Video: Are you ready for BronyCon?

To cleanse the palate, I’m as beta as males get outside of Japan and even I can’t believe this is now a thing. When I was a kid, if you were lonely and desperate for companionship, you did the manly thing: You put on a Chewbacca costume and you dragged your ass to a “Star Wars” convention. Dignity, damn it. Is that too much to ask?

The shoulder belt still fits, you know.

Dale Fjordbotten is a proud “My Little Pony” fan, with the shiny blue body suit and yellow lightning bolt, blue wings and blue tail to prove it.

Like many “Bronies” — boys and men who like the cartoon “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic”— the 25-year-old college student turned out over the weekend for “BronyCon Summer 2012” at the Meadowlands Exposition Center, which drew 4,000 men, women, boys and girls, many in colorful wigs and costumes…

Outside the convention center, young men danced and sang along with songs from My Little Pony cartoon that blasted from loud speakers as a video screen on a large truck showed the show’s characters. One observer said it almost felt like a Grateful Dead concert…

“There are a lot of people who when they first hear about men watching a show for little girls, they’re taken to a creepy place,” [animator Lauren Faust] said. “They think there’s something wrong with that, something devious about it. I think that’s unfortunate.”

If the AP story’s accurate, their interest in the show appears to be on the level. It’s not a case of college guys getting baked and looking for lulz by dressing up as cartoon ponies; it’s not even a case of pretending to enjoy the show ironically while secretly enjoying it for real, as is obviously the case when I goof on “The Walking Dead.” (No, I kid. That’s an awful show.) They seem to be legitimately into the ponyverse, thus raising two possibilities. One: It’s a complex response to a cultural crisis in masculinity fueled by a brutal labor market, declining college enrollment, increased competition from women, and difficulty building relationships in an anomic social-media age. Think “Fight Club,” but the other end of the spectrum. What could be more reassuring under those circumstances than ponies and rainbows and friendship ‘n stuff? Two: These dudes are totally solid and the show’s just that good. Anyone here seen it, hopefully/preferably because your kids are into it? I’m thinking that if it was really good, my beta-dar would have already picked up on it, but I don’t know. Maybe I’ve slipped to omega levels.

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Jazz Shaw 8:31 AM on December 04, 2022