Monday, August 20, 2012

Rand and Ryan

I like to think of myself as fair - I may not always be, but I like to think of myself that way.  And so, in the interest of fairness, I think we should give Paul Ryan a "youthful indiscretion" pass on Ayn Rand.
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I mean, Atlas Shrugged is fine propaganda, wrapped in terrible prose that seems life-changing if you read it right after college.  I read it, I loved it, but luckily I was in Europe with a E-rail pass and saw first hand what a collaborative community could do.  My brain-washing was stopped in it's tracks by early twenties lust for foreigners.  Had I been sitting in Janesville WS - I might have decided it was gospel as well.
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Paul Ryan, good catholic young man, couldn't channel all that freedom into sex - so he read it not as a sexual parable, but as an economic blueprint.
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To hold it against Mr. Ryan now isn't fair.  Particularly since the life changing book, Atlas Shrugged, doesn't mention her anti-religion fanaticism - or her bitter failure in popular culture.  It is a book that celebrates the individual - and most kids read it right as their own individuality is being smuushed (technical term).  It was like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas for kids that didn't get high, or Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance for kids that were turned off by the word Zen.
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But try to watch the movie now.  Really! It's on Netflix.  You won't make it pass the 15 minute mark before you can't stand it and turn off the propaganda.  And you think, the book can't possible be this bad - and you reread it - and it is.

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