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Found 16 results

  1. Autobiography The earliest memory I could remember was my mother and father pushing me along in a baby stroller. I recall the stroller having a rainbow sun visor that didn't work for shit. I was very uncomfortable and hot, I felt like I was going to die, that day I didn't know that the worst was yet to come. Growing up I didn't like a lot of things, milk, vegetables and electrical outlets. So much so that I would either throw the milk, not eat my vegetables or stick my baby fingers into outlets. The result; discomfort and pain for either me or my mother. My mother and I have a long history, not all glamorous but it had it's ups and downs. My father was never in the picture so not having a strong male influence was hard for my mom. I turned out great, and hopefully she thinks so too. Though growing up since she had weight problems naturally I did as well. I was always a chubby kid and miserable. I was so self conscious that when I was on the swim team I would wear a swim shirt. I was bullied of course and made fun of in and outside of school. I still even remember the bully's name to this day; Ryan Fisher. Since I didn't know how to stand up for myself my mother forced me to play football for 3 years. I absolutely loathed the sport and her for forcing me through three years of football. I hated it so much I would lock myself in the bathroom and say “I'm going to the bathroom” to avoid having to go to football practice. This made me feel even worse along with having to deal with my chubbiness at the time. Fast forward to middle school and you have a different kid. Thank God for puberty. Usually people say that it was awkward, but for me it was a blessing. It turns out that I just wasn't growing until I hit puberty and once that happened I shot up and was very slim. I had a 6 pack for the first time in my life and I was very much in shape. I could physically overpower the other kids. Which is the reason why I started wrestling in 6th grade. I took a chance and found out that I was actually good at the sport. I was a machine. Once puberty hit I never looked back. I even took a chance and joined the school football team in the 8th grade and continued to play all 4 years of high school. I love playing and watching football, especially the Ravens. Toward the end of high school my mother underwent gastric bypass surgery, quit smoking and started to run. For a short period in my life I was happy, I was happy for my situation, my friends, my family, and most of all myself. Looking back high school was the most changing experience however. High school was where everything was changed. Girls took residence on radar. Though my first real relationship was in middle school high school is where a lot of stuff happened for me. During my jr. year was when I started really dating. The girl was a senior and she was very nice, and before I knew it prom was right around the corner. However for some reason she was very protective of her phone which was weird because she was never that way before. I did a little investigating unlocked her phone and found out that she was talking to another guy. Oh how the world crumbled around me. I confronted her and she had this to say “Well I told you not to go in my phone.” Despite this we still went to prom. The next girlfriend I had was a very self conscious individual and was there to witness what had happened with me and my ex at the time. She was there to help me pick up the pieces and for a while we were happy. She told me she loved me and I told her the same, it was a happy relationship we had going on and we promised not to ever cheat on one another. Fast forward 11 months into the future and only 11 days until our anniversary. We were talking over skype when she dropped the bombshell of all bombshells. She had told me that she had been talking to another guy and sure enough my girlfriend broke up with me and surprisingly enough cheated on me. This time however I was a wreck, and I didn't know how to cope. When I look back on my life however, I only regret not living puberty to it's fullest. Finally here I am today, that's my life in a short nutshell. I am currently enrolled into Elizabethtown College and I am enjoying it here. I have been working hard and I have still not decided what I should chose to focus on for a major. However I know where]ever life will take me next I will surely be in it for the long haul.
  2. Ok, I'm not sure if this is even suitable for an actual thread, or rather a status. Either way, I just need some help real quick-like For the last big essay of my college English class, we are to choose opposing viewpoints. Being the slightly edgy lad I am, I decided to talk about Hitler, and how he did so many good things for Germany, yet his name is pretty synonymous with evil, so far as most people are concerned. Lo and behold, I start doing the research, only to find that the sole database we are allowed to use has virtually nothing on him aside from the standard biographies. I'm debating whether to just scrap the concept completely and switch to a new topic, or just ask the professor if I'm allowed to delve a little off the database to get some solid research that isn't being padded with filler information. Any idea for new topics, or should I just try to reach out with the professor's approval?
  3. This is an essay I wrote for my English class. We had to write about how it felt to be something about us, and I naturally chose autism. My teacher loved it so much, that I even got to read it in front of the entire school faculty. So here it is. How it Feels to be Autistic Me Sometimes, I feel as if I am from a foreign country. I sometimes have trouble picking up social cues and I always feel different compared to everyone else. The comparison of me to other people is like comparing someone from America to someone from France. Thus is my journey through my life of having autism. On some days, I feel like I am from England. For example, when I go to school, everyone has different social cues when talking to people like sarcasm, and joking around with people. When I hear these jokes, I sometimes take them a little too seriously. It is like these people have a different social standard compared to me. I talk a bit more formal at school like someone in England, while others talk like they are more casual like they are from America, That does not mean I don’t have any American blood. I can talk casual, just not as much as others. This is what can cause bumps in the road on my journey. On other days, I feel like I am from Brazil. In Brazil, the popular sport is Soccer while in America, the popular sport is Football. I have somewhat different interests than most kids. While most boys my age are into extreme sports, I am into watching cartoons. I never saw the appeal in throwing or kicking around a ball trying to score a point. I found my interests in having a cartoon give me a good old laugh. This makes it hard for me to talk about my interests because not many people are into the same activities I am. I do find other kids with these interests, but they are the kids I barely see. However, I have found some safe spots in my journey. When you go to some foreign country, you bring along a guest or someone to translate for you. This is the case when I’m at home. My family knows about autism and they do what they can to help me be treated just like everybody else. My mom gives me all the advice I need on how to be socially acceptable. My older sister keeps me entertained and gives me more personal advice that my mom struggles on giving. My step dad gives me more of the joking advice, to play along with me so I learn how to take a joke. With all these family members, I have clear translation on my journey. When in another country, you may also be handicapped with certain things such as being able to understand people. This is the case for me with anything involving motor skills. I grew up having fine motor issues, meaning that stuff like driving, drawing or tying my shoes is really hard to me. I did not learn how to tie my shoes until I was 12. I want to learn how to draw, but that will take a lot of practice and more learning. My drawing skills have gotten better though. I just need to relax and look at a reference picture to get it down well. I have found ways to get through this setback on my journey. The journey around the world with autism may be a long one, but it sure is a wild ride. I may not be as good at some tasks as other people are, but that doesn’t mean I am much lesser of a person than they are. I can talk, I can walk, I can socialize, and I know what is socially acceptable. This here is what makes my journey complete.
  4. This is a causal essay I wrote for a college English class (which I received a really good grade for; I don't mean to brag), and I thought I would post it here and ask the Brony community for feedback: What do you think? Am I right (or at least on the right track)? For full MLA formatting, including double-spacing and the properly formatted "Works Cited", see the attached copy of the essay. MLP Causal Essay.doc A few NOTES TO READERS: The term "Pegasister" was not included in this paper because "Brony" is an all-inclusive term that spans across both genders. I have nothing against those who prefer "Pegasister," but because it's my essay, for simplicity's sake I chose not to include it. I changed the name (from my real name) in the essay to match my username. I also erased my teacher's name from the essay. I know this essay is lengthy (the requirement was 4-5 pages, and I just had a lot of fun with it), but I encourage you to please read through all of it. I'm sure you're going to love what you read. Enjoy! My Little Pony: A “Colt” Following When you think of shows for kids, Saturday morning cartoons and anything airing on Nickelodeon or Disney channel might all come to mind. Usually, these shows are geared towards the younger, 2-11 year old demographic (Pollack), though certain shows are also aimed at teens. There are also, of course, cartoons aimed exclusively at adults, such as Family Guy and anything else by Seth MacFarlane, The Simpsons or Archer. It is uncommon and nearly unheard of that a cartoon TV show where the main demographic is young girls would have an audience of adults, especially older males. That, however, is exactly the case with a certain Saturday morning cartoon. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, airing Saturday mornings on the Hub Network (formerly Discovery Kids), has skyrocketed in popularity since its debut, starting out with 1.4 million monthly viewers and growing to 4 million by the end of the first season (House). Despite social and cultural conventions, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic continues to gain older fans because of executive producer Lauren Faust, the Internet, and aspects of the show itself including its complex characters, pop culture references, catchy music, unassuming and inexplicit morals, and entertaining/original storylines. The “My Little Pony” franchise started with a toy line in 1981 called “My Pretty Pony” (Lewis), and a show (later known as the “first generation” by fans) didn’t start until 1983. Fast-forward a few years, the social impact of the show and toy line became visible as the franchise grew popular in 1992 in the United States, and so did the gender roles wherein ponies were thought to be a girl’s thing, while boys were marketed with toys such as G.I. Joe to play with. When the TV show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, the fourth “generation” of the My Little Pony franchise’s show and characters first aired back in October of 2010, the intended audience for the show was 2 – 11 year olds (Pollack). As the show grew, it gained a massive following from an unexpected audience of 18 – 49 year old adults, especially 15 – 39 year old males (Kern). Calling themselves “bronies” (a collective term combining the words “bro” and “pony”), they span a growing membership of at least 75,000 members according to the official Facebook page, and many members of this community even participate in real-world and online activities related to the show. None of the elements of the show would have been possible, however, if it weren’t for the creativity of former executive producer (for the first and second seasons) Lauren Faust, who spearheaded the idea and launch of the show. Lauren Faust was born in 1974 and is known as a writer for shows such as The Powerpuff Girls and Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends. When she tried to pitch her idea of an original concept to Hasbro, the company behind the My Little Pony franchise, it was rejected, with an explanation such as “Girls don’t watch cartoons” (Faust). It was then that Lisa Licht, a senior executive form Hasbro approached Faust with the idea of remaking the concept of rebooting the My Little Pony series (BOC Editorial; Strike). It was this opportunity that gave Faust the chance to have her moment in the spotlight. After “[…] years and years […]” (Faust) of pitching ideas to Hasbro, the latter now had a pitch for her. Looking back at the previous generations of the show, which were overly girly with no personalities between the characters, the primary goal of the series was to sell toys, and the TV show was merely an afterthought. This is exactly the kind of thing Faust wanted to avoid. According to Faust, "To look at the quality of most girls’ cartoons, it would seem that not one artist really cared about them. Not one designer, not one background painter, not one animator. Some of the more well-meaning, more expensive animated productions for girl audiences may look better, but the female characters have been so homogenized with old-fashioned “niceness” that they have no flaws and are un-relatable. They are so pretty, polite and perfect; there is no legitimate conflict and nothing exciting ever happens. In short, animated shows for little girls come across as boring. Stupid. Lame." Lauren Faust’s contribution in steering the show away from the generic, product-driven plotlines is a large factor in why the show is so popular among adults. Of course, the Internet also played a role in spreading the wildfire. When the Friendship is Magic series premiered, some parents decided to watch it along with their kids. Upon liking what they saw, word started to spread about the TV show and later original works of art, music, and video parodies including remakes of songs and episodes, some with even stronger adult-oriented themes (such as the YouTube parody series My Little Pony: Friendship is Witchcraft, wherein the characters are near opposites of what they are in the show), soon followed. Hasbro as a company has generally