How to participate in the liveblog chat: Option 1: Whenever you watch the episodes, comment on this post as you watch with whatever responses you feel like posting! Option 2: Go to http://webchat.freenode.net/. Enter a nickname, then for the Channels field enter ##rabbitcube, and finally fill in the Captcha and hit Connect! We’ll be watching MLP there starting at 2:00 p.m. EST.
Afterwards, I’ll update this post with the chatlog.
ETA: Chatlog below the cut! Also, discussion of the Legend of Brad.
01[14:01] <Froborr> I… what?
[14:01] <Sylocat> Is this a dream sequence?
[14:01] <mere_oblivion> They’ve never had to deal with “real” school, have they?
[14:01] <Sylocat> A soapbox derby?
01[14:01] <Froborr> Is this a response to people pointing out that time there were orbital mechanics equations on the classroom blackboard?
01[14:02] <Froborr> …I think they did local history once, didn’t they? That’s real school.
[14:02] <Sylocat> Yeah… they’ve had some episodes here before
[14:02] <mere_oblivion> Good point!
[14:02] <Sylocat> They have to do the woodcarving themselves?
[14:03] <Sylocat> Apple Bloom should have an unfair advantage here
[14:03] <mere_oblivion> Its just that those other things were fun, for me at least, while physics is . . . less fun (f.m.a.l.)
[14:03] <mere_oblivion> ’cause i’m a scientific ninny, i mean.
[14:03] <Sylocat> Gee, I wonder which of the CMCs will win which of those
[14:04] <mere_oblivion> Or maybe they’ll each win in the “wrong” category?
[14:04] <Sylocat> Or maybe they’ll go for an ironic ending and have each of them win a different one from what they were “supposed” to
[14:04] <mere_oblivion> Hey!
01[14:04] <Froborr> They’re going to team up with each other’s adults, aren’t they?
01[14:05] <Froborr> That or this’ll be about the adults pushing them in the direction they don’t want to go.
[14:05] <Sylocat> That looks like a bobsled track
[14:05] <Sylocat> (only with a loop-de-loop)
01[14:05] <Froborr> The music sounded suspiciously like Rainbow Road to me.
[14:06] <Sylocat> Oh, Scootaloo…
[14:06] <Sylocat> Ah, you called it, Froborr…
[14:07] <Sylocat> This one’s partly aimed at parents about not getting too invested in their kids’ creative projects, I assume
[14:07] <mere_oblivion> Stolen from the “Science Fair” ep of Red Green?!?
[14:07] <Sylocat> WHAT
[14:08] <Arrlaari> They’re going to have to switch older ponies
[14:08] <Arrlaari> “In my day”
[14:08] <Arrlaari> How old is Applejack, approximately?
[14:08] <Sylocat> And we had to walk uphill to school both ways
01[14:09] <Froborr> Well, she was a baby at the last Apple Family Reunion 100 moons ago, which is 8 years and change.
[14:09] <Arrlaari> I suspect a background pony is going to win all three prizes, somehow
01[14:10] <Froborr> It’ll be Derpy and Dinky.
[14:10] <mere_oblivion> One who actually makes their own cart?
[14:10] <Arrlaari> You mean Ditzy and Dinky, right?
[14:10] <Sylocat> Or Snips and Snails, they got some close-up shots in the opening
[14:10] <Sylocat> (come to think of it, we haven’t even seen Diamond Tiara since her redemption, have we?)
[14:12] <Sylocat> Yeah, they’re gonna wind up switching adults, which makes this a reference to Sisterhooves Social
[14:13] <Sylocat> Was that a reference to the meme about Scootaloo being a chicken?
[14:13] <Sylocat> Dang, I wish I had a paint remover that works that neatly
[14:13] <mere_oblivion> “Nothing a handyman hates more than a stripper that works too slow.”
[14:14] <Sylocat> Aww, Apple Bloom calls Rainbow Dash Scootaloo’s older sister, that’s sweet
[14:16] <Sylocat> Oh, I know that look on Cheerilee’s face
[14:16] <Sylocat> That’s the classic teacher-dealing-with-a-helicopter-parent face
[14:16] <Sylocat> “Are we there yet?”
[14:17] <Sylocat> Oh, Rarity installed cheats on her cart!
[14:18] <Sylocat> WHOA
[14:18] <Sylocat> It sort of counted in Cool Runnings…
[14:19] <mere_oblivion> Right!
01[14:19] <Froborr> Oh hey, there’s DT.
