Thursday, January 13, 2011

Are you a Goofus or a Gallant?

I watched a corporate training video the other day and the extreme scenarios presented (think about any sexual harassment video you’ve ever had to watch, or the suicide warning films they played in Health class in Middle School) reminded me of the “Goofus and Gallant” series in Highlights magazine. Was Highlights a regional thing or did most people in the U.S. grow up with it, or at least flipping through it at the dentist’s office?

If you didn’t read it, or don’t remember them, here is a good description of Goofus and Gallant I found online and some examples of the cartoons from the 1950s and 60s –

As an uptight child, I hated Goofus and his errant ways, and related to goody good Gallant – now I think Gallant had a stick up his butt and didn’t know how to have fun. Sure, Goofus was a future serial killer or college football coach, but at least he let loose a little. And frankly, all that repression couldn’t have been good for Gallant’s psyche either.

I’m sure there’s a happy middle ground or balance, like Goofant … or Gallus? Maybe a ‘Good Enough’ character. I’ll work on that.

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