How to participate in the liveblog chat:
Option 1: Whenever you watch the episode, comment on this post as you watch with whatever responses you feel like posting!
Option 2: Go to http://webchat.freenode.net/. Enter a nickname, then for the Channels field enter ##rabbitcube, and finally fill in the Captcha and hit Connect! We’ll be watching the episode and commenting there starting at 3:00 p.m. EST. And I’m actually going to be here for this one! Afterwards, I will update this post with the chatlog.
Speaking of which, I updated last week’s liveblog last night.
This episode’s log below the cut!
<@Sylocat> …My stream just locked up
<Whiteeyes> So, what spell did we just lose foreshadowing on?
<Whiteeyes> Oh no!
<@Sylocat> Wait, it’s back
<@Sylocat> The Wonderbolts have a written exam?
<Froborr> Great, Twilight trying to convince Rainbow Dash to have test anxiety.
<@Sylocat> Ah, Rainbow Dash was actually listening
<Froborr> THANK YOU, RD.
<Whiteeyes> So they aren’t all meat heads, duh.
<mere_oblivion> Maybe it’s an oral.
<Froborr> I’ve never gotten anxious about a test in my life. There are always more tests.
<Whiteeyes> Freak out aria!
<@Sylocat> Woo, teleport
<Whiteeyes> I also don’t get test anxiety.
<Whiteeyes> So, predictions on the moral?
<Froborr> I really hope this doesn’t turn into a redux of the Applejack/Rarity odd-couple ep, that was awful.
<Froborr> Eat the book!
<Froborr> Eat the book to absorb its knowledge powers!
<Whiteeyes> That would provide plenty of fiber.
<Froborr> Twilight is advocating WRITING IN A BOOK!?
<Froborr> She is dead to me.
<Whiteeyes> Highlighting isn’t writing, it’s a study method!
<@Sylocat> I am NOT THAT TALL
<Froborr> It’s a book-destroying method, you mean.
<Whiteeyes> Musical chairs!
<@Sylocat> Whoa, worldbuilding!
<@Sylocat> “General Firefly”
<Whiteeyes> And hard cannon destruction.
<Whiteeyes> Head canon
<Froborr> Firefly founded the Wonderbolts! Neat!
<@Sylocat> …Flash cards?
<Froborr> You know, there’s actually some continuity here: Twilight is the only one who never actually learned Lesson Zero.
<Whiteeyes> Not you Flash.
<Whiteeyes> How does Lesson Zero apply here?
<mere_oblivion> “Or what!” I’ve always wanted to say that.
<Froborr> Lesson Zero: People care about what they care about, and you don’t get to tell them what they should or shouldn’t care about.
<@Sylocat> …”General Bracing Donut Glaze?”
<Whiteeyes> Scene, why must you mention food?
<@Sylocat> LEsson Zero also applies to learning styles…
<mere_oblivion> But most schooling consists of being made to care about what you don’t naturally care about.
<Froborr> Well, and also, if RD isn’t worried about the test, it’s wrong for Twilight to try to make her be worried.
<@Sylocat> True that, mere_oblivion
<@Sylocat> Oh boy, how’s Fluttershy gonna figure into this?
<Froborr> In my experience, most of schooling involves being taught naturally interesting things in a manner designed to make them as boring as possible.
<Whiteeyes> Wonderbolt Twilight? *scribble scribble*
<totient> or d) all of the above
<Whiteeyes> I loved traditional schooling.
<mere_oblivion> Excellent description, Froborr, sadly.
<@Sylocat> Well, they ended the fight early rather than dragging it out for the whole episode. Yep, that’s character growth
<Whiteeyes> Fluttershy, why?
<Froborr> This play is THE BEST THING
<totient> fluttershy is best teacher
<@Sylocat> How in Equestria did she… even for Fluttershy, how did she convince them to do that?
<@Sylocat> …Now that was a Pinkie Pie entrance
<Whiteeyes> Pinkie is giving me 80s flashbacks! No more PSA raps! Why!?
<mere_oblivion> So the pony version of hip hop consists of . . . trip trot?
<@Sylocat> …And the world of fanfiction did tremble
<@Sylocat> Hahah… mom just said, “Oh my god.”
<Froborr> Yeah, RD got about as much out of that rap as I did.
<@Sylocat> Oh no…
<Whiteeyes> Rarity, please save us.
<@Sylocat> What is she wearing?
<mere_oblivion> RD’s going to find that her best way of learning is Experiential, which is to say actually doing a Wonderbolt-like act of heroism?
<Froborr> That’s what I’m guessing, yeah.
<@Sylocat> Ahaha… oh, Rarity
<Froborr> They’re hilarious!
<Froborr> That was a Maud-calibre expression, Rarity.
