On the one hand, I'm watching this and thinking that this is the new generation of Star Wars nerds (who I very much appreciate). On the other, it seems different. It really does seem like a religion. One part of me feels like it's weird and creepy, and yet it is that same strangeness that gives me hope for the world. After delving into the history of the middle ages where greed, violence, and domination seemed to be young men's highest priorities, maybe these Bronies will be our saviors. Perhaps it is a sign that the human race could actually evolve spiritually.
If you haven't seen the documentary, get to Netflix and watch it because I can't possibly explain it. It needs to be seen. I had seen some of this Brony content on the Internet, because my daughter went through a year long obsession with the show (she fits the original target demographic) but I assumed that these older guys were being funny, ironic, sarcastic... something. But it seems that they are not; they are actually genuinely embracing the spirit of the show. Even the voice over talent appears to appreciate the Bronies.*
From Wikipedia: "The show follows a studious unicorn pony named Twilight Sparkle as her mentor Princess Celestia guides her to learn about friendship in the town of Ponyville. Twilight becomes close friends with five other ponies: Applejack, Rarity, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, and Pinkie Pie. Each represents a different face of friendship, and Twilight discovers herself to be a key part of the magical artifacts, the "Elements of Harmony". The ponies share adventures and help out other residents of Ponyville, while working out the troublesome moments in their own friendships."
For me, the documentary and its portrayal of real people is the antithesis of my favorite fictional characters who are all cynical and damaged (Dexter, Breaking Bad, and Broadchurch). And seeing Bronies, I wonder if it is wrong for me to get such pleasure from nihilistic entertainment. Maybe I'd be better off watching My Little Pony or Mr. Roger's Neighborhood or something. Problem is, I don't want to. I relish the moment when the children are off to bed and I can turn the TV to the dark side.
Still, the Bronies give me hope. And if they don't turn into a twisted, Nazi cult, then perhaps they will save the world. I personally am not a "joiner" and though that leaves me feeling isolated sometimes, it seems prudent to avoid groups from churches, to covens, to the Girls Scouts, to Mom's Clubs. Group think and team building are not for me. I can't help admiring these Bronies, though -- a bit -- and I feel a little more appreciation for them because the psychologists on the film say they are mostly introverts. I do like introverts. It's like they are the people to whom I belong because they won't make me sign up for membership and they totally understand why I don't want to join. Does that make sense? I am trying to be funny. But that doesn't mean it doesn't reflect the truth.
Well, I'm not a Bronie, but I say, "You go, Bronies! The world would be better off if you ran it (I think?)."
*Note: By the way, I've been a fan of John de Lancie from Days of Our Lives, through Star Trek: The Next Generation and even (now this is irony) Breaking Bad. What a great guy.