It sounds cheesy, and I was slated in the office for saying it, but democracy really did win the Scottish referendum!
16 and 17 year olds were allowed to vote for the first time and, boy did they turn out in their numbers. In fact, all of Scotland did.
Now is the right time to embrace this fervour around politics, especially in young people, and help increase the turnout in the General Election next year.
Personally, I have voted at every opportunity since the age of 18 but I know of many people that haven’t been to vote yet. “Nothing will ever change” is often the response as to why people don’t vote.
I think the IndyRef has dispelled this myth. Things are changing. Granted, they’re not changing in the manner that Salmond, the SNP and 45% of Scotland wanted things to, but the wheels are in motion for devolution.
So how can we get young people to continue the great example that the young Scottish voters set on the 18th September? There are many initiatives in place to help increase the willingness to vote, including Bite the Ballot and #Swingthevote. I have been aware of these through our Twitter account, @force7tweets and followed their progress with interest, especially through the European elections. But it was Rick Edwards that has inspired me to write this post.
On a lazy Sunday morning watching Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch, Edwards began talking passionately about young people and the vote. I was slightly surprised to see the once jovial T4 presenter talking about politics in such a passionate way. It led me to his Twitter account and his pinned tweet was his speech he gave on increasing the amount of young voters.
The video can be seen here. To summarise, Edwards makes 5 clear points to get more young people to vote:
These are points that I certainly agree with. I’ve often said that voting should be taken online and 100% agree with making the vote compulsory, as long as the “none of the above” option is available.
Young people do make a massive difference to the vote and you can look at the results from the IndyRef in two ways to highlight this. New voters at the ages of 16 and 17 were the biggest supporters of the Yes campaign. Effectively, it was their votes, 71% in favour of Yes, which made the referendum such a close call. On the other hand, more 18-24 year olds said No, the only age group up to the age of 54 to do so. Their vote made a difference.
Whatever motions are put in place, and whether or not the voting age is reduced, there is no time like now to galvanise people’s opinions on politics and increase the turnout for the next general election.
Our youth intern Danny has written the following piece about the crazy world of super fandoms…..
Thanks to Twitter and the internet, fandoms seem to be taking over the world. There are hundreds of popular fandoms in the world today, many have expanded or been created through social media sites like Twitter and Tumblr. Because of social media it makes it easier to grow on a global scale, fans from all over the world can now interact with each other and share the same enthusiasm. In this blog I will be speaking about some of the biggest and craziest fandoms.
Directioners are well and truly a super-fandom. Directioners follow the boy band One Direction, Directioners are one of the fastest growing fandoms, it only took a few weeks on X Factor and the boys from One Direction was heavily supported. Directioners are now worldwide and one of the most famous fandoms in the world. Many celebrities have felt the wrath of the Directioners after mocking 1D. James Arthur got a shower of abuse from the Directioners after he wrote an abusive tweet about boy bands. One Direction have some of the craziest fans in the world some even get tattoos of the boys or get tats the boys have already got - that’s what you call commitment.
One of the longest running fandoms is the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit fans, the Ringers. Ringers have been a fandom running for decades, they are one of the more dedicated fandoms, even enough to speak their own language! Ringers are so dedicated they pushed studios and Peter Jackson to create a Hobbit movie franchise. Ringers are a private community they aren’t publically vocal, the Ringers are made up from a range of different people, different sex, age, and they come from everywhere.
Beyoncé’s Beyhive is probably one of the most thought out fandoms. The Beyhive have their own social media website, only members of the Beyhive can read private things and access the website fully. Members in the Beyhive also have a job roles, for example one of the job roles is to be a Nectar Bee. Nectar Bees gather information about Beyonce and promote her. It is so well structured it’s crazy, they even call Bey’s haters wasps!