[14:20] <Sylocat> Ah, so they didn’t need to switch adults, the adults went outside their comfort zones when they had the epiphany
[14:21] <Arrlaari> Is this the first time Cheerilee has been shown in a cheer leading outfit?
01[14:21] <Froborr> I think so?
01[14:22] <Froborr> Ah, and we just never find out if they won.
[14:22] <Sylocat> Huh. I like that, actually
[14:22] <mere_oblivion> Same here
[14:22] <Arrlaari> I ask because it’s basically her name, which suggests it’s also somehow the meaning of her cutie mark
[14:22] <Arrlaari> which is a cherry?
[14:23] <mere_oblivion> Why did it go directly from 14 into 16?
[14:24] <Arrlaari> Youtube autoplay?
[14:24] <mere_oblivion> Ah
[14:24] <Arrlaari> There’s a toggle, should be upper right, it it looks blue autoplay is on
[14:24] <Sylocat> Here’s the actual next one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZ9gU7p_H0M
[14:24] <Arrlaari> Click it and it will slide over and show grey
[14:25] <mere_oblivion> Thank you both
01[14:25] <Froborr> *sees title of the next episode*
01[14:25] <Froborr> WAT
[14:25] <Sylocat> Same here
[14:26] <Arrlaari> “next episode” is the episode we’re about to watch, or 16, as shown by youtube suggestion?
[14:26] <Arrlaari> Wait, 17?
[14:26] <Arrlaari> This channel is numbering differently
[14:26] <mere_oblivion> i am so confused (even 4 me)
01[14:26] <Froborr> Wait, where’d episode 15 go?
[14:26] <Sylocat> Maybe it’s a production order/airing order thing?
01[14:26] <Froborr> We were supposed to watch 14 and 15 today.
[14:26] <mere_oblivion> That’s what i was wondering a moment ago
[14:26] <Arrlaari> According to youtube suggestion, this channel believes that the episode we just watched was 15
[14:27] <mere_oblivion> Well, this channel needs to have its belief system examined
[14:27] <Arrlaari> Which is in disagreement with the channel we watched it on, which listed it as 14
[14:27] <Sylocat> Ah, I just looked at the wiki. Yep, it’s a production order/airing order disparity
[14:27] <mere_oblivion> So we should be up to “28 Pranks Later”?
[14:28] <Sylocat> Today’s eps are 14 and 15 by airing order but 15 and 16 by production order
01[14:28] <Froborr> Ah.
[14:28] <Sylocat> (for some reason, episode 9 by production order got pushed back to episode 19 in the airing order and everything in between got shifted by one)
[14:30] <mere_oblivion> Und now, perhaps, vee may begin?
[14:31] <Sylocat> A scary episode?
[14:31] <Arrlaari> Is that a changeling costume?
[14:32] <Sylocat> Or a dragon costume of some sort
[14:32] <Arrlaari> I though Rainbowdash knew better than to prank her
[14:32] <Sylocat> She learned that way back in the fifth episode
01[14:32] <Froborr> Yeah, that’s SERIOUSLY uncool, and RD knows better.
[14:32] <Arrlaari> Oh right, it was Pinkie who already knew that
[14:32] <Arrlaari> But RD picked it up right away?
01[14:32] <Froborr> But it was RD who taught her that!
01[14:32] <Froborr> Remember, RD and Fluttershy have known each other longer than any of the others.
[14:33] <Arrlaari> Oh, so it was RD who taught Pinkie about the fact?
[14:33] <Sylocat> And the title of the episode is throwing me for a loop
01[14:33] <Froborr> Yeah, in the episode RD and Pinkie were pranking everyone, and RD told Pinkie Fluttershy was off limits.
[14:34] <mere_oblivion> It’ll be a postny-apocalyptic scenario?
01[14:34] <Froborr> Post-aponylyptic.
[14:34] <mere_oblivion> That’s better
[14:34] <Sylocat> Rainbow Dash is in the cake?
[14:35] <Sylocat> Ah, it’s the sewing machine that’s booby trapped
[14:35] <Sylocat> Wait, how did Rainbow Dash get ahold of a sewing machine-shaped cake?
[14:35] <Arrlaari> Pinkie Pie
01[14:35] <Froborr> Pinkie Pie
[14:35] <Sylocat> PINKIE PIE’S BEEN ENABLING HER BAD HABIT
[14:36] <Arrlaari> The world’s most willing accomplice
[14:36] <Sylocat> WHAT
[14:36] <Sylocat> How did she even DO that one?
