Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Home Front: St. Louis County, Minnesota - written by James Patrick Buchanan

        “I enjoy interviewing Minnesota civilian workers and elected officials, who in their own way, are as important to fighting the Solar Tyrant’s invasion as any front-line soldier, sailor, or marine.  I enjoy interviewing youthful humans and ponies that are wearing muddy and oil stained work clothes because they have stepped away from their important jobs a few minutes before our interview starts.  I enjoy these interviews much more than asking old-timers, sipping tea and eating tapioca pudding in retirement communities, to recall past events that have happened years or decades earlier.  I present to you three of my most entertaining, thought-provoking interviews describing how human and pony citizens of St. Louis County, Minnesota are contributing to winning the Conversion War.”
- Preface written during July of 2023 by Field Researcher Paxton Peyton Randolph of the Minnesota Historical Society.

        “When the writer, while writing, is moved to strong emotions, be it to laughter or to tears, is the special moment when he or she is writing at their best.”
-  James Patrick Buchanan

        “If you proclaim that you want something, but you never put out the effort to get that future outcome; did you in fact want that future outcome in the first place?”
-  Charles Moynihan

First interview

Name: Charles “Hat-trick” Moynihan
Birth date: March third, 1991
Ethnic / Nationality / Political Party:  Fifth generation Irish-American, Democratic Farmer Labor party
Status: Alive and working as a Mining Engineering at Northern Minnesota Mining
Education: Mining Engineering, Bachelor of Science Degree, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
Favorite sporting activity:  Exercise walking
Name one thing you love from Equus that is not Aednat:  Ponyville architecture

How did an American man born and raised in Chisholm, Minnesota and Aednat a Whinnyapolis, Equestrian unicorn mare become working partners and good friends?  We met because of our shared interest in Lauren Faust’s “Milky Way and the Galaxy Girls.”

Well, internet trolls consider my fascination with a colorful cartoon series to be incompatible with being a professional mining engineer.  These trolls also think that if I appreciate this cartoon series that I must be a stereotypical fanboy - someone with no real job, eat until they are grotesquely obese, and lives in their parent’s basement.  Yet, Aednat and I know that the life lessons you learn from that show are useful to learn or relearn at any age.

As an enthusiastic Galaxy-guy fan, I spent my one and only out of state vacation each year at Milky Way Con, the happiest three days of my entire year.  Imagine you are attending a convention with more than twelve thousand Galaxy-guy and Galaxy-girl fans, of all ages and ethnic groups.  Several hundred fans are wearing elaborate costumes, for a Friday to Sunday convention every August.  Even thinking about my convention puts my mind in my happy place.

        (Mr. Randolph’s note:  I omitted eight pages of Charles describing his favorite panels, where he ate his meals, and his hotel room to save space, as well as the sanity of those not interested in the Milky Way fandom.  I’ve never before seen anyone describe their fandom with such wide-eyed enthusiasm and vigor.  Also, before today I’ve never seen anyone’s living room that had more than eight hundred dollars worth of Milky Way merchandise.)

My favorite convention started about one month after humanity declared war on the Tyrant.  I was disappointed, but not surprised that total attendance for the August 2019 convention was six thousand, down from twelve thousand in 2018.

Friday morning, opening ceremonies were great, the same as always, with a few preview video clips of the upcoming season.  I saw many human and pony fans wearing great costumes inspired by the series.

For the world outside of the convention, what I wrote on my blog was that I was happy that President Jack Davis had already gained approval from the US Senate to declare war against Equestria.  I approved that the American military draft for both young men and women had started up; while hundreds of thousands of young citizens were volunteering to enlist.  And those that were already in the National Guard and Reserve were already on full-time duty, thus couldn't attend the convention.  If I wasn’t already working within a vital wartime industry, mining iron ore to make steel, I would have enlisted myself in the military.

Of course there were some optimistic American citizens and politicians who questioned the need for civilian rationing.  They argued on every available media that the Tyrant’s military successes were due to NATO forces being taken by surprise and therefore not mobilized for war.  Once NATO’s armed forces are fully mobilized, they would defeat the Tyrant’s armies in Europe.  Then, NATO and humanity as whole would push into the pony world.  When everybody’s favorite bête noire Tyrant is dead, America would have our soldiers back home by Christmas.  In the months and years to come, I became disappointed that such a happy prediction didn’t work out nearly as well as those optimists first believed would happen.

However, most humans and ponies in attendance I talked to realized that this event would be the last big Milky Way convention until we had won the war.  Everyone in the convention wanted to have one last fun party, before the draft, rationing of consumer goods, and restrictions on recreational civilian travel would start that September.

Some grey-haired, Galaxy-guy fan wearing an outdated business suit suggested to his group of friends that the European War should be renamed World War Celestia or World War C.  I liked that moniker, because the letter C is the third letter in the alphabet, making World War C an indirect reference to World War 3.

On Friday afternoon about three PM, I happened to see DC-Galloping-Great walking in the Otterbein Lobby.  He’s a well-known Milky Way reaction Youtuber and convention personality.  He was finishing up an interview with Sutra Cross, a pony nurse who was wearing medical saddle bags and a convention staff shirt that indicated that she was on the convention’s medical team.

