In today’s story, take a trip into the future with one of My Little Pony’s ant-agonists.
Discord’s Ant Farm
[Sad] • 2,619 words
That wacky Spirit of Chaos is at it again…
Except, there’s no ponies in the audience.
There’s nothing, really. Just an empty, post-apocalyptic expanse.
Nothing, and some ants.
FROM THE CURATORS: Over the past six years, many fanfics have been written whose premises have been invalidated by later seasons of the show. However, some remain great despite that. “This story shows just what sort of potential Discord had prior to his reformation,” Present Perfect said in his nomination, and this soared to a feature amid compliments like AugieDog’s: “Really, it all worked for me — the way Discord feels betrayed; his aimlessness; his lashing out; his hitting upon a new hobby at the end.”
It was that strong execution, combined with an exemplary examination of Discord’s character, that drew most of our commentary. “Along with good imagery and that overwhelming sense of loss and loneliness, this tackles subjects like the importance of harmony to a spirit of chaos and why Discord doesn’t kill,” Present Perfect noted. Horizon had similar praise: “The big thing right here is how effectively this paint’s Discord’s denial and frustration and desperation through his actions,” he said. “It’s easy to forget that, despite his phenomenal power, Discord is fundamentally a reactive force … his portrayal of Celestia is really telling: his ideal fantasy world isn’t one in which everypony loves him and follows his lead, but one in which he gets to continue playing the foil. That, more than anything, drives home the horror of the isolation here.”
We also noted how the prose reinforced those deeper themes. “The language the story uses had a Discordian feeling to it, too: heading toward overblown but undercutting itself constantly,” AugieDog said. And the world around Discord, Horizon said, also contributed to the overall excellence. “I appreciate that the apocalypse is well-sketched but never fully explained,” he said, “and the ant-iclimax — ha ha, see what I did there — is the cherry on top.”
Read on for our author interview, in which Fiddlebottoms discusses graviton theft, future cancer, and angry scalp massages.
Give us the standard biography.
I was born in a townhouse I made with my own two hands, steepling them together over my head like so for shelter and personal amusement. Unfortunately for substantially more of the latter than the former as my exceptionally tiny fingers provided minimal protection from the elements. At the time of my birth I had but one butt cheek, and still very much do, but my other senses have grown stronger to compensate.
At a young age my mother taught me the value of a dollar by selling me as an antique lamp for one dollar, and in that capacity I lived for 18 years, standing very still in the corner with a wick held in my mouth and a gas pipe resting under my one butt cheek. Many people commented on my ugliness but said it contributed to my authenticity, words I have lived by to this day.
In the Modern Era, A.D. I make my living as a homeless crazy person, squatting naked in the woods and doing such things as God surely would have intended.
How did you come up with your handle/penname?
Once upon a time, it was the 60s I suppose, I met my father. I recognized him by the way he screamed and immediately attempted to strangle me as was the fashion for parents in those days.
It was unfortunate — as most things are — because, you see, the poor fellow had no concept of how to strangle someone. He was grasping the top of my head and wrenching it. Or trying. He’d forgotten to bring a wrench, so he tried with his fingers. It was like the second angriest scalp massage I’d ever received. His palms ground against my forehead and his fingers prodded the forehead of my antiface.
Anyway, the whole affair of screaming and wrenching and anti-Oedipal violence quickly became very boring, but there seemed to be no way out of this situation without someone dying. My father must have realized the same thing, as he promptly passed away, leaving me only with his last word, “Fiddlebottoms.”
So, yes, and that’s the what for of my handle — I have one on the back of my head should I meet someone without an idea about how to strangle someone — and my penname.
Who’s your favorite pony?
Rarity’s horror at the prospect of becoming bourgeois in “Canterlot Boutique” has leveraged her personal, monetized brand firmly into my heart. She’s probably a filthy Proudhonist, but that just makes it all the sweeter to imagine quoting The Poverty of Philosophy and Settlers at her during a struggle/snuggle session.
Also, Rarijack is best ship, and anyone who disagrees is just objectively wrong. Sorry, that’s how it is.
What’s your favorite episode?
The first episode’s story book opening always makes me smile. Sure, the animation is supercheap, the voice acting weak and lonely, the characters rough, the humor broad, and it does nothing for my fetishes, and I should prefer, for example, “Inspiration Manifestation”, but, “In the magical land of Equestria,” and that stupid electric guitar while Twilight runs away from a birthday invitation. Das ist gut.
What do you get from the show?
It is cute and fun.
What do you want from life?
