The Brony Phenomenon Explained

April 23, 2013 | No Comments » | Topics: Writing |


by Sonicsuns

Why? Why would a show aimed at little girls attract such a large audience of non-little-girls? Most bronies would give a simple answer: “This show is awesome”. But it goes deeper than that.

Clearly it’s a good show, with good characters, good writing, and good animation. But that hardly explains the scale of the brony phenomenon.

The big factor is the brony community itself. The community sustains and expands itself, and the show has become a proxy for a variety of values and relationships that are much more important and fundamental than the actual show. Allow me to explain:

Though we don’t often realize it, young men (approx. age 13-29) are constrained by a variety of social norms. (The same applies to any other demographic, of course.) We tend to enjoy badass things like superheroes and martial arts. (Well we’re mostly internet nerds so we don’t do much martial arts, but we watch martial arts movies etc.) We spend a lot of time playing Halo or Modern Warfare, killing aliens and terrorists. This is all fine; we actually do enjoy this stuff. But for most of our lives, we have been socially prohibited from enjoying anything cute, pure or innocent. (Even our comedies are crude.) This prohibition is so strong that we don’t even realize it’s there; we don’t even think about various styles of entertainment which don’t fit within our social norms. (And those who deviate are often derrided as “fags” etc.) This has created a kind of emotional malnutrition; we have not allowed ourselves to consume as much cuteness, pureness or innocence in our media as we would actually like to consume.

MLP:FiM contains all of these elements in spades, with the strong bonus that it’s a well-made show overall. With the advent of the brony community, young men have collectively granted each other permission to rewrite our own social norms and relieve our malnutrition. The existence of the community encourages new bronies to “come out of the closet” as it were, not to admit that we are gay (which we typically aren’t), but to admit that we enjoy these elements which are typically regarded as feminine and/or socially prohibited to us. Thus the community enables our enjoyment of the show, and the exhilaration we experience at successfully changing our own social norms is one of the primary feelings that we share with each other. (Though most people don’t think this through in such detail, and reduce the entire phenomenon to “This show rocks!”)


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The Difference Between Mens And Women’s Bathrooms

April 11, 2013 | No Comments » | Topics: Funny Pictures, Writing |

men vs women's bathrooms

by micahi21 

The nightmares I experienced as a college janitor all happened in women’s restrooms.

Men don’t flush, piss all over, clog toilets, and somehow shiet on the toilet seat from time to time. Auto-flush really has made the world a better place. Onetime we had a guy we dubbed the Mad Picker because we think he would pick his nose until it bled and then probably shook his head like a head banger at a GWAR concert. That was the worst men’s room mess we saw. Usually men just got gross but rarely disturbing and most of the time we really just dealt with guys who have piss poor aim and a simple mop and bucket dealt with the situation.

The women’s restrooms were a consistently disturbing experience. A complete disregard for proper disposal of feminine hygiene products (DO NOT FLUSH THAT STUFF, EVER!), lots of piss on the seats because girls "hover", lots of shiet on the seats because girls "hover". Toilets got clogged all the time due to the aforementioned feminine hygiene products and no one would report it out of shame of being accused that they were the one responsible.

Oh, and let’s not forget Menstrual Finger Painting. You’d think that if you saw it once or twice it wouldn’t bother you anymore, but nope… every single one of those artistic alternative medium modern murals succeeds in being a disturbing commentary on the human condition.


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What It Is Like To Be Executed By A Firing Squad

April 8, 2013 | 4 Comments » | Topics: Writing |

by FerdThePenguinGuy 

I always get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach whenever I see someone being led to their own execution. I suppose I put myself mentally in their place; I try to imagine what it feels like to know without a doubt that these are my final moments on earth.

You wake up that morning, and you know that instead of going to sleep tonight, you’re going to die. You won’t wake up tomorrow. You’ll never be able to see your family again; you’ll never see your friends, you’ll never accomplish those goals and dreams that you might have set for the future. You have only one destination, but you don’t really know for certain what comes after. Is it going to hurt, or will you die before the pain hits? Does dying itself hurt? What does it feel like? It’s something you’ve never felt before, and no one has ever been able to truly tell you what it’s like because anyone that’s ever experienced it has never come back to explain.

Eventually, after hours that feel like years, the guards appear to take you away. Perhaps they give you a chance to speak to a member of the clergy for one final act of contrition. Would you take it? Would you confess, would you beg for forgiveness from some god that doesn’t seem to care about your fate in this moment?

