Thank you for sending a couple of rays of sunshine into my day.
Two boxes from Amazon.com were delivered to my office. Both were gift wrapped. Each contained a copy of Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.
The first box had a note: “This copy is the one to pee on.”
The second had a note: “This copy is the one to cover it up with.”
I felt Indy zinged us pretty good with his “I need two copies” bit. It obviously struck a chord with you as well. Indy said to tell you that he really appreciates your applause. I think he plans to sell the books on eBay.
Ayn Rand was a good storyteller, but a screwed-up human being.
It’s interesting reading.
After your gifts arrived, I posted the following in my rotating quotes database at MondayMorningMemo.com:
Atlas Shrugged is an anthem to individual achievement and exceptionalism. If you want to fall to your knees before an idol of yourself and worship your own magnificent greatness, Ayn Rand will happily serve as your prophetess.
Meanwhile, I will read Ozymandias and laugh at you both.
The book of Ecclesiastes – a good Jewish book – has been one on my favorites since I was a child. Earlier this year Ze Frank posted a short video that echoes the foundational premise of the writer of Ecclesiastes, even though Ze may not have realized it at the time.
If you can spare four minutes and fifty-five seconds, watch the video attached below. If you can’t, here’s the essential passage:
“Once I was lucky enough to take a class with the great clown teacher Giovanni Fusetti and one of the things that he talked about was the ancient idea of a hero. In the Greek myths, humans were subject to massive and unknown forces outside of their control; the whims of the gods – fickle gods – the gods of wind, waves and war, of luck, of love, of age and death. And from up on Mount Olympus, humans, humans look like little ants in the face of all these things. Giovanni said that despite these unknowns the hero pushes, pushes up against all these forces, fiercely pushes, shoulders back, despite the knowledge that he can’t win, that he will die in the end. The clown on the other hand, celebrates the falling, the failure, the absurdity of skipping along the bottom, the absurdity of trying at all…”
– Ze Frank, Unfair, June 22, 2012
I agree with Fusetti’s premise that a true hero “fiercely pushes, shoulders back, despite the knowledge that he can’t win, that he will die in the end.” Steinbeck crafted flawed heroes like these. Hemingway did the same.
In the fantasy world of Ayn Rand – ironically called ‘Objectivism’ – heroes win decisively and then stand on mountain peaks with broad shoulders thrown back, chests out and chins high, triumphantly illuminated by a thankful universe. Thousands of Americans, mostly men, believe themselves to be the embodiment of Ayn Rand’s mythical John Galt. I call these men The Tribe of Donald Trump.
I expect they will bid on the books.
Thanks again for sending them.
Roy H. Williams