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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I think he's wrong. Or I feel he's wrong. He does seem to be a sort of Lakoffite.

"We can see the fear of Connecting Culture in the rise of fundamentalism around the world, from Al-Qaeda to the Christian Coalition."

Fanatical religion is a reaction against extreme secularism; it is not a reaction agasint the Connecting Culture. I strongly disagree with the left when they claim to be caring, compassionate, connecting -- as opposed to the bad meanies on the right.

When making these claims for themselves. leftists are actually engaging in their own unique substitute for racism and sexism. Their claim to superiority is based on their superior intellect and on their humanism, rather than on genetics.

I do not think fundamentalist Moslems are reacting this way out of hatred for a warm fuzzy Connecting Culture. They hate modernism and secularism, which we represent. There is a lot to hate about our culture (even more to hate about theirs, of course).

Slater has constructed a hopeful scenario for our society's evolution -- it reminds me of the New Age idea that we're evolving to ever higher levels of consciousness. Lots of people like to believe this. But I do not think our evolution makes us any wiser or kinder, we just know a lot more. But our brains can't process all that information any better than a caveman's would have.

I used to believe, like the New Age thinkers, that we were evolving morally because we try so hard to be fair and compassionate to everyone. Now I think the compassion is only on the surface, and we are really evolving to more exalted levels of hypocrisy.

The more "liberal" an American is, the more his/her bigotry is channelled away from racism and sexism. Since it has to go somewhere, it finds other interesting outlets.

I know I might seem cynical. But I really am not. I think the shadow will always be with us, and each of us will always have to face it alone. Society will not evolve away from it, although of course everyone desperately wishes we could.


I read it. I think it's mostly his fantasy world, which most of the left happens to share. The world is roughly divided into the stupid baddies and the real cool goodies.

He sees us evolving away from the male traits of violence, competitiveness and authoritarianism, towards the female traits of cooperative hugginess. How did the left manage to forget how truly evil we women can be? Men have traditionally been violent because someone has to be, and women had other jobs to do. That does not mean women are any nicer than men.

We are not evolving away from any need for war. Violence will always be the last resort when talking, arguing, debating, verbal violence, all have failed. Married couples can divorce when their differences can't be resolved. Nations cannot divorce. Israel and Palestine are stuck together like siamese twins.


Yeah, it kinda reminds me of John Lennon's "Imagine."


One more thing -- my posts might have implied I think people are bad and not getting any better. That is not at all what I believe. I am skeptical, first of all, about our very concepts of "good" and "bad." But I also think we are wrong to assume our ancestors were any less concerned with kindness and fairness than we are. Some were, some weren't, and there are zillions of ways to be caring or not caring.
I do not think we are evolving from worse to better. I think we are evolving from simpler to more complex, more confusing and more dangerous. We are not heading towards any utopia, but that's ok -- we would be very unhappy in a utopia.


Oh, "Imagine." I always hated that song. I guess I have never been a leftist.


Realpc- please know you are loved :0)!!! I know you are most likely a Centrist, but- (wo) man!!!! Oooiieeeewwwww.

Inflexibility, eh?

Mother Theresa lived in the poorest nation with one of the largest populations in the world caring for the dying. She lived in poverty, chastity and(what's the last vow?)... obedience? My bad for not knowing...

It blows my mind that she would be judged ~inflexible~ due to her devout beliefs- as any other missionary of any Faith is as well. Sometimes the will to do good for God to God's people outweighs the proselytizing. Is it so hard to imagine not all Fundies are as vocal as the Mouths portrayed in soundbytes or bad taste (themselves responsible, as well) in a public forum? Two men do not speak for all who may/nay DO- believe in the ways of the Lord as strongly as they proclaim.

That's pretty damned narrow-minded.


If John Lennon was a noted and reputable ~pothead~, what does that say about his take on reality?


"Is it so hard to imagine not all Fundies are as vocal as the Mouths portrayed in soundbytes"

Yes Karen I agree with what you said about Mother Theresa. But in general, it's so narrow-minded of leftists to condemn traditional religion as a whole because of anything negative it happens to be connected with. Everything created by human beings has negative aspects. Leftists, like all of us I guess, see everything distorted through their fantasy. It does not matter how educated and knowledgeable they are. They still have limited caveman brains, like everyone else.

There is such a hatred of fundamentalist Christianity among Democrats these days, which is largely unjustified. It isn't just Mother Teresa. There is so much of value in fundamentalist and born-again Christianity. As a generic mystic, I have so much in common with born-agains -- they are really just mystics who happen to believe in Jesus. (The only problem is they think Jesus is the only way to salvation.)

Yes, John Lennon was a typical symbol of the 1960s, worshipping sex and drugs, wishing the world could be hippie heaven (sorry if I am misrepresenting him, I only have a superficial impression). So it's understandable that he would have utopian dreams. But it is less understandable when experienced historians and economists have the same ideas. And many of them do.

Scientific materialism says that we humans are smarter than nature. Therefore, we should be able to transform nature according to our will. Get rid of all diseases, build a peaceful and prosperous society, make everyone happy and equal. And if it were true, if we really were smarter than nature, that might even made sense.
But it is not true. We are clever primates with little brains, and a dangerous degree of creativity.