The latest fandom craze has got to be A Song of Ice and Fire, the fans of A Game of Thrones television series. The television series only started back in 2011 and it quickly grew and is now one of the most watched programs around the globe. The fans of Game of Thrones are always anticipating and excited as the books are still being written. Character names from the fantasy story are now being given to new born babies! Names like Khaleesi and Arya are on the rise and seem to be very popular. This crazy fandom are now piling the pressure on George R. R. Martin the author of the books to hurry up and finish his next instalment of the series.
Since social networking and the internet has come to date, I think we live in the fandom era. Fans of all different things and people are now almost on a pedestal, some are kings and queens of social media and the internet. More and more fandoms and fandom pages are being created on a daily basis. Even celebrities are in fandoms, some are even intimidated by fandoms, many fear the bark for the Beliebers or the bite from the Directioners. I think fandom is a norm in today society now, because there are so many fandoms it’s possible for anyone to be a part of one. I think the problem with fandoms is sometimes they are taking too seriously, people have got into fights because of their fan beliefs, or some have even tried to commit suicide because of fandom related incidents. One of the worst things I’ve seen is when a Directioner threatened to break her pet Chihuahua’s neck or the Cut for Bieber trend which was were Beliebers cut themselves to try and stop Justin Bieber from smoking weed.
Everyone loves a Vine. Ok, I know that not literally everyone loves Vine but it is pretty damn popular.
Vines appear constantly on my Twitter feed and it is very rare that I’ll skip over one of these clips without viewing it. Granted, I mainly use it to view sport related action but there are times when the popular users of Vine enter my feed.
It’s no surprise that brands are now turning to those that are “Vine famous” to promote their products. This article highlights some of the brands that have turned to some of the most popular people on Vine. One Vine user, Princess Lauren, was paid $2,000 just to repost a brand’s Vine.
So, want to sell your brand and not sure who to go through? Here’s a look at the top 3 most followed users on Vine for your convenience.
1. Nash Grier - 9.3million followers
Although he has been recently criticised for some inappropriate posts, 16 year old Grier’s rise has been nothing short of phenomenal. His Vines are often selfie videos highlighting everyday life in a comedic way. One of his most popular posts is this cute video with his little sister singing along (sort of) to the words of Royals.
2. KingBach - 8.1million followers
KingBach is possibly one of the funniest Viners often posting videos that depict a scene in reality compared to one that might be in someone’s imagination, or ‘When’ Vines all in six seconds.
3. Brittany Furlan - 7.2million followers
Brittany is Vine’s most popular female and was the one who introduced KingBach to the platform. Brittany’s posts often talk of female issues, with videos entitled “Girls be like…”
And here’s the rest of the top 10:
4. Jerome Jarre - 7.1million followers
5. Alx James - 6million followers
6. Curtis Lepore - 5.8million followers
7. Cameron Dallas - 5.7million followers
8. Jerry Purpdrank - 5.6million followers
9. Rudy Mancuso - 5.5million followers
10. Josh Peck - 5.3million followers
One striking thing about the top 10 is that they only ‘celebrity’ sits at number 10 and that’s actor Josh Peck. The other 9 have made themselves famous through social media.
The people that follow these contributors see them as an extra friend, a role model if you will. One story emerged recently how Nash Grier and Jerome Jarre were shopping in Reykjavik in a somewhat deserted shopping mall, only for it to fill with 5,000 fans once word got out about their location.
Using social media content creators as a source of advertisement is not a new technique by any means but the reach that can be generated for a brand means the practice is worth applying.
It’s also worth noting that the average age of the top 10 is 23.5 years. So if you’ve got an idea for a channel then go for it! You never know…
Ever interested in fandoms and subcultures, I recently decided to look into the increasingly popular art of cosplay (literally, costume-play).
Cosplayers create costumes to represent their favourite anime/video game/movie/comic book character, and attend conventions or events to meet and sometimes perform short sketches.
After a few Google searches, I realised just how massive cosplay actually is, with packed out conventions world-wide. I found it unbelievable how people can look so convincingly like a cartoon character, (human or otherwise), and how much time, effort and money goes into making the costumes.
