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Author Topic: Dudeism and Bronies - An essay (read: extended rant)  (Read 10236 times)

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femoman

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Dudeism and Bronies - An essay (read: extended rant)
« on: April 04, 2012, 12:41:16 PM »
Hey guys. This is gonna be a long one, so you'd better sit back and get comfy.

Granted I only really got into Dudeism about a week or two ago, but I'd really dug its style since I saw tha Volkswagon cinema-commercial that talked about it, But while I was flipping through m copy of the Abide Guide (Still can't believe I actually found a printed copy), I realised something.I'd seen the stuff it was blathering on about. What freaked me out was that I'd seen it in a most unexpected place: A children?s cartoon, entitled "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic", of all places!

Now, given the often idealistic nature of cartoons, and especially this one, I guess seeing Dudeist views present shouldn't be such a surprise to be perfectly honest. However, a few moments in particular stuck out in this show. But first, a little background info:

Friendship is Magic (Or FiM, as it will be called here) is an ongoing 2010 cartoon created by renowned animator Lauren Faust (of Powerpuff Girls and Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends fame). It takes place is the typical magical world called Equestria, inhabited by a variety of different kinds of ponies, as the title suggests (Namely, winged Pegasi, horned Unicorns and the ordinary Earth Ponies). The show centers around a small group of friends in the day to day adventures and conflicts, culminating in an Aesop written by one of the characters into a letter and sent to the world's ruler, a winged and horned pony named Princess Celestia.

Now, it may just sound like your typical namby-pamby girly cartoon, but it has turned out to be not only a legitimately good cartoon, but remarkably non-girly as well! The weirdass juxtaposition of pastel-hued ponies and genuinely intriguing stories has resulted in the show garnering an insanely large fanbase, predominantly of teenage and adolescent males. For those who are less internet savvy (read: Geeky) than some, this fanbase has gained huge sway on the internet, known as Bronies. Bronies come together on forums, message boards, chatrooms and even in real-world meetups, gatherings and conventions to discuss the show, buy and sell both official and fanmade merchandise, and produce incredible fanworks ranging from stories, to songs, artwork and even animations. And all this from the adventures of a group of ponies with names like Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash and Twilight Sparkle. Fuckin' A, man.

In case you haven't guessed already, I am admittedly a huge fan of the show myself. The animation is great, the characters are well fleshed out and constantly being developed, the comedy is hilarious, ranging from real-world references to old-fashioned slapstick, the stories are gripping, the musical numbers are catchy as hell?it?s just an all round great show! If you're into cartoons, I recommend checking it out if you got some free time- All the episodes are up on Youtube and all around the net otherwise, so it won't be hard to find. If you find that you enjoy it then I extend the brohoof to you and welcome you the Herd. And if not, then in the words of the Dude, that's just, like, your opinion man.

Man did I get sidetracked there...where was I? Oh yeah, the links between the show and Dudeism. Well, there's plenty of links between little bits of Dudeist philosophy and the show and its fanbase. For example, the mantra of the Brony fanbase is "Love and Tolerance", concerning not only internal prejudices among the fanbase between gender, race and suchlike, but especially concerning the relationship between bronies and non-bronies. Instead of lashing out at folk who don't enjoy the show or speak out as haters against it, bronies strive to simply sit back and tolerate these folk. It's just their opinions, y'know? Why force our beliefs on them?


But the Dudeist leanings aren't just among the fanbase. Even the show itself has its moments. Two big examples instantly spring to mind.

The first is in the episode "It's About Time". In this episode, one of the main ponies, a unicorn named Twilight Sparkle, gets visited by a version of herself from the future who looks like she just stepped outta 'Nam herself, complete with eyepatch, frazzled hair, head-bandage, torn outfit and a scar on her cheek. Only thing is, she's from next Tuesday. The future Twilight tries to warn present Twilight about something, but is sucked back to the future before she can finish.

Present Twilight believes that some crazy disaster is going to happen sometime before Tuesday, and begins to prepare accordingly.

All the while, however, she is gradually starting to look more and more like her future self: getting a papercut on her cheek (The scar), accidentally looking at the sun through a telescope (The eyepatch), burning her hair (The frazzled hair), a flowerpot landing on her head (The head-bandage) and suchlike. She takes these as signs that she hasn't prevented the disaster from happening and slowly becomes more and more extreme, going from disaster-proofing the country, to making an effort to stay still and do nothing, to monitoring literally everything, and finally resolving to just stop time altogether. But as she searches through the secure wing of the library searching for any spells concerning time, Tuesday morning finally rolls round, she braces for the disaster, and...nothing happens. Turns out there never was any disaster.

