Friday’s bike ride took me first up to the zoo where I got to enter through the Member’s Only line, instead of with all the riff raff–what a relief. Actually, what membership really means to me is that I can go stare at the prairie dogs for as long as I want, which yesterday was quite awhile. And then it was time for a quick stop home before racing down to the Convention Center to check out BronyCon. If you don’t know what a Brony is, google it, and then remind yourself that just like anything you read, what’s written about Bronies is full of assumptions and biases and all that jazz. The whole thing seems ridiculous, unless, of course, you’re a Brony, in which case it appears to be serious, fun, and serious fun. I will have more to say about this elsewhere, but for now, just let me say that this convention is one of the most vibrant and fun I’ve attended–and I’ve attended a lot of conventions. I snapped this picture during a panel presentation about research done by several psychologists into the question, “What Makes a Brony?” I have never seen a panel presentation so packed by so many eager and enthusiastic participants. Turns out Bronies are less caught up in social conventions and gender stereotyping than the rest of us, and they take seriously the idea that Friendship is Magic, which it totally is, and they really dig the message of love and tolerance–hey, me too. It is interesting to watch the guffaws and ridicule this group of fans gets. I thought about that as I ate a sandwich with a crowd of Bronies and a crowd of Orioles fans late in the day. Everybody’s in a costume, but one group–not known at all for its messages of love and kindness–basks in social acceptance and open public coffers–who do you think paid for that stadium?–and the other is assumed, with no evidence whatsoever, to be sexual deviants, losers, child molesters, creeps, yucky, ridiculous, etc. Guess it pays to be a fan of good old fashioned masculinity. I rode home early, skipping BronyPalooza to watch some episodes of this My Little Pony business. I don’t think I have what it takes to be a Brony–this is not my style of animation–but I respect the messages and I respect the fact that just because it’s not my cup of tea doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be theirs, or yours. Oh, and LEZ GO O’S.