Tuesday, January 3, 2012

And the Award goes to... Bronies

As the year is ending, from this point on until January or February, I'm going to do my own awards that represents everything in film around 2011 and I have to say that this year has the worst crop of films in any single year in movie history. When the year had been saturated by sequels, remakes and reboots, you reckon it's in the darkest timeline of all time. And that's what it is. Pointing out movies that had made some interest this year and somewhat doesn't.

2011 has been a definitive year for two things: nostalgia and obsession. If there was anything we learnt about what these two words have in common it's this: they are about what you like. What you really f**king like as a child. This award focuses on the bizzare, lost and found. The fact that something we'll always treasure will have hands touched against anyone's or myself's will. And with that we stab them with a knife and why it shouldn't be smudged. No it's not the bigass cookie jar you're trying to keep off from rabid kids. I'm talking about fanbases. From the hardcore to just liking the thing.

There are literally hundreds of fanbases that I can choose from, but that's too much because these five of the have been the highlights of the year. The runner ups for this category are:

  • The Bieliebers, an army filled with twenty million teenage female fans fueling their oestrogen over a prepubescent boy who's known colour is purple, a haircut resembling any of the Beatles and a Christmas album that proves that he changed from being a squeaky-clean sensation to being a squeaky-clean sensation who was once splattered by eggs - Justin Bieber. Bieber was possibly the second most overexposed celebrity of the year it finally time to realize that the kid became way out of hand when the Bieliebers sent death threats to his Latino girlfriend.
  • Game of Thrones fanbases , whose eponymous show was broadcasted its first season on HBO that there were only two kinds: one's are the people who read the books and watched the show, the others only watched the show. And it's interesting because the Experts thought it was great or ok at best depending if they followed the source material, but the Newbies thought the show was just awesome and can't wait to watch it again. But they have one thing in common: they all love Tyrion Lannister, a smart-ass dwarf played by Peter Dinklage.
  • Ryan Gosling swooners, the man of the year had some of the most adoring female fans, but he, not suprisingly had a lot of men who idolise him. He's smooth and at the most unpredictable times, is a Good Samaritan. His starring roles in Drive, Crazy Stupid Love and The Ides of March had made men envying at him wishing they were like Gosling whose so smooth and badass. It's no wonder people were appalled he didn't get the title of People's Sexiest Man Alive.
  • Community fanbase, who is perhaps the only people who seemed to watch the show. They tried hard to save their awesome show from cancellation, but it's now under hiatus. We'll promise them six seasons and a movie when the show gets back on the air.
  • Skyrim fans, who populized the really vague arrow to the knee meme.
They were really close for this award but this award goes to the most unintended, bizzare, manic, but kind of cute obssession of the year. The Bronies.

In October 2010, Lauren Faust, the animator for Powerpuff Girls and Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends rebooted the toyline My Little Pony with the TV series My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. It was broadcasted on a kids channel named The Hub, which apparently nobody watched. Despite that the show went on, thanks to a powerful fanbase named the Bronies.

The Bronies are the male adult or teenage fans of My Little Pwny: Friendship IS Magic (sic), despite the fact that the show is for five year old girls. The first time they've found it was when they posted Mods and threads in 4Chan at the /co/ board, reserved for cartoons, animes and comics. The word brony was either a combination of the word 'bro' and 'pony' or the /b/ board and pony in which they gained more notoriority. Pony mods were posted on the /b/ board which is the cruelest board in 4Chan and bronies were constantly trolled with gore and pornographic images of their beloved TV show leading to the Head Moderator to ban all pony-related posts. Following the ban, bronies have made a fan based website named Equestria Daily and so far that site has more than 90 million views.

