Dark Qiviut

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Dark Qiviut last won the day on November 12 2016

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About Dark Qiviut

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  1. The more I think about, the more I'm convinced (and thank MrEnter's latest review for F&M for making me think about it more). "We're a Work in Progress" is the worst song of the entire series. Worse than the bungled Cloudesdale Anthem, the CMC showstopper song, the generic songs from EQG1, Unleash the Magic, Awesome As I Wanna Be, or battle for Sugar Belle. Why? Because it tries to teach a moral — with a straight face — that is not only broken from a storytelling level, but harmful and toxic in real-life context, as well.

    1. In universe, the RM6 publish an autobiography of what they learned through season 4, but the stereotypical straw fans view it entirely as a work of fiction. We saw how the characters learned through every lesson, but their readers didn't, so unless they were very clear they learned and grew, they're going to have a wide array of judgments and opinions of their actions, both good and bad. When your premise is fatally flawed, the lessons run the risk of being hurt, too, because they're the driving point of every single episode. Every episode is narrowed to the lessons they're trying to teach.

      The moral within the song is a lazy coverup for really bad writing over the years. Flawed characters are inherently interesting, but characters being flawed is no excuse for them behaving badly or out of character. IRL, a person may regress and forget the lessons they learned. But RL and fiction aren't the same. When a character has to repeat a similar outcome and lesson again and again, the stories feel pointless, and the character becomes more of a waste of time than something relatable or intriguing. FS relearning from her mistakes is really bad writing. Yes, they acknowledge how they're a work in progress, but a declaration of improvement isn't evidence of improvement, and the episode puts forth no effort in showing that, not even when FS mustered the courage to confront her harassers.

      Thirdly, it's very hypocritical. This series has a long history of both reforming and redeeming villains and antagonists, like Discord, Sunset, DT, and Starlight. What do they all have in common? Their old behavior wasn't tolerable, and they recognize it. But rather than take it all for granted, they tried to improve and become better people. This song literally handwaves it all as a waste of time, and that it was bad for the show and reformed bad guys to self-improve, a complete contradiction of what FIM preaches.
    2. Apply this to a real-life context. Liking someone in spite of their flaws is a very reasonable message. But the song literally treats their flaws as part of who they are and what makes special as people. That's not a good message to teach. Acknowledging your flaws is fine, but how do you go about an improve it? By recognizing it and making sure you correct them. Individual flaws make or break friendships or relationships.

      To take it from a personal note, I used "objectively" and "factually" way too often in the previous years to the point where I used them more as reactionary buzzwords than concrete conclusions from presented evidence. Not to mention episodes I once wrote off as objectively terrible or bad (or vice-versa)…well, some of that has changed, like Bats! (from calling it good or average initially to borderline-awful), Equestria Games (from declaring it as one of the ten worst of the series then to being poor to mediocre now), Flight to the Finish (from calling it not good initially to being one of S4's big three), or even Stranger Than Fan Fiction (from calling one of S6's worst to one of the better episodes that season). Why? Because I gain more knowledge and understanding of the episodes as time and crappy episodes come by, and my tastes changed as a whole. I gained a better understanding of the craft and became better as a reviewer. (A part of me cringes from how I behaved back then.) Nowadays, I use it much more rarely, only apply it when I'm absolutely sure, and try to not fuck up when using it.

      What this moral's stating in a real-life context is how self-improvement is pointless. You're flawed? Good! You're fine as is. Uh, no. "Being yourself" doesn't work that way. This lesson applies perfectly in Aladdin, because Aladdin lived a lie and deceived Jasmine, his friends, Agrabah, and himself. F&M doesn't have that leverage, because the song, its moral, and those who sing it acknowledge their flaws and don't give a shit if they try to change and become better. "Changing and becoming better" being, y'know, one of the show's most important themes.

      And how does this toxic moral apply to real life in general? Here's some examples:
      Quote

      He never tries to self-improve, but that's okay, because I like him because of that.

      Quote

      He's a complete asshole, but being an asshole is what makes him so endearing.

      Quote

      She's a reckless driver who drives 30 miles over the speed limit and never wears her seatbelt, but I lt it slide, because it's part of who she is.

      Quote

      They're very abusive to their spouses and children, but they're fine as is, because they're flaws to their personality.

      ^ The song and attached moral were teaching that slippery slope of accepting bad behavior without concentrating on its implications. It's legitimately a dangerous lesson to teach, especially to kids.
    1. Dr Ned

      Dr Ned

      I agree that's a dangerous lesson to teach kids

    2. Anti-Villain

      Anti-Villain

      Quote
      Quote

      He never tries to self-improve, but that's okay, because I like him because of that.

      Quote

      He's a complete asshole, but being an asshole is what makes him so endearing.

      Quote

      She's a reckless driver who drives 30 miles over the speed limit and never wears her seatbelt, but I lt it slide, because it's part of who she is.

      Quote

      They're very abusive to their spouses and children, but they're fine as is, because they're flaws to their personality.

       

       

      That's not just a slippery slope.

       

      That's...

       

       

    3. EpicEnergy

      EpicEnergy

       

      Further Things I Want To Add 

       

      1. I actually like the song, but not because of its moral; rather, because of the music. However, I noticed what it was saying when I sang it out loud - our flaws make us special! What! They bond the mane six and keep them strong! Are you kidding me!

       

      2. I could give you reasons why the song is good in other ways, but I won't because what if a 6-year-old heard this song, understood the moral, and applied it? They would be like - hey mom, so you like me because I throw temper tantrums all the time? That is what makes me special? Is that what makes me strong? Is that what holds me and you together? 

       

      3. Twilight says, "our flaw are what brought us together". Liar alert! What brought them together, according to the overall plotline of the series, was the magic of friendship - they were destined to be friends, as they all got their cutie marks at the same time. Are their flaws part of that magic? Even if they are, that isn't what brought them together. Twilight didn't like Applejack because she was too honest. They didn't like Rarity because she sometimes was a stuck-up drama queen. Twilight didn't say - oh Fluttershy, I just love how you were so shy and not assertive the very first time we met; I love that about you. 

       

       4. " it's our flaws that make us work". So, Applejack's flaw of being way too honest worked is season 7 ep. 9 ("Honest Apple"), when she made legit everyone quit Rarity's fashion show?

       

      5. The developers could have chosen better words to put in that song! The concept should be that flaws are not the point of our book – what really matters is how we got over them time and time again, and how we learned from those flaws. We make mistakes, we learn from them. We work on our flaws. You shouldn't look at our flaws as seen through our book; you should look at what we learned from them and how that made us better. At least, that is in my opinion a better way of re-wording the moral and story in the episode.