Subconscious Rage

It’s amazing how long anger can last, whether or not you’re trying to hold it. In my case, I’m not, but it’s still there.

It’s been two years since the self-righteous liar who blamed me for a post I never wrote and never apologized. It’s been three years since several nasty run-ins with simmers who find anything less than extreme hype and overbearing love for absolutely everything of the series’ latest iteration unacceptable. It’s been four years since the obnoxious Pokemon fans who sent me hate messages because I cancelled my then pre-order for the games were being released at that time. And I can’t remember how long it’s been since I left the Sims forum and Sims reddit sub-section that showed blatant favoritism toward simmers with the “right” opinions versus simmers with the “wrong” ones (in particular with Reddit, I was banned after a user with the “right” views verbally attacked me and I eventually got fed up and lashed out; naturally, he got no consequence). Nor can I remember how long it’s been since I was banned from a Sims Facebook group that promised they were different, yet turned out to be the same as the plethora of Sims community with that style of administration. Maybe a year, maybe a bit less or more, but I really can’t remember.

Yet, I’m still angry at all of these people.

I’m not trying to be, I’m not purposefully holding a grudge, but when I think of any of these things, the above incidents are the first that come to my mind and all the anger resurfaces. Pokemon is unaffected because I’ve always been slow at completing the games (though I do not pre-order anymore; I’ve still yet to make sense of being angry at someone else’s way of spending their own money), but the others very much soured my outlook on the media and the fandom. I do not watch Winx Club, I no longer use the blog I made for the show, and I no longer speak to the friends I had in the fandom (one still follows me, but our contact is limited to occasional likes of each other’s posts). Any and all love I had for the Sims series as a whole has withered away and my “simblr”, despite I gave it an overhaul, remains unused while its Facebook page gets very light usage. I remember being excited I could finally follow a game from its beginning. I very much regret that excitement. And yes, I still buy the packs. Go figure.

I consider this akin to feeling embarrassed about things I did when I was young as five, too young to have the comprehension I do now. I’ve had all about “leaving the past behind”, but the problem is the past cannot be forgotten, short of inducing amnesia. There’s a saying about words: “Once said, they can only be forgiven, not forgotten.” That applies here. If I’m being honest, I haven’t forgiven these people. Moved past it and am not ranting anymore, yes, but I still consider these people to be awful humans who I couldn’t think or wish well of, even if I were the purest being alive. Maybe that is why this anger still rests in my subconscious and comes bubbling back to the surface when I consider rejoining these things. And yes, I am well that fandom is not needed to enjoy a certain media. Unfortunately, once you know the fandom, you forever connect it, subconsciously or otherwise, and that mental connection is not easily severed. Plus, having people, even faceless strangers, to share with is much like an addiction. It’s similar to how I feel about my relationship with my boyfriend. I was happy when I was single, but now that I know how wonderful a relationship can be and that I have him, I’d be hugely depressed if we broke up and I was single again. Years later, I might still feel the heartbreak because I can’t forget how much I enjoyed the time I had with him and loved him.

The curse of human memory and the price one pays for experiencing life, I suppose.

Let’s Talk About: Fluttershy

I’ve gotten caught up with nearly all of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. I watched the movie in theaters, but I stopped mid-season 7 and I doubt I’ll finish. However, I won’t rant about that. I’d need to make an entirely new post.

Fluttershy is the embodiment of kindness. Or she’s supposed to be, according to the show. And while she does live up to much of the time, I think there’s another element of personality she seems to fit better.

Foolish kindness.

Let me say right now I do like Fluttershy and, up to a certain point, she was my second-favorite character (the first was Twilight; was, as Starlight has now become my personal preference over Twilight). However, I have an issue with what the writers deem to be “kindness”, and there are times when it seems “kindness” is confused with “naïveté”.

