Strange groups and subcultures have always fascinated me. I have gone through periods of seeing all I could about Juggalos, Trekkies, Scientologists, etc. One relatively new subculture caught my eye and particularly vexed me. This year saw the release of two documentaries and I watched them both, and both of them only further angered me.
Okay well, A Brony Tale is certainly a more acceptable film than Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony, the other film that looked into this "unique" fandom. Where somehow the much more subjective film (being the latter of the two films mentioned), that attempted to be biased and catered to the Bronies specifically, gave their own fandom that much more of a cringe-factor, not at all helping in sympathizing or understanding these guys, but rather further reaffirming what most people would have previously thought; I'm by no means a man of fashion, but Christ the guys and gals in Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony dressed exactly how you would expect a Bronie to dress. It was foolish, delusional, and don't right uncomfortable.
However, you can tell A Brony Tale was meant to be slightly more objective, but they also went out of the way their way to find Bronies who were more "normal" than the ones featured in the other film. These particular interviewees seemed to have their wits about them, understood the show for what it is (for the most part), and lived a reasonable and levelheaded existence. Certainly more artful and actually teaches you about a lot of things going on in this "universe" from an outsider's perspective like myself.
Here's my biggest problems with both films though; when both films tried to vindicate this fandom they simply do not understand what exactly the stigma is against these guys. Mostly everyone involved is in denial.
Look, alright, I have a friend with a daughter and I have younger sibling and younger relatives, I have SEEN full episodes of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, both with kids I'm watching over, and even a few on my own (remember I'm the morbid curiosity guy, there's no way I wouldn't have to see this for myself), and I can simply say, I just don't like it.
And here are the same arguments as to why these guys feel like they're unjustly vilified:
You just don't like it, because it's a cartoon and it's intended for children: Wrong. I love plenty of kid's shows, even ones that are coming out today, Regular Show and Adventure Time are simply some of the best, most imaginative shows on TV right now, and I still think Sesame Street is great. I especially don't want to keep hearing from people that the animation in MLP is AMAZING. Come on, who are you kidding? It is some of the cheapest looking, most limited, flash animation I've ever seen get put on major TV.
You don't like it because of the gender stereotypes in our society and you think because it was intended for girls that any of us who like it are homosexuals or pedophiles: NOT AT ALL. This pisses me off for a number of reasons. A) The fact that the gay thing is even an issue in and of itself seems slightly homophobic to me, it wouldn't really, if it wasn't mentioned so many times, and B) I consider myself a male feminist, my senior thesis was on the oppression of women in the music industry, I fight against gender stereotypes all the time, I love feminine music and have enjoyed a fair share of rom coms, nothing to do with that at all.
It's about life lessons, being generous and nice, and no one lives by this anymore: Okay, now this is simply smug and unwarranted. So...what? People who DONT watch MLP don't have genuine common decency? Yeah the world itself is harsh, but I don't like the idea that non-bronies simply aren't nice enough to understand it. We learned these very generic life lessons when we were children, the average person is very caring and kind. This argument is brought up a bunch and it just seems so entitled and arrogant to me (like the whole 'nice guy' movement)
Here's the only reason I don't get this whole fandom...I simply don't see why it's so obsessed over, I just don't think it's very good. I get mad when a show is this simple for children, we don't give them enough credit, and while MLP has had their share of movie references (albeit not that original, or subtle) the plots and animation are just the stuff of a mediocre to sub-par children's show, that isn't meant to be very looked into. I really don't care if someone does like it, I really don't, but somehow now I'm the asshole for thinking it's a shitty kids show, and clearly the Bronies feel more prosecuted if they've made two docs on it in the last year. I don't want any harm done to anyone, I don't look down on anyone, and I don't wish anyone should be ashamed because they like something...But it seems like the non-fans are being attacked here.
Also, I've seen the shit bronies have put up on DeviantArt, I've seen artwork of the 6 ponies tied up and gagged with cuts on their faces, I've seen Twilight photoshopped into a guys bedroom begging for sex, I've seen photoshopped images of guys making out with the ponies, and everything in between so don't tell me the pedophilia/bestiality/serial killer thing isn't apart of this "innocent" and "loving" fanbase....