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“Your husband is a communist.”
May 9, 2012 12:36 PM   Subscribe

Dear Ayn, [McSweeney's Internet Tendency] Ayn Rand writes an advice column.
posted by Fizz (51 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Sorry, but these missed being on point and funny by many a mile.
posted by orange swan at 12:38 PM on May 9, 2012 [18 favorites]


The concept is ripe for comedy, but this just didn't deliver.
posted by rocket88 at 12:39 PM on May 9, 2012 [6 favorites]


Disregard others, acquire currency.

There. Done.
posted by Ayn Rand and God at 12:40 PM on May 9, 2012 [19 favorites]


McSweeney's has done better. For a cleaner, subtler, satire of Ayn Rand's political views, you can't do much better than Atlas Shrugged.
posted by justkevin at 12:41 PM on May 9, 2012 [47 favorites]


For a cleaner, subtler, satire of Ayn Rand's political views, you can't do much better than Atlas Shrugged.

Damn.
posted by Fizz at 12:42 PM on May 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's a perfect setup to blockquote a 6-page nonsensical passage about the glories of selfishness and laissez-faire 8/10ths of the way through the column, and they totally don't do that.

There's a perfect setup to address the creepy creepy consensual(?) rape(?) scene in The Fountainhead, and they don't do that.

There's a perfect setup for her to talk about how her perfect world depends on a yet-to-be-invented magic metal and a perpetual-motion machine, and they don't do that.

This was a wasted opportunity.
posted by gauche at 12:47 PM on May 9, 2012 [9 favorites]


Not funny or original. McSweeney's always reads like they're trying just a little bit too hard.
posted by headnsouth at 12:49 PM on May 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


How many Objectivists does it take to screw in a light bulb?
posted by vfloethe at 12:53 PM on May 9, 2012


This has got nothing on the Ayn Rand somad in Forum 2000:

"The only answer compatible with Reason is (b). After which you will make love on a window ledge in the moonlight."

"If you were hanging from a cliff by a rope made of dollar bills, and someone set the rope on fire, would it be better to try to quickly climb to the top (and fail), or remain stationary and try to invent a new form of steel or start a railroad in the few minutes remaining."

etc. please peruse
posted by crayz at 12:53 PM on May 9, 2012 [6 favorites]


This depresses me. The only good thing about Rand is her ability to provide endless inspiration for snark, but this piece is just bad.
posted by Sangermaine at 12:57 PM on May 9, 2012


I almost convinced myself that this was a neocon-written parody of a leftist satire of Ayn Rand, but then I had to lie down.
posted by Doleful Creature at 12:58 PM on May 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Q: How many Objectivists does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: Humor is for the weak-minded and parasitical. A true spirit has no use for the expectations and demands of the conventional light-using masses, huddled together in fear of the darkness. What they truly fear is only themselves, because they have not the capacity to realize the potential of their will by taking what they choose to take without regard for the petty wants and needs of those below them.
posted by gauche at 12:58 PM on May 9, 2012 [18 favorites]


Dear Ayn,

I’m dating a man who I think I love, but I’m afraid he’s having an affair. He comes home late, he acts suspiciously, and he even has red lipstick on his collar. Should I confront him or just hope for the best?

— County Affair


Dear County,

Your husband has clearly fallen under the influence of an agent of the industrialists who have insinuated themselves within the government and entrenched their influence over the central planners. They hope to suppress his ideas for a radical new technology that will break their stranglehold over the lives of free people. Tonight, when he returns from another "late meeting" at his lab, confront him! This is absolutely necessary for him to shake off the flatteries that have intoxicated him, and to see his true potential as a leader of men. He will try to deflect your accusations, or claim that it is simply an affair. Strike him, and make to strike him a second time. Now he will seize you by the wrist, and raise his hand as if to strike you, but at the last minute he will pull you roughly towards him (he may still actually strike you, but this comes with the territory). Grabbing you by the other wrist, he will force his mouth upon you, forcefully. At first you will try to pull away, but your resistance will soon weaken. He will take you, right there in the sitting room (or perhaps the garage). In this way, the illusions that he has labored under will be burned away in the flames of your passion, and your marriage will be made anew, as steel in the crucible. Later, make him dinner.

