Winnie the Pooh and Communism too

Disney and political language in the 60s

So my inner child had to be entertained while I did dishes.

And I felt like putting on a Disney cartoon.

I have around 40 Disney movies to choose from in my collection but some I just can’t watch as an adult.

Aladdin and Dumbo are racist, 101 Dalmatians, Babes in Toyland are sexiest (Annette Funicello and Perdie are useless female characters), Fox and the Hound, Bambi and Lilo and Stitch are too sad. Pinocchio, Snow White and The Black Cauldron freak me out and Robin Hood is extremely historically inaccurate.

So I watched the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, a classic featuring such favourites as the Honey Tree; the one where Pooh gets stuck in Rabbit’s hole (wow, that sounds wrong), the Blustery Day; the one where a storm comes to the Hundred Acre Wood, and Tigger Too; where Rabbit tries to lose Tigger in the forest because he is sick his bouncing.

I grew up on everything Winnie the Pooh; the movies, the books, the cartoon series. By the early 1990s, Disney was doing the most to capitalize on Pooh’s popularity. Now at 26, I can’t watch it anymore.

The reason Pooh gets stuck in Rabbit’s hole (still sounds dirty), is because he forces himself on Rabbit for lunch, eating so much of Rabbit’s honey, he becomes too fat to make it out of Rabbit’s front door (all the while, there was Rabbit’s back door that was ACTUALLY A DOOR). Rabbit all the while felt he had no right to kick greedy Pooh out of his house and is painted as the bad guy.

When it comes time where Pooh might have uninvited guests that want to steal his honey (the Heffalump and Woozles that Tigger speaks of), he won’t have any of it, guarding his honey pot all through the night. His dreams depict the Heffalumps and Woozles as dastardly, sly, evil beings whose only fault is the fact that they apparently want to steal all of Pooh’s honey, or so Pooh is meant to think.

Thinking of the times in which the Blustery Day was made (1968), it is no surprise the language used to describe Pooh’s enemy is the same language used to describe the Communists of the Cold War ear. It is very much an us against them song.

First Verse:

They’re black they’re brown* they’re up their down
They’re in they’re out they’re all about
They’re far they’re near they’re gone they’re here
They’re quick and slick and insincere

*they mention other colours later, so I take back the racism comment, well in this song anyway.

It goes on to tell him about how his enemy is sly, able to multiply, come in all shapes and sizes and blends into the crowd.

It doesn’t even matter if the they don’t like honey themselves because:

If honey is what you covet you’ll find that they love it
Because they guzzle up the thing you prize

The use of the word covet is very 10 commandments. Since it is obvious that the enemy is willing to covet your things, against the commandments of the bible, they can’t be trusted because they are sinners.

Let alone the fact that Pooh just did all of this to Rabbit half an hour before, he doesn’t recognize the similarities between himself and the Heffalumps.

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Words for my Dad

My traditional Father’s Day post

My dad wasn’t perfect. We didn’t always agree.

He was a product of his times; a conservative, traditionally religious man where I think of myself differently.Dad

This doesn’t mean that I didn’t love him with all my heart and soul. This doesn’t mean that I rejected the things he taught me in his life or looked at him as backwards in his thinking.

For a regular church goer, he truly believed what he believed. He wasn’t in anyway false or phony about him and growing up in a small town, you did see people who were.

Looking back on it, my dad was a sea of contradictions.

He didn’t want my sister and me playing hockey or being in the barn, but that wasn’t because he believed it wasn’t our place. He just didn’t want us to get hurt. He was a battered man, my dad. Broken and missing fingers, hip and knee replacements from hockey and farming. He never wanted us girls to go through that. With my brothers, that was their right of passage as men, I guess. My oldest brother has terrible knees. Another reason for this was that my grandmother had died of breast cancer when dad was in his twenties and, being a product of an age before cancer was truly understood, he believed cancer came from breast trauma. He never wanted his daughters to go through what his mother went through.

No matter our “position” on the farm, dad always pushed all his kids to be educated. No one can take your education away from you, he always said.

As for himself, he dropped out of school in Grade 8, having a mother who was dying of breast cancer and a father who was busy taking care of her. Being the oldest, the farm became his responsibility. School had to wait and it waited for 50 years.

He finally got his GED when he was in his early sixties. By being denied an education, he understood the importance of it. He made sure his kids understood it too. Long before he got his GED, he encouraged us to do well in school, to study hard, to read, to go to University, and become educated.

He may have not had a formal education but he was the smartest man I knew. He was full of farming knowledge passed down from the rural landscapes of his Hungarian ancestry over the Atlantic through his grandparents in the mid-20s. He knew about the spread of animal and plant diseases as he watched the fields and gardens of his Saskatchewan land or over his herd of pigs as they milled about their pens or muddy pastures. He knew how to wean and castrate piglets, which pigs were the best breading stock, field rotation and planting, and the environmental impacts of manure spreading, which he utilized frequently instead of fertilizer (I think).

Farming wasn’t prosperous or fun by the time I made it to High School, but he loved his life, his farm, his kids and his wife, and that was enough for him. He was proud of what he did and he produced, and said many times that there was no greater feeling than see a field of wheat you planted yourself or a new litter of pigs in the barn. Whether it was farming or hockey, his marriage or his kids, he threw himself completely into everything in his life.