<@Sylocat> Oh, it’s the fashion show from Simple Ways all over again
<Froborr> lol at Applejack
<@Sylocat> Ahahah… Applejack, the Element of Honesty
<Whiteeyes> And AJ is useless everybunny!
<Froborr> “You’re boned, give up.”
<@Sylocat> A reprise!
<@Sylocat> Oh yikes, she’s improvising now
<Froborr> I believe the term is “freestylin”
<Whiteeyes> I believe the term is “put me out of my misery”.
<Froborr> Twilight’s wing joints are the reverse of RD’s.
<Froborr> Not an error, consistently throughout this scene. Weird.
<Whiteeyes> Play that sad violin.
<@Sylocat> Maybe it’s an Alicorn thing?
<@Sylocat> Wait, what was that? I missed it
<@Sylocat> Ah, and here’s the solution
<@Sylocat> Whoa, she’s stealing Pinkie Pie’s tricks
<Whiteeyes> Peddle powered helicopter.
<Froborr> RD has the Sherlock Scan?
<@Sylocat> …and Sherlock Holmes
<Froborr> Who knew!
<Whiteeyes> Not RD.
<Froborr> Whoa, that was pretty cool transforming the cloud.
<@Sylocat> Oh yikes… the cloud listened to her emotions
<Whiteeyes> She doesn’t realize what she’s doing.
<mere_oblivion> “For the rain it raineth every day.”
<draftpunk> Well, that’s fan art waiting to happen. Fluttershy could be Watson.
<totient> I’m liking how the moral is shaping up
<Whiteeyes> She really could…
<@Sylocat> Right, Twilight’s wings are different, I didn’t notice before
<Whiteeyes> Wait, Rainbow can’t be Holmes, she’s too humble and has too much tact and social skills.
<@Sylocat> Yikes, is this meta-commentary on the job market?
<mere_oblivion> Digging ditches, selling shoes–sounds about right!
<Froborr> Being a Wonderbolt probably IS a glamour industry.
<@Sylocat> So, it’s a tract in favor of alternative education styles
<@Sylocat> Which is awesome
<Whiteeyes> It is also part of the military.
<mere_oblivion> I was worried she’d have to watch a MOOC.
<Whiteeyes> “Everyone learns in their own unique way.”
<@Sylocat> And now Twilight has a remote-control spell as well
<Whiteeyes> I wonder if that was what she was studying at the episodes start?
<@Sylocat> Wait, Pinkie stole Rarity’s line… is Rarity about to rap?
<@Sylocat> Wait, who are all these onies?
<@Sylocat> Topiary? They went that far?
<Whiteeyes> The townsfolk she saved back in Mysterious Mare Do Well
<@Sylocat> Ooh, and Fluttershy’s halfway to her Rainbow Power form
<@Sylocat> Uh oh
<Froborr> So now RD’s in the Reserves?
<@Sylocat> Mom just said, “MLP takes on public education”
<Whiteeyes> Psyche…that’s who Rainbow is, Spencer not Holmes!
<Whiteeyes> Also, 100%? Really?
<@Sylocat> And then mom said, “But what is a teacher to do, faced with a room of students who have different learning styles… and most of them don’t know what their learning style is.”
<Whiteeyes> A very fair point your mom makes.
<Whiteeyes> This is why kids have time to study at home.
<@Sylocat> (she was a special-ed assistant for years)
<Froborr> Double or triple the number of teachers, spend most of kindergarten identifying learning styles, tailor instructional segments for the different styles or to hit multiple styles.
<Whiteeyes> If they had the budget, I’m sure they would.
<Froborr> And before you ask, the way you increase the number of teachers is by raising salaries and offering student-loan waivers.
<Froborr> This would of course require us to actual care about education and be willing to spend money on it.
<mere_oblivion> Capital notions! WHy aren’t you people running the country?
<Whiteeyes> There are plenty of teachers unemployed right now.
<@Sylocat> Hah… Froborr, I told mom what you said, and she said, “Tell him to run for governor.”
<Whiteeyes> In fact there are plenty more teachers than are fully employed, so the number of available teachers isn’t the problem.
<totient> But surely you wouldn’t want to cut funds from our poor, starving, military-industrial complex?
<Whiteeyes> Of course, if you cut funds from the stupid sports stadiums they build in schools…
<@Sylocat> Fun fact: We just spent nearly a trillion dollars on fighter planes that don’t even work
<draftpunk> *head desk*
<Whiteeyes> Oh my God, can we leave politics out of this guys?
<@Sylocat> Well, it was kind of a political episode
<Whiteeyes> It’s not political!
<Froborr> It kind of is. It’s taking on the educational system.
<@Sylocat> I meant, sociopolitically relevant. But hey, we should probably move on. So, thoughts on the episode?
