Monday, October 22, 2012

Miniature Discussion post #4

These comics can't come out soon enough!

For this post I’d like to start out with a quote from John De Lancie on the purpose of the Bronycon Documentary, then prompt discussion about two related topics:

“Our position is not an exposé, it’s more along the lines of a mirror – a mirror up to nature, not unlike how the… for my generation , you probably don’t know it, but it was called the Drama of the Gifted Child. The premise is that the baby looks into the mother’s face, and the mother needs to be mirroring what the baby is doing as opposed to pouring all the mother’s neuroses and self-doubts on to the baby. What happens is that the baby… is going to start reading the mother and trying to fulfill the fantasies that the mother is providing. What happens by the age of 25 or 30 , they are people who are so good at reading what other people expect of them, but they don’t really know who they are.”

I think what John De Lancie was trying to express is that people can follow the roles that society gives them more than they truly follow themselves. It is as in the novel, Native Son, (a book that you should definitely read if you haven’t because it’s a tour-de-force) where societal pressures shape the main character into exactly what society wants him to be, with tragic results. I’ve seen this on the internet countless times: a label is created, then people give life to that label, whether or not they do themselves harm in the process. This is why I was worried when the folks on 4chan began using the term “Brony”. ‘Why label yourselves?’ I thought to myself. ‘Especially when potentially harmful stereotypes can be attached to the label with which you define yourself?’

In what ways has the brony label affected you or the brony community? In what ways hasn't it? Has society played the major role in molding the brony, or have we truly taken our own path, and molded ourselves into what we are? Has having a name, stereotype, etc. specific to FIM fans older than the original target audience been a net gain or a net loss in the community, in your opinion? Why?

And now for something a bit more abstract. What's your view of the term brony? Can a person only be a brony or not be a brony? Is there no in-between? Is a brony a very specific thing? If we make a very precise, specific definition of what a brony is, then how accurate is that definition? Instead, do you think the brony community has diversified beyond all possibility of accurate generalization? Is the brony community a thing that is readily definable?