I like to evaluate absurdity using this standard: If I included the potential absurdity in a manuscript, would my agent or editor scoff at its absurdity and declare it too improbable even for fiction?
I believe that bronies meet this absurdity standard, and yet they are real.
Bronies is the name assigned to the growing audience of young men who have developed a cult-like following for the remake of the 1980s animated TV show My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
Seriously. Dudes are watching My Little Pony and liking it.
And not in some ironic, hipster way. They genuinely like the show.
From the Wall Street Journal:
Some bronies say they got hooked on the high-quality animation. Others felt they identified with the four-legged stars that flaunt luxurious, pony-tail like manes. "The characters aren't one-dimensional," said 15-year-old Christian Leisner, a brony in the Berkeley group. "They have flaws, they have backgrounds they're ashamed of."
Bronies—a mash-up of "bro" and "ponies"—established a quarterly New York convention, called BroNYCon, this year. They've spawned at least two Pony-themed websites and enjoy a thriving subculture of artists whose creations include Pony-inspired music and their own writings about Twilight Sparkle and the gang.
I realize that some people might say, “Give these guys a break, Matt. Who are you to judge what brings them happiness? These guys have found something they love and enjoy, and they’re not hurting anyone. Let them be.”
Yeah, that sounds nice, but they’re watching My Little Pony. I have to draw the line somewhere on polite, detached acceptance, and the brony subculture is it.
I don’t care how happy it makes them. It’s insane.