As Sutra Cross shook DC’s hand with both her forehooves and then trotted away, I noticed that DC wore around his neck the cutest, Milky Way pewter pendant I’ve ever seen.

I have no idea how DC kept an honest smile on his face and a joyful tone when he spoke to that pony.  I saw hundreds of other human fans who were worried about their parents, siblings, and children who serve in the American Armed Forces that were fighting the Solar Tyrant’s armies in Europe.  Some of the ponies were equally downcast; worrying about their loved ones still lived in Equestria.  I think the USO hired DC as an entertainer, but don’t know where he is now.

Sorry, I lost my train of thought for a moment.  I asked DC where he bought his cute pendant, and he told me that he bought it from “Aednat Custom Jewelry, booth forty-eight in the dealers’ room.  I wouldn’t delay, as these pendants are very popular with the fans.  I’d take you to that booth, but in five minutes I have an appointment to take two hungry griffins to a nearby restaurant to have Maryland style pit beef sandwiches.”

After a fast walk to the dealers’ room, I saw a unicorn mare, the biggest and burliest mare I’ve seen with my own eyes, sitting behind booth’s forty-eight sales counter.  This mare had a beautiful chestnut coat, with a long blonde mane and ankle length tail.  She wore a brown cargo vest, along with a baseball cap with her company logo, a crossed pickaxe and shovel, and her company web address printed on it.

Some of my fellow Milky Way fans were… apprehensive about ponies and other species from Equus at the convention.  But, Milky Way’s main messages are to believe in your own worth, trust in friendship, and to promote tolerance.  “Practice the magic of friendship and harmony” was the convention’s theme and thus the convention became our very own Hearth's Warming Eve cave.

Moreover, my fellow fans and I had seen the news reports that many ponies were siding with the humans.  Some of us had firsthand witnessed ponies denouncing their evil Queen.  On top of that, the Royal Guard had murdered a few of their fellow ponies because they were defending their human friends from potion attack.

Moreover, I had a strong desire to buy that pendant and the fact that a pony had crafted that pendant made it ever cooler in my mind.

I walked up to her booth, looked her in the eye while saying, “I’d love to buy that pendant.” I was pointing to the one I wanted hanging on her jewelry racks.

Using my debit card, I bought that pendant.  I loved seeing her use her horn’s telekinesis to operate an electronic cash register.  These pendants must have been popular, as there were just five left of that type for sale.  In fact, that was the same pendant I wore to this interview.  As she used her telekinesis to give me my pendant and sales slip inside a clear plastic bag, I noticed that she wore a downcast and miserable face.  She looked sad, sadder than most of the Milky Way fans or convention center staff.

I dislike seeing anyone unhappy, especially not such an athletic, young mare as this one.  I asked her, “What’s wrong?  I’ve seen a least twenty people wearing your creations today.  You even sold one to DC.”

“I… don’t have a home in Equestria to return to.  There is no way I’ll return to live under the bloody hoof of the Queen’s genocide.  I’ll never craft medals that honor the Royal Guard in celebration of killing my human and pony friends.

“I’m a fan of Octavia Melody, and bought several of her records.  I always wanted to thank her in person for her wonderful music at one of her musical performances.  But, I never found the time to go to one.  Guess that is something I’ll never be able to do now.”

She pointed with her left forehoof to her tablet computer, saying “If murdering innocent people is what Queen Genocide proclaims in the Royal Canterlot voice as something a good and loyal pony should do, then I’d rather support the humans.  At least my parents have immigrated to America and have asked for political asylum here.”

I looked at her brawny flank, and then said, “I noticed that your cutie mark is a crossed pickaxe and shovel.  May I ask you what your special talent is?”

“My talent is finding metal ores.  When I got my cutie mark, I was disappointed that my talent was finding metals.  Then, my father told me to be happy that I have a talent everypony depends upon.  He added that not everypony’s special talent is as glamorous as finding gemstones like Rarity.”

“I noticed that you are rather big and burly for a unicorn or any type of pony for that matter.  No offense, but you resemble a princess without her wings, than most ponies that I have seen.”

“I got my size and strength from Chantal, my Earth pony Mom who works as a hard rock miner.  In fact, I’m just two centimeters shorter at the shoulder than Big Macintosh.  Thanks Mom, you’ve made buying mare clothing in my size an expensive adventure in the big and tall section of my favorite mares’ clothing shop.”

“My name is Charles Moynihan and I’m a certified mining engineer.  I work for Northern Minnesota Mining, a company that mines iron ore and other metals in Minnesota.  What’s your name?”

“Aednat Rocco.”

“What type of education and experience do you have in the mining industry?”

“Before immigrating to America, my Dad Tremain was a geology professor at the Manehattan University School for Mining.  From the time I could walk, he and mom were taking me rockhounding all over Equestria.  By the time I got to college, I knew as much about geology as some of the graduate students.  After graduation, I’ve been working alone or with a team of pony and diamond dog prospectors as a geologist for years.  Making jewelry happens to be my hobby.”

