I’ve giggled about the Mark Twain quotes commenting on the Republican candidates for president, and shook my head wisely at the “never trust quotes you read on the Internet” Abraham Lincoln memes.
But there’s a limit, and that’s the misquoting of beloved children’s stories, above them all my all time favourite, Winnie the Pooh. It has to stop. It’s bad enough Disney is making endless foolish stories about the bear, adding characters with he standard funny accents, putting in moral messaging and making it so treacly sweet I have to brush my teeth after reading.
The Internet has made things even worse, creating oozy quotes about love and togetherness and life, something that would never be said by a Very British Bear with appropriately Stiff Upper Lip. Then Etsy artists get hold of them and the quotes reproduce like moulds all over the hundred acre Internet until people ACTUALLY BELIEVE THEY WERE WRITTEN BY MILNE. I feel like apologizing to the man for humanity, and if there’s a heaven, maybe one day I will have the chance to express my shared horror.
Until then, there’s a site that has been lovingly hunting the quotes down and squashing them. I love that someone out there cares enough and has skills I do not have to correct these egregious errors.
Pooh is an icon, like Abraham Lincoln, like Mark Twain and Dorothy Parker and Anne of Green Gables. And Eeyore. And poor Piglet. People should stop using their much-loved mouths to speak bromides. Eww. At least read the books before you misquote, so you know the characters, and don’t make Piglet brave or Pooh a healthy eater or Eeyore unspeakably happy. Double eww.
And go see the site. It’s worth your time, if only as a reminder not to trust gooey sentiment, no matter who is said to voice it.
Especially from a British bear.