Regardless of your choice, you are soon whisked away. You won’t be coming back to this cell; the clothes that you’re wearing are the last thing you’ll ever have on; the food, if you ate anything, in your belly is the last food you’ll ever eat. If you’re thirsty, if you’re hungry, tough. You’re going to die this way, whether or not you’re ready to go through with it.

As you enter the execution chamber, you suddenly realize that you are surrounded by people that hate you. These people quite literally want you dead, and they intend to see it through. This is how you will spend your last moments; surrounded and drowning in hatred. You might think back to your childhood; to a moment in the summer when you were 8 years old. There wasn’t a care in the world then, you were happy and joyful; you were surrounded by friends and life seemed endless before you. It seemed then that you could accomplish anything; you felt like you could be king of the world.



Firsthand Account Of What’s Its Like To Be A Drug Dealer

March 28, 2013 | No Comments » | Topics: Writing |

drug dealer


Though I sold a little of just about everything from time to time my meat and potatoes was crank. I was deeply involved in a pretty heavy tweak scene for two years.

For the most part tweak dealers are like the President of the Hair Club For Men: not just the President, but also a client. It’s not a group of people who follow the adage "don’t get high on your own supply." In fact the entire reason I started selling was so that I could get high for free. The first time I tweaked I knew I wanted to feel that way all the time, and that selling was the only way I’d be able to afford it.

Over the two years following that decision I got pretty deep into it, did and sold a lot of speed, spent time around a lot of crazy people, and saw some pretty amazing things. I don’t think I have a story as gripping as Anon’s, but maybe I can provide some insight through a few sketches. Since my experience as a drug dealer is pretty intertwined with my experience as a drug user you’ll get a little of both.

What’s it like to be a drug dealer?

It’s Magical
I got to be high all the time. All. The. Time. People say that drug use is a constant attempt to chase down the first high, and that it’s never great again. Nope. It always felt great. I was very, very high for just about two years straight. I loved it. How much did I love it?

I did so much speed that my hair fell out. My teeth rotted in my head, to the point that I shattered my wisdom teeth one day by eating a piece of candy. I got nosebleeds  that ran so hard I just held a dixie cup under my nose and let it fill. I did so much damage to my sinuses that when my nose bled I would get blood flecks coming out of my tear ducts. Yes, I actually cried blood.

I loved it enough that none of those things slowed me down. It felt so good that I didn’t care. Unlike most people who had to slow down or stop when they ran out of money or speed, I never ran out. That was the magic of being a drug dealer. I could do as much as I wanted, all the time. I did enough that, on the few occasions I decided I didn’t want to be higher, the people around me were shocked. Shocked. They were worried something was wrong.

It’s Frustrating
I built up a pretty big roll on two occasions. Both times I lost everything. Once I was swindled and the other time I was robbed. Both times I could have recovered what was taken from me and prevented it from happening again, but I wasn’t willing to take the steps I would have needed to.

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And THIS Is Why You Should Stay In School Kids…

March 27, 2013 | 2 Comments » | Topics: Writing |

My average day when I was a day-shift Sales Bootyociate (the ones who stock shelves) at Wal-Mart:

  1. Clock in a little early, duck management and stock some areas that need it.

  2. Management eventually finds you and acts as if you’ve been neglecting your job for avoiding them. They make you take the items you were going to stock to the back, then set you on taking down features on the floor and moving them to a different location on the floor, or piling them in the back and replacing them with something similar. I once spent three hours switching two dog food displays that were less than twenty feet apart.

  3. Intermittently while you’re doing this management will come ride you and the other 1-2 Sales Bootyociates who actually try to do a good job about doing a better job, meanwhile the lazier Sales Bootyociates -who would discredit zombies to refer to them as such- will shamble back and forth accomplishing next to nothing while management pretends they don’t exist.

  4. If you’re unlucky enough to be trained as a cashier you will probably be doing that half of the day, because the register staff is also woefully undermanned, as well as having a high turnover/call-in rate.

  5. Just when you find that you have time to stock a few items again it is now your lunch break, or else management has decided that the daily “zone” (Facing the items and pulling them forward on the shelf) is starting an hour early. Never mind that there are several carts of items in the back that can go on the half-empty shelves that you are zoning.

  6. You clock out and try to pretend that you weren’t working in circles all day- and maybe, just maybe you helped out somebody, somewhere.

Also, the department manager of your area is probably trapped between a half-dozen redundant meetings and/or putting a billion new price tags with a slightly different color or graphic or slogan on the shelves, so he/she can’t help you much.

Also ALSO, during all of this, exasperated customers who can’t find half of what they are looking for will approach you for help, and the most you will be able to do is shrug with an idiotic grin on your face and tell them “Sorry, maybe it will be on the shelf next week”.