“Aednat, how would you like to work alongside me?  I can make sure that we put your special talent to good work at defeating that…”  I was about to say bad language, when a group of eight elementary school children walked by that booth.  “I mean defeating our common enemy.  With the increased iron production at my mines, I sure could use the extra hooves looking for iron ore.”

“Iron ore mining, I’ve done that before.”  Her face brightened up and I’m sure that her cutie mark glowed for two or three seconds.  “Sure, give me your cell phone number and we can set a time to get together to purchase my plane ticket to Minnesota.  I also need an address to send my stock of jewelry to.  From what I’ve heard, Minnesota sounds very much like my home city of Whinnyapolis.”

2019 was the last Milky Way Con I attended.  It was also the last Milky Way Con held at the Baltimore Convention Center.  In April 6th, 2020 the Alliance forces moved in and in forty days had rebuilt the center into an impressive fortress, supply depot, and regional headquarters.

I’ve heard that many of Ponyville’s best Earth pony construction workers helped rebuild that center into a fortress in record time.  I think that they also built a few surprises for the Solar Tyrant’s armies on the entire East Coast.  I’ve talked to people that tell me that the entire East Coast has become the world’s strongest defensive line, much harder to break through than the German Atlantic Wall ever was.  And, it is my iron ore that makes the steel that makes all that construction possible.

The student Milky Way fan club of the University of Baltimore kept Milky Way Con going for another two years.  But, the 2021 and 2022 events only drew a couple of hundred people and ponies from Baltimore and nearby towns. In 2023, with the barrier coming closer and the city of Baltimore becoming a military personnel only fortress, my convention has closed for the duration of the war.

The wartime seasons of Milky Way and the Galaxy Girls, as well as other famous cartoon characters such as Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman are encouraging their audience to support the war effort and are often depicted fighting the Tyrant’s drones, the Royal Guard, and sometimes the Tyrant herself.  I know some human and ponies that can talk for hours about their collection of Justice League vs. Queen Celestia comics.

The most positive thing to come from this war has been getting to know and love my Aednat.  This past summer, the two of us enjoyed a weeklong vacation in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.  Every day, Aednat wore this flowery summer dress and matching hoof slippers.  Wow, just, wow!  To my mind, she looked like the Goddess of Springtime.  The scent of Aednat’s mane and silky smoothness of her coat, made me wish that the nights could last forever.

The second most positive thing is that I’m working to protect my America and Western civilization, which shares much in common with the civilization that our pony friends created, before their good Princess became an evil Tyrant.  This may sound strange to you, but Aednat and I very much hope that Equestrian provinces will use the vote to become American states.  It is much better for ponies to elect representatives that are accountable for their actions or inactions, than to put their trust into Princesses who are accountable to no pony but themselves.

The third most positive thing is the Victory Gardens appearing in almost every yard, porch, and south facing window.  Our company constructed six greenhouses, for employee community gardens, where everyone spends hours each week all year long taking care of their edible garden crops.  I have no idea how our Earth pony miners can grow so much food using so little space and topsoil.

What do I fear the most?  That I didn’t work hard enough mining iron ore, to make the steel, to make the weapons the Alliance needs to defeat the Solar Tyrant and her dark armies.  You betcha that fear alone keeps me mining until my twelve-hour shift is done, despite how cold, tired, and hungry I get.

While professional soldiers mark daily success by how many newfoals they cut down, how many chariots they shoot down, or how many PER and HLF safe houses they capture while living to see the sunset; I measure success by how much iron ore I and Aednat have mined that day.

When will I know that World War C is over?  When my Aednat and I are sitting side by side, while watching Milky Way Con’s opening ceremonies, is when I’ll know that World War C is over, and that we the good people and the good ponies have won.

Maybe, someone will develop a safe potion that transforms the body while keeping the mind and soul intact.  That way, Aednat and I can get married and then have children and/or foals, build a happy family.  Wouldn't it be something special when my future colt asks me why he is a unicorn, while his sister is a human?  Maybe, my colt will be the first Pony-American Eagle Scout?

Moreover, I’ll know that the war is over when three hundred Norwegians, two hundred Swedes, and eighty Finnish workers and their families can return to their homelands.  From the way those people in exile work, I think that they consider mining iron ore their way of expressing their personal grudge against the Solar Tyrant.

I earned my nickname “Hat-trick” by scoring three goals in three separate games as a member of my high school’s ice hockey team.  I’m proud that during my sophomore year that I helped my team win the Minnesota state championship over much larger schools.

I know that my high school friend Ernesto Fox was playing for the Minnesota Wild and is now a specialist in the 2nd Ranger Battalion.  Despite being on a winning team, I never consider playing professional hockey.  By the way, I was surprised that Aednat had also played an ice sport when she was in public school.

One last thing, Aednat and I have discussed building a skyliner, using an old school bus as the passenger cabin and cockpit.  That should be plenty of space for our Milky Way fan friends, Aednat, and I to travel to distant conventions.  Aednat told me that her father is willing to create all the magical gemstones our skyliner needs.


    Note:  Milky Way Con is my tribute to what Milky Way and the Galaxy Girls could have been and someday could be.

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