Bronies, gathered this weekend at BronyCon, are apparently getting a bad rap in the media: "Outside the convention center, young men danced and sang along with songs from My Little Pony cartoon that blasted from loud speakers as a video screen on a large truck showed the show's characters. One observer said it almost felt like a Grateful Dead concert." [AP]


  1. I am thoroughly confused by Bronyism. On the one hand, I am wondering what I am missing – but on the other I am seriously creeped out.

    1. Bronyism is, in my opinion, the result of a jagged adulthood that misses the old 80´s cartoonscape when things were not so complicated but  do not want the cheesy PSAs or the flat silly scripts.
      Give them a show that combines good feelings, an intelligent script, good old fashioned nostalgia and a conspiratory nod to their adult viewers and there you got am instant adult fanbase.
      In which other young audience show would anybody find references to The Big Lebowski?!

      1. I think it’s the result of “a show that combines good feelings, an intelligent script, good old fashioned nostalgia and a conspiratory nod to their adult viewers”, as you so aptly put it. As I’ve told my skeptical friends, quality is quality.

      1. Ah, I didn’t realize you were quoting the article, thought you were presenting it as an example.

        I’m a somewhat reluctant brony, and I think most of the media coverage has been pretty generous so far. The attitude of most of the articles I see in most mainstream publications seems to be “caution,” and I can live with that.

  2. Definitely one of the “weird as hell but not dangerous” regions of fandom.

    A little too saccarine for this gay guy, thankyouverymuch.

    1. No. Nooo no no no.

      edit: To clarify, I admit I have a soft spot for a good Internet fandom trainwreck, and I’ve been watching the brony phenomenon with incredulity, horror and fascination for months now. I haven’t gazed far enough into the abyss to go on a full-fledged rant, but suffice to say for some reason this particular series brings out the worst in folks. There’s a strong attitude of bronies being the “real” audience of the show, and all the entitlement and co-opting that comes with that — think an array of the vilest Rule 34 fetish/underage fan-art pornography imaginable, coupled with a refusal to tag it accordingly so kids can’t stumble across it. Not to mention stomach-churning racism and gory, “edgy” fanart galore.

      Don’t get me wrong; I’ve been on the Internet, and obsessive fans are going to produce creepy shit no matter what their target. My problem is that the fandom itself revolves around the sexualization of a children’s product. They call masturbating to pony pornography “clopping,” and it’s given legitimate acceptance as a part of the subculture. Good grief.

      All of this is not to cast aspersions on the source material itself; it sounds like a good, girl-positive cartoon in an era when intelligent, relatable female protagonists for kids are nigh-unheard of. And that’s the saddest part about the whole thing: 18-40 y/o white dudes, not content with having literally everything else in the world targeted towards them, are insisting that this is theirs too.

      1. Only the people sexualizing it are just a small corner of the fandom. Every fandom has its sexual corner, and if anything, I’d say My Little Pony has one of the smallest ones I’ve seen. Except for the imageboards, the bigger fansites don’t contain any sexual content at all. I mean, sexualization certainly exists, but saying that the fandom revolves around it is a pretty massive misrepresentation.

      2. Allow me to offer a slightly more nuanced perspective from the “inside”. I am a brony. I watch the cartoons and particularly enjoy the music the fandom creates – my favorite category is “Media”. I have family that love drawing ponies and I support the hell out of them. Sometimes when I have more time I may even read some stories, though I stay away from “grimdark” and “shipping” types, tending towards more canon tales.

        I enjoy the world of MLP:FiM for what it is, something that wonderful writing and great production value created and which I enjoy extending. There is nothing particularly special about that, and likewise nothing abnormal in my motives. Part of the theme of MLP:FiM is innocence, so naturally I tend away from friskier/darker works, which don’t enjoy universal acceptance for that same reason. This fandom like any other is not cohesive, and it definitely does not revolve around “the sexualization of a children’s product”, I would even bet that your typical brony would feel pretty uncomfortable with that.

        As far as bronies asserting a sense of entitlement, I don’t know what I can tell you. I think MLP:FiM has already proven to be a show for anyone, and I can’t see how my liking it would take it away from its original audience. It’s not like little girls are being excluded from the show or community, if anything there is now a pretty powerful community for their ideas to be heard, just like boingboing offers a pretty powerful channel for younger creative minds.

        My point is that there isn’t something broken or perverted about my affinity for MLP:FiM, nothing even particularly different, I am simply bending a gender stereotype and to a lesser degree an age stereotype. 

      3. Hi there! Proud clopper here. I will not allow myself or my fellow cloppers to be marginalized for sexual fantasies involving what amount to cartoon marshmallows just because you find the idea uncomfortable. 

        A _thought_ has no inherent moral value, positive or negative, and masturbation does no harm to anyone at all. Therefore, your disgust is entirely a matter of private taste.  You think it’s creepy. Fine. But don’t presume to attempt to normalize your view.

        You see, when you do that, you’re promoting an atmosphere wherein _thought crime_ becomes a viable concept. And I have no intention of allowing that.

        There’s no such thing. Do you want to risk creating it?

        Jed? I’ve yet to find myself cast out of a community for clop.

        Oh, and I would be _delighted_ to kick the little kids out of the fandom entirely. They spoil it by giving people like you an excuse for suspicion. 

        I hate kids, personally. ^_^

        -Alan J. Zeni Jr., Brony, Otaku, Fur, Geek. 
        I go by Haut Drakkie Chaotika Psykzozohedron on G+, I live in Morgantown, WV and I am 33 years old and male. I stand by my word. 

        Oh, yes. In case the login blocks it somehow (I don’t usually read, here’s my G+ profile:

        1. I fully support all consensual perversion.  Especially if there are videos.

  3. I don’t think they’re weird or anything (superfans of other, more “acceptable” things are often a lot weirder) and have no problem with it myself. 

    But I do think there’s a certain built-in quality here; you can’t approach something like bronyism without instinctively passing it through your “is this weird/creepy/etc.?” filter. It’s no surprise that for a lot of people it doesn’t pass that filter.

    Also, though, I think a lot of the controversy is manufactured. Most people will see bronies and roll their eyes and forget about it a few minutes later. Hysterical media outlets are not the only ones to blame here – bronies always seem to be proactively on the defense. As someone with “weird” preferences and tendencies and so on myself I understand the impulse for being proactively defensive, but I realized eventually that it does more harm than good.

  4. My Little Pony is the best cartoon ever and it’s COOL.  Of course the mainstream media is going to attack it, that’s just what they do!  You guys who think it’s weird probably would have hated the Beatles in the 60’s too.   Saying “I can’t watch this cartoon because it has unicorns in it” just makes you sound old and out of touch.

  5. Bronies remind me of male Sailor Moon fans from 15 years ago, both in the good and the bad. 

    Sometimes younger fans do tend to get overzealous and obnoxious , which is part of where the bad rap comes from.

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