Q: I was listening to Howard Stern yesterday and they were interviewing "Bronies," as in guys who are REALLY into My Little Pony, at a Brony convention. Um, what? Alexis, please tell me this is fake. I'm not sure I can sleep at night knowing there were 4,000 men gathered in one place to talk about their love for the rear ends of little purple ponies.
A: I can't stand Howard Stern. He consistently exhibits spite and promotes negative subjectivity among his listeners. His "news" reports often contain non-facts for the purpose of entertaining his audience. This is fine in some cases, but in the instance of Stern's segment on Bronies, it has clearly left the majority of his audience ill-informed. I know this because, in the interest of research and objectivity, I gritted my teeth and listened to a bootleg version of the segment on YouTube. Three important non-facts perpetrated by Stern:
• Bronies are turned on by My Little Ponies. (False: Bronies are simply fans of the show "My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic." Those who take it to the next level are called Cloppers, but we'll get to that.)
• Bronies are all adult men who live with their parents. ("Brony" is a gender-neutral term, although to distinguish themselves from Cloppers -- again, we'll get to that -- female Bronies often refer to themselves as Pegasisters.)
• There are no celebrity Bronies. (Actually, Seth Green, Deadmau5, Andrew W.K., Robert Pattinson and Lady Gaga have all professed their love for the show.)
Personally, I can't stand children's cartoons. The gratingly high-pitched voices, hackneyed sound effects and pointless montages make my head hurt. I realize these programs are created for 7-year-olds, but plenty of adults -- not just Bronies -- can kill an entire day zoning out on animated entertainment. I am not one of them. However, in the interest of research and objectivity, I just watched three episodes of "My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic" and here are my observations:
• It is a children's cartoon, ergo the dialogue is dim-witted and the plots formulaic.
• It is cute.
• The singular message is that if you kill others with kindness, they will eventually come around and be your friend.
"My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic" is adored for being wholly positive. Critics have also praised the show's not-so-subtle examples of diversity -- namely Rainbow Dash, a tomboy pony with a spiky rainbow mane. The ponies are brave and strong with independent personalities, and they all happen to be female. The show attracts a viewing audience of all ages and genders that is proud to support its empowering message that love conquers all. These people are a threat to the GOP, not your nightly slumber.
The Stern segment touches on something important: Rule 34. It's an Internet adage stating that if a thing exists, there is porn out there involving it. I have seen more examples of Rule 34 than I care to (balloons, the Eiffel Tower, Jem & The Holograms), so I know that there are some Bronies who want to bang ponies. Those Bronies call themselves Cloppers, and unlike regular Bronies and Pegasisters, probably don foam spiral horns and bang away on plush purple toys in the privacy of their parents' basements. Who cares? None of these people are hurting anyone, and unless you someday watch and become enamored of "My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic," they don't want anything more to do with you than you do with them.
- Alexis McKinnis is taking your questions about sex, dating and relationships. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or submit anonymously at www.vita.mn/alexis. Don't leave out the juicy details!