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Have no doubt, Paul Ryan is a big admirer of Ayn Rand

"I grew up reading Ayn Rand and it taught me quite a bit about who I am and what my value systems are, and what my beliefs are. It’s inspired me so much that it’s required reading in my office for all my interns and my staff. We start with Atlas Shrugged. People tell me I need to start with The Fountainhead then go to Atlas Shrugged [laughter]. There’s a big debate about that. We go to Fountainhead..." - Paul Ryan, 2005 speech, quote starts at 2:01
Reading these books first as an adolescent, its not a big leap to think Rand's influence on Ryan included her utterly bizarre portrayal of sex, generally as either outright rape (The Fountainhead) or a coercive act very, very close to it (Atlas Shrugged).
“He moved one hand, took her two wrists and pinned them behind her, under his arm, wrenching her shoulder blades.…She fell back against the dressing table, she stood crouching, her hands clasping the edge behind her, her eyes wide, colorless, shapeless in terror. He was laughing.” – Ayn Rand, “The Fountainhead”

When asked about that scene, here's what Rand herself had to say:

“If it was rape, it was rape by engraved invitation.”
From Rand's introduction to the 25th anniversary edition of “The Fountainhead” (emphasis in the original)
“This is the motive and purpose of my writing: the projection of an ideal man.
Let's move on to her second famous (or infamous) work.
“It was like an act of hatred, like the cutting blow of a lash encircling her body: she felt his arms around her, she felt her legs pulled forward against him and her chest bent back under the pressure of his, his mouth on hers” – Ayn Rand, “Atlas Shrugged”
In Rand’s world, the heroic woman is one who achieves her goal when she goads a man in to a violent sexual attack.
“She felt him trembling and she thought that this was the kind of cry she had wanted to tear from him — this surrender through the shreds of his tortured resistance. Yet she knew, at the same time, that the triumph was his, that her laughter was her tribute to him, that her defiance was submission, that the purpose of all of her violent strength was only to make his victory the greater-he was holding her body against his, as if stressing his wish to let her know that she was now only a tool for the satisfaction of his desire-and his victory, she knew, was her wish to let him reduce her to that.” – Ayn Rand, “Atlas Shrugged”
(Yikes, there really is no writer more turgid than Rand.  Someone should start up a
contest similar to Bulwer-Lytton, where people try to write in that hilariously adolescent Randian style)

After hearing over and over from the right how much influence the incendiary words of "spiritual mentor" Reverend Wright had on Barack Obama, its more than fair to ask how Ayn Rand's view of "legitimate rape" has shaped Paul Ryan's views on sexual violence and a woman's right to choose.

I'm no psychologist, but it seems not unreasonable that a teen, at that very age when views on sexuality and gender are being formed, reading an author he greatly admired, would be deeply influenced by these scenes.

Now Paul, if your tastes run to a kink that requires some bondage or non-consensual role-play or occaisonally wearing an Alan Greenspan mask, its none of my business.

When its not a fetish, but a framework for shaping laws around certain types of crime, and reproductive rights, I'm going to have to point out, repeatedly, that you're an idiot.

Originally posted to Things That Fell From My Brain on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 11:12 AM PDT.

Also republished by Rape and Domestic Violence, Feminism, Pro-Feminism, Womanism: Feminist Issues, Ideas, & Activism, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks for pointing this out (22+ / 0-)

    I college friend gave me an Ayn Rand book for summer reading and I couldn't even finish it (unusual for me, since I devour books like popcorn). It was just so poorly written, so boring, and then there was the sicko sexuality, as you have pointed out.

    This was in the 80's, and even back then the portrayal of female sexuality as wanting to be overpowered and forced to accept sex was hilariously anachronistic. Maybe that's the way women thought about sex in the 40's and 50's, but not in my generation.

    A skit on SNL mentioned this book "Fifty Shades of Grey" so I had to google it. And what do you know? It's the same unhealthy portrayal of female sexuality as one of submission to the domineering male.  Go figure.

    Some people apparently do want to go backwards.

    •  I too devour books like popcorn. (13+ / 0-)

      I have a copy of "Atlas Shrugged" that I picked up 20 years ago. I read about a third of it and was disgusted.

      I have tried recently to read more because of how important it has become. I read a couple of pages and ewww... maybe tomorrow.

      •  A few points. (7+ / 0-)

        An intern in the office of Congressman Paul Ryan who has not already read Ayn Rand is probably never going to read Ayn Rand.

        You say "how important this book has become".  If this books importance (if any) is not based on anyone having read it.  You've read about a third, you say.  That's about a third more than many waving their uncreased paperbacks around like Bibles.

        •  One movie provides more insight than her books (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          caul, kyril, SYWTSAR, CenterLeft

          There is a movie about Ayn Rand's life, based on a biography of her written by Barbara Branden, called "The Passion of Ayn Rand."

          Barbara Braden was wife to Nathaniel Branden. Both were Canadian disciples of Ayn who were so taken by her work that they came to live with her (after cultishly change their names to "Branden").

          Eventually, Ayn seduced the much younger Nathaniel and the two began having an affair.

          spoiler alert

          There are two very telling scenes in the move.

          One is where Ayn asks her husband why (sexually) he always has to request her consent.

          The second is where Ayn demands that her husband and Barbara, Nathaniel's wife, approve of and consent to the adulterous relationship between Ayn and Nathaniel.

          Regardless of whether you love or hate Rand, the movie is a must-see, based on an account by an insider into the Rand cult.

          •  no offense (7+ / 0-)

            But Rand is not worth my time.
            I occasionally mock her in poorly edited comment.  I don't need any more facts about her.
            Rule of thumb:
            Would I rather watch this or watch Blazing Saddles again

          •  That movie was truly awful (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kyril

            It was on OnDemand this month. If the movie itself wasn't awful, perhaps it was the material it had to work with.

            I could see her acolytes lining up with any idiot dictator and proudly doing his or her bidding without question.

            I have never been able to figure out if Fox is the propaganda arm of the Republican party or is the Republican Party the political subsidiary of Fox.

            by Dave from Oregon on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 07:10:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  And Atlas Shrugged (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              caul, detroitmechworks

              really knocked dead at the box office - not

              How many weeks was it out there? 2

              Some people have short memories

              by lenzy1000 on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 08:00:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  And yet, it's getting a sequel... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                PSzymeczek, CenterLeft

                released to theaters.

                Oh yah, there's NOTHING political about which films get greenlit.  Nothing at all.

                I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

                by detroitmechworks on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 07:01:00 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Like our local multiplex. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  CenterLeft

                  Wouldn't show "Game Change" or "Inside Job", or even "Sicko".  In fact, most of the stuff they show is either the latest kiddie flick or action movie geared to the mentality of a 14-year-old-boy (or the GIs that make up the majority of the moviegoers around here).  But they are showing the right-wing hatchet job "2016:  Obama's America" based on the "writings" of Dinesh D'Souza.  They also showed the anti-Obama screeds that came out in the run-up to the 2010 elections.

