I try to keep in mind that every fandom has a lunatic fringe.
These are people who things that normal people would find reprehensible.
For example, anime fans. They condone anime depicting underage characters (even by Japanese standards) as sex objects. In Cosplay Complex, Jenny is depicted as a predatory lesbian pedophile, trying to force herself on a young girl named Athena that clearly knows what's going on and is desperate to avoid her. This is played for laughs instead of being creepy, with Maria, Athena's big sister, passing out whenever "the chase" starts (take it from a big brother -- an older sibling seeing this would be giving Jenny blanket parties every night until the lustful looks stopped). The die-hards, when these things are pointed out, say it's just a cultural difference and will perpetuate the cycle.
There is a trend among people who watch My Little Pony -- Friendship Is Magic to say they are fans of the show and not identify as bronies. There's a reason for this. The misbehavior of bronies has become well documented, and people don't want the label. A popular fan artist felt Derpy was making fun of retarded people. Instead of just disagreeing, the bronies started sending the artist death threats and chased them out of the fandom. Bronies act like they are revolutionaries, redefining gender roles instead of just admitting the truth -- they watch a cartoon and there is nothing revolutionary about that.
So, you have a bunch of oldchai running around, united by a TV show but not by its values. The show preaches love and tolerance. Bronies are quick to pile on anyone they perceive as a hater (a humor web site made a joke about bronies, causing one to bitch on the message board. The editor said he was a fan of the show, too, and it was just a joke. The brony's response was upvoted and the editor's response was downvoted) and tales of bronies getting into fistfights over who is the "best pony" are common. The show depicts women as straight (yes, even Rainbow Dash, she has a crush on Soren of the Wonderbolts) and as being friends despite differences and personality clashes. Bronies depict them as lesbian lovers. The show depicts a world of innocence. Bronies actually depict the characters sexually, with one web site holding a poll to see which pony would make the best lingerie model and Rule 34 of various pairings.
Now, this is bad enough. But what do you do when someone who should really know better actively encourages this behavior? Someone who, say, is part of the show production?
Tara Strong (and at this point, some of you know where this is going) does voice work for cartoons, starting with the original Care Bears. She rose through the ranks, landing plum roles as the voice of Dil on Rugrats to Batgirl in Batman Beyond: The Return Of The Joker and Melody, Ariel's daughter in The Little Mermaid II: Return To The Sea (mermaids everywhere! There's no escape!). She also did the voice of Bubbles on Powerpuff Girls.
Strong's most recent work is the voice of Twilight Sparkle on MLP-FiM. While the other voice actresses maintain their professionalism and are friendly with the fandom, Strong has gone from observer to Queen Of The Bronies. Unbeknownst to me, Strong seems to be flattered when the bronies pleasure themselves to a candy colored cartoon pony she does the voice of. I thought her comments were being taken out of context until I saw this picture here on the right. As you can tell, this comes directly from Strong's Twitter feed. Bronies went nuts for obvious reasons, and several fans posted comments of, "Really, Tara? Do you HAVE to encourage them?"
Well, apparently, yes. Yes she does.
A number of MLP-FiM fans are taking advantage of Flash animation to make their own little fan videos. Some of these are really fun, like the one where Derpy gets a lava lamp or Derpy shows how to sort of make muffins. Some are a little more ambitious, creating Doctor Whooves shorts. Kickstarted recently had a project to make an MLP-FiM feature length fan film for a convention -- it made its goal very quickly.
And then you get ones like this, created last June:
For those of you who don't make it to the end credits, that is actually Tara Strong's voice. Yes, she recorded this so this video could be made.
And this is why I refuse to identify as a "brony," I'm not part of the fandom, I'm just a fan of the show.
And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to fill my bathtub with vodka and lie in it for a few hours.