To understand why we have the Bronies is as complex as figuring out which block from Jenga do we have to take out first, but not only is this the strangest fanbase ever created on this motherfucking earth (for the record, the Juggalos still takes that description), but it's also the most harmless. Every time they encounter a trolling attack, they'll love and tolerate. That's it

Some of the reasons why men loves the show so much is that the show's well-written, the animation is pretty refreshing and as the show progresses, it keeps getting better in regards to character and plot development. In a way, I have to agree. I should add that MLP reminds me of a show I still watch since I was little Arthur in which they teach kids lessons in life involving identity, friendship, socialising and how not to take things too seriously until at that point in time you act like a paedophile yet they're not being cynical or condescending about it. For instance, the Cutie Mark on a pony's flank represents the sort of talent they've discovered. If a pony's talent is in filmmaking, a camera is engraved (it's just an example)

Like many people new to MLP: FiM, I was at first stupefied to the fact that grown men are watching the show. Initially, I thought it was ok at first, but then I keep coming back for more episodes. Then I realized how much happier I was than the last time (and that was through a period of depression). This keeps on happening again and again each time I go to that certain period. It was the kind of show that was like a real life Fight Club from Fight Club. We do something that society is fucked up, but we feel like we belong. We belong in one huge fanbase where we should love and.. ok, let's get back to being objective.

Bronies were the biggest fanbase on the internet and they show how much they're proud of it. They posted fan-made videos on YouTube consisting of PMVs (AMVs in Pony form) featuring Weird Al YankovicThe Avalanches, Wu Tung Clan, Lonely Island and movie mashups involving Inglorious Bastards (Inglorious Ponies), 300 (300 Ponies), Hot Fuzz (Trot Fuzz), Reservoir Dogs (Reservoir Ponies), and The Dark Knight (The Rainbow Knight). Altogether these fan videos made more than 100, 000 views. Their fandom can get a bit creepy, in particular a fan fiction short story, Cupcakes. Inspired by the episode where Pinkie Pie turned into a schizophrenic psycho, it's MLP doing torture porn (and I dare you to google and read it). Then there's a what-if story of Princess Celestia, the leader of Equestria was a child molester. Other fandom include artwork, posters, etc.

Hasbro and Faust took notice of the bronies and the second season seems to be intended more for the Bronies than for toddlers. There was a section at last year's Comic Con for the show with an exclusive poster up for grabs. John De Quincie (of Star Trek: Next Generation fame, not to mention he plays Jane's father from Breaking Bad) guest voiced in the season's two parter episode as the villain Discord, in which he creates chaos for Equestria. We then had one episode where Twilight Sparkle goes batshit crazy, and some several references to pop culture not a lot of kids may understand. This includes references to The Big Lebowski, Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope, and 127 Hours.

But everything changed once the entire world knew about the bronies. They had some exposure to the media. The first ones were an article from Wired, The Wall Street Journal and on Fox News. Following that, everybody seems to mock them for watching a show intended for toddlers and accusing them of not being normal like becoming a furry, paedophile or a sicko. This kinda overshadowed the critical attention the show had been getting and it isn't fair for both the show and the fans.

Here's my take: Most of the bronies I observe are actually geeks. Normal ones. Men who grew up during the 80s and 90s where they watched cartoons aired on Nick or Cartoon Network such as Dexter's Laboratory or are huge fans of animation. The bronies are like the Bielibers, the Game of Thrones and Community fanbases. They're just a normal fanbase like every other base around. They have those that liked it, outsiders who are against it. The most faithful will force people into giving the show the chance when they don't have the time, but the fans are just normal, harmless human beings.

Meetup, people. Should we discuss why Stark could never gain the top throne or why Fluttershy should speak louder?

Come to think of it, the bronies remind me of someone who would actually prefer boy bands like The Backstreet Boys and N*Sync because both that and MLP are girly entertainment and any male would experience hate from peers if they were to enjoy them and have some strange effect into seeking attention. With liking boy bands, young men would actually use songs to impress the girls they love in high school or sing to them at their average formal. With MLP, young men would want to be open to something totally obscure and it can have various results

So everybody including me have some concern about them. But it doesn't mean I would prevent them for being a fan for life. I don't mind their fandom because it's really cute and different from what I saw on my time on the internet. So for giving kids shows a tick of approval, for having more efficiency than Transformers and for bringing me out of depression, the bronies receive the Joss Whedon award for Twisted Obssession of the Year

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