                  You can't keep a mighty tree alive (much less expect it to thrive) by only spritzing the fine leaves at its tippy-top. The fate of the whole tree depends on nurturing the grassroots. - Jim Hightower

                  by PSzymeczek on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 12:08:00 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Did Ryan yank it out from under a frathouse couch (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    PSzymeczek, CenterLeft, bluezen

                    where Atlas Shrugged wedged under the short leg was most usefully keeping the Coeds from tipping off and spilling beer on themselves?

                    I'll bet all his frat buddies still hate him for it.

                    No one ever gots through that excreble 90 page pulp knothole of philosophic drivel at its center unless they were termites or apparently GOOP wannabe galts.

                     

                    "I'll press your flesh, you dimwitted sumbitch! " -Pappy O'Daniel

                    by jakewaters on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 01:43:11 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  The idea that two men wanted to have sex (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PSzymeczek, CenterLeft

            with the actual woman who called herself Ayn Rand is mind boggling to me.

            She was a repulsive woman both inside and out.

            •  They must have been turned on (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bluezen

              by the idea of someone who liked to be "raped". The mere thought of this is sick on so many levels, I think we need to dig a new 11th circle of hell to hold it.

              The Golden Rule isn't so golden if you don't polish it with every soul you meet. (-6.5,-4.1)

              by minidriver on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 12:34:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  The Book Would Be a Better Choice (0+ / 0-)

            I read the book and it is compelling if one is interested in learning more about Rand. I would never recommend a movie as source for somebody wanting factional information as a movie's purpose is to entertain. Even those who strive to be true to their source material take liberties for dramatic purposes, and this one is no exception.

        •  Important books nobody reads (0+ / 0-)

          One of those was Mein Kampf in Nazi Germany. The original (not the grammatically cleaned up English translation) is extremely tedious to get through. It's like plodding through transcripts os Palin speeches. So while everybody had it, hardly anybody read it (at least not cover to cover anyway).

          261.A wealthy man can afford anything except a conscience. -Ferengi Rules of Acquisition

          by MaikeH on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 06:47:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  you know, if this is their "bible" (0+ / 0-)

            on how to run a universe ...

            damn, children, the fail is strong with all these ...

            LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

            by BlackSheep1 on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 09:26:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I agree wholeheartedly (11+ / 0-)

      and for me it's twice as nauseating when it's women making a career off of peddling rape and misogyny.

      Also, too:

      He moved one hand, took her two wrists and pinned them behind her, under his arm, wrenching her shoulder blades.…She fell back against the dressing table, she stood crouching, her hands clasping the edge behind her
      I'm now picturing a woman resembling Gumby.

      I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

      by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 11:55:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know! (7+ / 0-)

        It doesn't even make literal sense!

        But here's a real question. Do you think Rand was a worse writer than she was a political philosopher?

        Tough one.

        •  That IS an interesting question! (20+ / 0-)

          I've only read her two novels.  Never read her essays, and I very much doubt the vast majority of her followers have either.

          Basing your notions of economics on Ayn Rand's novels is rather like basing your views on how NASA should conduct science on the basis of old Star Trek episodes.

          Or perhaps, "Lost in Space", would be a closer analogy.

          •  Oh, don't compare Roddenberry to Rand (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bluezen, minidriver, The Stig

            it's like comparing Lincoln to HItler.

            Really.

            Roddenberry, a vet of WW2's US Army Air Forces, got decorated for his military pilot prowess and for civilian heroism after a crash in an overseas desert -- then he left Pan Am and took a day job as an LA motorcycle cop. You think maybe, whether he "studied" it or not, he knew a little something about physics?

            You think maybe he learnt something about people, in the USAAF in wartime, on the streets of LA? Maybe. He passed away in 1991, but people still talk about him. The other day at a furniture repair shop I encountered a poster-sized reproduction of one of his quotes (paraphrased): Don't measure a civilization by its readiness for war, but its ability to avoid war.

            What about Ayn Rand? Look hard. Her bio reads like a precursor to Rush Limbaugh -- argumentative, unsuccessful, feeling victimized by the government of her homeland; a drug-user even after the prescriptions ran out who derived most of her pleasure from publicly defaming politicians and philosophers she disagreed with.

            Roddenberry's no saint, but with all his imperfections he's still somebody who made the world a better place.

            Rand's a leech. Proud of it, too. Ask her cultists.

            LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

            by BlackSheep1 on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 10:20:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly! (6+ / 0-)

        I fail to see how a supposed family values "Christian" like Ryan could push the blatantly misogynist turgid crap written by an amoral, atheistic (not that atheism is necessarily wrong, but it seems odd that he would support it), ex-pat from the Soviet Union who was also in favor of abortion in any case and hated Ronald Reagan with a passion.  Politics does indeed make strange bed fellows!  

      •  I wonder if she tolerated an editor. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sagesource, The Stig, kyril

        Why do I doubt it.

        rMoney: Just another jerk, lookin' for work.

        by OleHippieChick on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 04:37:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It used to be the Norm (1+ / 0-)

        Bodice Rippers were standard Romance fare up until the 90's when they start to fall out of fashion. For those unfamiliar with the term, it calls for the hero to forcibly take the women sexually because that what she really desires is to be swept away. It came out of a culture where "good girls" didn't want sex and had to be swept away in order to be given permission to feel desire. I expect Rand crafted her sex scenes based upon those notions regarding the nature of a women's desire.

        It is rather odd that Rand, who derided the church's role in making people feel guilty over their sexual drive as a means of control and held that women had a fundamental right to seek sexual fulfillment and even pressured her own husband to accept her open affair with a much younger man would have to resort to such misogamist views on the nature of women's sexuality.

    •  Uh, NO. Not the same at all. (14+ / 0-)

      There is nothing unhealthy about BDSM.  EVERYTHING that occurs is consensual.  Couples negotiate what will happen--very formally sometimes, including filling out a checklist of possible sexual activities and discussing it at length. EVERYTHING is consensual, and nothing happens without the sub's agreement--s/he can end it with a single word.

      FYI, submissives are as likely to be male as female, and Dominants are as likely to be female as male. I've had Dominant friends who were both genders. I am way too lazy to be a DOmme, because it means planning the scene from start to finish. I'd rather just be the center of the Dom's attention.

      I haven't read  50 Shades of Gray, and won't--because it's written in the present tense, something I hate, and because it's basically Twlight fan fic and I don't care for the original as well as being unable to picture passive, whiny Edward as a Dom.  

      SO, no they have nothing in common at all, and please don't tell those of us who are kinky that our sexuality is unhealthy. It might not be your cup of tea, which is fine, butit is as far from rape as it is possible to be.

      The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

      by irishwitch on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 01:51:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tikkun

        I'm liberal, which means I believe fundamentally in the freedom of everyone to do what makes them happy, as long as that doesn't harm anyone else.

        However, I am going to need to disagree with you about the healthiness of women choosing submissive/degrading/abusive sexual relationships. It may feel good to them because it reinforces what they have been told about themselves: that they are powerless, that they are worthless and that as women they should do as they are told.

        I'm a mother of a daughter, and there's no way I consider that view of women healthy.

        •  How much do you know about (0+ / 0-)

          BDSM/Leather/Kink ... and the woman (and men) who chose "submissive" roles within it ?

