to high quality prints of very impressive artwork. I picked up some neat artwork. My favorite by far being an awesome Rarity picture! I did encounter a few issues though. The aisles of vendors were a bit difficult to navigate through with the size of the crowd. The lengthy time it initially took to navigate resulted in much of the best merch to be taken before I even reached many of the vendors. The 'mane hall' was where all the major panels took place. I found the panels quite enjoyable. John DeLancie and Lauren Faust had quite a bit to say. Much of it interested me. Other than a faulty sound system, strange management and even a flaming light, I found it great to sit and watch. The Ponies Anthology II, Friendship is Witchcraft, the VAs' interviews. All of it was well worth it. The crowd...well, what can I say...the crowd was awesome. The general mood of the event was mostly smiles and laughter. Even attendees being kicked off the line for autograph vouchers, that had been waiting for hours, didn't complain as much as you would expect. Everyone was friendly, loud, and happy. My dad, who attended only for supervision reasons, ended up enjoying the crowd himself. "[i left the event] expecting everyone outside to be just as friendly", is what he had to say. Seeing how people were free to express themselves without fear of judgement reminded me of one of the big reasons I love this fandom. Love and Tolerance. While "Love and Tolerance" isn't a set of absolute moral laws, it also isn't an entirely worthless internet motto. The crowd sang and danced and cheered with love and tolerance truly going around. Even the steps on the front of the exposition center were in the partying mood. Listening to songs from the show and those of musicians was very enjoyable. If anything needs immediate improvement for the next con, it should be the autograph system. Attendees had to get on a very long line if they wished to purchase vouchers. The three or so hour wait wasn't very nice to my feet. If it wasn't for the nice discussions going on in the line, I would have probably died of boredom. While nearing the door, the convention was evacuated after a light fixture started sparking and burning. This resulted in everyone being asked to move off the line. When the line reassembled 30 or so minutes later, I ended up back down at the bottom. Taking quite some time to work my way back up to the top again. Once inside, the lines for autographs were absurdly long and took up quite a lot of moving space. My John De Lancie voucher ended up being refunded because of the long time it would have taken to make it there. This should have been handled online. There was no need to have people waste hours of event time waiting for vouchers. I did get a poster signed twice by Lauren Faust. When I asked her to sign it in a different location she gave me such a look of "are you serious? U_U". Yeah...not how I wanted that to go. ;D Random question: Is a double signed poster by the same person worth more or less than one that was signed once? I'm not interested in selling it, but I found myself curious as to whether two signatures would technically decrease the value of the signed merchandise or whether the unique double signature would make it worth more. Back to the meet up. I found the end of the second day very enjoyable. Sitting and watching pony episodes after returning from a fun dinner with the meet up group. Spoiler: There was a group hug. To summarize! Very happy and energetic crowd. Very tolerating crowd. Great panels and interviews. Awesome merchandise. Fun MLPForums meet up group! Overall great enjoyment! Finally. I think I should say how my love for the MLPForums has been re-newed after all of this. I know I've been a bit cranky around here. Complaining over mods this and decision that. I had kinda lost interest and wasn't sure why I was sticking around. I do believe I should publicly apologize to Feld0, Zoop, Swoop, the rest of the staff, and any members that may have been caught in the crossfire. While these forums may not be perfect, they are still the best around, and are of the highest quality. The time and effort put into the site by it's managers should be well appreciated. Go MLPForums! I loved the con, I loved the meet up group, I love the MLPForums. ~The End.
