Protecting Piglet and subverting subversion
Editor’s note: It’s Banned Book Week, one of our favorite holiday seasons. The other is July 4th. They both remind us that a little civil disobedience is good for the soul. We’ll feature a banned book or two each day, and probably poke fun at those who would ban them.
“Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak just because a baby can’t chew it.”
– Mark Twain
Piglet is bright, Piglet is bubbly, Piglet is banned in Britain, his birthplace.
At least parts of it.
Lest they offend Muslim co-workers, Brits who work in Dudley Council, West Midlands are prohibited from displaying toy pigs, including Winnie the Pooh and Piglet.
Yes, we know Winnie the Pooh is a bear. And yes, we know Piglet is a pig, cute and pink and adorable. And yes yes, we know that in real life the best and highest use for a pig is pulled pork barbecue.
But literature is not real life. It’s make believe.
Banning Piglet and by extension Winnie the Pooh is, well … stupid.
It’s the same narrow-between-the-eyes viewpoint that motivated some weak-kneed politically correct sissy in Denver’s city and county building to ban all religious references during the Christmas season.
On the other hand, maybe the British banners are trying to protect themselves and their children from the slippery slope of talking animals that exist only in the imagination. And we simply cannot have children’s imaginations running around untethered, can we?
Winnie the Pooh is also banned in Russia for two reasons: 1. Piglet offends Muslims and, 2. The Russian government thought Piglet and Pooh might be talking in some sort of political code, and we all know how dangerous Pooh and Piglet the Political Subversives can be. But don’t we also recall that Piglet stutters? Is that part of Christopher Robin’s Clandestine Anti-Commie Code?
Here’s one that’s actually true. A British Muslim living in the Middle East found something to make Piglet’s pink skin crawl.
He was browsing through a bookshop and came upon a children’s encyclopedia featuring Winnie the Pooh and Friends.
Flipping through the pages, he discovered that someone had taken a black marker and obliterated every image of Piglet. Hundreds of pages, dozens of obliterated Piglets. He was suffiently mortified.
Of course, it did nothing to remove Piglet from the movies available in the same bookshop, the same way hating the New York Yankees does nothing to remove any of their 27 World Series championships from baseball highlight films. And if you had a choice, wouldn’t you rather obliterate the Yankees with a marker?
If we’re going to protect our children from subversion, we would be better served to shield them from the idiocy of this election season.
Everything uttered by both politicians and Pooh characters is complete fiction.
And now, the world’s only Winnie the Pooh joke:
Q: Tigger was looking for Pooh. Guess where he looked?
A: In the potty.