Bronies: What’s this Dog and Pony Show All About?

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Brony

Some things in life we know with certainty: The sun will come up tomorrow. Fish will swim in the sea. Kevin Sorbo will star in yet another Christian movie. And when the My Little Pony movie comes to theaters this weekend, standing in the ticket (and popcorn) line will be tens of thousands of adult men.

Now, some of you reading may think I’m pulling your leg about that last one. You’re waiting for the punch line. But there is no punch line. As strange as it may seem (and to me, it seems very, very strange indeed), some of the biggest Pony fans check the “M” box when asked their gender. They range in age from 14 to 57. They call themselves “bronies,” and they join Brony clubs (which boasts 800 members in Santa Monica, Calif., alone), attend Brony conventions, post YouTube videos detailing their fandom and communicate with fellow Bronies in Brony chat rooms, discussing new (and old) Little Pony shows, moral lessons gleaned, and all things MLP.

One of those fans goes by the online moniker Dustykatt. Dustykatt is a self-identified Brony, a term that combines “bro” and “pony” as way to identify guys who like the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic TV show. In the documentary, A Brony Tale, the muscular Dustykatt, who describes himself as an ex-college football player, diesel mechanic and motorcycle builder, explained his fascination with ponies this way:

“[Men are] supposed to chug beer, ride motorcycles, be degrading to women and like explosions. That’s what is ingrained in our brains from the minute you’re born and put into a blue crib. Well, I like what I like. I don’t need society to tell me what I like.”

Okay, I get that … on some level. Dustykatt wants to make his own choices, doesn’t want to be squeezed into a box that doesn’t represent his interests. But why pastel ponies that the Hasbro company markets to preadolescent girls?

Could it be that Bronies are primarily homosexual men living out some type of fantasy? Nope. According to the research, only 1.7 percent of Bronies describe themselves as homosexual while 84 percent say they’re heterosexual.

Then what is it?

One of the more common reasons guys give for being a Brony is linked to the age-old need to belong. An anonymous Brony said it this way in A Brony Tale: “I think the best part of being a Brony is that, it’s more than a fandom, more than a community, [it’s] like a big family.”

Researcher Dr. Marsha Redden, who along with her team, has collected data on 50,000 Bronies and found that their fandom serves three functions: 1) a sense of guidance, inspiration, purpose, and a sense of uniqueness; 2) a way to share a liked interest; 3) stress relief. Unpacking these a bit further, Redden says that Bronies found their involvement helped them “expand friendship networks” and also “help[ed] support and make moral choices.”

I’m passionate about people making great moral choices. I’m jazzed when people without friends make a buddy or two. But is the way to go? I posed that question to Geremy Keeton, the head of our counseling department here at Focus. I’ll close with his thoughts, questions and insights:

If we could get the affirmation of “manhood” balanced and right as a culture, maybe these outlying extremes wouldn’t have traction.  There aren’t many affirming places for men that are ‘different’ than the macho stereotype.  Just like Mister Rogers is less celebrated by pop culture than John Elway, he was no less of a man in terms of his value and belonging in the world of men.  Value, belonging and drawing together males in community is the deeper instinct or need at play, it would seem. … Rather than ‘shame it,’ maybe it’s worth asking, ‘What’s the deeper issue at play here in this person or in human nature?  What good things are they missing that this is filling?’ The answer doesn’t need to lead to Brony affirmation, but it might lead to explanation or compassion.

Your thoughts?

Who wrote this?

Bob Waliszewski is the director of the Plugged In department. His syndicated "Plugged In Movie Review" feature is heard by approximately 9 million people each week on more than 1,500 radio stations and other outlets and has been nominated for a National Religious Broadcaster's award. Waliszewski is the author of the book Plugged-In Parenting: How to Raise Media-Savvy Kids With Love, Not War. You can follow him on Twitter @PluggedInBob.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Anonymous 5 months ago
I enjoy Adventures In Odyssey, which is a "kid's show". Is that so wrong? I run a fan news blog for it, I have written articles, reviews, and I have interviewed several of the actors and writers. I enjoy it, and because I am older I have opportunities to enjoy it that I wouldn't have had as a kid (like interviewing the writers). 
Evan Weisensel 5 months ago
Excellent point! I love odyssey and various other things that could be considered "kids stuff" and I honestly think that it's actually healthy to enjoy good clean "childish" fun like MLP, AiO, LEGOS or other stuff like that in moderation as an adult. (Serious, I'm an adult and half of my room is display shelves full of LEGO sets.) The problem comes when you let stuff like that consume your life, you become enslaved to it and idolize it.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

Ok, since you sorta work for AiO, would you PLEASE tell the creators to get their act together? I used to LOVE AiO, but the show has really gone down the drain in recent years. What on Earth happened to all the characters? Where's Rodney? What's happening with the Whit's End in Connelsville? Where's Alex Jefferson, Liz Horton, Jared and Trent DeWhite, Grady McKay or Benard Walton?

