23 comments on “Snigger

  1. Amanduh talks of John Galt’s “towering intellect” and Donald Trump being John Galt in successive paragraphs.
    I keep having to remind my wife that Donald Trump is not a moron, but if his intellect is towering, dearieme’s is skyscrapering and my college tutor’s gets bumped by the moon every fortnight.
    Salon obviously doesn’t have a *thinking* proof-reader.

  2. Kevin – The Donald has about 300 kids and grandkids though. The Mule was sterile.

    Let’s see:

    * Dauntless defender of ordinary people against chaos and crime
    * Cultivated the persona of a carefree billionaire playboy to wrongfoot his foes
    * Is constantly assailed by mentally ill jokers, two-faced grotesques and cantankerous cat women, but wins every time

    Donald J. Trump is Batman.

  3. Marcotte destroys that . . . straw man.

    But it bears no resemblance to Trump.

    The Lefts perpetual false characterizations of Trump. There are people who actually believe them.

  4. That’s a great reference Kevin. I like betting, especially on history repeating itself. This can include second referenda in Europe and the remarkable number of vice presidents becoming US president. There must be elements of psychohistory that explain history repeating. If the UK leaves, even under a brino where we get back control of landowner handouts, regional aid and fishing, it will take a mule like personality here. Imv
    , of course

  5. The fact that Amanduh has read Atlas Shrugged (or at least has pretended to read it) lowers her a notch in my eyes, and given where she stands with me, that is a bit of an accomplishment.

    For me, anyone – pro-Rand or anti-Rand – who takes anything Ayn Rand wrote seriously automatically qualifies as a moron with psuedo-intellectual tendencies. She was a bad novelist and a worse philosopher. She was also a fool, and given her obvious rape fantasies, she was clearly a sexually perverse fool at that.

    I read (no, suffered through) The Fountainhead up to the point where Howard Roark raped Dominique Francon, at which point the novel went from being merely bad to downright creepy awful. I closed the book, carried it out to the garbage can in the garage and dropped it in. I’ve never touched another book by Rand since.

  6. Tom – dunno, but Pete Buttplug is The Fiddler.

    Dennis – Well, how many bestselling novels have you written, eh?

    It’s easy to criticise Ayn Rand and she deserves much of it. Her books contain poor characterisation and preposterous political speechifying, Galt’s Gulch was just Capitalist Narnia but somehow less believable, she had a childishly Manichean worldview, like many autodidacts she overestimated her own brilliance, she was apparently quite horrible IRL and founded a bizarre cult for mid 20th c. New York City Jewish atheists, yadda yadda.

    On the other hand, hers was an electrifyingly incandescent, fearless and unique voice for liberty. Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead were good stories, well (if idiosyncratically) told, and proved extremely prescient. She was also kind to cats.

    Ymmv, but “rape”* fantasies are incredibly common among women to the extent I’m not sure it can be fairly described as a perversion. (Female sexuality is based on receptivity and girls have enjoyed thinking about being ravished by hunky he-men since Stig was innocently polishing his bone club).

    I’m not a fan of the author inserting her fetish into fiction, but at least randy Ayn liked heterosexual sex between adults and not, say, Stephen King’s pedotastic sewer orgy from IT, or the similarly dodgy shit Philip Pullman wrote into his horrible fedora atheist tracts, or the general skeeziness of Philip Roth.

    My biggest complaint about Rand’s fiction is how unrealistically she viewed cigar-chomping CEO types as heroic defenders of liberty. As we’ve seen with woke capital eagerly fellating communist China’s tiny wang, big business is every bit as rotten as big politics.

    *You can’t rape the willing, and Ayn was obviously gagging for it.

  7. When I read IT the sewer scene was disturbing and I’ve never read a King book since. I assume the various screen versions are suitably edited

  8. So you can’t criticize an author unless you outsell them.

    Huh.

    So I assume you’ll refrain from criticizing Richard Murphy?

  9. “Who is John Galt?”

    In “Atlas Shrugged”, my namesake is a rebel and iconoclast who brings down a corrupt and soul-destroying parasitic establishment out of motives which were (relatively) idealistically pure. John Galt’s desire was to set men free from a society which had progressively enslaved him in chains of moral guilt and ideological bondage that were no less real than that which bound the slaves en route to Haiti, Jamaica or the cotton farms of the deep south.

    It wouldn’t surprise me to hear Donald Trump express himself in terms of the iconoclast, since he is the only US President not to serve in any elected, appointed or military office prior to becoming POTUS, but in almost every other aspect he is a stereotypical member of the American elite, having gained and sustained his position through inherited wealth and the privilege that his birth and society provided him with.

    Even those he contrasts himself against, people like Nancy Pelosi, Elizabeth “Fauxcahontas” Warren and the members of the Clinton Crime Family, he is more similar than he is different.

    So, no. Donald Trump is as much a part of the establishment as any of the others he chastises and opposes.

    Donald Trump is not John Galt. Nowhere even close.

