Option 1: Whenever you watch the episode, comment on this post as you watch with whatever responses you feel like posting!
Option 2: Go to http://webchat.freenode.net/. Enter a nickname, then for the Channels field enter ##rabbitcube, and finally fill in the Captcha and hit Connect! We'll be watching the episode and commenting there starting at 3:00 p.m. EST. And I'm actually going to be here for this one! Afterwards, I will update this post with the chatlog.
Speaking of which, I updated last week's liveblog last night.
This episode's log below the cut!
<@> ...My stream just locked up
<> So, what spell did we just lose foreshadowing on?
<> Oh no!
<@> Wait, it's back
<@> The Wonderbolts have a written exam?
<> Great, Twilight trying to convince Rainbow Dash to have test anxiety.
<@> Ah, Rainbow Dash was actually listening
<> THANK YOU, RD.
<> So they aren't all meat heads, duh.
<> Maybe it's an oral.
<> I've never gotten anxious about a test in my life. There are always more tests.
<> Freak out aria!
<@> Woo, teleport
<> I also don't get test anxiety.
<> So, predictions on the moral?
<> I really hope this doesn't turn into a redux of the Applejack/Rarity odd-couple ep, that was awful.
<> Eat the book!
<> Eat the book to absorb its knowledge powers!
<> That would provide plenty of fiber.
<> Twilight is advocating WRITING IN A BOOK!?
<> She is dead to me.
<> Highlighting isn't writing, it's a study method!
<@> I am NOT THAT TALL
<> It's a book-destroying method, you mean.
<> Musical chairs!
<@> Whoa, worldbuilding!
<@> "General Firefly"
<> And hard cannon destruction.
<> Head canon
<> Firefly founded the Wonderbolts! Neat!
<@> ...Flash cards?
<> You know, there's actually some continuity here: Twilight is the only one who never actually learned Lesson Zero.
<> Not you Flash.
<> How does Lesson Zero apply here?
<> "Or what!" I've always wanted to say that.
<> Lesson Zero: People care about what they care about, and you don't get to tell them what they should or shouldn't care about.
<@> ..."General Bracing Donut Glaze?"
<> Scene, why must you mention food?
<@> LEsson Zero also applies to learning styles...
<> But most schooling consists of being made to care about what you don't naturally care about.
<> Well, and also, if RD isn't worried about the test, it's wrong for Twilight to try to make her be worried.
<@> True that, mere_oblivion
<@> Oh boy, how's Fluttershy gonna figure into this?
<> In my experience, most of schooling involves being taught naturally interesting things in a manner designed to make them as boring as possible.
<> Wonderbolt Twilight? *scribble scribble*
<> or d) all of the above
<> I loved traditional schooling.
<> Excellent description, Froborr, sadly.
<@> Well, they ended the fight early rather than dragging it out for the whole episode. Yep, that's character growth
<> Fluttershy, why?
<> This play is THE BEST THING
<> fluttershy is best teacher
<@> How in Equestria did she... even for Fluttershy, how did she convince them to do that?
<@> ...Now that was a Pinkie Pie entrance
<> Pinkie is giving me 80s flashbacks! No more PSA raps! Why!?
<> So the pony version of hip hop consists of . . . trip trot?
<@> ...And the world of fanfiction did tremble
<@> Hahah... mom just said, "Oh my god."
<> Yeah, RD got about as much out of that rap as I did.
<@> Oh no...
<> Rarity, please save us.
<@> What is she wearing?
<> RD's going to find that her best way of learning is Experiential, which is to say actually doing a Wonderbolt-like act of heroism?
<> That's what I'm guessing, yeah.
<@> Ahaha... oh, Rarity
<> They're hilarious!
<> That was a Maud-calibre expression, Rarity.
<@> Oh, it's the fashion show from Simple Ways all over again
<> lol at Applejack
<@> Ahahah... Applejack, the Element of Honesty
<> And AJ is useless everybunny!
<> "You're boned, give up."
<@> A reprise!
<@> Oh yikes, she's improvising now
<> I believe the term is "freestylin"
<> I believe the term is "put me out of my misery".
<> Twilight's wing joints are the reverse of RD's.
<> Not an error, consistently throughout this scene. Weird.
<> Play that sad violin.
<@> Maybe it's an Alicorn thing?
<@> Wait, what was that? I missed it
<@> Ah, and here's the solution
<@> Whoa, she's stealing Pinkie Pie's tricks
<> Peddle powered helicopter.
<> RD has the Sherlock Scan?
<@> ...and Sherlock Holmes
<> Who knew!
<> Not RD.
<> Whoa, that was pretty cool transforming the cloud.
<@> Oh yikes... the cloud listened to her emotions
<> She doesn't realize what she's doing.
<> "For the rain it raineth every day."
< Fluttershy could be Watson.> Well, that's fan art waiting to happen.
<> I'm liking how the moral is shaping up
<> She really could...
<@> Right, Twilight's wings are different, I didn't notice before
<> Wait, Rainbow can't be Holmes, she's too humble and has too much tact and social skills.
<@> Yikes, is this meta-commentary on the job market?
<> Digging ditches, selling shoes--sounds about right!
<> Being a Wonderbolt probably IS a glamour industry.
<@> So, it's a tract in favor of alternative education styles
<@> Which is awesome
<> It is also part of the military.
<> I was worried she'd have to watch a MOOC.
<> "Everyone learns in their own unique way."
<@> And now Twilight has a remote-control spell as well
<> I wonder if that was what she was studying at the episodes start?
<@> Wait, Pinkie stole Rarity's line... is Rarity about to rap?
<@> Wait, who are all these onies?
<@> Topiary? They went that far?
