The S4 Diary – “Twilight Time”

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Hey ya’ll, what’s up! I’m just chillin’ out here having fun with my pals, havin’ a happy ol’ time! Nothing sad or depressing here, just enjoying some quality time with the Bills and Susans. That’s my friends, two of them are named Bill, and the other two are named Susan. It gets confusing–hm? What’s up with my eyes? Oh nothing, I’ve been up all night is all. I spend most of my time staring at a computer screen. The cigarette helps wake me up. See? Everything’s happy go funsies here. Let’s talk about ponies.

—The S4 Diary—

I wasn’t going to cover Twilight Time, because I was out of town when it came out and I didn’t have much to say about it, but it actually fits in better with this new style of video.

Nearly a year ago, at the tail end of season three, I released my most popular and memorable video, Observations on MLP: Alicorn Princess Twilight Sparkle. It came just as my channel was starting to spike in popularity, and played a big role in helping that spike to continue. It was a defense of a controvercial episode, meant to be a moment of catharsis for myself and everyone else who loved the end of season three. Jayson Thiessen, Meghan McCarthy, and M. A. Larson all watched the video and gave their approval, and it remains the most popular video on my channel with nearly a quarter-million views. At the end of the video, I made the grand-standing statement that I was a fucking alicorn princess, which spawned tons of fanart, a t-shirt that no one bought, and the idea among my fans that I was the king of my craft.

Since that time eleven months ago, the relevence of Twilight Sparkle’s princesshood has not really been felt again until this episode. As for me, I never really stepped up to the plate as promised. I thought it would be pretentious to actually go full alicorn with my OC, even though a lot of people wanted me to, and over time my leadership position grew weary and drove me away. You could say that now I’m taking the reigns from a populace-appproved leadership and making it my own strange dictatorship, but that would be pushing the metaphor a bit.

Twilight Sparkle’s persona in this episode reminded me of a lot of situations I’ve been put into in the past year. Now, I know that most of you dear viewers are mature, perhaps adults, who view me as an equal. Just some guy who wrote some things you thought were kind of cool, or maybe even inspired you. But believe me when I say that there are a staggering contingent of people who view me in a way similar to how Diamond Tiara and her classmates view Twilight Sparkle. Not only as a figurehead of prominence and popularity, but one that, should they be made approachable, may be approached for whatever purpose they may like.

Twilight Sparkle is helping the CMC for the fun of it. She’s always glad to pass on her love of learning for learning’s sake. Sub out the word “learning” for “analysis,” and you’re looking right at me. Trust me that I do love being able to help people to make better analysis, and to contribute to the culture that I am so firmly invested in.

Just as Twilight looks up to the likes of Starswirl the Bearded and Princess Celestia, I look up to the likes of Film Crit Hulk and Roger Ebert. As Twilight has her close friends whom she considers her equals, I have the likes of Tommy Oliver, Antony C, and Drowning In Footwear, as well as people I don’t know personally like Adam Johnston, Super Bunnyhop, Campster, and Egoraptor. And like Twilight tries to pass on her passion to the CMC, I have have provided guidance to no shortage of young voices over the years, even before I was involved with pony.

I remember a kid called Ultra Eternal Blackout who routinely asked me to tutor him as an anime blogger, and who always said how he shared my intense passion for the craft, yet suddenly disappeared at one point. So many people asked me how I do my videos that I started asking them why they wanted to do analysis videos to begin with. Some thought it was easy, or just a thing they felt they could do, and even a few literally told me they were in it hoping for popularity like what I had. I made a video called Guide to Doing Analysis that mostly concerns itself with reaffirming the listener’s passion.

There’s nothing wrong with being the CMC. Their relationship with Twilight is just the perfect amount of guidance like what I enjoy doing. I love to help a few people get better, as much as once a week, like Twilight Time. If anything I teach sticks, it will be great, and there’s no rush to become good. I’m honestly surprised that no analysis videos I watched of this episode pointed out how the CMC are not in as much of a rush to get good for once. Every time we’ve seen them, they want to perfect their craft immediately, but now they seem far more capable of taking their time and getting it right. They’re growing up, which is good because their voice actresses are certainly starting to sound too old to play kindergarteners anymore.

I said once in the past that to me, the ideal trajectory of this series would be if, after season four or five, the Cutie Mark Crusders, including Babs and the two confirmed crusaders in Manehattan, became the main characters, with the mane six taking on a supporting role. Sweetie Belle can become Twilight’s apprentice, Applebloom can become the same to Zecora, and Scootaloo will retain the mentorship of Rainbow Dash. I’m not going to get my hopes up, but this episode does fill my head with possibilities.

As an alicorn celebrity, of course, there are more people vying for your attention than simply three possibly-legitimate students. I tried for a long time to always provide advice, but I am not exagerrating slightly that I started getting questions about how my videos are made on a daily basis. I put together as many tutorial videos as I could for my sanity’s sake and decided that anyone who wasn’t at least inquisitive enough to look through my whole channel before asking me how I make my videos probably didn’t deserve the advice.

See, while guidance like what Twilight provides is healthy, it is obnoxious to approach anyone with a question half-heartedly. I am not interested in helping people who aren’t especially passionate, when I could be adding to the fire of a heart that really will make something of it. And as one who learned everything about how to make videos by watching countless videos, doing research, and intuiting things, I expect at least some level of personal drive up front from those seeking advice.

