File under “ohmygosh how have candy coloured ponies absorbed so much of my time and money??”. I think we need a bit of silliness after the past few days.
Fashion is something that has always remained slightly arcane to me, and I’m often just too lazy to dress particularly snazzily. It took Sunday Mass to make ties a regular part of my wardrobe (although more recently they have fallen by the wayside). But I appreciate art, and my aesthetic does tend towards the ornate and at times over-the-top, as evinced by my interest in things like opera and ballet, so I can appreciate fashion to a point.
Which is part of what makes Rarity so great as a character – she perfectly does the whole fashionista as artist thing. And I’ve got a lot of fondness for people who are passionately committed to making beautiful things. Especially if they can sing while they do it. And wear cute glasses:
What’s not to like? She’s the classiest mare in Equestria.
But still, why? Why has the brony fandom become, in the space of a year, the geek fandom for me? While I’ve been a long-term watcher of Japanese cartoons, the subculture that grew around them has never managed to quite suck me in the way this one has (okay, so I’ve never been to a con or a meetup and for all I know they could be horrifying). It seems to invite a more diverse crowd than other fandoms I’ve stumbled across, from hardcore rationalists to hardcore traditionalist Catholics. Though it may be the case that things only seem that way by dint of me starting an interest in it as an adult rather than a teenager.
It’s a bit like watching the original Star Trek. Yes, you can easily find shows that are, in an objective sense, much better, but both TOS and MLP manage hit a kind of campy charm that is difficult to bottle, and which invites cult-like devotion. It’s ridiculous, but the sort of ridiculousness that makes it fun to take it more seriously than it takes itself.
All the gender role stuff that people like to gab on about strikes me as a bit over the top. When I first found out about it, I wasn’t particularly weirded out by the idea of guys watching a cartoon for girls (I and some friends had already been doing this for a while), but rather that something so blatantly merch-driven as MLP could actually put out quality material. But then I may not be the best barometer here.