Relieved and enlightened, Twilight decides to use a spell she found to go back in time to warn herself in the past not to worry about what might happen in the future. But it turns out, this is exactly what future Twilight was trying to warn her about, and so she just set up a sort of time loop, where she will always be visited at thatime by her future self, spend a week panicking about a disaster that never happens, and then going back in time to try to tell herself not to worry. As you could imagine, she's pretty frustrated that her past self is now gonna spend the week freaking out over a disaster that doesn't exist. But her friends reason with her, saying "Don't worry about it. It's past Twilight's problem now." So the episode rounds off with the moral about focusing more on the present and not constantly worrying about the future or the past. Very dudelike, if you ask me.


The other instance, however, rings even more true to Dudeist philosophy. It occurs in the episode "Cutie Pox", which centres around a trio of younger secondary characters called the Cutie Mark Crusaders. As a bit of background phlebotenum, everypony in the show has a mark on their flank referred to as a Cutie Mark. These little images appear on a pony's flank when they discover their special talent or character trait that makes them unique and special, and different to every other pony (By the way, ponies undergoing a physical change when ageing, and discovering their place in the world? Yeah, totally not a metaphor for puberty.)

Anyways, these three ponies, an earth pony named Applebloom, a Pegasus named Scootaloo and a unicorn named Sweetie Belle, are apparently late bloomers in the cutie-mark department, and spend their episodes trying out different things to make their marks appear.

Now, you may be thinking that such striving to speed up a natural process is decidedly undudelike behaviour. But bear with me, I'm getting there.
In this episode, the unofficial leader of the group, Applebloom, is bummed out because nothing she tries leads to her discovering her special talent or earning her mark. While Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo generally decide to let their latest attempt (through bowling, no less!) slide and try something else, Applebloom comes down with the blues. But when she's talking with a zebra mystic who lives in the woods outside their town (It happens), she discovers in her supplies a magical herb known as Heart's Desire, which apparently can help its user find their talent and excel in it. While the zebra isn't looking, Applebloom quickly mixes up a brew of the plant and downs it.
The next day, she proudly shows off her new cutie mark, in hula-hooping tricks of all things. But while she's demonstrating her newfound talent, a new mark appears. And another. And another. And another. Soon enough, her entire body is covered with cutie marks, and she uncontrollably performs the corresponding talents constantly, unable to stop.

Of course, the matter is eventually resolved in the end when she admits that her cutie marks are all forced and fake, and the marks all disappear and her bizarre performance stops. The episode rounds off with the moral, that dishonesty and taking shortcuts to get what your heart desires never amount to anything good because you didn?t earn it, and that the best thing one can do is to be honest with themselves and others. Cue credits and chirpy theme song

Now this moral is all well and good and totally makes sense. But to be honest, that's not the only moral I saw in this episode. The whole Aesop concerning honest and cutting corners is pretty easy stuff, pointing to the main focal plot-point as when Applebloom took the Heart's Desire potion. But the way I see it, the main turning point was, in fact, the moment earlier on when she became down after her failed attempt to earn a bowling cutie mark. She is ready to mope all day over the issue, while the other crusaders are perfectly happy that they could just have a good time at the bowling alley even if they didn't get their marks (Or hit a single pin, in Sweetie Belle's case). Applebloom was so determined to use the bowling game to earn her mark, she completely failed to realise that it was just a game.

So, to me, the moral was more around that theme of it, instead of the whole dishonesty thing: Rather than trying to force their cutie marks to appear by trying endless shenanigans and hairbrained schemes, they should just let it happen naturally, regardless of how long it would take. They?d find it out eventually, anyway. Besides, throughout the series we have seen hints as to what their special talents would be: Applebloom is particularly good at construction and crafts(She once renovated a dilapidated treehouse all by herself in a matter of hours), Scootaloo has a knack for tricks on her scooter, and Sweetie Belle has an incredible singing voice. But because they?re constantly trying other things, they never quite see what?s in front of them.
Hell, in another Cutie Mark Crusader episode, the trio enter a talent show performing a super-awesome dramatic (read: cheesy 80s hair metal) song. But because of their personal inhibitions and preferences, they end up assigning the wrong tasks to the wrong pony: Applebloom ends up as the choreographer and lead dancer, Sweetie designs the costumes and sets, and Scootaloo is the lead singer. The resulting performance is so hilariously bad, they could give Spinal Tap a run for their money. They get laughed offstage after the stage set finally collapses around them, but they do end up winning the award "For best comedy act".


There I go again, getting sidetracked. My point is, the "Cutie Pox" episode just screamed Dudeist to me. The whole crazy situation could have been avoided for Applebloom if she'd just sat back and let herself have fun at the bowling lane with her friends. Though if that had been the case, we'd never have gotten this episode, so kind of a mixed bag I guess.
And I may just be fishing for connections at this point, but the fact that the episode began at a bowling alley is kinda telling. Not to mention that Walter, Donny, The Dude and even Jesus Quintana can all be seen as ponies in the background.



