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

Ruth Anne

We all want to be part of something greater than ourselves. We all have a heart made for worship. The question then becomes what do we become part of and what do we worship?

wj

I'm not so sure that it's a collectivist impulse at work. Perhaps a better place to look is your line about these kids coming from "chaotic backgrounds." What they need is some structure, and therewith security, in their lives. The quasi-military model just happens to be the most immediately obvious place to go for structure.

It is not, however, the only one. I've seen similarly positive results from various martial arts schools. Or even from one-on-one efforts -- although they have problems with scale. What is important is to establish that there is a structure. That there are rules which have to be followed . . . and which are administered consistently. Once you have that foundation, you can add flexibility, independence, etc. But the foundation has to be built first.

huxley

Until Obama fleshes out his resume with more experience and real accomplishments, I think his place in American society is as a motivational speaker, and there's nothing wrong with that.

I'm curious who organized these boys--I doubt they came up with that Alpha-Omega stuff on their own, much less all the references to Obama's health-care plan and so forth.

XWL

It does have an unfortunate para-religious and unAmerican feel about it.

I disagree, it's just as American as The Black Panthers of the late 60s were.

Donna B.

I prefer structured activities that don't require a political ideology.

What's wrong with ballet, orchestra, soccer, baseball, football, synchronized swimming,...?

Anything that teaches individual skills and how to use them in some kind of formal way is sufficient. No indoctrination is required.

amba

wj, as you can see, I don't have a problem with the regimentation. I've benefited greatly from the circumscribed regimentation of karate training, and people clearly benefit from military basic training.

I don't have a problem with admiring a role model, either. That Obama might inspire such kids is one of the best things about his story.

It's the intersection of regimentation with hero worship, the compound, that gets a little toxic. Like one of those chemistry experiments where you put two innocuous substances together and WHAMMO! you've got a third, completely different, much more volatile thing.

Donna B.

"It's the intersection of regimentation with hero worship, the compound, that gets a little toxic. Like one of those chemistry experiments where you put two innocuous substances together and WHAMMO! you've got a third, completely different, much more volatile thing."

I've been reading and re-reading Eric Hoffer's "The True Believer" off and on for the last 4 years.

I know it was cited as a model for Islamic radicals, but it seems much more to me to be a model for the extreme left (and perhaps the extreme right).

That more volatile thing you describe sounds like one of the triggers of a "mass movement".

Ally

This is un-American and creepy but JROTC in high schools is OK, right? BTW, I support JROTC in inner-city high schools, despite my "liberal" leanings, because I have seen the good things it does for kids. If you watch what goes on in JROTC, it's not very different from this, but the chants tend to be about love of country, personal responsibility, etc. And they teach the kids to shoot rifles!

Have some of you witnessed first-hand the deep dysfunction in inner-city schools and neighborhoods? If this instills in these kids a sense of pride and purpose, it's a positive thing. My biggest question is whether they're reciting words the meaning of which is lost on them, or whether they're at least learning something in the process.

Perhaps all of you McCainiacs looking for additional reasons to loathe and fear Obama should look at the bigger picture.

amba

Ally -- you're not listening.

Regimentation, chanting, etc. were praised above for the same reasons you describe.

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