I stopped listening to the show once I found out that I would never really get any answers to these questions. Maybe they've been answered, but I wouldn't know. So please, for the sake of all the fans of what AiO used to be, please get them to please some of the original fans.
Evan Weisensel 5 months ago
Yeah, I kind of dislike the sort of "reboot" they did for album 51. Especially since they ended up bringing back a lot of obscure continuity from really really albums like Monty and other stuff. Some characters disappearing makes some sense considering their voice actors passed away, but the fact that characters act like these people they were close friends with never existed has always rubbed me the wrong way. And don't even get me started on how the handled Tom Riley. (Seriously, pretend a core character doesn't exist for 10 years then offhandedly mention he died years ago just as an excuse to have a musical episode. Who does that?)
Anonymous 5 months ago
Oh my gosh Legacy was... UGH. 
Let me explain to you why Phil did Legacy just real quick. 
Will Ryan- who plays Eugene- has a band. 
That band is called Will Ryan & The Cactus County Cowboys. 
Phil Lollar loves music. Will Ryan plays music. 
Will Ryan & The Cactus County Cowboys played at Riley's Farm in Oak Glen, California. 
Phil Lollar went to go see them at Riley's farm and then got interviewed at Riley's Farm, you can look this up. 
Because Phil Lollar wanted to recreate that experience completely true-to-life, he had "this band" play at TOM RILEY'S FARM in Legacy. 
This is the only reason he ever brought Tom Riley into the mix. 
Boom. And yes I consider it a really cheap trick to have killed off Tom just to do this, but he did. I like Will Ryan & The Cactus County Cowboys, I have all three of their albums. They just got forced into an Odyssey storyline. 
Anonymous 5 months ago
Well- I'm not about to go on a long debate with you, ok, and yeah I always had the same complaints. After having a very awesome hour-long phone chat with Nathan Hoobler, who was a fan and then became a writer, he told me he is getting his just desserts. You can read his old site- aiohq.com, and man did he gripe about the show. Now he writes episodes. He's said he knows he deserves some of the complaints, because no matter what, some people will not be happy. Basically, it's a lot harder on the writing end to actually figure out what happened to Whit's End in Connlesville, Alex, Liz, Jared, Grady, and Bernard. Would you like to sit down and figure out what happened to all that? Well, they don't really want to either. It was in their best interest to move on, they got too bogged down in the logistics of it sometimes. And to be fair, I should mention that in the most recent album they did deal with Tom Riley's death. Though it was a terrible episode. And they've brought back some characters from the past as well, including Marvin Washington. However, writers like Paul McCusker moved on. The guy who played Bernard died. Stuff happens. Remember Novacom? Eugene disappeared because Will Ryan wasn't around. They had no choice. 
Now- you say "for the sake of all fans". I'm happy to inform you that they have listened to us in the more recent albums and did some really great stuff that only us longtime fans would appreciate. Some of it was stuff I still disagree with- like bringing back Jeff Lewis. 
Just to wrap it up- they have a survey on whitsend.org asking you to complain. They are very aware of your complaints, as well as mine. So they have a fill-in-the-blank survey in which you can ask them to bring back characters. I suggest you go find it if you feel really passionate about the show. And I'm not trying to rub you the wrong way- I know how you feel. But I also got a look at how the writers feel when they're asked to deal with all of these problems. 
Anonymous 5 months ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

I guess I understand what you're saying.

What would have been cool is if in album #50 you had a 3-part episode called 'Graduation' where all the old kids (like Alex, Mandy and Liz) are graduating high school and are now going to college. That would have been a nice send off.
Evan Weisensel 5 months ago
I'd honestly like to see one of the older kids come back with a new family as a new group of characters. That'd be fun.
charitysplace 5 months ago
I still listen to my old Odyssey albums once in awhile while painting a room, and some of them are quality stuff (I like the Dr. Blaackard story arc best) ... but I quit listening to the new ones about 20 years ago / as a teenager. I prefer to think of Bernard, Whit, Tom, etc., as still being alive (and frankly, I didn't realize they were still making them!).
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Anonymous 5 months ago
Everyone is a weirdo to someone.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Going to direct you to a scene from a show I enjoyed as an adult. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDYqc68as1Q
Abby Berlage 5 months ago
What’s the point of being grown up if you cannot be childish every once in a while-The Fourth Doctor, 
I’m not really a MLP fan but I believe that everyone should be allowed to like what makes them happy. I don’t like violent or sexy shows, so I sometimes watch well written children’s show (such as Elena of Avalor, or Classic Samurai Jack) it doesn’t make me less of an adult, honestly I find it more mature, than just watching shows with yucky content just to seem grown up, I have been able to find a few adult shows that also meet my Standards. (But as a fan artist, NSFW fan art is not ok)-Abby
Anonymous 5 months ago
...Well, I can't say I'm suprised at this. Bob, do you realize that an article like this practically shoves people away from the Faith? And over what? Liking an extremely inoffensive show? Did it ever occur to you that some men may like to watch the show because they get tired of the rampant immorality in other shows? I enjoy The Flash, but it constantly winks at fornication, uses profanity and ( as of last season) portrays God as having no feelings. And it's actually lighter on content problems than most shows. MLP is good clean fun. It's mouthwash for the soul. I wouldn't call myself a brony. I watch the show whenever a new season pops up on netflix. I don't rewatch episodes or collect the toys. But I don't belittle those who do or imply there is something wrong with them. I want to make clear that I'm a conservative, Bible-believing Christian. If somebody called me a fundamentalist, I'd appreciate the compliment. Which is why this article saddens me so. It shows why we will never win the culture war till Jesus comes back. We're too busy shooting ourselves in the foot. As you shove people away for silly reasons, the other side will gladly take them in. I noticed there were a few comments pointing out the existence of foul MLP art. All I can say to that is "Welcome to Humanity". Morality has been taking a nose-dive for decades now. There's probably perverse art for everything on this planet. To demonize men who like the show for that is the same as someone demonizing Christianity because of the Crusades. It's terrible reasoning.
Evan Weisensel 5 months ago
"Mouthwash for the soul...." I like that term! :)
Anonymous 5 months ago

I have to be honest that I’m also a bit surprised by this article and the comments. Since I’m a 30-year-old male who appreciates—even enjoys—My Little Pony, perhaps it would be helpful if I provide my perspective.


I think the first thing I’d like to point out is that there is probably a distinction that can be made between adults who are active members of the Brony community and those who simply enjoy the show. I’ve never written fan fiction, I’ve never attended a Brony convention, I’m not a part of any kind of online Brony community and I probably won’t attend the movie in theaters. While I don’t feel a need to publicly flaunt my appreciation for the show, I don’t deny that it exists.


It seems that the article is focused more on the community aspect of Bronies, but since I can’t speak to that from experience, I’d rather address some of the comments that suggest that adults who enjoy the show must have perverse intentions. I find this rather ironic, as I enjoy My Little Pony specifically because it is free from the gratuitously violent and sexual content that permeates mainstream media today.


I feel quite strongly that the content we consume has a major impact on our mind, emotions and spirit, and I believe this view is one of the primary reasons the Plugged In ministry exists in the first place. As a young man striving to live a righteous life, should I be watching other shows that where made for “adults”? Perhaps I should watch Game of Thrones like most of my friends and colleagues? I really don’t think so, and I personally haven’t found many options that are both entertaining and edifying. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is an exception.


Here are some of the reasons I enjoy the series:


 - The writing is great: Each episode has an interesting and entertaining plot, and there is a lot of depth to each character.


