Update on Pooh, Tigger, and the 2 Presidents: Art Recreates Life, not Vice Versa

Wherever it came from, a great work of found art.

Last night I posted the wonderful Weibo-viral-hit matchup of Xi Jinping walking with Barack Obama, and Winnie the Pooh walking with Tigger. In case you've forgotten:


Thumbnail image for WeiboObamaXi.jpg-jpg

Many readers have written in to underscore a point that was clear pretty early on. This is almost certainly a case of art recreating life, rather than vice versa. The Pooh/Tigger pose is too perfect a match for the shot of the two presidents. Shadows, gait, proportions, background, placement, expressions. Also, through the magic of Google Image Search, there don't seem to be any examples of the Pooh/Tigger scene before the Sunnylands meeting. Try it yourself.

This doesn't bother me at all. After all, any depiction of Pooh and Tigger is imaginary. So I credit whatever (yet) unidentified artist came up with the idea, and executed it. But for the record, the artistry seems to have been with whoever put together the Pooh/Tigger image, rather than a person who noticed a similarity. 

James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. Who cares about youth? James Hamblin turns to his colleague Jeffrey Goldberg for advice.

Video

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. James Hamblin turns to a colleague for advice.

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Video

Pittsburgh: 'Better Than You Thought'

How Steel City became a bikeable, walkable paradise

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

More in China

From This Author

Just In