You can’t totally blame the middle management that is yanking you around the store, because their manager has a list from their manager, who has a list from their manager (and so on for who knows how many iterations all the way back to hq), and if they don’t check off that list it’s them in the frying pan.

I find a lot of positive things at Wal-Mart. The customers (not kidding, they can really make your day), most of your coworkers, flexible hours that work with school, and a lot of the management are great people. It’s just a wonder that anyone can get around the store with so much red tape floating around.


The Truth Behind The ‘Evil Forces’ In Star Wars…Potential For Childhood To Be Ruined!

March 27, 2013 | 1 Comment » | Topics: Writing |

by Hung Lee

Plot Summary
Religious fundamentalists conspire with militant insurgents to launch a terrorist attack on the greatest symbol of hegemonic power. The destruction of the Death Star results in the loss of thousands of innocent lives on board, and subsequently triggers an intergalactic conflict resulting in the loss of hundreds of thousands more. Movie ends with the surviving insurgents feted as heroes before cheering crowds for this unprecedented outrage. 

Luke Skywalker

Naive peasant boy radicalised into insurgency after witnessing the death of family resulting from the shoot first, ask questions later military culture of the superpower of the day. 

Han Solo

Drug runner, murderer and underworld figure, happy to transport terrorists on don’t ask, don’t tell basis. 

Ben Kenobi

Religious fanatic hiding in a remote desert location seeking the restoration of theocracy through the radicalisation naive rural youth. Would later martyrs himself in order to provide further motivation for the next generation of religiously inspired insurgents


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The Most Depressing Description Of Forever Alone You Will Ever Read

March 18, 2013 | 11 Comments » | Topics: Life, Writing |

by FourLokoKills

People think it’s the alone of being forever alone that hurts the most, but that’s not true. Everybody’s alone sometimes, whether for periods when they’re not dating anyone or just for a weekend while their spouse is at a conference. Alone is part of the human condition. It’s the forever that pulls down the corners of your mouth just a little bit when you give someone a smile meant to indicate that everything’s okay with you even though you want to scream that nothing’s okay and never will be. It’s the forever that tastes bitter in the back of your throat when you see a happy couple walking in the park or laughing in a restaurant. It’s the forever that has you wide awake staring at your ceiling into the wee hours of the morning.Forever alone.

There’s an ongoing half-serious claim in our culture that men think about sex all the time. Every 17 seconds or so. That may be true for some guys but not a forever alone. After awhile you stop being able to think about sex, at least the way other people do. You can think about it abstractly, or when watching other people perform a stylized version of it alone in your room while you use your hand to joylessly complete a sad shadow of the biological imperative, but you stop being able to imagine sex as something you could be a part of. You see a woman in the springtime, her midriff peeking out from between the soft cotton of a shirt and the rougher waist of a pair of jeans. You start to imagine her naked, constructing a fantasy in detail, the way her breasts would sit against her chest, the soft down or absence thereof on her pubic area, and then you try to insert yourself into her presence and the fantasy crumbles to dust under the weight of its own absurdity. You know there’s no chain of events, no course of actions, that could lead to that ill defined imaginary room where the two of you would meet in an act of carnal congress. There’s no way to there from where you are, it’s not even an alternate universe, it’s an inconceivable one. It’s like trying to imagine a world where everything else is the same except elephants float around like helium balloons and have to be anchored by their trunks or they’ll float away. An inherently absurd thought. That’s the idea of you and her being intimate. So you look away from that tiny sliver of skin, trying to keep your face from contorting in pain and bitterness. Where other men might smile at her you don’t, because your smile sucks, and you suck. Forever alone.



A Detailed And Accurate Guide To The Complicated System Of Buying Drinks In Ireland

March 15, 2013 | 1 Comment » | Topics: Writing |

irish pub

by hughwphamill 

This is very important, very.

The only thing I’ve noticed that visitors to Ireland of partying age get wrong, consistently, is the ’rounds’ system in a Pub.

If you are in a pub and drinking with anyone, stranger, friend, classmate, workmate it doesn’t matter and you are about to order a drink, it is extremely rude not to offer to buy your companions a drink too. This is not some trick, you’ll notice immediately that people will offer to get you a drink when you are out with them. They are not being super nice and friendly to a visitor, they are doing it under the implicit agreement that you will buy the next drink for them.