 - The animation is top-notch: I often find myself literally laughing out loud at some of the hilarious expressions and mannerisms. Truly, the animators are quite talented.


 - The show is funny: Really, it is! There’s a lot of clean humor throughout the show, and I enjoy a good laugh.


 - The show insists on demonstrating good values: As I mentioned before, I believe the media we consume does have an effect on us, so I’m thankful for the clean content.


 - I feel notably happier and encouraged whenever I finish watching an episode: I think this is a consequence of the preceding points, but it’s important to mention.


In many respects, it would seem like this would be a model show for many Plugged In readers. I guess that’s why I’m having a hard time understanding some of the backlash. It’s mistaken to assume that quality content can’t be created for people of all ages and cultures. I would also encourage those who haven’t watched the show for themselves to be careful not to make premature judgements. For many, it’s just a great source of clean, joyful entertainment.

Anonymous 5 months ago
Thank you for your comment! I totally agree with you! I am a 30 year old female and have loved the show since I first started watching it when I was 25. My husband, who is also 30 years old, loves watching My Little Pony, too! We fell in love with the show before we even realized it had a huge fan base. We, too, believe that the content people watch and decide to surround themselves with has a larger impact on their lives even more than they realize. I can see this in my friends who do not care to screen what they watch.

I find it unnerving how people can watch gore-filled horror movies, crime dramas, and sexually explicit films and not cringe. I do not understand how some of the content on tv and movies is allowed to be shown!

My Little Pony will forever be one of my favorite series. I am very happy to know that goodhearted people like you exist. I rarely meet anyone who is mindful in choosing the content they watch.

God Bless!
Inkfeather1 . 5 months ago
I'm not entirely sure what you are complaining about here to be honest. MLP seems to be a clean show with good morals and nothing questionable. Isn't that the exact kind of content you keep wishing we could have more of in mainstream media? Shouldn't you be happy that people are enjoying it? 

Or maybe it's not so clean and innocent? I admit, I've only watched one episode (anything that makes a LazyTown reference deserves a chance in my opinion), but I saw nothing wrong with it other than it's too sweet tone. I feel like it's the very thing you would be happy to see people flocking to regardless of their gender. 
Anonymous 5 months ago
There is nothing even remotely inappropriate in My Little Pony. It is probably the cleanest show on TV. Every episode has a moral on friendship and respect that correlates to real life. It is a wonderful show for all ages.
bobed 5 months ago
If you look at that guy above in that picture, and don't think that's just a little creepy and wrong, then I don't know what to say to you. In my opinion, people who watch the show with innocent intentions as adults are pretty weird, but harmless. But as for the grown men (and women?) who make inappropriate - sometimes horrendously so - content based on the show, who post on the internet disgusting images and stories based on this show for children.... I am 100% comfortable calling them perverts. 
bobed 5 months ago
As I've mentioned, as a dad with young daughters (not so much anymore, but a lot in years past) who enjoy My Little Pony, I have experience with this myself. We learned the hard way to install parental blocks on our family computer after one of our girls had been caught reading lewd "fanfiction" and looking at lewd "fanart" based on the show. We looked at her history and found out that she had been looking at this stuff for months. We did some more research and realized that it is very, VERY easy - sometimes, even with strict parental blocks - to find lewd content based on this show. VERY easy. This is why I'm so passionate about my dislike for "Bronys." They endanger the innocence and welfare of children, and do so blatantly without a care for hiding their predilections. And besides the fact that I think it's weird for someone to be attracted to a horse - it's weird, PERIOD. By the way, she was 11 at the time.

bobed 5 months ago
Oh, and by the way...looking up "my little pony fanart" on google images yields lewd results on the VERY FIRST PAGE. There's an image of a humanoid pony with its eyes gouged out, and three images of humanoid ponies in skimpy clothing and revealing poses. It's just absolutely VILE, is what it is.

Anonymous 5 months ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

While I'm ok with adults watching some kid TV shows, turning a kids show by drawing stuff like that is just how you describe it: vile. It's just like what some Sonic fans have done with the franchise.

Seriously, don't look up Sonic fan art; it'll make you sick, especially if you're a Sonic fan like me.
Anonymous 5 months ago
I agree that something is completely wrong in the minds of people who would pervert My Little Pony in such a way. It is meant to be an innocent, refreshing show and people who defile it are disgusting. I understand in that aspect why you feel so strongly against adults watching My Little Pony. However, not every adult who watches My Little Pony is a pervert and they are actually drawn to the show for the exact opposite reason. There is nothing perverted in the show whatsoever. I do not think that those explicit drawings were drawn solely by My Little Pony fans, but rather hormonal teens poking fun at pony fans. I'm certain many of those pictures were also drawn by the same teens and young adults who are obsessed with drawing explicit anime (Japanese cartoon) drawings. In my opinion, most anime rots people's brains. It draws people in with intriguing animation, but the shows are filled with explicit perversion. When I was in highschool, many of my classmates watched anime and used their artistic talents to draw perverted images of the characters and characters from other cartoons. If you look online, there are also perverted images of Disney characters drawn by the same type of people. I'm sure there are explicit images drawn of nearly every cartoon (drawn by some perverted sicko), but I am too afraid to look. Some people have obsessions with combining perversion and cartoons.

It is unfair to assume that adults who watch My Little Pony are solely involved in drawing the explicit artwork, as many of the people who draw such things are middle and high school grade kids who were allowed to watch too many perverted cartoons.

Most adults who watch My Little Pony simply appreciate the artwork, the development of the characters and story line, and the positive emotions they gain from watching it. Just as one person will enjoy the look paintings while the other prefers photography, not everyone will enjoy the art of cartoons.

