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 have that magazine with the patriarchy article and blogged about it here:

I don't like their conclusions either, and might write about it more later when time allows.

I do like your complete assessment here!


Hmmm, that link didn't work, did it?

(How do you convert links in comments??)


I got about halfway through this excerpt, then my head did that Warner Brothers' "Sucker Morph"--you know, the one where Elmer or Porky realizes he's just been made a fool of by Bugs.

It was this sentence:

"The greatly expanded childless segment of contemporary society, whose members are drawn disproportionately from the feminist and countercultural movements of the 1960s and 70s, will leave no genetic legacy."

And then I said, "Waaaaaait a minute...There it is again! Some guy wants me to feel guilty for being smart and independent. Oooh, good one, sir! You had me going for a while this time."


Yeh, and there's a couple of fallacies there.

He assumes that the only legacy that really matters is genetic. As culture-bearing critters we also leave a cultural legacy. We impact people other than our offspring.

And often enough our impact on our offspring is negative, and they go the other way! The baby boomers' offspring may be conservative, but watch their offspring.


I did not get the impression he wants us to feel guilty for not having kids. He made it sound like anyone with any sense would avoid raising a big family (probably true).
I thought he was just stating his opinon that population decline will be a problem for our civilization. But it won't, because there will always be billions of people trying to leave the poor countries to come here for jobs.

I think he is so wrong in thinking over-population is not a problem. The earth is now supporting a ridiculous number of people because of advanced technology and unnatural agricultual methods. What happens if those methods stop working, as some (Kunstler, for ex.) predict?

And he claims that patriarchy has been a repeated response to under-population, but he provides no evidence. Patriarchy supposedly results when agriculture progresses from digging sticks to plows.


I must admit reading that post rather terrified me, because I somewhat agree with his conclusions - the rabid fundies and uneducated third world types are the ones who are having bushels of babies, and the educated secular types are having 0 or 1.

An idea I've been promoting for years would possibly solve this situation (if not for the interference of religions who ban birth control because they're desperate to increase their congregations). Universal mandatory birth control that is only removed if and when people choose to have kids and can prove they can take care of them.

I believe that the world is already WAY too overpopulated, and unless something is done soon will destroy itself within the next few generations - though if the fundamentalists take over worldwide that might be a lesser of two evils.

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