1075 Aunt Rant’s New Testament
America’s One True Faith, Randianity, is out with either a New Testament or a New English Revision of the old. The Movie Atlas Shrugged II is to open in theaters in a couple of weeks.
It follows some of the storyline of the original, and attempts to extend its reach as the New Testament does of the Old. But it’s set in modern times, not in the 1940s-1950s as the original. You’d think they’d turn the railroad that plays a major part in the novel into an airline. But that would be too radical. So they just modernized the rail cars so they look like something commuters use in Tokyo and Taipei, but with better seats and fewer passengers.
Aunt Rant didn’t like people screwing with her copy, let alone with her ideas. But the plastic speechifying animatrons of the novel’s endless pages have been humanized in the movie almost as nicely as was Pinocchio when he turned into a real boy at the end of his story.
The movie isn’t out yet, so criticism here is based on the publicity releases and trailers along with the endless internet ads that have been everywhere for about three months.
Maybe, just maybe, the movie will do some good. People don’t really understand Auntie very well. It’s not that she was opaque about what she believed and advocated... but she rattled endlessly to the point that her followers’ consciousness glazed over by the time she made her point. Full understanding would drive many of her newer followers away.
--was an atheist.
--opposed “modern” conservatives.
--thought Reagan was a phony.
--called Libertarians “hippies of the right.”
--was pro choice (“a blob of protoplasm has no rights!”)
--believed in ad hoc organizations like in-house unions at big companies.
--refused to join any of those ad hoc organizations with the possible exception of the Writers Guild when she worked at the film studios.
--believed cancer was caused by “bad premises” at least until her lungs blew up.
--wrote to present an ideal, not a blueprint for action.
A lot of these little bits of Auntie- Shrapnel have eluded many of her followers and scholars of her work.
But make no mistake about this atheist Jewish chick from Russia: What she created was a religion, and a particularly intolerant one.
So maybe the movie -- which eventually will be reviewed here -- will help the legions she influenced understand just what that influence amounts to.
--Cops need better eye exams. If they could see better, they wouldn’t be shooting a double amputee who was holding them at penpoint in Houston, or the guy in New York who was holding them at wallet-point. Other than bad eyesight, what else could excuse incidents like these?
--The inbox has been bulging since Monday’s semi tongue in cheek post on lowering smoking costs for the poor... none of it favorable. Advocates for poverty programs, environmentalists, health “experts,” reformed smokers, have all piled on. It’s nice to have a consistent readership, but you’d think that at least one of the monster tobacco companies would have offered me a trip to Disneyland or maybe a carton of Kools.
I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own. ®
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© WJR 2012