Community Post #144 - Many Colours of Pony #3 - I need a banana after this...

Discussion in 'Community Posts' started by Tyro D. Fox, Sep 16, 2015.

  1. Tyro D. Fox

    Tyro D. Fox Ho, hog, heg! I can does Game Dev thing, yes!
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    I'm gonna do you a deal. What I'm going to try and write about is not the most fun thing in the world. In fact, I'm sure some are likely to find it either kinda awkward or unpleasant. So, I'm putting it in a spoiler tag. You can read that only if you want. No problems. OK? OK.

    Community Post #144

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    Killing The Joke

    Yeah, I'm kinda terrified of this one. I kinda have to nail this or you lot are likely to go nuts on me and, honestly, if I mess this up, I think I deserve it. So, here goes.

    There's a saying that studying a joke is like dissecting a frog; you learn a lot but the frog's dead. Probably quite apt for today's hopefully coherent ramble.

    Ask Princess Molestia was the creation of a one John Joseco. It's a really silly one joke premise about Princess Celestia's name being altered to sound a bit rude and how she would change if she was called that. It's kinda a pun that expanded into a character. Said character came under fire on accusations of promoting 'Rape Culture' and was shut down after Hasbro stepped in with their lawyer, armed with a semi-automatic filled with C&D Orders.

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    "Weeee! Come on! You have to make yourself worth the money when we're not shutting down fan projects!"

    Simple as that? Eeeehhh...Well...

    You see, when I look over this case, I can't help but feel like this was a huge waste of time. Not for the reasons some may be thinking of. I'm not squeamish when it comes to dirty materials, sure! But, I really can't help but think that the Down With Molestia had their heart in the right place, even though they weren't looking at the bigger picture. Taking down one blog doesn't help, because people will just back it up. If they like it, they will find it. It's the internet, we do this for everything popular.

    You want games that were only released in select counties? We can do that. Want toys only sold at a very specific time? How about stuff that was banned in some countries? Perfectly doable. Making sure an entire collection of a web comic survives after it's nuked isn't that hard.

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    How about the world's most confusingly random piece of memorabilia?

    But what should they have done? Well, first; we kinda need to dig into the material at hand.

    Though I should say, I'm not against DWM. But I also can't find anything fundamentally wrong with Ask Molestia either. I can't muster any bile for this thing. At all. I sat down, read all I could and thought it was OK. Why? Apparently, it's the worst thing since asbestos snuggies. But I just find it just daft. Why?

    Well, the answer lies in three things. One, the nature of Errotic Fiction. Two, Calpain is a Teacher and Former Scientist, so I'm not looking to completely rule out that there wasn't someone smart vetting this stuff when he acted as editor for the blog. Three, the nature of Comedy. While I can't verify anything about Calpain as I've never met him, how about points One and Three together?

    OK, so the joke of Ask Molestia is smarter than just that pun. It's about a character that has absolutely no boundaries - what-so-ever - and just so happens to be right at the top of the political and social food-chain. This Celestia is a pure and simple tyrant that does whatever she wants. Her citizens and guards fear her. Any that oppose her tend to feel her wrath. Or are toyed with for her amusement.

    Oh! And she's a huge nymphomaniac. It's kinda core to her character. In fact, it seems to be the reason for her tyranius behaviour. She is completely out of control and no one can stop her. Anyone that tries is either in the dungeon, her bed or on the moon with Woona.

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    It's essentially a goofy version of this meme that's been going for ages.

    If that sounded like a horror movie or an outright villain then technically you'd be right. Why is this a Comedy? Well, let me introduce Framing, fillies and gentlecolts.

    Framing is essentially how you present something. It's got a thousand and one contexts but in Comics, it's what you put in the frame and where you situate it. In Narrative, it's what you talk about and how you talk about it. This cropping alters the context for the scene by literally cropping out what you see in it and how it's coloured.