I wanted to find out a bit more about cosplay from one of the experts, so I got in touch with Iloon- 24 year old winner of last year’s EuroCosplay Championships from The Netherlands….
What first got you interested in cosplay? What was your first ever cosplay character?
I got introduced to anime related events in 2008 by friends who just started to visit these kind of events. I was already a fan of the Japanese pop-culture but never knew that these kind of events existed. So I joined them and they also wanted me to “cosplay” so we could cosplay as a group.
To show me what is going on out there, they’ve showed me some pictures of past events they have visited. I got hooked on the atmosphere, the costumes and also that you got the ability to perform on stage. As I was following acting classes back then I really wanted to make a cosplay performance with my friends. Back then I have had no idea that performing on stage was part of a contest. I’ve had the idea it was some kind of variété, something you could do on a voluntary scale to entertain the audience.
As I have had no sewing experience at all, a friend made my costume while I did the prop work and wrote the script for the performance.
So what got me into cosplay first was the ability to perform and entertain the audience.
My first cosplay was Nanoha Takamachi from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS. My second one as well (a different version) but this was my first entirely self-made costume.
Are there different ‘types’ of cosplayers? If so, what are they?
Yes and no. Basically all cosplayers are doing the same thing. Dressing up and being in character (= costume play).
For what I have seen, I think the difference is in how someone is approaching this fandom.
The largest amount is cosplaying because they really like the character and series. They are dressing up out of enthusiasm and don’t care about the details and quality of the costume. They also don’t care if it is store bought or self-made. As long as they are able to feel like the character they like so much for a day.
Then there is a big group who likes the creative process of making a costume and so spending more time and money on it to provide the best quality they can within their skill range, and to be as accurate to the character design as possible. As nowadays for cosplay competitions it is required to make your own costume (or made by your performing partner), some of these cosplayers are showing up on stage as well.
There are a few exceptions were some people are making a living out of cosplay.
They fulltime produce costumes or cosplay related merchandise which they sell online or at stands at events, so they have something like a store. Most of them also sell prints and books showcasing their work.
What do you think makes cosplay so popular?
For me it is the atmosphere at events where people do cosplay that feels magical. No matter if you know each other or not, we are all one and the same. People sharing the same passion. There are no words to explain, it is something you must experience for yourself.
What makes a good cosplay?
I think that what makes a good cosplay depends on the individual person. For me, if the cosplayer is able to represent the essence of the character, I will see it as a good cosplay. For someone else it can be all about craftsmanship that must be flawless.
What do you do as a day job? How does cosplay fit around this?
I am a production seamstress working for a company who is producing (inflatable) settings for artists and events all around the world. With this company I have contributed something to the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Miley Cyrus’s Bangerz Tour and LADY GAGA’S artRAVE: the ARTPOP ball global tour.
I graduated last year as a theatrical designer (specialized in costuming) and I started working for this company since October last year (3 weeks before EuroCosplay 2013).
Although the projects I am working on sounds awesome, it is stressy and very hard work because of tight deadlines.
“Studying or working at day, sewing costumes at night”, some cosplayers say. This doesn’t count for me. Sewing fulltime means that when back home from work I can not always go back behind the sewing machine again to sew costumes. It’s not good for my body being in the same position all day. So I have to plan in all the sewing work for my costumes carefully.
Also at work I am surrounded by seamstresses and other artists. If there is something I am unsure about with my costume or performance I can always ask my colleagues for advice.
Beside that, if I am planning to work with heavy materials (like thick leather) my domestic machines at home can not handle, I will have the ability to use a heavier industrial machine at work that goes through it easily. A luxury a lot of cosplayers don’t have. Only downside is that I need to skip my lunchbreak or spend a weekend in the workshop to get it done.
How do non-cosplayers generally react when you tell them you’re into cosplay?
They are very enthusiastic about it. Maybe that’s because I am surrounded by theatrics and other artist. When I got my intake a few years ago for my study as a theatrical designer I immediately came to the point that I cosplay. My teachers saw it as a type of performance art, but also as reproduction. Because you‘re copying an existing design. But this happens in the theatre industry as well.
Cosplay also brought me into my current day job. During my job interview I’ve showed my portfolio showcasing my costumes and some other work. They were very impressed that a young person like me have done so much already and developed a wide range of crafting skills because of cosplay.
Cosplayers seem to have a huge online presence. How important is the internet to cosplay?
Over the years it became a platform to promote your work, experiences, discuss, make new friends, chat, exchange tips and stay in touch with each other.
Platforms like Facebook and Twitter makes it more easy for cosplayers to share their passion. It also makes cosplayers more accessible to people who are too shy to reach the cosplayer in person, or who are not able to reach the cosplayer in person.
Also photographers and videographers interested in cosplay are starting to collaborate more with cosplayers. This way documentaries and other media have been produced that appears online to share with the world, showing us every side of cosplay.
Beside all the good stuff, there sadly is a dark side as well. Things like badmouthing, stalking and harassment is going on as well. There is also a risk that your pictures and footage will be used for all kinds of promotion without any permission.
As a cosplayer you need to be a mentally strong person to get over all this.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
The inspiration, is the character.
The canvas, is me.
That makes me a cosplayer.
The dust is now beginning to settle on last week’s A-Level results and, with record numbers of university admissions for the 2014/15 academic year, the reality of the next chapter many 18 year old’s lives could be starting to hit home.
This morning I woke up to a notification from Timehop telling me that five (yes, FIVE) years ago today I received my A-Level results and had my university place confirmed. I remember the days after results day and friends were bragging about where they were going to attend university for the next three or four years. I also remember thinking that, however much anyone tried, they were bound to lose contact with people they had grown up with for either 2, 7 or even 14 years!
Recently, I came across some statistics about relationships and paid special attention to those in relation to young people. 35% of people aged 16-24 confide the most with their friends. 30% also said that they would confide in their mum first if they were worried or stressed.
Thinking about those that are moving away for university, these support barriers could soon be damaged and that could be a concern for some people. An NUS study last May found that 1 in 5 students consider themselves to have a mental illness.
Mental health has been a prominent feature in the news recently. The tragic passing of actor and comedian Robin Williams due to his mental health issues affected many people when they discovered the news. Today has also seen the Care Minister speak out about the deficiencies in youth mental health services on the back of cuts to services and an increase in the number of young people being admitted to adult wards.
Evidently, there is an issue with mental health and coupled with young people’s reliance on close relationships, it could be a concern for those moving away next month.
Awareness is the first key step to tackling these issues and although I appreciate that this blog is a tiny drop in the ocean, bringing together this information during times of heightened prominence could help someone.
We are currently sitting in the era of social media, we use the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram on a daily basis. Many hopeful entrepreneurs try to create new social media websites and apps to compete with the likes of Facebook and Twitter. Many social media sites have had success but many for only a short time, only a few maintain success and popularity, sites like Pinterest and Kik Messenger are examples of social media sites which originally had great success but the trend soon died down and are now much less popular. Meow chat is the official new craze, dividing opinion, but what’s so good about this Meow Chat?
First off what even is Meow Chat? Meow Chat is similar to Instagram in layout, you can up load images, get likes and it shares what you have liked. It seems to me that all Meow Chat is an extension of Instagram. The only difference to Instagram seems to be the feature of chat and each user gets a points score. Meow Chat has something that appears to almost be a dating thing, it matches you up with random people for a chat, this in some ways could be very interesting but it’s still really strange and I can’t see this scheme appealing to everyone.
