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Politically Correct Three Little Pigs


picture of politically correct cartoon

Earlier this year there was a huge flap about rewriting Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to soften some of the politically incorrect language and culture in it, basically rewriting history. The opinions on both sides of the rewrite issue were strong. I was reminded of it all when I received a "politically cleansed" version of another classic — The Three Little Pigs.

With very little searching I found out that the story comes from a book called
Politically Correct Bedtime Stories by James Finn Garner (I wonder if he's related to Huck Finn). I have not read anything else in the book, so please do not interpret my post as an endorsement. In fact, I made one modification of some strong wording, so as not to offend the sensibilities of my readers.

The (Politically Correct) Three Little Pigs
James Finn Garner

Once there were three little pigs who lived together in mutual respect and in harmony with their environment. Using materials that were indigenous to the area, they each built a beautiful house. One pig built a house of straw, one a house of sticks, and one a house of dung, clay and creeper vines shaped into bricks and baked in a small kiln.

When they were finished, the pigs were satisfied with their work and settled back to live in peace and self-determination. But their idyll was soon shattered. One day, along came a big, bad wolf with expansionist ideas. He saw the pigs and grew very hungry in both a physical and ideological sense.

When the pigs saw the wolf, they ran into the house of straw. The wolf ran up to the house and banged on the door, shouting, "Little pigs, little pigs, let me in!" The pigs shouted back, "Your gunboat tactics hold no fear for pigs defending their homes and culture."

But the wolf wasn't to be denied what he thought was his manifest destiny. So he huffed and puffed and blew down the house of straw. The frightened pigs ran to the house of sticks, with the wolf in hot pursuit. (Where the straw house had stood, other wolves bought up the land and started a banana plantation.)

At the house of sticks, the wolf again banged on the door and shouted, "Little, pigs, little pigs, let me in!" The pigs shouted back, "Go away, you carnivorous, imperialistic oppressor!"

At this, the wolf huffed and puffed and blew down the house of sticks. The pigs ran to the house of bricks, with the wolf close at their heels. (Where the house of sticks had stood, other wolves built a time share condo resort complex for vacationing wolves, with each unit a fiberglass reconstruction of the house of sticks, as well as native curio shops, snorkelling and dolphin shows.)

At the house of bricks, the wolf again banged on the door and shouted, "Little pigs, little pigs, let me in!" This time in response, the pigs sang songs of solidarity and wrote letters of protest to the United Nations.

By now, the wolf was getting angry at the pigs' refusal to see the situation from the carnivore's point of view. So he huffed and puffed, and huffed and puffed, then grabbed his chest and fell over dead from a massive heart attack brought on from eating too many fatty foods.

The three little pigs rejoiced that justice had triumphed and did a little dance around the corpse of the wolf. Their next step was to liberate their homeland. They gathered together a band of other pigs who had been forced off their lands. This new brigade of porcinistas attacked the resort complex with machine guns and rocket launchers and slaughtered the cruel wolf oppressors, sending a clear signal to the rest of the hemisphere not to meddle in their internal affairs.

Then the pigs set up a model socialist democracy with free education, universal health care and affordable housing for everyone.

Please note: The wolf in this story was a metaphorical construct. No actual wolves were harmed in the writing of the story.

divider

In my files I had a picture of one scene from Disney's version of The Three Little Pigs. I was struck by one politically incorrect item in that picture — the picture of "father."

picture of the three little pigs

What are your thoughts on the political cleansing of the classics?

bluebird update...

The day after my post last week another baby bluebird died, leaving only one. The final baby fledged this past Sunday. Here's the last picture I took of her.

picture of baby bluebird

quotation...

"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it." - Mark Twain

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

POLITICAL CORRECTNESS: Controlling the very terms used in the debate. A quotation attributed to Lavrenti Beria (Stalin's Chief of Secret Police) is, "If you can control the language of the people, you can control the people."


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9 Comments on “Politically Correct Three Little Pigs”

  1. #1 Jeremy Patterson
    on May 25th, 2011 at 9:12 am

    “What are your thoughts on the political cleansing of the classics?”

    I think it’s hilarious if parody is the point. I assume James Finn Garner was trying to parody political correctness and wasn’t actually serious?

    Jeremy

  2. #2 Rob
    on May 25th, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Jeremy, parody was very much his point. There’s an interesting description of his book and its intent on Wikipedia.

  3. #3 JohnMatzko
    on May 26th, 2011 at 6:22 am

    Sort of along the same line, but not intended to be funny, is commentary on Ahab and Jezebel in a liberal commentary on 1 & 2 Kings by theologian Walter Brueggemann. Brueggemann praises Ahab for his “wise public policy” in allowing for idol worship, despite “the insistent passions of Yahwism.” He quotes feminist Bible scholar Phyllis Trible, who says Elijah should be censured “for murdering prophets, for imposing his theology on the kingdom, for inciting kings to do his bidding, and for stirring up trouble in the land.…In contrast Jezebel would be held in high esteem for remaining faithful to her religious convictions, for upholding the prerogatives of royalty, for supporting her husband and children and for opposing her enemies unto death.”

  4. #4 Tony
    on May 26th, 2011 at 8:46 am

    Two of those pigs aren’t wearing any pants!

  5. #5 Carrie
    on May 26th, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    I abhor pc updates of classics! They’re classics, that is, they have stood the test of time the way they are. They also give us a window into the time they were written. Alas.

  6. #6 Sue
    on May 26th, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    Is it politically correct for him to refer to the wolf as “big and bad?” Shouldn’t it be something like “capacious and morally challenged?”

  7. #7 Ray
    on May 27th, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    In light of recent news in Arizona, the wolf would have to be tested by a forest appointed psychiatrist before any judgement is passed. Then “he” would have to be studied so we could “understand” the behavior patterns so the public could be further desensitized against pure evil – unless, of course, he were deemed a liberal (politically enlightened), then they would have to first search for a way to make him a hero.

    There would be plenty of PC fodder within “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”… Or pretty much any Bugs Bunny cartoon for that matter.

  8. #8 Dan
    on May 27th, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    I think the phrase”politically correct” originated with the Chinese Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution that nearly destroyed China. All because of a whim of a madman.

  9. #9 Gaye Wynn
    on May 27th, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    Parody is one thing, and even the most traditional of us can enjoy something like Garner’s book. However, when editors turn to Orwellian Newspeak to re-write something which has stood the test of time and also reflects its time, they have gone too far!