P.G. Wodehouse created Jeeves, the most famous butler in all creation. A.A. Milne created Winnie the Pooh, the most famous bear in all creation. Apparently they started off as friends, but then Wodehouse made his ill fated broadcasts from Berlin at the beginning of World War Two, and all bets were off:
Wodehouse "has encouraged in himself," Milne wrote, "a natural lack of interest in 'politics' -- 'politics' being all the things grown-ups talk about at dinner when one is hiding under the table.I find it especially amusing, because I believe I would have, to some degree, reacted with Milne's fury (or exasperation). I tend to find inexcusable in others ignorance of the basics of current events. And I think, at the beginning of World War Two, I would have considered the fact that the Germans were invading lots of other countries, and thus might be considered the 'bad guys', one of those 'basics of current events'. The article goes on to suggest that Milne was jealous of Wodehouse's ability to generate ever more stories, which may or may not have been true. But the basic thing seems to have been something that should ring as true for us today as it did for Milne in 1941 - ignorance carries a price, and often the price is not for ourselves, but for others.
In case anyone else was interested, there are transcripts of the Wodehouse broadcast available on the web.on Wed Jan 5 10:09:58 2005
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