The thing I like and enjoy about Meow Chat is how personal it is. Meow Chat is personal to you, your account is just information about yourself and who you actually are. It’s a great way to share what type of person you are, it’s a social media site that is made for people to be original. The problem with being able to personalise social media accounts is that some people are just not the same person they are in real life to the person they are on social media, it is almost a spread of false information.
Meow Chat is mainly made for smart phones, IPhones in particular but can be downloaded on other devices. It is fairly straightforward to use the only problem is it’s fairly awkward to add someone, it doesn’t give suggestions or filters. It’s not a very private social networking site, it asks some personal questions such as what gender you are interested in and where abouts you live, this wouldn’t be a problem normally it’s the fact that you are often added to chats with hundreds of strangers. I think Meow Chat is only suitable for adults, it’s not something parents would want their children on.
Meow Chat’s best advertising technique is really annoying people with the constant requests it sends and gets people to send on Facebook is really irritating. I can’t see Meow chat being a huge social media site, it’s too ordinary and boring. It brings nothing to the table, it’s just simply Instagram with messenger, and I don’t think this is what people want.
It all started 5 years ago, when I became a member of the Force-7 Street Team. I loved being part of the street team; no job was ever the same and it was such a good opportunity to meet new people so I grabbed the chance to progress further within Force-7 with both hands!
After choosing Events Management at Sheffield Hallam University (largely down to the incredible experiences I had working at festivals with the F7 team), I returned last summer for an Events and Marketing internship.
I was happy to be back experiencing office life for the first time. Although it had its ups and downs for the whole 138 days I was here, I enjoyed every minute….hence my return for summer 2014!
I decided to take a different approach this time round however, and become part of the Project Management team. This was quite different to anything I’ve done before at Force-7, but getting to meet new clients, engaging with previous ones and generally ensuring any client or project is happy and successful at all times has been a big part of my role.
I am now confident I’ve seen Force-7 from a variety of angles, as I have been fortunate to watch the company grow over the last 6 years. In these 6 years I’ve made some great memories, and some even greater friends.
I would also like to say a huggggge thank you to the boss man Mr Phil Batty for the great opportunities I’ve been given over all the years I’ve been part of the Force-7 family, because the experience and knowledge I’ve learnt throughout my time here is why I am fortunate to start my new adventure in New York. Here I’ll be working in the hospitality and events industry, alongside travelling the USA for my university placement.
It would have been impossible to have such a great time without the rest of the Force-7 team too so thanks guys I’ll certainly miss working with you!
As sad as I am to leave Force-7, I am literally about to burst with excitement to move out to New York and see for myself what an incredible place it is. I will be sure to keep in touch throughout the year, and have already agreed to send some old school postcards throughout the year (just to rub it in).
Force-7 famously won Young Enterprise way back in 2006, but this week we have two budding entrepreneurs in the office working as summer interns. Jack Moore 17 and Daniel Lockwood 17 are looking to follow in their new temporary boss Philip Batty’s footsteps. The two new interns have recently just set up their own business ‘Kingstone’ just 7 weeks ago, the business is currently looking very promising making a comfortable profit and gaining a positive reputation.
I recently caught up with the boys in the Force-7 office and got to know their story so far.
First of all, what made you want to start your own business?
Jack: Ever since I was young I have always wanted to own a successful business, I don’t know what it is that made me want one so bad but I think the sense of ownership does it for me. All I have ever wanted to be is successful, although there are obstacles in the way that will possibly cause problems for me in the future, nothing will stop an entrepreneur from achieving his goal.
Danny: Ever since I was a baby I’ve had a crazy obsession with money, the way it looks, how it feels and how great it is to have and make money. When I was a kid one of my favourite things was to create and build things, I would make and draw everything, I wanted to be an inventor, I think the feeling of creation is one of the best things in the world, I get such a buzz when I create, design or build something that is appreciated. When I started to get older and could understand the way a business worked it inspired me, I’m a huge fan of Dragons Den, The Apprentice and The Apprentice USA I think if it wasn’t for those television programs and the likes of Alan Sugar, Richard Branson and Donald Trump I wouldn’t be who I am today.
