Brony Challenge Part 4: The Fandom Men-ace.

      Editor’s Note: This blog was originally published on August 6, 2013 and is being reposted completely in its original format.

RainbowDash Anthro
I really want to go back to coloring my hair!

Alright Sports Fans, Anexandros here, doing my Brony blog about my interactions with the ponyboys. As y’all may not be aware yet, I am taking the Brony Challenge to watch the first season so I can “Hate Smart,” if I am going to Hate at all. So I made a mistake in my attempt to know more. I talked to the BROs setting up the MLPFIM table. The Trio at the Brony table of fandoms conversed with me, meaning that Johnathan Dean was my main contact. “Matthew” remained very Fluttershy and did not wish to share his last name with a stranger, but Geovany Pacheco was pinkypie happy to be included in my initiating and they all were helping with setup “talking while walking” as they put things together at the Houston Brony Booth.

 They talked me through some of my confusion about the first season during the Friday night settling in. I did not know that Derpy was only derpy once then took a break, which would have saved much of my confusion and time. They told me to take the risk and watch the second season as well. I do not like hearing that, but it is not as bothersome as I suspect I would have felt at the beginning of my Brony Dare. They swear it gets better second season. Johnathan shared that it will get “experimental” and was unsure if that would be apology-necessary, but I suspect that like any fan of anything, if you are three seasons in, you want the fourth season to be a good investment. Geovany hovered most of the time standing, sitting, perching, hovering, much like a hummingbird as he struggled to find a way to contain his excitement and need to wander and find new friends, but counter it with his interest in easing me into the Brony world at large and explain the power of the pony.

Brony table 1It turns out that much of my time at the Brony table was spent learning more about other balloon artists. I have less raw talent than I thought, but more time in the field. Turns out that my field time is irrelevant. Those artists were pumping out ponies pretty perfectly and people were paying! (While I often purposefully alliterate, that one was mostly random chance). I helped them find a store to restock and they traded a couple of new designs with me. I did not catch the balloonists’ names, but I would recognize them again and feel fairly expectant to be welcomed back in with wide arms and eager chatter. They raised a decent amount of money and I suspect were able to stay at the con off of the passing of the hat and the singing for their supper. I considered doing the same until the wife reminded me that any balloon work I do would take time away from the journalism thing, so I shelved the latex and am glad I eliminated the competition with my new friends.

My two only negative experiences of the Brony fandom were these. One of the Bronies, who I saw dressed as Dischord later at the con, a character I only heard of and saw in balloon, humanoid, and balloon form (Go Balloon artists) at the Brony table, tried to imply that my willingness to dive in deep made me a Brony. Although he thought it would be surreptitiously awesome and did actually succeed in the short term, it did more damage to my Broniness than it served. It came off overbearing and bullyish.

My willingness is based on the future risk that I might be “hating with knowledge.” I intend to be knowledgeable about what I am going to risk hating on or loving. Much like the “gamer girl” who must learn everything about a geek subject to be recognized as a valid fan, I am learning everything about this geek subject so that I can be recognized as a valid critic, for good or bad. Being told I am failing at that by doing research, being told that by an external source, is offensive to me, especially from a member of my prospective fan group.

If I have the motivation to be a well-read jerk, it is my right to be well-read about a subject I am not a part of. Just because Richard Dawkins is massively intelligent about theology does not make him an Abrahamic theist. My wife, one of the biggest anti-Twilight people I know, has read all the “novels.” Just because a person is a criminology major  does not make the person a criminal. Just because a psychologist has a a doctorate in sexual disorders does not make the doctor complicit to the patient. “Dischord” tried to tell me otherwise in less words. At the start of the bet, I was a broniness of 0. At the beginning of Con, I was considering lowering my shield and maybe admitting I was around a 5, then an 8 tells me I’m a 7 and had me retreat all the way back to 2.  

The look Jonathan SHOULD be giving his Bro!
The look Geovany SHOULD be giving his Bro!

Then I remembered, I should not let one person ruin it for me. A fan I spoke to later seemingly  agreed with me. Just because I’m watching the show and intend to give it my best shot at appreciating it does not mean I am a fan. This person directed me to his blog and his personal website.

I'm going to be late for the John Delancie signing!
I’m going to be late for the John Delancie signing!

The second complaint was their fan video showing of “Time Warp”. My issue was not because of any change of opinion in the Bronies themselves or the people who dig the song or movie in anyway. It just created a traffic flow problem because the tides of non-pony mall cows and fandom  slowness that just came to a stop as a space built to accommodate 50 people moving was blocked by a 10×10 line dance of waving, flailing, gesticulating, but definitely not considerate line dance that reminded me of cars so wreck-damaged that they go in circles due to bent axles and blown tires on NASCAR.  People were having a good time, though, so I can forgive that.

Johnathan, Geovany and Matthew were hesitant to be quoted, but much like me, they took a risk that I hope is a decent payout. It also will make Johnathan feel better that the big spoiler he told me, I don’t remember that well, so I think I will be okay….maybe.
I wish I had known that John DeLancie was the voice of Dischord when I talked to him because that might have made me watch MLP sooner. Funny story side note, at the Space City Con, the autograph lines petered down so I went to just hang out with the guests and be friendly. Anyway, I fibbed a bit, meaning I wanted to be one of his people, so…I told him I was “a fellow alum.”
He is an alum of Kent State University (Yes, that one) and I went to University of Akron as a Freshman. They are rivals of the level of a UT/A&M game! Back in 1996, John Delancie was the Master of Ceremonies for Kent’s Homecoming Parade and I found this out. I had been a Trekkie for a year and so I skipped my classes to go to their homecoming but because I didn’t have a car, I tried to hitchhike to my rival’s school just to see him. I stopped trying after about three hours when I got picked up just off the exit ramp near Akron school grounds, my only ride that day, and when I told the guy I was headed to Kent State, he pulled up to the next exit and kicked me out. Seeing where the winds were blowing, I walked al the way back and decided to tell noone…until this web-exclusive right here (Don’t tell my parents!). It is one of only two times I have ever attempted hitchhiking with any seriousness.

The Brony group, Johnathan usually, were always people I would talk to as I passed. The group as a whole were quality fans and did nothing to bring shame upon the pony panels and presented a powerful presence to the pressing people present. (That part was purposeful) Only one fan brought Dischord.

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