#16) What do you think of the whole 'love and tolerate' thing? Bronies seem to use it as a defining part of their culture.
Answer: I think that 'love and tolerate' is one of the worst maxims to come from the brony fandom, because it serves as something of a shield that can be put up whenever criticism is directed against those who liberally use it. You can effectively get away with anything in the brony fandom by spouting off about 'loving and tolerating'. What started off as a semi-humorous defensive move to piss people off has now been adapted into some bastardised cult-ethos that becomes increasingly irritating the more that you hear it.
It doesn't help that the notion of 'loving and tolerating' isn't even followed by the majority of bronies. This is a fandom that contains an awful lot of bitching, gossiping, denouncing and chastising, and one that barely ever demonstrates the idealised dogma that it purports. For every nice thing that the fandom does, there will be unnecessary aggression and snide comments; and, for every reasonable creation that the fandom spurts out, there will be someone doing something highly inappropriate, hiding behind the 'love and tolerate' clause.
I have seen 'love and tolerate' used to derail sound arguments; it has been employed by individuals who believe that they can act however they wish because people have to love and tolerate what they're doing. Toleration is one thing, but some behaviours are wrong, and certain people should be criticised for doing particular things. It's a sad day indeed when someone is giving advice or constructive criticism, only to have a wave of people demand that they step down and 'love and tolerate'.
Bronies may use the phrase as a 'defining part of their culture', but it's often highly hypocritical and is, most often, applied when an individual is unable to construct a decent retort. People have used the 'love and tolerate' mantra to get people to leave them alone, only to go and stir up trouble within the fandom elsewhere. This leads me to believe that while 'loving and tolerating' is a decent enough moral standard to work towards, its application is flawed. I stand by my conviction when I say that not everything should be tolerated; there are clear lines that shouldn't be crossed, and when people go over them, they should require more than a few meaningless words 'love and tolerate' - in order to justify what they're doing.
#17) I love the fandom yet at the same time people in it can drive me a little crazy. Some just seem to be flat-out over-zealous, especially on Youtube. If someone were to make a light hearted brony joke suddenly a bunch of angry bronies come out. Is it just a case of, "Well, it's Youtube comments", or do you think some bronies need to stop being super defensive?
Answer: A lot of bronies take "Friendship is Magic" very seriously, almost treating it as if it's some sort of introspective mock-religion. Therefore, just like radicals from any sort of social community, many of them will jump to defend what they believe in. I've always wondered myself what it is, exactly, that some bronies claim to believe in, but I'll tackle that issue in the next question. For the sake of this question, I do indeed think that bronies need to stop being so defensive.
It gets to the point where bronies often find it difficult to accept that others aren't as into the show as they are. People have the right to dislike the notion of bronies, just as they have the right to avoid watching the show. Many bronies are quick to use the argument, "You clearly haven't seen the show if you don't like it", which seems a little curious: I know several individuals who have checked the show out and haven't liked it, and it's completely understandable that they wouldn't enjoy it. Some can't get over the stigma of watching My Little Pony; others just genuinely don't have any interest in the show. It's not for everybody, and so when bronies attempt to make it for everybody, it starts to become a problem.
It really depends on the way that bronies are being treated, however. If someone makes a comment, such as, "Bronies are faggots!" then, clearly, people will get offended. Personally, in that case I think it's best to just ignore the people who are trying to spark a reaction, as giving them attention merely adds fuel to the fire, but it's too much to expect people to behave that way. Instead, people jump to defend what they enjoy, which can be quite comical to see.
However, if a person shapes a completely understandable argument as to why they don't like "Friendship is Magic", they should be free to express that opinion without being bashed by bronies. Then again, not all bronies are as mature as they would hope to be, and many do, indeed, get far too angry and wound-up way too easily. Whether people genuinely hate MLP, or if they just have no interest in it, the person who says, 'I hate My Little Pony' has just as much right to post that as the people saying, 'I love My Little Pony'. Then again, Youtube is hardly the place to go for witty conversation and rational comments, and so I would consider it to be the extreme end of the defensive spectrum.
#18) Some people claim that My Little Pony is a religion. What do you make of this?
Answer: I thought that I'd engage with this question tonight, as it's thematically linked to the previous two in terms of bronies being excessive. The 'loving and tolerating' bronies of question #16 and the super-defensive bronies of question #17 both appear to be emblematic of a lot of religions. Only, y'know, religions, for the most-part, tend to be rooted in historical events and become enormous, world-encompassing social systems of belief that transcend this mortal realm.
