30 July 2013

Bronies With Guns

Gordon Campbell writes:

I hope this doesn't qualify as the kind of investigative journalism likely to inflame the military mindset, but the weirdest story of last week had to be the one about the infatuation of certain serving members of the US armed forces and National Guardsmen with….My Little Pony. Yes, the same superpower killing machine that brought you Predator drones and Kent State has spent part of its time last week debating whether US servicemen can attend My Little Pony conventions in uniform, or can wear My Little Pony badges and decals when they’re out on military manoeuvres. Reportedly, the US service personnel in question are called “Bronies” and there’s a news website about Bronies in Uniform here. There’s also a Facebook page for Military Bronies here.

I first came across this debate in an article on the US Air Force Flightlines website that cites the US Army blog Outside The Wire, which goes into far more detail about the phenomenon in a story entitled “Military Bronies Love Their Rifles And Their My Little Pony.”

[At the] recent “BronyCon Summer 2012” at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in New Jersey…a special lunch for service members at BronyCon got a visit from Tara Strong, who voices the magical pony Twilight Sparkle. No sooner did Strong praise the men as “twilightlicious,” than they broke out in a baritone of Twilight Sparkle’s signature song: “T-W-I-L-I-G-H-T, and ain’t no other pony troll down like me. I’m twilightlicious!”

In an odd parallel with the US military’s former “don’t ask/don’t tell” stance towards gays, bronies wonder about how alone they are, and how visible they can afford to be:

On the Military Bronies page, one poster was worried. How common are bronies in the Army? He was about to join and wanted to know how open to be. “Hard to say,” was the reply. “Best advice I can give is be subtle about it. Those who share your interests will notice, and you may even make some battle buddies that way. Best of luck to you as you launch your Army career!”
- Gordon Campbell, 'Bronies With Guns', Scoop.co.nz, 29 July 2013
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