Atlas Shrugged: Day 2

Friday, 12 July 2002

Day 2: On page 182 of Atlas Shrugged, I fig­ured out who John Galt was.

Major Objection: 18% of the way through the book. The story only holds my in­ter­est be­cause of the char­ac­ters’ in­ter­nal di­a­logues. Character de­vel­op­ment does not seem to be Ayn Rand’s strong point and her use of nar­ra­tive de­vice only seems clich?. I AM, how­ever, en­joy­ing the book. She deals in ex­tremes, the Prime Movers, Rearden, Dagny Taggert, and d’Anconia are demigods, and all oth­ers are syco­phants and whin­ers. An ap­pro­pri­ate use for her since the Prime Movers are also the Prime Examples of Objectivism and its ex­treme ra­tio­nal­ity, while all oth­ers merely toss out in­fan­tile rant­i­ngs and tem­per tantrums. This ploy would be ef­fec­tive if it weren’t so ob­vi­ous. Ayn Rand’s schiz­o­phrenic use of straight­for­ward decla­ma­tion with un­so­phis­ti­cated at­tempts at sub­tlety makes me feel that she is des­per­ately try­ing to get some­one to agree with her. An at­ten­tion get­ting in­se­cu­rity.

I am one hy­per­crit­i­cal mutha­fucka. They are just opin­ions but I feel the great­est honor I can do to an art­work is to do my best at an­a­lyz­ing it. For that shows that I take its ex­is­tence se­ri­ously. If I am not crit­i­cal of some­thing it is be­cause I think it is friv­o­lous and there­fore not wor­thy of dis­sec­tion. There isn’t any­thing wrong with that is there?

Car Stolen, Almost

Thursday, 11 July 2002

I thought my car had been stolen yes­ter­day. Turns out the University had de­cided it and 3 other cars needed tow­ing to an­other park­ing lot far­ther away. Why? So a tem­po­rary chain link fence could be put up. The rea­son for the fence is not ob­vi­ous, it merely par­ti­tions part of the lot from the rest. It ap­pears that the fence is one of those things that ex­ists only to make things slightly more grat­ing for peo­ple. So I searched the lot for about a half hour won­der­ing if I had parked it some­where else and had for­got­ten. As my anx­i­ety lev­eled in­creased I re­al­ized that my 1993 Oldsmobile EightyEight wasn’t there. Shit. So I go back to call se­cu­rity and here we go:

Security: “Notre Dame Security this is Sandra.”
Adam: “I’m call­ing to re­port a stolen ve­hic…”
S: “Oh! Were you parked in D2? We towed 4 cars out of there to the North lot to­day.”
A: “Yeah I was in D2, did you tow a…”
S: “We’ve got a grey Ford Pickup, li­cense plate num…”
A: (curs­ing in­ter­nally) “No, that is not my car. I have a…”
S: “…and we have a grey Oldsmobile that be­longs to…”
A: (irately) “I have an Oldsmobile but its navy not grey, the name is Adam Harvey.”
S: “I’ve got an Oldsmobile with Indiana plates reg­is­tered to a Harvey A. Barnard.”
A: (more in­ter­nal curs­ing) “Yeah, that’s me.”
S: “There is no cost to you, sir. Have good day.” (click)
A: “Fuck.”

Absurd. Especially in the ex­is­ten­tial­ist mean­ing of the word.

Its gonna take awhile to read Atlas Shrugged since the book it­self is large enough to be borne by Atlas. So to amuse my­self while I read it I’m go­ing to rip on Ayn Rand’s phi­los­o­phy: Objectivism.

Day 1: The last few pages of the book (af­ter the novel it­self) are de­voted to a syn­op­sis of her phi­los­o­phy.
Major Objection: A phi­los­o­phy that de­pends on a pulp print­ing of a book to get a word in edge­wise rather de­feats the cred­i­bil­ity of said phi­los­o­phy.
Metaphysics: “Objectivism re­jects any be­lief in the su­per­nat­u­ral-and any claim that in­di­vid­u­als or groups cre­ate their own re­al­ity.”
Major Objection: This in ef­fect states that so­ci­eties should not ex­ist. For what is so­ci­ety, but a mass con­sumed cre­ated re­al­ity? Lunatics are os­tra­cized for the very rea­son that their cre­ated re­al­ity ex­ists in con­flict to the sta­tus quo. Objectivism also there­fore op­poses the ex­is­ten­tial­ist idea that mean­ing is cre­ated and ex­erted by the in­di­vid­ual. For Objectivism, mean­ing must ex­ist as fact only, the ul­ti­mate prag­ma­tism.

The Road Home

Thursday, 9 May 2002

5.9.02 INT. KEOUGH HALL RM 435 1:00pm DAY

all of the mar­mosets are gone, and so am i. this won’t be up­dated un­til i am back on the 20th. for those of you who want to know, here is my sum­mer read­ing list as it stands now (feel free to add to it).

  • fritz leiber;
  • art of zen and mo­tor­cy­cle main­te­nance;
  • lord of the flies;
  • 1984;
  • catcher in the rye;
  • the art of war;
  • book of five rings by miyamoto musashi;
  • den­nis mck­ier­nan;
  • clock­work or­ange;
  • high fi­delity;
  • on the road;
  • ham­let;
  • con­fed­er­acy of dunces;
  • gin­ger­man;
  • the naked and the dead;
  • good omens;
  • ridicu­lous rhymes (roald dahl);
  • at­las shrugged;
  • f scott fitzger­ald this side of par­adise;
  • some­thing by hem­ing­way

to­day i am road­trip­pin’

lis­ten­ing to The Road Home (a com­pi­la­tion CD i made)