          My guess is "little or nothing"...  that "little" gleaned from the oeuvre of Andrea Dworkin  or perhaps from the Shades of Grey series itself -- certainly NOT from anything written by Ann Rice, Laura Antoniou or  John Preston.  

          (Is there any point in pointing out that in  practice, Consensual BDSM relationships tend to be neither "degrading" nor "abusive"  that  "submissive" tends to be a matter of interpretation -- and that 24/7/365 role rigid relationships are (depending on your point of view) a seldom achieved ideal or a rarely encountered "outlier?")

        •  When you form an opinion based on ignorance (0+ / 0-)

          that makes you ignorant and close-minded. You don't know diddly about  BDSM relationships, yet you feel the need to disapprove of them. How does that make you different from someone who knows nothing about Islam yet thinks all Muslims are terrorists? Or fundy Christians who know nothing about Wicca but feel called upon to tell me I worship Satanist? Answer" there's nothing different.

          And thank you so much for telling me I feel powerless, degraded and unworthy--because, lady, that is what you just did.

          I'll match my feminist credentials against anyone here.  I have two graduate degrees. I am very intellectually aggressive. I don't back down from an argument if I think the person's wrong--and I generally argue from facts and with reference links or footnotes.  Didn't make me popular with guys in college, but I figured it was THEIR problem, not mine. I don't back down from arguments with my husband if the matter truly concerns me--and we've had some doozies that generally end in  a compromise both can live with. If you see that as unhealthy, then....

          For me, it is relaxing at times to turn my whirling mind off for a bit and just be a body. If a spanking (which gives pleasure) helps me do that so my mind is on sex and not on what I am gonna write here or tomorrow's errands, I say go for it. AN orgasm is an orgasm is an orgasm.

          The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

          by irishwitch on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 01:16:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  A timely update from my local newspaper (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      caul, kyril

      For all the talk about 'Atlas Shrugged' being the most vedy vedy important-est thing evah, you may recall a film version limped into theaters a few years ago..and was promptly ignore by Rand fan and foe alike.

      Apparently few members of her shadow army of 'rational self-interest' apostles could spare the time to watch their own personal 'The Passion/Lord of the Rings' film franchise.  Curious.  How many of those true believers, do you figure, who couldn't be bothered with watching a movie have bothered to slog through even the manifesto at the end of the novel?

      Anyway, that film turned out to be merely Part 1....I figured after it fell on its face we'd never see - Part 2 (again, parallels to Bakshi's Lord of the Rings).  But good news...apparently a Part 2 is being cobbled together.  with different actors in all the major roles and with John Putch taking over at the helm as director.  I don't know his politics.  Maybe its just a gig for him, if so carry on.  But his most high-profile film to date was direct to video BEETHOVEN'S CHRISTMAS ADVENTURE.

    •  I too was unable to finish Fountainhead (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril

      I bought a copy in college right after William F. Buckley had denounced Ayn Rand because I was curious about what he was denouncing, and I was so bored I stopped reading half way through.  I've saved most of my books from college, their pages are now yellowing, but I have no idea what I did with Fountainhead - I probably threw it into the circular file.

      "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

      by Navy Vet Terp on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 05:40:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  this is the 21st freaking century! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      home solar, kyril, tikkun

      I'm so sick of people swallowing this BS whole.

      the portrayal of female sexuality as wanting to be overpowered and forced to accept sex was hilariously anachronistic

      As of right now, I loathe all anti-choice politicians with an intensity greater than the radiation output of a thousand suns. 3.13.12

      by GenuineRisk on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 07:52:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  and yet (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tikkun, BlackSheep1

        the trashy novel Fifty Shades of Gray is pretty much the same thing, and it is extremely popular. When I googled it, I think I remember reading that it has sold more copies than the Harry Potter books.

        Go figure. As a 54 year old feminist, I'm dismayed. I thought we had won these battles years ago.

    •  my favorite review (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The grouch, elmo, madhaus, bluezen

      of

      Atlas Shrugged
      .

      It's about time I changed my signature.

      by Khun David on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 02:28:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  her dialog is stodgy, and unnatural. (9+ / 0-)

    Her characters aren't human.

    Her philosophical screeds are tiring.

    And her ideology is sickening.

    And she's soulless.

    and her "objectivism" has since been discredited..............

    no WONDER republicans love her.


    "A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and bulbous..........got me?" - Don Van Vliet

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 12:35:23 PM PDT

    •  The first time I did speed I wrote all night long (0+ / 0-)

      i carefully chose my words and expressed myself clearly. At noon thirty when I awoke the words were barely that. I was sure someone had sunk in during my sleep and ruined it.
      Ayn was hooked on Benzedrine the last thirty years of her life.

      "HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE" , bumpersticker on a burning Subaru

      by tRueffert on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 01:23:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Rape" apparently means something entirely (10+ / 0-)

    different to Republicans. By our definition, Howard Roark most definitely raped Dominique Francon in The Fountainhead. But Ayn Rand and, by extension her acolytes like Paul Ryan, don't consider it rape (because she secretly wanted it?). Oddly, I was recently reading some old novels by Clive Cussler and was likewise disturbed by his hero's attitude toward women, which ranges from misogynistic to sadistic.

    "I had seen the universe as it begins for all things. It was, in reality, a child's universe, a tiny and laughing universe." Loren Eiseley

    by cadejo4 on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 01:08:18 PM PDT

  •  The funny thing is that modern BDSM (8+ / 0-)

    has nothing to do with Ayn Rand. Everything that happens is completely consensual, and the submissive or bottom actually has the ability to bring the scene to a close merely by using a safeword. It may look like Randian rape to an outsider, but it hs nothing to do with it.

    Thank Goddess.

    I read Rand at age 19.  I had just left a group that bordered on a conservative Catholic cult-- very communal, but with the notion that the sexes are separate but equa, which just translate into the notion that women did all the housework and cooking. VERY Pauline. Also very into nonmonagamous relationships for both sexes.  I left because the final straw was not having anything but an open shelf to store my clothes.  It symbolized everything I had had issues with--I was a feminist and I didn't believe women were all that different from men, intellectually.   left.

    I realized Rand was the polar opposite, and I needed to be a little selfish for a few months and concentrate on myself as an individual.  The only thing I really kept from that time 40 years ago was the idea that you have to be true to yourself or you will fail.  The rest? Pure bullshit, and nasty, unpleasant bullshit when it came to sex.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 01:45:40 PM PDT

  •  I think it just depends (8+ / 0-)

    Your suggestion that there is a link between Ayn Rand sex scenes and Paul Ryan’s legislative record is interesting, and quite possibly correct.  On the other hand, her atheism apparently had no influence on his religious views, so maybe he was only interested in her economic theory.  I must admit that I often ignore the sexual side of a novel or movie.  And therein lies a tale:

    One day at work, when my coworkers and I were all bored, I asked if any of them had ever seen The Naked Jungle.

    “What’s it about,” Judy asked.

    “It’s based on the short story, ‘Leningen Versus the Ants,’” I replied, “about a man in South America who gets word that army ants are heading his way. Everyone else is leaving the area, but he decides to stay and fight them.”

