Genealogy is the study of family history, essentially. It allows you to know who your ancestors were, what they did; and it allows you to know exactly where you came from.
Now, how does this affect the individual who learns about their family history? In no possible way.
It’s an old fallacy that still exists in the minds of many. That who we are is determined by who our parents were. But it’s not.
Some may mention things like genetics. But we know so little about how DNA works, and how it’s passed on, that we can’t reliably say that. Not every trait that is coded in our DNA, is expressed all the time. We don’t even know what’s actually coded in our DNA, besides certain superficial stuff like melanin levels and face shapes.
There are certain genetic diseases which are a concern. Which is why our family history is of great interest to doctors. That which might have killed our parents or grandparents, could also kill us. If there’s a family history of cancer or heart disease, it’s something we need to watch out for.
And of course, we are raised by our parents, and the child-rearing techniques of our ancestors can be passed down throughout the generations, and that can influence us. But we already knew that. We already know how we were raised. Genealogy doesn’t teach us anything about that.
And it shouldn’t take people that long to realize just how meaningless genealogy is. For instance, you can be a brilliant scientist, who worked with the frontiers of energy and electro-mechanics, while being born to a pair of superstitious clergy members (see: Nikola Tesla). Or, you can be a highly successful, self-made business tycoon, while your son is a complete dolt and cunt, with no perspective of reality (see: Fred Trump, father of Donald Trump).
And just to show how much damage this can cause, you can be a walking disaster, who’s every last business venture ended in failure, and be elected President of the United States only because your dad was. Do I have to tell you whom I’m talking about in this case?
In Japan, they understand this. Oftentimes so-called ‘family businesses’ are inherited by adopted children. Either because, A: the owners don’t have a son that can inherit the company, or B: their actual sons are ponces. Remember, we’re talking about a country that’s still predominately male-dominated. But the point is, they don’t care about actual familial relations. They understand that blood-relation really doesn’t matter, even among family.
The most genealogy can be to the layman, is as an intellectual curiosity. Which is why it should surprise no one that it is one of the many fields that Twilight Sparkle is a patron of. Time for more ponies!!!!
Our story begins when Pinkie Pie ambushes the royal bookworm, apropos of nothing. Once she learns that Twilight is doing some genealogical research, without specifying whom exactly she’s conducting the genealogical research on since you’d think she’d focus on one particular family but it doesn’t appear that she is which makes me wonder why exactly she’s studying it-but whatever. So once Pinkie learns that Twilight is doing some genealogical research, and then learning what exactly genealogy is, she decides to join in. Taking one random scroll, she eventually gets to the end and makes an amazing discovery about her own family, and runs off to meet her new cousin.
Well, she looks worried.
Yes, turns out the only two earth ponies in the main cast are also the only two related ponies in the main cast. This doesn’t really doesn’t seem that extraordinary to me. Not simply because they’re earth ponies, but because I doubt the population of Equestria is very big. To put it simply, if you go back far enough, and run some numbers, you’ll find that the number of ancestors you have actually exceeds the population of the planet. That basically means that they eventually double up. We are all descended from various 8th century historical figures, through many different paths. We’re all one big happy family!
Anyway, yes, Applejack doesn’t look that happy does she? But bizarrely, after the opening theme song, her mood completely changes! In fact, the entire family looks extremely excited, and I’m not sure why. Applejack even says they shouldn’t tell anyone since they might get jealous, and again, I’m not sure why. Why exactly would they get jealous? Not that I’m trying to put Pinkie down, I mean she’s great, but… why is being related to her that much greater?
Then Applejack’s skepticism activates, so she examines Pinkie’s scroll, and isn’t 100 per cent convinced, since the text isn’t exactly legible. So she decides they need further verification. Which is exactly why you should go visit Twilight, who might have a few more books on the subject, and she doesn’t live very far so…
Or you can skip that and visit cousin Goldie Delicious, who lives much further away. That’s another, less sane solution.
Yeah, honestly, I’d understand if they’d visit Twilight, who apparently already knew about this, and came up empty-hooved. Then they’d visit Goldie as plan B. But they skip past that. It’s as if they don’t even consider visiting the local library. I know if I’m looking up genealogy information, the local library is the first place I check.
Anyway, first thing’s first. They pack up the wagon, and Applejack’s slightly concerned that they over-packed. But Big Mac insists that they need everything there.
Okay, I don’t know what’s in the boxes, but I highly doubt they need the paintings. But Applejack doesn’t question that, instead she questions whether Mac and the wagon can carry it all. And his own ego takes over. How dare you question my judgement!
So they hit the road. And begin singing bad travelling songs. Seriously, it’s a terrible fucking song. But thankfully, the wagon collapses, which means no more singing! YAY!
Come on! Be happy!
But no, they’re miserable, since they have no way to continue their journey. That is until Pinkie notices the nearby river, and suggests a river trip. Unfortunately, they didn’t pack a raft. Which surprises me.
So Granny spots a nearby tree, producing a very sticky sap, and suggests they build a raft using the remnants of the wagon, and the sugar pie sap to hold it all together.
I’ll reiterate that. She wants to use a sugar-based adhesive to build a boat. A sugar-based adhesive… to build a boat… a boat that floats on water… sugar… water… Oh, yeah, this’ll end well.
