‘My Little Pony’ is a syndicated animated cartoon series which has been running since 2010. It features a pack of magical ponies facing the perils of modern pony life. As you would expect, the show attracts a certain demographic: pre-teenage girls and I understand it is highly successful. The series is based on Hasbro’s ‘My Little Pony’ toy line. Subsequent to the TV series, there has been a burgeoning of merchandising. A plethora of spin-off products exist featuring DVDs, books and a myriad of toys. I confess I’ve watched one episode and only because my granddaughter was a fan. Although It gave me no pleasure, my granddaughter seemed enthralled and squirmed with delight, on my knee, at every plot twist. My impression: typical animated fare for the targeted audience and dripping in sweet saccharine. The plots are generic, magical and highly predictable. The sort of programme which is highly appealing to six-year-old girls.
Why should I be bothered to mention the series? Could it be that Flaxen has finally fallen into the pit of despair and advanced dotage? NO, I have a sinister motive to relate. Well, it seems that there is a growing fan base amongst grown men. The aforementioned fans are unimaginatively known as ‘bronies’. Groups of bronies exist on social media and there are enough bronies, in the US at least, for the organisation of annual conventions (Brony Cons).
I could care less what law-abiding folk get up to and if they receive pleasure from buying plastic ponies and dressing up in garish garb then, why not. That said, I would be lying if I didn’t find the ‘hobby’ rather bizarre, cringeworthy and downright risible. Therefore, I feel free to wax great about a sub-culture of which I know bugger all about and of which I have no comprehension. Thus, this brief exposition should be viewed in the spirit of social commentary. Who am I to judge? But I’m going to, anyway.
All you need to know about this bunch of weirdos can be gleaned from the fount of all knowledge, ‘YouTube’. There is no doubt that bronies are earnest and passionate about their chosen hobby. And you will not be wholly surprised if the typical bronie fulfils a certain stereotype. Imagine a young man who is socially awkward and inept, an introvert with poor sartorial taste and bad hygiene. A man bereft of romantic interludes and who probably resides in his parent’s basement. A particular YouTube video revolves around an intrepid reporter at ‘Bronie Con’. The highlight of the video documents a question and answer session between the reporter and a typical bronie. The enthusiastic bronie is shown a series of images relating to the main equine characters. Without hesitation, the fella/filly is able to identify the various ponies with veritable aplomb and verve. However, he becomes stumped when shown the final image. With a certain relish and satisfaction, the reporter (for it is he), pronounces the picture as a representation of a vagina.
We live in a free society and the majority of bronies are harmless, innocuous but very strange. They break no laws and obtain some solace from their hobby in a cruel, loveless world. But there is a dark side to the ‘fandom’ (not a real word). Apparently, a minority of bronies are so infatuated with the characters that they become involved in the phenomenon of ‘clopping’. From what I can gather, clopping involves having ‘sex’ with soft pony toys. I’m a broad-minded gent, but onanism with soft toys is both repellent and deeply creepy. Indeed, it induces both revulsion and pity in equal measure. Mayhap the parents need to peer into their son’s basement, grab them by the balls (if they still have any) and thrust them out into the real world where they can interact with normal folk, and heaven forbid, girls.