• Community Soapbox #25 - Embracing Negative Opinions, OC Ponies, FlutterxDiscord, and More!

    Can we handle a week without Celestia layin down the wisdom again? Seems like she was pretty popular last week, if a little vulgar.

    Since some people have been asking, how does quality control go into these? Typically we want to keep it really open for all. Similiar to a magazine's letters from the reader section, we want everyone, even those without perfect US grammar (be they kids or non fluent English), or those with unpopular opinions, to have a chance.  There is a bit of cutting and pruning of about 3-4 a week, but for the most part it's pretty open.

    Expect these posts every Tuesday at 2:00 PM PST (3:00 EQD Time). To submit your own, see this post.

    Soapbox time! 

    This week we dive into the following:

    • How Long Will The Show Last?
    • Fluttershy, Discord and human nature
    • Why Rarity Is a Great Character
    • Give OCs A Chance
    • Lightning Dust isn't Evil, just reckless!
    • The Fandom Should Encourage a Diversity of Opinions, Including "Negative" Ones

    And get your soapboxes below!

    How Long Will The Show Last?
    By: Felix

    We've hit the point where everyone's surprised the show is still going. With a season 8 already confirmed, how long will the show go on for?

    Some of you remember Hasbro announcing a five year plan for the series in 2014. If that means a new season every year, that might mean a season 9 is already in the works(which would mean 200 episodes, for anyone curious). Beyond that will be very interesting. Personally, I feel like the movie is going to have a lot of say. Now, some shows have gone on even after their big movie bombed, but there's no doubt that having a highly successful movie will boost FIM's profile. But even if it bombs, the show will still get season 8 no matter what, and likely that planned season 9.

    There's going to be a number of factors to decide the show's lifespan beyond that, but it's time to look at my imaginary crystal ball. I see...somewhere between 10 and 12 seasons if the movie is a hit, season 9 being the final season if it's not. Either way, the ride hasn't ended just yet, and hopefully the show remains enjoyable throughout it all.

    Fluttershy, Discord and human nature
    By: Fluttershypegasus

    When Celestia suggested that Fluttershy would reform Discord, many were surprised, including Fluttershy herself. Yet they seem to have one of the firmest friendships in the whole series.

    If we observe Discord's nature, we see he is proud, arrogant, somewhat self centred and exceptionally powerful and more than willing to use it. Plus, as the spirit of chaos, he cannot tolerate the idea of things remaining static.

    Meanwhile, Fluttershy is very different-she is humble ("I am weak and helpless") and has devoted herself to help animals in need. The only unique power she holds is the stare, and she's afraid of using that power.

    Fluttershy and Discord represent two fundamental desires within all humans-Discord's is the desire to be respected and to have power-whether that be in the form of money, or influence over others. Discord cycling between good and evil reflects this fact-how thin is the line between being healthily glad of admiration and becoming narcissistic?

    Fluttershy on the other hand represents a very different side of human nature. She has no desire to have vast fame (the idea upsets her), doesn't desire power and doesn't need change-she has remained in her same cottage and she seems to be totally happy. This is the nature of humanity that is serene-Fluttershy's fulfilment comes from the simple notion of peace and nothing more.

    If Discord is a rushing river then Fluttershy is a peaceful lake.
    Their friendship represents the fusion between self-aggrandisement and humility: one should learn to face both these aspects of themselves I order to know who they really are and what they really desire.

    Give OCs A Chance
    By: PortalJumper

    So, I got a weird comment on one of my stories on FIMFiction the other day; they commented "this is a good story even if it is filled with OC."

    This kinda stuck in my craw because I enjoy making OCs for my fics, and the idea that having an OC would inherently devalue the story is weird to me. I get that a lot of folks put poorly written wish fulfillment characters in their stories (I'm guilty of that for my early works), but some of this fandom's most beloved characters are OCs; Little Pip, Flufflepuff, Nyx (fight me), all OCs. Really, all the canon characters that we've come to love started out as someone's OC. Not every OC is going to be great, but I feel like in this fanbase and in Internet communities at large the term OC has become something of an anathema, a black mark on an otherwise serviceable and fine piece of fan content, and it shouldn't have to be that.

    All I'm saying is give OCs a chance; they may just surprise you.

    Lightning Dust isn't Evil, just reckless!
    By: Lightning Dusk

    "Wonderbolts Academy" was one of the best episodes of Season 3 and introduced one of the best side characters of the series:Lightning Dust, Rainbow Dash's Foil. However the original ending of this episode had to be cut due to production problems that plagued Season 3 and this left us with an ending that implied Lightning had been kicked out of the Bolts, while the original ending(tweeted out by Megan) had Dash re-validating Lightning as a bolt and the two of them flying off together. Most fans(rightfully) think that Lightning became evil after that,especially since she was halfway there to begin with,however the All secondary material show Lightning is both still friends with Dash and a bolt in Training,meaning that the original ending must be more canon than we thought.

    Why Rarity Is a Great Character
    By: Rarili

    Rarity has always been a unique character. What makes her so great is that she's such a great friend. Starting off, I didn't really like Rarity. She just seemed too stereotypical and girly for me which kept me from being fond of her. She continued to be an annoying character, until the Season One Episode Fourteen episode, Suited For Success. What made this episode so great is not only was it Rarity's first episode, but it also really developed her character. We have the same Rarity we had thirteen episodes ago, yet it made her from being whiny and selfish to a good friend who would give up her reputation just to make her friends happy. A Dog and Pony Show also toke Rarity's girlishness and turned it into a strength instead of a weakness. In Green Isn't Your Color, when she's jealous of Fluttershy getting the attention, she won't admit it to her because she thought it would make Fluttershy happy. Sweet And Elite showed that sometimes, she could hang out with others and later realize how much it's hurting her friends. Rarity is a good example of Generosity, and this is why Rarity is my favorite character.

    The Fandom Should Encourage a Diversity of Opinions, Including "Negative" Ones
    By: Music Chart Fan

    I think attitudes against "negative" opinions, such as that displayed by "God Damn Celestia" in last week's soapbox, can be as pernicious as those which he/she was railing against.

    Some people are worried, for example, about the fandom declining, or about the quality of the show slipping, such they would prefer to see the show wrapped up sooner than later. I believe concerns like those are legitimate and should be civilly discussed and debated, even if they are sometimes expressed in a hyperbolic or provocative way. However, I've seen people with attitudes like "Celestia"'s summarily dismiss such concerns as just obviously wrong, and attack and ridicule those expressing such concerns as haters, crybabies, and terrible people.

    I would think that one of the main purposes of having MLP sites with forums and comment sections is to explore and discuss differing opinions and perspectives, which would include "negative" ones. I don't want EQD and other MLP sites to become uninteresting positivity echo chambers where people with "negative" opinions are pressured into silence or driven away entirely.

    Trolls, flamers, and people unwilling to engage can be ignored, or reported if they break the site guidelines. But I think a diversity of opinions, including "negative" ones, should be encouraged and engaged with, not discouraged and attacked.