No longer seeing stars

There is turmoil in the Twitterverse, or at least some segments of it, over this:

We are changing our star icon for favorites to a heart and we’ll be calling them likes. We want to make Twitter easier and more rewarding to use, and we know that at times the star could be confusing, especially to newcomers. You might like a lot of things, but not everything can be your favorite.

The heart, in contrast, is a universal symbol that resonates across languages, cultures, and time zones. The heart is more expressive, enabling you to convey a range of emotions and easily connect with people. And in our tests, we found that people loved it.

I question that “range of emotions” business, but no matter. Where else can you find similar iconography?

Right: on our very own Fimfiction, which still uses stars. You apply a star to a story, and it becomes listed among your “favourites,” but that’s not its primary function: once you’ve starred a story, you get notifications of new chapters. Readers can vote a story up or down with the thumb device, whether or not they’re receiving notifications; it’s possible for someone to star a story and still vote it down.

Now if knighty starts something with hearts, I’m going to be ever so slightly concerned.


I was not on hand for the rebirth of My Little Pony five years ago; I barely remembered the first generation, and didn’t bother to keep track of subsequent changes, because hell, it was just a freaking toy, right?

Wrong-O, Buffalo Bob. (And could there possibly be a Buffalo Bob, somewhere on the fringe of Appleloosa?) I hesitate to characterize anything as “life-changing,” having gone through several changes in a life that’s already gone on far longer than I’d ever anticipated, but two things that happened to me in 2010, the lesser of which involved the roof over my head being battered beyond recognition — never you mind about the greater — left me sufficiently despondent to wonder if it was worth going on.

Said Twilight Sparkle in response, late in the second season:

I did everything I could think of to change the future. But it didn’t work. So maybe it’s not what I do … maybe it’s what I don’t do!

You can only plan so much; you can never know the outcome until everything comes out. Yogi Berra knew this; Bobby McFerrin knew this. I should have known this. But it took a befuddled pastel-colored pony to get through to me with it.

Life-changing? You better believe it. I know I do.

The way things are today

A thousand readers have now found their way to The way she used to be:

Fimfiction screenshot: 1000 readers

   A thousand readers!    Some of them even liked it!   And hardly anyone hated it!   (At least, no one has said so yet.)

I am perhaps overly overjoyed at this, but I think it’s allowed.

A little reciprocity here

I mean, if it’s okay for a human to date a bear, I don’t want to hear any more complaints about a human dating a unicorn, okay?

In sameness there is peace

I keep going back to this, because not everypony seems to get the point:

Free yourself from your cutie mark by voting for Starlight Glimmer in 2016! As the equalist candidate, Starlight Glimmer invites all of America to experience true friendship for the very first time. The only way to be happy is if we’re all equal!

I figure, if we’re going to fetishize this “equality” business, and the early political polls say we are, we may as well do it right.

Shatner says so

And who am I to argue with the likes of William Shatner?

This got the attention of directorial type Jim Miller, and it didn’t take long for all this to show up on EqD. Speculation went way past rampant in the first half-hour.

In the meantime, here’s a possibly familiar look for the Shat:

(He did.)

Alleged grammatical note

This came down the tweetstream today:

For those of us for whom they aren’t mythical in the least, pegasi will do nicely, thank you very much.

Weirdly, I can’t find the original @styleguide tweet. You think maybe Cloudsdale pitched a fit?

A bit of puffery

The very short (2071 words) short story Dead Pony Flying, conceived by me as an antidote to the excesses of The Sparkle Chronicles, earned its one-thousandth reader over this past weekend. I admit to being sort of proud of it: it’s exactly as long as it needs to be, something I can’t always claim, and it’s been fairly well received.

Fan input: zilch

Showrunners and staff haven’t looked at fan creations since, oh, ten minutes after Buchwald v. Paramount was decided. Despite this, every now and then somepony claims to have substantive impact on an episode of MLP:FiM, though few seem quite as deranged as this:

Silvi [Cultrix] here believes that she is a writer and collaborator for My Little Pony, and that she is not receiving the credit that she so deserves. She is even claiming plagiarism of her efforts.

On what basis?

Silvi believes that she worked with Lauren Faust to create the character of Treehugger in the Season 5 episode “Make new friends but keep Discord.” She believes this despite the tiny detail that Lauren Faust hasn’t worked on My Little Pony since Season 2.

Now if you ask me, the first order of business for a collaborator on that episode would have been to come up with a better title than “Make new friends but keep Discord,” which, on a scale of awkwardness from 1 to “Scootaloo goes through puberty,” ranks about 7.5. Silvi’s claim, however, is based on having had a Twitter convo with Faust about what hippie chicks might be like — in July of 2014, years after Faust left the show and, perhaps more important, three months after the script for this episode was finished and the character of Treehugger was graven in stone(d).

This is, incidentally, yet another reason why you’ll never get anyone on the show to read your fanfic, even if it’s as good as Background Pony, which it almost certainly isn’t.

In which I turn out to have been right about something

The entire opening of my story Somepony New is dependent on the grownup Lyra Heartstrings living in Ponyville but coming to Canterlot now and then: she meets up with Desert Brush at the Canterlot train station, sees him going away with Twilight Sparkle, and then duly reporting what she’s seen once she’s back in Ponyville.

I owe M. A. Larson for setting that up in Amending Fences. Really, I do.