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Ponyville Confidential by Sherilyn Connelly

Discussion in 'Audio/Video/Books' started by Recurrent Trotting, 2 July 2018.

  1. Recurrent Trotting

    30 March 2012
    Likes Received:
    So I read a book on MLP:FIM with backstory on olden pony which I think deserves about a 1000% more attention on here given that it is a book about pony history which references fan drama and mounts a defence of the Dole corporation (Hasbro for non-FiW fans). Also IMO it is researched by Twilight but written by Discorded Pinkie in that it is awesomely researched in places but you might also be put off by some her sheer fan-girl sassy-grumpiness about fans that do not like the things she likes (which is awesome to a drama loving person like myself and led to much fun arguing with her in my head :p)
    There are a few takes on what this book is about:
    Read this book if you like FIM ponies (especially Rares); you love silly pop culture references to 80s cartoons and the big business background; you like the brand of MLP prior to FIM; you like well researched things

    Do not read this book if you prefer narrative to content; you are easily offended; you share many of Sethisto's opinions :p you are a pony collector (she grew up in the 80s and thought they were as naff as I thought they were at the same age - how wrong we were).

    Verdit: Buy this book! I had so much fun with it :3 it's a scholarly book about friggin ponies :D

    I wanna save my opinions on the book for (any) replies but I have a few I really need to get off my chest after reading her book. Firstly, feminism was a big feature of this book and rightly so. However, I think she falls into the trap of thinking that feminism means doubting criticism of 'things designed for girls'. She repeatedly compares MLP to Transformers, noting that the media give MLP a harder time, which is true. However, what if the media shouldn't have such a low expectation for boys that they should be content with transformers? The media criticism of MLP is often shallow, but its heart is in the right place, and Lauren Faust / Hasbro's reimagining of the brand was a good thing which would not have been possible if the media at the time had adopted Sherilyn's view and hadn't directed such strong criticism at MLP. Feminism, at least in theory, means criticism of the female identity (which encompasses criticism of 'things designed for girls') and the very critics she daubs with the broad-brush of sexism are in fact feminists alongside her IMO although they take a different route. Her mistaken assumption that attacking 'things designed for girls' in media betrays sexism, leads her to defend Hasbro from the rightful suspicion that its agenda was to sell toys to little girls without regard to moral values which Christian/post-Christian liberal societies expect their citizens to display. In fact, unless you subscribe to very doubtful marketeer moralist like Hayek or w/e, consumerism is extremely suspicious morally and the various media platforms who were calling that out were totally justified in doing so (even when they got facts wrong).

    Secondly, her dislike of bronies is very apparent and does not find a genuine counterbalance in terms of something she really enjoys about being a fan of FIM. In some ways this not necessarily a negative, because I also dislike a very important component of what was Brony culture in 2011-12 - immature blokes on the internet. She cites some excellent examples of people who identify as Bronies, and as leading bronies at that (like poor Sethy :p ), saying things that range between fairly crud and truly appalling. However, since I am a brony an know many people who are bronies, just as she must know many furries, the 'fun' of hating on em is gonna be lost on me. She does share the sentiment that 'if you are a fan of something, then you must understand that being a fan of something is itself important' at one or two points in the book (she often acknowledged her own Rari-bias, Pony-bias and even geeks out with Seth's enthusiasm for pony), but because she doesn't engage with fans beyond what she can find on the internet she does not in general indulge in geeking out on FIM-Ponies, or on Fan-positivity, and I really wanted to see that in this book
    #1 Recurrent Trotting, 2 July 2018
    Last edited: 2 July 2018

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