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

amba

For the record: I didn't want Obama to run this election (and said so many times). He's too green. And if as a result he is defeated and his defeat exacerbates the very divides he had the hubris to want to try to heal, he will be to blame.

Simon

Amba:

And if as a result he is defeated and his defeat exacerbates the very divides he had the hubris to want to try to heal, he will be to blame.

Given that his supporters are busy poisoning the well - you saw after saddleback that their reflex is to say that if their guy lost, the other guy must have cheated, and then there's the deeply offensive meme-in-preparation that Obama lost because of racism - doesn't it seem certain that this will happen unless he wins? I have a deep anxiety about this election because it seems to me that if Obama loses -- particularly if he wins the popular vote, which I continue to think is at least as likely as not -- his supporters are going to go apesh*t. That will almost certainly produce the ghastly prospect of a substantial mass behind a Constitutional amendment to eliminate the electoral college. But on the other hand, if he's crushed, that won't be taken by supporters as rejection of his troglodytic warmed-over great society politics, it'll be taken as evidence of what a racist country we are.

Is there any scenario that you can foresee in which his defeat doesn't exacerbate those tensions? It seems almost as if the left's strategy this election is to hold the country hostage - "elect our super-liberal candidate, or we're going to rip out the stitches."

amba

Simon --

Sadly, I agree.

It's going to be just like the "Hillary lost because of sexism" meme. Frankly, Hillary lost because of Bill! And her decades-long Lady Macbeth pact with him. In other words, she lost on her merits.

I hate that! (This from the professed non-hater.)

I remember saying in the Althouse comments once that here we were quietly and steadily getting over racism, and along comes Obama and makes this election about splashily, showily overcoming racism (and serving his ambitions in the process) -- or not -- when this election should be about terrorism, energy, debt, China, and Russia, for starters.

I don't think that's ALL Obama is about. I think he may have really thought he could just run for president, and get beyond race in the process as a side benefit. And certainly if he were older, wiser, and farther from his radical roots -- and the country were another decade into its quiet dismantling of racism -- he, being some of both, would be well placed to do it. But by jumping the gun, he may well have set race relations back by 30 years.

amba

Keep this up, Simon, you're gonna get me hating him! LOL.

Darlene

This is off topic from the previous comments, but if you watch the convention on C-Span you won't get the talking heads; just a few interviews between speeches. Therefore, you can form your own observation.

One observation I have with the post is about the impression of Maya.I did not think she had a glassy eyed stare. I was too busy looking at her beautiful smile. And, like all the other people on the podium, she was reading the speech from a teleprompter.

Simon

Amba - if his godawful Philly speech didn't convert you, nothing I say will. ;)

amba

Thanks, Darlene. I did find some version of C-Span, but it must not have been the main one -- or they were in a break -- because they were having some sort of "convention town hall."

As regards hating: I have trouble hating people. I often hate the mindsets of which they are captive. I think Obama has potential; I can imagine him becoming a recovering liberal, if he doesn't do irreparable damage first. I actually like both candidates (sorry, Outis!). But I somewhat hate both mindsets, and I have come to hate the liberal mindset more (maybe because I know it better).

amba

Simon -- you mean the race speech? No, I didn't hate that. :(

PatHMV

It depends on what you mean by "change," Annie. At 41, I've now had the opportunity to observe people in college and as grown adults and parents. I have to say that I haven't seen a lot of change at people's core. Yes, lots of change on more external issues, whether they were Democrat or Republican, whether they were pro-choice or pro-life. But if they were fundamentally pessimistic in college, they generally remain fundamentally pessimistic today. If they were fundamentally happy, they remain so today (though that's not as inevitable as those who remain sour throughout their lives... great tragedy can derail that outlook). If they were fundamentally kind and considerate to others, they remain so today.

Certainly there are plenty of people who did stupid things in their youth. I'm sure I'm one of them, though my youth was far more tame than most, I fear. But much of the change that I've observed during the passage to adulthood (both in myself and in others) has largely come from very conscious choices and hard work, a determination to remake oneself. And there's normally some reason or revelation behind that sort of change.

Take Ronald Reagan. He was a committed Democrat. And then he reached the conclusion that either he had been wrong or his party had moved, and he very consciously became a Republican, and spent much of the next part of his career explaining in some detail why.

I've seen no such conscious choice to change from the Obamas. I've not seen Michelle Obama, for example, say, "you know, when I wrote my thesis, I (like most college kids) had no idea how good I had it, really. Now that I've gained some wisdom, I've learned that..."

