“The answer is of course “you”, “you” the reader of the stories and poems. You, like Christopher Robin Milne are young male, on the way to boarding school and being groomed for a career in Government of some kind. You will be a Cecil Parkinson, a David Cameron a Willie Whitelaw. You will be a member of the right London clubs the Reform, the Carlton possibly the Garrick (the beneficiary of Disney’s royalties on the Pooh stories).
In the benign world of the 100 acre wood, you learn about character types – the Poohs , the Eeyores, the Tiggers, the Piglets. These types will live in your world, as the Toys in Toy Story sit in theirs, in an equilibrium that is created by the storyteller and the reader. Effectively the Pooh stories and the poems create a paradigm of civil order and social stability that serves as a grounding to all children destined to govern.
We’ve had a laugh or two in the Pension Play Pen this week thinking through the kind or retirement planning a pooh or a Piglet would get up to (thanks Tony Earnshaw and Fiona Tait!). If I were to stretch the argument to core Christopher Robin‘s , I imagine him the happy beneficiary op an accelerated 30th’s judge’s pension. CR would be holed up with his housekeeper (Alice) in some Mayfair apartment, bemoaning the decision to switch his indexation from RPI to CPI while pouring himself his third sherry of the evening.
If you want to poke a stick at me at this point, please do – I flirted with structuralism in my teens and dance to “I’m in love with Jacques Derrida” when reading English at college. I know about Marxist interpretations of popular classics. I know Marxist structuralists… and I know tosh.
But if you really want to understand the certainty of a Cameron or an Osbourne or a Clegg for that matter and recognise how their moral compass was set, you need look no further than the depiction of Christopher Robin in A A Milne‘s stories.
The act of reading these stories and poems is to step into Christopher Robin’s shoes and embrace a value system that has driven the governing class of Britain for two hundred years. You should try it sometime – it really is scary!
- Pooh Eeyore and Owl retire (henrytapper.com)
- Wisdom from Christopher Robin for Parents of College Freshmen (louisesattler.wordpress.com)
- Winnie the Pooh Review (mkisback.wordpress.com)
- Winnie The Pooh: a Brief History (socyberty.com)
- Winnie the Pooh, reviewed in the style of A.A. Milne (arts.nationalpost.com)
- Winnie the Pooh: A familiar return to the Hundred Acre Wood (thestar.com)
- The Bear Basics (800ceoread.com)
- Oh, Bother: Winnie the Pooh Home Up for Sale in England (foxnews.com)
- Prescription Drugs For Winnie The Pooh And Friends [Charts] (jezebel.com)
- Video Interviews: Pooh, Tigger, Rabbit & Crew Talk ‘Winnie The Pooh’ (screenrant.com)
- Winnie the Pooh: A Sublimely Silly Old Bear (time.com)