The Mao of Pooh

From yesterday’s Guardian:

“The Turtle has long been concerned with the education of our junior comrades,” proclaims the statement on the holding page. “Disappointed with the bourgeois drivel that passes for children’s fiction these days, a Turtle Collective has formed to combat the indoctrination of our youth with a series of heart-warming tales involving a bear, his best friend Christopher Robin, and socialism with Chinese characteristics.” The Voice of the Turtle is a witty, transatlantic online free-for-all of leftwing politics. Equally irreverent and militant, it has recently subverted Benjamin Hoff’s The Tao of Pooh – a subversion of A. A. Milne’s children’s classic – into a Maoist text. What might sound like a children’s book from indoctrination central translates to a witty example of fan fiction and a glorious satire of the children’s book in the spirit of Animal Farm.

Congratulations, Raj, on this smidgeon of recognition from the bourgeois press for your heroic labours on the Text of the Mao of Pooh…(Me, I just do an editing job on Raj’s draft. And add an average of about one joke per instalment.)

The answer is blowin’ in the wind

Until April, at least. Because it’s normblog poll time again: this month’s poll is to harness the collective intellect of the internet — or, at least, the blog-reading bit of it — in order definitively to establish the identity of the best Bob Dylan songs that Bob Dylan ever wrote…

Well, it’s “Like A Rolling Stone”, isn’t it?

But there will, no doubt, be intense competition for the runner-up slots, and these not-quite-contests always generate good bloggerage. I’ve already dug my old LP copy of John Wesley Harding out of the back of the cupboard, and you can do the same (assuming that you have both an old LP copy of JWH, and a cupboard).

Get your entries in early and often — five choices each, 31 March deadline, email address here — and be a part of this month-long humanitarian intervention that will help to distract Norm from the contents of the Guardian‘s op-ed page…

And over on Planet Melanie…

Melanie Phillips has just sat through Mel Gibson’s almost-certainly-appalling new film about the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth:

Most of the reactions have focused on the astonishing sadism and violence. Very few have seen fit even to mention the way it portrays the Jews as the real killers of the son of God…

Yup. That’s probably why a google search on “Mel Gibson” and “anti-semitism” and “Passion” taken together generates, um, over twenty-two thousand hits…

Distilled Nonsense

Jamie, over at Blood and Treasure, has been reading the words of Paul “The Thinker” Richards on the honours system:

The overall impression is as if the Guardian had conducted a thought experiment in which a sufficiently medicated schizophrenic was offered a chance to set forth his vision of reform of the honours system, or if a number of linguists had elaborated a beta version of a means of back translation out of powerpoint. And it would be wrong to say that the article is unique. It’s more an exemplar of what passes for ideas formation amongst the managerial class as a whole, a distillation of the kind of nonsense spouted every day in local authorities, boardrooms, NGO’s and perhaps the newer of our less-esteemed universities.

Well, we disagree there. I’m reluctant to treat the scribblings of Paul “The Thinker” Richards as symptomatic of the thinking of an entire class, and prefer to personalise things a bit more. As Jamie and others have probably noticed…

Riot Re-Enactment

Yes, I’ve linked to this before, but the London Riot Re-Enactment Society page still makes me laugh out loud, and it did again yesterday afternoon…

South Sea Bubble Riots, 1720
Hundreds of re-enactors dressed as failed investors will gather at the House of Commons to lobby MPs. When our pleas are ignored, re-enactors will then begin to attack individual MPs. We will only disperse after a third reading of the Riot Act.

The whole thing is brilliant. [Original tip-off from Simon, in his pre-silverdollarcircle days].

Which side are you on, boys?

England’s, or, um, England’s? Take the Supporter or Deporter? quiz, and see if you can visually differentiate between patriotic supporters of our national football team and, er, a bunch of racist thugs.

I scored seven, with a fine streak coming to an end after bollocksing up the last two; Uninformed Jason managed all ten; and Sarah, from whom I’ve pinched the link, got six. More scores, please.

Spamming Rosa

A friend forwards happy news…

ROSA LUXEMBURG FOUNDATION/PRIZE AWARD DEPARTMENT,REF: NLM44125677 AND BATCH NO: 31/107/NL.

ATTENTION: Sir/Madam

RE/ AWARD NOTIFICATION

We are pleased to inform you of the announcement on the 2nd February 2004 of winners of the ROSA LUXEMBURG FOUNDATION LOTTERY WIN /INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS held on 24TH JANUARY as part of our new year bonanza. You or your company, attached to ticket number 1416-4612-750, with serial number 3187-17 drew the lucky numbers 31-17-8-28-55, and consequently won the lottery in the “A” category…

And so on.Here’s the page for the real Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung…