Mar 082021
 


Banksy

 

 

 

I can’t NOT do something with a piece my long time friend Jim Kunstler wrote recently, see below, since he so completely encapsulates the ghost of our time. I can’t, because this goes to my heart. It started out a year ago with people wanting to tear down statues, and now we have progressed to world literature, and even Looney Tunes. Jim turns to Winnie the Pooh because he’s sort of the ultimate anti-bad guy.

I mailed Jim to give him my compliments for the piece, and tell him of Automatic Earth commenter V. Arnold’s “That Kunstler piece is just…just…just…just incredibly excellent… I never in my life read such an excellent piece of literature…aimed at todays world… Kunstler rules…Thanks Ilargi…”, and he replied: “Raul – Why thank you for that lavish compliment. I felt a little insecure about the Winnie burlesque. Very reassuring to hear that it was appreciated.”

What I said about the statues “cancelling” when it happened was that it would be endless, and therefore useless. But literature is way worse. Literature, books, made me who I am, just like watching Rembrandt and van Gogh, and listening to Mozart and Bach, and yes, people may have had different views 400 or 2,000 years ago, but this is our history, this is where we come from, this is who we are. And trying to deny who we are won’t make us any less so.

I’m not particularly in favor of erecting statues of Hitler, or Stalin, or Mao, but trying to erase the worst of mankind from our memories won’t make them go away. A slaveholder will still always be the first president of the United States, and its capital will also still be named after him. And this is repeated in a million places and names around the world, and perhaps we should leave all those things and aim to do better today, instead of cancelling and erasing yesterday, because that may well increase the risk that such acts will rise again, and we’ll have nothing left to remind us.

 

But I care more about literature than I do about statues of US civil war generals. Though at the same time I do wonder what it would take to lead some people to start questioning Michelangelo or Leonardo da Vinci, or Rodin, and then we would be back at square one anyway, this thing is truly endless. And there’s always something that people in the past have said or thought or done that someone in 2021 can find fault with. And that may leave them to find fault in 2021, when black and brown girls and boys are still bombed into oblivion.

In essence, it’s simply a question of nobodies trying to cancel the work of geniuses, until we’re all nobodies. Art is the ultimate expression of what the human mind is capable of, other than love and compassion. What we’ve recently seen “attempting to be cancelled” are fantastic works like To Kill a Mockingbird, Odyssey, Dr. Seuss, and you wonder when they’ll get around to Shakespeare and the Bible. They will.

And yesterday we see the cancel culture targeting Pepé Le Pew. Good golly, Batman, once you start going through the Looney Tunes catalogue, it’s hard to see how any of it would survive. And how about Disney? Meanwhile, today’s kids are playing “Grand Theft Auto” and “Call of Duty”. How lost are we? Do I want my MTV, or do I want my Dostojevsky? Well, I want it all. And the classics, and the Bard.

And I don’t want you to cancel culture any of it away from me. Because it’s what made me who I am. And I know what’s good about it, and what’s not. I can think, and I don’t need or want you to think for me. This is so important to me that I find it hard to find both the rationale and the emotion to express it. Cut it out. As I said the other day, there’s no difference between book banning and book burning.

 

From his site, kunstler.com, here’s Jim Kunstler’s ultimate, brilliant take on it:

 

 

 

 

The Trial of Winnie the Pooh

 

 

A solemn silence turned collective gasp in the District of Columbia Woke Circuit courtroom as two bailiffs entered the door beside the jury box with the small cream-colored bear suspended between them, his stumpy hind legs wheeling fruitlessly to seek purchase in the unavailing air. The Queen of Hearts, presiding, banged her gavel as the little bear was seated at the table for the defense beside another rather small, darkish, furtive figure.

The Queen of Hearts peered over her half-glasses at the defendant and snarled, “State your full name and residence.”

“Winnie-the-Pooh,” the defendant said. “From the Hundred Acre Wood.”

“What is your personal pronoun?”

The bear looked perplexed. “Oh, bother,” he said. “Nobody I know has such a thing?”

“Of course they do,” the Queen said.

“Perhaps it’s ‘the’,” the bear said.

“That is a definite article, not a pronoun!” the Queen barked. “Are you an imbecile?”