What was your original ideas?
Jack: We held an initial team meeting to discuss what our business could be, what we could do. We had to think of all the current legislations and problems which could arise. My first idea was to have a tuck shop held in the academy in which we attend, selling food such as chocolate and sweets. This would have achieved success within the academy as it is something that we would offer for the students but giving the current climate of obesity and the healthy eating scheme within the city this idea had to be given the boot. Although this would have been a great business idea, we had to abide by the rules and regulations.
Danny: My idea was simply the one we went with, clothing. The world today is simply obsessed with what everyone is wearing. All of us who originally set up the business was a fan of designer clothes and we are all fairly trendy. I based my idea on what I would actually buy and want in the world today, something that is similar to other brands but a name and logo that had its own individuality. I wanted to create a business that could grow outside the Academy and outside of Hull.
How did you look to fund your business idea?
Danny: Originally there was 7 of us in the business so we all agreed to fund the business, gradually we lost numbers until there was 4 four us left, we had meetings and brainstormed how we could raise funds, Jack suggested things like car washes in the school car park and ‘guess how many beans are in the jar’ Lee and Brad made suggested we ask local businesses for funding and I thought of hosting a concert in the school to raise funds from the ticket sales and confectionary, this then gave me the idea for a cake stall, Jack, myself and our families are good at baking so we played to our strengths and baked buns and sold them at brakes times in the Academy. We decided to host a concert on the 25th June at the Academy, it turned out to be our most profitable way of funding, it also was a great way to promote the business, and we have since decided to host events as a part of our business.
What does your business do briefly?
Jack: Since we all started the business we have done a range of different things. The first things we did to make money was cakes sales, it was very successful selling a range of cakes just on brake times at the Academy, we originally agreed just to do clothing but since we hosted a concert that idea has changed, we hosted the concert so well we decided from then onwards to do clothing and events, since the concert we have really pushed forward the clothing idea creating and selling t-shirts on the school summer fair.
What difficulties and obstacles have you overcome?
Danny: It’s actually surprising how many problems we have had, some of the problems we face I still question how we overcame them! The first problem we face was jacks idea for a tuck shop which we couldn’t do because of legal legislations, that was a big blow for us and him at the time but we have faced many larger problems since. Our biggest killer was the fact the school was hosting a production, many of the acts who auditioned for our concert also auditioned for the school production, the problem with the act was that many of them didn’t rehearse for our concert, they had to stay rehearse for Sister Act 2 the school production. The week before the concert a huge three story set was built on the stage we had hired, it was impossible for our dancers to perform, 7 acts had to drop out for that sole reason! The next issue was replacing the acts which wasn’t so difficult as we had to turn many acts down but the day before the concert a few more acts dropped out so they could rehearse more for sister act, we had to replace more acts! The only problem we faced on the night was technical difficulties like microphones not working all the time but it wasn’t a big issue. The only problem we faced with one another and staff wise was the stress levels, Jack is a stress head, he was hosting the concert and really wanted it to be a success but there was tears, tantrums and disagreements before the concert but we would all say it was defiantly worth it.
Does working in force-7 inspire you in any way because of its link to young enterprise?
Jack: Yes! The fact they have become so successful down to young enterprise and that is the programme we are using really gives us a feeling that it is possible. This has inspired me to make Kingstone go further and me to go further as a person too, I want to believe that now that we know it is possible, that we can do it.
Danny: It’s given me an incredible amount confidence in Kingstone as now it can be reality if we work hard. Force-7 and Phil Batty has inspired me a massive amount because of all the success he has achieved in such a short space of time. I am now determined to be as successful as Phil by the time I am in my early 20’s!
