My Little Pony.
Eight months ago, those words would have sent me and half the internet fleeing in terror. It used to be the antithesis of everything we thought was 'cool'. It was a sugar-coated, diabetes-inducing parade of gumdrops and buttercups. It was what our little sisters watched on Saturday mornings while we were busy gagging ourselves at the 'girlieness' of it. But, in those eight months, a revolution has happened. That revolution has revolved around a single lesson.
Friendship is Magic.
Tack those three words onto the previous three, and you have the bait to a brilliant /co/ war, a revitalization of an entire section on fanfiction.net, and the origin of a whole host of reverse-anthro fanart. But, it is the single most bizarre reversal of thought since the homosexual revolution. Suddenly, it's OK to go into McDonalds and get the girl's Happy Meal. It's cool to write yourself into a world of ponies and magic. And yes, it's considered awesome that you sing songs about love, trust, and friendship. Why?
I've thought long and hard about this, both on and off the internet. I've read stories about how these ponies have instilled thoughts of courage and hope into people; about how one man has the courage to stand up to his abusive father because of a simple plastic toy. About how so many people find simple satisfaction from these tales of friendship even though a year ago, the same tales would have gotten you trolled off 4chan.
Yet now, I think I've solved the equation. The answer is both simple and complex at the same time.
Lauren Faust has done true magic. In this world of cynicism and hatred, she has taken the lessons of love, trust and friendship, and brought them to the forefront of our minds. Not by weaving them into some complex symbolic message, but just by showing them to us. Sure it's with the subtly of an anvil, but aren't falling anvils good? When those anvils fall and crush the growing hatred and festering distrust in this world, then yes, anvils are good.
Ms. Faust's message can speak to both the younger generation, and the older. Pinkie Pie's laughter song from the second episode is a brilliant example. To the kids, she's telling them that the boogie man under your bed is nothing more than dust bunnies and your imagination. But to us, to the ones who have gone before them, it's something deeper. Everyone is afraid. Afraid of rejection, of the future, or of some other arbitrary idea. Pinkie is telling us to take those fears, and give them the Monty Python French Taunter's treatment. There's nothing to be afraid of. Everything we thought was scary about this world is not within our power to change. Of course death and taxes are the eternal bench line, but everything else is within our grasp. Just as Pinkie Pie taught the girls to change those evil trees by laughing, she's teaching us that we don't need to be afraid.
Everything Ms. Faust puts into these episodes are the same. Individually, each episode is a small tale of life in a magical land where ponies talk. But when you look at it as a whole, it becomes something bigger. Lauren Faust has given us something special. Like Calvin and Hobbes, Willy Wonka and Harry Potter, these six ponies and their stories are quickly becoming special in our hearts. A young boy and his stuffed tiger taught us to find adventure wherever we looked. A whimsical candy maker showed us how to see beyond what everyone told you was there. And a young boy let us know that there is magic in this world, even if we couldn't see it. These six ponies have done something of equal, and perhaps greater, value.
In this cynical world, Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, and Fluttershy have told us that it's alright to be nice. That friends are something no one can do without. How many of us look at Twilight and not see ourselves? We've all put up a façade of intelligence and cynicism, but deep down, how many of us are really that nervous pony who just doesn't know how to make friends? That's why the ponies are so popular. Because we are listening to them. Because we know they're right and we're afraid of someone coming along and taking that away from us.
But they can't.
The show can be canceled, pony-chan can be taken down, and the fanart can be removed, but they can't take away what's in our hearts. Corny? Maybe. But does it really matter? At this point, are we really so afraid of our own masculinity that we can't say something like that? If we are, then why are we even bothering with the ponies? Their message has resonated far deeper than anything else? And as long as we listen to that message, then we have already won.
I don't know if Ms. Faust or any of the other writers or animators will ever read this, but I'd just like to say…
You have rekindled the spark of friendship in us. At least, in me. Everything you have done with this show is incredible. God bless you, and good fortune in your future with this.
Friends, fellow bronies, trolls, stalkers… They say that magic doesn't exist. They say that it's nothing more than a fairytale.
Well, isn't friendship magic?
C'mon everyone, lets prove them wrong.
Let's bring that magic back into this world.