Nazi Bronies

Because of course there are.

Many of the show's adult fans genuinely enjoy My Little Pony and the wholesome escapism it provides. Others, however, delight in the irony of their fandom. To them, it's edgy and provocative to be an adult obsessed with cartoon ponies. That's where the Nazis come in. [...]

In supposed deference to principles of free speech and openness on the internet, the presence of self-described Nazis within a fandom that idolizes compassion-oriented cartoon characters has become a coolly accepted fact. The community has sorted itself largely into two camps: those who think anything goes as long as someone finds it funny, and those who would rather ignore toxic elements than admit that not everything is perfect. [...]

Around the same time, a blog called My Nationalist Pony started attracting a readership. Its author, who was known only as Buttercup Dew, wrote at length about My Little Pony as a subculture -- "as implicitly white as NASCAR, country music, and the Republican Party" -- that could be used to spread white-nationalist ideas. The show became an alt-right in-joke, and stayed that way, spreading, for a time, to the little-known white-nationalist spaces on Tumblr as well. [...]

What's clearest from talking with those on either side of the argument is that the My Little Pony fandom has developed a totally nonsensical hodgepodge of values. Many fans who specifically support Black Lives Matter, for example, are also fans of Aryanne, a fan-invented Nazi pony with a pink swastika on her hip. They do not acknowledge a contradiction. "I love Aryanne," a 25-year-old My Little Pony fan named Sam told me. "It's just cute, funny, sexy art." Then he added, "Black Lives Matter art is great. I welcome it." [...]

This idea of what counts as political and what doesn't is another thing the fandom took from 4chan -- where racial slurs are just jokes but anti-racism makes you a "social justice warrior."

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17 Responses:

  1. Derpatron9000 says:

    > What's clearest from talking with those on either side of the argument is that the My Little Pony fandom has developed a totally nonsensical hodgepodge of values.

    I am not at all surprised to read this.

  2. Dude says:

    Because of course it's fucking 4chan.

    I can't tell if this is more or less dumb than the time these same morons tried to say They Live was about "Jewish control of the world", despite Carpenter himself saying that was bullshit.

    • jwz says:

      I have a reflex reaction to any headline that starts with "Everything you need to know about..." where a voice in my head screams "YOU DON'T NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THAT".

      But in this case I see that what I needed to know was, "Try one month for $1. You can cancel anytime [sic]"

      • Dude says:

        Oh yeah, even I'll admit that The Washington Post is one of the worst with their subscription-pimping. Fortunately, no one on their tech team has figured out that "Reader View" gets around that.

  3. Aidan Gauland says:

    What's next, Nazi Arthur fans?

  4. ccs says:

    FFS! Nazis in My Little Pony?! What did we do to deserve living in the worst possible timeline? I guess things could always have been even worse than this, but 10 years ago (around the time when I started reading this blog), I’d see the type of shit that shows up in jwz’s doomed and grim meathook future tags and think: “Ha, ha, look at jwz, complaining about the kids today, he’s just an old curmudgeon from another age, sure — he’s right’n’all — things are not ideal, but they’re easily fixable, and so, obviously, they will be fixed.”

    Today I just despair, because amongst other things, there are Nazis all over the Internet, not just in the little corners they’ve always had, but in every fandom/area of interest you can think of, from furries to veganism, trying (and succeeding!) to create more Pepes. And I don’t know anything that can be done about it, you try to push back of course, where you can, but sometimes it just feels like stemming an incoming tidal flood with a wet flannel.

    Why are we, as a society, still basically arguing about eugenics?!!! I mean what the actual fucking fuck?!

    • dcapacitor says:

      I know this is a rhetorical question, but I find asking myself the same thing almost every day, so I feel compelled to answer it somehow.

      I think it's because that's the way we are as a species. Some of us look at history and wonder at all the nuts things that happened in the past, and isn't it nice that doesn't happen anymore. As if we've somehow become immune to all of it, except what exactly is the point at which we've become immune? The Enlightenment? The Industrial Revolution? WWI? WWII? The Civil Rights Movement? Vietnam War? The fall of the Soviet Union?

      Not to say things haven't changed, but if anything it's the world around us that changes in significant ways, not the people. The 20th century saw a great increase in literacy around the world, only with the 21st to begin with literacy redefined in terms of technology. Do we even have a statistic for the percentage of people that can navigate today's complex informational space with confidence? How surprising is it then to see nazi furries among the functionally illiterate?