I am a female and I really enjoy My Little Pony. I have enjoyed magical, imaginative films my entire life. Imagination is a passion of mine, just as fixing cars is a mechanic's passion or the galaxy is an astronomer's passion. The people who create cartoons such as My Little Pony also have this passion in their heart. They are not weird. We need people who enjoy such films and desire to create such films so that these films can continue to exist. So that imagination can continue to exist. I am speaking from my own experience. I understand that not everyone who watches My Little Pony has the same reasons as me, but I can relate to anyone who does. I love the story lines and imagination in My Little Pony, Disney films, ect. There is a type of "magic" in these films that you just cannot find in adult-based films. I am really sad that people are drawing such perverted images of such amazing films. They are giving adults who love animation a bad name.
Anonymous 5 months ago
If you try searching for "mickey mouse fan art" or "flintstones fan art", I think you'll find that the results are even worse. Clearly there exists a population who derives pleasure from creating perverse art based upon popular cartoons and other media, but it's by no means restricted to My Little Pony. I'm so sorry that your daughters have come across such material, but I think the issue lies with fan fiction and fan art in general.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Ok, now that I can agree with, and I won't deny that sort of thing exists. It's the worst part in any fandom, be it Brony or any other. But you also said you can't imagine any adult would be into this with "innocent" intentions. So, you can't hold to both opinions. But I think we both can agree that such extreme areas of fandom are rather sick.
Inkfeather1 . 5 months ago
I see nothing creepy about the guy in that picture. Except that mustache...That is creepy, I'll give you that. For some reason you can't seem to separate the people who make bad fanart of a show from the people who simply enjoy it. Do you know for certain that the man in that picture has made inappropriate fanart? There are definitely some sick people in this world who enjoy making content like that, but it is incorrect to say that any adult who enjoys a kid's show must be a perverted creep who makes bad fanart. 
Evan Weisensel 5 months ago
I used to be big into this show a few years back. I don't watch it as much now, but I do like to catch a few episodes on the down low when I can. It's good, clean fun that most anyone can enjoy (Once one get past the almost too sweet candy coating, that is. ;) ) and it can be surprisingly insightful at times. (Season 5 opened with a story arc about the dangers of communism, really.) It honestly reminds me a lot of the shows I used to watch as a kid (except, actually good.) and is a pretty relaxing and fun time in general. I would recommend people check out a few episodes if they ever get around to it to see if it's their cup of tea as well. (Especially the episodes with the character Discord, nothing beats an oddball chimera dragon who runs on absurdist humor voiced by John De Lancie! :) )
Evan Weisensel 5 months ago
Also, it's weird that the first fully hand drawn theatrical animated movie is basically a 90 minute toy commercial for little girls...
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Evan Weisensel 5 months ago
Yep, basically that sums this place up. :) I heard Bobed has a invincible three frame shield cancel into a dash attack if you hit the A button directly after blocking....
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Evan Weisensel 5 months ago
Yeah, probably. Unless that song is RickRoll, that is! :)
Evan Weisensel 5 months ago
Also, this blog post actually shares it's name with an episode in the first season of the show in question, one of the more enjoyable first season ones, I might add.
Alex Clark 5 months ago
I'm a brony, though I have never gone to any conventions or joined any on-line communities.

I think its a little ridiculous that we should even have to write such an article as this in the first place.  People can like what they like, and all varieties of media will have people of all ages and genders enjoying it.  I don't think "Bronies" are any weirder than fans of Star Wars, Marvel Comics, anime, Disney movies, etc. etc.  Would you look sideways at a guy if he told you he liked Beauty and the Beast, or Twilight, or Wonder Woman??  How is this any different?  Because its specifically FOR a particular demographic?  (that being, young girls?)  Would you think it was strange if young girls were into Marvel or the Lego Ninjago movie or Power Rangers or Pokemon etc. etc, because those shows are (usually thought) to be aimed at boys?  There's no such thing as media or story that is "only" for a particular gender.

As for the thing about belonging, I doubt that is really the ONLY reason most bronies are Bronies.  If all they wanted was to just belong to a group of like minded people who share their interests, the possibilities are literally endless on that front.  Belonging to a group is certainly a nice thing to have, but in the end most bronies are bronies for one simple easy to understand reason...the show is freakin brilliant!  Everyone who thinks is weird and bizarre that grown teens and adults (I'm not specifying gender anymore) would enjoy watching a "kids" show maybe hasn't actually watched the darn thing.  Try it, you might be (really) surprised.  MLP: FiM is one of the best written kids shows out there right now, it can match up or surpass just about everything else out there airing on Nick and Disney and such (and I am dead serious).

Don't think its so strange.  look at the show with an open mind, and who knows...maybe you'll join the herd too ^^.
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Rocketshipper 5 months ago
This is Alex, from above.  Not sure if my screen name will come through from my phone 

I guess because at least currently liking those things is "more acceptable" than this.  Maybe that's completely arbitrary, in which case maybe we should call people out on it, but I notice that Pluggedin didn't write any blog posts around the topic of "what's up with all these guys who like Wonder Woman", or "what's up with all these adults who like Pixar?"   Because it's "ok" to like those things, even by pluggedin's standards

I don't remember exactly where it was but at some point in the past on one of these blog posts didn't you mention enjoying some family films you took your family to see Bobed?   Something by Pixar or Disney or such.  If you enjoyed something like that as an adult, how is it different from this?
bobed 5 months ago
Yes, I take my children to see movies meant for children. What's weird about that? I don't feel my manliness is so threatened that I have to abandon my kids in the theater alone to watch the movie by themselves.
Rocketshipper 5 months ago
But do you not enjoy them?  Is it entirely just a chore you carry out because your children are too young to go alone?  Or do you get something out of it too? 

  If you find any enjoyment in watching movies with your children, then I think you could possibly imagine how an adult could enjoy a show like MLP.   It's not that different.  And if you do enjoy the films with your kids, does that mean you didn't "put away childish things " as you were supposed to?  I don't think so, and just because some people enjoy movies or shows primarily for younger audiences doesn't necessarily make them childish either 
bobed 5 months ago
Gonna be honest - most kiddie movies and shows that I watch with my kids, no, there's no enjoyment. Pixar (and some other companies) makes movies that are enjoyable for both kids and adults, but as I've said before, I'm pretty uncomfortable at the idea of making movies ostensibly for kids but with themes aimed at adult viewers. I enjoy movies like that, yes, and I grudgingly tolerate my kids watching them, but something about the idea of it kind of raises my hackles. 

I also think there's a VERY marked difference between sitting and tolerating Finding Dory or Secret Life of Pets with your kids, and actually seeking out this kind of entertainment to watch by yourself, with no kids around, as an adult. 
bobed 5 months ago
Like, for example - The Incredibles. An animated movie for kids. When my kids and I first watched it together, I found myself enjoying it almost too much. Later, my wife and I discussed the movie and I realized - it's an adult movie! There are themes of infidelity, divorce, marital strife, seduction, and almost more violence than I'm comfortable with my kids seeing. 

