» Buckeye Blitz! Trotcon 2014

Trotcon returned from June 20th to 22nd of 2014 for it’s third year and biggest event yet, set as always in Columbus Ohio. For the first time, the event broke 1,000 attendees! With show guests M. A. Larson, Peter New, and Andrea Libman, IDW comic colorist Heather Breckel, as well as playing host to the wedding of the con chair, Trotcon was a whirlwind weekend of fun and friendship! Read on for the full (albeit long-delayed) writeup! [READ MORE]

» Help! My Heart is Full of Pony! – Small Acts of Kindness

640px-Rainbow_glow_on_Rarity's_iris_S4E08 Source: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic – Season 4, Episode 8 – Rarity Takes Manehattan

My Little Pony goes out of its way to show how small acts of kindness – acts of friendship – change the world.  From Pinkie Pie’s smile philosophy, to the keys that unlock the Box O’ Harmony, little by little, the show has been building on a rather powerful message – that the little things make a big difference when you add it all together.

This is a truth that is just as powerful and important in real life as it is in Equestria, but we seldom get to see the full results of our actions, because magic here on Earth is a bit more subtle than it is on the show.

It’s hard to be a giving person – to be a virtuous person – when you don’t always feel like you’re making a difference.  That Every Mare for Herself attitude we see in Rarity Takes Manehattan?  It can come to feel like that’s all there is to life.  And when you judge your own actions only by the results that you can actually see, it is easy to come to the conclusion that only in Equestria can friendship really truly be magic.

But Pony isn’t just 85 happy-endings that happen for the sake of happy endings.  It’s deeper than that.  It’s showing us the better side of ourselves. What we can be.  It’s showing us a truth that we seldom get to witness in real life – the plain and simple fact that the little things can and do make a difference.

About nine years ago, my kids were a lot younger and needier, and I had to keep them occupied in the city while my wife took care of some important business.  We found ourselves at an overpriced Manehattan pizza shop and I was in the rather unfortunate position of having to tell my daughter that I couldn’t get her the type of pizza that she wanted because it was simply too expensive.  When I went to collect the slice, I found that it was not what I had ordered, but rather, what my daughter had actually wanted.  At first, I thought the pizza guy was trying to get me to pay for the more expensive slice, but he soon explained that it had already been paid for.

I only saw his back as he stepped out the door, and I never got to thank him, but a total stranger had overheard my conversation and had quietly picked up the bill.

I had an epiphany that day, and for years to come, whenever I felt down about the state of the human race, I remembered that small act of kindness, and thought of the millions of quiet gestures like it that people do every day without recognition, or expectation of it.  I thought of how somebody had brought a smile to my daughter’s face that he never even got to see.

I’m willing to bet that he, like so many of us, probably sometimes feels that it’s impossible to make a real difference in the world.

How could he possibly know that a $5 slice of pizza helped me turn my life around, and start actively getting out there and practicing random acts of kindness myself?

You may not get dazzling spectacles of light, and epic battles, and castles out of it, but when you reach out in kindness and friendship to your fellow man, you are still defeating a very real evil – the notion that goodness isn’t worth it – that we are powerless to make a difference.

It’s a fight that each one of us goes through everyday.

So whenever you are generous, kind, honest, funny, or loyal, and you feel drained because you think your efforts have been wasted, please take heart.  They haven’t.

I know this because somewhere out there there is a totally random guy who bought my daughter a slice of pizza back in 2005, and I still owe him a key.