01[14:37] <Froborr> Wow, RD is the FUCKING WORST this episode.
[14:37] <Sylocat> Sisyphus?
[14:37] <Arrlaari> Is anyone counting to see if there is going to be exactly 28 pranks?
[14:37] <Sylocat> Maybe the mean kids at Wonderbolt Academy are getting to her?
[14:39] <Sylocat> …Like, have they both forgotten that episode 5 happened?
[14:41] <Sylocat> Okay, I’m predicting they sabotage this
01[14:41] <Froborr> Ah, here’s where the zombie parody comes in.
[14:41] <Sylocat> Oh yikes, they’re actually doing a 28 Days Later parody?
[14:42] <Sylocat> This is all staged to teach Rainbow Dash a lesson, obviously
01[14:43] <Froborr> lol a the bear doing the “I’m watching you” thing.
[14:43] <Sylocat> Yeah, that was awesome
[14:43] <Sylocat> So, are they going to put zombie makeup on the bear too? Now THAT would be scary
[14:43] <Arrlaari> Rainbow Dash does not know how to be unsuspicious
01[14:44] <Froborr> Yeah, there’s still 10 minutes left, there’s going to be a mob of “sick” ponies chasing RD to get the remaining ponies.
01[14:44] <Froborr> *cookies
[14:44] <Sylocat> Rarity’s in on it
[14:44] <Sylocat> I mean, the whole town is, presumably
01[14:46] <Froborr> Okay, even teh babies being in on it is great.
[14:47] <Sylocat> They’re really going all-out with this one
[14:47] <Arrlaari> How did they get the babies to know what to do
[14:47] <Sylocat> And since it’s all staged, they can actually show zombie children on screen (which even the proper horror movies are scared to do)
[14:47] <Sylocat> Yep, the animals too
[14:48] <Arrlaari> Why would she go to the apples’ house and not her own?
[14:48] <Sylocat> Because there has to be a farmhouse in the zombie episode
01[14:48] <Froborr> Yeah, I think Eternal Darkness and Game of Thrones are the only places I’ve seen zombie children. And in Eternal Darkness they’re decayed enough that they might be zombie very short people.
[14:49] <Sylocat> (it’s amazing how timid the allegedly-super-edgy horror genre really is, isn’t it)
[14:49] <mere_oblivion> no wonder it keeps boring my sox off
01[14:50] <Froborr> Oh, American horror in particular is hyper-conservative. Any deviation from 1950s sitcom values means death. Having sex, being black, all death sentences.
[14:51] <Sylocat> lol Rarity is annoyed she had to mess up her mane for the role
[14:51] <Arrlaari> So the comedically appropriate thing is for RD to LOVE THIS and swear to match it
01[14:51] <Froborr> And using the correct comb type for her hair texture, to boot.
[14:51] <Arrlaari> But the Pony thing is for her to learn her lesson
[14:52] <Sylocat> …Or both
01[14:52] <Froborr> Ah, they went with both.
[14:52] <Sylocat> Ooh, the horror soundtrack plays over the credits, too
[14:52] <mere_oblivion> If only the people who do those crappy “hidden camera” pranks could see this
01[14:52] <Froborr> Yeah, that’s a nice touch.
[14:53] <mere_oblivion> Yeah, look out Bernard Herrmann.
01[14:55] <Froborr> I’m not sure a non-terrible prank is possible. There’s an inherent sadism to taking pleasure in the exploitation of others’ trust.
[14:56] <Sylocat> Got disconnected?
01[14:56] <FroborrD> Yeah, last thing I saw was myself saying non-terrible pranks probably aren’t possible.
[14:56] <Arrlaari> So, any more to say about ponies? After pony talk, I’d like to talk about The Legend of Brad
[14:57] <Sylocat> We didn’t get your chat about non-terrible pranks probably being impossible
01[14:57] <FroborrD> Oh. Hang on.
[14:57] <mere_oblivion> Someone deleted it from the great beyond
01[14:57] <FroborrD> I’m not sure a non-terrible prank is possible. There’s an inherent sadism to taking pleasure in the exploitation of others’ trust.
01[15:00] <FroborrD> Also: at this point backsliding on previously learned lessons has pretty much become an established character trait for RD.
[15:00] <mere_oblivion> An Asian-American woman posted the same graduation-picture of herself 20 times under 20 different (stereotypically Asian) names/majors in her college yearbook a few years back. That was funny. But yeah, when one person alone is the victim, that stinks to high heaven.
[15:00] <Sylocat> True.