The worst example I can think of the top of my head is an episode where she’s chosen to reform a godly chaotic creature precisely because she embodies kindness. Unfortunately, “carpet” would be more accurate. Her way of reforming him is to allow him to abuse her kindness (and I say allow because she’s fully aware of what she’s doing), to get angry with her friends when they attempt to protect her, and allow said creature to endanger one of her friends’ homes (and means of survival; said friend runs a farm), her friends themselves, and by extension, the entire country. In other words, her way of reforming him is to allow him to unleash whatever chaos he wants with zero consequences, in the hopes he’ll change if she tolerates it long enough.

First of all, taken out of context – actually, even in context – this is ultimately an episode about a woman enduring a man’s abuse in the hopes she can change him. Thank you, MLP writers, for giving little girls that lesson. I’m sure the real world abusers weren’t already doing a good job. That troublesome fact aside, this episode emphasizes better than any other what the issue is with Fluttershy supposedly embodying kindness. “Kindness” should not equate to letting someone walk all over you, and while there have been episodes about Fluttershy learning to stand up for herself, they tend to be forgotten, likely to work for episodes like the one I just described. In fact, a common complaint of the show is the lesson fails to stick (though it seems it eventually does by the latest season), something the writers created an episode to say they were tired of hearing (again, a rant for another day). It’s not unkind to refuse to be a walking carpet. It is, however, very unkind to endanger your friends’ lives and refuse to see what your negligence is creating. The only reason she’s successful in reforming the creature is because she eventually snaps at him when he finally makes it clear he was using her all along. In other words, she does something unkind to reform him. Ironically, she called her friends out moments before she snapped on apparently thinking she was a “silly, gullible fool”. Let’s just say when she asked that question, I said yes to the television. If you need someone to spell out they are abusing your kindness when they’ve already done every conceivable action that would make it obvious to anyone with working brain cells and minimal perception, yes, you’re a fool.

The other example I put high on the list is one that involves the aforementioned friend’s farm (yes, out of “kindness”, Fluttershy endangered her friend’s way of living twice). Her friend’s farm was invaded by pests and the friend, understandably, wants to get rid of them. Despite that she only wants to move the bats away from her farm rather than outright kill them, Fluttershy acts as if she does want to kill and insists she should instead give the pests part of her farm as a sanctuary.

First off, anyone who is a real animal expert (annoying fact: Fluttershy admitted she knew nothing about the creatures; meanwhile, her farmer friend did) could probably write a list of reasons as long as their own body about why that’s not a good idea. The episode itself fails any kind of logic in animal expertise. Instead, any logic whatsoever takes a backseat to “kindness” because it seems disregarding a threat to your friend’s home, livelihood, and family’s means of survival is very kind. Keep in mind the pests essentially trespassed onto her friend’s farm, but Fluttershy is supposed to be right because “they’re just hungry”. Never mind that moving them, like her friend wanted, would solve that issue. The implication here is innocuous reasons excuse bad actions. Fluttershy is “right” because she’s the kind one, despite she knows zero about the pests and farming in general, and if the show didn’t need to have a “kindness always wins” moral for its target audience (no matter how wrong it really is in its context), her friend’s sound reasoning and logic would’ve rightfully won out the argument.

Many people excuse flaws in shows like MLP because “it’s a kids’ show”. The problem is that’s why it deserves criticism. Name me a parent, especially a parent of a daughter, who wants their child to learn the lesson that putting up with mistreatment is “kind”? That you can change even the worst people by letting them walk all over you? That it’s good to push away your friends who are rightfully concerned for you? What parent would willingly teach their child taking in random creatures is a good idea? That all creatures are okay to keep around? That “kindness” means ignoring all logic and potential consequences, even if you haven’t a clue what you’re talking about? If I had a child, especially a daughter, who liked MLP, I would filter out the episodes like crazy. Kids are not dumb and, contrary to popular belief, capable of seeing problems in media, whether or not they have the words to express them. And eventually, those kids will grow old enough to talk about them.

As I said, however, Fluttershy’s repetitive lessons about being more assertive do seem to have finally stuck as of late, so hopefully, the writers will be more careful with her “kindness”, and consistent in differentiating being kind and being a doormat. After all, “this is a kids’ show”, so let’s have some more careful evaluation of what we teach and aim at kids.