  4. Psychological Analyses Series Links: 1. Fluttershy 2. Applejack 4. Rainbow Dash 5. Pinkie Pie Rarity, like all good things, is an enigma wrapped in a shell of mystery covered by a veil of uncertainty. On the surface she appears shallow, empty-headed, caring only for her dresses, makeup, and beauty. She prefers form over function in all things, because what use is something if it doesn't look good doing what it is designed to do? Peel away the layers, and at first that shallow label seems to stick. She is a drama queen by any definition, after all, boisterous and refined, overacting at the drop of a hat--and believe me, when Rarity is around, there are many hats to be dropped. But as the layers continue to fall, more is revealed. It is often said that Rarity doesn't actually uphold the Element of Generosity, that she is too greedy and self-absorbed to ever care about others. But is that true? No. No it is not. To understand Rarity, we must examine what makes her tick, and to do that we must examine her origins. As confirmed in Sweet and Elite, Rarity was in fact born in Ponyville, not elsewhere. She has since lived her entire life in Ponyville, growing up, learning her trade, and otherwise being a Ponyvillian. This means her accent and mannerisms, the way in which she holds herself and speaks, are fake, crafted by Rarity herself to give her a sense of sophistication beyond her meager origins. But why? It most probably had to do with a difficult foalhood. Rarity has never been content with the sort of life that Ponyvillians live. Though it is difficult to tell based upon the scant moment or two of interaction from Sisterhooves Social, I imagine Rarity's parents are amongst the most rustic, down to earth ponies they can be, nothing like the Unicorns of Canterlot. They're probably farmers, dairy farmers perhaps given the Wisconsin-esque accent, the sort of occupation that would keep them both busy and out of sight--possibly even explaining why Sweetie Belle often stays with her sister at the Carousel Boutique instead of living at home. These origins would feel confining, like a steel cage stifling the imagination and creativity that Rarity bursts with every day. Where she initially stumbled across the idea of nobility is something I leave up to speculation. It could be she simply read many tales of adventure and regality when she was a child. Maybe she was even considered "Daddy's little princess." Whatever the case, she took it upon herself to craft a beautiful persona, one she likely had to practice daily in order to master it. We see her accent slipping during the events of her Cutie Mark story, after all. As an adult, her crafted persona has become so much a part of her that separating it from the mare she is underneath would be like trying to remove a steel plate that has been welded and fused onto a wall: it cannot be done. She may have donned a mask as a child, but she became the mask as an adult. She carries herself with grace and sophistication, and desires strongly, more than anything else, to become a part of the Canterlot elite. As a hopeless romantic she sees herself eventually wedding a member of that nobility, hence her desires to meet and mingle with Prince Blueblood. I imagine the way in which he thoroughly crushed her expectations left her far more heartbroken than it often appears she is on the show. This may have contributed to why she became a bit less nice and a bit more quick to anger during the second season. (As an in-universe explanation, of course--the real explanation is that Lauren Faust leaving the show resulted in a bit less consistent characterization for her.) Of course, her dreams weren't crushed entirely, and neither was her spirit. Her persona does give her some failings however. She can be far too frou-frou, as Applejack would put it, often wasting time or effort trying to make something look beautiful in a circumstance where it would be better to just let things be. Of course that also makes it easy to underestimate the power of her wits. A Dog and Pony Show demonstrated her ability to think on her hooves faster than almost anypony amongst the Mane Six save for Pinkie Pie, and more than once she has proved she can fight with the best of them as well if she needs to. Her vanity and adoration for gems can lead to her expressing serious moments of greed and avarice. Even her most egregious example of this though, her wresting the fire ruby from Spike during Secret of My Excess, is understandable and explainable, given that she actually treasures the gem. She wears it around her neck, probably more often than we see on the show too, and even during the moments when she switched on her charm, we can see her fighting with herself before she gives in to her instincts. Her largest failing, the tendency to become self-absorbed, is perfectly understandable because, like any artist, she has a deep desire to be appreciated. She wants her works to be loved. Listen to the desperation in her voice when she demands Fluttershy explain how she feels about the dress Rarity designed. Ask any writer, any painter, poet, sculptor, graphics designer, editorial blogger, anyone who creates anything at all: why bother creating if you don't receive feedback? A lack of feedback, a lack of appreciation is the largest killer of creativity. For Rarity, whom creativity is her very lifeblood, the