new video
hot off the press!  
    more about rocket
mass heaters here.
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Atlas Shrugged in (some) theaters  RSS feed

 
Suzy Bean
pollinator
Posts: 940
Location: Stevensville, MT
12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The late Ayn Rand’s novel, “Atlas Shrugged,” is in theaters as of April 15th  (at least the first third of three movies). It is independent, with lesser-known actors and made on a shoestring. In the author of the May/June 2011 Backwoods Home article’s words, “Atlas is one of the most sweeping statements of the rights of individuals ever set down on paper. (It contains a fine pitch for sound money, too.) And despite its literary flaws, it’s a whopping good story – filled with handsome heroes, slithering villains, grand gestures, and great mystery.” The author hopes to be able to compare this movie to V for Vendetta.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9740
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
180
 
Emerson White
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm literally listening to that book on MP3 right now. I considered starting a thread here about it but did not want to confirm anyones suspicions about what a weirdo I am. It is startling how strongly Ayn Rands philosophy telegraphs through the story. I think that perhaps her anti-heros are a little unbelievable, I'm about 20% of the way through.
 
David Biland
Posts: 45
Location: Southeastern USA - Zone 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Nothing ends a party like bringing up Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead or Ayn Rand's name.  Individualism is dead.
 
Emerson White
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think it just depends on what kind of party you are going to. Though from Atlas Shrugged it would seem that Ayn is not a big fan of parties
 
Jocelyn Campbell
master steward
Posts: 4150
Location: Missoula, MT
389
books food preservation forest garden hugelkultur toxin-ectomy
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The reviews I read today were not kind to this movie. These were picked up by some liberal friends of mine who used them to rant against Rand for her Objectivism philosophy and her rather, um, incongruous lifestyle.

I've listened to Atlas Shrugged, Anthem and am currently at the tail end of The Fountainhead. Sometimes, Rand's turn of phrase will strike me as quite beautiful and I am continually amazed at her command of the English language (since I think her first language was Russian, correct?). On the other hand, her long speeches (more in Atlas than the others) and her overall darkness are a bit much for me.

Some Randian themes do resonate with me. The idea of ethical egoism, that finding and following one's passion is the rightful path - that makes sense to me. And her stark warnings of how overriding or out of control obedience to the "common good" can lead to a type of modern slavery - well, I get that, too. I do enjoy a capitalist system and I also think that healthy capitalism and healthy profits can be a very good thing for society.

For me, it's the extreme to which she paints the evil(s) of socialism/communism/common good or whatever-you-call-it that turns me off. I think her harsh portrayal of reality is hard to swallow unless you are a certain personality type. Or unless you enjoy Dickensonian plots. Or, perhaps you've had such extreme mistreatment in your own life that this finally explains it for what it was.

Maybe I've been lucky enough not to experience such abuse by others. Or maybe I'm just in lots of protective denial. Hm, I guess I'm doing a literary review instead of talking about the movie.

So, about the movie. I watched two or three trailers which did not exactly entice me to see it. However, I have this fascination with trying to understand Rand better. It seems there's this love or hate reaction to her stuff and I'd like to wrap my head around it some more. So maybe the movie might help add a dimension of understanding to my toolkit. 


 
Emerson White
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Jocelyn Campbell wrote:
I've listened to Atlas Shrugged, Anthem and am currently at the tail end of The Fountainhead. Sometimes, Rand's turn of phrase will strike me as quite beautiful and I am continually amazed at her command of the English language (since I think her first language was Russian, correct?). On the other hand, her long speeches (more in Atlas than the others) and her overall darkness are a bit much for me.

Some Randian themes do resonate me. The idea of ethical egoism, that finding and following one's passion is the rightful path - that makes sense to me. And her stark warnings of how overriding or out of control obedience to the "common good" can lead to a type of modern slavery - well, I get that, too. I do enjoy a capitalist system and I also think that healthy capitalism and healthy profits can be a very good thing for society.

For me, it's the extreme to which she paints the evil(s) of socialism/communism/common good or whatever-you-call-it that turns me off. I think her harsh portrayal of reality is hard to swallow unless you are a certain personality type. Or unless you enjoy Dickensonian plots. Or, perhaps you've had such extreme mistreatment in your own life that this finally explains it for what it was.

Maybe I've been lucky enough not to experience such abuse by others. Or maybe I'm just in lots of protective denial. Hm, I guess I'm doing a literary review instead of talking about the movie.


