I have to get this out, I really do. And I know I'm probably gonna get flamed incessantly for this, but it still needs to be said.
And for the love of all things sacred, don't respond with 'cool story, bro'. It's overdone and it shows ignorance.
Note: This might apply to mainstream media en masse, so take everything I say with a hill of salt.
Anyway... Without further adieu...
As much as I appreciate and enjoy being a part of the brony community, there are a few things about this community that really ticks me off. From what I've seen, this is progressively becoming worse and worse. I know I won't do much to make a difference (oh jeez, now I'm sounding like Fluttershy), but there are just several things wrong with the bronies that I feel shouldn't be ignored.
- This complaint is probably one of the more common aspects of this community, or any community in general, but like I said, it still needs to be addressed: rule 34. Never in my life have I seen rule 34 so heavily incorporated into a franchise. I can't type My Little Pony in Google search without having to see at least one despicable, disgusting result, be it an image or an actual site. Now imagine if that were to happen with an unknowing child, the target demographic, who happens to enjoy the show or My Little Pony in general.
- My next gripe is something that's quite evident. Some bronies just love taking things out of context in discussions. Case in point, shoryuken.com is created by and dedicated to the fighting game community. Sure it's completely acceptable to start a forum thread regarding the Fighting is Magic game. That's perfectly acceptable. What isn't acceptable is turning the discussion regarding a fighting game into one about the show or the franchise itself. People want to be informed about the game, not the most recent episode or the latest update to Fallout: Equestria or what new song MandoPony or AcousticBrony have released. It's alright to make a small pony-related quip as long as it stays within context of what is being talked about.
- The next issue is pretty much tied with the previous one (and my upcoming issues). A lot of the bronies are just hardcore advocates of the show, meaning that they will constantly shove the show down people's throats. Now don't get me wrong, there are of course the civilized bunch of bronies. But this certain bunch is just so incessant with preaching Friendship is Magic as if it were the animation equivalent of Jesus Christ. Okay, it's a universally accepted fact. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is one of the best examples on how to properly use a license of an intellectual property (tied with Batman: Arkham City). It is a great show that really redefined the franchise and helped us look at it in a different light. But there are just some bronies who aren't willing to accept that there are people who will not find this show to be their cup of tea. I became a brony not because a friend of mine was going "Oh Friendship is Magic! You can't live without it, hurr durr!!". No, nonononono. I didn't even become one just because of the show's meme status. I became a brony out of the show's merits, which is how a media phenomenon should receive its fans. Not out of constant pestering. This is the peer pressure nonsense that we've outgrown (or whose horrors we're still knowing of).
- My final complaint is definitely an obvious one. Many bronies (notice how I said 'many', not 'majority of') are very hypocritical. And I do mean 'very'. A lot of them claim that 'love and tolerance' is their motto. But when a topic such as the older generations of My Little Pony, non-fans or even character fandom is concerned, that motto is thrown out of the window. This can (and often has) extend to such idiotic lengths such as targeting, stalking and flaming a certain non-fan or groups of them, tarnishing Gens 1 to 3 - from the merchandise to the shows to virtually everything - or even despising a certain character just because he or she is not their favorite (yes, I'm looking at you, you obnoxious Rainbow Dash fans). It really saddens me to see this fraction of the community defeating the purpose that the show encourages. Here're what I have to say about this:
- I've raised this above, but I'll do it again for good measure. There are people who just don't enjoy Friendship is Magic. I have to say it's unfortunate that they don't find it their cup of tea. But it is what it is. They don't like it, it can't be helped. And for you to personally go out of your way and utterly destroy these non-fans... It might, and I repeat 'might', be justifiable if you yourselves are the ones being targeted instead of the show, but... Why do you think the community is labelled as hypocrites?
- "What, this isn't Friendship is Magic. There's no Sonic Rainboom, no Stare. It's horrible, hurr durr!!" Okay, we all know of the franchise's very feminine origins. We understand that the show, and generation 4 as a whole, is everything the franchise should have been from the get-go. But it's blatant hypocrisy to behave like this. Enjoy one certain era of a phenomenon, but completely and utterly rip apart the other generations. Key word here: origins. Friendship is Magic/gen 4 would not have existed had it not been for the original toy line and the original series. This applies to every other kind of franchise out there; Arkham Asylum and Arkham City wouldn't come to be if there was no original Batman comic series, Clone Wars wouldn't be here without the original Star Wars trilogy.
- And for the final point in this complaint: "Oh wait, Toph isn't as clever as Azula, so I hate Toph, hurr durr", or "I don't like Nero because Dante's stronger, hurr durr". I'm just tired of this elitist mentality when it comes to facets such as characters of a video game, TV show, movie, you name it. And it turns out that Equestria Daily has adapted to this mentality and think that a particular character (*coughApplejackcough*) is not as great as their favorite. That's what it really is: favoritism taken to unnecessary extremes. Why do you think your favorite character is looked down upon by a select few? Have you ever bothered asking yourself that? Again, purpose defeated. Where is the love and tolerance here?
I'm sorry, but I just had to get all this out of my chest. Like I've said, take all this in with lots and lots of salt. TL;DR? Too bad, that's the point of a blog post. The brony community isn't perfect, there is no perfect fanbase. If anything, that extremist division of bronies show the community's imperfections moreso than other communities do. And it's very sad to see this and see them wonder why their community is looked down upon lately.
Does that make me any less regretful of my decision to become a brony? No. Do I feel ashamed sometimes? Yes.
But really, this is the first actual fanbase I've been consciously a part of. So I might not know of the extent that fan rabidity can go. If anyone's turned off by my post, my most humble apologies. I just felt that I had to indicate the facts about the brony community as a whole.
If any of you feel that I've barely scratched the surface of the bronies, then I don't think I'll delve deeper into the matter. That, or I might not have time at all.
So them's the breaks... Peace.
- R Martin