      Grumble, grumble, old man, "youth these days". Even ancient Greeks complained about the youths, nothing to worry about. After all, things worked out so well for the ancient Greeks; if it wasn't for them we wouldn't have all those beautiful ruins to look at...

      • Dude says:

        The Nazi furries of today are no different than the shitheads so sent death threats to Hank Aaron when he closed in on Babe Ruth's record. The only reason we think there's a difference (other than aesthetic) is do to what's called the "End of History Illusion":

        And we have a genuine impact on the future, which is why today's headlines remind me of this quote:

        • tfb says:

          It's more complicated than that though. In 1990 I didn't think history had ended: I thought computers, and specifically some kind of networking (which I probably thought would be usenet and ftp or something) would change everything: I just thought that it would make things mostly better, not destroy the idea of truth the way it actually has. So I thought things would change, a lot, I just completely failed to predict how. And I'm not clever or unusual: lots and lots of people also thought things similar to that.

          I mean, in 1990 I thought, eventually, people would realise that source-code-as-data was a huge win and we'd all end up writing some Lisp descendant ... no, OK, I never thought that: computers ware made of mud and strings then and I knew they'd always be made of mud and strings, just not that the mud would turn out to be poisonous.

          And on the other hand history is, in a way, ending, which is what all this shit is about: you don't get to have exponential processes with a physical component which run for ever without hitting various walls. We've run several such processes for hundreds of years and we're now hitting the walls. If we don't do anything about that then the walls will kill most of us: there's going to be an awful lot of history for a century or so and then none at all for a very long time. And, of course, rather than solving the fucking problem or at least admitting that the problem is your own fault, it's a lot easier to say 'this isn't my fault, it's all because of those filthy (liberals|europeans|mexicans|gypsies|jews|people whose skin is a different colour or whose eyes are the wrong shape): let's kill them'. And that's one of the reasons you suddenly get nazis crawling out of every sewer, because what nazis do is blame other people for their own fuckups, and we are fucking up.

          • Dude says:

            As far as the predicting-the-future thing goes: Orville Wright thought that the plane would put an end to war because it would just be too expensive to fight war by plane; and Philo Farnsworth thought the television would be The Great Educator of the masses. Both lived long enough to see just the opposite happen. Billions are spent each year trying to predict both the future and human behaviour, but they never get it right. The great thing about humanity is that we're adaptable.

            And as far as history "ending": it has "ended" and continued since it first began. The problems you described are the same as those of Marie Antoinette and the Roman Empire before her: the rich exploit the poor; drain their resources; then look for a scapegoat (like when The Church worked up the serfs to "blame Muslims" for all that's wrong with the world, leading to The Crusades). The solution is to either roll over and accept our fate or... revolution.

            The world is choosing the latter.

            • dcapacitor says:

              Being from a former Soviet country I can confirm that George Orwell had a pretty good understanding of revolutions even in the 30s. Or perhaps human nature in general.

              I'm open to exploring alternatives to rolling over and/or revolutions.

            • tfb says:

              I don't think they are anything like the same problems. We've never previously been in a situation where, if we do nothing to stop it, we will make the planet significantly less habitable for humans for a period longer than written history (and in fact longer than written and oral history combined), but we are in exactly that situation now and we are doing, to a good first approximation, nothing to stop it. That's what I meant by hitting the walls: unless we do something (and we won't) history will 'end' in the sense that there will be hundreds of millions of humans rather than billions, living in deeply shitty conditions, for a very long time. An event like that has no real precedent in history, because we have never previously had the capacity to cause it. Now we do, and now we are.

              • Dude says:

                For the past seven decades, we've lived under the threat of nuclear annihilation. Between that and all of histories massive pandemics (Black Death and smallpox, to name but two), the world should have been destroyed several times over by now. A nuke is a quick destruction, climate change is a slow one - both have the same result: we're no longer here.

                Yes, they're all piling up at the same time, but the people are proving that they not only want something done about, they're doing it. Call me foolishly optimistic if you like, but I'd prefer to actively take part in a solution that to sit and wait for the outcome of a problem.