There is so much of value in fundamentalist and born-again Christianity. As a generic mystic, I have so much in common with born-agains -- they are really just mystics who happen to believe in Jesus. (The only problem is they think Jesus is the only way to salvation.)

That rings SO true to me. The fact and the pity of it is that it is the rigid Biblical-literalist structure of thought surrounding it that allows such Christians to feel safe and protected and trusting enough to let go into the molten core of mysticism and channel the love of Jesus with such power. Otherwise they're afraid they'd fall prey to the deceiving evil spirits "out there."


And you're right, nature is infinitely smarter than we are. Just the intelligence that's living you right now, regulating your breathing, temperature, metabolism, digestion, balance, alertness to the environment, is far beyond even the imagining of your consciousness. Our ideas are to the world like the drawings of little children, with stick figures for people and a shiny sun above the house.


That sounds like poetry, amba.

I'm not saying I'm not narrow-minded in my own ways, either. I just have a really hard time with the political climate these days- and I've never been aware of any other, being a late Polybloomer. What's the difference between biast and conviction, anyway?

I'm always being accused of going to only Rightwing blogs (Hello?) Because thy simply reinforce my own beliefs and that the news is now somehow slanted rightward- all those Sunday morning talk shows are biased Right. Well, I go to Church on Sundays and miss the brainiacs at work- spinning their webs- to the Left and Right.

As for nature- it often makes me weep with alternate awe and frustration. When a beautiful, seemingly healthy newborn heifer calf dies within 48 hrs due to a hookup malfuction of the intestines (w/an equally unpronouncable name)... to watch this promise of future slip away- hurts.

I'm thankful, always, that I don't grieve for my own children, but an animal. I also find it funny that i have to remind myself of that.


"the rigid Biblical-literalist structure of thought surrounding it that allows such Christians to feel safe and protected and trusting enough to let go into the molten core of mysticism and channel the love of Jesus with such power. Otherwise they're afraid they'd fall prey to the deceiving evil spirits "out there.""

Oh yes, this is so true amba. And I want to include devout Catholics, who resemble born-agains in some ways. I have always communicated better with devout mystical Christians than with liberals or members of my family. And I have belonged to mystical traditions that evolved out of mystical Christianity.
But I think you will disagree with me on the fear aspect. I think Christians are entirely justified in their fear of supernatural evil. Ambiguous people like you and me lack the powerful defenses that are desperately needed, in my opinion. But I had to "see" this for myself, no one could have convinced me with words.


Actually, I don't disagree with you that there are entities to fear out there. My Pentecostal friend has had some real encounters with evil in her life (I consider myself fortunate not to have had such direct and vulnerable ones, and I realize that my spiritual complacency is a luxury). It seems to me to be taken to extremes at times: for example, my friend would not play "The Cube" because she was worried that it might be slightly occult.

I also understand that absolute belief and joyous surrender to authority is freeing and empowering in a way that unknowing and uncertainty is not. I simply can't do it. I really don't think it's fear of the love of Jesus. It's an inability to take on the intellectual machinery -- belief in a mythical supernatural story, belief that every word of the Bible is from God, and that if you're not born again you'll go to a literal Hell -- that those Christians insist is inseparable from it and the only way to it.


I think we can get the same result from yoga, without having to believe the Christian bible. I am not anywhere near enlightment, but keep plugging away, trying to develop mythology-free faith.


"enlightment" should have been "enlightenment." Forgot to proof-read.


I (of course) completely disagree that fundamentalism has anything whatsoever to do with mysticism or enlightenment, and strongly doubt that it has much of value to it other than preventing its believers from having to understand or cope with the realities and complexities of modern culture and knowledge.

The entire belief system of fundamentalists centers around denial. Denial of anything that disagrees with their rigidly maintained belief system. Brainwashing and unquestioning obedience to supposed "moral authorities" is antithetical to any form of enlightenment, as is the rabid quest to push that same level of ignorance onto others. The only difference between most fundamentalist religions and cults is the length of their history.

Regarding the original post, I believe that the severe polarization we are experiencing is due to a conflict between traditional beliefs and knowledge and social structures and scientific advances that questions those beliefs. This has only become a "right vs left" issue since the right decided that the fundamentalists are a useful and gullible tool by which they can finance and get support for their "no millionaire left behind" political agenda.

Many of the more moderate religions are capable of adapting to ever increasing levels of knowledge, but fundamentalism by definition *cannot* adapt, because its adherents assume they know everything that anyone ever needs to know, and have no tolerance for anything outside their belief system. Fortunately that same rigidity will sooner or later bring about their demise...dinosaurs dying out from the impact of Knowledge on the world.


Well, sleip- who really put this Bee in your bonnet to begin with? So much self- righteous anger at the self-righteous Right? It's downright... unhealthy.

Seems to me you are very prejudiced against the very people you claim to be- very prejudiced. In one brush stroke you cover all w/the colour of ignorance and hate.

Unhealthy. Let it go, Bro.

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