04 December 2011
Affluence And Apathy, or Why I Love Rarity
I can say with the utmost confidence that, while other ponies and all their special episodes may disappoint, without any question, there has never been nor will there likely ever be a disappointing episode focusing on Rarity. Consistently she remains top notch, above and beyond others in excellence and grace. She stands as a beacon overlooking all the pageantry, bizarre little oddities (Over A Barrel), and endless parades of Dash getting away with absolutely everything like some grand scale karma Houdini. Unlike all the others, who may at times descend into madness (or "go cupcakes"), Rarity manages to hold onto her poise and grace while always finding it in herself to give to her fullest ability to anypony in need.
One need no other example than Sisterhooves Social where she put aside all comfort for the sake of her sister, going so far as to disguise herself as Applejack and get as dirty as possible. She did it all gladly for Sweetie Belle, who was an obnoxious, selfish jackass (like all, or certainly most, little kids). She was able to maintain her grace even among the diamond dogs worst attempts at breaking her. She never lost her head, she never sank to their level, she just bit her lip, bore the discomfort of their imprisonment, and used her wits to extricate herself from captivity.
Time and again Rarity reveals to us that she is no one trick pony like so many others. AJ is still the rough and tumble farmer's daughter, Twi is still the anal nerd, Dash is still the asshole Mary Sue, Pinkie Pie still teeters on the brink of cupcakes, and Fluttershy still warns us to beware the quiet ones. Contrasted against the others Rarity has a depth of personality that is unrivaled by the rest of the mane six put together. She has beauty, brains, and heart, sense and style, cleverness, compassion, and propriety all rolled into one fabulous package. I dare say Rarity is everything anypony could ever want in a girl. She'll go on a quest to slay the dragon and look stunning doing it. She'll work herself to exhaustion for her friends. She'll put others before herself and bear the slings required of the peace keeper. She may go overboard at times, but everypony does and Rarity is certainly not above apologising for her wrongs.
It is for all that that I hold Rarity up as an example for us all, especially in these troubled times.
The problem of the world today is the disease of Affluenza, which isn't really a disease, but neither is ADHD or depression, even though drug companies make billions off of both, so why not add one more, and one that is so troubling to so many millions?
First permit me to clarify. I'm not saying that there are not people who actually have ADHD or depression, just that they are not diseases and cannot be cured (or treated, since nothing in psychiatry is ever cured) like diseases with drugs. The psychiatry disease angle is a scam.
Depression is a mental condition in which anger is repressed and turned inward toward one's self. It is overcome by introspecting to uproot the anger (best when done under the auspices of a qualified therapist), not by blocking dopamine or seratonin. Taking drugs to fix depression is like taking drugs to fix an amputated arm. The best course of action for dealing with depression is a combination of cognitive behaviour therapy and lots of physical exercise (one British study showed that walking more than 30 minutes a day was several times more effective than any available drug at fixing depression, and walking alone was more effective than walking while taking drugs, indicating that the drugs actually worsen the symptoms of depression!).
ADHD and all its various permutations (the more types of disorder the psychiatric community can create the more money they can make selling people drugs) are just names for being a boy and not having parents who do their job. The first undeniable truth about the universe everyone learns is that boys and girls are different. It has always been for hundreds of thousands of years that boys and girls think and learn differently, and within the larger categories of boys and girls are a whole spectrum of sub-types. None are wrong or defective or diseased, just different.
Unfortunately, the pussification of America threw that undeniable fact out and replaced it with the idea that everyone is the same and has to be taught the same and if anyone doesn't fit into that narrow mold they must be diseased. Since America was pussified and only girls have pussies, that means that girls are normal. If girls are normal then, by definition, boys must be defective. No longer do boys and girls think differently, needing different modes of learning and discipline. Nope, everyone must be taught the same and they must be taught like girls. Since boys don't learn like girls, since they want to run around and rough house and compete and follow rules and have winners and losers*, then boys must be defective. If boys are no longer allowed to win and lose, if they can't run and shout and mes around then of course they'll look for outlets to their masculinity where it is deemed inappropriate. They don't need drugs, they just need proper masculine discipline and training so they can grow up into proper men. They need parents who get off their fat asses and tell them to sit down and shut up when in public (behavioural training). They need to be told to follow rules begrudgingly and most of all they need a chance to rough house with one another outside and express their natural masculine violent proclivities.
Getting back to the topic at hand, or society is afflicted by the dreaded disease of Affluenza and it is Rarity who can show us the way to overcome this plague.
In the past century, more so the past 50 years, mores the past generation, and the past decade, Western society has become more affluent. We don't have to worry about working for our food, the government gives it to us and the grocery store is always fully stocked. We don't have to have twelve children because eight of them won't die from measles or whooping cough. We don't have to write letters or look for pay phones or wait to see our friends, they are always at hand. Our lives in the West have become so easy that we have become bored and must now look or excuses to complain about things. We have to work to find a reason to bitch and moan about how "unfair" our lives are. Our blessings are so many that we must focus on the few areas of our lives that contain lack for fear of being overwhelmed with gratitude. We are the 1% in all of human history, holding ore wealth and opulence than kings and emperors of years gone by could ever dream of. This is Affluenza.
The problem stems from two unhealthy byproducts of extreme affluence: narcissism and apathy. We literally throw away enough food to feed the entire world many times over. No one ever need go hungry, just kill the warlords and give the starving refugees the garbage we won't eat.
In Sweet and Elite we see Rarity, an affluent pony, stand in stark contrast with a rather uppity fellow from Canterlot, Jet Set, along with his wife Upper Crust. Jet Set and Upper Crust exemplify Affluenza. Against them is Rarity and her new friend (and mentor?) Fancy Pants, both of whom can keep their heads despite their success (though Fancy Pants plays coy to get Rarity to display her good nature, almost as a master would his apprentice). Fancy Pants urges Rarity on to defend her friends at the Canterlot Garden Party, however uncouth, or downright destructive, they may be. Jet Set and Upper Crust, stricken with Affluenza, are appalled at Rarity's display of her loyalty but they are quickly shot down by Fancy Pants coming to her aid.
Rarity exemplifies how to be good affluent. She shows us the way out of Affluenza, minus the occasional theatrics if we may be so inclined. I would advise all of you, myself included, and especially the occupy pussies, to look to Rarity as the inoculation against the dreaded disease of Affluenza. She just may be the one to save our world from self-destruction.
*My friends and I would play space marines and fight aliens with sticks and books, not like we were visiting neighbours, and we accepted the rules of the tames as rules, sucking it up when we lost even if we didn't like it. We didn't demand do overs to boost our self esteem. We ran around and made lots of noise and fell down and got hurt. We may have cried but we knew we were supposed to be men so we got over it.