A Load of Old Pony
Anyway, this story brought on a sudden and violent attack of transcritical identity for me: the news that the University of Brighton (UK) is sponsoring a conference entitled My Little Pony: A Transcultural Phenomenon. Topics covered include the tired, predictable and worn out ("identity politics of gender, race, class, sexuality and national identity"), the nerdy (collections and collecting), the 'I haven't got the foggiest what that means' (transformations across MLP generations) and the 'you've got to be kidding -- oh no, you're not, are you?' (queer ponies). Admittedly, MLPs are not the most masculine examples of the species, but queer ponies? Really?
Three things come to mind. The first is that I suspect somebody will now be demanding that My Little Pony be added to the list of evil toys to which Christian parents must not expose their children. Second, one just knows that some earnest person out there somewhere is already planning a conference on 'My Little Pony: A Christian Approach.' And the third is the point made so brilliantly by Terry Eagleton: in a world obsessed with critical theory, the big questions are left to one side, as boring and mundane, and total trivia comes to take centre stage.
And I guess it is just not possible to be a child anymore.