taken a laid-back approach to this trend, allowing for the growth of the fandom. The only notable case in which Hasbro has intervened in a fan-based work was in the case of a computer game made by adult fans as a result of the show’s popularity amongst adults. Developed by a small group who calls themselves Mane 6, My Little Pony: Fighting is Magic was developed as a street-fighting style game using the characters from the show as the players in the game. After Hasbro caught wind of this, however, it sent Mane 6 a cease and desist letter to halt the production, with which after negotiations, Mane 6 eventually complied. Since then, another group of fans have published a “Tribute” edition of the game, which has spread around the Web, and looks exactly like the original Fighting is Magic game. Mane 6 claims to have had no part in the game, and no (legal) action has been taken on Hasbro’s side as of yet (Koch; Mane 6 DevTeam). The show itself includes specific elements that can be attributed to its popularity. For example, some of the characters have been pulled from previous generations of the show and were given a complete makeover, usually in both personality and appearance (Lewis). The morals and lessons in the show are not obvious and are only revealed subtly at the end of the episode. Episodes contain references to pop culture (such as other franchises, TV shows, movies, and other media; from Batman to I Love Lucy to “Weird Al” Yankovic, who has guest-starred in the episode “Pinkie Pride”), and events from previous episodes, as a sort of reward to regular viewers. Artist Andy Price, a fan of the show, adds that “A child can take away silly humor and fun art and even some lessons. An adult can take away the same, plus the cultural references and the sly witticisms." (Truitt). Several songs in the show have catchy tunes and/or lyrics such as “The Goof Off” from season four, or darker themes such as “This Day Aria” from the season two two-part finale. In fact, Daniel Ingram, composer and song-writer for My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, remarked on the success of “This Day Aria” as one of the darker songs from the show, stating that “[…] there’s room in children’s programming for emotional music and darker music and you don’t hear it very often, but I think people love it when it’s good.” (Burlingame). The show also contains jokes that adults would understand, but kids would either not care or be left scratching their heads. One notable example is visible in the episode “Owl’s Well That Ends Well”, wherein one character named Spike falls into a punchbowl, exhausted from his work earlier in the day. The joke is then made that the punch has been “spiked”, prompting all of the characters in the scene to laugh. Some people might say that adults don’t like to watch children’s shows, or that only an immature person would be amused enough to do so. Still others might claim that My Little Pony is nothing more than a children’s show, albeit one for little girls. In a recent case, a nine-year-old boy was told by his school that he cannot wear his backpack, which displays My Little Pony insignia, to school as it poses a risk for bullying (Candler); the assumption being that boys should have nothing to do with My Little Pony, because it’s a girls’ thing. Sadly, this is a common misconception that is perfectly illustrated within the environment of an elementary school. Fortunately, adults possess a power which most elementary students do not, the ability to keep an open mind, another possible attribute towards the show’s popularity. Disbelievers should try watching the show with an open mind and look at the ratings the show has received, including an 8.0/10 on the International Movie Database, 8.7/10 on TV.com, and a 4/5 star review by Common Sense Media, a website that rates the quality of media for kids (“My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic” IMDb; “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic” TV.com; Ashbury). Therefore, given that there is such a large following and the ratings are high enough to make My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic one of the most popular shows on the Hub Network; it is easy to see that My Little Pony is no ordinary children’s cartoon, and that there are indeed redeeming qualities that drive its popularity. The TV series My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic grew to be popular amongst adults because of the creative input of Lauren Faust, the word of the show and fan-made work spread around the Internet, and the unique elements in the show that especially appeal to an older audience. If you’re still unconvinced about the appeal of My Little Pony, perhaps the best words of advice come from Lauren Faust herself, who encourages “[…] skeptics […] to watch My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic with an open mind. If I’m doing my job right, I think you’ll be surprised” (Faust). Works Cited Ashbury, Emily. "My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic." TV Review. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2014. BOC Editorial. "Hasbro Studios Appoints Lisa Licht & Linda Steiner in Senior Positions." Businessofcinema.com. N.p., 15 Oct. 2009. Web. 18 Mar. 2014. Burlingame, Russ. "My Little Pony’s Emmy-Winning Daniel Ingram on Scoring for Kids of All Ages." Comicbookcom. N.p., 1 Mar. 2013. Web. 19 Mar. 2014. Candler. "Mom: School Bans Son's 'My Little Pony' Backpack Due to Bullying Risk." Mom: North Carolina School Bans Son Grayson Bruce's 'My Little Pony' Backpack Due to Bullying Risk. N.p., 18 Mar. 2014. Web. 20 Mar. 2014. Faust, Lauren. "My Little NON-Homophobic, NON-Racist, NON-Smart-Shaming Pony: A Rebuttal." Ms Magazine Blog. N.p., 24 Dec. 2010. Web. 18 Mar. 2014. House, Kelly. "Meet 'bronies' -- Grown Men Who Are Fans of My Little Pony." The Oregonian. N.p., 17 Sept. 2011. Web. 17 Mar. 2014. Kern, Mark. "Hub TV Network Scores Record High Audience With Outstanding Performance of Special Royal Wedding of the Year on 'My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic'" (NYSE:HAS). Hasbro, 24 Apr. 2012. Web. 17 Mar. 2014. Koch, Cameron. "GameInformer." Fan-Made My Little Pony Fighting Game Available To Download. N.p., 4 Mar. 2014. Web. 20 Mar. 2014. Lewis, Chad. "My Little Pony G1 - G4 Review | RETOONED." YouTube. YouTube, 06 Mar. 2014. Web. 17 Mar. 2014. Mane6 DevTeam. "Friendly Reminder | Mane6." Mane6. N.p., 28 Feb. 2014. Web. 20 Mar. 2014. "My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic." IMDb. IMDb.com, n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2014. "My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic." TV.com. Ed. Taker65. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2014. Pollack, Judann. "'My Little Pony: The Friendship Is Magic' Gains Unexpected Audience -- Adults." Advertising Age Special Report Americas Hottest Brands RSS. Advertising Age, 28 Nov. 2011. Web. 17 Mar. 2014. Strike, Joe. "Of Ponies and Bronies." Animation World Network. N.p., 5 July 2011. Web. 18 Mar. 2014. Truitt, Brian. "'My Little Pony' Plants a Hoof in Pop Culture." USA Today. Gannett, 26 Nov. 2012. Web. 19 Mar. 2014. Also, if any-pony knows how to double-space posts, please let me know how!
  5. Peace and What it Means Peace is our own intuitive notion of understanding people; aspects which consist of what they have to offer and accepting them for their inherent nature. Without being able to understand one another, how people feel act and think, we will never be truly able to be at peace with one another, and even with one's own self. I believe that violence is a cycle of hatred toward one another. People don't even see other people as human beings. We are all human beings and that alone sets us out to be different from every other animal in the animal kingdom. We as human beings have the tools and intellect to be smarter than resorting to killing each other. We can survive without having violence and war unlike our ancestors, which says a lot in how we have come since the cavemen scene. Since we are humans and we have become smarter over the ages I believe is an insult to all of humanity to condone in any violence to resolve any issue. Who are we to have come so far that we have the most advanced society set up with languages, traveling and culture to resort to killing another human being and essentially erasing their existence off of the Earth? We have no right to play God (assuming God exists) and we certainly do not have all of answers to begin with. Much still remains unknown and we have no right to kill one another. Looking into black on black violence “Since 1964, approximately half of the violent crime committed each year in the United States is attributable to young Black males, who represent less than 3 percent of the total population.” There are many reasons for black on black violence however, such as lack of resources, education, environment and culture. In about looking at all of those different factors it's hard to think that there isn't a lack of understanding in the black community. That's just one example however. If young black men see more value into gaining possessions which are idealized by the American public and media than how can peace even be achieved. Peace starts with us. When we have inner peace we can than expand out toward our families and friends, our dear loved ones. Once we have peace within out circle of people we can have peace with other groups of people connected. Since we are all connected in essence we would all be connected in a system or network of peace. When this hypothetical network of connections is made then we all truly be at peace. A lot of peace also has to deal with forgiveness. If we cannot forgive one another than we cannot truly be at peace, even when people try to convince themselves that they are. Forgiving someone is harder said than done especially when dealing with things such as violence, abuse and god forbid, death. When the topics are trivial it's easier to forgive but that is the first step however. Learning how to forgive one another even with the smallest things, such as borrow a shirt or breaking something that wasn't originally yours. If we hold grudges we wont be able to advance anywhere in life.
  6. Alicorn Apotheosis: An Ascension Analysis Fillies and Gentlecolts, it's been a week now since the season finale, and the discussion has not lost its steam. The advent of Princess Twilight has taken us all by surprise, and the episode has generated more questions, it seems, than answers. I'd like to take a bit of time to analyze what happened and put forth my own theories as to what we should take from this evolution. I intend to be thorough (read: long-winded) and proceed from some basic literary theory (read: think-y). There will be no tl;dr. Abandon all hope, ye who enter here. Disclaimer: It shouldn't be necessary, but I think I should state, here and now, that I claim no special knowledge of where the show is headed or the writer's intentions. I haven't read up on any expanded universe history, nor have I followed the cast and crew on twitter or listened to their interviews. I've only just joined the herd in the past few months, so what I know, and what I will be interpreting, is the show itself. The opinions of the author are just that: opinions, founded solely in the madness which is his by birthright. To begin, any analysis will have to be based on certain assumptions. There are a number of theories about the nature of Equestria, many of which are contradictory. Thus, I'm going to begin by laying out my base assumptions and the logic behind them. On Alicorns and Princesses One thing I noticed, even before the announcement of Princess Twilight, was the confluence of royalty and being an Alicorn. When it was just the Celestial Sisters, Luna and Celestia, it was nothing of consequence; both ruled, merely splitting the timing of their rulerships. It was a brilliant solution, ensuring that the inhabitants of Equestria would always have a guardian watching over them. Princess Cadence, however, threw a bit of a wrench in the works. Now we have a princess who is only that: a princess. When we first see her in A Canterlot Wedding, she has no rulership, no apparent responsibilities, and no real talents of special note. In fact, all we know of her history is that she was Twilight Sparkle's foalsitter. That struck me as something odd. Out of all the courtiers, guards, servants, and other ponies under Celestia's command, she chose a princess to watch over a foal. A foal who had a highly protective big brother already. The inescapable conclusion is that this princess had no more pressing job. Without any information on her parentage, we have to assume that simply having wings and a horn made her a princess by default, even with no subjects or responsibilities to take on. At this point, I will address a tangent issue: immortality. A widely held belief is that being an alicorn automatically grants an exceedingly long life. I don't hold to this view for one main reason: Cadence. When she took on the job of caring for Twilight, she was obviously still young enough to relate to the young filly on her level. Beyond her mental and emotional connection to a filly, she was also drawn much more like a younger pony. The difference is subtle, and primarily in the manestyle, but foalsitter Princess Cadence looks more like a teenager, while Crystal Princess Cadence is a young adult. She may be immortal, but all the indications are that she is not. And since the timeframe of the show is obviously going to be far less than the lifespan of the characters, I doubt we'll ever find out either way. Back to the foalsitting princess concept. I will not say that looking after Twilight was an unimportant job; far from it. Twilight was a truly exceptional foal, as evidenced by her inherent talent, her obvious latent power (transforming two living ponies, levitating four others, and not just hatching, but maturing a dragon to several tons instantly by accident at the same time), and her voracious desire for knowledge, but my point remains: this was not a job that needed a princess to do it. Cue cries of "Trollestia!" However, there's another reason. Possibly, just possibly, Cadence was given the job not just for Twilight's benefit, but her own. Celestia would know, better than most, how incredibly lonely it can be as a princess. As an immortal, she would have long outlived any contemporaries she grew up with, and a princess, a ruler, really doesn't have anyone she can make friends with. She has a sister that she was forced to lock away, a student, another princess who is far more likely to be treated as a daughter or student herself, and subjects. As caring as she is, Celestia would never, ever wish that fate on another