Please, if you never read any of my journals, I implore you to at least read this one.
This is a topic that has been quite a nuisance since the start of season two of MLP:FiM. Why is that though? I mean, it shouldn't be a problem, right?... Well, I've been seeing some traits among the fandom that have been quite disturbing. I think before we get into that, let's look at the two terms and their differences. Now, it's eight in the morning for me and I'm running on only two hours of sleep after a good twenty(ish) awake, so I might not be here fully and use "proper" grammar, so too bad.
As I said before, let's take a closer look at the two terms, "Canon" and "fanon." What do they mean to us? For most people, the canon of the show is everything that the producers/artists/storyboarders throw into the show, making them "facts" of the world they live in. For instance, we all know that Twilight lives in the Ponyville Library, or that Pinkie Pie has two unnamed sisters. Some look at this term as the rules or guidelines that all must follow when making fan made content, either art or fan fiction. They also view the canon as the ABSOLUTE and only way things can and must be, for the greater good.
Fanon, on the other hand, is anything and everything that us fans of the show have dubbed as our "Fan canon", "head canon", or "fanon". Essentially aspects that do not appear in the show, or are not fully explained in the show, that we take upon ourselves to fill in the gaps that the creators have left open. For instance, in the canon part I mentioned Pinkie's sisters. Since they are never named officially in the show, us fans have come up with names for them. Inkie and Blinkie Pie. We've even given them their own personalities. All of which we've based souly on their few minute appearances and our own interpretations we've made up.
Over the course of a year and four months, this fandom has exploded the fanon into something huge. For instance, when I say the names Lyra and Bon Bon, what are your first thoughts? If you are part of the Brony community in ANY way, you instantly go "They are a couple that live in Ponyville." That is the fanon part of your brain saying that. Canon wise, they are a couple background ponies who are used regularly to add ponies where needed as audience or part of a crowd. Sure, there are rumors that we have influenced the makers to actually put them together in scenes, but is that true? Again, that's more aspects of the fanon coming out.
Then again, one huge step from the fanon is Derpy Hooves. Born as a animation error, she became official canon and has now gone so far as to have her own voice in the show. This is a great way that the makers of the show have given us recognition as fans, and I myself was more than pleased with her Easter egg appearances, but now giving her a personality and voice for about two minutes? That's awesome, it didn't need to happen, but was still awesome.
Now, just because Derpy became reality doesn't mean that other things are gonna go our way. By that, I mean we can give them tons of fanon traits all we want, but we can't make them incorporate what all we have made up into the show. It would be like telling them what to do, instead of allowing them to do what they do best. It would ruin it, and that is where people are starting to get pushy. They talk about having these different aspects of the fanon incorporated into the show, but it just can't happen that way. A lot of people apparently were upset with Derpy's "personality" in the latest episode, which made her out to be dumb and accident prone.
I don't care who you are, it was comical. This is a cartoon for little girls, not like some real life drama tv program we're watching. Back in the day, did people complain about how Bugs Bunny acted, or Daffy Duck? No, because that wasn't the point of the show! It was meant to make us laugh and enjoy the comedy where appropriate. But so many of us are allowing the fanon to block our views of what messages and jokes the show is trying to give us, that we can't appreciate it like the younger audience does.
Ask any young child who watched the episode, they laughed. They enjoyed it. I enjoyed it, so did many other bronies, but far too many of us didn't. All because they couldn't accept this "canon" Derpy, and insist their "fanon" Derpy (Or Ditzy, oh don't get me started on that) is the "true" her. It's all horseshit, no pun intended(?). As a community, especially this one, we have to come to terms with what the producers do with the show. We can't allow our fanon aspects to influence us or change our view of events. So many times when something happens in an episode, I hear people complain that "Oh boy, there goes the fanon" or simply complain that it's not how they "felt" it should be. I don't care what you think, or what parts of the fanon crumble from it, they make up the canon, so they choose what happens and why.
There is more than simply adapting the fanon to the canon, because that's easy to do. What isn't easy to do, for quite the number of people I'm seeing, is actually >i>separating</i> the fanon from the canon. If you don't catch yourself soon enough, your entire view of the show shifts into this ugly pimple on my forehead (the one just above my right eye... damn it itches). You constantly will judge aspects of the show, and not fully enjoying the experience of the comedy, which is never intended to stick fully to the canon in the first place. If that were the case, then most of the comedy and stunts in the show couldn't happen, which is why it is a cartoon meant for children, not some reality tv show for us adults.
So please, before you go off and rant about something happening in an episode that messes with your head canon, or the fanon in general, look at it from a child's perspective. It's a cartoon meant to teach us a lesson and allow us to have some fun while doing so, not for us to nip pick at and fill in all the gaps that aren't there. It is alright for us to do that on our own, make our fan art and fan fiction, it's all perfectly good. Just make sure that no matter what, it does not mess with your views of the show.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need some sleep. I might wake up in a few hours and edit this, but I felt like getting this out there asap.