lack of appreciation could quite literally kill her. Thus it is only natural that she becomes a bit self-absorbed at times. Her display in Sonic Rainboom was probably the most egregious, but considering how beautiful those wings were and just how much more adoration she was gaining with them, it is no wonder she made the mistake of leaping into the contest at the last minute. She clearly felt horribly guilty about this too, and I suspect that behind the scenes there were a great many discussions between her and Rainbow Dash that she went through to make amends. Of course her desire for adoration can also lead to strong amounts of jealousy. She had hoped that Photo Finish would help her soar to new heights in acceptance after her successes with dresses with Hoity Toity and Sapphire Shores, but instead she saw her closest friend Fluttershy become the star. But even then, she didn't allow her envy cause her to stand in the way of what she believed her friend desired. She employed her generous nature to try and win over the crowd after Twilight helped Fluttershy embarrass herself, because Rarity had no idea the circumstances were intentional. Were Rarity the greedy soul that many claim her to be, she wouldn't have bailed her friend out of that situation. Because of her lifelong dream to become a part of the nobility, it only makes sense that she finally took advantage of the opportunity when it finally surfaced during Sweet and Elite. Prior till then, her dream had always been just a tad out of reach, inaccessible, despite her connections to the Princess. Her grand opportunity to make Canterlot connections was finally within her grasp, so she took to it as much as she could. Even during the events of the episode she clearly shows again and again she regrets some of the things she's doing. She wants to be good to her friends but she also doesn't want to waste the opportunities in front of her. Her mistake, and my displeasure with the resolution of the episode, was that she managed to successfully get away with lying to and misleading her friends. She deserved a bit more retribution for her lies than she received in the episode. Still, in the end she did recall where she came from and what was most important in her life. But how does all of this tie into her Element of Generosity? Where does that come in? As always it begins with the Sonic Rainboom and her Cutie Mark story. Her story in particular carries a few fantastical bits that leave me a little suspicious and confused. Why, of all things, did her gem finding spell go off all of a sudden and carry her who knows how far across Equestria just so she could be present when the Rainboom split open a rock full of fantastic gemstones? Seems a little too convenient, especially since it was the one thing she needed in order to make the costumes she had crafted for the school play dreamy instead of dreary. Once again I find myself pointing the finger at our chessmaster of a Princess. Generosity is not just about giving freely in the form of monetary donations or food. It is a way of life. For Rarity, her generosity is shared primarily in how she majestically creates her fabulous dresses, suits, and other fancy clothing. Like any artist, she gives freely to the world with her creativity, whether it is in the form of walking down Main Street Ponyville in a dazzling display of debonair delight with her shining attitudes towards all, or the ways in which she will give freely whenever anyone asks. She spent a great deal of time and far more stress than she ever should have had to expend creating the dresses for the Gala, after all, and she finds it extremely difficult to say no when someone wants something of her. She showed this especially during Sweet and Elite--watch how she tries to get away from the Canterlot ponies so she can work on Twilight's dress, only to give in when they beg. It is her very way of life. And, after all, one cannot be generous without having something to give first. She has to obtain what she can give away before she can give it away. Why does this connect to her gemstones? The magic. Specifically, the magic that I believe rests within the gemstones themselves. It is a common fantasy trope that gemstones are used to channel or store magical energy, often being used as a focus for a spell. They can be enchanted in rings or amulets, carrying spells to deploy at will--I imagine Twilight uses this feature all the time. Gemstones in Equestria are far too common to be as valuable as they are in our world. They exist in the ground precut, shining and sparkling the moment the dirt is uncovered. If they were as valuable to Equestrians as they are to us, Rarity would be one of the richest ponies in all of Equestria. Since she isn't, she collects them for another purpose, besides the fact they can look damned good on a dress