So they build the raft, and somehow don life jackets.
So let me get this straight: They didn’t pack a raft, but they packed life jackets? I remember when I was a kid, I had a life jacket and no boat as well. But that was because I wore it while swimming, since I couldn’t fucking swim. I was a terrible swimmer, I just couldn’t keep my head above water, and I still don’t know how to do it. But I only brought it when I planned to go in the water. They weren’t even planning to go near the water, and even if they were, I doubt they’re all as bad at swimming as I am. Apple Bloom, maybe, but…
Another explanation: They were visited by the life jacket faerie.
Anyway, after a while, they find there’s a fork in the path, and they need the map. Apple Bloom quickly finds the map, and begins showboating.
Who’s got the map? I got the map!
M to the A to the, yeah, that’s right, P!
Ain’t no other pony find a map like me!
I’m Apple Uh-oh!
And during her dance, it flies overboard, gets stolen by a fish, who gets stolen by an eagle. Nice going, Apple Uh-oh.
But never mind, Granny Smith claims that she knows this river pretty well, so she takes over navigation. And it’s not long before they head straight into a dark and damp cave, which makes Applejack question Granny’s sense of direction. So she rebuts by saying the ‘Scariest Cave in Equestria’ is down a different path.
Was that supposed to ease their fears?
But Applejack’s still unsure, however to not cause a scene, she backs off, and lets Granny take over. And they go straight into the ‘Scariest Cave in Equestria’, filled with all sorts of Lovecraftian horrors. Unfortunately, they all appear off-screen, which is disappointing. Come on! I wanna see My Little Shoggoth!
Thankfully, no one dies, and they continue on their way. But not before Applejack tries to take the wheel back. But Granny’s aghast! Is that how she taught Applejack to treat her elder-ponies? You just led them into a death trap, lady! You’re navigational skills are obviously a bit rusty! Of course one should treat elders with respect, because one should treat everyone with respect. But if someone proves to be an idiot, their age doesn’t matter, you still separate them from where they can cause some real damage! But they fight over the wheel anyway, and eventually, the damn thing flies overboard, before its stolen by a duck, which is stolen by an eagle.
Which shows some great timing, because this happens:
They fly off, everyone dies, and the episode ends.
Oh, no, we got another seven minutes.
They fall off and land on the rocky crags below, and somehow survive.
Then Pinkie floats down on a bunch of balloons, and the whole thing collapses. …Ha…
Eventually, they make it to Goldie Delicious’ house, and turns out, she’s away. Well, that sucks. But Pinkie Pie takes this opportunity to run off and get more scrapbook paper, for the scrapbook she’s been compiling of the family road trip.
So with the Apples all alone, they finally have a heart to heart to heart to heart, and apologize for how shitty they’ve all been acting. Well, everyone but Big Mac, whom Granny interrupts for no reason. Damn it! Can he just get one fucking proper line!
Anyway, the point is, they’re all ashamed at being such a shitty family. And when Pinkie overhears this, she’s shocked. After all, despite the fact that they were all assholes, they still managed to stick together, they didn’t let their collective assholism tear them apart. If that’s not a solid family, what is!?
In fact, as Pinkie put it, “you’re not just family, you’re best friends!”
So upon this realization, Goldie returns from her journey.
Turns out she’s a crazy cat lady, and massive hoarder. Which is why she has so many family artifacts.
This was after some significant cleaning and-Is that a jungle cat!?
Whatever, she pulls out the complete record of their family tree, and the section that should indicate whether Pinkie’s an Apple appears to be illegible. So they’ve reached a dead end, and are no closer to an answer than they were when they started.
But it doesn’t matter, since after all the bullshit Pinkie put up with today, she’s already an Apple. At least, that’s how Applejack puts it. The way I put it: It doesn’t matter whom you share genetic code with. What matters is whom you trust, and whom you love. That not only defines a good family, but a good friend. And really, that’s a great message to take away. It’s also the point I tried to open this piece with, and I’m not sure if I succeeded.
So with that, the episode ends. And I can’t say I liked it.
The biggest problem with the episode was the damn musical number. It sorta tainted everything else. And while there were a few good gags… okay, one good gag, with Apple Uh-oh’s musical number.
The rest of the episode was just insubstantial, and the biggest annoyance? Pinkie Pie.
The thing is, thanks to Sod’s Law, throughout the episode, things keep falling apart. And as the group experiences one disaster after another, Pinkie has a consistent grin on her face, and it’s finally starting to get irritating.
In the past, Pinkie’s joyous attitude has been a product of her continual efforts to look on the bright side, and always try to have fun. But now it’s reached the point where I’m pretty sure she’s just oblivious. Completely unaware of the world around her. Like she doesn’t notice when her life is in jeopardy! The eldritch cave I mentioned earlier? We constantly hear the roar of slavering monsters, while Pinkie shouts excitedly in her most bubbly tone, like she’s going through some amusement park ride!
I think it’s finally happened! I hate Pinkie Pie! She’s not even a character anymore! She’s a caricature! An over-exaggerated archetype of the most stupid fucking moron in existence. She doesn’t even know where she is in the time-space continuum.
So she’s George Bush, basically. And if that’s not reason enough to hate her. I don’t know what is.