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« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 04:26:35 PM by femoman »

cckeiser

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Re: Dudeism and Bronies - An essay (read: extended rant)
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2012, 03:11:53 PM »
Sorry dude...too many words. I'll wait for the movie.
But welcome anyway...hope not all your post will be this long! 8)
There are not Answers.....there are only Choices.

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femoman

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Re: Dudeism and Bronies - An essay (read: extended rant)
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2012, 04:22:05 PM »
Sorry dude...too many words. I'll wait for the movie.
But welcome anyway...hope not all your post will be this long! 8)

Heheh, I did say, extended rant.
But don't worry, they won't all be. This was just something I was musing on for a while, so I posted it up to get it outta my brain and onto paper, or screen or what-have-ya.

cookiemeat

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Re: Dudeism and Bronies - An essay (read: extended rant)
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2012, 04:34:32 PM »
hey OP are you from /mlp/ ?

femoman

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Re: Dudeism and Bronies - An essay (read: extended rant)
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2012, 04:38:13 PM »
hey OP are you from /mlp/ ?

You mean on 4chan? Nah, I don't really hang there. I'm more around EqD, FIMFiction, and UKofEquestria. If you're lookin' out for me there, I go by the name Redback Spino most of the time.

cookiemeat

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Re: Dudeism and Bronies - An essay (read: extended rant)
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2012, 04:45:14 PM »
I just keep seeing lots of bronie stuff there and while the vibe seems nice I just could not really get into it myself. Furries kinda freak me out a bit but you bronies are all right, at first I thought it was some new kind of furry freak but after I understood it better no more fear of the unkown.

DigitalBuddha

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Re: Dudeism and Bronies - An essay (read: extended rant)
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2012, 05:02:05 PM »
When I saw femoman's mega post I thought I was having a flash back, so I grabbed an oat soda to wash it down. ;D

femoman

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Re: Dudeism and Bronies - An essay (read: extended rant)
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2012, 05:39:09 PM »
I just keep seeing lots of bronie stuff there and while the vibe seems nice I just could not really get into it myself. Furries kinda freak me out a bit but you bronies are all right, at first I thought it was some new kind of furry freak but after I understood it better no more fear of the unkown.
Yeah, we get that alot, but mostly we shrug it off.

Still, I'm digging the notable lack of anti-brony sentiments here.Most forums, there'd be at least 1 human paraquat spouting off against the show by now.

Caesar dude

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Re: Dudeism and Bronies - An essay (read: extended rant)
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2012, 07:17:50 PM »
TLDR....WTF?

Have an oat soda dude and chill the fuck out.... peace dude.
Love is like a butterfly it goes where it pleases and it pleases where it goes. :)

Admiral Von Snuggles

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Re: Dudeism and Bronies - An essay (read: extended rant)
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2012, 09:13:20 PM »
My roommate is a Bronie. Hes really weird.... that is all.

femoman

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Re: Dudeism and Bronies - An essay (read: extended rant)
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2012, 04:05:44 PM »
TLDR....WTF?

Have an oat soda dude and chill the fuck out.... peace dude.
Hey, I'm not trying to force opinions or anything, I'm just statin' a point so I don't have it clogging up my brainbox constantly.

My roommate is a Bronie. Hes really weird.... that is all.
Yep, we sure are. But would you honestly prefer a roommate who was boring and normal?

meekon5

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Re: Dudeism and Bronies - An essay (read: extended rant)
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2012, 05:03:53 PM »
Sorry got as far as "My Little Ponies" and my brain switched off.
"I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and  that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road."
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Caesar dude

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Re: Dudeism and Bronies - An essay (read: extended rant)
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2012, 05:14:06 PM »
Quote
Hey, I'm not trying to force opinions or anything, I'm just statin' a point so I don't have it clogging up my brainbox constantly.

Then could you possibly state that point somewhere else? WTF has this got to do with Dudeism?

Or are you saying that all Bronies are dudes...or are you saying that Bronies have something to do with Dudeism.

Maybe if you were a little more succinct and less long winded I would also have managed to get beyond the first 50 words!

I'm not having a go man...each to his own and all that but sheesh....

Peace.
Love is like a butterfly it goes where it pleases and it pleases where it goes. :)

femoman

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Re: Dudeism and Bronies - An essay (read: extended rant)
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2012, 06:45:08 PM »
Fair enough dudes, point has been made. My bad for generally choosing the wrong place and way of blathering on about it. Still learning the ropes and all that.

If a mod or admin could lock/delete this thread, much appreciated.

Caesar dude

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Re: Dudeism and Bronies - An essay (read: extended rant)
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2012, 07:09:43 PM »
No No No...I don't want the thread blocked or deleted.....no way dude!

There's been far too much shit caused in the past by that way of thinking.

As I said, each to there own.

I'm sure your a dude...just a dude with a passion for your thing...we all have hobbies man...

Peace.
Love is like a butterfly it goes where it pleases and it pleases where it goes. :)

 

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