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Saturday, February 05, 2005

Ack. Ayn Rand.

Though she assumed room temperature years ago, she'd be 100 this year. Let the retrospectives begin. Oh, Joy!

Where's my barf bag?

Well, even if I spatter the floor, I can use Atlas Shrugged to pick it up--the couch-propping page count makes it very absorbent.

Again cribbing from Mark's blog, I note that he has several excellent quotes about the horrid woman and her pedantically awful work. Do not miss Whittaker Chambers' review of Atlas Shrugged. Perhaps the best summary of her oeuvre this:

The more I think about it, the more her worldview resembles a Soviet era socialist-realist novel with the word "communism" scratched out and "capitalism" written in. The joke has it that they were "boy meets tractor" romances. In her case, it's more like "masochistic girl meets skyscraper." In Atlas Shrugged, the world's oppressed capitalists go on strike. They then withdraw to what sure seems like a commune.

Indeed: Objectivism reads like Stalin in entrepreneurial drag.

Think of it as Das Kapitalism.

Then there's the fact that her philosophy is best suited and most attractive to the anti-social loner, not someone who takes on the responsibilities of family life:

Family fares even worse in Rand’s universe. The virtual absence of children in her work has been noted by many critics, starting with Whittaker Chambers in his infamous roasting of Atlas Shrugged in National Review. Actually, John Galt’s private utopia in Atlas features a nameless young woman who makes it her career to raise rational children; but this brief passage comes across as little more than a pro forma nod to motherhood. In her 1964 Playboy interview Rand flatly declared that it was “immoral” to place family ties and friendship above productive work; in her fiction, family life is depicted as a stifling, soul-killing, mainly feminine swamp.

The only quote from Rand I remember--or need to--is this one:

"Altruism is the root of all evil."

Well, of course. Spoken like a childless dissolute bitch.

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