I so totally agree with every bit of this it's uncanny!
 
Brice Moss
Posts: 700
Location: rainier OR
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
what turned me off on her was trying to read her essays published as philosophy
her novels are pretty typical of Russian writers, well phrased and depressing her themes strike a certian chord

but when she is interviewed about her "philosophy" and someone points out links to Nietzsche and she claims that all her ideas are her own with no regard to the thinkers who came before her
Well thats a little too rude for me to deal with
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22179
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't understand the need of folks to align that book with politics.  When I read it it seemed to be about personal integrity. 
 
Emerson White
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Well it says a great deal about politics. I'm only about 20% of the way through it, but it seems to repeat again and again that government intervention is primarily as a form of swindling.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22179
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
But is the government a republic?  A democracy?  Communist?  She leaves that really vague.  I like that she leaves it vague. 

I can find a lot in the book that i don't like, but I can find much more that I do like.  I was hooked the moment that reardon comes home after the the first pouring of reardon metal. 

But the sex stuff seems weird.  And those long speeches are boring.  I did like the speech about the dollar.  And I like Dagney's radio speech.

I feel a strong connection to the people that innovate.  And I was glad to read a book that showed such a powerful respect for the innovator and painted such a clear picture of the many, many, many ways that icky people find ways to impede innovation in the name of "progress".

I liked the metal and I liked the motor. 

When I read the book I see a young katherine hepburn as dagney.
 
Emerson White
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Don't spoil it for me!

No one has mentioned a motor yet, they've just gotten past their first run. The sex stuff is super weird, it is very obvious that Ayn has a rape fetish, if not from this book then from the fountain head.
 
Emerson White
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
From what I gather thusfar the structure of the government is the same or roughly the same for them as it is for us. But most of the other governments of the world have gone to centrally planned economies. There are lots of wealth redistribution schemes I think, but indirectly in the form of government loans and the like.

Economically I think that is potentially disastrous, as you well know there is little reward for the innovator in most government schemes to support an industry.
 
jacque greenleaf
pollinator
Posts: 489
Location: Burton, WA (USDA zone 8, Sunset zone 5) - old hippie heaven
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
"The sex stuff is super weird, it is very obvious that Ayn has a rape fetish, if not from this book then from the fountain head."

Yup. If you're interested in her, read a serious biography (not a hagiography). It will throw a lot of light on her philosophy.

I admire her because she is a contrary, outrageous woman, but I wouldn't elevate her philosophy to the near-religious status it has for some folks. Especially her idealization of egoism. Let's just say that not only was she anti-communist (with good reason) but that she was also anti-community, which flies in the face of the facts of human evolution. Which is ironic for an atheist supporter of Darwin. One of many interesting contradictions in her life and thinking.
 
Emerson White
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In listening on my commutes (I ride a bicycle so I commute for like 2 hours a day) and in seeing her mike wallace interview and one other on the youtubes I keep thinking that her philosophy would be so much better if she were around after game theory was applied to biology. Her heros in Atlas shrugged all seem to lack completely any sense of the importance of the non-heros. 
 
jacque greenleaf
pollinator
Posts: 489
Location: Burton, WA (USDA zone 8, Sunset zone 5) - old hippie heaven
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
"Her heros in Atlas shrugged all seem to lack completely any sense of the importance of the non-heros. " 

They don't lack it - they actively think non-heroes are completely irrelevant at best, or at worst are parasites whose existence is a detriment.
 
Emerson White
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Not to spoil anything, but Roark for instance doesn't bother to keep a up an arm in washington to fight off the parasites. If you think about a fish for instance, when it gets parasites on its body it will try to scrape them off. It seems like Rands heros view the proper thing to do as just powering trough until they can't any more then turning around and trying to strugle with the parasite mass that they are pulling.

Edit: To say it better, Rand's heroes are proactive about every kind of problem imaginable except for the looters changing the rules of the game.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9740
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
180
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
jacque g wrote:

They don't lack it - they actively think non-heroes are completely irrelevant at best, or at worst are parasites whose existence is a detriment.


Get innovatin' or get out!

Problem is, most folks aren't geniuses, we're just folks.  