    No one had ever heard of the movie.  I continued to describe it, how resourceful the ants were at overcoming the obstacles Leningen put in their path, and how they almost won.  But still they shook their heads, indicating they had never seen the movie or heard of it.

    “Wait a minute,” Roger said, recognition slowly dawning upon him.  “Was this the movie where the guy had a mail-order bride, but then he found out she had been married before, so then he didn’t want her, because she had been used?”

    “Uh, yeah,” I answered, somewhat bemused.  “That’s the movie.”

    “Oh, you mean the one with Charlton Heston and William Conrad?” Judy chimed in.

    “Oh yeah, I saw that movie!” Chuck exclaimed.

    “I didn’t mention that part of the movie,” I said, bewildered, “because I didn’t think it was important.”

    “You thought the movie was about ants," Chuck laughed, "but it was really about damaged goods in the mail.”

    The same thing would probably have happened, if I had asked my coworkers if they had read The Fountainhead or seen the movie, while describing it as a story about an architect who refused to compromise his ideals.  I’m sure they would have thought that it was a story about a woman who liked being raped.

    •  i thought the name of that movie was (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      madhaus

      Leinager Versus the Ants? i saw it as well, when i was young. black & white. i especially remember the scene where he sets the ditch, previously dug and filled with gas, on fire. you figure, well, that's it for the ants, how are they going to get through that? and yet, they do! oddly (i was young), i remember nothing about a mail order bride being a critical part of the plot.

      bear in mind, these are the very same people who, just a few years ago, were wearing their "Adam Smith" ties, and touting the virtues of the Invisible Hand of the Market, and had very obviously never read The Wealth of Nations, dr. smith's seminal work on economics. i had read it (and enjoyed it a lot more than rand's poor excuses for fiction). apparently, some of them finally got around to actually reading it, and discovered that the good dr. advocated both gov't regulation of business, and progressive taxation, anathema to the selfish and greedy beyond all reasonable measure class, commonly known as the republican party.

      the only people who take rand seriously, are adolescents. most people grow out of it, and realize that their own survival is very much dependent on working with others. those who take rand seriously, beyond their teenage years, suffer from a bad case of arrested adolescence, and shouldn't themselves be taken seriously.

    •  I kind of forgot about the sex scenes (0+ / 0-)

      I read "Fountainhead" and "Atlas Shrugged" 20 years ago and on pain of forfeiting my ability to be a card-carrying-Liberal will confess that I enjoyed both of them as fiction. I didn't recall the sex scenes until reading this Diary. I vaguely recall being annoyed by them but it wasn't my takeaway from the books. I've talked to people who are fans of the book and that really isn't what comes up. I think it is just one of the many things that people who don't care for the book point to.

      I was in my 20s when I read the book and a lot less sophisticated. I'm not sure what I would make of the books today. I have often had the experience of trying to reread an old favorite and having to set aside unfinished, wondering what I ever saw in it.

  •  I was a big Ayn Rand fan (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tork

    When I was younger.
    The language is precisely what is beautiful and shocking about it.
    The social ideology is stale and cold.  But these where novels in a time when writing was more dramatic.  Paul Ryan is an asshole for thinking that America can be a place that resembles Ayn Rands utopian vision,  but don't knock Rand for writing intense novels.  Your starting to sound like a conservative.  She is not describing rape,  she is describing intense passion. Hope we can agree that there is still a place for that in our lives, away from political discourse....

  •  Fountainhead was published back in 1943. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dfe

    Rapey romance novels were growing in popularity and acceptance.  A diary about Forever Amber, which, I think, is contemporaneous with Fountainhead, made Community Spotlight just a few days ago.

    If you want to hate Ayn Rand's philosophy, I'll join in with glee, but diaries that engage in biased literary criticism of novels, it makes me uncomfortable as somebody who loves books.

    And that's my last word on that because when I get sucked into these conversations it only makes the people who disagree angrier.

    •  The prophet of objectivism had feet of clay, (12+ / 0-)

      a heart of stone, and shit for brains. I can't comment much on her novels because I could never get through one. But I have read of her philosophy as described by adherents and critics and I have listened to her explain it herself in interviews.

      She and her devotees often defended/defend her beliefs by maintaining that there is no altruism in nature. Which always made me immediately think of the two films I have seen of water buffalos rescuing a herd member taken down by lions, with a mass charge at the hungry cats. And another film of a bachelor chimpanzee rescuing a baby chimp from a crocodile at a watering hole. A very heroic act by a single chimp with nothing to gain but preserving one of the troop. So scratch the altruism is not found in nature and ergo is unnatural to humans  point.

      Also she used SS and Medicare which she had railed against in her writings and lectures. Her medical bills proved that her ideas could only be lived in the real world by those with more money than the world could charge them for anything, including life saving medical treatment.

      That anyone could believe that a country could sustain a social compact and an economy while using her grunts and scribbles as a guide is breath taking. I can never quite believe her 'believers' believe.

      •  Natural altruism (5+ / 0-)

        It is remarkable how the philosophy of egoism can blind people to the brute fact of altruism, in man as well as in nature.  For Charles Darwin, on the other hand, altruism was simply a natural phenomenon, which had to be explained in terms of his theory of evolution.  In The Descent of Man, he devotes an entire chapter, “The Moral Sense,” to that end, citing examples similar to that of your own.

        •  I tried reading Rand (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kalidurga, home solar, MaikeH, madhaus

          when I was a sophomore in college (in 1966).  I didn't get very far -- and I just love reading.  The only reason that I started was that my roommate Jack (who had been president of the Columbia Young Republicans -- definitely a rare breed in those days) was the producer of "Ayn Rand on Campus", a weekly radio show (one of the only money makers for WKCR -- the college radio station) in which Rand (who lived not far from Columbia) would have her acolytes sitting at her feet (literally) giving her softball questions to allow her to expound on her so-called philosophy.   I had the misfortune to have speak to Rand once a week.  She would call our apartment asking for Jack (her producer), but, Jack, who was a first year law student at the time, was never there.  I just had to take phone messages, but the experience of talking to her was quite unpleasant.  So I decided to read one of her books (I think it was the Fountainhead) to see if I could make any sense of her.  I found the prose so turgid that I gave up after 25 pages.

          There are no solved problems; there are only problems that are more or less solved. Henri Poincare

          by Bourbaki on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 06:49:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Indeed, the notion that altruism is unnatural, as (3+ / 0-)

          Rand would insist, is plain science denial.

          There's a whole field studying things like the evolution of cooperation - behavioral ecology.

          And as you point out, as with much of the modern synthesis and advanced evolutionary theory, Darwin guessed at the rough details of what would become behavioral ecology, but the nuance he suggested at was forgotten or studiously ignored for many decades in favor of the "nature red in tooth and claw" school that followed him.

          Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

          by Robobagpiper on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 05:12:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Rand's views on women and sex (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Grabber by the Heel, madhaus

            First.  I'd give Jane Austen as required reading to my interns.  Second.  Rand's view of sex is no different than her views on other things like her abject hatred of altruism and the notion of the self-sacrificing individual for the good of all, that she hated in real life.  Whether government, religion, marriage and family, sex or economics, Rand was a self-centered, mean spirited person who depended on the pursuit of individual self-interest to justify her life without restrictions or moral consequences imposed by her culture.  Women enjoyed sex only when brutalized by men.  Men enjoyed sex only when dominating women. That was a  view of the natural world based on survival of the fittest.  We now know, biologically speaking that even animals can be altruistic and do things against just the survival instinct.  Rescuing trapped owners, mourning the death of a companion, human or animal, has been documented.  Rand's views on women and sex are part of her time and no different than her warped philosophy.

            Pursuit of pleasure without consequences, moral or otherwise and her outdated appeal now is nauseating . What I find horrifying is we have a party and a VP candidate who actually believe this stuff in the 21st century.  The mere fact that this election could be so close based on this woman's philosophy means we have our work cut out for us.  A major American Party has been transformed into Rand's philosophy of selfish self interest where the few dominated the rest of us.  

            •  Do they believe it? She is an easily accessed (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              madhaus, PSzymeczek

              'thinker'. And supports the most grass conservative views on wealth and worth. After all, her heros are born with wealth and  can't succeed. These anti social silver spoons have to resort to collective action and destruction to triumph as individuals, or just to make a point. She makes no sense. She is mush and bunkum and a very poor poor man's Hayak.

              And Ayn on sex is 'gotta take a shower icky'. I keep seeing Friedman and Greenspawn staring at Rosa Kleb's tits with their mouths open. Not a pretty image.

      •  Actually, (4+ / 0-)

        elephants are known for being extremely altruistic, and this quality has been observed many times in nature.

    •  Rand is a special case. (6+ / 0-)
      If you want to hate Ayn Rand's philosophy, I'll join in with glee, but diaries that engage in biased literary criticism of novels, it makes me uncomfortable as somebody who loves books.
      Usually when people people try to infer an author's political philosophy from a story, it is misguided. Authors do most things for reasons internal to the work (e.g., assign characteristics and actions to characters in order to generate and resolve conflict). While the themes of a book tend to reflect the author's ideas about the world as it is or should be, it's usually overreaching to reconstruct a systematic political or social philosophy from a story. Authors usually don't regard themselves as professional philosophers; even if they do their literary work isn't necessarily conceived of as an argument for their philosophy.

      Rand and Atlas Shrugged are an exception. Rand did see herself as -- not just a philosopher, but an important philosopher. And Atlas Shrugged was written as a statement of her philosophy. Without that philosophy the events and conditions of the story world make no sense.  Atlas Shrugged is the cornerstone of the Objectivist movement; without it the movement wouldn't exist.

      Personally, I think such a project intellectually ill-advised. A work of fiction can't be a credible argument for the conclusions of a philosophy like Objectivism, because an author has complete control over her characters and the world they inhabit. She can make the heroes as virtuous and the villains as villainous as she pleases, then arrange such outcomes for them as she sees fit.  A work of fiction can only credibly raise questions, not answer them.

      Rand is an idealist in the sense of Plato (although she obviously didn't agree with Plato's warnings about the misleading nature of poetry and rhetoric), and she deduces from first principles that the purpose of life is to by happy.  This is hard to argue with. Indeed there's no practical point to arguing with this notion, because it immediately brings us to this even knottier question: what makes human beings happy?

      This is where things go from eccentric to sloppy. Human beings are complex systems. Actual past events matter. Had we evolved different ways we might be more like cats (solitary) or dogs (social). You simply can't deduce what makes a human being happy from first principles.  You need to study the animal in action, in the field. Yet in effect Rand claims to be able to deduce everything from two axioms: "Existence exists" and "Existence is knowable to human beings."

      Clearly the claim she can build her entire philosophy on two axioms is bravado (as a student of Euclid I want to see her work), but what she is really saying is that she can deduce everything she needs to know about the world from first principles, without recourse to experience.  (It should be noted here that Objectivists are also fond of Austrian School economists, who claim that their theories cannot be disproven by empirical means).

      And so we come to Rand's appeal to young people. She offers them something that they can't get anywhere else but in church: clear, incontestable truth. What experience offers by contrast is weak stuff indeed. The advice of experience is usually conditional and often sounds contradictory or fuzzy. In fact since experience is always limited it's quite often frankly unsatisfactory. But at least it's real. If you take a philosophy out into the real world it's bound to get dings and scratches on the paint.

      Objectivism, like Fundamentalism, keeps the philosophy shiny by keeping it in the garage -- specifically, a book.  The book is long and while it has its moments it is in many places almost unbearably dull, but you can get through it in much less than the years it takes to get life experience. And the philosophy is absolutely, incontestably true in the world described by the book. The question is whether the real world works the way the world depicted in the book does.  An affirmative answer requires a leap of faith -- although not necessarily a conscious leap of faith.

      I've lost my faith in nihilism

      by grumpynerd on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 09:27:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In her book, The Romantic Manifesto, (0+ / 0-)

        where she discusses writing and what she considers good lit, she identified her model of the greatest novel she had ever read as Les Miserables by Victor Hugo.  There's NOTHING right-wing about Les Miserables.

        She doesn't point this out in her book, but Les Miserables is almost a socialist diatribe.  The basic premise is that of a man who steals food to feed his family and ends up caught up in the prison system and then hounded for life by an obsessive policeman while he goes on to redeem himself by leading a virtuous life.  Interspersed between the chapters, Hugo has essays on the plight of the poor in France, his own aside commentary that didn't move the story forward.  That was often common in lit at the time.  Tolstoi drove me nuts doing that.  

        So I disagree with this:

        Authors usually don't regard themselves as professional philosophers; even if they do their literary work isn't necessarily conceived of as an argument for their philosophy.
        They might not call themselves philosophers, as Rand rather laughably did, but lit as political and philosophical argument is commonplace.  It can become very preachy and destroy a book, this is true. Atlas Shrugged is a not very good book that is primarily propaganda.  As a novel, it's weak.  Fountainhead, on the other hand, is a great little novel, in my opinion.  I can judge it separately from Atlas Shrugged and the rest of her philosophy because it's less overtly philosophical and the characters are so fascinating.  Which is what I like in a good book.

        You know who else was a right wing loonie?  Yeats.  And yet, he was one of the greatest poets ever.  Leni Riefenstehl was a great filmmaker --that was Frank Capra's opinion as well.  She was a fucking nazi, though.  I haven't read the Left Behind series yet, but when I do, as repulsive as I might find the philosophy, I'm going to read it as lit first and keep open in my mind the possibility that it could be great writing with a stupid and repulsive premise.

        As for her philosophy...  This is where I piss people off... I'm very familiar with it, from the inside.  In my youth, I was a randhead and got involved in Objectivist-lite libertarian groups, even paid hundreds to listen to fatuous seminars that tried to justify the laissez-faire philosophy "from first principles," a technique that was obviously inspired by Rand.  The laissez-faire libertarians are insistent on their delusions of being rationalists, when they fail miserably at that.

        Example: I listened to this one lecturer explain that he was bringing to philosophy and political philosophy the same principles of Newton.  He went on to praise Newton at length, explaining how he worked everything out from first principles, and Newton's great discovery that F=MA.  He went on at great length about the brilliance of the discovery of F=MA.