Seeing what he did everyday without fail, no paid vacations or health insurance, we knew everything from the farm contained the blood, sweet and tears of our father.

Like I said, there was nothing phony about my dad. He genuinely cared about people and the community and pitched in wherever he could, whether it was in church, the school, or sporting events. If there was something going on, he was there with a smile on his face. He made sure his kids were there too, encouraging us to volunteer, play sports, get involved with things and get to know people. He coached and played hockey and softball, always pushing his players to give 100%. By how broken he was on the day of his funeral, I know he always gave more. Being his daughter, this is always my excuse for pushing myself as hard as I can, even when I am broken and bruised.

My dad had a weird sense of positivity about him, which I see more and more in myself. Even when the barns were emptied, there being no money in pigs anymore, he was left with very little to do with his time. My mom, in a desperate attempt to keep him busy, had started him cross-stitching with her). Being the person that he was, he picked himself up and moved on. He worked for local businesses and other farmers, kept doing farming type work; even though it was for someone else, and he started woodworking. When my parents had to move off the farm, a place where he work hard for 60 years of his life, he was hurt and disappointed but he was optimistic. This was his chance to make a new life for himself and my mom. Thinking about it now, I draw comfort in the fact that he never let that event in his life change his marriage or his relationship with his kids. He never let depression, fear or anger take over his life, he just plainly moved on to the next thing with a smile on his face. He met new people, found more work and just kept going.

When it came to belief, he was a devout Catholic but kept it to himself. He didn’t push it on anyone, except his kids for a time, and accepted people for who they were, not what he wanted them to be. He took the Golden Rule exactly as it was meant, he treated others the way he wanted to be treated and taught us to be the same.

Looking back, I do realize that there wasn’t a lot of diversity in my hometown so there wasn’t a lot of instances where racism or bigotry could be put into practice. When he moved off the farm and into a town where the local factory had brought in people from the Philippines to work, he never treated them any different than if they were white, the dominate colour of rural Saskatchewan, even to this day. He never liked racism and told people so. When my sister went off to University and met new faces and different people, gay people included, his mentality was the same, treat others the way you’d want to be treated.

I never talked with my dad about his views on homosexuality but that never changed how he treated people. I’m sure that if any of my siblings had come out to dad, that wouldn’t have changed the way he treated them either.

He gave that gift to me. Unconditional love, acceptance and positivity. For that, I am deeply thankful.

Lists and Goals

I hate to admit this sometimes but I have trouble working from home.

Too many distractions, too much stuff I’d rather be doing than working or studying.

I’m in the middle of job hunting right now and there has been a couple of jobs that I have found that are work from home jobs. I don’t even want to apply for them because I know I’m I don’t work well from home.

However, today I think I may have solved my problem. to some extent.

Lists.

Make a list, set a goal, and just do it. It’s the just doing it that I have a problem with.

So on my list today:

1 blog post – Check

4 lessons of French on Duolingo (amazing site by the way for whomever wants to learn) and my daily Lumosity workout (having trouble consistently working out my body so might as well try working out my mind, not a bad site and not costing me anything right now) – Check

2 interviews to transcribe for latest freelance article

1000 words of fiction story

Search CAJ site for journalistic articles

Go for a walk with notepad and camera

 

So, my advice for people who work from home and have trouble getting stuff done (I know I have one friend who is having trouble with this right now), list, goal, just do it!

Another tip is having a time frame. If you want to put in a 7 hour day, treat it like you would if you were at a job. Set start, breaks, lunch and end. Harder than it sounds but best way to get stuff done at home.

4 items, 3 bags

So I admit part of this was my fault. We specifically went for groceries and forgot to take a reusable bags.

But this is a call out to grocery stores: train your people how to pack groceries.

I respect people who work retail. That’s why I silently fumed as the woman put ONE item in ONE bag, put it to the side, grabbed another bag, put the next ONE item in another ONE bag, grabbed another bag, decided to put TWO items in the last ONE bag.

None of our items were big. Nothing was overly heavy. The pack of cheese slices, bag of bread, small box of Ice cream bars and carton of orange juice could have easily fit in ONE bag.

Like I said, I take partial responsibility for forgetting a reusable bag but was this person trained this way. Is this how she was taught for bagging groceries?

I won’t go into a rant about the over use of plastic bags. The problem is being acknowledged here in Halifax. Some stores don’t even offer them anymore (to those business, I say thank you) so people here do realize the issue.

Quinpool Superstore definitely doesn’t have a problem with lack of business and I’m sure there was some complaints when the change was brought in. Like any changes (i.e. disallowing smoking inside businesses, seat belt laws, etc.), there is some push back when change actually happens.

Right now, the problem can be looked at two ways; consumers can use reusable bags of their own fruition or companies can decide to promote declines in plastic usage.

Update:

I tweeted about my experience to @Walmart: employee gave me 3 bags for 4 items. Are people trained this way? Nothing was big or heavy, my items could have easily fit in 1 bag

Here is their reply: : Thanks for bringing this to our attention. We appreciate your feedback. We’re glad to have you as a customer! -Nao

No, they didn’t answer the question.