If the group is too big it will generally break up into smaller rounds, generally appropriately sized to the amount of drinks the group is expecting to have that night. If there are 10 people out it will likely break up into approximately 2 to 3 rounds, based on who arrived when, and who has finished their drink faster. When you find yourself in a round, stick with it. Don’t start buying drinks for someone in another round and you must refuse an offer of a drink if the person doing the offering is not in your round. All you need to say is ‘No thanks, I’m grand, I’m in a round with Mary and Paul already’. If you accept the drink you will have joined their round and you’ll need to ‘clear your account’ in the first round by buying a round before you leave it. It’s easier to stick with your original round throughout the night, though it is acceptable to change rounds if the venue changes during a pub crawl, but only after attempting to reform your original round in the new pub and failing for some reason.

It’s quite ok to come out behind or ahead on a round when the night finishes, you might find you’ve bought 8 pints but only drank 7, or bought 8 and drank 9. That’s ok, these things even out, if you’ve made a genuine effort to buy a round before the night ends then no one will hold it against you that you’ve had a free drink that night. It all evens out in the end.

You will be despised if you make no effort to get your own round in. Many foreigners think that the Irish are being super generous by offering them drinks every time they go to the bar themselves. As above, there is an expectation of reciprocation attached to that offer, if you do not reciprocate, you can expect things to turn sour, fast. The best case scenario is that people will talk about you behind your back, not invite you out on a night out and be disappointed if you turn up to meet them. Worst case is probably that you’re called out on it, or ditched during the night.

So to sum up in a few simple rules:


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Easy To Understand Explanations Of 3 TV Shows That Thoroughly Confused Us

March 13, 2013 | 1 Comment » | Topics: Writing |

x files

The X-Files plot arc was about a group of people (The Syndicate) who were trying to negotiate with an alien species (The Colonists) that was intent on taking over the world, wiping out humankind in the process.

First contact with the aliens occurred in 1947, when one of their spacecraft crash landed in the desert in New Mexico. In the face of the inevitability that the superior alien intelligence and technology would ultimately beat them, a small group of powerful men negotiated an agreement that humanity would be allowed to continue in the form of an alien-human hybrid. The Syndicate spent most of its time helping The Colonists develop the hybrids by keeping them supplied with human foetuses. However, they were also covertly working on a vaccine that would save humanity from this awful fate. Unfortunately, The Colonists had lied to The Syndicate about what their plans were.

The Black Oil that was supposed to create a human-alien slave race, was in fact a virus that created aliens inside the human host and their true intention was to wipe out humanity and take the planet for themselves. The Syndicate’s discovery of this betrayal led The Colonists to develop a race of Super Soldiers to ensure that the colonisation of Earth would not be prevented. The series ends with the revelation that the alien invasion is due to start in December 2012, the end of the Mayan calendar.


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‘What If’ Of The Day: What If North Korea Actually Launches A Nuclear Weapon?

March 9, 2013 | 1 Comment » | Topics: Writing |

kim jung un

by tengu38 

The Attack and Response:

If NK launches a nuclear weapon, what follows will depend to some extent on who and what they launched it at. It is not believed that NK has the ability to launch a mid-long range nuclear attack. In other words, they can’t hit the US from Asia. Their only viable/realistic target option for a nuclear strike is South Korea.

A nuclear response depends on a state’s second strike capability – their ability to continue a nuclear war after the first salvo. If NK launches a nuke, the probability that their missile facilities will survive long enough to ever launch another one is extremely low. NK knows this, which means two things:

Honestly, it doesn’t make a lot of sense from a strategic standpoint to nuke NK into nothingness, and China / Japan will never stand by and let that happen, to say nothing of South Korea. The ecological consequences make this too costly.

In the event that a US & SK –led coalition take military action in NK, China is going to get extremely antsy. It would require a nuclear attack, or something not far short of one, to get China to begrudgingly allow US military action there. The politics of the situation there will “ensure” a “short” war.

In other words, the campaign will end with the essential destruction of NK and the unconditional surrender of their government. An attempt by the US to occupy NK would be disastrous, but most likely it would be politically unnecessary. In this instance, the US is fighting a defensive war against a lunatic nuclear antagonist. The West will have a grace period of letting the military go in and kill like they’re supposed to before people get upset that we aren’t fixing our enemies houses and schools up nicely after we reduce them to craters. Besides, NK could use the renovations.

South Korea is Screwed:

Regardless of whether or not NK led off with or ever commits a nuclear strike, the war will transition from that point to a conventional war. Bootyuming Seoul is spared a nuclear holocaust, North Korea has 50 years’ worth of artillery aimed at Seoul and SK targets. It doesn’t really matter that they’re cold war technology; they’ll kill a lot of people.


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