Serious blockage

I think my Muse is about to sue me for nonsupport.

Check out any time you like

This question turned up on Quora the other day: “You have been teleported into the world of My Little Pony. How do you get out of there?”

“Get out of there? Why?” I wondered as I pondered my answer, but this chap pretty much anticipated everything I would have said:

Why would I want to leave? I mean, the aesthetics are all wrong for my tastes, but I’m now in a world where…

  • Magic exists.
  • There is a benevolent goddess that demonstrably exists and cares for her people.
  • Most people really are genuinely good.
  • People who aren’t good are really easy to redeem.

So, to sum it all up:

Equestria doesn’t have rampant greed, debilitating diseases or resource scarcity. You suckers can leave if you want, I’m staying.

We should have seen it coming

I think a lot of us figured that after the truncated third season, that would have been it, and when we were proven wrong, we sort of lost track of the idea that nothing lasts forever.

Then again, the end of the TV series means — well, they’re not telling us yet.

Wanted: pony, single and free

Okay, maybe “single” is unnecessary here. But while we’re talking want ads, this question appeared on Quora:

Would unicorns be hired more for jobs than other ponies?

I gave a somewhat perfunctory response, but this one, I think, is better:

If you look closely, the show takes an entirely literal “separate but equal” approach to racial issues as a whole using the three pony tribes as proxy.

Unicorns can use magic, Pegasi can fly and control the weather, and Earth Ponies have a completely ambiguous “connection to nature” that has never been elaborated on.

The Mane Six were clearly intended to have two of each tribe in them.

Sure, there are jobs that any pony could do, and those are spread out between the tribes, but largely employment in Equestria just consists of the three races all sticking to what they’re good at and never breaking the mold.

Which called to mind — my mind, anyway — a passage from The way she used to be:

The old pony liked Detrot. In his younger days, he’d say it was because they had fewer unicorns, but that sort of utterance wouldn’t help anypony’s business connections, so he revised his assessment to “more down to earth,” reasoning — correctly, as it turned out — that pegasi wouldn’t care one way or another. Still, his first hire in Design at Baltimare Carriage was a unicorn, a very talented one, who stayed with him for twelve years, until Mustang’s operation in Detrot hired her away for, he found out later, roughly twice the salary.

No, it wasn’t five bits a day, but thank you for asking.

Everypony does it

A bit of Relevant Linguistics here:

Normally, adjectives appear between the noun and any preceding elements such as quantifiers and determiners, as in phrases like “every tall man” or “any nice people.” Adjectives modifying indefinite pronouns, on the other hand, occur to the right of the pronoun, deriving orders such as “somebody nice” or “anything interesting”. This is typically degraded or unacceptable when a full common noun is used: “some person nice” is not possible in English, even though person has a very similar meaning to –body and –one.

Common nouns like person also cannot be combined with else, unlike indefinite pronouns: while “somebody else” or “nothing else” are perfectly acceptable, “some person else” is not.

I have long thought that MLP:FiM’s conversion of -pony to an indefinite pronoun of this sort was utterly brilliant, a way to humanize, as it were, the residents of Equestria, without in any way impairing their, um, equinity. It even extends beyond -pony itself; I greatly enjoyed overusing “coltfriend” in Somepony New.

Be warned, however: the research piece quoted above was written to make a similar point about a different four-letter word entirely, one which you might reasonably consider not safe for your workplace.

Into a different light

Back in the day, we knew Chris Heron as “TheDashDub,” and he put out lots and lots of pony songs. He’s venturing into film and videogame scoring these days. “Journey” is his tribute to the justly famed soundtrack of the 2012 game Journey, composed by Austin Wintory; all by itself, it might be enough to get you to dust off the old PlayStation.

You can’t get here from there

According to WordPress’ semi-handy tool Jetpack, 134,912 bogus logins have been caught so far. An awful lot of questionable activity for a mere six and a half years.

Not sure how this happened

I get more traffic here than I do at Fimfiction. I’m guessing it’s mostly people who are wondering if I’m still writing. (Answer: Not as much as I need to be.)

Meanwhile at Trotcon

Our man in Columbus visits the fandom for the first time:

I find myself in the hotel lobby of Worthington’s Crowne. The first thing I did was B-line it to the gift shop. Not gonna lie, maybe kinda/certainly the weirdest introduction into the culture. The first thing I saw was the body pillow cases. Fitted sheets with (and I was prepared for something like this but, like, naw) sexually suggestive images of each of the Pony characters lying in a cushy bed-like background. Hey, to each their own. It’s not like I own any Gilmore Girl posters or have ever had a life-sized cut out of DMX at my birthday party (…).

The gifts and merch-grabs tailored itself to the fan base. Sure you had your super sexy anime keychains but you also had complete Pathfinder deluxe play settings that let you role-play within the universe of My Little Pony. You had cartoon smut lined up next to some (admittedly) cool looking figurines and Fallout: Equestria Fanfiction. But all of it was accepted and consumed by everyone here. It may not have been each person’s specific thing but no one questioned it, no one judged. Sure they were all a nervous and sweaty mess but they shared a mutual interest, they just expressed their fandom in differing ways.

Glad to have seen you, sir. You’re always welcome at the next one.

Dashed off quickly

Fark.oom is known to be a hotbed of pony fans; each week there’s a new episode, there’s a message thread that often exceeds 100 posts. So I wasn’t too surprised to find this under the Business tab:

Hasbro stock up 13% on earnings that were 50% better than expected, shareholders feeling about 20% cooler.

Well, they needed to be.

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