Category: My Little Pony

Source: MLP: FIM Marks and Recreation

Her passion is drawing circles.  Her cutie mark is in writing haikus.  These things are actually connected!

Kettle Corn’s circles resemble ensō, a form of Zen Buddhist calligraphy in Japan. Haiku is a form of poetry that originated with Buddhist monks in Japan.

I think this beautifully illustrates how our passions, our talents, and our destinies (as manifested in our cutie marks) are connected in ways that we can’t always see.  It gives a whole new dimension to the themes that the show has explored in post-cutie-mark Cutie Mark Crusaders episodes. Getting your flank tattoo doesn’t set you in stone for your entire life like Rumble thinks. In fact, you can have post cutie mark crises, (as exemplified by Apple Bloom, Diamond Tiara, and Bulk Biceps).  You can find whole other layers of meaning in what you do that weren’t necessarily apparent when you first got your mark!

Kettle Corn has a whole journey ahead of her.  Parts of her personality, and parts of her soul are going to become clearer to her as she explores these Zen-related interests, but she will not have the words to articulate their connection.  She will never know what Buddhism, or Japan is, even if her life’s journey is destined to be *weeaboo af.*

However, that doesn’t stop different elements of Japanese philosophy from making themselves manifest in her.

Think of the implications of that!

What if different life events, or passions that define who we are turn out to actually be connected in ways that we cannot see?  Just like this little girl will never fully be able to articulate that her personality is essentially a running gag, referential to a place she’ll never see or read about, our own lives may never fully be clear to us except in the vaguest of feelings and intuitions.

Simply put, we lack the perspective to “get the joke.”

When I posted this theory on Facebook, I got one cynical comment about our lives being “jokes.” I want to clarify. I don’t mean that we are literally fictional characters and that our lives are literally one big meaningless joke. I’m saying that perspective is everything!
We know ourselves better than anyone else does, and at the same time, only see ourselves from the inside. Those of us who are prone to guilt look at ourselves more harshly than we look at others. We don’t extend the same kind of forgiveness to ourselves that we extend to our friends in the same situations. Conversely, those who are defensive actually repaint their own actions in positive lights. They refuse to acknowledge wrongdoing in their own behaviors, even if they objectively view those behaviors as wrong in others. That’s part of what makes life so confusing. No matter what, we will always lack the perspective to examine ourselves truly objectively.

We can try, we can even come a little bit closer with every revelation, but at the end of the day, we are still viewing ourselves from the inside. There’s an old saying, “I don’t know who discovered water, but it wasn’t a fish.”

It is as tragic as it is humorous. I think there’s joy to be found in that. I also think there’s a greater understanding to be had by it. While there are some truly messed up and evil people in the world, for the most part, when folks do wrong, they are usually just doing the best they can with what they have. Simply put, we mess up because we’re human.

Once you recognize your own trappings, however – once you contemplate and appreciate just how difficult it is to try to make sense of your own life, you start to realize that everyone else is going through the exact same thing. We are all feeling around in the dark. We all lack the perspective to gain a fully objective picture of ourselves. We are all suffering because of it: our friends; our enemies; our ideological opponents. That existential question – that suffering – is at the core of all of our beings. It is the one thing we all have in common.

While we, like Kettle Corn, will never find the answers – will never fully be in on “the joke” – we can still look at one another and attempt to be compassionate, and to show compassion whenever we can, even to those whom we oppose. After all, we’re all in the same boat.
Or at the very least, maybe we, like Kettle Corn, should stop, and simply take joy in doing something we love every now and again, and do it for its own sake. Maybe that’s all the answer we need.

A girl loves circles
But is meant to write haikus.
They are the same thing.

-Sprocket

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You knew the show would get around to this, so it follows that it is the penultimate episode of the season. Sunburst comes to Ponyville to see Starlight Glimmer. The latter is really looking forward to the trip, but is surprised to learn that Sunburst likes to go antique hunting—so does Twilight. He also likes stage tricks like Trixie and geology like Maud Pie.

All of this actually upsets Starlight because Sunburst has turned out different after al the years apart and that he has more in common with Starlight’s friends than with herself. Starlight attempts to relive the good old days with Sunburst to the point of travel back in time and as foals to play their favorite board game, but that doesn’t work.

Twilight re-assures Starlight that Sunburst still wants to be friends (even though he doesn’t have a troubled past or a shared feeling of being different from others) and they, Maud, and Trixie present a life-size version of Dragon Pit (the board game). While Starlight and Sunburst do not have as much in common as they used to, they can still enjoy each other’s company. Though judging by the book in the mystery barrel (and in Legends of Magic #6), that next meeting may come much sooner!