living soul. Despite the age difference, Twilight was the closest to a friend Cadence would ever have. Being the student of (effectively) the Queen of Equestria and the most powerful sorceress as well might jade little Twilight into being unimpressed with a princess who has little more to do than braid her mane, push her on a swing, and play pat-a-hoof with her. Friends are, by definition, peers. Equals. People who can love you for who you are, not what you are. Most importantly, they're fundamentally unconcerned with what they can get from you. Celestia must have been overjoyed when her plan succeeded beyond her wildest expectations, netting little Cadence two friends at once. The key to a successful marriage is, first and foremost, friendship. Shining Armor loved his little sister more than anything, so it would be only natural that he would become friends with the other pony in the world who cared as much for her as he did. Over time, that friendship would blossom into even more, creating a love that would bear her up under the direst of circumstances. Supporting the idea that Cadence had limited opportunities for friendship is her wedding. Chrysalis did a fundamentally poor job of disguising herself. She did not have Cadence's personality, bearing, or compassion. Even Celestia herself was fooled, meaning their relationship would not have been terribly close. There was just enough distance that Celestia could write off the change to "wedding jitters." Shining Armor was ensorcelled, so good luck there. Out of everyone else, only Twilight saw something was wrong, terribly wrong. So much so she was willing to make a scene in front of her friends and mentor. Not even the bridesmares were especially close to Cadence. When thinking about who to include in the most important day of her young life, Cadence would naturally want those she loved most with her. When confronted with the ensorcelled bridesmares in the cavern below, Cadence's reaction speaks volumes; she did not pity them, or fear for them, or try to break through the enchantment. She was outright afraid of them. When Twilight tricked them into jumping over a cliff, her first and only response was relief. Not concern for their well-being, or whether they were hurt, or if they'd be alright when or if the enchantress was defeated. She smiled at Twilight and ran. But wait, if friendship is so important, and Cadence had nothing better to do anyway, why not wait to elevate her to a Princess until after she made friends? I can only come to one logical conclusion: Celestia had no hoof in Cadence being an alicorn. She was (cue Lady Gaga) Born That Way. And since Celestia can't have elevated herself (obviously), both Celestial Sisters were likely born as they were as well; not just alicorns, but a species even further removed: Immortal Alicorns. On Celestia and Friendship I touched on this before, but Celestia could not have had any friends. I recently discovered "Lullaby for a Princess," and it is a heartbreakingly beautiful song. It is even sadder once I realized this fundamental truth. As pointed out before, Celestia has only one equal: her sister, Luna. As an equal, Celestia had no choice but to imprison her insane sister, and it was only via the Elements of Harmony that she managed that much. I say "she had no choice," although she did, actually, have a choice. Her other option was to be defeated, thrown down, and watch her people suffer under the iron hoof of an insane, jealous, and, deep down, terribly, terribly lonely mare. She could never defeat, truly overpower, her sister and break through the hatred that made her Nightmare Moon. With great power comes great responsibility; forced to choose between her love for her sister and the responsibility to guard her people, Celestia had to choose the latter. Being a princess sucks. Aside from Luna, Celestia has a student, a protege princess, and subjects. While the first two could become close to her, as daughters, perhaps, they would never be able to overcome the difference in age, power, wisdom, experience, and authority to truly relate to her on her own level. Without that fundamental connection, she could not have any friends, and thus, could not learn, personally, the power of friendship. In this case, the magic of friendship is not something that can be learned via theory; it must be experienced. Along comes little Twilight. She adores Celestia, she craves knowledge about magic more than food or drink, and, heartbreakingly, she has little desire for friendship. She's too young, too naive to realize what a precious gift she's throwing away, and being made Celestia's personal student would have only compounded her isolation. Even in a land build on friendship, harmony, and love, there's social climbers who would see a young, innocent filly as just another steppingstone on their way up. A young, innocent filly with a personal relationship to the most powerful pony in the entire nation, socially, magically, and politically? A goldmine. At this point, I should say that assigning Princess Cadence as Twilight's foalsitter obviously wasn't solely for Cadence's benefit. Cadence is already a princess, and already under Celestia's personal aegis (presumably). With no personal interest in social climbing, Cadence would be uniquely situated to protect little Twilie from those unscrupulous souls. Unfortunately, Cadence wasn't enough by herself. She was closER in age and temperament to Twilight, but that's not to say she was truly her peer. Obviously, manipulation of circumstances wasn't going to overcome Twilight's natural aloofness, so Celestia resorted to her only other option: authority. She all but ordered Twilight to make friends, and to reinforce that edict, she sent her to Ponyville. Not Manehattan, not Fillydelphia, but the most rural, bass-ackward, unsophisticated burg she could find. A place noticably lacking in social climbers, manipulators, and powermongers. Celestia was held in awe, as she was everywhere, but a student is, well, just a student. Let's be nice and call her an arcane researcher. A historian. Or, as Rainbow Dash so affectionately refers, an "egghead." Yes, that was an inspired, and likely very well planned decision. A place where Twilight could become her own mare, have her own household, and make friends so comfortable with her that they are willing to kid around with her, unconcerned about offending her. Of course, saving Twilight from a lifetime of lonesome spinsterhood was likely not the only reason Celestia was interested in her making friends. After a thousand years, Celestia had to have known the power of friendship, even if she could not experience it herself. She must have witnessed countless acts of selfless sacrifice, heroism, bravery, generosity, joy (ok, ok, I'm about to start recounting the traits of the Mane 6, and we don't want to go there) all for the sake of a loved one. To have used the Elements of Harmony, without assistance, means she had to have a basic understanding of how it worked. Whether she knew or merely suspected is an unanswerable question, but the coincidence of Twilight being sent to a place where she could make friends, being ordered to do so, near where the Elements of Harmony were waiting, on the precipice of Nightmare Moon's return strain credibility. "Once is happenstance, twice is circumstance, three times in enemy (or friendly, in this case) action" is the saying that comes to mind. Celestia was strong enough, with the aid of the Elements, to overcome and imprison her sister. She knew that, she'd done it a millenium ago. Why not repeat it? Celestia was lonely. So very lonely. Despite being immortal, supreme ruler, ultimate sorceress, she was still a pony. She'd been bearing the burden of two ponies, ruling day and night, for a thousand years. She didn't just want her sister back; she needed her, desperately. She arranged events to play out just as she hoped, and then was sent into exile. By this point, wracked with guilt, loneliness, and desperation, she likely went willingly, even gladly, as a chance to rest and perhaps even atone for her failure. Failure to love her sister enough to prevent Luna's corruption, and then failure to redeem her. It might not have even been possible in the first place, but to someone as dedicated to her responsibility as Celestia, it would certainly have felt like a failure. In doing this, Celestia took a hideous risk. Twilight could have failed. Her sister might have grown even more powerful in exile. Any number of things could have gone wrong. But they did not, and, more importantly, it opened Twilight up to new possibilities. Once she realized that friendship had a magic all its own, she would have to pursue that knowledge with all her heart. If Celestia had taken on Nightmare Moon and triumphed, Twilight never would have found out this magic, made friends, or harnessed the Elements of Harmony. That would have been a tragic waste, because Twilight Sparkle, whose gift is magic, whose drive for learning is unmatched, and who is, at heart, just a normal unicorn, is the only one who can learn this magic. Celestia would like to, but, as I said, has no friends. Other ponies have friends, but don't understand magic the way Celestia or Twilight do. Most likely never even realize that it is magic. An opportunity to learn about and harness this new power might never show up again. There's a common trend I'm noticing with all these decisions of Celestia: she never has just one reason for making these choices, and never just one good outcome. She's thinking like a princess, a ruler. It's almost Machiavellian, but benevolent. It also indicates that the princess, and by extension, the writers, think highly enough of us to slip this into the show without feeling they have to beat us over the head with it. Or maybe I'm just overthinking things. Wild speculation time: is it possible that Celestia knew that this power would be needed, and soon? It certainly seems convenient that Twilight was tasked with finding and understanding a new form of magic just in time for several Epic Bad Guys to show up which Celestia was ill-equipped to deal with. The redemption of Nightmare Moon, the defeat, then release and rehabilitation of Discord, the rise of the Changelings and Queen Chrysalis, and the return of the Crystal Empire and King Sombra in an incredibly short timeframe is indicative of a very rough time for Equestria in the near future. Especially given that Celestia thought it was a good (or perhaps, necessary) idea to risk literally everything over the redemption of two such powerful, potentially destructive enemies. Enemies which had proven they were capable of out-muscling, out-magicking, or, in Discord's case, out-thinking the Sun Princess. But that's another essay. Addendum to wild speculation: the Mane 6, not just Twilight Sparkle, are the Death Star. They are an ultimate weapon. Maybe not the correct terminology for a show about friendship and happiness, but there it is. Nightmare Moon made Celestia disappear without anyone noticing. Discord outsmarted her. Chrysalis went head-to-head with her and trounced her handily. Sombra popped up in the far north where Celestia was too busy or, possibly, physically unable to go. She sends in the Mane 6 and they triumph. Every. Single. Time. Luna and Discord redeemed when Celestia only managed to imprison, Chrysalis at full power and with her entire army at hand get banished, Sombra reincarnated gets shattered, his remnant power exiled. Conclusion: Twilight Sparkle and her friends are not just the equal of Celestia in power; they are stronger, united. On History This section should be relatively short, as we have relatively little to go on. I guess I should say I have relatively little to go on, as I haven't read any expanded universe history, canon or fanon. I'm not sure I could discern the difference, so I'll just stick with what I know: the show. "Hearth's Warming Eve" is the only pre-Equestria history shown on the show, and it's a stylized play, so I can't be sure entirely how factual it is. This uncertainty is compounded by the fact that we know Equestria has existed for over a thousand years (the duration of Luna's imprisonment), meaning it's probably about as accurate as your average Christmas pageant is at depicting life in the outer provinces of the Roman Empire. The earlier sections of this essay can be considered inference based on implication; any interpretive history of pre-Equestria can only be considered inference based on implication based on supposition. There's not a whole lot to draw from the play, but two things did jump out at me. Firstly, Celestia and Luna do not pre-date Equestria, nor does the alicorn rulership. Secondly, Starswirl the Bearded does pre-date Equestria. The first can be noted by its absence. Not only are Celestia and Luna completely absent, but there are no mentions of alicorns at all, and the primary task of the Celestial Sisters, raising the sun and moon, is instead handled by the unicorns. Moreover, the ability of the alicorns to lead is, presumably, based on their ability to relate to all three forms of pony. Alicorns fly like pegasi, use magic like unicorns, and walk like earth ponies. I'll note that, yes, unicorns and pegasi both have legs and can walk, so earth ponies seem more to be defined by what they lack than any special gift. I can't really address the unicorn one, but I will note this; how often do you see a pegasus walk? It's actually surprisingly uncommon. Rainbow Dash, even Fluttershy, the pegasus with acrophobia, tend to hover even at rest. Celestia doesn't. But I digress. My point is that Equestria was founded before Celestia became princess, possibly even before she was born. It doesn't seem to be important to the understanding of how Princess Twilight came about (the ostensible point of my excessive verbosity (that means I'm a bighuge windbag )), but I assure you, I'll come back to that. The other point is that Starswirl the Bearded did, in fact, exist prior to the founding of Equestria, as he taught Clover the Clever, advisor to Princess Platinum the unicorn. It's very possible that Starswirl did not even live to see the founding of Equestria, but we don't address the concept of death in a children's show, so we'll just conveniently ignore that fact. If he did survive, it would likely be as a result of a spell he cast which might have transformed him into an immortal trickster spirit dedicated to sowing chaos and havoc. I speak, of course, of the theory that Starswirl and Discord are one and the same. Ok, I lied, I have read some fan theories. The only conclusion I can draw is that either Celestia never met Starswirl the Bearded, or if she had, it was not until well after he had descended into madness and chaos. If so, then any meeting she would