“Brony.” It’s a relatively recent coinage, identifying a relatively new and, to many, surprising phenomenon: adult males who are ardent fans of a set of stuffed animals – and a series of TV cartoons and comic books about them – known as “My Little Pony.” The cartoons and comic books, which are intended to appeal to little girls, depict the ponies – who have names like Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, and Sweetie Belle, and come in a wide variety of colors – as living in an imaginary town called Ponyville. On the TV series, which is called “Friendship Is Magic,” the protagonist is a “unicorn mare” named Twilight Sparkle, who, having been sent to Ponyville by one Princess Celestia “to study the magic of friendship,” discovers that friendship among the ponies is literally magical, able to overcome the powers of evil and restore harmony to the town.
Bronies delight in this. All of it. Articles in Wired, The Guardian, and elsewhere have described how they wear “My Little Pony” t-shirts, chat with one another on “My Little Pony” websites, and fill their bedrooms with the stuffed animals themselves as well as with other “My Little Pony”-related merchandise, from figurines to framed pictures. A recent article in the Toronto Star reported on a group of Bronies who make their way every weekend to a certain Toronto store to buy the latest issue of the “My Little Pony” comic book. “Sometimes,” wrote the Star‘s reporter, “the men are so excited they come dressed as their favourite pony, trotting around the shop” before purchasing the comic. Only last weekend, over 7000 Bronies congregated at the third annual BronyCon, held at the Baltimore Convention Center. “Interest has exploded, and it seems to be growing fast,” one event staffer told the Baltimore Sun.
To all indications, indeed, the “Brony community” has expanded by leaps and bounds in the last couple of years. Some observers, to be sure, purport to find it alarming that so many grown men in North America now share such a curious preoccupation. Commentators have wondered aloud what this development tells us about contemporary Western culture and values, and about what it might portend for the future of civilization. For my part, though, I have come to feel that the Bronies represent an incalculable boon to mankind and deserve all the recognition they can get. Upon reflection, moreover, I have decided that no honor would be more appropriate than the Nobel Peace Prize. Being alert to the moral principles that drive the Norwegian Nobel Committee – which, of course, awards the prize every year, after giving the matter the most serious consideration over a period of months – I would respectfully address to that committee’s members the following humble assertion: the Bronies, ladies and gentlemen, are precisely what you’re looking for.
Think of it, committee folks: as high-ranking members of the Norwegian cultural elite, you surely grasp that it’s the male of the species who has brutalized the world, turning what was once a veritable Garden of Eden into a modern masculinist dystopia governed by raw aggression, power, and technology. Women are creators; men are destroyers. Women are born to care and nurture; men, to rape, pillage, and commit violence. While females strive to protect and enjoy nature, men, in their arrogance, are determined to subdue it. And what’s the supreme symbol of the blight inflicted by maleness upon the human race? As you’re well aware, it’s my own profoundly misguided country, the United States of America, which has attained its current powerful status thanks to exactly one thing – testosterone. It was testosterone, that diabolical chemical, that drove my selfish forefathers to wrest the pristine wilderness from its rightful owners; testosterone that erected the satanic mills of Vanderbilt and Carnegie, which polluted America’s once perfectly blue skies; and testosterone that compelled restless busybodies like Thomas Edison to invent newfangled gizmos that led homo sapiens further and further from the paradisiacal purity and goodness of – in a word – Ponyville.
The Bronies are a radical departure from all this. Born to be misogynistic monsters and despicable despoilers of the planet, they’ve been transformed by “My Little Pony” into gentle dreamers who spend their days imagining an ideal, innocent fairyland where cute ponies frolic joyfully. “My Little Pony” has inculcated into these fully grown men the hearts and souls of little girls in sunbonnets and party dresses and melted their dark, demonic minds into fluffy white clouds of love and hope. It’s as if every last drop of testosterone has been drained out of their testicles – indeed, it’s as if their testicles have been completely shorn from their bodies. This, my Nobel Peace Prize-awarding compadres, is the key to a golden future time of peace and brotherhood! You would be doing not just my countrymen but the whole suffering world an extraordinary service by holding up the Bronies as the noblest of role models.
But why should I be lecturing you? Nobody understands better than you (and, needless to say, your fellow members of the Scandinavian cultural elite) just what a glorious sign of progress the Bronies are. Your ancestors were those horrible Vikings, rowing their ships to ports around the globe and vandalizing, ravaging, and murdering everywhere they went. But look at you now! Every last male who holds a top position in the Norwegian government (except, perhaps, for those populist troublemakers in the Progress Party) could very easily be mistaken for a Brony. In fact, it’s hard to fight off the suspicion that they’re all, in fact, secret Bronies, who return home every afternoon from a long (well, not really all that long) day at work to change into pony outfits and clip-clop merrily around the house. Let’s face it: how could they not be Bronies? Think, after all, of the way in which they’ve chosen to deal with groups like Hamas and with the honchos of Norway’s own Islamic community (who, alas, for all their magnificent qualities, haven’t yet entirely shed their full-blooded maleness): Norway’s leaders very obviously appreciate that if they wish to secure true, sublime – and, yes, magical – harmony with these people, they’ve got to consistently project the sweet ingenuousness and docility of Rainbow Dash, Apple Bloom, and Pinkie Pie.
To sum up, then: those of you who have been delegated the solemn responsibility of awarding humanity’s most coveted accolade have it in your power to set us all on a path toward a bright and beautiful future in which men – putting behind them the plague of modernity, the arrogance of the American Way, and, above all, the eternal scourge of maleness – will turn our scorched and tortured earth into a Ponyville-like utopia: a place where men dream not of guns and tanks but of unicorns and rainbows.
Give the Bronies the Nobel Peace Prize!
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