So this was a decent episode. We have seen before in other cartoons where things can change between friends after an extended period of time apart, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t want to be friends anymore. As long as friends enjoy each other’s company, then that’s all that really matters. There’s really not much more to add to this episode is that it does set up the season finale next Saturday. Stay tuned!

GRADE:  B+

StatManDan

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724 – “Uncommon Bond”

Written by: Josh Haber, Kevin Lappin
When Starlight gets a visit from Sunburst, she discovers that he has tons in common with her friends and starts to wonder if he still has anything in common with her.

Transcript
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IDW Solicitations for January 2018

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Solicitations for January are available! Check out what’s coming after the break.

Read more →

MLP Review: “Secrets and Pies”

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Pinkie Pie is baking a pie for Rainbow Dash’s 73rd Wonderbolt training session. Rainbow accepts the pie at Wonderbolts HQ, but Pinkie soon finds the pie in the dumpster instead of inside her stomach. As a matter of fact, Pinkie has never seen Rainbow eat one of her pies, she’s always been distracted (read: fall for trick of looking away from Rainbow).

Pinkie comes to the conclusion that Rainbow doesn’t like her pies and has lied about liking them. Pinkie’s attempts to catch her in the act come up fruitless until gravity exposes Rainbow Dash as a pie she throws up into the air lands on Pinkie. The truth is Rainbow Dash does not like ANY pies (which comic main series #59 will delve into).

Rainbow though the hassle was worth it because Pinkie would be crushed if she found out someone didn’t like her pies and it made her happy to see Pinkie happy. Also, she was willing to eat a “pie” she baked to make it up to Pinkie. That’s kind of the sour part of this episode. They do mention that Rainbow should be more honest with Pinkie, but her way of trying to make it up to her is as overly-complicated as her schemes to get rid of her pies.

But really, that was the only sore point, though a significant one in my opinion. Other than that, we get some very good facial expressions and Pinkie’s imagination go out of control (liked the “Evil Dash” bit). It’s just that Rainbow didn’t need to overcomplicate things in making amends with Pinkie.

GRADE: B+

StatManDan

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723 – “Secrets and Pies”

Written by: Josh Hamilton
When Pinkie Pie thinks she sees Rainbow Dash throw away one of her pies, she suspects the worst – that Rainbow Dash secretly hates her pies; Pinkie Pie attempts to catch Rainbow Dash in her web of lies.

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Pointless Ponies Update: One Week Left

Fillies and Gentlecolts,

Hope you enjoy the MLP Movie this weekend. I sure did! In the meantime, I have mentioned that all prizes I give away at Ponyville Ciderfest in two weeks (Hyatt Regency Milwaukee) for both “Pointless Ponies” and “Las Pegasus Gambit” will be tied to the movie. In order for “Pointless Ponies” to work, I need more survey participants for my survey:

http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/3838443/Pointless-Ponies-6

I have had 45 respondents as of noon ET on October 6th. I would like at least 55 more before next Friday. I’ll help you along the way with some of the questions.

1) Self-explanatory. If that member of the Apple Family has been mentioned and/or seen on the show. That is a correct answer.

2) Also self-explanatory. If that character on the show make his or her first appearance in a two-part episode (i.e. “Friendship Is Magic,” “The Return of Harmony,” “A Canterlot Wedding,” “The Crystal Empire,” “Twilight’s Kingdom,” etc.) that is a correct answer.

3) Some characters are just have one name. Others have two (including three members of the Mane Six). I am looking for those characters who have two names.

4) Some of you have not read the comics. You know how the map has called a pair of characters to a Friendship Mission? It extends beyond that and think of two sets of characters you normally see together on the show. That may help with this question.

5)  I’m just looking for episodes on the show.Equestria Girls and the Movie do not count.

6)  If you see all six members of the Mane Six in the episode whether all of them have speaking roles or not, then that episode is a correct answer.

Questions 7-9 have their own instructions. However, pay attention to the number of blanks in Question 9. One blank equals one word.

Alternatively, the answers to these questions can be found at mlp.wikia.com.

For all questions, you have 100 seconds to come up with as many answers as possible. That’s part of the game and part of the surveys.

Your participation is important to the success of this game at Ponyville Ciderfest and is greatly appreciated.

StatManDan