Welcome, everypony, to a blog carrying on in a similar vein to other articles overthinking this great show. This blog will be take an in depth look at Ponyville and its surroundings, the mechanics and consistencies of the Friendship is Magic universe, and what they analogise and can tell us about ourselves and our world.
Surely the most pressing question the reader will have is, Why do this? It’s just a childrens show. What could it possibly have to say apart from general platitudes about love and tolerance? In truth, the implications and expositions of Friendship is Magic are very real, and very insightful. I will be posting on an Episode and Character basis about topics such as economics, political philosophy, egalitarianism and philosophical/personal value systems. Hopefully with clear enough explanation the shows metaphors for the state, misplaced belief, individual talents and free markets will become clear. Of course not everypony has the same level of background knowledge about these subjects, so each post will explain its precepts beforehand so nopony struggles to keep up. After all, you wouldn’t be here if you didn’t like the show and I wouldn’t want anyone struggling to grasp what I feel the show illustrates.
Before we start, however, it’s always nice to have an overview of the route ahead. So here’s some of the links that occurred to me during Season 1 - I’ll cover these more later:
- The authority of the state being derived from ideology and narrative - This is very clear in Winter Wrap Up. This episode covers free markets Vs. state collectivism, too.
- Anti-egalitarianism: Friendship is Magic takes a fairly dim view of the “Blank slate” social theory. Ponies have to discover their special talent/natural aptitude, not learn it. Each pony is unique, but by no means equal. Infact, egalitarian ideals don’t even exist in Ponyville at all. This also branches off into caste systems and racial identity.
- Inherent Vs. Personal values - Every one of the Mane Six of the cast has a defining set of values. This comes across very clearly in the Art of the Dress Episode and in the first Episode of Season 2. I’ll be talking through how each character (and one special pink pony in particular) shows how our own subjective valuations can cause us to misinterpet reality, for better or worst.
- Transcendence - In our atomised modern societies, we live with the myths of “liberalism” and “equality.” Over and over, we are told that we are all entitled to our opinions, and noone is better than anyone else. In such a mindset, no greater truth can exist than ones own personal whim. This is a particularly tricky analogy to work with, but clearly there - Princess Celestia herself transcends regular ponies merely by existing in the Friendship is Magic universe.
Of course I understand this is a fairly difficult list to even comprehend for the casual reader on first glance, but don’t worry. Each post from now will stick to one topic only and go through the spadework, so in the future a more well rounded, coherent and positive conclusion can emerge. I also understand that this list betrays a great deal of my own personal leanings - But in the process of explaining them, hopefully nopony will be in the dark about how and why I come to think and feel as I do. As all of ya’ll are, I’m watching Season 2 and will be covering that in future.