have had with him would be less likely to involve discussing magical theory over tea and crumpets and more likely to involve magical death-blasts, chocolate rain, and the inevitable petrification of the loser. This will be important later. Get To The Point, Already! I did warn you this would be a long read. But I think I've laid in the basic groundwork for an analysis of the Magical Mystery Cure. And here we go. Act I - Occupation Dislocation As we open the show, Twilight is singing about how wonderful everything is going. The sun is shining, people are going about their business, and "everything is certainly fine!" Poor Twilight. After all her reading, and after all her adventures, she should know better than to give Fate a straight line like that. Rainbow Dash dumps a raincloud on her head just as she's reaching the big finish. Except it's not Rainbow Dash. It's Rarity, doing her very best at doing Rainbow Dash's job and failing miserably. Not only does she have Rainbow Dash's job, but her cutie mark as well. Twilight then runs to each of her friends in turn to confirm the horrible truth: they have all switched lives and destinies. Furthermore, Rarity's offhand comment that she's "doing what she's done since it (her cutie mark) appeared" is telling; not only have they switched marks, jobs, lives, and destinies, but even their memories have been modified. Not switched, mind; Fluttershy later says she's going "back to Cloudsdale," and not the rock farm. She still remembers being Fluttershy, but being Fluttershy with Pinkie Pie's choices. Clearly, whatever switched her friends is highly sophisticated and very subtle in application. This motif of subtlety will be repeated throughout the episode. A great deal is happening in this 22 minutes, and the writers used a lot of literary devices to cram as much information in as possible. The very next device shows this as well; the use of In Medias Res. In Medias Res literally translates to "in the middle of things." In stories, it's a way to drop the audience into the most action-packed part of the story to hook them immediately. The main reasons to use this idiom are either to engender a sense of confusion in the audience that is shared by the protagonist (ie: Twilight Sparkle) so the viewer can feel a greater sense of empathy with the character, or else because the writer has a LOT of information to fill in and wants to grab the audience's attention quickly before switching to C-SPAN mode. If the story opens with a lot of dry, boring backstory, the audience is likely to switch the channel, close the book, and pick up something else more immediately gripping. However, there's a third reason to choose to begin In Medias Res. A great deal of literature has used the convention, from Beowulf to the Hobbit. The Hobbit, of course, begins with Bilbo beginning on an epic adventure, but the story truly begins decades before, with Smaug dropping in on the Lonely Mountain for a bit of apartment shopping. We don't get that backstory before the dwarves start singing, however, which isn't until after dinner. Also, it's a stylistic choice which crosses genres; it can reach everything from Record of Lodoss War to practically any James Bond film you care to name. In this case, I believe the choice was made deliberately for all three reasons. Twilight Sparkle is clearly out of her depth when confronted with what happened to Rarity, so much so that she immediately runs all over Ponyville just to confirm that it has affected all her friends. You would think she'd know after three or so. Second, it drops us right into the main action, rather than getting to see Twilight open some mail and cast a spell that doesn't work. Boring. And finally, it ties into all that older, more established literature to let us, the audience know, that Big Things Are Happening. After establishing the What Happened, we get to see Why It Happened: Twilight gets her assignment from the princess in the mail. Heedless of the risks, she casts a spell that even Celestia doesn't know the results of, just to find out. An unfinished spell, so it wouldn't have even had the effect intended by its maker. This is, unfortunately, a basic trait of Twilight. She so desires knowledge that she will take any risk to get it. This time, though, that risk didn't hurt her; it hurt her friends. That knowledge is a devastating blow; risking her own hide is one thing, but this affected those she loved, without their knowledge or consent. Seeing her own selfishness in this way was a powerful moment, culminating in one of the most powerful songs of the season, if not the entire show, "I Have To Find a Way." It's less than a minute, but shows an incredible development of maturity for our Twilie. It's an acceptance of the blame for what went wrong, an understanding of the consequences, and an assumption of the responsibility to fix her terrible mistake. This scene also shows a maturation of the show. Until now, continuity has been barely touched on, if not avoided entirely. Shows have been created as standalones with only the barest linking threads. The CMC had to be formed before they could begin crusading, of course, just as Twilight had to come to Ponyville before adventuring with her friends, but the majority of the episodes could be shuffled at will not just within a season, but between seasons with no real confusion being caused. In this moment, Spike references both the season opener, with the spell she used to restore her friends' memories, as well as the season 2 episode "The Cutie Pox" when he references Zecora's cure for the same. Unfortunately, neither of those solutions will work. Her friends haven't forgotten their friendships, they've just been mixed around. Likewise, they don't have false cutie marks; the marks are real, just on the wrong ponies. What is needed is a way to reset the ponies' destinies the way they should be. And musing on this truth, Twilight comes to a brilliant solution. Magic has caused this problem, but it cannot solve this problem. This is a watershed moment for both Twilight Sparkle and the show. Until now, Twilight has solved her problems in one of two ways: either she has used her magic, or she has solved problems with her friends, without magic. Until now, though, she hasn't solved problems using the Magic of Friendship. Prior to this, the "magic of friendship" was an idea, a belief, an ephemeral thing which gave her and her friends the strength and conviction to follow through, but it was not a force by itself, unless it was channeled through the Elements of Harmony. When Twilight has been challenged by magical problems, though, she responds with magic, because it's what she knows. When dueling with Trixie, or faced with an Ursa Minor, that's her first recourse. Even with Trixie, when she fell back to relying on her friends, it was her friends she relied on, not the inherent magic behind their friendship. This time, though, she does not. She realizes that her magic, arcane magic, was not the solution. Twilight has always known how to use magic, but faced with the devastating consequences of using it recklessly and without thought for who else it may effect has taught her something Celestia had never managed: when not to use it. In this moment, Twilight glows with a brilliant aura as she learns the true nature of Friendship Magic. This is a power distinct from her own inherent Unicorn Magic, as shown by the fact that her horn does not glow. In unicorns, the horn is the focal point of their magic; when they cast a spell, it glows with an arcane light of a color defined by the pony herself, and the power of that light is directly proportional to the strength of the spell involved. When using basic telekinesis, Twilight's horn glows faintly; when she uses multiple spells simultaneously to subdue the Ursa Minor, it glows brilliantly, even blindingly. But in this moment, recognizing the important of her friends, she glows with an aura so bright that Spike cannot look at her, but her horn remains completely inert. She then harnesses this new power to help her friends, and along the way, helps them to find this power within themselves. She convinces her friends each in turn to help one another, then steps back and does one of the hardest things she likely has ever done. She does nothing. In helping each other, each of her friends end up helping themselves as well, rediscovering a joy and purpose in life they thought lost forever. By helping friends do the tasks they thought they were supposed to do, but couldn't alone, they each found their own true heart's desire. Which brings us to the nature of cutie marks. "Magical Mystery Cure" has caused a great deal of discussion on the nature of cutie marks, destiny, and choice in Equestria. At first blush, it seems that cutie marks absolutely dominate a pony's destiny, whether they choose it or not. The shuffling of cutie marks and destinies seems to reinforce that belief. I have a contrary theory; choice, free will, is the determining factor in both a pony's destiny and their cutie marks. It seems like a premise that's ridiculous on its face. The swapped ponies are obviously not enjoying their lives or their occupations; why would they choose to do something they are pre-eminently unsuited for? The most likely answer is that they either do not realize they have that choice, or else feel they made it long ago. If you look around your own life, you'll likely see many people who have ended up with the lives they have not because of the choices they made, but because of the choices they feel they never had. Such mismatched lives are fodder for so many stories we love to tell; the football captain who loved the ballet, the hockey player who was actually a pro-class golfer, the team of also-ran poor kids who just needed a coach who cared and decent equipment to reach the top. All that's required is belief in yourself, a crystallizing moment of choice, and the support of your friends. That's what happened when each pony helped their friends with a task they could not handle, despite a cutie mark and a lifetime of memories telling them they should do this one thing. When faced with what they were as opposed to what they wanted to be, they chose. With the power of friendship, that choice stuck, and the imprint on their flank changed to what it was meant to be. No mention of cutie marks can pass without a mention of Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, and Apple Bloom. At this point it is painfully, glaringly obvious to us and everyone in Ponyville exactly what each of them is suited for. Scootaloo is never happier than on her scooter, Sweetie Belle is the most versatile vocalist in town, and Apple Bloom has only just recently come into her own as a master of design. "Why," I hear all of us wonder, "can they not see it? And why doesn't anyone else just tell them?" The fundamental answer is that no one can tell them. Twilight came as close as possible by hinting around it in "The Show Stoppers," but no one can tell you who you are. You have to find that one out for yourself. In the case of our little Cutie Mark Crusaders, choice is again at play. They want, desperately, a cutie mark, any cutie mark. They're not out to find who they are, but simply to stop being social pariahs. When they go out crusading, they aren't focused on the journey, but on the destination, and that is a sure route to failure, over and over again. Luckily, they seem to be having fun doing it, and exposing themselves to a great many new experiences, so when they do find themselves, they will have a far greater wealth of experience to make that decision from. Don't believe choice is central to the gaining of a cutie mark? I'll prove it with two of our least favorite fillies: Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon. Most ponies are defined by who they are and what they love. Rainbow Dash loves speed and winning. Twilight Sparkle is supremely adept at magic. Rarity is perfect at design, not just clothing, but jewelry. Either one alone would make a worthy mark, and Rarity showed a stunning fashion sense even before getting her mark, but was still unsatisfied. For Rarity, the perfection in combining both was the only way to make her truly satisfied. On the other hoof, little Tiara is defined by pride, entitlement, a sense of superiority, and being bossy (though not, necessarily, with any actual authority). Silver Spoon backs her up with just as much superiority and entitlement, but with a sickening degree of subservience to her chosen overlord. When deprived of leadership, little Spoon seems to be at a loss for what to do with herself. That's a pretty sad way to define oneself. One can only assume that these two fillies actively chose those paths, and fairly early on, considering how smug they are over their cutie marks. And so, having wielded the full power of Friendship Magic to right what she messed up so badly with arcane magic, Twilight Sparkle brings her friends to the library so they can help her finish the task set before her: to finish the masterwork spell which eluded the greatest unicorn mage of all time and stymied even Princess Celestia herself. Twilight realizes the fundamental flaw in the spell, that it is designed to be fed from a single spellcaster's own reserves and with no assistance from anyone else. She rewrites the spell, and confident in her ability and with the full consent and assistance of her friends, casts it. Even though she's not sure exactly what it is supposed to do, she follows through, confident that anything based on the love of her friends could never do her harm. A blinding flash of light appears and we go straight to... Act II-By Your Powers Combined Twilight reappears in a starry void, alone and confused. She does not know where she is, or even what "here" is. Celestia appears from the void and expresses her gratitude to, congratulations to, and pride in Twilight in song. She states that Twilight has done "what has never been done before, not even Starswirl the Bearded," and that Twilight is ready to "fulfill her destiny." She never actually states what either of those are, however. The general belief is that the accomplishment is that she finished the spell, fixed her friends' fouled fates, and transports herself to this mysterious "other realm," and that her reward, and her destiny, is to become a princess. The evidence, however, indicates otherwise. Let's look at the spells. First up is Starswirl's original, unfinished masterwork: "From one to another, Another to one, A mark of one's destiny singled out, alone, fulfilled." The unfinished version mixed cutie marks, choices, and destinies. The last line indicates that the purpose of the spell is to elevate a single pony's destiny above all others. Without an understanding of friendship, Starswirl