when used properly. Though she is naturally creative with her designs, I suspect she uses the magic of the gemstones to enhance said creativity, magnify it to new heights. This is why she tends to speckle every design she creates with one form of gemstone or another, because it allows her to channel said magic into the design. This isn't her taking advantage of magic to create something she wouldn't otherwise have of course. All she is doing is using the magic to enhance what she is already capable of. Her Cutie Mark, therefore, defines a multitude of talents all at once, from her gem-finding, to her use of the gems, to her clothesmaking abilities. One of the things I suspect about Rarity is that deep down, she wants to be loved for more than what she presents to the world. She has received plent of shallow attention from stallions and certainly has no problem using her beauty, wit, and charm to her advantage when she can, but truth is she likely is not all that successful in her romantic endeavors because few desire to see past the surface. If there is one thing she likely doesn't have much of, besides possibly in the form of her friendship with Fluttershy, is someone to listen to her, honestly and truly, and care about what she has to say. Like anyone, she has her need to vent, her need to express herself. Perhaps this is part of why she was so enraged when Sweetie Belle published her diary. Of course that sort of trope is fairly common, but I imagine for Rarity especially she pours some deeply personal thoughts into that diary she can't share with anyone else because no one else wants to listen to her, or so she believes at least. Her relationship with Spike is the trickiest affair of them all. Determining the nature of how she feels about Spike, deep in her heart, is extremely difficult. The G-rated nature of the show and the moral and ethical quandaries surrounding an interspecies relationship--nevermind the "grody" factor that would certainly play into anything the writers deal with--prevent the show from examining the situation too deeply. Worse, the relationship has an extra factor, that of the fact that Rarity is an adult while Spike is a child. Rarity, being the intelligent mare that she is, likely saw through Spike's adoration from the moment she met him. The events of Secret of My Excess make it clear to me that she does care about him, fairly deeply at that, but I don't think she loves him romantically. When they were falling to their deaths, her crying and nodding was her romantic nature causing her to be swept up in the moment, and even there all she is doing is acknowledging that she knows about Spike's crush. She considers his crush cute and thinks highly of him, but I suspect she views their relationship as much more akin to that of a big sister to a little brother, or perhaps aunt to nephew. As such, she loves him platonically. The depth of that love was unclear until Dragon Quest, but she made it obvious there that she would do anything to make sure he's safe. Is it possible that in the future their love might blossom into a full relationship? That really depends upon whether or not Spike would become an adult before Rarity passes away. To be honest, I don't think it ever would. Spike may be crushing on her for now, but when he grows up said love will pass more into a close, high quality friendship. Of course, Rarity cares deeply about Sweetie Belle as well. She probably does not see her sister as often as either of them might like. The nature of that relationship is difficult to clarify. Sisterhooves Social made it clear that the two of them do not often share the same interests, but at the same time Sweetie Belle obviously looks up to her successful sister, a bit too much for poor Rarity at times. For Rarity, Sweetie Belle's antics can be frustrating when she's trying to concentrate, but she loves to spend time with Sweetie Belle when she gets the chance. I imagine Rarity is also grateful to Sweetie Belle for allowing her to become closer friends with Applejack thanks to their connection through the Cutie Mark Crusaders. Rarity, as a character, is often maligned and insulted in ways I feel are unfair to her. She has more depth and is much more generous than people often accredit her for. One of the things I'd like to see done in Season Three is to reveal more of her background, give us a taste of what her childhood was like. I also wouldn't mind some definite answers on the Rarity/Spike relationship. Most importantly though, I just want to see more of Rarity. She is too fun a character to leave her behind and in the background during Season Three. She needs more time to shine, more time to sparkle. She's too good a character to be given any other treatment.
