May 31, 2011

The Fountainhead of what, exactly?

It has long been the practice of El Cabrero to take swipes at the wretched ideology of Ayn Rand, which, like a movie zombie, keeps coming back to life. But as I mentioned a while back, I have vowed to actually read her major novels.

I am now about 300 pages into The Fountainhead, which is to say less than half way. Now I realize and freely admit the errors of my ways: rather than just whacking her economic and political beliefs, my time would have been just as well spent making fun of her literary style.

The characters are basically cartoonish caricatures strutting and fretting on the stage. The hero is a monomaniacal architect with no social skills who makes buildings like no other (although they sound pretty boxy). He has trouble finding business so far, but isn't that pretty much the way markets work and aren't markets supposed to be all good all the time in Randland?

The author's idea of courtship and romantic relations is really weird. The sex scenes are like rape, but the characters seem to like it that way, to the extent that they actually like anything, which they don't, which is even weirder. Every such contact seems laced with a bit of sadism and hatred.

It's kind of like watching a bad airplane movie when you're too tired to read but can't go to sleep. I can hardly wait for Atlas Shrugged, which is even longer.

OUR WORST DEFICIT might be one of imagination.

TALKING SENSE ON TAXES. Stating the obvious is a good thing these days.


THIS IS YOUR BRAIN on free will.


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