would have likely believed that destiny, like any other power, is a finite resource. It cannot be created from nothing, so if he wanted to create a greater destiny, a more powerful soul, with the power to fulfill such an incredible fate, that power would have to come from somewhere else. Or, to be more precise, somepony else. Pure speculation, but it seems very likely this spell was intended to create a single, supreme creature able to chain Fate to its will by stealing the fates from several others as a power source. Since we know Starswirl predates Equestria and the Celestial Sisters, it's very possible he had intended to create a monarch capable of uniting the warring tribes and bringing peace and unity to all ponykind. Sadly, without friendship, even the completed spell could never have achieved this aim. The incomplete spell simply swapped destinies, choices, and lives, and then altered memories to fit. Even this simple swap caused deep heartache and dissatisfaction, even sorrow not just in the ponies affected, but everyone around them. If the completed spell had managed to combine multiple destinies and lives into a single creature, the disjointed, conflicting choices and memories would have only driven its recipient insane, likely causing them to lash out and cause the same chaos they felt inside. What would such a poor soul look like, a Frankenstein monster of cobbled-together fates? Oh, dear. And so the spell remained, incomplete and unable to be completed. The spell is arcane in nature; even if somepony with an understanding of Friendship Magic appeared, they would also need to be a gifted unicorn spellcaster to be able to even cast the spell in the first place. Which brings us back to Twilight Sparkle and why she was sent to Ponyville in the first place: to make friends. If she could make friends, true friends, and through them learn to wield the Magic of Friendship, then she alone would have the potential to finish the spell, even without knowing what it did. However, making a spell, or even fixing a broken spell, is not something that's "never been done before." Unicorns do it all the time, especially when they discover their innate talents. Rarity created a gem-finding spell, which she had obviously never researched before; Twilight had to learn it from Rarity, not a book. Likewise, if Celestia had managed to transport herself to the same starscape as Twilight, then that was nothing unique either. What, then, would make Twilight unique? Starswirl's completed spell. I know, I just finished saying that writing a new spell, fixing a broken one, or casting it is no big deal, and it really wasn't. It wasn't the fact that she made the spell, but how she made it that matters. When the Mane 6 defeated Nightmare Moon, neither Twilight's horn nor Rarity's was glowing. Likewise, they were not casting spells as Discord lay defeated and returning to stone. In both cases, the ponies were wielding the pure power of their friendship, channeled through the Elements of Harmony. This time, however, Twilight's horn was glowing as she cast the spell, which then caused the power of the Elements to ignite, blasting her into the aether. In that moment, Twilight cast a spell that was both arcane unicorn magic and Friendship magic woven together as a single incantation. And just what was the result of that spell? "From all of us together, together we are friends. with the marks of our destinies made one, there is magic without end." "From all of us" is the key phrase. Friendship is about giving, not taking. All six ponies gave, freely and without reservation, determined to make sure their friends lives, and by extension, their destinies were the best they could possibly be. Among friends, the total is truly greater than the sum of its parts, and this spell harnessed that unity, "together we are friends, with the marks of our destinies made one." By combining their destinies through friendship, they pour out "magic without end," generating a greater destiny for everyone involved. Twilight's spell, rather than stealing or switching destinies, instead fused them, making a single, wonderful future for everyone involved. A future destiny that involved Twilight being a princess. It was the spell which transformed her into an alicorn. If that's so, though, why did she not appear in the void as an alicorn? Why the song and dance with Celestia? And why did Celestia cast that spell to make her an alicorn? Twilight did not know what the spell was supposed to do. She wrote a spell involving friendship and destiny, wrapping up Starswirl's original intent into an entirely new package. Awakening in a new, mutated body could have damaged her psyche, especially if she awoke alone, in a strange place, with no idea of how it had even happened. My interpretation is that the starry void is a mindscape, and Celestia appeared to her to ease her transition to her new body and new life. She began with a cryptic message about what Twilight had managed to achieve, recounted all her past adventures which had led her to this moment, and then told her that she had grown up and it was "time to fulfill [her] destiny." Suitably prepared, mentally, for the change, Twilight gets her wings. But wait, didn't Celestia cast that spell to make Twilight an alicorn? No, she didn't. I've made a habit of repeating myself that Celestia cannot use Friendship Magic. This is where that point comes home. Even in the void, when Celestia uses magic to page through Starswirl's book, her horn glows and the book is surrounded by an aura of the same color as Celestia's magic: sunlight yellow. At the end of Celestia's song, though, she's surrounded by a white glow and, most importantly, her horn does not glow. The starburst aura, while very impressive and dramatic, is not a spell being cast. Beyond that, the spell effect is also the wrong color. Twilight notices a glow on her chest, just over her heart in fact, which is the same color as every other spell she has cast. This spell, her spell, is the one which envelops her against a backdrop of another dramatic white starburst and gives her wings. It's a very subtle distinction, but it is also one which could not be expressed in words, not without completely destroying the effect. Twilight made herself an alicorn, and a princess. It was not an edict forced upon her, but a choice she made when she decided to cast Starswirl's spell and trust in the fellowship of her friends. She may not have understood the full ramifications of that choice, but that's no different than so many other choices that are made each day. Twilight's decision to make friends was the only reason she could defeat Nightmare Moon, which is an outcome she did not even see until the moment was upon her. That unforseen consequence changed the fate of not only herself and her friends, but an entire kingdom. A fate that led to this transformation. In her moment of ascension, Twilight is transported back to Ponyville so she might share her joy with her friends. Their reaction is one you would expect from such a tight herd of friends; they are elated. Twilight has become an alicorn. What's notable here is what is missing, for her friends are not awed, frightened, or reticent. Rainbow Dash gives her a big hug and cheers over getting a new wingmare, Rarity compliments her beautiful wings, and Pinkie Pie throws a party wearing fake wings and a "horn" party hat. To her friends, Princess Twilight Sparkle is still the same Twilight they know and love. Then along comes Celestia and ruins the moment. She declares Twilight a princess, says she encompasses all the traits of her friends, and then bows to her, throwing off a line about how everyone is her student now. Since the princess bows to Twilight, everyone else feels compelled to as well, utterly destroying the camaraderie Twilight has with her friends. It's preposterous to think a group of friends would bow to one of their own, or that the ruler of a nation would give precedence to a young, newly-minted princess with no rulership of her own, right? Oh, wait. Celestia was not making an offhand statement when she said that Twilight was a teacher now; Twilight was the sole heir to not one, but two forms of magic, mixed and blended such that the two together were far more either one alone. She has gained a power not even Celestia herself can equal, though she live a thousand years more, and she has done more than create a spell or elevate herself to royalty; Twilight Sparkle has done the impossible. That is why they bow to her, not to Princess Twilight Sparkle, but to their friend, Twilight Sparkle, who has walked into the fire without flinching, given everything for the sake of her friends, and who has triumphed over impossible odds. Honoring her, though, neither lessens themselves nor greatens Twilight; it simply acknowledges her accomplishments. Likewise, gaining the defining traits of her friends does not make them superfluous to her life, any more than Rainbow Dash showing compassion to the other competitors in "Wonderbolts Academy" makes her qualified to take over Fluttershy's task of caring for the animals. That point was made painfully clear already. Almost immediately, we get reassurance that our Twilight hasn't changed a bit. She's obviously acutely uncomfortable with all the adulation, based on the nervous smile she puts on, and in typical Twilight fashion, she seeks to get a handle on things the only way she knows how: from a book. Celestia assures her she has time to learn and grow into her role. Reassured but still uncertain, everyone heads to Canterlot for... Act III-The Dawn of Princess Twilight All the princesses, Celestia, Cadence, and Luna are present on the dais along with Twilight's closest friends. Celestia opens the ceremony by praising Twilight's dedication, faithfulness, and accomplishments since moving to Ponyville, noting especially that Twilight was responsible for reuniting Celestia with Luna. Her first accomplishment in Ponyville was probably not even her greatest feat, considering the foes she has fought since that day, but it's obvious from the shared look between the Celestial Sisters, it is certainly the one she is most grateful for. Hush, you in the back. I know she couldn't have managed it without her friends. This is Twilight's special day. Don't ruin it. She then goes on to state, finally, what Twilight did that was so special: she created "new magic." Not "a new spell," but very specifically "new magic," an entirely new form of magic, and this breakthrough proves that she is ready to take on the responsibilities which comes with being a princess. Twilight enters in a choral procession and is crowned with what appears to be a modified Element of Harmony crown. Throughout the coronation and following procession, everything about Twilight seems designed to assure us, the viewers, as well as the residents of Equestria that this is still little Twilie, all grown up. During the coronation itself, she wears a simple, understated gown with none of the elaborate finery or jewelry of the other princesses; even her friends' outfits are more elaborate than Twilight's. It seems that Princess Twilight has the same fashion sense that Birthday Twilight had in "Sweet and Elite." When crowned, the very first thing she does, before looking at the assembled courtiers, is look to her friends, perhaps for reassurance, which all five immediately offer in their own way, with smiles, winks, waves, or a simple head-bob. Only then does she turn to the assembled masses, certain that at least one part of her life remains just the same. When she steps onto the balcony, she is obviously out of her depth, waving weakly with the same nervous grin on her face that we saw back at the end of Act II, and she has the be prompted before she realizes the crowds are expecting a speech. On this, Twilight's big day, when the assembled masses of Canterlot are hanging on her every word, her first speech as a crowned princess gives all honor, all glory, and all praise to her friends. Without them, she would never have understood friendship, discovered a new form of magic, and never would have proven worthy to become a princess. Without them, she says, she "would not be here today." And then, in a reverse of the end of Act II, on the day of her coronation, and in front of everyone in Canterlot, Twilight bows to her friends. After so much interaction with the public, Twilight finally gets a moment alone with her friends and big brother. Well, "alone" is a relative term; there's still a good number of ponies present. In a nod to traditional Stoic male stereotypes, Shining Armor isn't crying, per se, it's just "liquid pride." He's not so manly, however, to disdain hugging his sister in public, even if she is Equestria's newest princess. Her friends follow this display with their own public displays of affection, proving that crowds who might disapprove of such lese majeste are not even a concern to anyone involved, least of all the princess. Group hug! Everyone loves a parade, so that's what comes up next. Crowds of adoring subjects waving and shouting, riding in a majestic chariot. it's the sort of thing that could turn any pony's head. In ancient Rome, triumphant generals would have a servant in the chariot with them during parades; the sole purpose of this underling would be to remind the commander that glory is fleeting, and he, too is only mortal. Twilight doesn't seem to need that reminder; she abandons her chariot almost immediately so that she might walk alongside her friends, sharing the adulation with those who mean the most to her. It would seem this moment was crafted to be the exact opposite of Twilight's arrival in Ponyville. On the day of her coronation, Twilight was the center of attention, in a parade, and she chooses to abandon her transport so that she could walk with her friends. In contrast, her arrival in Ponyville was on an ordinary day, with no celebration going on. She arrived alone and unremarked, but in a royal chariot. Ponyville has a train, Twilight has ridden it several times since that day, but on that day, she alone was special and unique, and no one noticed, despite her resplendent arrival. Now, when she is being noticed and lauded, she abandons the chariot she once rode in so conspicuously. Our Twilight has certainly matured a great deal since then. And in a final, personal message from the writers, actors, and producers, we are told, once more, that "everything is going to be fine" as Twilight reprises her opening song. It's a neat way to wrap things up the way it began, but it's something more, here. It's a belief that, even though everything changes, that doesn't mean it has to go wrong, or worse, end. It's a shining hope that the future can always be better than the present. It's a hope I like to share.
