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."

  • 74%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

  • Google

Blogs I love and/or learn from

« A Consensus is Building. | Main | The Heart of the Matter [UPDATED] »



A friend of mine, Jewish, made two startling declarations to me last night: he doesn't believe Israel exist 50 years from now, but he'd move there in a heartbeat if he could convince his wife to go.

To this friend, even a home with no future is better than the "magnanimous enclave" we live in today.


I would love to see a post-Zionist world--a world in which there is no need for an Israel. As in Lennon's "Imagine no religions" crap, etc.

Unfortunately, the way things still are today, having there be no Israel would turn us back into a pre-Zionist world.

And I say that as somebody who's never been to Israel, or my husband either, because regardless of whose "fault" anything is, we'd still be blown into the same itty bitty pieces all over a pizzeria. So maybe it's the idea of Israel that counts. Especially Israel having The Bomb. Which I hope to God they never use.


There are times when I think the Abrahamic religions have been more of a curse to the world than a blessing. What's the point of teaching people to live more decently and morally on earth if you're then going to blow the place up . . .

Danny Miller

Of all the info here, I am most shocked by David's friend who doesn't believe Israel will exist 50 years from now.

I would hate to think of any world where Israel doesn't exist, and not just because we "need" it.


Danny, I fear that it may be a lot sooner than 50 years. And if this country is as committed to Israel as it says it is, that then starts WWIII. (Or IV, if this is III we're in now.)

Of the 3 Abrahamic religions, the Jews are the only ones who don't have an "end times" scenario (or they do, but it's a tiny minority phenomenon). Yet their very presence seems to excite or enrage the others. "Twenty centuries of stony sleep/ vexed to nightmare . . . " Even "Gagdad Bob's" post doesn't explain to me why the Jews, this tiny handful of people, send others into such paroxysms of hatred. I can only think of two explanations.

The rational explanation is that people just love to have a scapegoat, someone to hate, and the Jews have become that over time, traditionally. People hate Jews simply because people have always hated Jews. Remember that kids' book "A Hole is to Dig?" An umbrella is to forget? Jews are to hate.

The metaphysical explanation is that the Jews brought a higher moral and spiritual standard, an evolutionary imperative, into the world and it is this that people, or the evil force behind them, resents. As if destroying the Jews would be a kind of lobotomy that destroyed the conscience of the world, the silent reproachful watcher, and would allow evil to have its way. But that doesn't make sense because Christianity and Islam developed from Judaism.

I guess there's a third explanation, that Jews have selected themselves for brains (mainly for purposes of Talmudic disputation, which had all the prestige in Jewish communities) and that people don't trust anyone who's very smart. Such ones must naturally be scheming for world domination, what else are brains for? Add that to money, the fact that Jews were allowed to make interest when Christians were not -- enabling the Renaissance and the exploration of the New World -- and you have all the ingredients of a nefarious conspiracy . . .

Any other theories?


I vote for your "metaphysical" explanation.


Amba: I don't have time to excerpt it here--and actually, now that I think about it I might have to violate fair-use to give the argument justice--but Thomas Sowell happens to address the issue of anti-semitism and its persistent pervasiveness in one of his essays in "Black Rednecks and White Liberals." The essay is titled "Are Jews Generic," and it is very much on point--whether you'd agree with his analysis or nor in all respects--regarding the question you ask here in comments. In his essay, explores the phenomenon of middleman minorities--of which Jews are the stellar example but not the only one--their characteristics, and what the larger societal reactions have been to them throughout history. Fascinating premise.

I realize that many people find Sowell controversial (which, if they read his columns, of which I'm not a fan, as opposed to his books, I can understand). But please don't be put off by that, the title of the book, or the title of the essay. If you're able to get your hands on a copy of the book, I strongly recommend your reading that essay and seeing if it resonates, in whole or in part.


"Middleman minorities," hmmmm . . . why do I have a hunch Armenians also qualify?


Yep. The Lebanese, too, in some instances and places and times. The Ibo. The Chinese in some circumstances. Some Indian subpopulations. Etc.

Lord, you're sharp.

But the Jews pretty much are the best and most enduring example, throughout history and around the world, of the phenomenon.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

New on FacTotem, my Natural History Blog

Jacques' Story: Escape From the Gulag

The AmbivAbortion Rant

Debating Intelligent Design


  • Listed on Blogwise

Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 08/2004