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Medline, Tarzan, Raggedy Ann, and Babar. But not the Banks Family

Post 1

paulh. I write captions for pictures of cats. The shame! The shame!

I hope you don't run the other way when you see the subject line. I grew up in small-town America, where nannies and talking bears and lions seemed pretty far from my experience.

I read the Narnia books in my late forties, the Pooh books about five years later, and some of the other British classics after that.

Does it count if I didn't get around to reading P L Travers until my seventies? Or is it too late?

In any event, in another thread you seemed surprised that a movie character would be named Topsy in 2018. Well, Travers used th eexpression "topsy turvy" in "Mary Poppins." (I can look up the exact pageif you would like me to.) Topsy Tarlet was a character in "Mary Poppins comes back. Pn page 116 of that book, it says:

"Oh, oh, the world's turning turtle. What shall I do?"
http://books.google.com/books?id=llJjAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA193&lpg=PA193&dq=%22turning+turtle%22+travers&source=bl&ots=QHbBOXKuSC&sig=ACfU3U0x3m8GUgLDAXZwDo3-eXaVJ2Bvog&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjN49fc5oDgAhXSmeAKHeR_AysQ6AEwBHoECAUQAQ#v=onepage&q=%22turning%20turtle%22%20travers&f=false

[She apparently later married a Mr. Turvy, making her Topsy Turvy.]


Medline, Tarzan, Raggedy Ann, and Babar. But not the Banks Family

Post 2

Dmitri Gheorgheni

The Guide Editors know about my Pooh allergy, so I won't talk about it here.

I know the expression 'topsy turvy'. Terribly British. Also the title of an excellent movie about Gilbert and Sullivan and the Mikado.

The reason I was surprised that anybody would *leave* a character named Topsy in a modern version of the story involves modern cultural politics.

Topsy was a very unfortunate character in the stage version of 'Uncle Tom's Cabin. She 'just growed', and became a byword. If somebody finds this out, there may be trouble.


Medline, Tarzan, Raggedy Ann, and Babar. But not the Banks Family

Post 3

paulh. I write captions for pictures of cats. The shame! The shame!

Hi, Dmitri. I understand about Uncle Tom's cabin when you first raised the issue. I think that "Topsy" could be finessed by stressing that Travers had used "topsy turvy" (the terribly British expression) in her first book.

Anyway, Travers was criticized for sterotypes:
"The original story in the 1934 edition contained a variety of cultural and ethnic types of Chinese, Eskimo, sub-Saharan Africans, and Native Americans; Travers responded to criticism by revising
the chapter twice. A 1967 revision removed offensive words and stereotypical descriptions and dialogue, but kept the plot of visiting foreign people; in 1981 a second revision replaced people
with animals. With this second revision, original illustrator Mary Shepard altered the accompanying drawing of the compass, which in the 1967 revision retained drawings of ethnic stereotypes at the four compass points, to show a polar bear at the north, a macaw at the south, a panda at the east, and a dolphin at the west.[4] Mary Poppins had been banned from circulation in the San Francisco
Public Library system in 1980 due to the negative stereotyping"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Poppins

Nobody's perfect, and you can bet that flaws will be noticed and remarked on as time goes by. smiley - blush

I didn't know your "allergy" to Pooh. There is much that I don't know about your tastes. Do our tastes really matter that much in the long run? Like Mary Poppins,. I like to think that the universe is complex and interconnected, that reality will speak to us form time to time (not unlike some concepts from Zen Buddhism). Opening us up to new insights is a good thing. smiley - smiley

peace


Medline, Tarzan, Raggedy Ann, and Babar. But not the Banks Family

Post 4

paulh. I write captions for pictures of cats. The shame! The shame!

Now that I think about it, my young self *did* get exposed to talking bears (Yogi) and lions (the cowardly lion). I guess they were American bears and lions, though. Things that the British take for granted were harder for me to get comfortable with though. But I did eventually go beyond my comfort zone.

And here I am now. smiley - smiley


Medline, Tarzan, Raggedy Ann, and Babar. But not the Banks Family

Post 5

paulh. I write captions for pictures of cats. The shame! The shame!

Before I start my rant about the idiocy in Washington, I think I will start a rant about what Mary Poppins got right in print and also on screen:

1. She kept her private life separate from her public one. As long as the children were there to observe her deportment, she was unfailingly proper. This included publicly denying anything that the average proper Brit f her day would consider inappropriate. The Disney people blurred this line, though. The scene between Mary and Match-Man (a.k.a. Bert) in the book involved just the two of them inside the sidewalk chalk-picture, but in the 1964 movie it also involved Jane and Michael Banks. The scene with a levitating Mr. Wiggs involved the children in the book, but Bert was along for the ride in the movie. Mary had to scold Bert by saying "You know, you're as bad as he (Uncle Al) is."

2. She never explained anything. The children probably didn't appreciate this, but they were free to make up their own minds about what things meant. All beings are allowed this freedom. In the compass chapter the panda, penguin, dolphin, and polar bear were allowed to ask Mary to enjoy their hospitality, but Mary was allowed to decline. Good manners matter everywhere! At the Zoo, the children saw how much all the animals respected Mary, but when they were back home she denied everything. Nevertheless, the children could see that she was wearing the snakeskin sash that the snake had given her.