        I pointed out to the assembled room that F=MA isn't a discovery.  IT'S A DEFINITION.  It's like saying volume = heigh tX width X length.  You could take every theory in physics that has the letter F and substitute the letters MA and everything would still work and the discrete concept of F wouldn't exist.

        They got mad at me.  "Oh, you just don't understand. You must hate science!"

        •  Newton's formulation was that force ... (0+ / 0-)

          is the vector derivative with respect to time of momentum (F = dp/dt). F=ma is for middle schoolers. Newton's formulation is more general; it works for changing mass and acceleration (e.g. a rocket that is losing reaction mass).

          even if they do their literary work isn't necessarily conceived of as an argument for their philosophy.
          Note the qualification. I'm not saying authors never write novels that are thinly disguised philosophical treatises.  It is usual (although not universal) for literary themes to be near and dear to the author's heart.  What I'm saying is that you ought to read with a mind open to possibilities other than some specific ideological pigeonhole you want to put a book in.

          I've lost my faith in nihilism

          by grumpynerd on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 06:10:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It defines F in terms of (0+ / 0-)

            units of mass and units of vectored direction and units of change over time.

            That sounds like quite an accomplishment.  But by itself it's nothing but a definition.

            I can define F' in terms of units of blog postings and units of rec level and units of scroll position on the screen over time, or something equally random and not very useful.  It's only a definition.  It's a useful concept, but it's perfectly possible to imagine another world where F was never defined and yet a perfectly sound system of physics was developed that never depended on force as an independent concept.  

    •  it's hardly biased literary criticism (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BlackSheep1

      to point out that her novels, even beyond the utter absurdity of the plot lines and characters, were just amazingly poorly written, even for the day. at about an 8th grade level, they should never have been published, rape sex scenes aside. turgid is actually a rather kind description of her so-called prose. the only passion displayed by ms. rand was for herself, and just how wonderful and rational she was. in reality, she was a barking mad loon, who mistook loud for rational, and the books are heady displays of her lunacy.

      •  I risk my life everytime I defend Fountainhead, (0+ / 0-)

        but I loved it.  I can reject the underlying philosophy and appreciate the book as good lit.  I also enjoyed We the Living.  The characters in Fountainhead may be cartoonish to some, but they are very twisted cartoons.  The introduction of Fountainhead alone, where Peter Keating tries to comfort (and schmooze) Howard Roark after his being kicked out of school was really good!  The collision of different personality types.  That's good writing.  Dominique, in particular, was a very interesting character in her compulsive self-destructiveness.  At one point, without explanation, she shows up on the doorstep of a character she despises, Peter Keating, and asks him to marry her.  I thought that was weird and interesting, didn't you?

        IT also made #6 on the best seller list in 1945, before anybody understood or know about her philosophy.  So a lot of people must have liked it AS A BOOK.  (note the caps).

        I hope I don't get attacked now for liking the book.  Everybody's entitled to their opinion on that.  I just see the attacks on the book here as being less guided by aesthetic judgments and more inspired by rejection of her philosophy, and they often resort to high-schoolish language of hatred to attack it that disturb me.

        I love book.  I'm scheduled right now to write the Books that Changed my Life diary for Thursday after next.  I joked to myself last night that I should choose Fountainhead just to make people's heads pop.  But naw...  It would be like the end of Frankenstein.  I like it here too much.

  •  Also this was one of the first... (0+ / 0-)

    novels I read,  so after reading much more and better writers,  I realize how limited rand was...

  •  I read "Atlas Shrugged" in 6th gr., when i was 12 (5+ / 0-)

    And even then I was stunned at its utter literary incompetence, the fecal-fudgepack style of writing, the bungling misguided attempts to lamely crib superior writers, the emotional infantility slathering through every page, the obvious utter failure of the idiot author to comprehend even the most basic principles of social and economic institutions, and made the immediate conclusion that the imbecile creator of the book wasn't fit to lick my boots intellectually.

    Yeah, I figured all that out when I was 12, in 6th grade. And Rand is the sociopathic nitwit the rightwingers keep pushing forward as some profound sociological philosopher.

    When I was re-assigned to read more of Rand's shit in high school, I turned in "reports" of two or three paragraphs: "A person of my intellectual capacity has better things to do than waste time on the rambling infantile ravings of a deranged psychopath."

    Time for the functional adults in our society to haul Rand out into the light and expose her for the pathetic pretentious fraud and failure she was and is.

    Simply an excuse for arrested-development intellectual midgets to whimper and whine, "keep your hands off my stuff, it's mine, all mine!!"

  •  So that was Rand writing about sex? (7+ / 0-)

    It would have sounded more appropriate to a bare knuckles boxing match.  You can find better writing about sex in a Biggie Smalls song.  Chalk that up as one more reason why I don't read her work.

  •  Ryan not serious (7+ / 0-)

    When confronted by grown-ups,  Ryan retreats from his gushing worship of Rand.  Some try and suggest somehow he embraces her economics but not her atheism, etc.  I think such nuance gives him too much credit.  Buying into his rep as a big ideas guy.   I suspect he simply pushes Rand on young people, playing the angle that they will either John Galt themselves out of the political process or embrace selfishness as a philosophy or, better yet, mistake his naked self-interest for his own.  That is all.

    •  Or he padded his reading list... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril, stormicats, BlackSheep1, madhaus

      ...the same way he improved his marathon time.

      It would be interesting to corner him and give him a little quiz.... not on whether he agrees with Rand.... but whether he can even remember her main ideas and the outline plots of her major works.

      "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

      by sagesource on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 05:17:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have no questions for Paul Ryan (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        madhaus, PSzymeczek

        ...but if the opportunity presents itself, I would suggest you ask him:

        "Did Howard Roark rape Dominique Francon?"

        an honest answer would reveal alot.  But you wouldn't get an honest answer.  Of course you would get a non answer along the lines of "I'm an Atlas Shrugged guy, not a Fountainhead guy".

      •  I give him a pass (0+ / 0-)

        on the marathon thing.  20 years after the fact, having whittled an hour off one's own marathon running time sounds about right to me.  

        •  About right, as in, as time goes by, he creates a (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PSzymeczek

          fantasy about himself that gets better and better?  He gets further detached from reality as time goes on?

        •  Turning your only marathon time in to top 1% class (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kyril, raboof, madhaus

          His bragging reminds me of every insecure sleazebag I've ever seen hitting on a girl in a bar. Deep down, he knows no woman would ever be attracted to the person he really is, so he puffs up every small thing in to some heroic grand accomplishment.

          Like, "I ran for vice president!". and then you find out it was on a doomed ticket that nobody with a political future wanted to be on.

  •  What a missed opportunity I had when I was (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Grabber by the Heel, kyril

    young. Here I was 12 years old wasting all my money on my first bit of wankerature: Candy by Terry Southern. See, we didn/t have a dirty book store in town so we had to make do with books that had maybe two or three good parts.
         Hell I could have checked it out of the library. Can't think of any other reason to read it.