An infinite mass of mechanical claws churning away at every flesh or possible flesh and all things become possible flesh under the working of these claws; the new flesh is steely and rigid but flows magma soft as it needs to be to make more of itself; the future is an ur-cancer; a better than black-hole darkness born from constantly changing flows which distort even light unto death, the speed of light — the very rules one might imagine about speed — change each second and in each second the nature of time itself changes and nothing reaches its destination; a howl that in shapelessness unites every throat; infinite cycles become infinite life and infinite consciousness and infinite pain as It tears out blindly and rips to shreds everything in its way; becoming ceases when the Monad becomes; a single Nothing that is All and devours the last refuge of the Non-All; a weapon that finally and completely unites the reaper and the reaped into one final nuclear mass; a quantum of everything; and in this ultimate abyss and ultimate darkness, we witness at last the non-form of the Monster.
Anyway, I want to live long enough to see that emerge.
Why do you write?
Because the world must know the truth about the importance of using proper PPE while riding a scooter and the carnivorous worms living in Fluttershy’s butthole and the hazards of inviting dead ponies to dinner parties and why you shouldn’t shove rabbits, or cell phones, or your whole self up your butt.
If I don’t perform this valuable service, my fellows will live a life desperately impoverished and despairingly short and with distressingly many objects lodged in their butt.
And the anus gods. Gotta make sure everyone knows about them. They’re very real, the Real in fact, and you should be aware.
What advice do you have for the authors out there?
Don’t worry about what anyone else says. Consider the man in the street: His shirt is made from cotton. His shirt has no pockets. His pants are too tight. He considers the tightness of pants to be a political statement. He foams at the mouth. If left to his own devices, he will chew on the furniture. He constantly and proudly signals his ignorance of the world to the world. He is obsessed with things that do not involve him. He says the New York Times is left-wing. He says CNN is not the finest comedy channel known to man. He says Marxists have infiltrated academia and he has the anecdotes to prove it. He says there are valid concerns about immigrants, although he lacks the wherewithal to describe those concerns as his own. He says he will live on Mars. He says that Tarantino is a film maker. He believes that he thinks and that these thoughts come to him. None of these thoughts are his, they are simply the ideological overwash that relieves him of the need for his individuality.
Or if that example is too vague, when A Confederacy of Dunces was submitted for publishing, it was rejected for being pointless. This complaint was objectively correct, but it is also what makes the book revolutionary.
Sapience is almost nonexistent in the Universe. The rules and theories of art are garbage, commonly agreed upon because it is easier than thinking for oneself. A fabulous disaster is infinitely better than a commonly welcomed mediocrity.
This story demonstrates a lot of Discord’s storytelling potential, pre-reformation. Do you think things would have gone differently had he been reformed?
The obvious and snotty response is that he wouldn’t be a statue.
In my eye the post reformation episodes have mainly confirmed the conjectures of the story. His idea of a deep personal relationship is still moreorless synonymous with a kidnapping and he doesn’t get the whole “being an object in the world”-thing that everyone else has to live with. “Of course, you must love gravity you’ve filled your whole house with it, and look at you there, being held to the ground by your gravitons.” Discord will always be the third worst kind of god, and therefore the second most believable.
What caused the apocalypse?
I’ve the most generous heart, so I’ll do you one better and tell you what causes every apocalypse.
Well, that’s not really the big deal, though, is it? Apocalypses are a dime a dozen and charting them is as easy as walking the desert and possibly dying due to dehydration. The mountains stupidly surged themselves upward and massacred entire worlds in their shadow, and there’s your basic Apocalypse, not the death of anything in particular, just the world in itself. A species may go extinct though every member lives long and happy lives, they may even continue reproducing provided that their offspring are sufficiently distinct as to be new species, but if that species cannot evolve, if they cling to “equine nature,” failing to understand that the only nature of anything is change, then they all perish, and conscious organisms are uniquely positioned to do this. The stasis imposed can hold for a generation or two. 50 years tops, and you’ve got at most six left. Enjoy them, I recommend. The most unforgivable thing about hierarchy is that even the people at the top aren’t happy.
Either that or blame it on Harmony-9. Probably Twilight’s fault either way.
Why is Harmony so important to the Spirit of Chaos?
It apparently kills him. This time all you get is the obvious and snotty response.
Ah, I can’t really do that. “Your enemies you will always have with you,” as the saying goes. Discord could destroy Twilight and Celestia, sure, but it is more important to him that they have to keep dealing with him. Everyone else just sprints for the exits, but they stick with him, and as a clown, he needs his audience as much as he antagonizes and disdains them and he needs his audience to be someone he can respect.
You could get all post-structuralist and talk about how Discord only exists in the space created by Harmony and whatever but I don’t care that much and neither of us would understand it the same way so let’s move on.
How long would you say Discord has before he gets bored of this new status quo?
You must never have owned an ant farm. It is literally impossible to get bored of those things.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Yes, there is.
If my demands are not met with a quickness, I will use my exceptionally tiny fingers to steal every graviton from the city of New York and deposit them in Los Angeles, and you will watch sick with horror as one city floats away into the sky and the other sinks into the ground, dragging the continent lopsided and dumping the entire population of the United States into the Pacific Ocean.