Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Never meet your idol

Via Jon Hotten I find this flesh-crawlingly weird Huffpo article by one Steve Mariotti, about his encounters with his intellectual idol Ayn Rand.

After the first meeting:

This incident cut me deeply. I was so scarred by the rejection that I couldn't even tell anyone about it for 15 years.

And after the third:

It was like someone had taken a hot knife to my stomach...This final communication hurt so much that I have never talked about it until now.

You really have to read the whole thing to believe it.


zmkc said...

Perhaps it's more a case of 'be careful who you choose to idolise.'

Hey Skipper said...

I have read some Ayn Rand, at about the same age as most everyone else does.

Her description of a society plagued by socialism was spot-on. However, her writing was hackneyed and her characters never managed to to attain the depth of cardboard cutouts.

For those who object to torture, it is a tough call as to which would be worse: waterboarding, or being forced to listen to a reading of Atlas Shrugged.

Today's word verification is from Newspeak: unpurg

Peter said...

She was a deeply disturbed individual who seemed to delight in spreading the havoc of her own life to others. A second-rate thinker, her legacy is novels with embarassingly turgid dialogue and a marxist-like flair for heavy, Germanic, meaningless aphorisms of the sort that appeal to precocious 17 year old computer geeks ("The creator thinks, the parasite copies").

Perhaps I'm too old, but the current libertarian rage confounds me. In my day, libertarians were nerds of casual hygiene who couldn't get a date and liked to stay up late in the dorm arguing about the tyranny of public libraries. I can't make much sense of the modern enthusiasm, but they are one of the best arguments around in favour of religion in the public square today.

Peter said...

Although, having finished the article in the link, I can't say I have much more time for leftists who claim to have seen the light because they once met Ayn Rand and she was a real meanie to them.

David said...

Hey Peter:

Congratulations on a Conservative government that's almost as conservative as our current government.

David said...


Now that's a guy who lacks self-knowledge.

Harry Eagar said...

I thought 'The Fountainhead' was turgid and stupid, but then I started hanging out with architecture students and they helped me discover that it was a very, very funny book.

Brit said...

Who is weirder, Ayn Rand or Steve Mariotti?

I reckon Steve.

Susan's Husband said...

When you read Rand's novel, you have to keep in mind that there are no characters in the literary sense but only reifications. I've never much liked characterization so I found her work much more palatable than most.