  7. I've done... a LOT of writing on MLP... Probably about triple the amount of writing I did for my English Honors Thesis. For my 100th post I'll share another set of my writings. My essays. I have my fics I've mentioned before, but I also have a lot of essays. I have an essay series I'm working on as I get ideas, called "The Deal With Bronies" -- another soul frantically attempting to explain to naysayers the reasoning and defnes of the fandom. Currently, there are five parts. Not So Anomalous TV In the RW Era Isn't It For Kids? We're Not So Different (Final, whenever I'm done)Why It Matters I have also written about my two main critiques of the show to date. Aaand... My criticism of my least favorite episode. I know... essays... like... homework... except I totally do them for fun. If you're interested, please check it out!
  8. The other day i was doing an essay in my social class, just the usual, simple, overused topic, "to what extent.... embrace... rejections to modern liberalism" so i started writing a normal, boring essay (to think, advanced placement and they did not even give us a better question!!) anyway, my essay took an awkward turn when i was talking about that "Hitler, Stalin,and Lenin, although had some idea on how to run a country, they could not fully understand it because they did not know the magic of friendship" ... i had no idea where that came from, all of the sudden i am making reference' to MLP, and now, every essay i do i relate to MLP, weather it be Trixie's fall, or the power of working together (teacher has not caught on really, its kind of funny) Anyway, my question is simple, after i had found this incredible resource to help me write advanced placement essays ect, has anyone else wrote a serious essay and just like, totally gone "off the rails" on MLP and other related reference'?
  9. Typing out big posts about Fluttershy is a labor of love to me. Anybody can ramble on and on about their favorite pony. But if you aspire to do anything greater with your writing than just adding comments to message boards, Yahoo news, and Equestria Daily, you need to know how to write outside of your comfort zone. That is why I took on the challenge of composing these reviews on ponies I don't identify with as well. I also wanted to follow the lead of others who have done great, in-depth appraisals on non-favorite ponies themselves. I was motivated to tackle this when the Fan Club threads for each Mane 6 pony were recently updated in Sugarcube Corner. Every opening post includes a full and thorough analysis of the featured pony. Kyronea did a great job bringing us into the life and the mind of every mare and telling us what makes each one tick. I would be remiss if I didn't mention that she has since updated every entry with new information as well as improving the original prose. I have only read her reports on Applejack and Fluttershy so far. I don't want Kyronea's expertly expressed opinions to impact the way I approach my own essays, so I'm not reading any more of those reviews until my project is finished. This is something I have to do alone. The first Five Reasons post was for Fluttershy, of course. This was a reply to a very popular thread from January. I showed it to HiddenPairer who gave me some tips for improving it. I orignally only posted a very brief summary of Five Reasons for Fluttershy in the fan club thread. But after mulling it over, I decided to repost the updated full size edition for the convenience of newcomers to MLP forums. http://mlpforums.com/topic/4731-fluttershy-fan-club/page-8 See post 143. Next, I did a little piece for the Applejack fan club. http://mlpforums.com/topic/4725-applejack-fan-club/page-10 See post 188. I could try writing an expanded feature for Applejack but it would probably end up being an imitation of Stellafera's wonderful Applejack essay. I wouldn't want her to accuse me of plagiarism. Rainbow Dash was number three. With over 2,000 characters, this one looks more like a Wingnut Wall of Text. http://mlpforums.com/topic/4900-rainbow-dash-fan-club/page-23 See post 457. This one can probably use some more content. One important aspect that's totally missing is RD's superiority-inferiority complex. Twilight Sparkle is next up. http://mlpforums.com/topic/4724-twilight-sparkle-fan-club/page-14 Scroll to post 272. Finally, a post that lives up to what my friends have come to expect of me. Today I added a few sentences that touches on her OCD in point one. Pinkie Pie is number five and the latest to be completed. http://mlpforums.com/topic/4726-pinkie-pie-fan-club/page-10 Post 181. Whoohoo! I finally get the top spot on a forum page! Fluttershy is my favorite pony and my original article on her only got two brohoofs. My sixth favorite pony, Pinkie Pie, got the most with seven. The irony doesn't escape me. Rarity is a work in progress. It will probably be posted to the Rarity fan club sometime next week and I will update this blog entry accordingly at that time. UPDATED MARCH 20 Here is the link to my last article in this series: http://mlpforums.com/topic/4729-rarity-fan-club/page-12#entry1292103 Go to post 226. Good writers are often their own worst critic. Even in my big, completed posts, I see lots of little things here and there which could be better. But you know what? This is MLP Forums, not English Lit 101. It's not like I'm being graded on this stuff. Therefore I will resist that perfectionist urge. But class isn't dismissed just yet. I'm handing out an extra credit assignment to anybody willing to take this on. Please write out a detailed overview of your least favorite Mane 6 pony and post it to the appropriate fan club thread. It might sound like a chore at first, but because many of you are in fact fans of all six ponies, you may end up surprising yourself.
  10. For the past two weeks, I've churned out four brony-centric blogs, all very long and rather deep. As a fellow brony who's been seeing some discriminatory brony-bashing as well as annoying dismissals as MLP:FIM being a show "for [little] girls," I feel like I have to show my love as being one in the method I do best: editorial or essay writing. Present pro-brony arguments and demonstrate why being a brony is great. These are my four pro-brony writings that I've submitted (from earliest date to latest date). MLP:FIM Returns the Franchise Where It Belongs: Back to Its Roots — My earliest submission, dated December 2. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and the franchise altogether is misconstrued as a show targeted exclusively little girls. However, this essay shows why My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, along with its roots dated back to the early-1980s, is truly an age- and gender-neutral, where it belongs. We Bronies Dissect the Show, and It's Grrrreat! — Posted December 10. One unique part of the brony fandom is how we dissect the show and their episodes from its overall premise to its little detail in Rarity's shopping bag. It's sometimes dismissed as over-analyzing or overly critical, but the fact that we bronies analyze these shows to a fault represents how much we care about it. This essay explains why we analyze and why it's important doing so, even if to a fault. A Response to "Outsider" Bronies — Posted December 12. This editorial is my most personal of all of the brony essays. It's a response to the "bronies" who feel like they don't belong to the community and why they should love the community rather than bash it and the bronies themselves. Bronies and the Explosion of Great Art — Posted December 14. The longest of the essays, at over 12,000 characters. The brony fandom is full of fantastically talented people. Here, I explain why the brony fandom has such an influx of great art every day and how anyone can jump right in and join the fun. Now I'm here to ask you which one of these four do you like most. This one will be a little difficult because of each one's specific length. If you desire, please explain why you chose. (Be advised that any comments by non-mods are still under moderation. As long as it follows the rules of the forum and doesn't devolve into bashing or negatively generalizing bronies or the community [even subtly], I'll approve them for public viewing.)
  11. With the so-called "end of the word" approaching my doorstep soon ( ), it's time to give my thoughts of 2012 in terms of being a brony. Two springs ago, I began to notice a huge influx of material related to the family-friendly animated show, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, in the form of avatars, icons, and brief discussions. Seeing all of it bewildered me because I never saw the stuff before, and I wondered why it was becoming so popular at such a quick pace. Curious and the fact that I saw people recommend it, I began watching it that very summer — July/August 2011, beginning with the two-part premiere. Suffice it to say, I was hooked and, because I began liking the show, immediately became a brony. Then I began exploring one of the biggest results of this fandom: the creativity. It was not just good work. It was GREAT work. But the fandom didn't stop there. It got BETTER. Over two years ago, the brony fandom was confined exclusively into 4chan. Then the channers began to promote it off-site to other parts of the Internet, and more bronies became hooked. The word "brony" now became an Internet meme, and the fandom was starting to exponentially grow. However, with 2011 nearing an end, the meme was aid to come and go, right? Wrong. Bronydom became persistent. It passed through 2011 and was slowly becoming bigger than ever. Then in the spring, the brony fandom multiplied with the airing of Canterlot Wedding, inviting more and more people to the fandom. Here, we came to a big and important conclusion. Bronies wasn't a meme anymore, nor was the brony fandom isn't just a fandom anymore. It evolved into a pop culture phenomenon. It's the Trekkies of the 1970s and 1980s and a much miniature version of the Harry Potter fandom in the early-2000s. The brony fandom became bigger, more recognized throughout media, and greater than ever. We hit bumps in the road, but we always bounce right back up and continue bronying on as we should. Then, BronyCon hit, my big highlight as a brony this year. 4,000 people came into this packed convention to show off their brony pride. It was big. It was great. It was one of the best weekends of my life! But my most favorite moment here (and as a brony, truly) came at one moment that Saturday, June 30th. While waiting to get my picture taken with Doctor Whooves and Derpy, a little four-year-old girl with her mom and dad in tow saw the duo and became very happy. She wanted to say "hi!" to them. Whooves and Derpy knelt and hugged her, and we all awed at the sight. And then season three aired with high expectations and an even higher viewing. Although it might've come out as a bit weak, it gave the season and brony fandom a jump start to the excellent episodes that aired later. But even with season three and with the fandom being the highest it's ever been, I dare say that the fandom hasn't even reached its peak yet. It's a great fandom, and it's only going to grow bigger and better. As long as the show stays great, then the fandom will continue to follow it. As long as the fandom is still invested in the product, the bigger and better it'll become and longer staying power the brony fandom has. Do not merely "be" a brony. Be a proud brony! Enjoy it how long it takes, because one day, it'll end, you'll go back and regret not enjoying it sooner. It's my first full year as a brony. It's been a great year to be a brony. It's great to be a brony. And I'm certainly ! May this fandom grow and be bigger and better tomorrow, next year, and the years after that! Brony on, everypony! /)
  12. Ok, tomorrow we are supposed to pick topics for a persuasive essay, and oh man I want to do mine on bronies, but here's the thing... I don't know how to make bronies a persuasive argument, if you guys have any ideas on how that could be turned into a persuasive topic then please tell me.
