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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It may impact appeal, but up until the age of mass communication it had much less importance. Lincoln's voice is supposed to have been rather high and squeaky, as opposed to the sonorous tones that the Lincoln-of-myth has aquired. I'm not really going anywhere with this. I guess I'll stop now.


Yeah, like the real General George Patton. His voice was up in the feminine register, reportedly.


Visual and Auditory appeal .... unfortunately, with media today it has a huge impact on successful tranfer of a message. As Icepick points out, our forebearers had some pretty unpalatable characterisics (check out a portrait of John Adams, Franklin))

We have effectively "flipped the coin", so to speak, on our selection process. There was a time when principled men and women gave up fortunes to move this country forward ... now we have slick-ad developed personalities competing in a televised elimination bout that lasts for years prior to an election. We have educed the process to something akin to choosing fruit at the market. Sometimes the peach that looks the best on the outside(spritzed and lighted) is sour to the bite.


"Bill Clinton's voice is husky, cozy, get-next-to-you intimate -- a seducer's or con artist's voice. I can't quite put my finger on the quality it projects -- hard?"

Hard? How about oily, slimy, or sick? Whatever it is, may I suggest that it's a projected quality not worthy of having healthy fingers of virtue and integrity put anywhere near?

I remember a couple of years ago when an attractive 45 year-old woman -- a self-identifying feminist, a mother and professional -- shared a confession in which she took a bit of pride: I'd vote for him again if I could. I know he's a sh*t for having used his office to hit on female subordinates. He lied to his wife, his daughter, a grand jury, and EVERYone. He is The Big Creep. But I can't help it... there's something about it... every time I hear that luscious Elvis-like voice of his, I get [sexually aroused]"

Shamelessly, I confess here now: I found that woman, on that day, in that moment, and forever after, to be as disgustingly repulsive as the sleaziest scintilla of a sexually transmittable disease.


I goofed grammatically (by inserting something that hadn't been there before. The "hard" referred to Hillary. I've fixed it.


LOL-- poor Meade. It's a warped world.

No, i never found anthing folksy about Cliton. He kinda always sounded stoned, to me.


Check out more of Huckabee's recent TV appearances at our blog.


I agree with most of your voice analyses. Guiliani is the only one with a voice I trust.
But I just don't share the enthusiasm over Obama's voice. Maybe because, as I just found out today, he smokes. You really can hear that in his voice.

I've heard so much about how charismatic Obama is, but I have not heard much at all about what his ideas are. Does anyone here know?


Real - at the moment Obama is like the well marketed items on the shelves at the market. They made the package look good, but the can has not been opened enough to see what's inside.


Real, he's for pulling the troops out of Iraq and, apparently, for nationalized healthcare. Other than that, I don't believe he even knows.


"he's for pulling the troops out of Iraq and, apparently, for nationalized healthcare."

Sure, anyone can just pull the troops out -- doesn't he say anything about alternative approaches to the problem of terrorism?

Anyone can advocate nationalized healthcare. But actually doing it is something else.

I didn't read his book -- are there any ideas in it?

I am seriously considering not voting for Obama, from what I've heard so far.


Real, I haven't heard or read anything that tells me he has deeper ideas. But to be honest, I haven't tried. Since I'm pretty much opposed to both positions I haven't seen any reason to educate myself any further.

Tom Strong

Here's a couple of pro-Obama posts by Hilzoy at Obsidian Wings. If y'all are going to trash him for "not standing for anything," you should at least be familiar with his actual activities since joining the Senate (and before).

For what it's worth, he's not my top choice as a candidate - Richardson, Giuliani, and maybe McCain are all ahead of him in my book, in large part because they have much more experience. But I like Obama, and I think we need more politicians like him.

Richard Lawrence Cohen

I voted enthusiastically for Gore both times, but I cringed whenever I heard him speak -- he was (I hope the past tense applies) so condescending to the electorate, with his heavy emphasis on any word of more than elementary level. I think it was an unanalyzed, offputting part of his much-vaunted "stiffness."

Great peach metaphor by GN.


Tom, the point about Obama is that people like him with no real idea of his specific policy proposals. I keep hearing about how charismatic and likeable and, ahem, articulate he is. I also hear that he is anti-war, has always been so, and wants the troops out now. Beyond that I have to assume that he's pretty liberal. But his positions seem to be ancillary to his popularity, not the source of it.

For me, his policies just don't matter for two reasons.

First, I'm of the opinion that being too specific in a campaign is bad for several reasons. One reason for that is the obvious tactical concern that the more specific one is, the more ammunition one gives one's opponents. Another is that being too specific can limit the possibilities of what can be done after the election. Third, many of the issues that seem pressing today may not be two years down the line. I prefer a broader outline of one's philosophy and beliefs regarding government, and preferably a track record to see how one has lived up to executing that policy.