<<<< irrelevant  
 
jacque greenleaf
pollinator
Posts: 489
Location: Burton, WA (USDA zone 8, Sunset zone 5) - old hippie heaven
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yeah, and somehow I can't see these heroes picking up the garbage or carrying bedpans...
 
jacque greenleaf
pollinator
Posts: 489
Location: Burton, WA (USDA zone 8, Sunset zone 5) - old hippie heaven
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A final thought -

Ken Lay died of a heart attack while waiting for sentencing, most people think it was stress-related, which I  have no doubt is true. I feel for anyone who is under that much stress, yet I wonder whether he ever considered the stress he dished out to the hundreds of people whose financial lives he ruined. What comes around, goes around.

I am not clairvoyant, but I have no trouble positing that Ayn Rand would have considered Ken Lay to be hounded to death by lesser beings. I think we need to be careful which ideas of hers we sign on for.
 
Emerson White
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I disagree. Ken Lay made his money by buying electricity honestly, then contriving problems in delivery to drive up the price. Ayn's heros all make their money by making things or running them well. In the words of one of the characters in AS Ken Lay was all about getting money and not about making it.

Edit: Ken took himself and others down by loosing money in poor business practices. He was only prosecuted after he failed on his own.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
master steward
Posts: 4150
Location: Missoula, MT
389
books food preservation forest garden hugelkultur toxin-ectomy
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Emerson White wrote:
<snip>Her heros in Atlas shrugged all seem to lack completely any sense of the importance of the non-heros. 


jacque g wrote:
They don't lack it - they actively think non-heroes are completely irrelevant at best, or at worst are parasites whose existence is a detriment.


Hm, this part is interesting to me. And it's a key part of what I'm grappling to understand.

I do think there is a recognition of labor and the laborers in Rand's novels. The heroes are such not just because they are brilliant or have risen above the masses in position or finances, but because of, as Paul mentions, their integrity and, at times, brutal honesty. They rise above the slimy politics of their era and stand apart almost as the "untouched," if you could call it that.

I don't exactly see it as Rand being against the non-heroes or the regular folk, or even anti-community. I think the characters she creates are such that community doesn't matter to them. Her heroes are so focused on working hard and following their passion that a community just slows them down.

There is some brutal [s]truth[/s] <ahem> reality to that. I think that, sometimes, accommodating a community, or caring what others might think, does slow a person down. I also think there are times where a community (or caring supporters or partners) can buoy one up and help a person achieve their vision.

Rand's heroes and her idea of integrity are kind of like this. A friend of mine knows this guy who had a freak brain injury that destroyed the social filter function part of his brain. This guy says what he thinks. All. the. time. He can't help it. My friend finds it refreshing, even when what he says is painful.

If you really look at the rest of us, how often do we tell white lies, or schmooze our co-workers, or out-and-out suck up or make up stuff so that those around us, our community, feels better? It's so commonplace we don't even see it. Then when Rand paints it in big black swaths across her literary canvas, we (I) want to run and hide and say it isn't so.

It's a strange space to think about how many machinations do go on in the most seemingly innocuous situations. Rand is expert at exposing and expounding on this kind of thing. Basically, the disgusting underbelly of human and business relations.

It's uncomfortable. Her lifestyle and personality were/are uncomfortable to me and to many people. There are many artists whose lifestyles I disagree/d with, though I still appreciate their art.

And while I'm still not buying the overwhelmingly black swath society that Rand paints, I want to see it and understand that point of view.
 
Emerson White
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Jocelyn Campbell wrote:
A friend of mine knows this guy who had a freak brain injury that destroyed the social filter function part of his brain. This guy says what he thinks. All. the. time. He can't help it. My friend finds it refreshing, even when what he says is painful.


Um, do you have more information about this? Is there any way that we could make this an elective surgery? Not for me, but can I elect to have the surgery performed on other people.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
master steward
Posts: 4150
Location: Missoula, MT
389
books food preservation forest garden hugelkultur toxin-ectomy
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Emerson White wrote:
Um, do you have more information about this? Is there any way that we could make this an elective surgery? Not for me, but can I elect to have the surgery performed on other people.


Well, it's innate in a lot of Asperger's type folks--no surgery needed! 
 
Emerson White
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm just thinking about the people who can't seem to start thinking, I think that they might be worse off but the rest of us much better off if they couldn't stop.
 
jacque greenleaf
pollinator
Posts: 489
Location: Burton, WA (USDA zone 8, Sunset zone 5) - old hippie heaven
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't intend to be beating dead horses, but it may be that I am conflating what I know about Rand's life with what she wrote in her novels (which I read as a teenager, and did not find particularly gripping.) She had an early admiration for a serial killer, and while she did acknowledge that killing was a crime, she was much more interested in his assertions that he cared about nothing and nobody, which she did admire - apparently not seeing that the non-caring she admired led to the killing. Her personal life shows that she was one of those people who always felt entitled to do as she pleased, regardless of anyone else's feelings.