On a larger note, I fundamentally don't trust people who began focusing on a political career when they were in their teens or twenties. I think it leads to both a deep cynicism and a profound egotism and sense of entitlement.

In the political field, people are judged so much more on reputation than on actual accomplishment. In modern political circles, loyalty and one's dependence on the success of the horse one has chosen early on to back make it difficult if not impossible to head off a career no matter how unsuitable the politician may actually turn out to be. I've seen such people up close and personal, had to work with them, had to clean up their messes. It's not pretty.

While I certainly don't think that Obama as President would prove disastrous, given the choice between a man who had a lot of non-political experience before turning to politics and a man whose entire career has been politically oriented, I'll take the guy with the real-life experience any day, no matter how long he may have been in politics after that early experience.

amba

Pat: I think you're making the noble argument for a citizen legislature. If only.

PatHMV

Not 100%, Annie. There's a certain class of people (mostly Republicans) that talk about running government "like a business." They run for office with NO experience at all, thinking that one can treat government just like some former business they ran. But you can't, and those people tend to get in serious trouble because they don't fully understand that different rules apply when you're spending taxpayer money. There's a skill to governing, and that skill (like any) takes time to learn. I don't mind having a professional class of politicians, it's just that I'd prefer them to have some other experiences, first.

The other part of my concern, which I don't think I expressed well (if at all!) is not just the ambition of somebody like Obama. Ambition is a fine thing, in the right doses. But when all there is is the ambition, with precious little attention devoted to the actual current entry-level job (say, of being a junior state senator), then there is no real learning experience from those starter jobs.

Consider the child stars. A few (Jodie Foster) succeed and do well as adults. But many (Dana Plato, Todd Bridges, Danny Bonaduce) fail completely. Even the ones who "succeed" (Drew Barrymore, Britney Spears) become severely damaged along the way. The failures and damaged ones are given so much attention, told so many times how great they are, not held accountable for anything... their egos and their vanity and their believe in their own immortality bloom out of control, and understandably so.

I think the phenomenon of Barack Obama (and a number of others, in both parties) is similar.

Melinda

Hey, I shoulda checked out this site last night. Sounds like you started liveblogging at about the point where I came in (and said, "Oh, no, Jimmy Carter...why him?")

Seriously, very therapeutic discussion here, and I blogged my impressions over on my own space because I didn't want to hijack the thread.

Annie, I borrowed your Inner Ann Coulter. Hope you don't mind. You can have her back any time. She's giving me a headache.

amba

Pat: until now, politics was immune to the youth-worship of entertainment . . .

Something else I was thinking about Michelle. I read her Princeton thesis. Having gone through (and I mean through, and out the other end) something similar with feminism, I have some sense of her evolution. When as a female or a member of some other stigmatized group you first realize that your deep self-doubt is not merely your own, that it is an internalization of beliefs about your kind held by the dominant culture, it is an amazing realization, and it is often accompanied by anger -- anger that serves the almost physiological purpose of expelling the poisoned barb from your body. Now you can stay stuck there and use "sexism" or "racism" as an excuse for your own failures of nerve, or you can be released by that realization to compete and accomplish something. To the extent that you become a more balanced person, with some experience of successful action (once society has changed to allow and even encourage it) and a normal balance of confidence and self-doubt, you also become less angry. I do think Michelle has changed in those ways. I think the Rev. Wrights are parasites that try to keep the anger going for their own power. The anger is a launching rocket out of self-hatred, but one that must be jettisoned.

amba

What's more: I think the Obamas continued to attend Trinity Church out of guilt. Like all successful liberal blacks, they'd been guilt-tripped that their success meant betrayal of "the community" unless they came back and gave back. Trinity was all about becoming middle class (but NOT calling it that!) while remaining connected to the poor, both for the poor's sake (which is probably the good, helpful side) and for your own sake (to keep up your street cred, which is bullshit).

amba

Melinda: don't tantalize us like that without linking!

PatHMV

I think you're probably right, Amba... but I'm pretty sure I don't want as President somebody who felt trapped into attending a place like Trinity for 20 years out of guilt. That's rather the point I was trying to make earlier. I think the "post-racial" President we need at some point must be someone who was strong enough to call bullshit on stuff like that, rather than succumb to his or her own inner guilt, before it simply became politically required to do so.

Outis

They run for office with NO experience at all, thinking that one can treat government just like some former business they ran. But you can't, and those people tend to get in serious trouble because they don't fully understand that different rules apply when you're spending taxpayer money. There's a skill to governing, and that skill (like any) takes time to learn. I don't mind having a professional class of politicians, it's just that I'd prefer them to have some other experiences, first.

