Monday, December 08, 2008
How to be a Good/Boring person
If you grew up in the 70s or early 80s and your mother ever took you to a doctor's office, then you remember Highlights, perhaps the worst children's magazine ever published. The sole reason this rag existed was to host the cultural virus that was Goofus and Gallant: a poorly illustrated guide to how to be a good kid (or as I like to think, a compliant drone in the big soul crushing machine of society). I remember even at the age of seven voraciously tearing through the various copies of Highlights in Dr. Martin's waiting room to find good ol' G&G -- not because I looked forward to the sage advice of the dimwit who wrote it, but to chuckle to myself at his simplistic view of the world. If Goofus and Gallant taught me one thing, it's that there are adults with jobs who are apparently complete morons.
What I *truly* loved about Goofus and Gallant was that it served to teach not just how to be good, but also how to be the most evil a boy could be, at least in the eyes of pious Christians. It was up to the reader to decide which kid to emulate.
You can bet which way I went.