    Slow thinkers - keep right

    by Dave the Wave on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 04:02:07 PM PDT

  •  Lets all give our warm thanks to the dirty dozen (4+ / 0-)

    cartoon elephants who this past week have truly helped make a 2012 Dem win not only possible, but probable:

    (1) Todd Aikin-not-tell-a-lie
    (2) Dum-Dum Donald Trompe-de-l'oiel
    (3) Louie-Doh Ghomert-Pyle
    (4) Newt-o-path Grin-Grinch
    (5) Rant Paul
    (6) Lint-in-the-attic Eastwood
    (7) Rickie-the-Rat Sanctimonium
    (8) Mike "God's Emissary" Huckstermeister
    (999) Hermie-pie Cain-Unable
    (10) Boo-Hoo Boehner
    (11) Willard Mitt-Our-Money

    and last, but not least -

    (12) "Lyin' Ayn" Ryan

  •  I'm suddenly VERY glad I used to... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, BlackSheep1

    Read romance novel paperbacks when I was looking for something smutty as a kid.

    Still have a bit of the non-con fetish, but at least I got the memo that it only works for the sub in that fantasy if it's somebody that they already wanted to sleep with.

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 04:19:13 PM PDT

  •  you'd get a rec (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    caul, kyril, BlackSheep1

    just for the username and avatar.  :-)

    But great diary.

    There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast.

    by puzzled on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 04:30:59 PM PDT

  •  there's an official Ayn Rand style writing contest (8+ / 0-)
    Someone should start up a contest similar to Bulwer-Lytton, where people try to write in that hilariously adolescent Randian style)
    Except it's run by her little cult and true to form, unlike the Bulwer-Lytton and even the Ernest Hemingway writing contests, they're super duper serious about it. It begins with the assumption that Ayn Rand was the greatest author of all time as well as the greatest moralist/philosopher of all time, and the contestants' goal is to write a short (Ayn Rand short) passage that mimics her literary style as closely as possible while trying to express her philosophy as fully as possible.

    Heh, just like every other aspect of Objectivism: in order to become the perfect unfettered ubermensch who lives by his own rules and for nothing but his own self-glorification, do exactly what Ayn Rand tells you to do and spend all your time talking about how great she was.

    To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

    by Visceral on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 04:31:21 PM PDT

  •  Ryan is an odd-ball (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OleHippieChick, kyril, Lilith

    It seems Paul Ryan has carefully chosen a whole series of interests that keep him out of the mainstream and therefore shielded from the inquiries of others.

    Really, Ayn Rand, Rage Against the Machine and budgets.  This is likely a ploy that prevents normal people from delving into conversation where he must present his views and defend them.

    After all where on earth will one find this combination of interests?

    •  Wait what? Rage? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MKSinSA, madhaus, Lilith

      He likes Rage?

      This Rage?

      So called facts are fraud
       They want us to allege and pledge
       And bow down to their god
       Lost the culture, the culture lost
       Spun our minds and through time
       Ignorance has taken over
       Yo, we gotta take the power back!
      The present curriculum
       I put my fist in em
       Eurocentric every last one of em
       See right through the red, white and blue disguise
       With lecture I puncture the structure of lies
       Installed in our minds and attempting
       To hold us back
       We got to take it back
       Cause holes in our spirit causin tears and fears
       One-sided stories for years and years and years
       I'm inferior? whos inferior?
      Fuck tha police,
       Comin straight from the underground.
       Young nigga got it bad 'cause I'm brown,
       And not the other color so police think,
       They have the authority to kill a minority.

       Fuck that shit, 'cause I ain't tha one,
       For a punk mutha fucka with a badge and a gun,
       To be beatin on, and throwin in jail.
       We could go toe to toe in the middle of a cell.

      Hospitals not profit full
       Yet market bulls got pockets full
       To advertise some hip disguise
       View tha world from American eyes
       Tha poor adore keep fiendin for more
       Tha thin line between entertainment and war
      Weapons not food, not homes, not shoes
       Not need, just feed the war cannibal animal
       I walk the corner to the rubble that used to be a library
       Line up to the mind cemetery now
      Movements come and movements go
       Leaders speak, movements cease
       When their heads are flown
       Cause all these punks
       Got bullets in their heads
       Departments of police, the judges, the feds
       Networks at work, keepin people calm
       You know they went after king
       When he spoke out on vietnam
       He turned the power to the have-nots
       And then came the shot
      Networks at work, keepin people calm
       Ya know they murdered x
       And tried to blame it on islam
       He turned the power to the have-nots
       And then came the shot

       Uggh!
       What was the price on his head?
       What was the price on his head!

       I think I heard a shot (5 times)
       I think I heard, I think I heard a shot

       Background: black nationalism
       He may be a real contender for this position should he
       Abandon his supposed obediance to white liberal doctrine
       Of non-violence...and embrace black nationalism
       Through counter-intelligence it should be possible to
       Pinpoint potential trouble-makers...
       And neutralise them

      ...yeah. Maybe he should try listening to the lyrics if he's such a fan of the most freaking notorious openly political radical left-wing music group of the late 20th/21st century.

      "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

      by kyril on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 12:30:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh it's much better than that (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lilith, kyril, PSzymeczek

        Tom Morello thoroughly called Ryan out as not understanding what he claims to be a fan of.  it's a takedown of beauty.

        Rolling Stone link

        In capitalist America, bank robs you!

        by madhaus on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 11:39:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Thus Tom Morello's Response: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril

        “Paul Ryan’s love of Rage Against the Machine is amusing, because he is the embodiment of the machine that our music has been raging against for two decades.”

        This is from an op-ed in Rolling Stone published online on August 16th; I saw this quote several times around these parts right after it came out, so here is another one for you:

        "I wonder what Ryan's favorite Rage song is? Is it the one where we condemn the genocide of Native Americans? The one lambasting American imperialism? Our cover of "Fuck the Police"? Or is it the one where we call on the people to seize the means of production? So many excellent choices to jam out to at Young Republican meetings!"

    •  I have loved Rage since the mid 90s (0+ / 0-)

      and I'm kind of wonky when it comes to budgets too.  Though I have little interest in Ayn Rand except to point and laugh.  

      My question is: what stunted his intellectual growth that Rand would hold his attention for this long?

      not all those who wander are lost - J.R.R. Tolkien

      by Lilith on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 11:39:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Normally sick, twisted, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    caul, Calamity Jean

    horribly bad writers disappear down the memory hole faster than you say "that crap is out of print".

    She found the one magic greedy button to push that made sure she didn't. So that's a skill of a sort.

  •  Scary for a different reason (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    caul, stormicats, BlackSheep1

    I'm not so sure about extrapolating the psycho-sexual implications.  Still, the quote you cite is exactly what should worry us, but for a slightly different reason.

    “This is the motive and purpose of my writing: the projection of an ideal man.”
    Objectivism itself is nothing more than a literary tool Rand uses to create a world where her ideal (fantasy) man can take form not just as a father/protector figure, but also as an indomitable and infallible hero in the larger world.  That we have public figures and elected leaders that take this sophomoric, superficial, and half-baked "philosophy" seriously, let alone espouse transmuting it into public policy, is what should scare us to no end.  It would be like scientists treating Star Trek as science because Kirk is such a compelling figure and the cute aliens wear hot outfits.
  •  It's strange, but I have a different memory of sex (0+ / 0-)

    ...from The Fountainhead.

