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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Sissy Willis

Fascinating and revealing -- pun intended.

Encouraging to see a crack in the wall of a politically correct, feeling-good-about-oneself "lifetime of being taught to respect foreign cultures."

Let the light of common sense and self-preservation shine through.


"I spent my days in Saudi Arabia struggling unhappily between a lifetime of being taught to respect foreign cultures and the realization that this culture judged me a lesser being."

Why would it be disrespectful to engage another culture on the issue of what is right and what is wrong? It's not disrespectful at all. On the contrary, to suppose that one must not engage in cross-cultural dialogue is patronizing and, worse, promotes conflict by supposing that we cannot communicate.

Of course, the dialogue should be just that, a dialgoue -- not a lecture. To engage Islam, we must understand where Muslims are coming from and this in turn requires us to understand and, yes, respect, their religious motivations. Western liberals are poor candidates for this task because they tend to be tone deaf when it comes to religion.

A philosophy that champions tolerance without regard to truth is a philosophy that is destined to become mired in incoherence. "Tolerance" is not a necessarily a good thing -- it depends on what is being tolerated and to know this requires a judgment about what is true and what is fale, what is good and what is evil. So many today seem incapable of understanding this, even when confronted with evil and injustice.

Ruth Anne

Not too long ago, The Anchoress was writing about the continuum between the bikini and burkha. Modesty lies somewhere in the middle--not in completely revealing the body nor completely covering it--but in celebrating the body beautiful in an appropriate context.

Ruth Anne

Dan: Did you see this episode of "South Park" where they dissembled the concept of tolerance?


Ruth Anne: my way of putting that is, "They brown-bag their women, we shrink-wrap ours" ... both reduce women to nothing but their bodies and their sexuality -- really, to men's sexuality, men's sexual response to them. It is totally a primitive man's-eye view, either way.


"But Saudi women don't mind, the Saudis and the cultural relativists will say. True, many don't. It is remarkable, the restrictions on your freedom that you can get used to and even dependent on."

I am no cultural relativist, but isn't it relevant what Muslim women want? Why is the burka a restriction on their freedom if they choose it? I have read that some women consider the burka to be a liberation from the lust of men. Obviously it is a different issue to the extent the burka is required by law, as it is, I understand, in Iran.

Speaking of cross-cultural comparisons, which is worse, the burka or this:


The last link was too long to post correctly. It's an article about the truly horrific violence against women in movies such as Saw and Hostel.


There is some evidence that demanding that women be totally covered is a matter of control more than anything else. Consider: in Saudi Arabia,
- Saudi women are required to be totally covered, leaving at most a thin slit at the eyes.
- Non-Saudi Muslim women are required to have the hair totally covered, but may leave their face bare.
- Non-Muslim women still have to wear the long-sleeved, floor-length coat, but may leave their heads bare. That is the way the law reads, and I can attest from personal observation that that is the way it is enforced. Which is to say, I have seen (Western, blonde) women in Riyadh walking bare-headed -- even into the Ministry of the Interior building.

Control. Not morality.


Hello from Riyadh where I'm setting now in a coffee shop called in the 'men section' and I hear women almost shouting in their section.

Interesting article, and great replies. Sissy Willis, amba and others had a nice neutral opinions.

I went to New Zealand with my sister. We were worried about discrimination in airports and in the country itself because I have a beard (typical terrorist: Saudi & a beard), and my sis is covering her face like in the picture but not with black.
I told her "Listen, the idea of covering is not to be harrased or hurt in any way, so if the case will be the opposite here, then dont u think it's better if u make it normal veil?" She disagreed and insisted on covering the face.
Long story short, we had an exciting month there, with weird looks toward her and scared looks toward me! but they were such nice kiwis! since treatment doesn't change, i've no problems with the looks. It needs widely open mind to understand how did we define the good & bad, the correct & the incorrect; and how people defined it; and to what extent do we have the right to "tag" people "terrorist", "free", "kewl"..!


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