For the next few months Kingstone has a list of projects a head, hopefully we will be able to host a boxing sport event in East Hull, we have decided to host another concert in autumn, we will take all of our knowledge from our previous concert to try and improve our up and coming one, we hope we can now attract more people and customers. The biggest obstacle we are facing is the manufacture of the T-Shirts and clothing, we want them to be high quality but also affordable, we need to figure out a new strategy of making and selling the clothes successfully.
The dream continues…!
Social Normalities Rewritten
Since watching a documentary on Netflix called ‘Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony’ a few months ago, and then having a real life Brony in F7 HQ for work experience, (see previous blog post), I’ve been really interested in the fandom and wanted to dig a little deeper.
I got in touch with Richard Spencer, the founder of ‘Mareplay’ (http://www.mareplay.co.uk/Default.asp), the UK’s leading My Little Pony webstore and sponsors of its biggest MLP conventions, to ask him a few questions about what it is to be a Brony.
Richard would like to express that all of his answers are his personal opinion, and may not represent the views of the entire Brony fandom.
N.B. For those who are confused, a ‘Brony’ is a male fan of the 4th Generation My Little Pony TV series and franchise.
First of all, how did you become a Brony? What made you decide to watch your first episode?
Back in Jan 2012 I was getting lost in related videos on Youtube and came across this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPfMb50dsOk. It made me look into what I had just stumbled upon in more detail. I found out about a pub meet taking place in Feb and went down there to see what the people were like and to learn more. The meet was good and I joined the fandom. I’ve been here since.
Could you give me a brief description of your company Mareplay? What are its main activities and how did it begin?
I founded Mare Play UK around July 2012 after noting that many people in the fandom were complaining that they couldn’t get hold of U.S products relating to the show. As a member of the community, it made sense to represent them in a business manner regarding the acquisition of stock we were never able to get for reasonable prices. Since I started the company I’ve brought over everything from figures to exclusive comics to huge praise from the community. My work takes me all over the country and I will be expanding the web store to cater to Europe later this year.
It could be argued that other cartoons like Adventure Time or Recess etc.. teach similar values to MLP, and spread a positive message. What makes MLP different?
MLP teaches values that hit home as many people can personally relate to the characters or situations they face in their own lives. Some of the episodes have serious undertones which can’t be found in other cartoons (cept for the Ice King/Marceline story arc in Adventure Time, that was deep).
How do you feel MLP ‘Friendship is magic’ compares to the original 80’s series of MLP? Were you a fan back then?
The new generation we know today (generation 4) is nothing like the previous generations from back then. It used to be all about crushing on boys and doing your hair - typical young girl stuff. The current gen broke away from this concept and was created to ‘appeal to an entire family audience’; the show was no longer shallow and bland. The art style was completely overhauled, characters with real personalities were created and in-depth story arcs were implemented to create a new cartoon that can’t really be related in any way to the older generations.
Many Bronies are not fans of any other generation (me included) and would not encourage anyone to watch them. There are however the old school fans of the show who enjoy all generations of MLP but they generally do not consider themselves to be Bronies.
Have you ever had a negative reaction to being a Brony? Is this something Bronies experience regularly?
Everyone at some point or another has issues with others about liking MLP. Parents are usually not supportive as they remember the old shows and how girl-orientated they were. Older generations seem to conclude that something must be wrong with you as it’s hard to understand the appeal when they were brought up to conform to a strict social world of ‘boy must not like girl things’ and vice-versa.
People have been kicked out of their houses, disowned, attacked, etc. This is why a lot of people do not openly declare that they watch the show. The world is a harsh place and these people could do with taking a few notes from the show about acceptance.
Have you seen the documentary ‘Bronies’? Do you think it’s a fair representation of the Brony community?
I have seen it and I remember saying, “Although there are some really awkward moments, the doc succeeds in portraying what we’re about, which was the main aim”.
Would you say that the UK Brony community differs from that in the US? If so, in what way?