 

“I’m not sure. Maybe it’s ‘dear’”—

“That’s enough out of you!” the Queen said. “And let’s have no more impertinence! Do you have counsel?”

“Why, yes,” the bear said. “Mr. Kafka, who is seated beside me.”

“You are mistaken,” the Queen said. “That is a cockroach seated beside you, and the court is displeased to see it. Bailiff, please remove that disgusting cockroach from my court.”

Mr. Kafka, gesticulating in protest with all six arms and legs, had to be dragged out.

“First witness!” the Queen screeched. “Counsel for the prosecution….”

“Calling Uncle Remus,” said the prosecutor, Andrew Weissmann, famous for his exploits in the Enron case and with The Mueller Team in the old Russia collusion days.

An elderly gentleman-of-color with white beard and a kindly face limped forward and took the witness stand.

“Do you know this bear?” Weissmann asked.

“I knows a Brer B’ar,” Uncle Remus said. “But he a black b’ar. Dishyere one a white b’ar.”

“Exactly!” Weissmann said. “Dismissed.”

“Dat all?” Uncle Remus asked.

“It’s plenty,” Weissmann retorted and smirked at the jury, composed of members from the United Federation of Teachers, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and Antifa, who all nodded amongst themselves.

“A white bear!” Weissmann repeated for emphasis, shaking his head. “And not a polar bear, either. A white bear. From England. Think about it…!”

The jurors emitted growls of opprobrium.

“Next witness,” the Queen cried.

“Calling N-Word Jim,” Weissmann said.

A strapping middle-aged gentleman-of-color, dressed in ragged clothes, strode to the witness chair.

“You reside in libraries all over the world, is that correct?” the attorney asked.

“Yassuh, dat is so. But I’se originally fum Hannibal, Missouri.”

“Are you acquainted with the defendant?”

“I done seen him on many a shelf ‘round de worl’.”

“How much shelf space does he occupy compared to you?”

“Well, fur as I knows, ‘bout double.”

“Does that seem fair to you?”

“Way I sees it, he in mebbe twice as minny books as me and Huck.”

“Huck! Who is this Huck?”

“White boy I done made a journey down de ribber wif one time.”

“What is your experience with white folks, Jim?”

“Well, dey runs mos’ everything, I ‘spect. Leas’ as fur as I kin see.”

“Exactly!” Weissmann argued. “Is it not white privilege to — as you say — run everything?” he added, shaking his head gravely. “Hegemonizing and colonizing literature everywhere you look.”

“Say, what…?” the witness rejoined and pulled his chin.

“You can go back to your raft, Jim,” Weissmann said. “Dismissed. Calling Mr. Christopher Robin.”

A very old man, bent and trembling, shuffled forward to the stand, leaning on his brass-headed cane.

“You’ve been acquainted with the defendant for how many years?”

“Oh, yes, many, since…let’s see… uh, nineteen hundred and twenty-six, I’d say.”

“In all those years, did he ever… touch you?”

“We held hands. And hugged frequently.”

“I see,” Weissmann sneered. “And this ‘touching’ started when you were, what? About five years old?”

“I suppose. Yes. It was a very long time ago.”

“Do you recall an incident involving the defendant, a person named Piglet, and a broken balloon?”

“Yes… yes, I do!”

“That was not really a balloon, was it, Mr. Robin?”

“At the time, I thought…”

“You thought!” Weissmann barked. “We all think, don’t we? Sometimes maybe a little too much! I’ll tell you what I think: I think the jury can see exactly what was going on between you and the defendant, this very privileged bear. And if they think the way I do — that is, as a normal person with healthy morals — they’ll think that this was depraved behavior on the part of this bear, routinely abusing a five-year-old boy, year after year after year!”

The jury members all nodded avidly and buzzed between themselves.

Christopher Robin looked up at the bench.

“Balloon, indeed!” the Queen snorted, wagging her finger at both the bear and Christopher Robin. “I think we’ve heard enough.”

“No! I have one other witness,” Weissmann said. “Calling Peter Pan….”

A figure wearing a leaf-green tunic and tights, and a feathered cap, flew across the room and landed in the witness seat.

“You’ve had occasion to work at the Disney Studios with the defendant, have you not?”

“I would see him around the lot on lunch breaks,” Pan said. “But we weren’t on the same pictures — except one time for a TV Christmas special where we all did cameos.”

“And what was your impression of this bear?”

“He made a crack about not believing in fairies. I didn’t know if he was kidding or not.”

“Were you hurt by that remark?”

“Not personally, but I saw what it did to my sidekick, Tinkerbelle. Her light almost went out.”

“Your honor, ladies, gentlemen, and non-binaries of the jury, We have definitely heard enough.”

“The defense rests!” the Queen of Hearts screeched. “Mr. Pooh, you have led a life of disgusting racism, colonialism, hate-ism, white supremacy, and depravity. I am directing the jury to find you guilty as charged and sentence you to be cancelled.” She pounded the bench with her gavel.

“Oh, bother,” Winnie the Pooh said, still perplexed and bewildered.

“Take him out, burn all those wicked books of his, and put him on top of the fire.”

“Lawks a’mercy,” Uncle Remus cried from the back of the room.

“See you up in sweet Beulah-land, Pooh, honey,” N-Word Jim said.

“Next case!” the Red Queen yelled above the commotion. “The people versus Robin Hood and his so-called Merry Men.”

Roll credits.

Fade to black….

 

 

 

We try to run the Automatic Earth on donations. Since ad revenue has collapsed, you are now not just a reader, but an integral part of the process that builds this site. Thank you for your support.

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime. Click at the top of the sidebars to donate with Paypal and Patreon.

 

Home Forums The Trial of Winnie the Pooh

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #70779

    Banksy       I can’t NOT do something with a piece my long time friend Jim Kunstler wrote recently, see below, since he so completely e
    [See the full post at: The Trial of Winnie the Pooh]

    #70782
    madamski
    Participant

    I would feel a tad embarrased about the winnie burlesque if I were Kunstler too. Not that it isn’t marvelous, but it bites off more than almost anyone could possibly chew. So, even tho Kafka’s cockroach as atty is brilliant, it’s also too much. Can’t be helped. There isn’t a lens large enough to handle all that much without some carnival distortion. Well done, James.

    #70783
    madamski
    Participant

    “Art is the ultimate expression of what the human mind is capable of, other than love and compassion. ”

    That sentence deserves a medal.

    #70795

    Kunstler:


    Raul—
    Thanks for highlighting my burlesque on ol’ Winnie the P (as we call him in the US Lit mafia). Much appreciate the moral support and kudos, since (probably like yourself to some degree) I often feel that I write in a vacuum.
    Yeah, no sooner did I roll out Winnie, than the Loony Tunes crew was dragged into the Wokester star chamber. Is it not self-evident that the Warner cartoons were quite violent and sadistic, and that is what made them funny to children? I refer you to that old Samuel Beckett quote: “Nothing is funnier than unhappiness.”
    These mooks of Wokery don’t seem to get that comedy is all about what makes us uncomfortable.
    The worm is turning. America is good and goddam sick of getting hustled and maumaued.

    Thanks again and keep-er goin’ ! ! !

    #70797
    ctbarnum
    Participant

    I can think, and I don’t need or want you to think for me.

    This right here is exactly what these school marms of cancel culture need every time they open their mouths. It cannot be said enough. because that is the ultimate aim of canceling. The notion they believe they need to tell us what to think is ludicrous on its face, and in the case of corporate media behind paywalls, I’m certainly NOT going to pay for the “privilege.”

    #70799
    Susmarie108
    Participant

    “When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.” —Winnie the Pooh

    I am lamenting (in typical Eeyore fashion) the establishment of something currently labeled as “Cancel Culture”. It has been packaged into a “thing”, and is now being used as a weapon of mass destruction and division. Cancel Culture as a “thing” – is more dangerous, destructive, and deadly than the thingish things that the Cancellers are screaming must be cancelled. Listening to FOX News you might think that EVERYTHING is at risk of being cancelled and you are directed to be afraid, and upset about what you have lost and angry at those who are behind it. Their rants on Cancelling are no different than Orwell’s Two Minutes of Hate.

    It’s all so black and white don’t you know!?! Come on…six Dr. Seuss books are being recalled and not cancelled by the Foundation responsible for RESPONSIBLY shepherding the Seuss legacy into the future. Look how fast the entire episode became framed as another Cancel Culture attack by the Wokesters. Why did it not become a feature story about what’s changed in the world and how/why these editions are being shelved? Yes it is far MOAR attractive to generate anger and hate, and the Viewers just can’t get enough! Viewers thrive on it and so does FOX. WINNING all around. (Will stop, am heading into Dr D territory here).

