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Showing content with the highest reputation on 03/18/2012 in all areas

  1. 6 points
    I see this episode as a metaphor for the gender struggle some fans (younger male fans in particular) might face. Spike, the only major male character in the show, is certainly more masculine than most his pony friends (save Dash or AJ), but he starts the episode being admired for his feminine traits. He's show n here as kind and nurturing and gentle, and so cute (the frilly apron was a particularly literal reflection of his femininity). His MASCULINE traits are downplayed, and even belittled, by the ponies (I'm lookin at YOU, Dash), and he finds that threatening. Cue gender expression crisis. Spike seeks to assert his identity as Not Pony (in this metaphor, not female or feminine), and he sets out to find those big, tough dragons that even Rainbow Dash begrudgingly admitted were fierce. When he finally arrives at his destination, he's spent so much time around ponies (and comfortably so), that he finds it hard to fit in with the dragons. I should take a moment here to explain what I find masculine about the dragons. Yes, there's the competetiveness and brashness, but even looking beyond that, there's a certain thing they do that's really common among groups of men (one I remember from my own time spent as a man): The idea that femininity is a sign of weakness, and should be discouraged. I find that most men, when taken individually, don't really do this so much, but GROUPS of men -- peer obsessed teenagers in particular -- tend toward this a lot more. I could go on and on about this, but I'll save it for another thread. SPike, in the midst of his identity crisis, seeks to show himself as like the other dragons, but never really fits in. He just isn't like those other dragons. This comes to a head when he comes across behavior he just can't abide by. He realizes that he's never going to be like them. That he likes being the gentle, caring dragon that he is. In the end, he realizes that his feminine traits are a STRENGTH. Previous to this episode, Spike has often taken special pains to point out how he's not girly like all those ponies. Secretly, he wanted to go to the Gala, but he wanted everyone to know that was girl's stuff that he wasn't into. Which isn't to say that Spike doesn't truly enjoy being the boy of the group either. After all, in his visions (man-spike), he imagines himself to be the macho-saviour of the group. Huge and strapping -- the type of man that all the ladies would admire. He stands in front of the mirror flexing and posing in a very masculine way. But until now, he only seemed to express pride about his masculine traits, and downplayed his feminine ones (and failing that, seemed to be in denial that he had them at all -- like his not realizing the apron he wore was feminine). What he learned in this episode is that not only does this femininity not threaten him, but that he's openly PROUD of the fact. He can do feminine things and still be a boy. Viewed through the lens of this metaphor, I found it a wonderful ouepisode, and I wonder if any of the shows younger male audience took this message to heart. I imagine a young boy watching this episode might appreciate the affirmation of his identity in the face of all this girly pony stuff. Keep in mind, dear readers, that those adults among you might not need the affirmation. Being adults means that many of you have already gotten through many of your adolescent identity crises. This episode wasn't written for US. It was written for the kids. Which isn't to say I don't think the episode fails in some places. It's not the best episode this season by a long stretch, and the storytelling fails even if the moral is well developed. But all in all, I really liked this episode.
  2. 3 points

    From the album: random arts

    *rolls around on the ground* my gourd, such a boring day I'm really bored of vectors, so here's some sketchies of the LPW crew. this is like maybe half of us :^l meh meh meh they're just sketchie sketches. I might delete this picture later. I dunno :^l maybe I'll keep it up. it's hard to think straight on a boring day.
  3. 2 points
  4. 1 point

    From the album: My Pictures~Drawings

    A drawing I did, then I tweaked it and gave me this! An evil version of our friend Dashy!

