Ayn Rand

April 18, 2011

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I remember watching the film The Fountainhead when I was a teenager. I was interested in ideas and this was one movie that was about ideas. And Patricia O’Neal. But all it seemed to be was about the glories of selfishness. I was good with that as long as it was in my interests. I was afterall, a teenager. The problem was that the world did not seem to want to cooperate. Many years later I met a woman at a party. All she talked about was Ayn Rand. She loved Ayn Rand. The woman was attractive and so I feigned interest. Great men must be respected. I said that I had never met a great man. No one, she cried. Have you? I asked. She mentioned some obscure political science professor. I guess I wasn’t much good at feigning or my feigning was boring because she moved off into the crowd.  Years later I worked for the Ministry of Correctional Services. It wasn’t much of a job. File clerk. I had about 2 hours of work. And 5 hours to kill. So I read the files of inmates. One inmate was very interesting. He considered himself a great artist. The psychiatrist asked if he could see some of  his work. The inmate pointed to his head. ‘Its all in there’ the inmate responded. Ah, I thought. A follower of Ayn Rand.

There’s a new movie coming out based on Rand’s ‘Atlas Shrugged’. Her other novel. (Apparently Rand followers consider these two books the greatest novels ever written. I prefer Twain’s The Adventures of Huck Finn.) Rand always seems popular when times are tough. Maybe its because people are desperate for answers. Any answers. I watched her in the Mike Wallace interviews and she is fascinating. She has very little to say but she says it in a way that makes you think that more is to come. She speaks. You wait. She speaks. And then you come to the conclusion. Life is just too short.

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