Saturday, October 2, 2010

Saturday Book Review

Quite possibly the best most on-target book review I’ve ever read: What I Think About Atlas Shrugged.
That said, it’s a totally ridiculous book which can be summed up as Sociopathic idealized nerds collapse society because they don’t get enough hugs.

I mean, there’s tons more awesomeness in there, but I just read that and had to share it. Because damn it’s true. Once you say that you pretty much have said it all.

But what the hell, let’s go on:

All of this is fine, if one recognizes that the idealized world Ayn Rand has created to facilitate her wishful theorizing has no more logical connection to our real one than a world in which an author has imagined humanity ruled by intelligent cups of yogurt. This is most obviously revealed by the fact that in Ayn Rand’s world, a man who self-righteously instigates the collapse of society, thereby inevitably killing millions if not billions of people, is portrayed as a messiah figure rather than as a genocidal prick, which is what he’d be anywhere else. Yes, he’s a genocidal prick with excellent engineering skills. Good for him. He’s still a genocidal prick. Indeed, if John Galt were portrayed as an intelligent cup of yogurt rather than poured into human form, this would be obvious. Oh my god, that cup of yogurt wants to kill most of humanity to make a philosophical point! Somebody eat him quick! And that would be that.

You know, I saw one of those ridiculous “Who Is John Galt?” bumper stickers the other day and I just thought, oh you poor dears. Is the right so desperate for a hero that they must latch on to a narcissistic couch potato whose best idea for revenge on the world is to quite literally do nothing? (Okay, I confess, I haven’t read Atlas Shrugged in about 20 years and it kind of runs together in my head with The Fountainhead but near as I can recall that’s the basic premise ...)

Anyway, I remember feeling the same as John Scalzi did after reading both books: they're entertaining, fast-paced reads but completely fantasy based, morally suspect and certainly not the basis for a political movement in any reality-based world.

Can't wait for the movie though -- unless it suffers the same fate as the "Red Dawn" remake.