    For instance, if I were to show a child crying, then there's not much you can derive from that. The child could be crying for any number of reasons. But, if you include the empty cone in her hand and the scoop of ice cream that's splatted on the floor, now you have enough context to piece it all together. But, I could be cutting out something too, like the child's sibling that is also crying because the first child took their ice cream cone.

    It doesn't end at cropping context. Colouring it can have an effect. If we're back to the child with the ice cream on the floor, you're up to have any emotional connection you like. But if I changed the colours of the Image to Black and White , then it's suddenly a little sadder looking due to the lack of colour. If we were really close up on the child's face, then we'd get to see all the misery they're experiencing right there. However, if we pull back the camera and look on from a distance, we don't get as much of those raw feelings. Heck, we might even be able to laugh.

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    You laugh, but because of how it's frames, you can't see his likely blazed parents giggling their arses off.

    It's a generally simple point that was said by Charlie Chaplin, that comedy requires distance. Framing can give you distance. And it's how Ask Molestia turns a sex-crazed mad-pony into a joke. Pretty much all of it is framed relatively level with pretty much no panels from any character points of view. All of it is as if a floating, third-party camera pony was around, filming everything. We never see anything from any character's eyes. We can always see the main thrust of what's going on. This is important to ensure that the audience is always distant enough from the characters and their antics so that they can laugh at them.

    If everything was from the point of view of a character or if they showed every reaction in a close up, then the tone changes. It's more likely to be seen as horrific or scary because the reader is literally being invited inside the character's head and experiences everything they're experiencing, as they experience it. Either everything is predatory and creepy or everything is terrifying as a lunatic is about to jump you. Comedy doesn't work there.

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    No joke to go with this. I just wanted to share this. Isn't it soooooo cuuuuute!!

    If I can pull up another comedian, Doug Walker believes that comedy hinges on misery. I'd personally say it's a mixture of both. Which leads me to my next point: You don't laugh at Molestia, you laugh at the chaos she creates. The humour is in the embarrassment or misery of her victims. The guards that thought that Molestia wasn't that scary and of course were proven disastrously wrong. Twilight's parents that put up with the unhinged Celestia being herself, despite the apparent relationship with their daughter. The random ponies that get felt up and feel incredibly embarrassed.

    The one pony that really likes it and it's spelt right across her face.

    You see, the framing keeps you at a nice steady distance from all of this so you can point and laugh. It's a thing I liken to something like Fawlty Towers and the character of Basil Fawlty. Basil is unpleasant, cruel to his staff and even ruder to his guests. He's bigoted. He's loud mouthed. He's thoroughly despicable to his wife when he thinks she's not listening. He's a colossal liar and a cheat. If you actually had to meet this guy and stay in his hotel, you'd likely go mad or deck him.

    And yet; cultural touchstone for an entire country. If you live in England and you haven't seen Fawlty Towers, prepare to be suggested all the clips under the sun to illustrate what you're missing. Expect to see John Clease with a bandage on his head, goose stepping back and forth while holding is finger under his nose with absolutely no context over and over.

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    Having a go at this is like having a go at the Queen. You just don't.

    The same sort of framing in it's central character is present. Your kept at a level, almost voyeuristic viewpoint at all times. The only close ups are to show important details and reactions to what's happening. Otherwise, you are laughing at the misfortune that Basil causes. Often to himself but the best is always on his guests. I can't see Molestia as anything different.

    Even if she is a rapist or not.

    Did you feel that? The sudden chilling in the air as I'd said that as if something had walked across your grave, shoved ice cubes down your back and then did that 'Line, Line, Dot, Dot' thing that always gave you the shivers. All because of that one word. And it's a scary thing. It's a terrifying, miserable thing. It's a thing that is bafflingly stupid and mindlessly cruel. Heck, I had to Google all about it for this week and it's honestly one of the most disheartening things I've had to read through. And I hadn't even hit enter to start the search and I felt downtrodden. Background reading on this stuff has not been fun.

