But something strange happened to the Bear of Very Little Brain: He's become known as an intellectual guru. As the kids who were raised with him grew up and went away to school, they made connections between their lessons and the animals of the Hundred Acre Wood. Unlike Christopher Robin, who spent most of his life running from his famous moniker and childhood toys, the rest of us didn't want to leave Pooh gathering dust on a shelf in the nursery.
Pooh was connected to the Tao and Piglet to the Te in books by Benjamin Hoff. Other books tried to prove that Milne's stories held insight into Western philosophy and the millennium and that Pooh, who couldn't govern himself without being chased by bees or getting his head stuck in a honey pot, was the perfect example for management strategies in business. What's next? The Grinch Who Stole Christmas as an allegory for foreign democracy? Dexter's Laboratory as an allusion to the American and Russian nuclear weapons race?
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Of course, backlash usually follows fame. Performance artist Karen Finley wrote Pooh Unplugged, which transforms the characters' lovable quirks into dangerous obsessions. It barely registered on the Pooh monitor, proving you can't keep a good bear down, even if he is an old geezer.