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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Comments

Charlie (Colorado)

But then ...

amba

Charlie, I think this is the permalink you meant. Yes, of course Al Qaeda in Iraq is doing all it can to foment sectarian hatred. Unfortunately it's there to be fomented.

realpc

Do you think the civil war, or whatever it is, in Iraq is related to the attacks on Israel? I mean were the Hezbollah terrorists encouraged by our apparent failure in Iraq? Israel's great protector does not look very impressive right now.

The other day a friend mentioned the situation in Israel and I said well at least they have America's support. She refused to believe me that Bush, the "anti-Christ," would have any sympathy for Israel. Yet, as far as I know, Bush has consistently been pro-Israel.

This led to a useless debate where I explained that, although I was always skeptical about the Iraq invasion and strongly disapprove of how it's going, I cannot agree that Bush is a truly evil person with thoroughly evil and selfish motives.

I can acknowledge that he may be doing a bad job but isn't it obvious that he WANTS to do a good job? Isn't it obvious that he WANTS to stabilize the Middle East and protect the US from terrorism? Even if he's a selfish person (and I have no idea if he is or not) he would WANT approval. What politician doesn't want approval?

My friend could not see anything logical in my statements. To her, the only goal Bush has is to steal all the oil from Iraq in order to increase the wealth and power of himself and his friends.

I wonder if amba or others here have encountered this kind of passionate Bush-hatred, and what you think about it.

meade

Really now, real...

Israel does not have, nor has she ever had, any sort of "great protector." Friends -- yes, a precious few -- but protector? Please.

Israel has always been on her own. Or am I naive? Which other nation has ever shed one drop of blood in her defense?

As for passionate BushHate... please tell me you are kidding and if you're not, just google bush + hate and I think you'll soon have the information you need to answer your own question.

I'll estimate that nine out of ten of my own personal friends and family members would self-identify as being "liberal," among whom the self-infected disease of BushHate is epidemic.

realpc

meade,

I am not kidding. This woman became very sad and disappointed when I refused to join the hate fest. She may never speak to me again. I was very careful and kept saying I respect her opinion (not really) and hoped she could accept my not sharing it. I said maybe she's right and time will tell, but I can't see it now. It doesn't seem logical to me.

This women is not well-informed and this was our first political discussion. She claimed to get the info that Bush is evil via ESP. She said it started when he stole the 2000 election, and when she saw Farenheit 9/11 it just confirmed what she already knew.

She said they tried to impeach Clinton for sex, so why can't they impeach Bush for starting this horrible war? I agreed that trying to impeach Clinton was ridiculous, and I said I'm sure the Democrats would try to impeach Bush if he did anything illegal. She said starting a war on false information must be illegal. I said he could not do it without support of congress, and they were convinced by the false information, including most Democrats.

People who know the Truth hate logical arguments. She became ever more sad and disappointed with me. I said I'm sure the Bush administration doesn't want to destroy the world, since they live here too. She said they must have built an ecosystem out in space, where they can escape.

I am not kidding at all. It was even crazier than what I described.

Most of my family hates Bush. Some of them believe the 9/11 conspiracy theories. In order to check my sanity I read many of the theories, and they were mostly insane, which made me feel sane, well maybe.

I tried to analyze the reason for the hatred -- the real world situation is so terrifying, many Democrats would rather fear the Bush administration than the terrorists. At least they have some control over their own government, but none over terrorism. Many leftists are saying the war on terror is just a tactic, to scare the public into letting the evil Bush adminstration trample over our rights. Bush is the real threat.

So I think it helps them calm down. The world just has to survive 2 years -- or until the impeachment -- and then we'll get a nice high-IQ Democrat to straighten everything out.

meade

Ask them where they were during Operation Desert Fox. Their sputtering will buy you time to think of a change of subject - the weather, last night's baseball scores, what's for lunch.

But I'm with you, real, and trust me, I'm not the only one. And I know it isn't easy -- I too have former friends and even a family member who longer talk to me because I "drank the Bush kool-aid."

You're fine. Think Vice President Lieberman. Think JFK. Think Harry Truman. Above all, keep thinking for yourself.

amba

Yeah, real, the righties call it BDS -- Bush Derangement Syndrome. In the case of the woman you know, "derangement" is not even a little bit of an exaggeration.

realpc

Well I need some advice amba and meade. My best friend and my only sister have BDS, very severe cases. And my woman friend at work also. Do I have to avoid any political conversations with them? That can be a challenge, with the Middle East in chaos.

amba

Yeah, you probably do have to avoid political conversations with them.

What works for me is just sighing heavily, rolling my eyes and saying, "I can't bear to talk about it, it's too depressing."

meade

real, my advice is to take amba's advice. In fact, I need to take amba's advice because talking about it with them and getting all intense has most certainly not worked for me.

meade

On the other ambivalent hand, freedom of expression for thee but not for me? I don't think so. There are casualties in every war. Losing a relationship with a deranged hater just may be one of the least costly. To thine self...

meade

Oh, and just one last thing.

realpc

"Losing a relationship with a deranged hater just may be one of the least costly."

No meade, it almost destroyed my family, which might have caused grief to our elderly mother. The hater gets free speech, not me. I am not even allowed to whisper "But maybe there's another side to the story ..." without evoking a purple-faced tirade.

You can't imagine how hard this is for me. The elementary school teachers used to hate me because I had to point it out every time they were illogical. It's VERY hard for me to shut up when I hear statements I consider irrational.

I can't use the "it's too depressing to talk about" technique -- I'm not someone who avoids unpleasant subjects, so it might seem fake.