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    Umm...DANCE-DANCE-DANCE and I DANCE-DANCE-DANCE!

    But it was the talk of the bloody century for a while there so, let's address that elephant in the room. Molestia's base character is that she has no control and so 'No' doesn't mean 'No' with her. Is that the end of it? Well, no and this is actually one of the more interesting points I ever found on the topic of this nature. In a counter argument I've always really respected and found hard to argue with. That doesn't mean I haven't tried.

    Going back to Doug Walker's take on Comedy, you cannot have an effective joke without it mocking something. To mock is to exploit for the purposes of ridicule and it will always offend someone, somehow. That's the risk of this stuff. Someone is going to hurt because of that requirement to create that misery. And most will not consider it a big deal because of how it's framed. But we laugh as something of a defence mechanism. The word or the effect of it doesn't have any meaning anymore because it's been ridiculed into nothing. It's an important subject and should never, ever been shied away from. And making fun of it helps the process become that much more manageable.

    I'm willing to put money down and say 10 times out of 10, if someone was to meet a real victim of rape, they would not be laughing at them. The human brain is capable of telling the difference between exaggeration for comic effect and the genuine article. But even if it makes a mistake, there are ways they can be corrected. Just talk to someone or consult with their own conscience. People on the whole are not stupid. But vocal minorities are usually the ones filling up that echo chamber with noise anyway so...

    All of that said, the biggest reason I can't get angry over Ask Molestia is because I'm really not convinced 'Trivialising Rape' was anything but one interpretation of what was going on. I find it way more convincing that Ask Molestia isn't set in Equestria, it's set in 'Clop-Fic Land'. While I've never found any interviews or anything solid back it up from the guys that worked on it, tropes of the series seems way closer to a mockery of anything with an Elicit tag on FiM Fiction.

    After all, Molestia always get's away with everything. Not a single soul seems to resist her and there's a great deal of characters that are actually perfectly consenting to her advances. The ones that aren't appear to be riffs more on playing up tyranny, being disgusting or being creepy for laughs. The Pedobear meme does come to mind and I don't think it's an unfair comparison in relation to a few of the comic's punchlines. To me, the comic seems so exaggerated as it pushes and stretches characters so that they can be in just the right position or frame of mind for whatever the author wants from them, mimicking an imaginary Clop-Fic Writer trying to get their favourite ship to happen in just the way they want it. Every character is either promiscuous or there to be creeped out for the lols. Just like in what we tend to imagine most Clop-Fics are like. The whole thing feels like there was a Fan Fiction like this and the creators had fun expanding out this eccentric character and universe from what surely must have been a steamy bedroom romp to an exploration of what an errotic fanfic character like that would be like as ruler.

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    It's got nothing on my latest masterpiece though!

    In those stories, I'm sure you'll agree that reactions and elements are heightened to put on a good show. To make fun of this, that meant making it more exaggerated. And so, something infamously crude was created.

    The final thing I found about this stuff was that it never felt mean spirited, which is important. They're not making high art, even if the artwork was pretty good, they're making something silly for all the teenagers at the time. They were gunning for something fun. They put effort into trying to acknowledge other blogs and poke fun. It even tries to flesh out the characters and expand the universe. Like, this Celestia has a crushing phobia of her Mother, Lauren Fausticorn. There's an entire thesis right there just on that detail alone. It's perverse beyond belief, but it's bafflingly hard to get angry about.

    So, if that's the case, why talk about this? It's purely academic at this point as the blog has been long since shut down and the hoo-ha has died away. Case closed, who cares?

    Well, there's always the autopsy. Because dissecting and understanding the loud protests against and for this thing is important. Plus, I weirdly like doing it. Yeah, a odd topic for analysis but it's something I'm sure everyone here has heard of, maybe even taken part in. There was attacks all over the place. The only person I think that has gotten more flack for trying to express an opinion is Anita Sarkeesian. For the most part, people attacked her. They hacked her, they rang her phone, they issued death threats. It was ugly.