    What ever happened to good old TOLERANCE? Let’s get things out into the open and look at them TOGETHER. Even Pooh knew.

    Way back in 1997 my Alma Mater Miami University (Oxford Ohio) changed its mascot from Redskins to Redhawks. They didn’t need Cancel Culture, Wokesters, or Karens to make them do it. They did it out of RESPECT and in response to a request from the local Miami Tribe. This is how tolerance works – it gets negotiated between the parties of two sides/minds.

    Side note: Same thing goes for WOKE. It has been hijacked and turned into another weapon. How dare those nasty Wokesters – pushing us around and ruining everything by telling us all how to live. Yep, it’s more false choices….Us against Them. Winners and Losers. Hey, how about a little UNDERSTANDING here? Name calling and pointing fingers, that’s just so elementary. Even HUMBLE Bear brains can comprehend it. Open your Pooh Hearts and invite some COMPASSION inside for a little chat.

    #70801
    ezlxa1949
    Participant

    The past is another country. They do things differently there.

    #70804
    ezlxa1949
    Participant

    Quite a few years ago the BBC made a drama series about the consequences of a fascist government in Britain having been freely voted into office by a populace fed up with the chaos and confusion of democratic politics. I forget what it was called; I think it was released towards the end of the Thatcher era.

    Looks like a fascist government is well on the rise in Britain today, freely accepted by if not specifically voted in by a populace confused and frightened by the chaos and confusion wrought by this virus.

    #70809
    V. Arnold
    Participant

    …oh dear; how far we’ve fallen…
    …and the bottom is nowhere in sight…
    Such excellence is a rarity these days; thanks Jim & Ilargi…

    #70813
    V. Arnold
    Participant

    The other day I was lamenting the flatlined donations to Ilargi’s TAE; looking at Jims Patreon and Dmitry’s also (both well over $3,000/mos), leaves me dumbfounded as to why Ilargi cannot get over the mid $700/mos.
    The quality of the writing and content here certainly deserve more than $700/mos.
    And remember; Ilargi posts every bloody day…
    …onward and upward ho…!!!!

    #70815
    WES
    Participant

    Just like we shouldn’t forget leg hold traps.
    Oh, I forgot! They cancelled them!
    So now we don’t need to feel guilty about them because they never existed in the first place!
    I think I am getting the hang of this “cancel” business!

    I see joe sure has the hang of this cancel business!
    He just cancelled the DofD’s Pentagon!
    They are “the thing” now!

    #70865
    madamski
    Participant

    @ V. Arnold

    “The other day I was lamenting the flatlined donations to Ilargi’s TAE; looking at Jims Patreon and Dmitry’s also (both well over $3,000/mos), leaves me dumbfounded as to why Ilargi cannot get over the mid $700/mos.The quality of the writing and content here certainly deserve more than $700/mos.”

    Kuntsler has a NYTimes bestseller rep bolstering him. Dmitry has a carefully calibrated angle that speaks uncannily well to current times. Both indulge heavily in almost panting sweaty sarcastic irony, and both in their way are authors of uncommon polish and power although both succumb to sophomoric tendnecies (which probably is part of their mrket pull, btw).

    Ilargi is not high-voltage in his sarcasm and irony. It’s not his thing. Worse, he is not sophomoric. He relies more on fact and straightforward linear analysis of developing trends rather than forming an identifiable, um, conspiracy theory paradigm while showing off his second and third order logicabilities. This is wiser, imo, when discussing chaotically emerging trends like now, especially among people who already know its fundamental drivers. We tend to lose track of the direct linear while following implications and implications of implications. He’s not afraid to make predictions but he doesn’t present his stuff as such, as a series of wagers, like the Orlov and Kunstler do, which probably hurts him because this is less contentious and contention makes clicks happen.

    I hate to say it, but I think that Dmitry’s teaser model has merit in this case. Raul being as much an aggregator as content writer, applying that tactic would be different here. But I think it’s worth a bit of brain-chewing. I know this: people don’t really appreciate a thing until it’s taken away to at least some extent.

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.