  5. (For the topic prefix, I had no clue what to put, considering it is like a mix of a few of em and none of em at all. So I just put down writing I suppose. Also this is Pony related, so I don't think this goes in the Beyond Ponyville section either.) (Many of you may find this TL:DR) Hello there everypony. I just wanted to spill my thoughts out of some day dreams I've have whenever I play my house or trance music whenever I do play it in my life. Ever since I became a brony in mid-January, I've gotten to know more of the Mane 6's character, personality, and whatnot. Usually, I have had just random day dreams about em, as I'm sure most, if not all, have had before. But when I play my house or trance music on my iPhone, I look at the name of it and I imagine if the song played currently gave some sort of power. Giving some background, I wanted to make a homebrew (think original class) for Dungeons and Dragons. It involved the character being a sort of Music Mage, where his/her songs buffed him/the party and/or debuffed enemy. It didn't give the character a fighting style, but merely complimented it. Back to ponies, that idea leaked into my day dreams and I thought: "What if the Mane 6 could use this sort of power. Now some of you might think why would I have ponies fight? Well, I had planned it so they wouldn't kill, but in the least, disable. And by disable, I just mean something along the lines of to bring unconscious. It is fighting, but more or less restricted fighting. There were times where I'd imagine some big and/or tough enemy and they would have to go all out to take it out. Oh, and I'm there too in order to "cast" the abilities. Because we all want to be a part of their adventures, right? A lot of the house and trance tracks I have can be general or specific. Some are to be solely used by a certain pony, some are for two or three, and others are for the entire party. I kinda imagined it in the sense of Kingdom Hearts where you would have guest party members at certain points, so I imagined Octavia and DJ PON3 (Vinyl Scratch) joining up and using their song (Hybrid - Finished Symphony) in order to combat an enemy. I'm just listing two examples of each genre (considering my house and trance library consist of over 300 songs...) that I can remember off the top of my head and describe who its for, what the abilities and effects are, and all that stuff. (When running through this I put in too much links to YouTube, so only the first one is listed, just to match up with the times I put. For the rest, please search for them! They're great songs!) ~~~~~ Rainbow Dash's "Theme" (Armin van Buuren ft. Ferry Corsten - Brute) [House Music] http-~~-// Generally, the song is supposed to only work for Dash. The song from the get-go speeds up Dash to a speed that she normally doesn't travel at. The song can be used for both combat and as a performance, for example, something she could have used in the Best Young Fliers Competition, but unfair for races and I strongly discourage the RD in my head from doing. A note though is that at around 5:11 in the song, Dash needs to climb altitude for what's to come. At 5:25, her wings magically disappear and she will go into a state of free fall. During this time, time seems to slow down, but at the same time, it doesn't. (It's weird in my head, I suppose.) At 5:50, her wings come back, but they're the size of Princess Celestia and she automatically moves at Sonic Rainboom Speed. But between 5:25 and 5:50, those can be Rainbow Dash's longest 25 seconds ever. At around 7:00, her wings return to normal and she decelerates to her normal speed. In terms of combat, she is extremely evasive and can confuse the target, but still provide damage. In terms of competitions, she can dazzle the crowd with the speed and agility that the song provides. Celestia and Luna "Co-op Team-up" OR Party using the power of Celestia and/or Luna (Above & Beyond ft. Richard Bedford - Sun and Moon (Marcus Schossow Remix)) [Trance Music] This song I thought of Celestia and Luna coming out at one point (not like a summon in KH) and pretty much being boss. They pretty much move quickly, attack fast and hard, and use either light or dark attacks for Celestia and Luna, respectively. Alternatively, the song could be used on the party and they would be able to use their powers. The time of day actually depends as well. If it is daytime, they get Celestia's powers. Nighttime equals Luna's. If it is either sunrise or sunset, they will get both powers, but if it is sunrise, then they get a "regular Luna buff" but a "lesser Celestia buff". The vice versa applies to sunset. I have it that way and not the other way around because sunrise means it still is dark and the light is just beginning. Same for sunset, but the other way around. Me and Another Pony (DJ Tiesto & Sneaky Sound System - I Will Be Here (Original Mix)) [House Music] This song's power is actually based on how much of a relationship/friendship I am with the certain Mane 6 pony. If the relationship is strong and tight, then me and the other pony will get stronger in their sense. Pinkie and Applejack will be physically stronger. Rarity and Twilight will be magically stronger. Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy will fly faster. Even with those basics, they get their own special buffs. Generally this isn't some song I could use early on our adventure if my relationship with any of the ponies isn't strong enough, where another song could fair much better. Another thing is that this song places me as a defender of the pony. Taking into account the lyrics of the song: "You know when the moment comes, to be strong, show resistance and that is what we're led to believe... When the big world falls apart, and you think 'That the feeling will linger', you need somewhere to start. I Will Be Here.", it more or less places me to make sure that nothing will happen to the specified pony and that I truly care for her. I am her shield and defender. It also mimics outside of combat when I would need to build on their relationships by expressing that "I will be here" for you whenever you're down and need help. Me and the Mane 6 (Lemon & Einar K ft. Paul Johannessen - Everlasting (Original Mix)) [Trance Music] This song could be one of the "last resort" songs in my library. If for whatever reason that the entire Mane 6 is down, and I'm the only one standing, I can activate the song. The song slowly heals the Mane 6 and they all start floating around me. A sort of bubble shield appears all around them, except me. Wherever I move, they move. They have increased defense to prevent them from getting downed and constant hp recovery. As for me, I don't have anything else to back me up. It is pretty much all me at this point. The song only aids in recovering those downed. If for whatever reason a shield breaks, the song automatically switches me and the other pony. I take the hit and the other pony is safe. The other ponies can attack in their shields, but they at least need me to send them out and they return as soon as they have finished their attack. This is one of the more risky songs, along with last resort, because if I am downed at whatever point, the shields disappear and the healing stops at whatever point they were at. ~~~~~ I haven't really had some sort of story going along with these songs. It's more or less when a song comes up in my iPhone, the battle just starts. It's like a dream: you don't know how it started, you just seem to be right in the middle of it (taking something from Inception. =P). Anyway, that's all I have to say for this. If you're curious about this, please ask questions and I'll be happy to answer! If you're wondering about what I had as the "theme" for each of the Mane 6 members, including mine, here they are, with tiny reasons as to why, but I won't list the specifics. Twilight Sparkle P.O.S. - Gravity [Trance Music] The name to me suggested that her magic became amplified to such a degree that there was such a pressure around her. I pictured that there were stars around her with this gravity around her. It kinda makes Twilight happy because she feels this enormous magical power that, ultimately, will want to make her study and practice magic more. Rarity Dezza - Allure (Original Mix) [House Music] There was a point where I thought what Rarity's might be, but after searching the definition of allure, the power to attract, I knew this was hers. The song goes will with her, in my opinion. Applejack Johan Gielen - Physical Overdrive [Trance Music] Applejack is a strong character in MLP, so I thought that the name, Physical Overdrive, went well with her strength. Not much to say about this actually. Pinkie Pie Fonzerelli - Moonlight Party 2011 (Original Born Again Mix) [House Music] It's Pinkie Pie. Why would her theme NOT be about partying? Fluttershy Alex M.O.R.P.H ft. Sylvia Tosun - An Angel's Love [Trance Music] Fluttershy's Theme just represent her love and nonviolence (in my day dreams, Flutts is the one that attacked the least, if not at all). Considering that she is the element of kindness, and how the song relates to angels (maybe even referring to her pet bunny, Angel?), this fits well. The vocals in this song are also beautiful, and I imagine Fluttershy singing them herself at times. Rainbow Dash Armin van Buuren ft. Ferry Corsten - Brute [House Music] (Listed above) Dash's theme was the first one I had thought of. I don't say that she is a brute, according to the name of the song, it's just that for an odd reason, I just imagined Dash's wings magically improving and disappearing and then becoming big and moving at Sonic Rainboom Speed. It just fit well in my head. Anyway, thanks for reading and again, if you have any questions, please ask!