jpk wrote: Might be "I'm really into this obscure meme that nobody else is ever going to care about, but I'm going to make it my life so I have something that makes me feel cool and different and a little bit odd, but doesn't actually involve being gay because, well, I'm just not comfortable with that, but I think that gays have a knack for getting chicks, so maybe I can work with this... hey, ponies!". Might be whatever. But it's all affectation. Nobody cares about "My Little Pony", they care about being seen as the guy who cares about "My Little Pony". Nobody cares about map projections, but it's a nice way to lengthen your geek-peen a little. If you were actually the person you're pretending to be, you wouldn't be fronting "I know all about map projections", you'd be off doing whatever it is you do with maps, and you wouldn't be telling the world about your pony fixation
It is ON now.
I see you feel safe saying ponies is something people only
like to be cool and different. But you are wrong, there are people who sincerely believe it is of high artistic value, and don't have to share that with anyone else to be validated.
In making this comic Randall is trying to be funny. It'd be hard to conclude he actually thinks all people who care about map projections are wasting their time. But your analogy fails at getting that across. You have chosen to make a big assumption about something just from looking at its exterior and your own cultural biases.
Ponies isn't important of course. But thinking entire bodies of art or fields of interest (like map projection) are insincere and worthless is very dangerous; you will dismiss things you actually may like or enjoy.
(Also could you explain, out of pure sociological interest on my part, why ponies was the first thing you thought of when looking for an example of the kind of fanbase you describe?)