    As far as I can tell, there was an ugly and despicable tirade on the girl who started it too: PinkiePony. Insults, baseless accusations, people tracking down her actual details. It was just idiotic. And simply foul. And idiotic. Simply moronic, wasted effort.

    Attacking a person does not stop them from trying. Often, it can actually validate that they're doing something right, because they're trying to be silenced. It's a waste of time. It's intellectual poison because nothing is accomplished. Nothing is gained and Bronies get to remain the Internets go to when Furries don't seem creepy enough anymore. The charity work, art, music, games, prose, articles and every other thing that makes us shine get's flushed out because a small bunch of thoroughly despicable people attacked the person and not the idea.

    The idea is what is actually the point here. The idea is what challenges the view point that you hold so dear. Tackle that. Attack that. Pull that apart and try and come up with something to counter it. Because then, we are arguing with a purpose. We are not harming anything that can be harmed. An idea doesn't have to deal with the paranoia of whether the ring at the door is a prank or just the postman. An idea doesn't have to head out into the street and overhear rumours about them. An idea doesn't have a life to destroy.

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    For the American's out there. For everyone else, don't worry: it's not another live-action Yogi Bear movie.

    OK! OK, I'm calming down now...Deep breathes. In. Out...I'm on my own island...

    This is one big lesson to take from this. Tackle the issue straight on. Engage with it, like I've tried to, to the best of my ability. It's something that's been thrown around a lot but it bares repeating because it keeps happening. If it's not us, then it's some other group that's suddenly feeling victimised because one person it being accused of spoiling the fun.

    Anyway, back on track: I can see PinkiePony's point. Heck! I can even say that she was right about something.

    No! It's not to try and get rid of one Tumblr blog. It's a point that has been laboured over and over but Ask Molestia didn't amount to a hill of beans in tackling the original problem posed by the original post PinkiePony presented to spark the whole thing off.

    This makes sense. We're not exactly in this alone. To assume that the Brony community happens in a little bubble is foolish. Stop me if this is obvious, but I think the efforts here should have been broader. I'm not saying get rid of all Pony Porn. That's absurd. Not only is it impossible because someone will always make more or find a stache and spread it around (Think Alcohol Prohibition in America only with pictures of Rarity in a Corset or Braeburn in socks). Plus, you'd just be tampering with something some people actually make an income off of. Or put a huge amount of work and effort into. Some artists are amazingly talented in their work. Can't show examples but...that's what Incognito Mode is for. If you're that keen, I can't stop you. I'm just text on a screen.

    No! Spreading the message of taking responsibility for it would be far, far more effective. By that I mean, attempting to spread better practices when tagging explicit works 0r how it's distributed so that it doesn't leak out into places where kiddies might get their hands on it. If you have something racy, make sure it's properly tagged and such so that it's not picked up by Google by mistake. Use special explicit settings, even just to be safe. Descriptive tags help sweep the adult stuff out of the way of kids. That way, they can jump around and play on anything they like and the dirty old adults can keep their stuff to themselves without issue.

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    Heck! Even promoting safe browsing methods and the use of parental controls on computers would be a good move. Because some of you lot probably have kids but probably the rest are capable of having kids some day soon. Some of you lot have younger siblings or relatives that are just starting to use the internet.

    If you're reading this, chances are your tech savvy enough to learn how to properly protect your little relative/sibling from looking up things they shouldn't. Even just turning on 'Safe Search' for everything you can makes a difference. Search engines do seem to be getting better at pushing the naughty stuff out. They're not perfect but they're better.

    Lastly, try sitting with them. If there's a problem, step in and fix it. Easy. Teach good practices, through showing them what to do.

