I’ve had this entry of Billy’s marked "keep as new" in my RSS reader for too long, so finally this morning took to watch the two clips (Part I; Part II) which total about 15 minutes. Here’s some of my own recent thoughts on the 50th Anniversary of the publication of Atlas Shrugged, which has sold 30 million copies worldwide in a dozen languages.
As to the video, Part II is the more important and pressing and I think Barbara has a keen insight into Rand’s disappointment. Sometimes I find it interesting to just write down first thoughts and impressions before having any time to analyze or think deeply about them.
Here’s what I came up with: it was entirely natural for Rand to feel completely and wholly unpresumptuous in turning 2,000 years of cultural "wisdom" right on its fucking depraved head, where it belongs. She understood the evil represented by Christianity and other similarly parasitic cultural phenomena, and she never once in her life seriously wondered if she had any right to question it: to tell you, dear reader, that you’re all fucked up; perhaps not of your own purposeful making, but completely and utterly fucked up in the head nonetheless.
You can’t do that and not pay a price for it. It’s too bad she ultimately found her own advice — to shrug — beyond her own character and spirit. Then again, her heroes were never really meant to shrug. It’s just you could never blame them if they did, and it’s sure what this culture deserves.