Click here for the introduction to the Round and Square series "Goofus and Gallant History and Ethnography"
This is a "small" (小) post—click here for an explanation of Round and Square post lengths.
7 July 2013—Felicitous Felinity: Contumely
7 July 2012—Asian Ethnicities: The Han Majority in China
7 July 2011—Middles: T.S. Eliot's "Marina"
|[a] Highlights Magazine August 1963|
|[b] Howdy, Gallant! RF|
This series will teach us a great deal about culture, society...and history. I lived some of it. I would be lying if I said that I didn't aspire to be Gallant...even as I recognized the stupid lack of irony in all of these unreflective adults-writing-for-children-DIDACTIC posts. Still, I aspired to be Gallant. I'm proof that you can be didactic with some of the children, some of the time (for better or worse).
Goofus and Gallant are at it again.
Saint Francis of Gallantry is up against Attila the Goofus, and the ants don't stand a chance.
Gallant is a particular kind of snot-nosed little jerk—the worst kind (the kind who hurts animals). Those kinds of little pukes often grow up to occupy the lowest rungs of humanity.
|[c] It's Goofus! Flee! RF|
And you know what, you need to be relatively smart to be that cruel.
This reminds me of Confucius's distinction between the junzi (sometimes translated as "the gentleman," and I guess that sort of works here) and the xiaoren, the petty person.
Oh, and Goofus is all sorts of petty (thief and tyrant). The problem is that he is smart. Smart and mean is a worrisome combination.
Can Gallant meet this with his other cheek? This gentle squirrel-feeder and ant-watcher sets a beautiful example (heck, and entire Testament is devoted to it). But can he match the little ant-stopper?
Only human history will tell.
|[c] St. Gallant of Highlights RF|