I'm going to be honest, this issue - especially for me as a dad - confuses and bothers the heck out of me. Pixar and other companies are making movies apparently for children. And yet, these movies have insanely adult themes that most kids won't understand, and layers that only parents will get. Why? What is the need? I enjoyed The Incredibles and other movies like it, but I'm wary of letting my kids watch them. 

I don't sit in a dingy, dim theatre for two hours with my children so that *I* will be entertained - I do it for them. And if it means the movies I sit through will have no "adult winks," then I'm perfectly fine with sacrificing a few bored hours of my time so that my kids can watch a movie that's meant for THEM, and no one else. 
Anonymous 5 months ago
If you or Alex think that Twilight qualifies as entertainment made for children, you may need to adjust your standards somewhat. Or read the movie reviews on this website.
Rocketshipper 5 months ago
I was using it as an example of a franchise that is mainly aimed at women, not of one aimed at children 
Anonymous 5 months ago
Oh. Yeah, that makes more sense.
Anonymous 5 months ago

I agree. Why do we have to overcomplicate this? It's really not that complicated. People like this show because something about it appeals to them.


And for the record, I happen to like the original Beauty and the Beast. It's a classic after all.

bobed 5 months ago
1 Corinthians 13:11. "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." 

This regression to adults enjoying things meant for children, and children's entertainment being aimed at adults, is not normal. I know I'll be called judgemental and accused of being sanctimonious, so bring it on. Just my opinion, folks.
Anonymous 5 months ago
“When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty, I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”
― C.S. LewisOn Stories: And Other Essays on Literature
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Anonymous 5 months ago
How about 1 Corinthians 13:11, the one you quoted? The fear of childishness and the desire to be seen as a "grown-up" is, itself, childish. That's the whole point of the quote I posted. C.S. Lewis isn't disagreeing with the Bible, he's explaining an aspect of the verse that many people tend to ignore or overlook. The only reason I attributed my quote to him is because I didn't want to pass off his idea as my own, not because the idea itself is any better or worse because it comes from C.S. Lewis.

Have you never seen/heard children mock or denigrate other children, call them "babies," etc., for doing such "childish" things as following the rules, respecting their parents, refusing to perform a dare, and other things that adults simply consider "good behavior?"

But, if you insist on another Bible verse, here's one: "And [he] said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:3
bobed 5 months ago
The verse you quote has been taken out of context. We are meant to have the INNOCENCE of little children. That does not mean that we are meant to revert to childlike behavior. 
Anonymous 5 months ago
The point I was trying to make with it is that "being child-like" is not automatically bad, so saying, "1 Corinthians 13:11 says adults must have nothing to do with anything considered childish or for children" is incorrect.
bobed 5 months ago
...er, yes it does. That is LITERALLY, PLAINLY what it says.
Inkfeather1 . 5 months ago
Actually, Anonymous is correct. The verse is not talking about not watching/reading things that are designed for children. It's clearly talking about how when you are a child you see the world differently (and often incorrectly) and behave very differently. But when you become an adult, those ways are put behind you. Now you see the world a little clearer, now you can think for yourself. It's not saying at all that if you enjoyed something as a child you can't enjoy that thing as an adult. If you read the verse above, the context becomes much clearer.
Anonymous 5 months ago

There's only one problem. You treat your opinion as if it's on the level of Scripture, and if anyone thinks differently than you, well God help them because clearly they're deviants, perverts, heathens, and what have you. I still enjoy watching episodes of an old game show from my childhood. So I guess I must be a pervert then, according to you.


bobed 5 months ago
Is it a game show featuring children and meant for children? Then yes, I would think you're a little odd and that you should probably "put away childish things." However, I never said anyone was a pervert, deviant or heathen. Lord forbid anyone on this site should avoid putting words into my mouth. 
Anonymous 5 months ago
With all due respect, you pretty much did:

"With all due respect, as a grown adult man I can't imagine any innocent or normal reason why fellow grown adult men would enjoy a show meant for little children. It makes absolutely no sense to me, and no excuse I've heard has justified it."
bobed 5 months ago
Try harder. Nothing in that quote suggests I called anyone a pervert.
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Anonymous 5 months ago
I agree with you exactly! Cartoons like My Little Pony are a way to look at the world through young eyes and to never forget your childhood imagination :-)
Anonymous 5 months ago
My Little Pony is not childish. I know nay-sayers will scoff at this first sentence, but please see me through an try to have an open mind. As Christians, we should not not judge.Yes, it was originally aimed at a younger age group, but the morals in the show are for people of every age. The characters are overall intelligent in a cartoon aspect and each one has personality traits that resemble real people (ex: Twilight is a little OCD and a worry-wart at times, Fluttershy is shy, reserved, and lacks confidence except when defending those she cares about).

Who are we to say that watching a cartoon is childish? A cartoon is artwork for everyone to enjoy. A cartoon is the telling of a story through artwork and I believe everyone has the right to enjoy and appreciate such art. Just as everyone has different tastes in paintings, each individual has different tastes in cartoons. And, just like paintings, some people have no interest in cartoons at all.

Yes, adult animations exist (such as anime, Simpsons, Family Guy, ect), but are they really more "adult" than My Little Pony, or just more "inappropriate"? Just because someone has christened a show/movie as adult, does this really make these crude animations more acceptable for an adult to watch than My Little Pony? You say you don't find it normal for adults to be watching innocent cartoons, but I do not find it normal for adults to be watching "adult" cartoons, for the morals are obscene and perverted. It's simple, cartoons marketed for children tend to be more morally-sound and compassionate than "adult cartoons" (as well as "adult" non-cartoon movies, in that matter).

Have you stopped to think that maybe adults like My Little Pony because it still holds the essence of innocence, forgiveness, and friendship, whereas most adult shows lack such morals? Adult programming is so perverse, violent, and lustful and I do not own television service for this reason. I subscribe to Netflix, but even 90% of the shows/movies available on this service are sinful and taint the eyes and ears.