That is why "Friendship is Magic" isn't a religion, and it never will be, despite what some crazy people might say. While it may qualify for some aspects of a religion namely the amount of people who are flocking to it a religion requires a system of beliefs, which the My Little Pony fandom lacks. I can see it now - the Ten Commandments of the Bronies:
1. The First Rule about "Friendship is Magic" is that you always talk about "Friendship is Magic" 2. I shall be 20% cooler 3. I pledge allegiance to Faust most high 4. I believe that she created Equestria in six days, and rested on the seventh 5. I shall not spill my seed over a pony (unless we are married) 6. I shall not be jealous of my neighbour pony artist 7. I shall listen to music made only using FL Studio and ProTools 8. I shall take two mares and ship them together at all costs 9. I shall buy the latest toys from the children's aisle in Toys R Us 10. I shall love and tolerate everything ever
I don't see it happening, myself. Religion is a complex concept, but, at the very least, it generally requires some form of a belief in a higher power or level of existence. Bronies don't have this. Sure, they may have their little moral codes and behaviours that they wish to exhibit, but "Friendship is Magic" isn't a religion: it's a cartoon that has attained cult-status. That's it. You're not going to be worrying on your death-bed if you'll be going to Pony Heaven or not; you won't repent for your sins in a building made specifically for brony worship (a convention hall?) out of fear of divine punishment. You aren't going to pray to Lauren Faust - the prophet! - when a relative is sick, and you won't find people engaging with brony material in a thousand years time.
And so, I think that you'd have to be absolutely out of your mind to consider "Friendship is Magic" to be a religion. It's a social movement and a niche one at that joined at the hip in mutual respect and admiration for a decent TV show. By all means, enjoy your fandom, and enjoy its community, but when it comes to worshipping the damn thing, please, for the love of God (or not gotta be secular!), prioritize.
A new project that I'm starting in collaboration with artists. It's an advice column, in the simplest of terms: I want you to send me notes if you have any problems, secrets or comments on the pony fandom of any nature. It doesn't matter how embarrassing, offensive or vicious they might be: if you want someone to comment on them in an unbiased way, send them over. Maybe there's something within the fandom that you particularly despise, or perhaps you're feeling sad and need to hear some friendly advice? Whatever the motive, send a note with your comment or question.
I'll then respond to them with advice and commentary and post the answers up in future installments. Users will remain anonymous, so you don't need to worry about your feelings and thoughts getting out onto DeviantArt. You may find that some of the things that you've personally been feeling will be addressed.
Feel free to note me if you would like your questions and observations to be answered in an upcoming edition. Every edition will be engaging with three issues. The above three featured today were submitted by anonymous deviants.
I have to disagree on #16, not with what you have said regarding it specifically, but in the general effect it plays on the fandom.
In my interactions with others in the fanbase, I have found them all to be extremely polite and possitive. I have never had anyone bash me because of a disagreance over which pony is best pony, or which episode we liked or didn't. I have found fellow bronies to be very tolerant and accepting of others' takes on the show, and usually altogether more excited at sharing their love for the series than fighting over trivial differences in opinion; something which I can tell you is serious business in many other fandoms.
You are right about some of the more specific uses of Love and Tolerate as an actual phrase, but I really think that this fanbase actually does try to incorporate the general spirit of this idea.
And then there are the Trolls.... ...Because Internet.
#16 to me it usually works earlier, but after that, it begins to fracture and shatter the idea. Remember the crisis before Equestria Daily was found? But then again, I encounter fights before in here, and in the end, got blocked without forgiveness. I don't want to mention who, but I say to that person, she & her friend can kiss my ass! Why? Because they're immature and being too sensitive for one particular word that only poses little harm and yet take it as though it's like some inappropriate stuff. Love & Tolerance? Works at first, but later it's not anymore, Myth Busted!
#18 is also a little sensitive to answer, but let's not take it too far like those of fanatics treating Apple Inc as a religion and Steve Jobs & Tim Cook as their Gods. Let's face reality here, FiM is just a mere idea and should not treat it as one, Christianity did say in the 1st commandment. Apple Inc is a little different as they're just bricks and steel whereas the CEOs are just flesh & blood, I'm anti-Apple but I won't go into details, I just leave my comment on this part here and stop. Same case for Faust too, we can treat her as our current cartoon idol but never treat her as a goddess (Same case for the crew, they're not her angels), she is like us, just another human being.
I would like to comment on the first question, though this will probably come across as a bit pedantic, regardless of how true it is. I've always seen "Love" in L&T as the Greek word agape, which suggests wanting the best for people. I see nothing wrong with that, provided you don't let it become so ingrained in your life that you become completely altruistic and never consider yourself. Now, I agree with your assessment of how it's merely a defensive thing with some people with very little meaning behind it, but I wish to go against the flow here and apply it to my life anyway. I've always tried to do that before becoming a brony, but now I have a mantra to reinforce the notion. (I hope this makes sense)
It definitely does make sense, and I think that living your life in such a positive way is a great thing. I'm not against the concept of 'love and tolerate', but rather the application of it. It's not used how it should be by many; while it should reinforce morals that we should already adhere to, a lot of people believe that ponies invented the concept. Instead, I believe that ponies merely reaffirm what people already should know, if anything.
I agree, they already should know it. Hopefully a small percentage will see the message and apply it in this way. If the world is improved, even a tiny bit, because of this show, then I see that as an awesome thing.
To put it another way, MLP may not have sparked the flame, but it did stoke the fire, at least with me.
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`anmari has been spreading her infectious positivity throughout our community for over 6 years. Throughout this time Ana has been at the core of all things devious, passionately developing an eclectic gallery, helping organise devmeets, participating in chat events and also recently completed dedicating her time as a Community Volunteer. We are absolutely delighted to bestow the Deviousness Award for May 2013 to `anmari, congratulations! Read More