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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Yeah, they were insensitive and possibly racist (although I've only read descriptions of them and not actually seen them). I'm not at all surprised that Muslims would be offended and want apologies. What gets me is the flag burning and kidnapping threats and other shenanigans. That's just not a civilized response to an insult. Tolerance simply has to go both ways...the tolerance to avoid needlessly demeaning an entire people and the tolerance to accept that people have a right to demean you and you have a right to peacefully react.


Yes, Alan, their reaction is predictable and despicable. I'm not concerned with their reaction, though, but with "our" (the West's) action. I just don't want to see us slide into doing unto others the kind of thing we despise them for. The measure of what we dish out should be what we ourselves would tolerate. It has nothing to do with what "they" do or don't deserve, but with our trying to stay on the high ground, as Lindsey Graham said about torture. If we're the good guys, we have to act like the good guys.

I wouldn't want to see a groveling obsequious apology either. The Europeans shouldn't let themselves be cowed into political correctness. This was a tasteless expression of freedom of speech. It's regrettable, but no big deal. Case closed. The Jordanian newspaper columnist quoted at Mighty Middle, whose first name is Jihad (!), had an admirable attitude towards being on the receiving end.

I have read descriptions of the cartoons too but have not seen them, so I don't know how offensive they really are. One is of Mohammed with a bomb for a turban. What would be the Christian or Jewish equivalent?


the prohibition against depicting Mohammed is something that, as far as I know, Muslims take pretty seriously. so basically I think what they're reacting to is what they see as deliberately provacative blasphemy , rather than racism -- not that either should provoke death threats, of course. but I think it's important to make the distinction.

michael reynolds

The link to my God picture caught me by surprise and made me laugh for about five minutes. Good way to start the day.


Well, that makes mine!


Thanks Rae. I just think that propaganda cartoons in any form (racial, religious) can be vile and dangerous, as witness their free use in the Muslim world. Quite obviously, they're a tool of incitement and escalation and the kind of thing that nutcases on both sides seize on. What to rational liberal people is a "sticks and stones" exercise of the right to offend, to both a Muslim fanatic and a (hypothetical, but wait) Danish skinhead could be a provocation to kill.


"What would be the Christian or Jewish equivalent?"

Perhaps not equivalent, but cemetery desecration comes to my mind along with Tom Toles's WaPo cartoon of the "battle hardened" army.

Kobayashi Maru

Thanks for the link, AB. There is>another side to the story that might be of interest to you and your readers, concerning how holy these representations of the prophet really are in Islam, how they got that way, and why - if the rioters were at all consistent - they'd have been railing at dozens of other slights (and their own Muslim brothers) long ago. I smell political opportunism in how and where this is playing out in the Muslim world and why it is playing out now.


Kobayashi Maru: That's exactly what the guys at the "I'm Sorry" website said in e-mails to me -- that the whipping up of the Muslim masses at this moment on this flimsy pretext is utterly calculated and political.


And now the administration's onto it.

The Bush administration yesterday condemned the violent response to European cartoons mocking Islam and accused Iran and Syria of exploiting the international controversy to incite unrest and protests in the Middle East.

"I have no doubt that Iran and Syria have gone out of their way to inflame sentiments and have used this for their own purposes," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told reporters yesterday. "The world ought to call them on it."

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