So, according to you, putting away childish things means that an adult can no longer watch an imaginative animation with likable characters and wonderfully-scripted morals, but must instead put that desire away and "move on" to violent, explicit films that are marketed to adults?
I believe we need to guard our hearts and keep our hearts innocent like a child's heart that has not been tainted. My Little Pony has lessons that help keep our hearts pure. If one's heart has been tainted by the sinful "adult" shows, then they may not be able to fully understand the draw to such a show (Their tastes are used to "grow up" films).

"Putting away childish things" does not mean one cannot watch a show that is meant to teach young people about friendship (contrary to "society's belief", such shows are important throughout one's life to keep a child-like heart and imagination). "Putting away childish things" means to mature and grow as a person. It means to take charge of your life and to "leave the nest". It means you won't throw tantrums on a daily basis like when you were young. It means you must take charge of your life and not be "childish" about your actions (ex: blaming others, throwing things when you're angry, playing mind games, judging others, ect). Some children also enjoy watching explicit films because they do not know better. We live in kind of a "backwards" society if we believe that films aimed at adults are considered "grown up". To put away "childish things" would be to put away previous desires to watch violent films, or lustful films which pubertal teens are drawn to. As adults, we should know better!

All in all, if someone has an imaginative heart and they enjoy the positive influence of My Little Pony and the magical characters, then let them shine! God created us to be individuals and he loves each one of his children. Many of the personality types who enjoy My Little Pony are those of the creative sort. They love imaginative tales without the lust and violence that litters today's adult films. They are honest, hard working citizens who had long ago put away "childish things" by getting a job, supporting themselves, having a family, and treating people with the respect and kindness reflected in My Little Pony.

After reading this, if you still do not understand, please be grown up enough to know that everyone is different and do not post hurtful remarks towards people whom you do not understand. Just love them. You do not know what hardships people are facing. Cheerful animation is rewarding, especially when it teaches us the same morals that Jesus had taught. So let's be nice and get along :-)
Anonymous 5 months ago
Maturity Consists of: Understanding, Kindness, Compassion, Forgiveness, Love, Morality, Moral leadership, Patience, Wisdom, Honesty, among other things...

Childishness/Immaturity Consists of: Aggression, Bitterness, Revenge, Lack of understanding, Prejudice, Unwillingness to forgive, Tantrums, Hate, Lust, Perversion, Blaming others for your mistakes, Dishonesty, Uncontrollable anger, among other things....


The market for My Little Pony was originally geared towards adolescent girls because most adults are more amused by the tv shows/movies geared towards adults which, although they can sometimes have more complex plot lines, are actually quite immature in their focus on revenge, violence, and lust. If we wouldn't want our kids to watch such content, then why are we watching it? Is it just easier for us to say "we can" because we're adults? Putting preschool cartoons aside, the major contributing factor that makes a cartoon marketed for kids or adults is whether it has explicit content. So why can't an adult enjoy a non-explicit cartoon without being called names?

If an adult likes an imaginative film that was originally marketed for kids, why should they be scoffed? Sometimes art doesn't go the way it was originally planned. A short story becomes a novel, a painting becomes a picture book, a "kids" cartoon becomes beloved by all ages.
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bobed 5 months ago
I understand you're probably a minor yourself and so you still enjoy childish things, but there is a very marked difference between having fun and watching a show meant for five-year-olds. A VERY marked difference. "Dude."
Evan Weisensel 5 months ago
I'm actually 20. There you go coming out swinging again, I thought we talked about this. If you act meanly to other people on the internet, then they're gonna be mean to you. It' Newton's third law.
Skulatikus 5 months ago
Allow me to weigh in on the verse you quoted (forgive me, but this will be a long comment):

First, Paul says he "spake as a child." Now, consider: how do children speak? They tend to speak simplistically, with naivete, and, frequently, with a certain lack of forethought. Not all children are like this, but these tend to be typical hallmarks of "childish" speech. To forego childish speech is to speak with properly measured words rather than thoughtless or naive ones.

Second, Paul says he "understood as a child." How do children understand things? Again, they see things with a great degree of naivete and simplicity. Often, this is because they are either incapable of comprehending larger, more complex explanations, or their parents and teachers deliberately leave gaps in their knowledge (for a variety of reasons.)

For example, when I was a young child, I was under the simplistic impression that having a child was something that was only possible for married couples: the idea of an unmarried couple being able to have a child would have baffled me. Later, I learned that the world is a lot more complicated than "Babies come from people getting married."

As another example, there's the whole... ah... "North Pole" thing, if you catch my drift.

Childish understanding doesn't even have to be so naive as that, though. Consider those who automatically believe whatever they are told by the ones they trust (i.e. parents/teachers/friends.) Rather than considering what they've been told and determining its merit (or lack thereof,) they let others do their thinking for them - at least in certain aspects. This is normal for children, who are just beginning to familiarize themselves with the world and need guides, but we adults are accountable for ourselves. We're expected to seek a true understanding based on wisdom, rather than blindly accepting another's narrative. "My parents told me this when I was young, so it must be right!" is not a suitable "understanding." The individual's parents may indeed have been right, but it is childish to let one's worldview be grounded so blindly.

Moving on, Paul speaks about how he "thought as a child." This goes hand-in-hand with understanding. A child thinks more simplistically than an adult is expected to and is much looser with his/her reasoning. A child doesn't consider things an adult would think of. When one is grown, however, one is expected to discard the straightforward thoughts of one's youth and be more rigorous. It's not enough to think and act on a simple level just because it's easy. Considering matters carefully may be difficult and time consuming, and it may lead us to conclusions that go against our wishes, but it is our obligation as adults.

"I want to buy this and I have the money," is a childish thought. "I want to buy this, but I have other, more important things to pay for and I really should save more money for a rainy day," is a more mature thought.

When Paul says "I put away childish things," he means that he eschewed willful naivete and a lax mind. He was capable of speaking with the measure and wisdom of an adult man, understanding the world around him as an adult man, and thinking through his actions as an adult man. If anything, he was speaking against lolling in a mental cradle, not condemning "children's stories" for being too bright, cheery, and innocent.