I’m not really in the U.S community so I can’t say much. I would say they do everything bigger, such as cons and meets but this is due to their population over there. More people = more Bronies = bigger events/fanbase.
If you could describe the Brony fandom in 3 words, what would they be?
Social normalities rewritten.
What would you like to say to the people out there who think MLP is ‘for girls’?
At the end of the day, the show was made for girls. This however does not mean people outside of the demographic can’t watch or enjoy it.
The world has bigger issues to deal with such as economic stability and war in the middle east. We watch a cartoon that has changed the lives of many for the better and created a community that has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for charities. There are bigger fish to fry.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I’d just like to thank the fandom for making the world a better place.
Last month I wrote a blog celebrating the Vine-Dad (aka DadLAD), a recent phenomenon that allows the cool Dads (they actually do exists) a sufficient platform to share their funny gags.
My overall opinion was very positive as I confessed that I guiltlessly enjoyed watching the 6-second videos documenting the child and parent interaction (which was mainly made up of Dad winding up their small child in some sort of way – hilarious.)
It particularly struck a cord with me as the interaction reminded me of my relationship with my own Dad when I was young (pre-Vine) and still to this day.
So thanks to Vine something that was once confined to the family-home, is now been shared worldwide. This can only be a good thing, right?
On the flip side, thanks to VINE, something that was once confined to the construction site or the pub on a Friday night is now unleashed and shoved in our faces on a daily basis via our Facebook newsfeed.
Because not only has Vine spawned a new version of the cool Dad, it has also birthed its very vile and evil sibling … the new breed of the British douchebag.
And just as Bieber leads the tweens, we have another moron in the form of Dapper Laughs who leads this sad social movement of British LAD culture.
Dapper Laughs (Daniel O’Riley) is a self-appointed comedian whose skits are as cheap as his target audience, packed with nonsensical gags presented by a persona that fails to be consistent.
Sometimes he’s an arch-womaniser, other times he tells us about his inability to pull, this sense of extreme nature is a running theme throughout his sketches.
His act is continually inconstant apart from one aspect … he’s consistently a douche.
The content of his act distinctly lacks variation; each one liner revolves around sex or sexism and becomes mind numbingly boring after a short period of time.
Dapper brings a traditional version of LAD banter to his sketches, rarely funny but nearly always misogynistic. The way he formats his gags, (through hand held self portrait POV mobile camera), is unique to him, and this is how he brands his own version of LAD culture. His comedy is intrusive as he trusts it upon women/men in the public who are unaware of what is going on.
In one interview he comments that he’s spotted a gap for ‘geezer humour’ which he intends to exploit and describes his act as “It’s just like Lad Banter really, something you would go down the pub and talk about with your mates.”
However I think this is profoundly dangerous to assume, that to be a LAD you have to indulge in the same behavior as Dapper which includes objectifying women, talking to them inappropriately and making them feel hugely uncomfortable (on camera).
Despite the above Dapper Laughs has developed a vast online following, which has led to merchandise, a tour and even a song. Incase you fancy abusing your ears the song is called Proper Moist but I’ll warn you it’s proper sh*t!
Unfortunately, I think Dapper Laughs will be around for a little while yet, fuelling the fire of recent LAD culture that seems to be infiltrating our society, university campus and schools.
I’ve had a great time here at Force-7 for my work experience. It wasn’t my first choice to come here, but now I’m rather glad that I did. The tasks I was given didn’t seem trivial or just set to keep me occupied, I felt like I was actually helping.
I also enjoyed the fact that I haven’t yet made a single hot drink here, which has annoyed my parents greatly. Many people were baffled by the fact that I didn’t really drink tea or coffee frequently, which was rather funny.
It’s been enlightening to say the least. The experience of working here has given me some better ideas about my future career path, along with various marketing skills. The fact that this whole week has also given me a confidence boost is also an added bonus.
All in all I’d say that it has been fun, and I’m really going to miss the team, but I’m certainly not going to miss the commute home.