Pony Thought of the Day: “Keep Calm and Trot On”

I don’t have much to add to this EQ Daily post pleading with people to stop harassing DHX employees, but here’s a couple of things. First, I’m quite confident it’s a small number of people being jackasses, because it’s always a small number of people being jackasses. “Small numbers of people being jackasses” is the second-most powerful force in human history, responsible for pretty much every war, every massacre, every horrific crime, and the reason we can’t have nice things like anarchy and have to have nasty things like laws instead.

Second, the post kind of conflates the small number of jackasses harassing DHX employees with the rather larger number of people who are not happy about recent development in the show. It is entirely okay to be unhappy about Twilight becoming an alicorn (I mean, I find it silly, but Lesson Zero and all) or apprehensive about Equestria Girls. But that unhappiness has to be expressed appropriately. Want to bitch and moan on your own blog or a discussion forum? Cool–but make sure you’re bitching and moaning about the work. Even, if you like, criticize the people who make it–to share something you’ve created is to invite criticism of your skill at making it or the ideas that appear to underly it. But–and this is key!–there’s a difference between criticism, which is based on a reasoned argument that uses evidence and suggests or implies a path to improvement, and insults or harrassment. Learn the difference, and try to stay on the criticism side of the line.

Finally, the most powerful force in human history is a small number of people doing their best to oppose and heal the damage done by jackasses. If you have Twitter, maybe you could say something nice about the show or the people who make it under the #thankyouDHX tag. Tell them I sent you, if you want–I don’t have Twitter, so it’s the best I can do.

0 thoughts on “Pony Thought of the Day: “Keep Calm and Trot On”

  1. And it's fan's like those that make me hesitant to embrace ANY fandoms. It's why I stay clear of almost every Doctor Who forum/site, it's why I've stopped exploring Star Wars fandom and it's why it took me over a year to get over myself and just call it like it is: I'm a Brony.

    Because as much as doing good to try and make up for the assholes is important, it takes three good people to make up for each bad one. Especially online I find most fan communities to be filled with vitrol spewing fanatics that seem to hate more than they love. And those people are the face of fans, even reasonable ones.

  2. Unfortunately, online you get the combination of the typical jackass minority in the fandom (regardless of which fandom it is) with the problem of GIFT (lack of consequences plus an audience has the power to turn otherwise normal people into complete fuckwads).

    That said, it's worse in some communities than others. Doctor Who fandom as a whole, for instance, is extremely grumpy, but there are certain sites (TARDIS Eruditorum for one) where it's a lot better. My experience has been that bronies are one of the fandoms with the least jackassery, generally speaking.

    The amount has been slowly increasing since Season 2, but that's a natural consequence of any group of freely associating people getting larger. In a small group jackasses aren't tolerated because nobody likes them. As the group gets larger, however, there's enough jackasses to applaud one another's jackassery, so at a certain size the group has to either start policing itself to control the jackassery, or else turn into a hive of scum and villainy where jackasses run rampant and the few non-jackasses need a skin and stomach of steel to survive, e.g. video game fandom.

  3. I don't understand the parts of fandom that get revved up and call for a character to die, or for something terrible to happen to them just because they might interfere with a ship or be offensive to their sensibilities in some way. Supernatural and the US Being Human (I don't care for either but my girlfriend enjoys both)have absolutely insane amounts of rabid hatred for characters.

    I don't like Tom Baker's doctor. I just don't. I've watched about 80% of his stuff including everything that people consider “Classics” such as Pyramids or Talons. At the same time I would never say “He deserved a long a painful death. Falling off that tower was far too good for him.”. Other people enjoy it and that's fine. That attitude seems to be rarer the larger a fandom gets. Live and let Live takes a lot less effort than vainly trying to make everyone agree with you…

  4. It's got to do with identifying with something so strongly that you start projecting your own issues all over it. I've talked about it before, but I think it's time to do a PTotD on it again.

  5. It's not just fandom either. Consider the state of political discourse almost everywhere. People begin to identify with a position, idea, etc, which leads to any challenge to the position being taken as a challenge to the person. Which often leads to a violent reaction. It also leads to people being unable to be critical of their own position. Leading to an “us vs them” mentality, which then justifies gross transgressions in the name of the ideal.

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