    All I remember (read it in my 20s) is that there was a kind of cuspy character; Unlike Roark(sp?) he was dimly aware of the possibility of a kind of primal artistic integrity; but he had to make a choice, and the choice he makes is to play it safe and buy into the values of a stodgy, lifeless architectural nomenclatura. Of course, he lives to regret it.

    But there's a love element involved, and there's a very tender love scene, involving snow... and this guy sees snowflakes in his sweetheart's hair (or something like that). Years later, this returns to haunt him, as he realizes this lady is lost to him (something related to his philosophical spinelessness, to be sure).

    Anyway, I was sort of taken in by the high romance of the original moment in the book; which is recapped later during a moment of deep remorse.

    My point is that, for some reason, I don't remember the rape(s), but do remember this delicate boy/girl romantic play.

    Not to say that the rape wasn't there, but.... Just to remind you that there is some range of approach that Rand takes to the idea of sex and romance.

    Isn't it a good feeling when you see the paper in the morning, it says 'Axe Slayer Kills 19' and you say, "They can't pin that one on me!" - Jean Shepherd

    by razajac on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 09:10:57 PM PDT

    •  I've always thought rove reminded me of (0+ / 0-)

      Elsworth toohey (sp)

      That all the republicans are identical to the looters/James taggarts

      And that the republicans need to spend far more time wrestling with the question of whether they Ever really deserved the success they appeared to have.

      Basically, replies give themselves far too much credit when they wrap themselves in Roark/galt...

      No System of Justice Can Rise Above the Ethics of Those Who Administer It. (Wickersham Commission 1929)

      by No Exit on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 04:03:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is silly. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, bluezen, dfe

    The only reason the "rape" described in Rand's books is being discussed, is because of the political/societal positions celebrated in those books.  The same "rapes" occur in plenty - if not most - of the popular romance novels, and I think we all know the point of Ryan's comment was not the "rape" part, but the philosophy.  So attack those postions.  Anyone who has read the books knows every sexual act was not only consensual, but well-received.  Rather, explain why Rand's premises on the economy/government are wrong.  

    This is like the half-assed attempts to discount MLK's positions, simply because he had many extramarital affairs, and therefore supposedly wasn't moral.  Weak.  If you don't like Rand, tell us why, and don't tell us it's because her writing is "childish" or "horrible", but rather, taken to its logical extent, describe the problems it would create.

    Also, if you are an adult, and don't realize that plenty of people, both men and women, like to have consensual, submissive, sex, you need to get out more.

    •  You obviously haven't read many (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ER Doc

      21st century romance novels, Tork. Rape is OUT and has been im pretty much everyone except Rosemary Rogers since the mid-80s.  Most women readers loathe  rape scenes--and I've been on quite a few romance e-mail lists since 1997, and I've never heard anyone praise such scenes. In fact, MOST of the E-book female erotica publishers (I reviewed for one major list" had to devise ratings systems so that readers knew what they were getting--and the "forced sex" crap did NOT sell well.

      In modern romance novels and erotica, the heroine is usually smart, strong and self-supporting. SHe's a match for the hero--even in the romantic suspense novels where she may find herself in a dangerous situation most of us, male or female, wouldn't be able to handle.

      And comparing Ayn's rape--yes RAPE_ scenes as kinky sex is right out. I say this as a bigmouthed WIccan feminsit, who is also occasionally submissive in bed with ehr husband. Liking to have your fanny apanked is NOT at all like  being held down while you are screaming, biting and kicking the male trying to force himself on you. BDSM is consensual, and while some women do enjoy playful fantasies that coem close to that--they are far fromt he majority (and I spent a lot of time on sub lists talkign to other female subs, plus hanging out with them). What ROarke does isn't dominant or masculine; it's redatory, creepy rape/

      The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

      by irishwitch on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 10:36:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So Ayn had rape fantasies. (0+ / 0-)

    Big deal.  I have the rape fantasy, the Evil Queen overcomes the manly hero fantasy, the whipped cream and chocolate syrup fantasy, etc.  So what.

    I thought Ayn was a goddess when I was 15.  Some people grow and change.  Some do not. And some people are charming psychopaths with a widow's peak and a nice smile.  For those folks, any self serving rationale will do.

    I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

    by CherryTheTart on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 12:10:31 AM PDT

  •  In Aldus Shrugged... (0+ / 0-)

    I mock Ayn's personal life, Branden, Objectivism, ryan, romney, the whole gop, and fox news.  I mock her writing style, make a filthy play on the title "Fountainhead", and generally abuse the hideous creature that we know as Ayn Rand.

    Aldus Shrugged destroys demigods through facts; facts and brutal satire.

    Aldus Shrugged presents an altruistic vision of Capitalism, and all proceeds earned until October 1 will be donated directly to the re-election through barackobama.com.

    Tear ayn and ryan brand new ones!!!  Read how altruism and capitalism can co-exist.  Enjoy!  

    Aldus Shrugged : The Antidote to Ayn Rand. @floydbluealdus1 Buy ALDUS SHRUGGED on amazon, and ALL royalties will be donated directly to barackobama.com HELP ME TO HELP THE BIG O!!!

    by Floyd Blue on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 06:04:01 AM PDT

  •  The intellectual mediocrity of Alisa Rosenbaum (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bluezen

    Let's face it:  liberal arts education for women in Lenin's Russia was not known for any particular depth or rigor.  

    In Ayn Rand/Alisa Rosenbaum's case it was less a matter of her getting an "education" than participating in a half-hearted attempt by the Regime to show the foreign intellectual community that  "bourgois" students were not being persecuted for who their parents had been before the Revolution.

    So, the students learned to write politically correct essays on the  Great Books and Great Men of the 19th Century -- some of whom where even Russian.

    Ayn Rand/Rosenbaum was a product of her experience:  On the one hand, the Bolsheviks appropriated her father's pharmacy dropping the family back into the Proletariat for which she held a lifelong grudge ... and on the other hand, she was educated at Leningrad University ... guaranteeing her a place in the new Soviet "apparatchik middle class".   Had she demonstrated more ability or even political reliability, she might have become a member of the Soviet lesser elite ...

    Instead she went to live with relatives in Chicago .. and from there to being a Jill of All Work in the Hollywood studio system.

    The rest is literary history.

  •  I don't see the big surprise at all (0+ / 0-)

    Ayn Rand positively worshiped sociopath William Edward Hickman, who kidnapped, dismembered and slaughtered a 12-year-old girl and whom Rand worshiped precisely because he was a killer.

    You get to a point where the impetus of someone's ideology shows itself to be to subjugate others, take away their rights, and generally cripple them (as enshrined in the Republican platform for all to witness), and it gets to be time to call a duck a duck already.

    Paul Ryan is a shameless sociopath who probably only believes others less fortunate than him should be allowed to live so they can take up their rightful role as his slaves.

    What about his message and policy proposals makes him anything manifestly else?

    "Some of you are going to die... martyrs, of course, to the Freedom that I will provide!"

    by emperor nobody on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 01:57:38 PM PDT

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