Twilight is okay with guiding a mass like a sort of teacher, but she says herself that this will take away from the quality of the lesson that the CMC will receive. If we take just a moment, we can realize how this is a huge scathing remark towards the Western school system. Anyone who knows anything about education will tell you that bigger classrooms and impersonal teaching strategies are the biggest problems with our schools. Every individual has their own needs, which are completely whitewashed in favor of mass production of education. I’ll link a cool video about this subject in the description.

The thing is, we all know that most of these kids don’t really give a shit. Twilight probably thinks this will be a fun distraction, but is well aware that before long, most of these kids will not be showing up for Twilight Time. But outright dismissal wouldn’t necessarily be healthy either, because there’s always the odds that one kid will be inspired. When the mass withers away, maybe a newly impassioned soul will remain, ready to learn and create.

That’s exactly why it’s so hard for me to turn people away. I see everyone as having potential. For a very long time, I did not deny anyone who added me on Skype, because there was always a chance that they might be someone I could become friends with. And while I’ve got a few hundred contacts now whom I’ve said no more than a few words to, and I’ve had a few contacts that had to be blocked for their actions, I nonetheless did make some friends, and I don’t think I have any regrets about how I operated.

But there is, without question, a saturation point, and it’s one that I eventually hit. In fact, I hit it because there were TOO MANY actually cool people that I became friends with and wanted to keep in contact with. I met so many musicians and video makers and regular pony folk who all shared my passions and humor, and I didn’t want to leave anybody out, but it just got to be too cumbersome. And the more people I involved myself with, the more distracting and dramatic elements came with it.

Everything came to a head this January, around the time that I became embroiled in a heated controversy that I’ve now done as much as possible to put out of mind (i.e. don’t ask), and I decided it was time to recluse. I disconnected with the internet and social sites, marked myself as invisible on skype, and refocused on my center. Analysis. If I was one of the Guardians of Childhood, that would be my center.

And so, on disconnecting, I reignited my passion, reaffirmed a small circle of contacts, and with some sadness allowed many relationships to fall by the wayside. But this ramble has gotten off the topic of the episode.

Twilight realizes that these kids are only in it to become pony famous, and the ruse comes to an unceremonious end, though the CMC prove that their passion is existent and Twilight Time continues. The PROVE IT! line is one I’ve literally said to people in the same position. It’s funny how now is the moment I most resonate with Twilight Sparkle, even as I’ve deliberately evicted myself from the position of a community leader.

But then again, I’ve always felt the best way to lead is by example. And what I’m representing here, with this new art style and analytical style, is EXACTLY what I want to see from the world. What I love in analysis is the personal angle. What I love in art is sketchy lines and dark circles under the eyes. Not that I think everyone should rush out and copy my style, but what I mean is that everyone should copy my decision to do exactly what I want and am passionate about.

OH AND BY THE WAY. Yes. It’s a cigarette. I smoke, about once a day. Is it a health risk? Maybe. I think I’m in way more danger from the seven cans of Mountain Dew I drink a day. It so happens I’m pretty well-read on concerns of health, as many of my friends are health nuts, and the rule is really everything in moderation. And I do mean EVERYTHING is fair game to me, and I do mean ALL OF IT should be done in moderation. A lot of chain smokers live to be eighty, like my grandmother, and there’s not a high likelihood of getting lung disease from smoking once a day. But more importantly, you’re not my mom, so kindly FUCK OFF. Last time I checked, you don’t like it when I criticize the things you do on your own goddamn time.

I’m tired. Cigarettes wake me up. They give me energy that I need to get through the day. They’re legal, and I’m an adult. And if you tell me I’m being a bad role model, I’ll remind you that I’m a twenty-two year old who lives with his parents, is only awake at night, always forgets to brush his teeth, drinks only Mtn Dew, works an unsteady job making youtube videos, with no benefits, no college degree, minimal work experience, and the majority of the money that I actually spend is on fast food. I was never a good role model. And if you can’t appreciate that you can learn something from someone who doesn’t fit into your paradigm of the best manner of living, then I can’t help you.

Anyways, sorry about that cantankerous rant; most of you didn’t deserve that. The majority of the reactions to this new video style have been overwhelmingly positive. I really wanted this series to reach people on a deeper level, and I can see that it’s definitely done so for a lot of you. Many people complained that the atmosphere was depressing, and that’s really not what I was going for. While relaxed, tired, and chilled out, my pony is not supposed to be depressed, so I thought maybe if I put in a bright and happy background, it would gel better. Lemme know what you think in the comments. And as always, if you enjoy this channel, consider supporting it through Patreon or through donations via paypal. Seeya on Sunday!

2 thoughts on “The S4 Diary – “Twilight Time”

  1. Congratulations, you are the first content creator that I have ever voluntarily given money to when it wasn’t required to obtain said content. And on a per piece of content basis at that. Patreon is kinda handy. It’s not much, but I am not easily swayed. So yeah, be proud.

    As for not being a good role model, you are a perfect role model for a guy like me. I already have a college degree, have a job relevant o my major, live with my wife (and thus not with my parents) and have no interest in smoking, so none of that is exactly going to rub off, not that it was liable to in the first place. But you have some qualities I lack. Passion and work ethic. The fact that you wrote 60,000 words in one weekend for a Q&A is inconceivable to me. I dabble in writing, and at my peak I wrote 60,000 words over the course of four months. Anymore I have a hard time motivating myself to even do that much.

    If people look up to you as more then just a peer (though I see you as a peer as well as role model. Combinations ftw!), maybe it isn’t just because of your awesome analysis but your passion. I like ponies; otherwise I wouldn’t be here. But I am passionate about very little.

  2. Oh, and I was a little hesitant about the new style of review at first, because change is scary and you are the best analyzer out there, but I really like the new style. Keep up the good work.

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