A Last Minute Choice …

A new, independent candidate has thrown his hat into the ring in the 2016 presidential election, and personally I am psyched!  No, I did not say I am psycho … I said ‘psyched’!  He will run as an independent, and while it is true that an independent candidate has never before won the presidential election, I think this guy might just have a chance!  He has actually run four times before, in 1968, 1972, 1976, and 1980.  So without further ado, allow me to introduce the next POTUS, none other than the illustrious roly-poly, rumbly-tumbly Winnie The Pooh!  [deafening applause, foot stomping and whistles]

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“Thank you … thank you so much!  I am … um … happy to be here and … um … well, I forget, but I am happy.”

Mr. Pooh will now take a few questions from the press:

  • Pooh, every president has a campaign slogan … can you tell us what yours is?
    • “I promise hunny in every pot and a smile on every face”
  • Pooh, have you decided on your running mate, or your campaign staff yet?
    • “Eeyore will be my … um … campaign manager, Tigger has agreed to be my press secretary, and of course my dear friend Piglet will be my running mate.”
  • What, Mr. Pooh, is the foundation of your political platform?
    • “There are things about ourselves that we need to get rid of; there are things we need to change. But at the same time, we do not need to be too desperate, too ruthless, too combative. Along the way to usefulness and happiness, many of those things will change themselves, and the others can be worked on as we go. The first thing we need to do is recognize and trust our own Inner Nature, and not lose sight of it.” *
  • Pooh, how would you respond to your opponent’s claim that he will “Make America Great Again”?
    • “We don’t need to shift our responsibilities onto the shoulders of some deified Spiritual Superman, or sit around and wait for Fate to come knocking at the door. We simply need to believe in the power that’s within us, and use it. When we do that, and stop imitating others and competing against them, things begin to work for us.” *
  • You know, of course, that one of the biggest issues facing the U.S. today is the threat of terrorism. What is your plan to deal with terrorism in the U.S., Mr. Pooh?
    • “The play-it-safe pessimists of the world never accomplish much of anything, because they don’t look clearly and objectively at situations, they don’t recognize or believe in their own abilities to overcome even the smallest amount of risk.” *
  • What are your thoughts, Mr. Pooh, on the issue of LGBT rights, specifically same-sex marriage and transgender restrooms?
    • “Egotistical Desire tries to force the round peg into the square hole and the square peg into the round hole. Cleverness tries to devise craftier ways of making pegs fit where they don’t belong. Things may get a little Odd at times, but they work out. You don’t have to try very hard to make them work out; you just let them. When you know and respect your Inner Nature, you know where you belong. You also know where you don’t belong.” *
  • One final question, Mr. Trump: what do you think of all the name-calling and lies that have become the basis for ‘Campaign 2016’?
    • “Sourness and bitterness come from the interfering and unappreciative mind. Life itself, when understood and utilized for what it is, is sweet.” *

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Okay, Mr. Pooh … well this has been a very enlightening press conference and I would like to thank you on behalf of all the networks and media represented here tonight.  I know I am certainly looking forward to following your campaign and I would like to wish you the very best of luck!  Do you have any final words for the voters tonight?

 

  • “Has anyone seen my Hunny Pot?”

(Credit for this post goes to my granddaughter, Natasha, who provided the idea!  Thank you, Goose!)

 

*   All quotes so de-noted are from The Tao of Pooh, Benjamin Hoff, 1983

Oh Bother …

Pooh1During a trip to our local library yesterday, my daughter pointed to a small side-street and said that her band sometimes practices down that street.  My somewhat rambling reply: “Well, that isn’t so very far, though farther than if it were very close, but still, not as far as if it were a longer way.”  She: “You sound like Winnie the Pooh.”  Which started my mind on a path, the ultimate conclusion of which was that if we all thought more like Pooh, the world would be a much kinder, nicer place to live.  (As I was indulging in this thought process, my daughter said, “I can see the wheels turning.”)  To those who know me, I am apparently rather transparent, much like Pooh himself.

