The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Great Con Artists of the 20th Century #5

Ayn Rand


swac said...

I want to find the teacher that made me read Anthem and kick her.

Tom Sutpen said...

Back when I was young and foolish, I actually semi-bought into her Objectivism bullshit; mainly as a result of reading The Fountainhead, which has the dual distinction of being a rocketing narrative (she was clearly paying attention all those years she worked for DeMille) and having just the right amount of Us vs. Them, Integrity vs. Phillistinism, to attract any halfway credulous adolescent.

Kid stuff.

Vanwall said...

I'm sooooo glad I wasn't force-fed that crap. I read a few of her "works", but found her pretty tiresome.


slyboots2 said...

Scary factoid of the day-

Alan Greenspan was a friend of Ayn's and is an old adherent to Objectivism. This puts a chill all along my spine.

I have to bite my tongue every time one of my acquiantances starts ranting about how wonderful Rand is...especially if I'm at work.

Tom Sutpen said...

slyboots2 wrote:

Alan Greenspan was a friend of Ayn's and is an old adherent to Objectivism. This puts a chill all along my spine.

Same here. He was very close to Rand and was long a member of her inner-circle (those weekly soirees in Manhattan with the rest of her coterie yakking away into the dawn . . . and her poor husband playing butler) and had a ringside seat for the deranged soap opera of her loony affair with Nathaniel Branden. He never talks about her publicly, to the best of my knowledge, but I doubt if her ideas are very far from his thoughts.

Petunia McGillicuddy said...

I love her work as fiction. So she was shortsighted and egotistical and fallible. So aren't we all.

I don't so much mind calling her a con artist, but I don't think it's really accurate. Don't con artists know what they are doing when they are perpetrating a con? She herself was completely blind and bamboozled by her own logic.

Has she really had so much influence? Don't most people dismiss her? I don't know. I didn't know Greenspan liked her.

Mr said...

Might as well call John Wayne a con artist. To understand Ayn Rand read Mises and other classical economists.