-Sprocket

You can follow Help My Heart is Full of Pony on Tumblr.  http://heartfullofpony.tumblr.com

Bronies for Good is doing a wonderful thing this summer – holding a good deeds drive to encourage people in the fandom to get involved in their communities in a sprit of volunteerism, and to get people sharing ideas on how best to make a difference. It’s this very spirit that really makes me love this fandom. Check out http://broniesforgood.org/2014/06/summer-o-good/ for more details 

» TRS Round Table 048: Inspiration Manifestation

Just how fabulous can you make something without going too far? Glad you asked us! The TRS Round Table is a group review, where we come together to discuss the goings on in ponydom. This week we’re talking about Inspiration Manifestation, the episode of Friendship is Magic that aired on April 26, 2014. Joining the Round Table today are Fizzbuzz, Niels Olof, ShieldedDiamond, Mr. Big, Pocket, and KefkaFloyd. Read on to find out what we thought.

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» TRS Round Table 047: Trade Ya!

Boy, do we have an episode for you! Step right up and you could be the happy reader of a review of Trade Ya!, the episode of MLP: FiM which aired on Saturday, April 19. Your trading partners today are Fizzbuzz, The Doctor, PictishBeast, Frosthawk, Higsby and drunkill. Check behind the cut for fast paced opinion trading action!

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» TRS Round Table 046: Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3

We’re here today to learn about Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3 which aired on April 5th. Chillin’ at the Round Table to school you about the wonders of the Wonderbolts are Mr. Big, Opposing Farce, acksed, drunkill and KefkaFloyd.

Read more to find out how different learning techniques help get results.

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» TRS Round Table 044: For Whom the Sweetie Belle Toils

Nobody said it was easy being a sibling, especially when both of you love to have the spotlight. For Whom The Sweetie Belle Toils aired on March 22nd, and sitting down at the Round Table to talk about the squeakiest of sisters and her deep-seated issues are ShieldedDiamond, Corpy, Niels Olof, Tears, drunkill, and KefkaFloyd. Read more to find out how squeakiness and fabulosity learn to coexist.

[READ MORE]

» TRS Round Table 042: Somepony To Watch Over Me Review

Welcome back to another edition of the TRS Round Table! We’re here to discuss  the episode of Friendship is Magic, “Somepony To Watch Over Me,” which aired on the Hub on March 8, 2014. We’re ready to find out just how much we can get away with in talking about the episode. Joining the Round Table are Pocket, HuffyTheMagicDragon, KefkaFloyd, ComradeCosmobot, and drunkill. Read more and maybe you’ll get a bow from the hats and bows closet!

[READ MORE]

» Help! My Heart is Full of Pony! – For Girls

Image source: http://leekfish.deviantart.com/art/Fight-like-a-Girl-437635773

Our final piece of content for International Women’s Week is courtesy of Sprocket. TRS will join DerpyNews as an additional host of “Help, My Heart is Full of Pony!”

Every time the show does something adventurous or epic, somepony will inevitably say “there’s no way My Little Pony is for girls.”  Conversely, when the show goes in a direction that somepony thinks is lame, it is not uncommon to hear “cut it some slack; My Little Pony is, after all, for girls.”

“For girls” should never be a synonym for “lame.”  The great thing about My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, and, in fact, Lauren Faust’s entire career, is that it challenges notions about what “programming for girls” is supposed to be, and at the same time, is still undeniably feminine.  The great thing about the brony phenomenon is that we came along and said, “You know what?  This show is awesome, and we aren’t ashamed to love it!

It’s a liberating feeling, a beautiful thing, and one of our greatest strengths as a culture.

Own that.

As for little girls, why not just be happy that this generation of children is getting quality programming that they deserve – the empowering role models that they deserve?  Claiming that My Little Pony is so awesome that it couldn’t possibly be for girls isn’t really much of a complement.  Look at it this way: If you found yourself back in time, face-to-face with a little red head named Lauren Faust, and could give her only one message, would you really want it to be “you’re lame”?

My Little Pony, while designed to be enjoyable by everyone, still has a primary intended audience of little girls.  I’m not afraid to admit that.

I love Equestria with all my heart.  Happy International Women’s Day.
-Sprocket

Help!  My Heart is Full of Pony! is a column on Derpy Hooves Newsa blog on the heartfullofpony tumblr, and a new addition to The Round Stable.