...This is not to say I wouldn't be seriously concerned about an adult who spent most of his free time reading "The Very Hungry Caterpillar."
Anonymous 5 months ago
Well said! "Putting away childish things" is not about refusing to watch cartoons. The subject has a lot more depth to it, as you've done a great job explaining! Someone can watch cartoons but still be a wise, mature, thoughtful person.
Anonymous 5 months ago
I've never seen the My Little Pony show so my comments are not in reference to that show particularly but to the situation in general.  What I think is sad is how often we tend to expect entertainment aimed at kid's or teenagers to be trite or not well written enough to be interesting to adults. Like if a show is aimed at kids it couldn't possibly be legitimately interesting to an adult. One of the reasons for this is that so much kid's entertainment is trite and low quality often for commercial reasons. But don't kid's deserve/need quality, deep, enriching art and entertainment as much as adults? And when there is any out there would it be any surprise if adults found themselves enjoying it too? Now I will agree there is kid's entertainment that is quite wonderful for kid's to enjoy but adults grow out of. But there should also be art and entertainment that transcends our categories. And not always in a "this is for adults but is accessible for kids too" or vice versa.  .Some of my favorite paintings/songs/books/movies I have enjoyed equally as a kid and an adult because they were just good. There are those I have outgrown and those I've grown into but it isn't inherently impossible or strange for kids and adults to be able appreciate the same things. And we as a culture shortchange our kids and their developing artistic taste and developing worldview if we only give them low quality trite entertainment to consume. I can't tell you how many shows or movies I've seen that I could tell were aimed at kids or teenagers not because of the age or type of protagonist or the setting, etc. but because the writing was dumbed down, trite, over the top, etc. instead of challenging and drawing the kids up. And it just makes me sad when I see writers talking down to kids like that. Some of the best influences in my childhood (second of course to God, the Bible, my parents, and family) were books, movies, songs, etc. that spoke timeless eternal truths and encouragement into my life.
Raini Way 6 months ago
MLP is a breath of fresh air. It's a rarity (heh) in an era where most animated fare is meh at best. The characters are relatable, the storylines are cohesive, the animation is excellent, and the lessons are profound, especially as the seasons progress. When the first bronies found themselves loving MLP despite themselves, they also started living out the lessons MLP taught. Some of which have been controversial because they're practically biblical (such as the season one episode Feeling Pinkie Keen, which is about the value of faith and the willingness to listen when your friends share their faith with you). The brony fandom has grown into one of the best fandoms a geek could ever be a part of. They have their extreme members, yes, but you can't show ne a fandom that doesn't. They also have at least three fandom-wide charities, regular fundraisers at their conventions, and online support groups for members suffering depression or bullying  (and it doesn't have to be related to their brony status). Young bronies fighting battles such as cancer receive an outpouring of support from the community, extending all the way up to show writers and VAs. Bronies come from all walks of life, and while there is the occasional disagreement, bronies in general are united by their love of the show, and will set aside political or religious differences to embrace its morals. It really is a beautiful thing to behold. Why shouldn't a real man want to be a part of that? You should've seen all those manly men react to the CMC finally getting their cutie marks.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

To put it lightly, the whole Brony fandom is downright silly if you ask me. Why does it have to be My Little Pony for guys to be a part of a community?

Seriously, there are better ways to be a part of a "big family". Join a Guys Bible study. Buy a PlayStation and play online with friends. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Seriously, it's not that hard to think of better communities to be a part of.

Sure, I completely understand the need to feel like you belong in a group, but please, choosing My Little Pony is kind of a lame choice. For a guy anyway.
Raini Way 6 months ago
I defy you to show me a gaming community better than the brony community.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

I never said MLP is a bad show. The only thing I'm saying is that it's kinda silly for a guy to watch the show just so he can "belong."

It's ok if he watches the show if he enjoys it; I just don't get why someone would watch it just to be a part of a group.
Julienne Dy 5 months ago
I don't think they don't watch it to be part of a group.  I think they watch it,  like it,  and then become part of the group because they realize that other people who like what they like exist.
bobed 6 months ago
I've been familiar with bronies for quite a while, unfortunately, due to having daughters of an age for My Little Pony. They have infected the show. It's meant for little girls and they have turned it into something adult and gross. You can't even Google the show without safe search on, because if you do, it won't be long at all before disgusting and inappropriate results come up. Frankly as a dad it makes me sick.
Julienne Dy 6 months ago
Hey!  Not EVERY brony is like that.  Okay, yes, quite a number of the fandom let their imaginations run to places that they shouldn't and post their depraved imaginings all over the internet.  A number of them also completely miss the point of the show being about friendship despite differences in personality and opinion and start arguing and nitpicking about aspects of the show that I personally don't even care about, but men having a fandom for and enjoying a show originally marketed for little girls isn't NECESSARILY a bad thing.  I'm probably making a HUGE assumption, but I think what men and women of various ages love about this show is that it's "both remarkably hip and utterly guileless, simultaneously self-aware and sincere" (PluggedIn's words, not mine), and based on what Bob Hoose has to say about the movie, that part of the franchise hasn't changed.  The people in charge of My Little Pony were able to create characters that fans can identify with who go through and struggle with admittedly sanitized versions of the stuff everyday people go through everyday and come out better people, err, ponies by the time the credits roll, and fans, regardless of gender and age, love that about the show.  Besides, the horrible down side of EVERY fandom is the existence of loony and/or depraved fans.  Unfortunately, they're also the kind of fans that get the most attention and the kind of fans that tend to post the most content on the internet.
Inkfeather1 . 6 months ago
You can't Google anything without inappropriate things coming on, it's not just the My Little Pony fandom. Just because something is made with a certain audience in mind doesn't mean that people who fall outside that demographic can't enjoy it. If you don't like the inappropriate stuff on the internet that's fine. I don't like it when it infects my fandoms either. But it's completely unfair to just blame all Bronies for it. It's been my experience that the worst stuff comes from preteens rather than adults unfortunately. My Little Pony is targeting little girls, but it isn't meant for them. It's meant for anyone who enjoys it, including adults. 