  13. I'm not sure if this is the right place to put this thread, please move it if it fits better somewhere else. So, I have to write an essay for a writing class this semester, and I get to choose the topic. It needs to be about something controversial, and I have to argue a point. I'd like to write it on something I'm actually interested in, and my teacher is looking for essays about things she hasn't read about before, so I thought I'd try and find a way to make bronies work with the prompt I've been given. I was hoping to write about bronies and how they have become a sort of controversial topic. I'll be writing four smaller essays to put together into one big, 10-15 page essay. The first is just background information on my topic, and basically just what my topic is all about. The second is what the cause of the issue is, how we got to the point we're at now. The third is about what is being done now to solve the issue, and the fourth is about what could be done in the future to help solve the problem. I was just posting to ask if anybody has any ideas for things I could bring up in the essay, good resources that I could use, just anything you think would help. I have some ideas, but I would be interested in hearing input from other people, I'm sure there's a million things I haven't thought of. There is no guarantee that I will definitely use this topic, but if I can make it work then I think I would have a lot of fun with it. Thanks
  14. Ok, so I made this essay for my College English class for the final essay. It's about 11 pages long, and I wanted to know if anyone thinks that I did a good job or if there are some things that I need to change. I would really appreciate it! Tristan Dunbarr Mr. Beaudoin English Comp. 2 July 20, 2012 For the Love and Tolerance of Bronies There are men who love their food. There are men who love their cars. There are men who love their sports. And then, there are those brave souls who love My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (MLP: FiM) and are not afraid to announce it to the entire world. These men who watch this show for little girls are known as “Bronies.” Bronies just so happen to be men who are anywhere from 14 to 57 in age (Edwards), and they enjoy a show that originally had a target demographic of four-year-old girls. Many people find it a bit strange that a grown man would enjoy watching a show about magic ponies (Angel), and those people label Bronies as pedophiles or homosexual, which is not the case. And although Bronies try to explain their love of the show to those who don't watch it so they cam be accepted better, they still get a lot of backlash from the very people they want to be accepted by, from peers, to friends, and even their families. Even though many people shun Bronies, they have to realize that they are just people, too, with different things that they like. But, in the end, it seems that they are still different enough to some people just because they watch a certain show, and they are having a hard time being accepted like so many other groups have been in the past, just because they have misconceptions that surround them, but, the fact of the matter remains that they are just another social group that has an interesting culture all their own, even if it is centered around a little girls' show. And now, you might ask, what exactly is a Brony? Well, the fans of MLP: FiM “made up the term themselves: bro + pony = brony” (Angel). The word Brony is a blanket term, encompassing everyone who is not a young child but is still a fan of MLP: FiM. There are both males and females in this group, the males being the Bronies and the females getting the name Pegasisters. Most Bronies are around the average age of 21, but they can land anywhere in the age range from 14 to 57 (Edwards). The members of this sub-culture enjoy getting together “to absorb the pony cartoon, share trivia about the characters and play show-and-tell with the various plastic pony toys” (Vara) that they enjoy collecting. They have different terms, usually ones that they have gotten from the show, that they like to use in everyday conversations, such as “everypony” instead of “everyone” and “herd” instead of “group.” The usual mentality of your average Brony is kind, because one of the main sayings that they follow is “love and tolerate.” They try to accept other people for who they really are, and they are not afraid to show their love of a show for little girls. And Lauren Faust, the creator of this generation of My Little Pony, has said this about Bronies: “As a group, they have not succumbed to society's pressure that young men must hold contempt for anything feminine, no matter what. They've been able to see beyond the preconceived that they were most likely raised with to judge something on it's merits. And on top of that, they're brave enough to embrace it openly despite the ridicule they're undoubtedly subject to” (Angel). Many Bronies are open with their love of the show, and most people see that as strange. And for those of you who are still reading and did not throw down this essay just for the fact that it has the word “Bronies” in the title, you may be wondering why I have chosen to write about such a strange topic. Well, to me, the topic is not strange at all, because I myself am a Brony, and I do enjoy watching MLP: FiM from time to time, although it did not start out that way. In the very beginning, it was one of my high school friends who introduced me to the concept of Bronies. When I had first heard from him about grown men watching a reboot of a show for little girls from the 1980s, I laughed at him. When he stated that he himself was a Brony, I had to ask him why. He told me that, yeah, even though the show was originally intended to be for little girls, he found out that a lot of guys had been watching it recently, so he checked it out, and, to his surprise, it was much different than the 1980s version, and that it was now fun and interesting to watch. At the time, I thought the idea was rather stupid, so I ignored anything Brony-related for a while after that, while I still hung out with my Brony friend. But after a year or so of trying to ignore Bronies, I began to see a lot of Brony memes popping up on a website called Memebase, which is a well-known site for collecting and sharing funny internet pictures called memes. I then looked at the list of sub-sites that they have and was surprised to see a listing called My Little Brony. I clicked on it, only expecting to see a few pages of memes. Instead, I saw over 300 pages in total, which totally amazed me. For some reason or another, from that day forward, I frequented the site. Eventually, I began to wonder why so many people would make so much cool stuff about a silly little show for girls. I reluctantly decided to watch an episode. I do not remember which episode it was, but I do remember being very entertained, and I became hooked. It was at that very moment, when I watched my very first episode, that I had officially become a Brony. Now, I have even more in common with my one friend than I ever did, and it makes me feel good that there are many other people who watch the show out there, too. “Okay,” some of you may say, “I understand what a Brony is, but I still do not understand this fascination with this My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic that they are centered around. What is it exactly?” Well, what MLP: FiM exactly is is “a remake of a 1980s animated TV show for preadolescent girls featuring plucky, candy-colored equines” (Vara). The show centers around these ponies and their adventures. There are at least four different types of ponies; unicorn ponies, who use their horns to perform magic, pegasus ponies, who have wings and can fly, earth ponies, which are ponies who have no wings or horns, and alicorns, which have both wings and horns and are very important beings seeing as there are only four known alicorns in the world of MLP: FiM, and they are all either princesses or queens. And all ponies have special talents that are shown through the Cutie Mark symbols that are on each pony's flank. Examples could be balloons to show that they throw great parties or butterflies to show that they are experts at communicating and taking care of animals. These special abilities help the ponies out in their everyday lives in the two main cities of the show, Ponyville and Canterlot, which are located in the land of Equestria. The show centers around six ponies who live in Ponyville. They are Twilight Sparkle, who is a purple unicorn pony with a large purple star surrounded by tiny white stars as her Cutie Mark which represents magic, Applejack, an orange earth pony with apples for a Cutie Mark to show she is good at growing apples, and Rainbow Dash, a blue pegasus pony with a rainbow mane and a Cutie Mark of a cloud with a rainbow lightning bolt coming out of it which represents that she can control the weather and make rainbows, not to mention sonic rainbooms. The other three main ponies include Rarity, who is another unicorn pony who is white with a purple mane and gems for her Cutie Mark to show she is fashionable and creates clothing for the ponies, Pinkie Pie, an all-pink earth pony with balloons for a Cutie Mark which means she throws the most awesome parties, and Fluttershy, a yellow with a pink mane pegasus with butterflies as her Cutie Mark to let others see that she is an expert at caring for animals. All six of the main ponies report to Princess Celestia, an alicorn goddess who rules over Equestria and has a sun for her Cutie Mark, which represents that she has control over the sun. The main six ponies go on all kinds of adventures all throughout Equestria, reporting their findings on friendship to Princess Celestia. In their first adventure, which spans the first two episodes of season one, the show does a good job of introducing the characters and setting up some background for the series. In the beginning, we find that Twilight (as her friends call her) lives in the royal city of Canterlot with her talking pet baby dragon, Spike, and is a student under the guidance of Princess Celestia. Twilight would rather study than make friends, and during her studies, she finds that a sinister prophecy stating that an evil mare who has been imprisoned on the moon for 1000 will return within the next few days and shroud Equestria in nighttime eternal. Twilight tries to warn Princess Celestia about the prophecy, but it seems that the princess does not believe her, and instead of believing her, she sends Twilight and Spike to the town of Ponyville to oversee the preparations for the Summer Sun Celebration, and also tells her to make some friends there, because she spends too much time in her studies. While checking on different areas of the preparations, Twilight meets Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie. In the end of the first episode, at the Summer Sun Celebration party, Princess Celestia goes missing, and the evil mare, Nightmare Moon, the one who was banished to the moon 1000 years ago, appears and announces that she is going to cover Equestria in eternal night. In the second episode, Twilight finds that the only way to defeat Nightmare Moon is to use the Elements of Harmony, which are in the ruins of an old castle in the Everfree Forest, a very strange place that scares everyone. On Twilight's journey, she is accompanied by Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Fluttershy, and Pinkie Pie, and together, they get through all of the challenges that Nightmare Moon makes appear in the forest. They finally arrive at the castle ruins, find five of the six Elements of Harmony, and the five ponies that came with Twilight leave her alone so she can concentrate on some magic to create a spark to make the sixth element appear. While she is alone, Nightmare Moon appears and teleports her and the elements to a different section of the ruins. The other ponies see this and rush to help their friend. While alone with Nightmare Moon, Twilight creates a spark and believes that she has started the Elements of Harmony and is going to see the sixth element appear, but they fail, it appears that Nightmare Moon breaks them, and all seems lost. But when Twilight hears her friends' voices, a new spark ignites, one within her, the spark of friendship, and she realizes that there is still hope. The elements were not in the now-broken stone carvings that lay at Nightmare Moon's hooves, but were indeed in each of Twilight's new friends. Applejack represents honesty, Rainbow Dash had loyalty, Rarity showed generosity, Fluttershy's was kindness, and Pinkie Pie received laughter. Twilight got the sixth and most important element of all, magic, and by combining all six of the elements, they defeated the wicked Nightmare Moon. Princess Celestia appears, reveals that Twilight and her friends were the only ones who could defeat Nightmare Moon, and shocks everyone by revealing that Nightmare Moon is actually her younger sister, Princess Luna. Everything becomes well again, and Twilight is allowed to stay in Ponyville to continue her studies on friendship. While this may not be the normal outline for a regular episode, it is the very first story arc, and it gets the viewers introduced to the main cast and what the series will be about. And while it is apparent that the show is intended for little girls, you can also see that it may not be the little girl show you were expecting it to be and why us Bronies like it so much and have created a fan group for it. Although our group has been around for a few years, it has still not been fully accepted. Many other social groups that seemed strange or different at one time or another have been accepted, but we Bronies are still having a hard time getting others to accept us, and it is just because we watch MLP: FiM. Let me ask you this: people who watch anime, or Japanese cartoons, and dress up in costumes and go to conventions have been accepted fairly fell, correct? And how about the people who collect comic books and go to Comicon each year? They have been accepted into society to some extent, but people think that men watching MLP: FiM is creepy. Why is that? Do people who read Superman comics and watch Naruto not enjoy cartoons, also? Rebecca Angel, a writer for Wired's GeekMoms and the author of the article “In Defense of Bronies,” is shocked by statements that say Bronies are creepy because she is “currently writing with a group of adult women who regularly partake in culture aimed at young boys.” She does not think that it is creepy for her to enjoy Avatar: The Last Airbender (Angel), even though it is a show aimed at young boys. And what about Disney films? I still enjoy watching Bambi and Toy Story, and I am 19 years old. I do not find it strange or odd that I still enjoy these movies, and I know plenty of people who are older than me who would agree. Another group that may have had hardships to get past when it first appeared was the Rock-and-Roll group. I interviewed Gary McFarland, my grandfather and a person who grew up in the era of Rock-and-Roll. He said that “It started in the 1950s. I grew up with it as a child and I liked it” (McFarland). He listened to a few artists, such as “Buddy Holly and Bill Haley” (McFarland), but he said that his parents “didn't care for it, they liked country music better” (McFarland). He was asked if he ever thought it was going to be fully accepted, and he said “Yes, because as the youngsters who grew up with Rock-and-Roll became older, it became more accepted” (McFarland), but he did say that “1960, probably” (McFarland), was around the time that it started becoming more accepted in mainstream society, so that means that it could still be a while before Bronies are fully accepted. When asked, however, if he was surprised that Rock-and-Roll was still around, he said “No, because its just part of our musical history” (McFarland). That means because Bronies are integrating themselves as part of the culture now, we should not be surprised if they are still existing 50 years from now. But still, there are some people who do not like Rock-and-Roll, and the same goes for Bronies. Many people who dislike us Bronies are called “Haters,” and they enjoy annoying us or trying to hurt our feelings so that