                • tfb says:

                  I disagree that people are doing anything about it: almost without exception they are doing nothing (disclaimer: I used to work on this, I have strong feelings about it, I'm not trying to be rude to you). One group of people sign agreements which makes everyone feel good and pretend that this is doing something, which it's not. Another group of people pretends that it isn't happening or that, if it is happening it is someone else's fault, and this is not doing anything either, but is worse in other ways (see below). There are people who might actually make a difference, like Greta Thunberg, but the moment some ephemeral crisis which is going to kill a tiny proportion of the people that climate change will happens everyone forgets about her because we can't think about more than one thing at once, or really about long-term things at all.

                  Look at this chart. Annoyingly you can't specify which time-period to pick in the URL, but look at the the data from 2000 on. All the recent data is all from Mauna Loa, which is a good source (in fact all the data there looks well-sourced, even the ice-age proxy stuff smells good). Can you see any change in trend since 2016 other than the annual variation? Because I can't. I was hoping to be able to see the impact of CV19 on it in the last few months worth of data (it's right up to date), but I can't even see that.

                  The only thing that is comparable to climate change in terms of being able to kill us is really nuclear weapons (perhaps really nasty engineered biological agents might be as bad). Plagues can kill significant fractions – the black death may have killed a third or perhaps more of humans in the 1300s – but they have a hard time doing more than that. CV19, if it was entirely unchecked, looks like it would kill a few percent (perhaps more for countries where lots of people are too fat like the US). Climate change and nuclear weapons might kill 90% of humans or more: both are several times as bad as anything that has happened to us globally.

                  And nuclear weapons are not really like climate change: if you have nuclear weapons you don't just kill everyone because you didn't change anything: you have to have a war and that war has to get bad enough that you use the things, and you have to decide to use them. Climate change, on the other hand, kills you by default: you have to do something enormous, or your children and grandchildren die.

                  And climate change is additionally, uniquely, horrible. If you have an infestation of nazis, say, then once you've dealt with it, and so long as you work at keeping it suppressed and making sure you never, ever forget the horrors that happened, things become more-or-less OK in a couple of generations. I lived in Germany in the early 1990s and, other than looking at old people and wondering what lies they would tell if you asked them what they did during the war, it was a fine place to live. And almost all those old people are dead now of course. If you have a plague of some kind then it kills a bunch of people and either there's a vaccine or it ends up just endemic, but it all washes in decades. If you have a nuclear war you make a serious mess of the planet, but the dust doesn't stay in the atmosphere for that long, and it's in the nature of radioactive things that the really nasty ones have rather short half-lives as they're using up their supply of unstable nuclei faster. So, give it a century or two and the planet is mostly OK in terms of habitability, if there's anyone left to live there.

                  If you do something significant to the climate, it takes between thousands and hundreds of thousands of years to wash out, short of magic fixes which are, well, magic (if you want magic fixes, do the sums for the climate impact on everyone left of lifting a significant number of people to Mars). Climate change – and more generally hitting planet-scale resource limits – is simply not a problem like anything we have faced before. Not even slightly. Niclear war comes close in terms of short-term impact but has nothing like the long-term effects.

                  And, again, we are not doing anything, at all, about the problem: look at the data, don't listen to the bullshit & lies. Because it's what the data represents that is going to kill your children & grandchildren: the bullshit & lies are just noise.

                  And to circle around to where I came in: we won't do anything, and things will fall apart (are already beginning to do so) in the next few decades because we chose not do anything. And it will become more and more tempting to pick leaders who tell us that it's not our fault but instead is someone else's fault, some group of people we can easily recognise and blame, people who look different than us or have different cultures to us. And, you know, shouldn't something be done about those people? And so something will be done about that group, and it won't fix the problem of course, so another group will be found, and perhaps eventually a big group who live far away who we should just nuke. That's what I meant by nazis being a symptom of climate change.

                  OK, that's enough ranting, sorry.

                  • Dude says:

                    Politicians aren't doing anything about it. That's why we have folks like Greta Thunberg, the BLM protesters, and more folks than I can name. The old guard has proven to be not only ineffective, but complicit.

                    Now, if you've given up fighting, that's on you. Stand aside and make way for those who aren't satisfied with simply rolling over and dying.

              • margaret says:

                rachel carson and linus pauling, among others, would disagree, as would the great poet laureate "k" when he said "There's always an Arquillian Battle Cruiser, or a Corillian Death Ray, or an intergalactic plague that is about to wipe out all life on this miserable little planet, and the only way these people can get on with their happy lives is that they DO NOT KNOW ABOUT IT!"

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