I wonder what Pooh would have to say about the insanity of those who would follow the likes of da trumpeter?  “Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That’s the problem.  If the person you are talking to doesn’t appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.”

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Say Pooh … what do you think of all the people who think Muslims are evil, simply because they believe differently?  “Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them. The things that make me different are the things that make me me.”

Recently President Obama visited Hiroshima, and some people think he was wrong to do so.  What is your take, Pooh-bear?  “You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”

Pooh, sometimes people ask me why I get so angry and rant about things so much … what are your thoughts?  “Some people care too much. I think it’s called love.”

Some of my favourite Pooh-isms:

  • “Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”
  • “I used to believe in forever, but forever’s too good to be true”
  • “Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?”
  • “A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.”
  • “I’m not lost for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.”
  • “I did know once, only I’ve sort of forgotten.”
  • “Think, think, think.”

pooh-thinkThat last one is one that I say to myself every day, multiple times a day! I even smack my paw against my head, as Pooh does …

 

 

Yes, Pooh has a simplistic view of the world, but isn’t it a nice one?  Was the world ever like that?  I do not think so, nor is it ever likely to be, but thanks to A.A. Milne, Pooh, Rabbit, Eeyore, Piglet, Tigger and the rest, we can visit that world sometimes, if only for a brief interlude.

Pooh-sadInterestingly, Winnie-the-Pooh has been banned from a few places in the past.  In the small (about 7,000 people) town of Tuszyn, Poland, our beloved Pooh-bear was banned from a newly-built playground because the city council there believes he is either transgender or gay. Additionally, according to council member Ryszard Cichy, “The problem with that bear is it doesn’t have a complete wardrobe. It is half naked which is wholly inappropriate for children.”  As my granddaughter said when I told her of this, “That is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard!”  Elsewhere in Poland, however, Pooh is so popular that streets have even been named for him.

Like Alice-in Wonderland, Winnie-the-Pooh has been challenged by religious groups because the animal characters can speak and act on the same level as their human counterpart, Christopher Robin. As shown in many book challenging cases the idea of talking animals has been cited as an ‘abomination in the site of God’(The University of Tulsa, Department of Special Collections and University Archives)  My personal opinion is that these talking animals have a lot more sense than many people I know!

pigletAnd then there is the problem of Piglet.  In the United Kingdom, Winnie-The-Pooh along with Charlotte’s Web and The Little Pigs nursery rhyme were banned from public schools because the talking pig characters might offend Muslim and Jewish students who abstain from pork as part of their religions.  Fortunately, in recent years, the Muslim Council of Britain formally requested an end to the “well-intentioned but misguided policy” and for all the materials to be returned to classroom shelves. (ibid.) This was truly a case of political correctness taken too far — Muslims and Jews abstain from eating pork … they don’t deny that pigs exist!

The most interesting case of Winnie-The-Pooh’s banning happened in 2009 in Russia. In a report from the Wall Street Journal “Russia’s Justice Ministry placed the book on a list of banned material and labeled it pro-Nazi because a depiction of Pooh bear wearing a swastika was discovered among the personal possessions of a known political extremist. If one extremist was in possession of a Nazi Pooh, the local courts concluded, then it stood to reason that others may follow suit” (bannedbooks.world.edu). So, to this day Russian children cannot have access to the Milne tales without strict consequences.

eeyoreI love Pooh and friends … my family call me Eeyore, and I have Eeyore pj’s, coffee mugs, and a stuffed eeyore that they have given me over the years.  I think most people like the Pooh stories and cast of characters, as Disney actually sells more Pooh merchandise than Mickey Mouse merchandise.  We cannot, as Pooh might say, “Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.” But maybe we can, just for a little while.  Maybe in the world of today we really need to do this.  Maybe if we all took a break sometimes, took a few minutes or an hour, to just be like Pooh, perhaps we just might be happier, less stressed, smile more, and have nicer things to say to people.  Think about it.

*Italicized Pooh quotes credited to A.A. Milne, creator of Winnie-the-Pooh; any others came from the webby corners of my mind.