<Whiteeyes> It’s about learning styles and that just because you don’t learn a certain way doesn’t make you dumb!
<Froborr> That’s not a political position?
<totient> funding for education aside, I’m glad to see MLP encouraging kids to find out how they can study best
<@Sylocat> But Whiteeyes, there’s no way you can actually address that without taking on the state of education in this country
<Whiteeyes> General Firefly has laid siege to many a head canon.
<@Sylocat> So yeah, that was an awesome episode
<mere_oblivion> I agree, totient. And I thought it was a dern good episode.
<Froborr> It wasn’t bad.
<draftpunk> I enjoyed it. Too bad it flew by so quickly.
<Whiteeyes> World building, such as what the guard is actually called.
<Froborr> Oddly, I found myself not caring at all about the worldbuilding.
<Whiteeyes> And that it didn’t exist untill after Nightmare Moon.
<Froborr> Probably because, unlike Hearth’s Warming Eve, there was actual character stuff going on.
<@Sylocat> Interesting that they slowed down the pacing of the episode to highlight Rainbow Dash’s learning style, since you’d think RD’s learning style would be meta-narratively fast-paced
<Whiteeyes> So any fic with pre-rift guards, Solar/Lunar Guard, etc, has had their canon shattered.
<@Sylocat> Or was it deliberately going for contrast? Maybe that’s the key
<mere_oblivion> I think you’re onto something there, sylo.
<Froborr> Meh. I’ve never understood why anyone cares about that. It’s a fanfic anyway, it’s already outside the continuity.
<Whiteeyes> True, but it changes the way you look at things.
<Whiteeyes> Nothing exists in vacuume.
<Froborr> *shrugs* It’s like outdated science in a 1950s science fiction story. You just kind of have to say, “Well, they had no way of knowing.”
<@Sylocat> Of course, you could just slap an “Alternate Universe” tag on it
<Froborr> EVER fic is an AU fic.
<Whiteeyes> A guard less era implies something different than “there was always a guard”, so yeah tat only kinda matters going forward from here.
<@Sylocat> Well, now we get into philosophy.
<Whiteeyes> It really changes the way you envision pre-rift Equestria…now that we know that it’s called that.
<Froborr> It doesn’t change it that much for me?
<@Sylocat> I wonder when Discord’s first reign features into this
<Froborr> I don’t see much different between having no military and having a purely ceremonial military.
<Whiteeyes> There is no indication the EUP is ceremonial.
<Froborr> Well, we know Luna and Celestia were visibly younger when they overthrew Discord than when they fought Sombra or had the rift.
<totient> this seems terribly fateful–I ended up here because I was perusing Froborr’s blog as a way to procrastinate from learning math, and this was a pretty invigorating moral
<Froborr> There’s no indication it isn’t, and every past conflict we’ve heard about has been against a single powerful individual, not an ary.
<Whiteeyes> Then again it was all during the same year…
<@Sylocat> Except for the Changeling attack
<Froborr> True, but even that was defeated by two people, basically.
<mere_oblivion> Good luck with the math, totient!
<Froborr> Yeah, good luck totient!
<@Sylocat> But one of them was specifically the captain of the royal guard. And we saw the other guards in action
<@Sylocat> Thirded. Good luck.
<Whiteeyes> Sombra, Discord, and Nightmare Moon all happened during the same year…no wonder Luna snapped after fighting pony Sauron and magic Q.
<Froborr> Um, what?
<@Sylocat> I meant, one of the two ponies that defeated the Changelings
<Froborr> There’s no reason to believe they happened in the same year.
<@Sylocat> Well, the S4 premiere is mentioned as the first Summer Sun Celebration since Luna’s return
<Froborr> We know because of the prophecy that Nightmare Moon was precisely 1000 years before the premiere, but the other two could easily be, and almost certainly are, rounded.
<mere_oblivion> Glad you found the moral invigorating, totient. And if I knew a secret to learning math, I would have learned math by now.
<@Sylocat> I learn most of my advanced math by watching Vi Hart videos
<Whiteeyes> Sorry, accounting major. Math just comes easy to me.
<Froborr> Okay, so I’ll revise to say I don’t see much difference between a purely ceremonial/ineffectual military and no military.
<totient> mere_oblivion: honestly, that’s sort of the point. It’s not particularly easy, and seeing our favorite ponies struggling to get things into their heads makes facing that more okay
<@Sylocat> Fair enough
<Whiteeyes> You know, looking back at S1-3 and realizing that it’s only one year, Twilight’s stress suddenly makes a lot more sense.
<mere_oblivion> You lucky devil, Whiteeyes!
<@Sylocat> Heck, even if it’s four years, that’s still a pretty troubling average
<@Sylocat> (and they don’t have season breaks)
<Whiteeyes> True, but it would have given her more time to relax and have stress free days.