01[15:00] <FroborrD> Which is… actually not unrealistic? Some people are backsliders.
[15:00] <Sylocat> Yeah, I wonder if the difference is making it feel personal vs. impersonal
01[15:01] <FroborrD> That’s true, mere.
01[15:01] <FroborrD> I think the difference is more bullying vs. satire.
[15:01] <mere_oblivion> And if the “victim” is a group of people whose dumb assumptions about minorities are being exposed–which yeah, makes it satire
01[15:01] <FroborrD> In other words, kicking down vs. punching up… just like all other humor, actually.
[15:02] <mere_oblivion> Right.
[15:02] <Arrlaari> I dunno, that argument reminds me of the case that competitive sports are terrible because they’re keyed into toxic ideas about dominance (cf. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ) but I’ve always found the argument that sports productively channel dangerous feelings in a structured way more compelling
[15:03] <Sylocat> Nice try, Arrlaari, I know that URL by heart
01[15:03] <FroborrD> See, and that’s what I mean about exploitation of trust. Rickrolls aren’t funny, they’re mean.
01[15:03] <FroborrD> PARODIES of Rickrolls, on the other hand, are funny.
[15:03] <mere_oblivion> Now that’s a subject for all sorts of interesting debate.
01[15:04] <FroborrD> As for the point you weren’t actually trying to make: sporting events, and competitions in general, are heavily structured, ritualized affairs consented to by all parties. Pranks aren’t.
[15:05] <Sylocat> (speaking of which, there’s been a recent genre of meta-joke where you deliberately lead your reader into thinking you’re about to RickRoll them but you link them to a different video instead… but in that one, your audience already goes in knowing they’re about to get a joke, so it’s less exploiting trust and more a joke substitution)
01[15:05] <FroborrD> Sylo: right. Very different scenario.
01[15:08] <FroborrD> What a rickroll says is “You trust me, which makes you weak and me strong.” It’s an assertion of power through harm (very, very minor, admittedly, since it’s at most an inconvenience–compare the rickroll’s far more malicious predecessors, 2Girls1Cup and goatse, or better yet, don’t).
01[15:08] <FroborrD> I mean, if Sylo hadn’t recognized the URL and said something before I clicked on it, I would be REALLY PISSED right now.
[15:09] <Arrlaari> Or contrast them: Why did Rickroll become so much more popular than gross-out pics & screamers?
01[15:11] <FroborrD> Oh, almost certainly because it IS so relatively minor, so if someone becomes upset at being rickrolled, it’s easier to portray them as “a bad sport” or “thin-skinned.” This, in turn, makes people unwilling to admit to being upset by it, making it easier for the behavior to become normalized.
[15:11] <Arrlaari> The Rickroll is itself a meta joke on these; it’s substituted in the same way, but instead of something designed to disgust or frighten, it’s an unusually unthreatning love song (most love songs try to excite with declarations of superlative passion)
01[15:12] <FroborrD> That may be how it originated, but note the difference from the jokes Sylo is talking about: whether the person clicking the link is expecting a joke.
01[15:14] <FroborrD> In other words, whether there is an exploitation of trust involved.
[15:16] <Sylocat> Which sort of ties into the lines in this episode about how, pranks are okay IFF you get clearance ahead of time from all parties involved (which in turn makes you get more creative since the party being pranked knows there’s a prank coming so you can’t rely on the tricks everyone already knows about)
01[15:17] <FroborrD> Right. Like, Google’s April Fools Day pranks are honestly pretty great, and the best counterexample I know of to my “non-terrible pranks may not exist.” It’s a bit questionable whether they count as pranks, but they’re definitely funny.
[15:22] <Arrlaari> Something strikes me as curious: If you had clicked the link unwarned, you would have become angry. But when you were warned, and thereby discovered by other means that I had tried to exploit your trust to get you to listen to an okay but not great song, you either did not become angry or became significantly less angry than you would have.
[15:23] <Arrlaari> From where comes the difference? Not from my conduct.
01[15:23] <FroborrD> Well, I wasn’t inconvenienced, was I?
01[15:24] <FroborrD> I mean, if someone tries to punch me, or pick my pocket, or anything of the sort, and fails, I’m going to be less angry than if they’d succeeded.
01[15:25] <FroborrD> As I’ve said before, intent is irrelevant. All that matters is what you do, and in this case, you did not actually rickroll me, merely attempted to do so. Intent is the same in both cases, but what occurred is different.