If you are interested in Rand, don't stop with her novels. See this Slate review of two recent, scholarly biographies - http://www.slate.com/id/2233966. The author of this review is deeply negative about Rand, but the things he talks about in the review are well-documented and corroborated. Inexplicably, the reviewer fails to mention Rand's husband, but maybe it was because Rand pretty much used him as a doormat while he lived. She would talk about loving him, but it was a weird style of loving, to say the least.

At any rate, she did her best to live like one of her heroes, and I think that seeing how her philosophy played out in her real life is a necessary corollary to her novels.

EDIT: fixed link
 
Emerson White
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Figured out more about what I find so objectionable. Rand is painting ignorance of the means and motivations of the looters as a virtue, and I don't think that ignorance should be displayed as a virtue.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9740
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
180
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Apparently this movie has a very small audience.

"The movie looks like it’s going to have trouble topping $5 million in box office. The cost was somewhere in the $10 to $20 million range plus prints and advertising."

http://networkedblogs.com/h96aE


 
                                                
Posts: 43
Location: 14519
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Emerson White wrote:
Not to spoil anything, but Roark for instance doesn't bother to keep a up an arm in washington to fight off the parasites. If you think about a fish for instance, when it gets parasites on its body it will try to scrape them off. It seems like Rands heros view the proper thing to do as just powering trough until they can't any more then turning around and trying to strugle with the parasite mass that they are pulling.

Edit: To say it better, Rand's heroes are proactive about every kind of problem imaginable except for the looters changing the rules of the game.


Roark doesntt keep an arm in DC because the guy he was paying to look out for him, screwed him and took a job as a czar controlling industry.
 
                                                
Posts: 43
Location: 14519
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The sex chapters are different. BUT, they are about control ,"period". You have 2 "A" dominate people doing what comes natural & none of them can admit openly it has happen to them.

The John Galt speech is online...after reading 10-15 pages I went looking for it. Easier to listen to it a few times .

 
Emerson White
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I went to see it on sunday, after I finished the book, I can't decide if it's the social failure of having the young woman who accompanied me act as if it were a favor to me that she was going to see it or the movie itself but I did not enjoy it. It was not a skillfull adaptation to the screen, they should have eliminated some of the characters rather than showing them and saying their name once.

As to Roark, that wouldn't have happened to him if he were paying attention.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22179
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The movie was terrible.

"ignorance of the means and motivations of the looters as a virtue":  I see the value of your point.  And, at the same time, attempting to understand the motivations of these folks can take an infinite amount of time.

 
Suzy Bean
pollinator
Posts: 940
Location: Stevensville, MT
12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
For those who want an amazon link to the book, (as opposed to the movie), here 'tis: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0452011876/rs12-20
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22179
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
 
Jesus Martinez
Posts: 169
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
paul wheaton wrote:
But the sex stuff seems weird.  And those long speeches are boring.  I did like the speech about the dollar.  And I like Dagney's radio speech.



You probably need to read about her sex life to understand that. She had an affair with a married man while she was married, and tried to rationalize it quite well because she was "Ayn Rand" of course, and it was her path.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22179
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Since I don't know any of these people, I'm having a hard time caring if they all had sex with each other.  More power to them. 

In fact, I pretty much expect artists to have bizarre lives. 

 
Jesus Martinez
Posts: 169
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It's not so much with whom they had sex, but the circumstances behind it, the rationalization used (because I'm ayn rand, anything i do is gods will) and the cultish methods she used to control dissemination of her works and to excommunicate anyone from her community whom she felt deserved it.
 
john gault
Posts: 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Funny how books written over 50 years ago show us what the world is coming to be. She was a great visionary.
 
Dawn Hoff
Posts: 503
Location: Andalucía, Spain
26
bee books chicken greening the desert rabbit trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I absolutely live this book - the portrait of crony Capitalism is razor sharp. Like Jocelyn her lack of empathy and understanding of people's need for community is disturbing... But most philosophers and artistst have been a little nuts, so I'll forgive her that.

The movies were awfull though...
 
Attractive, successful people love this tiny ad:
This is an example of the new permies.com Thread Boost feature
https://permies.com/wiki/61482/Thread-Boost-feature
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!