<> The townsfolk she saved back in Mysterious Mare Do Well
<@> Ooh, and Fluttershy's halfway to her Rainbow Power form
<@> Uh oh
<> So now RD's in the Reserves?
<@> Mom just said, "MLP takes on public education"
<> Psyche...that's who Rainbow is, Spencer not Holmes!
<> Also, 100%? Really?
<@> And then mom said, "But what is a teacher to do, faced with a room of students who have different learning styles... and most of them don't know what their learning style is."
<> A very fair point your mom makes.
<> This is why kids have time to study at home.
<@> (she was a special-ed assistant for years)
<> Double or triple the number of teachers, spend most of kindergarten identifying learning styles, tailor instructional segments for the different styles or to hit multiple styles.
<> If they had the budget, I'm sure they would.
<> And before you ask, the way you increase the number of teachers is by raising salaries and offering student-loan waivers.
<> This would of course require us to actual care about education and be willing to spend money on it.
<> Capital notions! WHy aren't you people running the country?
<> There are plenty of teachers unemployed right now.
<@> Hah... Froborr, I told mom what you said, and she said, "Tell him to run for governor."
<> In fact there are plenty more teachers than are fully employed, so the number of available teachers isn't the problem.
<> But surely you wouldn't want to cut funds from our poor, starving, military-industrial complex?
<> Of course, if you cut funds from the stupid sports stadiums they build in schools...
<@> Fun fact: We just spent nearly a trillion dollars on fighter planes that don't even work
<> *head desk*
<> Oh my God, can we leave politics out of this guys?
<@> Well, it was kind of a political episode
<> It's not political!
<> It kind of is. It's taking on the educational system.
<@> I meant, sociopolitically relevant. But hey, we should probably move on. So, thoughts on the episode?
<> It's about learning styles and that just because you don't learn a certain way doesn't make you dumb!
<> That's not a political position?
<> funding for education aside, I'm glad to see MLP encouraging kids to find out how they can study best
<@> But Whiteeyes, there's no way you can actually address that without taking on the state of education in this country
<> General Firefly has laid siege to many a head canon.
<@> So yeah, that was an awesome episode
<> I agree, totient. And I thought it was a dern good episode.
<> It wasn't bad.
< Too bad it flew by so quickly.> I enjoyed it.
<> World building, such as what the guard is actually called.
<> Oddly, I found myself not caring at all about the worldbuilding.
<> And that it didn't exist untill after Nightmare Moon.
<> Probably because, unlike Hearth's Warming Eve, there was actual character stuff going on.
<@> Interesting that they slowed down the pacing of the episode to highlight Rainbow Dash's learning style, since you'd think RD's learning style would be meta-narratively fast-paced
<> So any fic with pre-rift guards, Solar/Lunar Guard, etc, has had their canon shattered.
<@> Or was it deliberately going for contrast? Maybe that's the key
<> I think you're onto something there, sylo.
<> Meh. I've never understood why anyone cares about that. It's a fanfic anyway, it's already outside the continuity.
<> True, but it changes the way you look at things.
<> Nothing exists in vacuume.
<> *shrugs* It's like outdated science in a 1950s science fiction story. You just kind of have to say, "Well, they had no way of knowing."
<@> Of course, you could just slap an "Alternate Universe" tag on it
<> EVER fic is an AU fic.
<> A guard less era implies something different than "there was always a guard", so yeah tat only kinda matters going forward from here.
<@> Well, now we get into philosophy.
<> It really changes the way you envision pre-rift Equestria...now that we know that it's called that.
<> It doesn't change it that much for me?
<@> I wonder when Discord's first reign features into this
<> I don't see much different between having no military and having a purely ceremonial military.
< There is no indication the EUP is ceremonial.>
<> Well, we know Luna and Celestia were visibly younger when they overthrew Discord than when they fought Sombra or had the rift.
<> this seems terribly fateful--I ended up here because I was perusing Froborr's blog as a way to procrastinate from learning math, and this was a pretty invigorating moral
<> There's no indication it isn't, and every past conflict we've heard about has been against a single powerful individual, not an ary.
<> Then again it was all during the same year...
<@> Except for the Changeling attack
<> True, but even that was defeated by two people, basically.
<> Good luck with the math, totient!
<> Yeah, good luck totient!
<@> But one of them was specifically the captain of the royal guard. And we saw the other guards in action
<@> Thirded. Good luck.
<> Sombra, Discord, and Nightmare Moon all happened during the same year...no wonder Luna snapped after fighting pony Sauron and magic Q.
<> Um, what?
<@> I meant, one of the two ponies that defeated the Changelings
<> There's no reason to believe they happened in the same year.
<@> Well, the S4 premiere is mentioned as the first Summer Sun Celebration since Luna's return
<> We know because of the prophecy that Nightmare Moon was precisely 1000 years before the premiere, but the other two could easily be, and almost certainly are, rounded.
<> Glad you found the moral invigorating, totient. And if I knew a secret to learning math, I would have learned math by now.
<@> I learn most of my advanced math by watching Vi Hart videos
<> Sorry, accounting major. Math just comes easy to me.
<> Okay, so I'll revise to say I don't see much difference between a purely ceremonial/ineffectual military and no military.
< It's not particularly easy, and seeing our favorite ponies struggling to get things into their heads makes facing that more okay> mere_oblivion: honestly, that's sort of the point.
<@> Fair enough
<> You know, looking back at S1-3 and realizing that it's only one year, Twilight's stress suddenly makes a lot more sense.
<> You lucky devil, Whiteeyes!
<@> Heck, even if it's four years, that's still a pretty troubling average
<@> (and they don't have season breaks)
<> True, but it would have given her more time to relax and have stress free days.