  10. John Galt – Yarp. Also, John Galt is barely a character. More of a McGuffin that spouts expository politics.

    If Hank Rearden and Dagny Taggart were two dimensional characters – and they were – Galt was more spectral than Banquo’s ghost. At least Rearden and Taggart had relatable human motivations. Galt, as you say, was all ideology.

    Which brings me back to the Dark Knight. One of the reasons Batman is a compelling character, while John Galt is a question mark, is that the caped crusader has pathos. The Batman is figuratively born in blood, an orphan of horror who takes on the burden of defending Gotham because he couldn’t defend his parents.

    He’s brooding and possibly not quite sane, but his motivations are real and personal. Galt doesn’t seem to have a personality and his backstory – such as it is – is that he was an engineer at a car company that got infected with social justice.

    They’re both lurid and trashy pop culture icons, but Bill Finger had a better grasp on yooman beans (with a little inspiration from Zorro and Sherlock Holmes) than Ayn Rand did.

    I love Ayn Rand and the world is richer for having known her, but I reckon if she was around nowadays she’d be identified as being on the spectrum.

  11. I think one reason Rand has so many followers is that the field of anti-state, anti-corporatism fiction is that it’s a desert. Most films are about bad corporations, or maybe, A Bad Government. They can’t even make a biopic about a CEO like Zuckerberg or Jobs who made the world a better place.

  12. Dennis – That’s what you took from my observations?

    Nope… just highlighting the childish one. The rest is generic Rand Apology Tour stuff you find anywhere. Been there, read that.

    I can’t speak to John Galt because I haven’t inflicted Atlas Shrugged upon myself, but in The Fountainhead Howard Roark is no hero, no symbol of individualism and liberty triumphant, but rather a coercive, destructive totalitarian. He is, in fact, the very model of a Hitler or Stalin – men would made up their own minds without regard for anyone else. Roark cares only about Roark… when he dynamites the Cortlandt housing project, he does without regard to the hundreds, perhaps, thousands of other people involved – because he can’t have it 100% his way 100% of the time, he deprives hundreds of workers the chance of earning a living and hundreds more the chance to move into decent housing.

    So the bottom line is Ayn Rand didn’t even understand that freedom means, essentially, that we have the freedom to associate and cooperate with those of our choosing, without coercion. Had Howard Roark the means to coerce, he would have. He didn’t, so he chose nihilist destruction. Ellsworth Toohey was a socialist shit, but even he never dreams to doing something as destructive as Howard Roark does. In the end, it is Ellsworth Toohey who respects the boundaries established by free, civilized men, not Roark. It’s Roark who rapes and destroys, not Toohey.

    Rand is a masturbatory exercise. To her works flock pudgy, middle-aged, middle-class men of absolutely no distinction. Men who are assistant department managers at the local Tesco. Men who dream of fearlessly cutting a swath through the world (with a 30 inch waist and a full head of hair) when in actuality what they do is come home to their modest house in a place like Ely and play with model trains or fume about the state of the world on a shitty blog nobody reads. They’re all for the freedom of fearless individualism, but are afraid to quit their jobs.

    Re-read The Fountainhead. If you come away from it thinking Howard Roark is your idea of a hero, you’re a bigger fool than you make yourself out to be.

  13. BoM4 – Very true.

    The Pirates of Silicon Valley was most excellent, and Scorcese’s The Aviator had some good businessman v slimy politico action, but that’s all I can think of off the top of my head.

    Dennis – No, you’ve got Rand all wrong.

    because he can’t have it 100% his way 100% of the time, he deprives hundreds of workers the chance of earning a living and hundreds more the chance to move into decent housing.

    IIRC he didn’t kill anyone and there’s no reason to believe anyone would lose their livelihood over a delayed construction project. Rand obviously didn’t give a shit about the would-be tenants, but after the gimme, gimme, gimme Grenfell foreigners, I sympathise.

    Ellsworth Toohey was a socialist shit, but even he never dreams to doing something as destructive as Howard Roark does

    I don’t know how anyone can look at the history of the 20th century and believe this. Let’s say, for talk’s sake that Roark was a General Pinochet type. That’s still infinitely better than the body count of socialism.

    Also, wasn’t your country founded on violent terrorism? I don’t think George Washington defeated the British by mastering them in debate.

    To her works flock pudgy, middle-aged, middle-class men of absolutely no distinction.

    Bzzzt! Wrong.

    Her books make more sense when you realise they’re basically early YA fiction. It’s kids who are drawn to black-and-white stories of impossibly heroic goodies and eeevil moustache-twirling baddies.

    Virtually all her fans are people who encountered her in their teens, when selfishness as a virtue is most attractive for obvious reasons.

  14. Steve,

    “The Pirates of Silicon Valley was most excellent, and Scorcese’s The Aviator had some good businessman v slimy politico action, but that’s all I can think of off the top of my head.”

    The Man in the White Suit, if you’ve never seen it. Even if just because it features Joan Greenwood, the sexiest voice in cinema.

  15. BoM4 – thank you, I must watch that again (think I last caught it on the telly sometime in 19canteen)

    I watched Kind Hearts and Coronets again not too long ago, marvelous stuff.

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