    Doesn't that sound more productive than going after some horny Celestia re-colour? Let's not forget it's also about our image. When I talk with...well, get talked at by someone that's pretty anti-pony, a consistent topic is the porn. 'Oh! Your taking a kids character and making it weird and creepy!' Oh no? I don't care. Porn and explicit materials will always be here on the internet. Whatever. It's in every fandom under the sun.

    But at least, I think standing up and realising that our case is unique and do something that reflects that is worth working towards. Even if it's so that I can look at Anti-Pony guy square in the eye and go: "Hey! We take care of our filth! I bet your fandom leaves it's Playboys all over the place! We keep it away from the kiddies until they're old enough to figure out that the Police isn't going to come for them if they just say 'Yes', when they're asked if they're 18."

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    "But wait, I'm only on reason 540 of 3002! Don't you want to hear about how your never going to get a girlfriend for your pony loving ways? Your gay? Ha! You see!"

    What a better world that will be. And I'm such a weirdo for writing this. OK! Come on! Let's hear it! Where did I screw up? I know it's coming!

    Recommended Reading

    Yes! This is what I like to see! This is a good subject: Is Twilight's wreckless use of magic getting worse? A little nitpicky but I like it. Nightmare Muffin, you've not been here long but that is one smart choice for a thread. Long may it reign.

    Next, Candy Star manages to have a few good gags in him. One on getting a girlfriend. The other a joke of the day I really liked. Keep it up! That last one slayed me!

    So...Ridley has found a little claim to fame...

    Lastly, couple bits I found. On games, naturally. One is the awesome looking Mane 6 project! The other is a MLP:CCG Co-Op Ruleset me and a few friends are trying to develop. Good luck if you try and get them to work.

    It's version two because version 1 suuuuucked!

    Anyway, that's enough yammering from me. See you around guys and remember to attack the idea, not the person. Because the person is going to be me and I have a bright red button labeled 'Ban' if you get too rough. Sarkeesian never thought to have one of those herself, might have saved her plenty of bother.
     
    #1 Tyro D. Fox, Sep 16, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2015
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  2. Prince of the night

    Prince of the night The secret Tyro~
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    We need more dancing Woona cats!!!
     
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  3. Dilly Star

    Dilly Star The Dilliest in the Galaxy
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    That was a very honest look at the whole Molestia debacle. Being on both sides of the matter, I never knew how to feel about it. I guess I still don't.
     
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  4. Azeth

    Azeth ☆Demon of Misery☆
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    Wow, Tyro. I'm rather proud of you. While the ending of that big read kinda started losing me mentally, damn ADHD, I really admit that this was more of an insightful read. I'll openly admit right now that I am a huge Ask Princess Molestia fan. This is something that I could agree with. The humor of the Molesta tumblr blog maybe something that was offensive, but it was within relatively good reason. Rape and Nymphomania where implied but it was executed in a way that was entertaining and funny. Hell, the blog itself had a warning about taking it seriously, which added to the fact that even JJ's own blog is basically aware of it's own jokes. "If you take this seriously, you truly deserve to be sent to the moon." Not sure if that was word for word, I haven't seen the main tumblr in a ages since it's absolute take down. Fortunately it's sequal is findable, and less about sexual innuendos and rape.

    Ask Gaming Princess Luna

    It was nice to see this be a continuation in a different way. Even Molestia comes back as a reformed Celestia. Sure I'd like to see more Molestia antics, but I'll leave that to fan art.

    To be honest though, I like JJ's rendition of Molestia. It borrows form the Fan-Fic that was done about her in some way, without being as sexually detailed. I understand the Tyrantlestia memes and gags were rather prevalent, but I rather disliked them. Molestia could be perceived as a tyrant in her own way, as you said Tyro. It was most certainly a more hilarious take on being a tyrant ruler, which was more respectable in my opinion.

    In anycase. I'm rather happy how this Community Post ended up coming out, Tyro. Good on you.
     