3. Show, don't tell. Instead of saying that your imagination can make bitter medicine taste sweet, Mary just gives the children medicine, which turns out to taste like each one's favorite fruit. The reader can make inferences from that. In the 1964 movie, however, the Disney people chose to both show *and* tell, making Mary sweeten the medicine with sugar and sing a song that P L Travers considered inappropriate. This is one of the hazards of the show/tell dichotomy: well-intentioned readers may well have one interpretation of the scene, and the author might have intended something else. Some authors have excoriated the film versions of their work (Truman Capote hated the movie version of "Breakfast at Tiffany's."

To be perfectly honest, I would rather not have to choose between and movie. I've enjoyed both, and I'm thinking for myself in doing so smiley - tongueout.

Peace


Medline, Tarzan, Raggedy Ann, and Babar. But not the Banks Family

Post 6

FWR

I'm wondering if I could cross a dove with a raven or crow, would you get a striped bird, like a zebra but with wings and only two legs, and a beak instead of a muzzle. Orcas, white dolphin and a black whale maybe, so the zebra must've been a white horse and a black mule maybe, but why not just get a grey pony? Weird, no stripey people either? So I'll finally just breed a grey bird, maybe that's where pigeons come from, as well as Birmingham?smiley - ok


Medline, Tarzan, Raggedy Ann, and Babar. But not the Banks Family

Post 7

paulh. I write captions for pictures of cats. The shame! The shame!

Breed the birds, tuppence a bag? smiley - huh

In the book, Mary Poppins suggested baking the birds in pies. smiley - laugh She was hardly sentimental in public. But in the privacy of the nursery, she had polite conversations with the bird that sat in the window.

Charles Darwin noticed changes in birds' beaks over the generations as
environmental conditions changed. The 14 species of finches are thought to be the fastest-evolving vertebrates in the world.

I would like to cross a bird with a plant to see if plants could fly. smiley - smiley


Medline, Tarzan, Raggedy Ann, and Babar. But not the Banks Family

Post 8

FWR

Crystal balls. Would any other material do?


Medline, Tarzan, Raggedy Ann, and Babar. But not the Banks Family

Post 9

paulh. I write captions for pictures of cats. The shame! The shame!

Well, there's a joke about someone coming into a store and finding a teddy bear running the shop.

"Do you have cotton balls?" the customer asks.

Fill in any punchline you wish.


Medline, Tarzan, Raggedy Ann, and Babar. But not the Banks Family

Post 10

SashaQ - happysad

That is useful information about the origin of the phrase relating to Topsy - I have heard it said and just assumed topsy was some sort of plant...

Also reminds me of an eponymous tale about a cat and a dog by Enid Blyton that has dated in more ways than one - it has the delightful title of 'Bimbo and Topsy' smiley - rofl


Medline, Tarzan, Raggedy Ann, and Babar. But not the Banks Family

Post 11

Dmitri Gheorgheni

smiley - snork That is unfortunate.


Medline, Tarzan, Raggedy Ann, and Babar. But not the Banks Family

Post 12

paulh. I write captions for pictures of cats. The shame! The shame!

I you were watching and listening to a scene, and didn't know the old expression, you might assume that the character was an opera singer with a solid Top C. Meryl Streep could probably hit that note. Didn't she have a high range in "Florence Foster Jenkins?"

(I know, I know, it's a bit far-fetched, but can anything be ruled out in this strange era? smiley - erm)


Medline, Tarzan, Raggedy Ann, and Babar. But not the Banks Family

Post 13

FWR

Dear so-called *Bimbo* bread, I have just watched your advert and was really disappointed! I bet Van Halen or Motley Crue would've done it much better!


Medline, Tarzan, Raggedy Ann, and Babar. But not the Banks Family

Post 14

paulh. I write captions for pictures of cats. The shame! The shame!

Technically a bimbo is masculine, and a bimba is feminine, in the Italian language.


Medline, Tarzan, Raggedy Ann, and Babar. But not the Banks Family

Post 15

FWR

"Courses starting at your local communiversity" oh dear!

Blue sky, out of the box, corderoy wearing, bloody Badger loving hippies!


Medline, Tarzan, Raggedy Ann, and Babar. But not the Banks Family

Post 16

Dmitri Gheorgheni

I saw a film the other night that had a badger in it. smiley - badger It was in a stately home.

'They come in through the cat flap,' said Lord So-and-So imperturbably. 'That's why you have to wear wellies. They bite your ankles and give you tuberculosis.'


Medline, Tarzan, Raggedy Ann, and Babar. But not the Banks Family

Post 17

FWR

I hate it when you get gangs of them outside the local off-licence (liquor store)...or am I thinking of hoodies?


Medline, Tarzan, Raggedy Ann, and Babar. But not the Banks Family

Post 18

Dmitri Gheorgheni

Sounds like possums to me. Was one of them named Pogo?


Medline, Tarzan, Raggedy Ann, and Babar. But not the Banks Family

Post 19

FWR

Ripping out our kitchen at the moment, trying to stop the wife from baking for a few days, anyway, do you have any idea how well they put tiles onion the thirties? Very well is the answer. Teach me not to knock false walls down, another 1960s newspaper, shoved in a hole, Ken Dodd is on the Empire again....think he still is!

Right, I'll leave you to Google Ken Dodd.....


Medline, Tarzan, Raggedy Ann, and Babar. But not the Banks Family

Post 20

FWR

Stray onion too!


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