[15:29] <Arrlaari> Is what occurred the only critereon? Should we not also consider what was likely to happen? If a reckless driver happens not to damage a person or property, we still hold them to account for the harm that could easily have happened. And this is not an appeal to intent: Reckless driving can be intentional or a consequence of impairment.
01[15:30] <FroborrD> I mean, I guess so, but we don’t actually hold them to account for the harm that might have happened?
01[15:30] <FroborrD> There’s a difference between reckless driving and vehicular manslaughter, after all.
01[15:32] <FroborrD> Which is to say, we still say “You behaved in a way that was dangerous,” and apply consequences for that, but they’re generally not as severe as if their dangerous behavior led to actual harm.
[15:36] <Sylocat> *awkward silence ensues*
The Legend of Brad (which is about the old, censored Sailor Moon dub, apparently)
[15:36] <Arrlaari> Brad?
01[15:37] <FroborrD> *shrug* Go for it?
[15:38] <Arrlaari> So what’s striking to me about that video, which IIRC is the first mention of Brad, is the way “Michelle” looks at “Amara” as the camer pans over after she wonders where Brad is
[15:38] <Arrlaari> Then we get that floral frame around Amara as she looks at Michelle
[15:39] <Arrlaari> I read that as basically putting a neon sign reading “BRAD” with an arrow pointing at Amara
[15:39] <Arrlaari> It’s a strong example at how ineffective 4kids’ censorship was in their bid to conceal Uranus & Neptune’s romance
[15:39] <mere_oblivion> Sometimes we do. At some hospitals, nurses get “demerits” (or whatever the system is) for failing to follow procedure even if the patient turned out not to suffer from the nurse’s mistake. (Surprisingly,”
01[15:40] <FroborrD> Yeah, but is it as bad as what would happen to the nurse if the patient had died as a consequence of the mistake? Or been injured and sued the hospital?
[15:40] <mere_oblivion> “Surprisingly,” doctors aren’t similarly held to account.
[15:41] <mere_oblivion> Not sure. If a lawsuit’s involved, then yeah, the consequences are much worse for the employee.
[15:42] <mere_oblivion> But some supervisors make a point of saying “The negligence of the employee is all that ‘matters,’ not if it had an ill effect.”
[15:42] <Sylocat> 4kids would probably have taken that shot out if they weren’t nearly as lazy as they were puritanical
01[15:43] <FroborrD> Wait, 4kids dubbed Sailor Moon? I thought it was someone else.
[15:43] <Sylocat> Hmm, good point, I’ll look it up
[15:43] <Arrlaari> I believe a second company redubbed it recently? They also subtitled it.
[15:44] <Arrlaari> If you go to Hulu, you can find official subtitles now. It launched alongside SMC.
[15:44] <Sylocat> Ah, it was DiC who did the first dub
[15:44] <mere_oblivion> I gots to run, guys. See you next week, Froborr and Arrlaari.
[15:44] <Sylocat> (I mainly remember them for doing that other Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon that wasn’t SatAM)
[15:46] <Sylocat> Wait, according to Wikipedia, DiC dubbed the first few seasons, then “Cloverway,” apparently Toei’s own North American branch which I had never heard of until this very moment, dubbed S and SuperS
[15:46] <Arrlaari> “The Legend of Brad” is from a tumblr post, old enough that there’s no hope of excavating it from archive, that had a video both of that scene and a scene from a later episode in which Michella abruptly turns her head and asks “Oh Brad, where are you?” in the middle of an intimate scene.
01[15:48] <FroborrD> So… Brad is Amara’s alter ego, basically?
[15:49] <Arrlaari> Or Michelle’s joke euphemism for Amara
[15:52] <Sylocat> It’d be interesting if Haruka had a different name for her male “form” and her female form
[15:54] <Arrlaari> In the old anime, Michiru’s line about Haruka having the “power of both” genders was omitted. Haruka spoke for herself, and what she said basically amounted to “It’s funny to me that other people believe this is an important question”
[15:54] <Sylocat> In the sub, you mean?
[15:55] <Arrlaari> Yeah, the uncensored version
[15:56] <Arrlaari> I dunno what DiC did to that episode
[15:58] <Arrlaari> “that episode” being the one where they imply Jupiter has a crush on Haruka, but it backs out to Jupiter trying to relate her feelings to the way being tall and strong has called her feminity (which is important to her) into question to the way Haruka is visibly untroubled by being percieved as a man
[16:08] <Arrlaari> That’s where we get the clearest (and least dismissive) communication from Haruka on the subject.