Beautifully and succinctly put.

Outis

All in all I'm glad I didn't watch any of the convention. I don't have a reaction to Michelle Obama's speech because I haven't heard it and don't plan to. And after dipping my toes in the water over at Althouse I got out of the pool. This way I have had to deal with much less in the way of personal aggravation.

Peter Hoh

One side charges their critics with racism. The other side charges their critics with being unpatriotic.

A pox on both houses.

Simon

Amba said...

Simon -- you mean the race speech? No, I didn't hate that. :(
That's the one. The one where he scheduled a speech to explain himself over Jeremiah Wright and then gave us a speech that amounted to a finger wagging telling us that his critics were being racially insensitive. You can't just take that speech on its own merits, it has to be seen in context, because the context is telling. It wasn't just a speech about race in America, it was a speech accusing his critics of racism. As much as I disliked Obama before, that was like pouring accelerant on the fire for me. At that point, he went from being a bad politician to being a bad person.

Peter said...

One side charges their critics with racism. The other side charges their critics with being unpatriotic.
What is patriotism? It seems to me that Democrats reject the charge of patriotism because they say that they want to perfect America while the charge is hurled in the first place because if you really love your country why do you want to fundamentally change it? I have to admit that I incline towards the latter view. Suppose your daughter brings home a boy, and this boy says he loves your daughter, but he deeply resents her past, strongly disagrees with her politics, and wants to change everything about her. Wouldn't you doubt how and whether that boy really loves her?

amba

I should go back and reread it or listen again then. What I mostly remember is him doing the Bill Cosby thing, venturing to criticize the black community and to delicately air a bit of its dirty laundry in mixed public. I literally do not recall having the impression that he was calling his critics racist. But maybe I was blind to it.

What you're saying about patriotism, I think, makes Democrats feel that it's a censorious "my country right or wrong" and that if you express a dissenting opinion or what you believe to be a constructive criticism, it'll be considered traitorous.

Outis

Dang. I wrote extensively about Obama's speech at my old blog. I just reread it, and I think it's some of the better stuff I've written on politics. And now it's hidden from view. I'm really tired of 2008!

amba

A contender for Comment of the Year, Meade.

Meade

What happened to it, A. I don't see it.

Peter Hoh

Simon, your charge would work only if you imagine that all the changes that the GOP would enact are not really "fundamental changes" but rather moves that get America back to what she used to be.

Sounds like the utopia of the mythic past. Of course, I have no idea what part of the mythic past Delay, Frist, Stevens, et al were trying to implement when they held the reins of power.

Medicare Part D? Earmarks?

Simon

Peter, I think you can propose changes that are within the compass of the traditions of American society and the ethos of of Constitution, and then there's the proposals that seek to radically alter and revise those traditions. The latter are problematic for a party that claims to love this country.

I've been plenty critical of the Bush-DeLay-Frist Axis of Avarice myself. I'm not going to defend their actions. But I think that you need to recognize that what is corruption in the GOP is the standard operating procedure on the other side, and it's contemptible either way. Our elected leaders sold out the values for which they were sent to Washington, and if such things were left to me, they'd be expelled from the party and shunned. But that is a criticism of those men, not of the ideals that they betrayed.

Meade

Here, I'll try again:

Simon said: "Suppose your daughter brings home a boy, and this boy says he loves your daughter, but he deeply resents her past, strongly disagrees with her politics, and wants to change everything about her. Wouldn't you doubt how and whether that boy really loves her?"

I would be suspicious of any new boy my daughter brought home if he told me he loved her. Why tell me that? You want me to believe you love my daughter? Show me. Prove it. Less talk, more action. Without action, your words ring hollow. They mean less than nothing.

I have a close friend - a committed Democrat, father of three, good husband - a Marine reservist who fought in Iraq in 2004-5. Before he left for his tour, a tour he had no obligation to serve, we had a long talk. I told him how much I respect and admire him. He reminded me that he had been opposed to using military force from the start.

"I'm not doing this out of patriotism. In fact, I am not patriotic. I hate patriotism."

So I asked him why he volunteered to go.

"I'm going because they're my Marines. I'm going so my kids don't have to go ten years from now. Bottom line is: I can't not go."

My friend, a non-white lawyer who fought and helped win the Battle for Fallujah, loves his family, his Marines, and his country. In that order. He's a dedicated Democrat who strongly dislikes George Bush, respectfully disagrees with John McCain on some issues, and does not trust Barak Obama at all. Whoever he ends up voting for, I would be happy for my daughter if she were lucky enough to date someone so unpatriotic as my friend.

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