they can get a rise out of us. I interviewed a gentleman who is not really a hater, but does dislike the Brony community for his own reasons. His name is Ryan Leonetti, and he is a coworker/friend of mine. He said that he “first heard about the group known as Bronies sometime during the summer of 2011. Eventually, the Brony culture leaked into many of the facets of my internet life and quickly became acquainted with them” (Leonetti). His first reaction to them was “neutral as I did not watch the show, but it eventually grew into distaste as it spread pretty much everywhere with it's rabid fanbase and seemingly limitless barrage of fanart, meme, and music” (Leonetti). He has listened to some Brony music online and has seen a lot of fanart, and says “for the most part they are the typical fan affair that makes decent dance music. And as I've stated previously, there has been more than enough artwork literally everywhere on the internet” (Leonetti). Most people who do not like Bronies have never seen an episode of MLP: FiM, but Leonetti said that “Yes, I ended up watching 'Party of One' from the first season.” I asked him what he thought of it, and he said “Overall, it was decent for a kids show. The writing was basic enough to get the story, but the animation, however, was the bad part” (Leonetti). I asked him why exactly he dislikes the Brony culture, and Leonetti replied “It's not just Brony culture I dislike, but any micro-culture that becomes obsessive to a point where it takes over other aspects of a person's life and the lives of those around them that bothers me. To me it is like a person who would concentrate on Chess and winning at it that they do not see the fun in other games like Checkers or Go.” I understand where Leonetti is coming from, because I was just like him before I was formally introduced to the show, but eventually, I hope that we, the Brony community, can get him, and others like him, to see us in a new light as normal people. But still people do not see us as normal. Instead, they see creepy grown men watching MLP: FiM and label us as pedophiles or homosexual in our sexual orientations. Angel states that “Pedophiles are mostly men who have been sexually abused as children and become predators themselves.” She then goes on to state that “A group of young men openly hanging out in a dorm doom watching a cartoon is NOT pedophilia” (Angel). But, even after disproving the pedophile problem, we are still left with the homosexuality accusations. Jessica Blank, who is an organizer for BroNYCon, a convention for Bronies located in New York City, says people continuously ask her if Bronies are gay, and she replies “Actually, the overwhelming majority are straight” (Vara). This statement can be backed up by the research that professor Patrick Edwards, who has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, and professor Marsha H. Redden, a member of the American Psychological Association, have done on the matters of the Brony community. One of their major finds in their study was that only 1.7 percent of the Brony participants in the study are homosexual, while a whopping 84 percent of Brony participants were heterosexual (Edwards), or, in other words, totally straight. Although most people think that “The pink and sparkly factor” (Angel) of the show is emasculating, it has been shown that that is not true at all. While some Bronies are what you would call “Secret Bronies,” Bronies who are afraid to tell their family and friends that they enjoy MLP: FiM for fear of ridicule, we find that there is a larger percentage of “Social Bronies,” a large group of Bronies who share their love of MLP: FiM (Edwards) and they do not find it emasculating at all. But still, many protective parents of the younger Brony population have many “problems” that they like to worry about. While most Bronies are above the 21-year-old line, there are still some who are as young as 14 years old and have parents who are worried about this Brony cultural movement. One of the main reasons that protective parents of young Bronies are worried is because they think that this new sub-culture in society is going to negatively affect their children. Mike Males, in his essay titled “Pop Culture Does Not Negatively Influence America's Youth,” uses the fact that people have blamed things like violent video games and other such things as a cause for teenage violence, and shows that is not the case. He states that “From 1990 to 2000... four million teen and pre-teen boys took up violent video games” (Males), but then he states “From 1990 through 1999, teenage violence and other malaise plunged” (Males). He sites statistics that suggest this, such as homicide down 62 percent, school violence down 20 percent (Males), and many more things like that. This should tell overprotective parents something, that even if they do not like that their children are into something that they themselves do not like, such as MLP: FiM, it does not mean that their children are going to turn into rabid crazed psycho pedophiles, like everyone thinks Bronies are. But still, some parents out there have a fear of their child turning into a pedophile or a pervert when they grow up just because they watched a show for little girls. While I have already fully noted that this show will not instigate pedophilia, there may be a little merit to the perversion side of this argument, but very little. As most people who use computers and the internet know, there are certain “rules of the internet,” and one of them just so happens to be “rule 34.” For those of you who are not familiar with rule 34, it's definition clearly states that “If it exists, there is porn of it.” While some rule 34 of MLP: FiM probably does exist somewhere out there on the internet, people (and parents) must realize that rule 34 exists for everything on the internet, so protective parents would need to protect their children from the internet entirely, which would be impossible. They need to realize that rule 34 exists, and eventually, your teen will stumble upon it. I am in no way saying that you should let them look at this type of thing, I am just merely trying to warn parents so that they can be ready for the fateful day that their teen accidentally stumbles upon this blemish of Brony, and indeed, internet culture. And speaking of Brony culture, people who think that we just watch the show need to look deeper into it. While there may be a tiny bit that you want to worry about here or there (such as clop-fictions and rule 34 pictures), there is plenty of other stuff to show why Brony culture is so great. We have really great fanfics, and one that comes to mind is My Little Dashie, which is a story about how a lonely Brony in a dying city finds a baby Rainbow Dash, cares for her, raises her for 15 years, then has to let her return to the place where she came from. It is a very sad but touching story. We also have a plethora of MLP: FiM-related music and artists, such as Discord by Eurobeat Brony, which is about one of the show's main villains, and Stuck in Time by Bronyfied, which is about the background pony Dr. Whooves. Ah, yes, now we get to the fact that we have named some of the background characters in the show we all love so much because they appear quite a bit and it is rather fun. A few that come to mind are Dr. Whooves, a brown earth pony with an hourglass for a Cutie Mark and reminds everyone of the famous Dr. Who, DJ Pon-3 (aka Vinyl Scratch), a white unicorn pony with a blue mane and a music note as her Cutie mark to denote the fact that she is a DJ, and, of course, Derpy Hooves, a gray pegasus pony with a blond mane and bubbles for a Cutie Mark and messes everything up a lot, has what we call “derp eyes,” which are eyes that point different directions, and is loved by pretty much every Brony on the planet. There was even a whole issue surrounding her, which we Bronies call “Derpygate,” where all of the Bronies came together in protest, for they were planning on changing our Derpy just because some parent or something thought she was made to make fun of the mentally challenged, which is not true. We may have failed, and they may have changed her, but we still remember her for who she really was, if not because of the one episode where Rainbow Dash actually called her Derpy, then we will remember her through all the artwork she is in made by many proud Brony artists. The Brony community has a great many fine artists, and their works range from parodies of the show to humanized versions of the characters, main and background, and everything in-between. And many Brony artists have made artwork with other mediums that just pencil and paper. Some Bronies make show-accurate plushie commissions, and others make funny or cool videos. And still some Bronies have taken it a step farther and put things from MLP: FiM on clothes. Angel states that “Wearing My Little Pony insignias on sports clothing has become more popular.” It is not just the insignias, either, that are ending up on t-shirts. Everything from Cutie Marks to entire ponies are showing up on our Brony clothes, and they are not the only thing to become “ponyfied.” Buttons, bags, hats, convention badges, and even cars have been ponyfied in one way or another, and it just goes to show that we love our show a lot, no matter what anyone says about us. For those of you who have actually stayed with me through this entire essay that I have painstakingly written about the awareness and acceptance of Bronies, I'm sure the whole community would love to thank you. Most people would have destroyed this essay just for the fact that it is an essay about Bronies, but you did not do that. You have read that Bronies are not strange or weird, they are just regular people with specific interests. We are not pedophiles, and most of us are actually heterosexual. We may be shunned as a sub-culture for the time being, but our culture is interesting enough without being integrated into the regular culture for right now. Hopefully, I have enticed your interests in Bronies and perhaps made you think about watching an episode or two of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. You will not regret it if you do, believe me. This essay was just to get the word about Bronies to the unknowing populace, and, hopefully, those of you that have read this have gained some awareness and have become more accepting of our ways and our culture. That is all we Bronies really want, to be loved and tolerated, just like everyone else. Works Cited Angel, Rebecca. “In Defense of Bronies.” Wired.com. N.p., May 27, 2012. web. 23 Jun 2012. <http://www.wired.com...e-of-bronies/>. Edwards, Patrick, and Marsha H. Redden. “BRONY STUDY (Research Project) Study Results.” bronystudy.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Jun 2012. <http://bronystudy.com/id1.html>. Espejo, Roman, ed. Opposing Viewpoints: America's Youth. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2003. 27-33. Print. Leonetti, Ryan. E-mail Interview. July 12, 2012. Males, Mike. “Popular Culture Does Not Negatively Influence America's Youth.” Opposing Viewpoints: Americas Youth. Ed. Roman Espejo. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2003. 27-33. Print. McFarland, Gary. Personal Interview. July 15, 2012. Vara, Vauhini, and Ann Zimmerman. "Hey, Bro, That's My Little Pony! Gu'ys Interest Mounts in Girly TV Show --- 'Bronies' Enthralled by Cartoon Equines; Characters 'Aren't One-Dimensional'." Wall Street Journal. (2011): n. page. Web. 20 Jul. 2012. <http://search.proque...countid=40640>. Again, thanks for reading it!
  15. I have set them up as image files due to the sketch I made..well, more than a sketch. Those two are the personification of fear and courage. While you could say they are the same person, in my mind they've become their own people. When you rush headlong into danger, fear is Meida, the girl over your shoulder telling you to run back to safety. While Valor, he is the one who assures you that your own safety is worth sacrificing for those you love. Let me tell you, it was really hard making those two. I took this special, laborious strategy to give it that time weathered look on the pictures, like they were old..so, I would really love some feedback!
  16. Archetypes in the Television Series “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic” The series My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is a television show filled with morals and story lines that contain numerous examples of archetypes. An archetype is a universally recognized theme across literature and can be used to determine the tone of a scene based on the setting and/or character types. The 3 archetypes noticed most in the show are: The Fairy Godmother, Underdog, and The Helping Animals. The Fairy Godmother is supposed to be an old or wise woman who helps the main characters when they face difficult challanges. The Underdog is a character that no one believes can win and all odds are normally against them. The Helping Animals are the animals that help a character achieve a goal, whether it be direct or indirect. The first archetype noticed by those who watch the show is The Fairy Godmother. The character that best fits this title would be Princess Celestia. She is the alicorn pony (a pony with both Pegasus wings and a unicorn horn) responsible for raising the sun for light to shine over all of Equestria. The only other alicorn in existence is Princess Luna, who is Celestia’s sister and is responsible for raising the moon at night to allow all the ponies to rest. Celestia helps the main 6 characters realize the life lessons that come out of their hardships and gives them advice when they are in an especially bad situation. Taking all of this into consideration, she best fits the role of The Fairy Godmother in the series. A second archetype that is extremely noticeable in the episode “Dragonshy” is The Underdog. The Underdog in this episode is Fluttershy, the animal loving Pegasus pony. In this episode, the main 6 ponies have been asked by Princess Celestia to go wake up a dragon in a mountain cave and get it to move because of the smoke that comes out of its snout when it snores. Without taking action, all of Equestria would be covered in smoke for a very long time because dragons sleep for several years at once. Before the ponies go up the mountain, Fluttershy makes her fear of dragons much known by repeatedly saying she’s not going. Despite their friends fear, the others were confident that Fluttershy could get the dragon to leave because of her special connection with animals. Eventually, they get up to the cave and when Fluttershy runs away, each of the ponies unsuccessfully try to get the dragon to move. The last pony to try to move the dragon was Fluttershy’s very close friend Rainbow Dash, who was injured during her attempt. After giving up hope, Fluttershy musters up the courage to save her friends and give the dragon a stern talking to that made the dragon leave. Fluttershy is the perfect example of an Underdog archetype because even after everyone gave up hope and the odds were against her, she still got the dragon to move. The Helping Animals archetype in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic can be personified by the large group of butterflies that saved filly Fluttershy in the episode “The Cutie Mark Chronicles”. In this episode, all of the ponies are telling the stories of how they got their cutie marks (the mark on a pony’s flank that symbolizes their special talent in life). Fluttershy’s story starts in Cloudsdale Coliseum when she is knocked off of a cloud by a gust of wind made by a few other Pegasus ponies racing. Fluttershy, being an exceptionally weak flyer for her age, was unable to save herself and began her rapid descent to the ground below. Although she was certain that she was going to hit the ground, a large group of butterflies down below caught her before she could hit the ground. After she was put on the ground, she discovers that she has a special connection with animals and gets her cutie mark, which is a group of three pink butterflies similar to the ones who saved her. The butterflies are the best example of The Helping Animals because they not only saved Fluttershy’s life, but also helped in the process of receiving her cutie mark.