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So I feel like I've had something of a revelation, and I want to know whether I'm full of it or whether I've ascended to level 20 brony. We all know that the MLP fandom is one which inspires a peculiar dedication in it's members. I propose that this is because MLP makes us suffer. The more time you spend in Equestria, the more acutely you feel the pain of it's destruction. No, I'm not making a 'show is dying' rant. It's a fact that almost from the beginning MLP has been regularly punctuated by BUY-OUR-TOYS nonsense, and with cringy episodes written by people who have no passion for the world they are crafting. It hurts. But the pain creates emotional attachment: we pump out fanfics and music and art because we want to honor Equestria as we know it, and because we fear change. We have powerful responses to both good and bad surprises because when the quality is as inconsistent as MLP's is, everything is a surprise! And every hump on the roller-coaster sets each of us up for the next one. So I conclude that since--as the great artists say--life is pain, in order for someone's fandom to become integral to their life, it must be painful. And I think that we can see this applied to other fandoms as well. Firefly is the obvious example, but look at the Gravity Falls fandom. There isn't one! Ask anyone what they think of Gravity Falls and they'll say, "it's friggin' fantastic," and move on with their lives! Doctor Who? People practically kill themselves over Doctor Who, because it's both wonderful and terrible intermittently. I'm interested to know what you guys think of this hypothesis.