Saturday, May 2, 2015

a talking dog, some ponies, and the dark, strange corners of the Internet


One day, I'm sitting with the girls watching Martha Speaks (a PBS show about a dog who eats some alphabet soup which goes to her brain and gives her the ability to talk, naturally).

The theme song is catchy and sounds vaguely like something Ben Folds would write, so I hop on the Google and find out that a guy named Daniel Ingram wrote it. One Wikipedia page leads to another, and I learn that Ingram also writes the music for My Little Pony. He is essentially a musical crack dealer who most certainly aced "Earworms 101" in college.

Because I'm working on my first children's book, I have been following a lot of children's authors I respect on Twitter. I guess this is what causes me to reflexively look Mr. Ingram up on Twitter

This is where things get weird. 

It starts with one peculiar entry. A young man reaches out to Ingram. He's a fan of Ingram' musical compositions featured in My Little Pony. This superfan is so passionate, he has remixed one of Ingram' songs and posted it on YouTube to be viewed by all. Now, he is here asking Mr. Ingram to watch his YouTube remix. 

Look, people are strange, and if I can't post anything on my own Facebook without somebody accusing me of being a schill for GMOs or vaccines or Obama or, sometimes, the antichrist, then there's no way a successful Hollywood composer could avoid having a few weirdos follow him around online.

BUT 

I scroll down his feed. Our illustrious remixer is not alone or even abnormal in this bizarre zipcode on the interwebs.

One Tweeter has made fan art (stills from My Little Pony with "inspirational" lyrics from Mr. Ingram's songs overlayed on top in cheesy fonts). Another thanks Ingram for how My Little Pony songs have changed his life.

Even more disturbing, one fan posts a photo of himself with Ingram while dressed as Ingram at some sort of cartoon convention.

But the most bone-chillingly terrifying is when Ingram retweets a reminder that the early-bird rate to the Third Annual Brony Gala is about to expire.  A "Brony," for the uninitiated, is an adult-male fan of My Little Pony.  And apparently, God help us, these Bronies have had a gala for the past two years (and will have their third this summer).

What started out as an innocent Google search about a composer, carried me swiftly on the wings of a pegacorn to a dark, strange corner of the Internet.

A few weeks later, I tell this story to my friend Michael.  He observes as he pantomimes, "That's when you shut the laptop, walk away, and say, 'I think we're done with the Internet today.'"

I am inclined to agree.

2 comments:

  1. I love that you are just now discovering the Brony world. Lol. I'm sorry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have known about Bronies theoretically for a couple of years, but I always assumed that it was some sort of hipster irony, "so uncool it's cool" kind of thing.

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