The second reason I don't care about Obama's policies is that within the context of American politics he and I are opposed to each other across a broad spectrum. If I'm opposed to a withdrawal of American forces from Iraq, it really doesn't matter to me what his alternative policies are. I see no good coming from a withdrawal, he sees no good from us staying. There's no middle ground there. I could go on, but there's really not any point.

Finally, it doesn't matter what opinion I have of him, because I'm not a Democrat, and am therefore not his target audience.



You should listen to opposing views, rather than make up your mind and stop listening. Being a Democrat or not isn't programmed in the DNA, so saying you aren't a Democrat is no excuse for not bothering with Obama's views.

I kept hearing how great and amazing he is, but never a single example of how or why. I guess, as is usual in politics, it's mostly non-intellectual gut feelings.

Maybe he just seems very different from Bush -- and I think I can speak for all of us in saying we are getting very weary of Bush. I gave him every benefit of every doubt, but I'm starting to think he's nuts.

We need an anti-Bush, but that could be a different kind of insanity.

Oh well, I guess that's life. Choosing between various forms of insanity.


Being a Democrat or not isn't programmed in the DNA, so saying you aren't a Democrat is no excuse for not bothering with Obama's views.

BZZZZZ!!!!! Wrong, but thank you for playing!

More seriously, you are correct that being a Democrat isn't programmed in the DNA, although like religion politics is often received unquestioningly from one's parents. However, my own life exerience, preferences and thoughtful (by my standards anyway) considerations have led me to the position that I my political affiliation is !Democrat. (! = a logical NOT) In fact, I'm more !Democrat than I am Republican, although that's usually too much of a bore to explain.

I've now read the Hilzoy posts that Tom Strong links to above. Some of Obama's policy initiatives seem fine, the kind of things that most people would at least accept if not actively support. But there are several domestic issues where his proposals make me deeply suspicious.

For example, he wants to tighten election laws. Hilzoy quotes an LA Times article:

"Under the legislation, anyone who knowingly misleads voters about polling times and places, voter eligibility and registration requirements, candidates' party affiliation or outside endorsements could face fines of up to $100,000 or five years in prison."

Well, that all sounds reasonable enough. Except that misrepresenting someone's outside endorsements sounds really damned broad. When the government starts deciding who gets thrown in prison over campaign sloganeering, I get concerned, and this sounds far too close to that for my comfort.

In another spot, Obama talks about the need for shared sacrifice. I don't like the sound of THAT either. He wants me to sacrifice for his version of a City on a Hill. He calls it a shared vision of community, but shared with whom? Is his vision mine? Probably not, as he takes that opportunity to call a large swath of those in the other party intolerant bigots, although he does it smoothly and skillfully so as to offend as few as possible. But it doesn't matter if I agree with his vision of community, he's going to make me sacrifice for it either way.

So, how much consideration do I have to give to someone who's views are radically diffferent than mine? Especially since I'm neither in government nor in organized politics?


Put more simply, there are two natural, metaphorical reactions to someone greeting you at your front door and saying "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help you."

One response is, "Oh good, the government is here to help me!"

The other is to go back into one's home and get the shotgun down off the mantle.

Those of us in that second group aren't looking for any more goddamned government to have to fight. So, where's the middle ground I'm supposed to find with someone who thinks government is the answer?


Icepick, I sympathize with your distrust of government. I don't want to be forced into someone else's idea of utopia.

I guess "shared sacrifice" can be interpreted in various ways, though. But from a liberal, it probably means a steeper graduated income tax, and I think it's too steep already.

I do believe we have to act like a community though, and we are more than a bunch of separate individuals. We are deeply interconnected and have responsibility for one another. We no longer live in traditional tribes, so we rely on our modern governments for some of that connectedness. We need things like Medicaid, and they cannot all be left to private do-gooders.

On the other hand, socialism sucks and we should do our best to oppose it.

I would like to know more about Obama, and whether he has any new ideas. I think we need a re-definition of the liberal-conservative spectrum. It is no longer about communism vs. free enterprise, or about individual rights vs. tradition. All sane Americans now agree that communism sucks, and all agree that people have rights even if they're female, black, and gay.

The old controversies have been settled, but you would never know it from most of the political discourse! What are the new controversies? Left and Right disagree about Iraq, gay marriage, national health care. But the reasons for the disagreements are not the same as they would have been 50 years ago.

Political categories evolve, but no one seems to mention that. I thought maybe Obama was a new radical centrist, or something like that. If anyone has a link to his ideas, I would appreciate it. I think Mark Satin wrote something last year, which might be where I got the idea that Obama had new ideas.

But no one running for president can say anything too surprising.

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