    © Fallingwater

  5. 1 point
    One of the guys in my gaming group does this (yes he's a brony) though I have to wonder how the Scandinavian god of mischief ended up in equestria... (actually... considering pinkie's powers... you don't think she might be....?!?!?)
  6. 1 point
    *is back once more, because you all realized that I left again* mm, but I just posted it in my art topiiiiiiiiiiiiic D: l: are sketchies good enough for the gallery? l: l: l: yeah, sure
  7. 1 point
  8. 1 point
    Dem chibis D: I love them. :3
  9. 1 point
    My cutie mark is a bed. My special talent is sleeping! Awesome!
  10. 1 point
    davyvyvyvyvvyvyvyyvyvyvyvyyyyyyy :^D D^: yyyyyyyvyvyvyvyyvyvyvvyvyvyvyvad
  11. 1 point
    Now that I've had a chance to sleep on it, I think I'll take a stab at the discussion du jour. I'm not saying "debate" because there's no real debate around this issue, since it's mostly about interpretation than anything else. I don't think there's a parallel to any gender representation in this episode at all. It's an easy issue to fire the opinion cannons at, but I never got that message while watching this episode. What I did get is that Spike was given a hard time by the dragons because of his gentle nature, as he was raised by a gentle species. He'd have received the same reaction if he was brought up by an all-male society of pixie puffs or something. I should also point out that masculine and feminine terms exist in very basic things, such as language. Just look at French -- the same word can have a masculine and feminine pronunciation. The message behind this episode was definitely complex. I do agree with the adoption and family acceptance elements (this was made very clear with the hatching of the egg at the end), but there was also an additional message about peer pressure and bullying. Most of the time Spike spent with his brethren was dealing with their peer pressure, which was not a result of him being overly effeminate or associated with ponies. I should also note that he seemed younger than the teenager dragons, and he received a very realistic response of a younger kid trying to hang out with a bunch of older teenagers. A great episode. Merriweather definitely nailed this one. A really good take away message is a complex one that can mean many different things, as real life could only hope to be so binary with its problems.
  12. 1 point
    Or you are a very subtle troll
  13. 1 point
    I'm adopted, and while I appreciate the whole "you don't need to be a frat boy to be a boy" dynamic, I think I should cover the adoption part of the story, if only because far less people here will have any context for it. Most stories about adopted children use it as a trope to have a quest for your 'true family' and, often, finding out about some secret that makes you special (Harry Potter and the Hercules movie are two examples). And that's all very well and good except the message it inevitably sends is that your real family is your biological one. Most of these stories end up with the child or teen staying with his 'deal's family. This makes for great escapist tween dreck when your family is getting annoying and you want to imagine your alien/wizard/mermaid/devine parents will drop in any second to reveal an amazing ability you have and whisk you away to adventure. But for adopted children it denies the reality of your family and insists that they can't love you nor can you be happy with them. I went through what Spike did. I don't look like any of my family and want to understand myself better. And I am so glad that Twilight was supportive of this. Yes, it looked like they might loose Spike but as his guardian, she wanted Spike to be happy. I was glad the message at the end was supporting adopted families being a real and valid family. I was glad they emphasized that with little Pipsqueak. I am tired of adoptive parents being shown as either abusive or, at best, okay but never as good as the real thing. I suspect Princess Celestia's letter was encouraging Spike on his quest but it might also have been saying where his egg was found. After all, I'm surprised they never asked her.
  14. 1 point
  15. 1 point

    From the album: Ashton's Small Untalented Gallery

    The Finished Image of ROCKS! done by "Prince Bluelolz"
  16. 1 point
    Disagreeing with Ginger is hard, if not impossible, so I'm just going to leave this here.
  17. 1 point
    Just got around to watching this now, and it definitely blew me away. Plenty of laugh out loud moments. "That's Crackle's cousin." was hilarious! I noticed some of the dragon designs gave a nod to How to Train Your Dragon; the brown teen dragon's tail reminded me of a Gronkle. Interesting to see CDD was in the journey montage. Maybe Spike has a new pet now? It'll be interesting to see if there will be continuity with the hatchling. Definitely one of my favorite episodes of the season. It was really well made. The resonance and chemistry between Twilight/Rarity/RD was surprising, refreshing, and done perfectly. I think Merriweather redeemed herself from MMDW!
  18. 1 point
    hi hi Wait, wait... What if Spike really is half pony, and thats why he doesn't have any wings. Those teenage dragons were a pretty accurate depiction of what my childhood was like. I guess its notable that the other older dragons were just chilling and sitting around the whole time, not really acting the same way as the teenage dragons. It doesn't surprise me that they'd disregard a letter from Celestia, because for people like that, image is more important than reality. Popularity contests aren't really based on anything tangible. Its just about who can make a bigger, fancier show. I can't really view masculine and feminine in the typical north american way because I've lived outside that framework and I know very certainly just how subjective those two terms are. What people think counts as masculine and feminine changes (sometimes drastically) from culture to culture. Whenever people start saying "masculine is this, and feminine is that," I just have to shrug my shoulders because it never matches up with my personal experience. "Who I am is not the same as what I am," is right on the money in my book. You shouldn't let other people define or frame who you are if it makes you feel bad about yourself. I really appreciated that they removed the moral a step from the masculine/feminine (false) dichotomy. Because of that, they were able to throw in racial undertones and take a look at some things that were more objectively right and wrong, like the difference between using someone else to make yourself feel good and going out of your way to help a friend. Spike's own experience of being helpless and cared for by others gets thrust into the spotlight big time. Favorite Parts: • Fluttershy jumping out the window. *squeak* • Spike not being able to sleep and Twilight helping him out by searching the whole library. *tears up* Friendship really is magic... • "I've done lots of nutty things." "We know." • "We're following him right?" "Of course." I laughed so much right there. • Epic journey montage! I hope someone remixes that track. (also, riding a mountain goat!) • "That's crackle's cousin." • Phoenix chase scene... that whole thing was totally amazing. Like really extra amazing. Phoenixes are no pushovers. • Twilight failing her first attempt at the teleport spell. It was almost surprising that they spent an extra few seconds doing that.
  19. 1 point
    http://s1165.photobucket.com/albums/q592/ToasterPony/Kittens/?action=view&current=MOV07983.mp4 keeties all my leetle keeties :I
  20. 1 point
  21. 1 point
    @DrMaxwell *salutes back* Aw yeah, snazzy style! @Bright Glow You look so happy!
  22. 1 point
    hi hi I would send lampwick hugs in the mail if I could... Also, i got about halfway done with this before I realized that Artax had already made one... but I kinda had to finish it anyway just because it would bug me if I didn't. Not trying to step on anyone's toes here, but for what it's worth:
  23. 1 point
    Got a little treat for all those that wanna spread a little canterlot love! Added more, pegasister etc. Also added colour-schemes and ideas by Ginger-Mint More to follow... watch this space.
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