If our show was on the Disney Channel, Raven Symone would be a recurring character just to dare people to demand our cancellation. We’d also be sure to include lots of eating, sleeping, and hard working. In this episode we discuss how everything is racist as well as another Atlas Shrugged movie and another Star Trek series.

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  • Just to start off light, it’s always fun to find out peoples’ favorite works by Ayn Rand. I love Atlas Shrugged, of course, because it’s Objectivism in full flower. I also love We The Living, for the scrappy independence of Kira Argounova and because the existential, snowy Russian setting is similar to my hometown Wisconsin winters. For non-fiction, I love Rand’s essay about Apollo 11 because of its historical moment, how moved she was by the achievement, and because it’s some of her best descriptive writing. I also love Rand’s essay about Marilyn Monroe, for its compassion and insight about femininity.

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  • Thoughts?

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  • “I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice.” – Michael (Martin Luther) King, Jr., “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”, 4-16-1963

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  • Has anyone seen the Atlas Shrugged movies and if so what did you think of them? I watched part of the way through the second one but gave up. I’m guessing they had all kinds of friction in trying to make these films (I can only imagine the Hollywood establishment working against them). But as far as the script I have to say placing it in modern times just doesn’t work. There’s no way you can write the Railroad industry back into economic or cultural relevance to the extent it would have been in the unspecified but clearly 50’s -ish time period of the original story. Without a doubt this should have been a period film, and shot in the ‘Noir’ style of such classics as the Maltese Falcon, or Murder my Sweet. I think of the scene were Dagny talks to the newspaper vendor about how the burning tip of a cigarette represents man’s control of nature and I just see all of this happening on a shadowy black and white city street. So that’s the other thing, if you can’t effectively tell the story of Atlas Shrugged in a world without a vibrant railroad system you can’t tell it in a world where no one smokes cigarettes either.

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  • I dutifully watched Atlas Shrugged Part III, which was released on September 12 to local movie theaters. As expected, there were not many people in my theater. I must admit that I have a hard time arguing with the one (somewhat negative) review I have seen: The film was obviously fairly low budget, and I did not find the philosophical content much higher or very persuasive. Even if this film was seen by large numbers of people, I doubt they would be very inspired or educated. From that point of view, the high point of the film was where John Galt was being offered great economic power by the US President, when Galt said “that kind of power should not exist”.  But I think that there should have been stronger emphasis on the fact that Galt was being tortured in order to force him to become an economic dictator (under the President).  As portrayed, it simply looked like they were trying to hurt him because they didn’t like what he did or said. I was somewhat turned-off by the masses chanting “We want John Galt” — as if they were looking for a new dictator to replace the President. The movie portrayed a decaying society, but could have better emphasized how modern fascism of regulation is at least as economically destructive as socialism. On a less cerebral level, I was turned-off by the chocolate cake that Dagney and John were eating. Also, John’s partly unshaven face reinforced my impression that for many women being partly unshaven is very sexy.

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