    #4 Azeth, Sep 16, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2015
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  5. Night Fury

    Night Fury Traditional Artist
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    Thanks Tyro! Glad you liked it ^-^

    I hope to have more jokes and stories by then.
     
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  6. Tyro D. Fox

    Tyro D. Fox Ho, hog, heg! I can does Game Dev thing, yes!
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    Yaay! Some peeps like it. No one's complained yet. Not even Jesus Christ.

    You know you have a strange job when that sentence has actual context...
     
  7. RainbowDash9000

    RainbowDash9000 Mistress of Awesomeness
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    I don't blame you, it was quite a good read! :3
     
  8. Fenris Rose

    Fenris Rose Going Through Changes
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    You left out one important detail about PinkiePony: her initial story of how she discovered the blog was proven to be a total lie.

    The reason that I opposed DWM was because it was founded for the wrong reasons, by a dishonest and hypocritical person.

    Regardless of what anyone thought of the blog, the circumstances of the shutdown should be worrisome to anyone who creates fan content.

    It sent a clear message that your work can and will be censored if enough people complain about it, even if they are in the minority.
     
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  9. Tyro D. Fox

    Tyro D. Fox Ho, hog, heg! I can does Game Dev thing, yes!
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    Excellent point Ridley. It's quite frightening what will happen when Hasbro comes knocking.

    Though...What the hell are you on about with PinkiePony? Where did they say that about her?
     
  10. Fenris Rose

    Fenris Rose Going Through Changes
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    Her claim about how the little girl discovered Molestia was proven to be a lie when it was shown that searching Celestia at the time didn't yield any Molestia images. It later came to light that there may never have been a little girl at all.

    Her opposition to erotic MLP art, and her claims about wanting to keep the show "pure," were proven to be hypocritical when some pictures that she drew came to light. I won't discuss them here for obvious reasons, but let's just say they weren't appropriate for children.

    I seem to recall there were some other things that came to light, too, but it's been so long that I'm not sure I can remember what was real and what was slander.
    The whole thing got really ugly, with lies and accusations from both sides.
     
  11. Dilly Star

    Dilly Star The Dilliest in the Galaxy
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    He doesn't do a lot of complaining, he mostly just shows up to talk about how terrible women are.

    ...and I see what you mean.
     
  12. Fenris Rose

    Fenris Rose Going Through Changes
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    His misogyny is getting kinda stale.

    Maybe we should nail him to some boards or something, see if that calms him down.
     
  13. Dilly Star

    Dilly Star The Dilliest in the Galaxy
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    Yeah, but what shape or arrangement would we need? I'm thinking a kind of T-shape, or maybe a funny looking X.
     
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  14. Tyro D. Fox

    Tyro D. Fox Ho, hog, heg! I can does Game Dev thing, yes!
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    Oh! Fairy lights! To make it tasteful.
     
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  15. Azeth

    Azeth ☆Demon of Misery☆
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    The thing is JJ did battle with the Down with Molestia cult for a short while, more specifically on Ask Princess Molestia tumblr's last year of life. He eventually just gave up trying to bring it back. Though he moved on to grander pastures and one of the many is the Ask Gaming Princess Luna tumblr. I'm not familiar in details to what was going on the attack side with DWM, but I know their actions were... hypocritical for sure. If they cannot take a few sexual jokes, that's their problem.
     
    #15 Azeth, Sep 17, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2015
  16. Fenris Rose

    Fenris Rose Going Through Changes
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    OH MY GOD HOW DID I FORGET TO POST THIS.

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. Azeth

    Azeth ☆Demon of Misery☆
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    This is my response to you're so called like for bananas~ Muhahahahaha~
     
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  18. Tyro D. Fox

    Tyro D. Fox Ho, hog, heg! I can does Game Dev thing, yes!
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    Kinda why I didn't include any of that because I can't really varify it. My point still stands I think, based on the statement at the core of PinkiePony's arguement, whether true or not.
     

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