a ‘rationalization’ fix

November 11, 2013

I’m sitting in Starbucks. Day after day. This fellow comes in and reads “The Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand. I’ve read parts. I’ve listened to interviews with Ayn Rand. I’ve watch a couple of films based on her work. She is no doubt one of the most  unattractive people I have ever heard interviewed. It is this unattractiveness that has made her career. People think she must be a serious thinker.

Anyway this guy comes into Starbucks everyday. Reads his Rand. Piece by piece. He is only the second person I have met who reads Rand. The first was a very attractive woman in her 40s who swore that Rand was our Plato. She was starting a new business and Rand was her inspiration. The guy who came into Starbucks every day and read was an actor, trying to get discovered. He was also in his 40s. I think Rand’s philosophy (Nietzsche gone rancid) suits those who are desperate and need a ‘rationalization’ fix.

I’m sure Rand is very popular with the ‘tea party’ clan.

Vanity

Most people would not.

March 11, 2013

Why is Ayn Rand so popular? Her ideas are second rate. Most of them are drawn from Nietzsche. Perhaps she had some view of America from pulp fiction novels concerning the wild west. Against all type she is a romantic. Although that assessment would make her wince. But I wonder if it is because she dares. Dares to say things that in a religious state like USA, most people would not. Dares to look very unattractive. Dares to be aggressive at a time when it was not considered to be feminine. She is the rebel without a cause. The Don Quixote. And people admire this. Even though her ideas are ridiculous.

Atlas Yawned

February 20, 2013

I haven’t done a movie review in a long time. This isn’t one of them.

That’s the kind of statement  you get in Atlas Shrugged Part 2.

Pretending. That’s what the movie does. Pretend that the government is this. Pretend that the captains of industry are this. Pretend that the general public is this. A movie based on lies.

But that is not unusual. One suspends judgment all the time when watching a film. Except in this movie I found myself irritated. Because this isn’t Batman. Much like Ayn Rand’s philosophy, the movie is filled with holes. I am being asked to be stupid.

The movie should be renamed Atlas Yawned.

 

They wait around to die

November 22, 2011

I can always tell when I’ve lost my sense of humour. Its when I start telling people the way it is. Adam Smith had no sense of humour. He said that everyone operates in their own best interests. No one laughed. Ayn Rand liked what Smith had said. And repeated it in a number of different ways. She got a lot of laughs. She reminds me of the famous comic Jackie Vernon.

Ayn Rand didn’t believe in makeup. She thought that beauty wasn’t skin deep. Here is a picture of her. She had a professional photographer take it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ayn Rand defended the rich. They were rich because they were better. Which goes without saying. The prisons are filled with people who wanted to be rich. They got caught. So I guess they weren’t as smart.

Rich people don’t want their children to have the same opportunities as everyone else. How else can you explain it? Inheritance, I mean. If you got rich because you worked harder than anyone else and was smarter, wouldn’t you want your children to have the same opportunity.

I’d like to be rich. I’d buy a suit. Custom made. One of those Panama suits. Off white. And then I’d wait around for someone to bury me. That’s what the rich do. They get rich. They buy a lot of stuff. And then they wait around to die.

 

I remember the first time I saw one of my profs at university light up a pipe. It looked intellectual. I took up the pipe myself. Although I think I spent more time cleaning the damn thing than actually smoking tobacco. It was so bloody pretentious. And there were a lot of pipe smokers at college, more than you’d find in the population at large. The French intellectuals knew better. They smoked cigarettes to look intelligent. Its because they think they are one with the workers. Or so I imagine. (I don’t really know since everyone in France seems to smoke cigarettes.) But role playing seems so much of the mask that people use who are trying to look intelligent. That’s what I see in Ayn Rand. And that’s what I think makes pseudo-intellectuals so… distasteful. They haven’t grown up. Their child like behavior is annoying. A while ago I was surprised to see photos of Carl Sandberg with Marilyn Monroe. What an odd couple. I remembered that Ms. Monroe had been married to Arthur Miller. Miller once called Marilyn “a poet on a street corner trying to recite to a crowd pulling at her clothes.” Monroe had the right idea for a legitimate intellectual. She was curious.

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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