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

« "For a Democrat who wants to run in 2008, smoking may well be a tactically perfect vice." | Main | Cooling Obama Fever »


Charlie (Colorado)

Hey, watch where you point that thing --- you don't mean "Republicans", you mean "idiots".

Not that there's no crossover.


If you didn't know anything about books, writing, or fiction, you might naïvely believe that those passages reflect badly on Webb as anything other than a writer.

What's the saying, Amba? "Judge the audience, not the writer" -- something like that.

Now, blogging, that's different...


I think the problem for Webb with these passages is that their treatment of fictional women tie in very neatly with the allegations about his general attitude towards real women.

Why is it that this guy, who speaks so passionately in favor of the "warrior culture", is suddenly a hero of the Democratic Party which is, for the moment at least, the anti-war, anti-military-industrial-complex party?


I'm not up on Webb's treatment of real women -- would you fill us in?

The passages themselves look pretty much standard hard-boiled guy fiction to me.

You know the answer to your second question -- politicians will do anything to win. The gay-friendly Democrats found themselves strange bedfellows with gay-bashers over Foley, eh? And the Republicans were suddenly allowing how gayness wasn't so bad when it was one of their own. (This entirely aside from the very legitimate exploitation-of-minors issue, which is the real issue.) The Dems are schizo about the military. (More than) half of them want to pull out of Iraq immediately, damn the consequences. The other (smaller) half want to show they're really tough enough to run the country.


Oops, sorry. You already filled us in on Webb and women -- I should just follow your "allegations" link.


Ah, come on. Case in point! The very Republicans who are suddenly sounding so politically-correct and raking Webb over the coals for his "Women Can't Fight" article were saying EXACTLY the same thing back then. Pure political expediency. I will go so far as to say that some of what Webb said remains true. And some of it has proven overcome-able by women's determination and men's sullen gallantry.

That is so mixed up on that website with instances of Webb's macho callousness towards women ("thunder thighs," etc.) that I can't separate the breast and thigh meat from the propaganda bone.

Seems to me he was just a product of old-fashioned macho military culture. It cracks me up (and pleases me too) to see Republicans maneuvered into being the straight-faced defenders of feminism. Don't they want us to go back home and make babies so Western civilization won't die out?

Alan S C

Down here in Texas, we have a race for State Comptroller where the Republican candidate (a woman) wrote a romance novel a number of years ago. The Democrat (a man) has been going on an on about how the Repub is a pornographer and unfit for office -- although the book is your standard romance plot found in any Borders outlet.

Idiocy does indeed cross party lines. I'll be voting for the Repub simply because the Dem is obviously a damn fool.

Richard Lawrence Cohen

"Do the Republicans really think their constituents are that ignorant?" -- Amba

"No one in this world…has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby." -- Mencken


Just as with Lynne Cheney's lesbian Western romance novel, I promise I will not hold Webb's fiction writing against him if I never ever EVER have to read any of that awful prose again.


Amba, I don't suggest that there's no hypocrisy here by Allen's camp. Certainly his supporters are more likely to share Webb's view on military culture and military service.

But realistically, this election is all about turnout at this point. Just as the Democrats leaped to attack Foley precisely to weaken the GOP base's enthusiasm to get out and vote, Allen is trying to dampen the enthusiasm of the Democrat's base to turn out.

At any rate, my point was not to engage in competitive political demonology, but to directly respond to your suggestion that fiction writers ought not be held responsible for sharing the views of everything they write. Certainly in regards to particular episodes and stories that is true. But in a larger picture, many if not most writers write to share a worldview that they have. Does anybody doubt that Tom Clancy strongly supports the military and special forces people?

To do one of those pernicious hypotheticals, suppose Allen was a novelist who wrote genre romances set in the antebellum South, and as such frequently used the n-word and other slurs. I think it would be legitimate to use that as another piece of evidence, along with "macaca" and all the other charges brought against Allen, to suggest that he harbored racist tendencies.

Webb's book passages, standing alone, don't necessarily indicate his worldview. But combine the passages with his non-fiction stances on the role of women in the military and fairly credible allegations of inappropriate or unwise treatment of individual women, and I think the passages and the charges reinforce each other.

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