I remember these little cartoons from when I was a kid, which tells you how old they are, but my kids also read them. They were staples of the magazines in pediatrician’s offices (they might still be, I don’t know). It was a simple concept, a series of panels in which two kids were faced with a situation, and Gallant would respond in a good way, while Goofus would screw it up even worse. It plays out in real life, too!
Earyn McGee is a grad student at the University of Arizona. One of the fun things she does on Twitter is post photos under the hashtag #FindThatLizard, and then post the answer later, under the hashtag #FoundThatLizard. That’s the game. She has some simple rules, like this:
It is that time! The rules are as follows: you will have until 9pm MT to #FindThatLizard, you are welcomed to post guesses in the comments with #FoundThatLizard, and most importantly have fun!!! 🦎🦎🦎 good luck! #HerpetAllogy #HERper #scicomm #lizard #BLACKandSTEM #herpsci pic.twitter.com/icEJnNi4Sf
— Earyn McGee, MSc🦎🦎🦎 (@Afro_Herper) January 10, 2019
Well, a well-known science blogger found that photo, and appropriated it, and put up a post saying “Spot the Lizards!”. Without linking to the original. Or naming the author. Saying he’d name her later, after everyone had played the game on his blog. But…but…that’s just the game on her twitter feed. No one needed his blog to enjoy the idea, and he added absolutely nothing to the game.
So let’s play Goofus and Gallant.
Here’s McGee’s response. It’s a gracious acknowledgment of appreciation, and a polite request that he not undermine her efforts.
Hi Jerry! I’m glad you like my challenge. You can find each one with #FindThatLizard and the solution with #FoundThatLizard. I put a lot of time and energy into these challenges so I would appreciate it if you’d take this down and repost with appropriate credit. Thanks!!🦎🦎🦎 https://t.co/EaNUYzuS9N
— Earyn McGee, MSc🦎🦎🦎 (@Afro_Herper) January 11, 2019
Wow. I’m never that nice. But that’s a classic Gallant reaction.
Now watch how a Goofus can take a bad situation and make it even worse.
This is how a Goofus reacts, by blaming everyone else.
Umm. . . I SAID I’d give the tweet in the reveal post at noon, which I did and which shows who posted the picture. You should know better than to chastise me before you know all the facts. Shame on you. I will accept an apology.
UPDATE: Apparently a Twitter mob was sic’ed on me by people who didn’t even read my post, which said this: “Can you spot both? I’m not giving the original tweet, as it contains the answer, but I will in the reveal at noon Chicago time.”
Credit was of course given; I withheld the source for a few hours so people could guess without looking at the answer in the subsequent tweet.
The Twitter outrage mob didn’t read the original post (this seems to be common), and piled on without doing so. I’d say they all owe me an apology, but of course I expect none. That’s the way outrage culture works. Even if you err, you never apologize.
Wow (that’s a bad wow, if you can’t guess). That he announced that he was subverting McGee’s game ahead of time and would eventually reveal the creator does not change the fact that he was basically stealing attention from a grad student. Then to demand an apology? Hoo boy.
But then he updates to chastise people, calling them a “twitter mob”, for not reading his blog post, as if that were the star around which everyone is supposed to orbit, and demands that everyone apologize to him.
Jebus. That’s too extreme a difference for even a Goofus and Gallant cartoon. No one would believe that Goofus could be that petty in Highlights for Children. But then, the creator apparently didn’t know Jerry Coyne.
By the way, Gallants who use Twitter might do well to follow Earyn McGee.