Friday, May 12, 2006



I was talking to a coworker the other day, complaining about something or other, and happened to say, jokingly, "Also, I want a pony." About ten minutes later, she dropped by my desk and delivered the object pictured above, so now I'm the proud owner of a genuine My Little PonyTM (Official Hasbro site here, also see the Wikipedia article). I'm told that it lived in a fish tank for a while before I got it, so it's probably full of weird algae on the inside. But on the outside, it's all pony. YAY!

I have a small menagerie of animal toys at my desk, including a couple of turtles, fish, a wombat, aliens, robots, glowing skulls, and a few other items, so this is really not very weird by my usual standards. I'm deliberately cultivating an "eccentric streak", and I've deliberately picked something that's guaranteed to confuse and outrage insecure tech-geek fanboys -- which is even more fun than you might think. Yes, they really do get outraged. Jeezus. Check out this April Fool's Day spoof from Wizards of the Coast, announcing the brand new My Little Pony roleplaying game. It sounds like something kids would really enjoy, if it was for real, but it isn't. And a hearty laugh was had all across Nerdistan. You know, because unlike ponies, D&D is for real, and is a very serious matter, and not at all silly in any way. (*snort* *giggle*)

And who could forget Slashdot's immortal 4/1/06 antics? They started the "Ponies meme", and they've been aggressively marketing it from the very beginning. They're not stupid. They know the core /. audience is dweeby 15 year old boys who don't like their little sisters, and this is a sure way to win their undying devotion.

Updated: This post's actually attracting quite a few search engine hits for the phrase "omg ponies". I figure that at least some of these visitors come from the aforementioned (semi-)lucrative 15-year-old dweeb demographic. I'd so hate for anyone to leave here emptyhanded, so here's something you guys might enjoy (I think). I recently encountered a brand of high-quality graph paper called Rhodia. It's from France, and comes in A4 and several other Euro-licious metric sizes. For, you know, designing your ultimate D&D dungeon, or drawing anime characters in class, or, well, for doing actual work, if the teacher's watching or whatever. I bought a pad, because I'm an engineer and I just know I need graph paper. I don't know why I need it yet, but I just *do*. Simply having it makes me happy, even if it just sits on my desk, unused, giving off positive engineer vibes. If you're in Portland, Canoe carries it in several sizes.

Writing about ponies is way more fun than my usual topics -- war, politics, science, religion, heavy stuff like that. So here are some more contemporary MLP items:

  • An account by a guy describing his anxiety over picking up My Little Pony DVDs for his kids at the video store. Seems they're the new male kryptonite, or something. He also freaks out over buying feminine hygeine products at the grocery store. It turns out that the potential opinions of random store clerks are wayyyy more important than I ever imagined. So, so sad.
  • Curiously, My Little Pony figured in the recent Kaavya Viswanathan plagiarism scandal, with one character in her novel Opal Mehta threatening another with the immortal line "I'll tell everyone that in eighth grade you used to wear a My Little Pony sweatshirt to school every day."
  • A San Francisco-based writer was moved to exclaim "Omigod, that's My Little Pony!" while visiting Iceland. Right around dinnertime, to be specific. And they eat puffins there, too. The bastards!
  • You have to move quickly (like Seabiscuit!) if you want to cash in on ephemeral internet memes; somewhere, some poor schmoe is stuck with a whole warehouse of "All Your Base" coffee mugs, and he won't sell a single one until the inevitable wave of AYBABTU nostalgia hits about 15 years from now. Our friends at CafePress are on the ball, as usual, and they'll be happy to slap an "OMG!!! Ponies!!!" logo onto any of their usual articles of clothing.
  • On the other hand, even though it's been nearly 2 full months since /. pulled its ponies stunt, is still just a bare-bones "Coming Soon" page, and is an empty WordPress blog. You snooze, you lose, that's all I'm sayin'. Wait much longer, and it'd be like putting up a new "Dancing Hamsters" fanboi page.
  • Also, a brand new My Little Pony movie is on the way. I'll set a toy pony on my desk, but I think watching a movie about 'em would be just way too much pony, thank you very much.
  • On a bit more of a tangent, this article is mostly about the weird fad of using live Madagascar hissing cockroaches as jewelry, another one of those 5-minutes-before-the-fall-of-Rome trends we're seeing a lot of lately.

    A quote from the article:

    ''It's encrusted in a pattern of multicolored jewels, and also comes with a silver chain you can clip on to this belt it has which acts like a leash. You pin it to yourself, and the critter can roam around your shoulders and chest unchecked. Hence, it's a roach brooch. . . . I'm still not sure what is to become of Hissy. I am in talks with a friend to give him to her daughter as a pet. Your first thought is: What would a 5-year-old girl want with a cockroach? But then you have to remember the jewelry angle -- it looks like a demented, post-apocalyptic My Little Pony."

  • Here's a concise roundup of all things roach-brooch-related, and this very post makes a cameo appearance, down towards the bottom, for the moment, anyway. Hooray for me! Mission Accomplished!
  • My obligatory conservation / biodiversity item: Here's a list of rare animal breeds indigenous to the UK, including several breeds of horses and ponies (real, live ones, not made of plastic). Among these are the Eriskay Pony and the Exmoor Pony.
  • And this is 100% utterly unrelated: The latest voting scandal on . Quite honestly, I just wanted an excuse to stick the phrase "american idol" in here, since that generates lots of page hits and stuff. And I'm sorry, but this isn't exactly a surprise. If you let Rupert Murdoch run your elections, this sort of thing is inevitable.
  • Updated: Actually I haven't had a single page hit from anyone searching for "american idol". Those people are smarter than I thought, or maybe they turn up their noses at anything that isn't on MySpace, I dunno.
  • Two Flickr photosets of 100% pony pics.

  • Stop the Presses!!! I just checked, and the pony's underbelly bears a non-Hasbro logo. It's not a real My Little Pony at all, but one of the "Pony Tales" line from Lanard Toys. Despite the big word "INTEGRITY" that flies around the screen at the start of their big Flash presentation, they seem to have gotten in trouble in the past over cloning other companies' products.
  • Here's a page devoted to exposing Fakie Ponies, which is what I have on my hands here. A cheap made-in-China knockoff, as opposed to an expensive made-in-China original. I'd go complain to my not-to-be-named coworker, but they always say to never look a gift horse in the mouth. Which is impossible, incidentally, since its mouth doesn't open.
  • But not all is lost: Although they'll never be real ponies, Lanard products do have their place in the overall pony ecosystem. Seems they make great organ donors, well, hair donors, if you're restoring or customizing your Real MLP Pony.
  • Lanard ponies do have their fans, though, as evidenced by this forum thread. Things get a little testy as the discussion continues. Seriously.
You may not believe this, but this pony has a special voice that only I can hear, and on occasion it whispers softly to me. Unfortunately I seem to have acquired a mutant-clone insane neocon wingnut pony, and it's convinced me, in its cute cuddly-wuddly way, to pledge eternal warfare against the infidel Care Bear evildoers. So if I ever come across any, it's going to be all-out "Shock and Awe" time, for sure. And don't even get me started about the Axis of Weebles. tags:

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

you legend i want one aswell wink wink