It kind of gets on my nerves when people act like this. I'm an adult who happens to be part of a fandom that is aimed at kids. It annoys me when people tell me I'm "too old for that". You're never to old to enjoy something good :)
bobed 6 months ago
With all due respect, as a grown adult man I can't imagine any innocent or normal reason why fellow grown adult men would enjoy a show meant for little children. It makes absolutely no sense to me, and no excuse I've heard has justified it. 
Anonymous 6 months ago
Often things targeted at little children still have appeal for adults. I'm not talking about inappropriate humor, but things like fourth-wall jokes which will go over the head of kids. Shows like Phineas and Ferb or Animaniacs are packed to the gills with witty writing and clever references that young kids won't get but older kids and adults will enjoy. I have not seen My Little Pony, but from what I've heard, this may be the case for this show as well. The creator of the show wanted to make something that would have legitimate appeal outside of its target audience.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

Don't forget the Bruce Timm Batman, Superman and Justice League cartoons!
Evan Weisensel 5 months ago
Don't forget Mighty Orbots and Transformers Prime! :)
Inkfeather1 . 5 months ago
Would you be equally confused at an adult woman enjoying something meant for little kids? Little boys in particular? In my experience, grown women enjoying something is always seen as completely innocent, but for some reason people can't imagine a man enjoying something for anything other than sexual reasons. There are many innocent reasons why grown men watch MLP: They enjoy the story, they relate to the characters, the animation and color schemes are good, etc. Try to understand why a grown woman would enjoy the show, and you'll come up with a lot of good reasons why grown men can enjoy it too :)
bobed 5 months ago
No, I don't think any grown adult male or female should enjoy shows for children. In my opinion, the mediums of children's entertainment and adult entertainment ought to be firmly seperate. Of course there are movies and shows that are meant for everyone, but I've been forced to sit through quite of My Little Pony, and I don't think it's one of those.
Anonymous 5 months ago
So why must everyone else conform to your standards? Are we doomed to Hell if we don't? Are you the final template on what we, as Christians, should be? I dare you to answer.
bobed 5 months ago
You "dare me" to answer? Okay then, I will. I don't think the idea of grown adults avoiding shows on the Treehouse channel is "my standards." I think that's normal, decent, well-adjusted behavior for anyone over 18. Nay, anyone over 10. Do you also enjoy the Wiggles and Franny's Feet? I dare YOU to answer.
bobed 5 months ago

No, I don’t think anyone is necessarily damned to hell for being an adult who inexplicably watches shows meant for kids. I also don’t think adults who are alcoholics or bite their nails or any other bad habit are damned to hell, but I do think they are under the influence of something that is not necessarily godly or the result of a well-adjusted upbringing. And I think it's weird. Sue me. 

Anonymous 5 months ago

Since I can't reply to your post directly, no, I do not enjoy the Wiggles, but that should not make a difference. You say that enjoying this show or any other that is "for children" is not normal or decent. Not only that, as I've said, you attack the faith of those who have disagreed with you in the past.


You can disguise it however you like, but sadly, it seems we as Christians, in one way or another tell each other, when boiled down to its most basic form, "Go to Hell" quite often. However, rather than come right out and say it, we hide it in a tangle of words.


Approach it from a different perspective. You say that this is not within the normal behavior of a man, to watch and enjoy this show. Then tell me, what is? Is there any one single standard of what it means to be a man? I can admit, as a man, that enjoy ballads from musicians of all kinds, some of whom are women. Does that make me any less of a man?

Anonymous 5 months ago
When I was fifteen and sixteen and seventeen, I discovered Star Wars: The Clone Wars and its sequel/spin-off, Rebels. Rebels is still ongoing, heading into its final season. However, I'm now eighteen, so this means, by your words, that I should immediately stop enjoying such childish shows. I should stop talking to my best friend any time she brings up anything Clone Wars or Rebels related, since I'm an adult and she's not yet.

I should also never read The Chronicles of Narnia ever again. Those are written for kids.

And I should never again listen to Adventures in Odyssey, since that's aimed at children.

And I should NEVER! EVER!!! watch old VeggieTales cartoons again (gasp! cartoons!), even though I was practically raised on them and they shaped a good deal of my childhood.

I'll never read Warriors again. Or read any of my fantasy/science-fiction books, like the Time Quintet by Madeleine L'Engle (A Wrinkle In Time and all related books). Those fantasy/sci-fi books make up...ah, gosh... a good three-quarters of my rather extensive bookshelf.

I should also stop playing video games, since those are "childish," I'm sure. Like Star Wars: The Old Republic (yes, I'm a Star Wars fan). That's pretty childish, yeah? It's got slightly cartoony graphics. I mean, what self-respecting CHRISTIAN ADULT actually LIKES stuff like Star Wars? ...well. [raises hand] Oh, and the LEGO adaptation games? Perish the thought!

I mean...wow. What a difference a single birthday makes. I guess I'm doing something wrong, because when I woke up on my eighteenth birthday, I didn't immediately go, "Well, time to put 90% of my childhood - books, movies, games, etc. - in a box and sell it in a garage sale!"

Bobed, if no adult ever enjoyed anything meant for children...what a world of disconnect that would be. Every single child would grow up in an incredibly loveless, cold, unwelcome environment. No parent would ever read children's books to their kid and smile at the winsome illustrations or cute stories. No parent would ever watch VeggieTales or MLP or dare to laugh alongside their kid at those shows. Kids would grow up feeling ashamed of their "childish" entertainment - and they would "grow up" far too soon, eager to put such "childish" things behind them, so they won't be silently shunned for daring to like them.

Enjoying shows like MLP reveals, I think, a longing in this world for innocence. This world is getting darker every day, and rays of sunshine like innocent, fluffy kids' shows are fleetingly rare. Given that perspective, I can't see what's so wrong about enjoying "childish" entertainment.

- Lionsong
Raini Way 6 months ago
And what, pray tell, is "adult and gross" about MLP? Show me just one Rule 34 moment in the entire show. Forgive me if I don't hold my breath.
bobed 5 months ago
I don't know what "rule 34" is. There is nothing adult and gross about the show itself, and I never even insinuated that there was. What are you on about, pray tell?
Anonymous 5 months ago
I'm trying to think of the right way to answer this (and I don't know who makes this stuff up) but it basically means.. if something exists, some idiot will have perverted it (in this case usually related to art)  I really wish I didn't know that.
.. Also as a side note, In the case of 'my little pony' from looking at official 'bronie' sites, I strongly suspect they are not the ones creating the rubbish that some people here have referred to.  I believe that's just other perverted people being, well, perverted.