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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michael Reynolds

This entirely anonymous person whose identity is a mystery is a very welcome addition to the blogosphere.


You said it.

michael Reynolds


I can only hope he's not the kind of guy who would obsess over John C. Calhoun.


LOL . . .

Donna B.

I enjoyed reading his commentary and especially related to his saying he listens to, not watches, speeches.

I like reading them, then listening to them. There are nuances that can be conveyed by voice that the written word can't quite do. However, if it doesn't stand up in print, it doesn't stand up at all.

The full speech, I'll read tomorrow. I'll print it out and savor it over a cup of fresh strong coffee. Then I'll find a video of the speech, and I'll have my eyes closed the first time I watch it.


It's a good analysis but he just about lost me in the first paragraph when he said about Obama, "When it comes to delivering a written speech, I don’t find him a measurable improvement over Bush."

He's kidding, right?


No, he isn't kidding. Bush made some great speeches, especially right after 9/11. I don't know how anyone, however much they hate and despise Bush, could say that was a bad speech.


I don't understand why everyone is so excited about Obama. Well I understand -- it's how I felt about the Beatles in 1964. I just never get excited about famous people anymore, and maybe that's too bad for me. And maybe all this excitement will help the economy somehow. But it didn't help the stock market at all yesterday.
There was all that crazed excitement about real estate that caused the whole crisis -- now the same insanity is focused on a person, Obama, who is supposed to lead us back to our promised land.

Obama has not done very much so far, except make speeches. I am completely open-minded about him, and I voted for him, even though I hate the Democrats in general. Why aren't we just waiting and seeing what happens next?

I have relatives who are shivering with ecstasy right now, because Bush is finally really gone. So they must think the financial crisis was caused by Bush and his band of stupid evil Republicans.

Does anyone really seriously believe that (outside my extended family I mean)?


The comment was about the DELIVERY of written speeches. I'm not talking partisan agreement or disagreement with policy here. In fact, I would eagerly agree that Ronald Reagan was one of the finest public speakers this country has ever produced. His skills in that area were unmatched. And I would say that about plenty of other Republican leaders with whom I disagreed (as well as mentioning Democratic leaders who make my ears bleed). But I truly believe George Bush mangled nearly every word that was ever put in front of him. I know he was no bumbling buffoon, but in my opinion, he was simply one of the worst public speakers every to reside in the White House. The way he pronounced words, the phrasing, the way his voice patterns sounded like petulance and sneering to my ears. Granted, this is a subjective issue.

michael Reynolds


Here's why everyone is so excited about Obama: because they are scared shitless.

When people feel like they're circling the drain they have this strange tendency to yell "Help!" And one of the people you hell "Help!" to is the President of the United States. It's kind of why we pay them: because we kind of hope they'll help. When you're sinking in quicksand it's "exciting" to think someone might throw you a rope.

We're at one of those weird times when hope is rational and cynicism is delusional. Being a cynic right now is a luxury reserved to those who either have no worries or have too little sense to realize they ought to be worried. Cynicism is for teenagers still living off daddy's credit cards. People with careers and spouses and especially kids, have no rational alternative to hope.

I find the prospect that we might, somehow, avoid a major depression kind of exciting. Ever had anyone point a gun at you? And then not pull the trigger? I can tell you from personal experience: it's exciting! Maybe we won't have to ride the rails and sing Woody Guthrie songs! Yay!


Well maybe he should have gone to acting school.


Danny, while I think there were a couple of exceptions, I generally agree with you that George Bush was not much good at "speechifying." I'm glad you note that this is not indicative of a lack of intelligence, just lack of a particular skill. I don't know that I'd go so far as to call him the worst, but he certainly was far from the best, much as I generally appreciated the substance of his policy decisions.

He did have a few moments, though. I've long admired portions of his GOP convention speech when he became the nominee. The "soft bigotry of low expectations" was both an important issue and a well-delivered line. While I think No Child Left Behind was a decent start, I'm disappointed we haven't come further in that respect. One of my biggest hopes for the Obama administration is to make progress on that issue.

One of my theories of American presidential politics is that we tend to elect people who are (or rather are perceived to be) very good at something we found the prior incumbent to be deficient in.

Carter was depressing, so we elected Reagan, the epitome of boundless optimism.

Clinton was deficient in personal moral character, so we elected Bush, who ran on something of a "cleansing" platform the first time around.

Bush was deficient in public speaking skills, so we elected Obama, who is usually pretty good at delivering a speech.

michael Reynolds

I didn't think Bush was bad at prepared speeches. I disliked him and disliked his style, but that's like saying I don't like Indian food but can recognize that a particular Indian restaurant is good.

I'd give Obama an A- and Bush a solid B

The real difference is in extemporaneous, conversational stuff. Stylistically Obama's a B+ (I have to mark off for the frequent "aaaaaaaaaand" and some word-swallowing. Bush was a D-. In terms of content -- use of words, evidence of preparation and grasp of the topic -- Obama's an A-. Bush a C-.

(Incidentally, I also liked "soft bigotry . . ." It was absolutely on-target and true. Like Reagan's "evil empire.")

Every comic's Obama impression will start with that "aaaaaaaand." But may end there, too. He doesn't seem to have a lot of other verbal tics. He's bland, smart, handsome and has a hot wife and cool kids. Not much to work with there.


I hope even those who break out in hives at Michael's appearance can appreciate the evenhandedness of that one. Bravo!

Tom Strong

Funny, my list of daily-read blogs has had an opening for a while now...


I thought Bush's State of the Union addresses often were excellent. I couldn't stand to listen to him speak off-the-cuff.

Don't expect daily updates from that other blog. It's meant to have 0 authority, but just be a root cellar where the author can hide fugitive thoughts.

michael Reynolds


I see what you're up to. You don't want us reading that guy's blog because you're jealous. Very disappointing behavior on your part.


Heh- i read the new blog and thought: "Did i read this on ~Anchoress~? I've read this before..."

Proud to say- i seem to have been at the birth. Not nearly as messy as most :0). Of course- i LOVE it.

Zero authority? "They hate him, but they can't hit him." And no need to do verification!!!

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