Goodenough Gismo

  • Gismo39
    This is the classic children's book, Goodenough Gismo, by Richmond I. Kelsey, published in 1948. Nearly unavailable in libraries and the collector's market, it is posted here with love as an "orphan work" so that it may be seen and appreciated -- and perhaps even republished, as it deserves to be. After you read this book, it won't surprise you to learn that Richmond Irwin Kelsey (1905-1987) was an accomplished artist, or that as Dick Kelsey, he was one of the great Disney art directors, breaking your heart with "Pinocchio," "Dumbo," and "Bambi."

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mr. gobley

"...what evil does for us is harness the human need to hate for a good cause."

Is there, then, a utility to evil; like the hurricane, is it both destructive (in the shrot term) and (one would hope) regenerative in the longer term?


The terror war in itself gives me no pleasure. I have never fit into the "watch the trainwreck / reality TV" American stereotype - though unfortunately many do.

I must however admit to some grim "I told you so" pleasure in seeing things work out pretty much exactly as I thought they would prior to Bush's inane invasion. Along with the damage it is doing to the GOP's approval rating - which hopefully will start the political pendulum swinging back towards sanity.


Mr. Gobley: the utility of evil is to strengthen good. (?!)

Sleip: let's hope it swings toward sanity but not through sanity and all the way into the other insanity.

michael reynolds

You are wise, straw woman.


sleip, are you and I always on the opposite side of things. Not that I'm for the war oor even know all about it, it's such an on-going complecated MESS. Richard Lawerence Cohen has a great post .


I think you're right, Amba, about the tragic "human need to hate for a good cause."

But just because it's a natural inclination doesn't mean it's a good we should support (and I think you'd agree).

I recently heard a Christian peace activist make the excellent point that the Bible never said we could defeat evil with evil.

Quite the contrary. Evil is defeated only by good.

But that doesn't sit so well with our natural inclinations.

S'pose if it did, we'd be living in a very different world.



Yeah, Meg . . . that's why "love your enemies" is maybe the only truly radical instruction ever issued. "Turn the other cheek," "resist not evil" . . . how many of us could go there? Maybe you have to believe in another world where all will be set right. But does that imply giving up on this one? And what do you do if you figure this world is the only one we can be sure we've got?

Those who tried to live out those instructions of Jesus -- Gandhi, Martin Luther King -- were themselves assassinated. And though they wrought great changes, the promised land remains elusive. So did they triumph over evil, or was it a draw?

For those of us who go on the assumption that this world is it (though we'd gladly be proven wrong), maybe the best crude translation of "love your enemies" we can manage is something like this:

"Kill in self-defense, but don't enjoy it too much, because to enjoy it is to partake of what you destroy. And when you look upon your brother the child murderer, your sister the suicide bomber, say 'There but for the grace of God go I.' Because the fact that other people are real to you is not a given, it's a gift.'"

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