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if you've read Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged

I suggest Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthurs Court.
I suggest Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthurs Court. There is a very nicely illustrated e-book of it available at the guttenberg project. Free, but worth sponsoring.
Ayn Rand, promoter of selfishness 03.Jun.2004 16:52

CaptainPlanet

From South Park "Chickenlover" episode:

Barbrady: And finally, I'd like to say that reading totally sucks ass!
Crowd gasps in horror.
The kids scream 'hooray'
Barbrady: Yes at first I was happy to be learning how to read, it seemed exciting and magical. But then I read this. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. I read every last word of this garbage and because of this piece of shit, I'm never reading again!
Kids: Hooray for Barbrady!
Crowd now cheers
Kyle: Wow, I guess reading really does suck ass.

Nobody 03.Jun.2004 18:31

Tampa Boy

Nobody has ever actually read Ayn Rand. It's just something people like to say to make them look smart.

I don't know why anybody would read Ayn Rand a second time 03.Jun.2004 22:15

PHH

Anything by Mark Twain is great. I would like to hear what he has to say about GW Bush.

An admitted Ayn Rand reader 04.Jun.2004 11:13

*

Yes, I've read Atlas Shrugged, as well as The Fountainhad, Anthem, and an early novel about how much communist Russia sucked. Now, not to give anyone the idea that I'm a cold-blooded capitalist who thinks all non-capitalists should die, that money should be worshipped, or that people should sacrifice themselves for it.
I will always remembers a scene in Atlas Shrugged in which a train is about to blow up due to the un-capitalist actions of the company's CEO, but Rand doesn't seem to concerned about the passengers, who she describes one by one as also rather un-capitalist. The moral of the story being that they deserve to die. Lovely.
Likewise, in the Fountainhead, Howard Roark blows up a low-income housing development that he designed because the builders made some changes to his original blueprint. Nice going. Clearly, it's preferable for people to live in the street than in a slightly-altered Roark original.
Her characters also routinely have sexual encounters that, while supposedly consensual, are about as close to rape as you can get. Hmmm.
But, while Ayn Rand is obviously an extremist and a cold-hearted bitch, she's also frighteningly skillful at convincing her readers of her perspective. At least I found myself rooting for the capitalists even though I knew the whole premise was contrived and alarmist. Rand appeals to people who are looking for an excuse to basically be assholes (as she asserts the value of selfishness, etc, etc) so it's not surprising that people keep reading her novels. She sets up these assholes in her novels as unappreciated yet brilliant heroes fighting to save civilization through their architecture, trains, whatever. They are usually accompanied by some hapless minor characters who only realize the capitalists are right when its too late, as well as a host of unappealing non-capitalists who fuck things up and generally cause mayhem that the capitalists then have to fix. It's quite a formula. It has inspired such abominations as the Any Rand institute, which features a popular writing contest for high school students-- always good to instill their values early on while the kids are still impressionable-- trainings, forums, etc.
I had the misfortune of meeting someone at college who came out of the institute. She was a petty bitch who threatened legal action against the bilingual student newspaper "Vo(i)ces (ie Voices/Voces in Spanish) because it resembled "The Voice" a shitty literary magazine that she used as her soapbox.

saying 05.Jun.2004 12:00

e.h.

old russian dude: "everything they told us about communism was a lie, but everything they told us about capitalism was true."