Recently I tried "Well I don't agree, so we better not talk about it." That was in response to my sister's budding anti-capitalism: "You know, we always associate free enterprise with democracy, but they are not necessarily connected."

I would not be surprised if she blames the current Israel-Lebanon conflict entirely on Bush.


Charlie (Colorado)

Real, I'm getting back to this late, but I completely sympathize, honest. I end up in the same position, quite a bit in fact. (I live in Boulder.)

You have to choose for yourself: is it important enough to you to push back? Or is it better to remind yourself that it's a statement about them, not you? After all, would you argue with, oh, a paranoid schizophrenic? Or just feel sad for them?

realpc

Charlie,

It's a chance for me to learn more about human nature. The idea that we can be rational is an illusion. I can look at them as crazy, but then I would fall into their blaming pattern.

It's also a chance to practice taming my ego. I have studied certain things for decades and there is an impulse to show off what I know. When I hear an argument that I feel does not respect evidence or logic it's almost impossible to shut up. I just have to learn how.


Also, it's very possible that my ideas have influenced them. People do listen, on rare occasions.

For example, my mother read an article about the new "purple" movement, and said she agrees with it. Maybe her mind was opened by some of the things I said. Like me, she cannot join the left in blaming Israel.

And my friend is, like me, completely ambivalent on abortion.

I think my sister has listened to me, but she is surrrounded by her own radical leftist family, and keeps getting drawn back into that worldview. Sometimes it is very possible to reason with her.

What I have to do is avoid conflict, I have to learn how to sense when it's time to shut up. I don't like pretending to have no opinion, but sometimes I have to.


One thing I have been noticing is that leftist progressivism is gradually becoming the new mainstream. As more people in each generation go to college and become indoctrinated into scientific atheism and secular humanism, it is becoming the accepted status quo for "smart" people. The Christian right vainly tries to hold back this inevitable tidal wave.

Leftists aren't the "free thinkers" any more; they are the new moral majority.

Tom Strong

Well, take this from someone who thinks Bush is an ass, but who doesn't really give a shit otherwise:

Bush-hatred is not really about Bush, and it never has been. It's about the person in question, and about how they feel that a better world - the better world they imagine and hope for - is slipping away, has slipped away, and that there's nothing positive they can do about it. Sometimes they may be utopian socialists, other times just liberal Democrats who really loved the Kennedy years. In any case, they are angry at Bush because a) he's emblematic of changes in our society they can do nothing about, and b) he's an ass.

Which makes me sound like a garden-variety neocon, I know. "Look at these Bush-haters, they're just sore because the Berlin Wall fell!" But here's where I differ from the neocons (except, obviously, for the ass part):

The ideal of a better world that the socialists and the Kennedy-lovers dream of is worth honoring. Some of them are wrong about how to get to it; there can be no more apologizing for the crimes committed by communists. But the fact that they want to get there is good, and important, and something that should be cherished, and worked with.

The same applies, obviously, to the neocons, and even to someone like Bush. While I think he's an ass (mostly in his remarkable stubbornness in pandering to his base, something that he's improved upon in recent months), I do think he has good intentions for the most part. Not everyone out there in the world does have good intentions; there are some truly evil people out there, and if the good is ever to come out ahead, people of good will must learn to put their differences down and find common ground.

The way you do this is by paying attention to the difference between ends and means. People value ends, but get attached to means. It's our constant weakness - the means become the ends to us. Socialism comes to mean a system of equality forced upon the marketplace by government, rather than an economic system that produces enough sustenance for all people with or without governmental interference. You work with people who are different than you by identifying ends held in common, then politely debating the best means to get there. Only by separating the ends from the means can partisan bridges ever be crossed.

Charlie (Colorado)

Bush-hatred is not really about Bush, and it never has been. It's about the person in question, and about how they feel that a better world - the better world they imagine and hope for - is slipping away, has slipped away, and that there's nothing positive they can do about it.

Word.

Not the Kennedy stuff, though. If you look at their policies and positions and speeches, Bush is a John Kennedy Democrat.

Gary Gluon

Hi amba,

I'm new to your blog, and I think I like it, but to tell you the truth, I'm kind of ambivalent about it. Maybe that's your intention.

Anyway, what I do when confronted by BDS or some variant, is charge in full speed, then sit back and survey the wreckage.

I was at a dinner party and everyone was talking about their favorite episode of West Wing. I knew I had some live ones. So during a lull in the conversation, I innocently made the remark, "How about that Ann Coulter? Is she great, or what?"

Well, everyone started talking at the same time (maybe fuming, fulminating and venting is more accurate). They all seemed to think she wasn't really so great.

After a bit, they all stopped to catch their breath, looking kind of wild-eyed. So I put on my best aw-shucks demeanor and said, "Oh, y'all just don't like a smart woman!"

Well, that started them all up again and I sat back and enjoyed the show. Like shooting fish in a barrel. There's nothing more entertaining when you're with a bunch of new york liberals.

Finally, I gave them a wide-eyed innocent look and said, "Gee, what did I say?" Then I sniffled a little like my feelings were hurt. They looked ready to strangle a kitten.

Great fun! (These were mostly people I had grown up with, protesting the Vietnam war back in the good old days, and I guess they thought I was still a liberal.) No friendships were broken, but they all wonder what on earth happened to me.

I evolved. They didn't.

Tom Strong

Charlie,

I don't think the comparison holds up under examination, but there are more unreasonable things to believe.

Gary,

I'm delighted to learn from your example that evolution won't force me, or other new york liberals, to abandon our smug self-satisfaction.

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