Archive

Archive for the ‘Atlast Shrugged’ Category

In Which I Wish Ayn Rand A Happy Death Day

March 7th, 2012 No comments

Happy Ayn Rand is dead day!

Seriously! I’m glad she’s dead. It should be celebrated in the same way that Idi Amin’s death should be celebrated – that evil has finally gone back to mixing bowl until the next batch of evil is ready to go get cooked up.

The point of life, and I don’t I’m being too broad here, is to act like what most people consider to be “adult”. Rand’s philosphy is easily summed up in a sentence: “I’m taking my ball and going home.”

Normal people, AKA: Humans, would see an accident and call for help. Someone is in trouble and a life might be at risk. Objectivists would look at that accident and, if it wasn’t going to make them late for work, would drive on by. After all, they didn’t cause it. Whoever did cause it obviously did something wrong, showing a lack of understanding about driving. On top of that, they have a cell phone they can call for help with and if they don’t, they need to get a job. And what are they doing with a car?
I’ve spoken about Rand in a previous podcast which is why I probably got tapped to talk about how happy I am that she’s dead. Seriously. I’m tickled pink! But let me give a quick overview for the uninitiated. Rand came from the Russian privileged class right at the time of the Russian Revolution. As a result, the Communists took her pony away and her parents sent her to the US by herself. And she really loved that pony! It was HER pony, not the Communists’ pony! Somebody else had worked really hard to give her the pony and so she founded Objectivism which states that what you work for belongs to you and everyone else is a leach.  Oh. And her mommy didn’t love her. Once in the US, she got married and became an adulteress who freaked out when her boyfriend started banging other women. She went on to author several books of middle-brow pornography disguised as economic and social philosophy, became a speed freak and died.
Which is why the Christian Right loves her.  Nothing says “Jesus” like devoting your life to dwelling on a childhood trauma. Actually, if Jesus acted like Ayn Rand, he’d be slumped on a barstool, hopped up
on speed muttering, “and then my FUCKING FATHER tells me, ‘heads up, Jesus, you’re gonna be crucified.’ CAN YOU FUCKING BELIEVE THAT!? And the Romans are all like ‘yeah, that’s cool.’ People SUCK.”

But I digress.

The true evil of Rand is that some of what she says makes sense. Personal responsibility is important.  You can’t caretake everyone in the world. And that’s for a couple of different reasons.  The first is that some people don’t want to be taken care of. They look at freedom as…well…freedom.  They’re more than happy to squat in a vacant building furnished with stuff other people throw away. They’re happy to live for free. The second is that some people are just assholes and users and should be scorned by society. What Rand does, and this is a throwback to her childhood, is that she assumes that if you don’t have your own pony, you want hers. She promotes a fascist paradigm in which you are sub-human if you don’t have what she has. If you don’t, you’re an asshole and a user.

It should be easy to see why socially awkward adolescent males flock to Rand’s philosophy.  Have you looked at a picture of Rand disciple and former chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan?
Yeah. It’s like that.

Like most ideology, the adoption of Rand’s philosophy was a fluke. And, like most ideology, it created rabid jihadist adherents. The difference is that the starting point of Rand’s philosophy is that pretty much everyone sucks. Everyone wants her pony.  At the height of the cold war, when it was better to be dead than red, sharing and helping your neighbor was seen to be evil.  Stalin didn’t help disabuse the world of that notion.

As a socially awkward adolescent male, I fell for Objectivism. And, frankly, it’s tough to shake sometimes. Like herpes, you never really get rid of it. The best you can do is warn others against the dangers of it and quarantine yourself when you feel the onset of a flare up.

Happy death day, Ayn Rand! The world is a better place without you.

Categories: Atlast Shrugged, Ayn Rand Tags:

In Which Jesus Is Not An Objectivist

April 20th, 2011 No comments

[Note: The audio version of this will be available sometime soon on The Pod Delusion. Thanks to Salim Fahdley and James O’Malley for that.]

The impending release of the film version of Atlas Shrugged reminds me of one of the lowest, darkest and most desperate periods in my life. Actually reading Atlas Shrugged.

Looking back, I realize that I fit the social demographic perfectly – I was emotionally retarded.  Just out of high school, friends with a lot of girls but with no girlfriend and having turned my back in mild defiance of Christianity, I desperately searched for some reason to explain why I always wound up on the losing end of things when I felt as if I gave so much. 21st century me now knows that I was simply an enabling co-dependent with low self-esteem and the solution lay in the halls of Al-Anon, a therapist’s office and perhaps some serotonin inhibitors.

20th century me, however, grabbed for the biggest, longest and most unwieldy book I could find to make me not feel stupid. At that point, it could have been any book, but it turned out to be Atlas Shrugged. During the summer of 1980 I devoured every line and possibly even masturbated to the image of sharp-featured, dominatrix Dagny Taggart. I knew nothing about objectivism  or Ayn Rand or what a miserable human being she was. All I knew was that, finally, I found good, concise, well-reasoned reasons to tell the rest of the world to fuck off.  I was, at last, better than everyone else.

And I’m terribly, terribly sorry for that.

If, for some unknown reason, you plan to see movie version of Atlas Shrugged, it’s important to arm yourself with this key fact – Rand was a loser who wrote books for losers. Objectivism isn’t so much about strength as it is about not being perceived as weak.  It’s about BIG talk and BIG ideas and BIG actions that can only exist in a self-deluded world of fiction where silly things like “fact”, “logic” and “the laws of gravity do not exist.

Which is another way of saying it’s the perfect Republican bible.  Or would be if Republicans didn’t already have a bible.  But they do. And it’s called “The Bible”

And the two books simply cannot co-exist in the same philosophical space. Sorry.  Just can’t happen. It’s like matter annihilating anti-matter – it ends in an explosion of stupidity and schizophrenia, which, now that I think about it, is the current definition of the Republican party.

If you’re unfamiliar with either books, here’s a brief synopsis.

The Bible: Book one –  God makes everything. He tells the Jews they’re the chosen people and to obey him. They don’t.

The Bible: Book Two – God takes a different tack and decides to rule by guilt. He kills his son, a nice young man who tells us to love each other and help the poor, and condemns us to Hell if we don’t continually thank him for that. And then the world ends.

Atlas Shrugged – The world is going to hell, so all the smart people leave and set up their own cool kids club in a magical pristine canyon that nobody can find. They live happily ever after never having to care about poor people or clean up after the mess they helped create.

Notice any areas of dichotomy there?

Jesus –  And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

John Galt –  Fuck the poor

Jesus –  Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go [and] sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come [and] follow me.

John Galt –  Fuck the poor

Jesus –  Gimme some loaves and fishes and everybody eats

John Galt – If you think you’re getting any of MY food, think again, leech.

This is why America is so totally screwed right now – Right-wing Christian teabagging Republicans have the ideological hots for an amphetamine-addicted, atheist adulteress.  The party that damn near closed my government down because women shouldn’t have the right to abortion because God don’t like it reaches for the Viagra when they read Atlas Shrugged. The party that whines about gay marriage as an affront to God has no such problem when it comes to Ayn Rand. The party that spits on me because I’m not Christian swallows when it comes to Ayn Rand.

After all, I’m not the one that said “Faith is the worse curse of mankind, as the exact antithesis and enemy of thought.” That was Ayn Rand