Hope this helps,

A.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:06 PM on May 9, 2012 [18 favorites]


Howard Roark laughed.
posted by Fritz Langwedge at 1:08 PM on May 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


Q: How many Objectivists does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Objectivists do not screw in lightbulbs. They smash them, because lightbulbs are so frail and needy and deserve to be smashed and thrown in the garbage.
posted by Skygazer at 1:10 PM on May 9, 2012




orange swan said it.
posted by infini at 1:11 PM on May 9, 2012


Not nearly as funny as this.
posted by The World Famous at 1:17 PM on May 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I seem to remember Harvard Lampoon making a joke about an Ayn Rand Christmas special that involved an elf making a speech that lasted 3 hours. Now that's funny.
posted by jonp72 at 1:25 PM on May 9, 2012 [6 favorites]


I like the Ayn Rand Let's Play of Jagged Alliance 2. http://lparchive.org/Jagged-Alliance-2/
posted by Sebmojo at 1:27 PM on May 9, 2012


I hate Ayn Rand!
posted by xedrik at 1:29 PM on May 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Everything I know about Aunt Rant, Objectivism and 'Get A Life' days, I learned from reading Usenet, and in particular, these three posts.
posted by tykky at 1:31 PM on May 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


metafilter shrugged.
posted by horsewithnoname at 1:36 PM on May 9, 2012 [13 favorites]


Advice should not be given. It must be taken by the strong.
posted by delfin at 1:48 PM on May 9, 2012 [9 favorites]




There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.
posted by the thing about it at 2:08 PM on May 9, 2012 [19 favorites]


^ With credit to John Rogers
posted by the thing about it at 2:09 PM on May 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've been going to the Ayn Rand Mockery Humor well for a damn long time, but I really feel like East Bound and Down pretty much said everything that could be said on the subject.
posted by COBRA! at 2:21 PM on May 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Saw this and didn't laugh. Was really disappointed, too.
posted by hwestiii at 2:29 PM on May 9, 2012


This is how you do it, also from McSweeney's.
posted by norabarnacl3 at 2:32 PM on May 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Q: How many Objectivists does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Objectivists don't screw in lightbulbs. The screw in piles of cash that they appropriated from the undeserving.
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:44 PM on May 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


It depends on whether the people they're trying to screw are small enough to fit inside the light bulb with them.
posted by The World Famous at 2:58 PM on May 9, 2012


Not nearly as funny as this

Wow. The handwaving Rand does at 14:00 when Wallace suggests that a regulatory system is an organic reaction and a check to the abuses of an unregulated system is really amazing. I expected her to have a more convinving response to such an obvious kink in the Objectivist armor.

Interesting how she stresses the use of Reason above all else yet fails to consider a lot of the biological and historical evidence suggesting that we are, in fact, social animals wired to live collectively to survive. Reason would actually suggest that "we look out for one another" and "you scratch my back, I scratch yours" are the more natural states of the human condition than "every man is an island."

And what's with her shifty eyes!? I had never seen video of her but she looked like a straight up tweaker.
posted by jnnla at 3:05 PM on May 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Interesting how she stresses the use of Reason above all else yet fails to consider a lot of the biological and historical evidence suggesting that we are, in fact, social animals wired to live collectively to survive. Reason would actually suggest that 'we look out for one another' and 'you scratch my back, I scratch yours' are the more natural states of the human condition than 'every man is an island.'"

Objectivists and Rand herself are a lot like that kid, back when I was about eight, who my cousin asked me to humiliate because he used the word "logical" all the time. They fetishize reason without being rational and they imagine themselves philosophers and/or philosophically literate while being utterly ignorant of the enormous body of work through the entire history of western philosophy that delves deeply into the idea of reason and what's rational. They are the ultimate sophomores.

I sometimes feel a bit ashamed for humiliating that little kid. I've never once felt ashamed for humiliating an Objectivist/Randroid. They deserve it. They deserve inept satirical mockery, like this link. They deserve pretty much anything bad that ever happens to them.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:45 PM on May 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


They are the ultimate sophomores.

Best assessment ever.
posted by The World Famous at 3:48 PM on May 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Q: How many Objectivists does it take to screw in a light bulb?

We will not replace a light bulb with an inane Hegelian illumination such as what the ignorant masses would use. We are not content with mediocrity therefore we shall create a new bulb, one which is brighter and more efficient than any ever seen before. From our tireless efforts, a new light shall be born. We will present this to the world who will scoff at our brilliance and the government and the socialists will try to take our light bulb from us. But we will withhold the luminosity of our production. We shall strike forth and found a new land where our light can shine freely. And this beacon will draw others to us: People who are tired of the sloth and slavery of their chained society sweating to enrich the undeserving blind masses lurking in the night.

We shall build a new shining city on the hill beneath this beacon of wisdom. And we will rip out the heart of any who dares interfere with us. We are the bright freedom in the darkness.
posted by honestcoyote at 4:20 PM on May 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


McSweeney's: Not The Onion since 1998.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 4:27 PM on May 9, 2012


In many ways, "objectivists" seem to me the secular equivalent of fundamentalists. Both groups derive their understanding of truth from the pronouncements of an individual (Rand and her disciples, or priests and "popular religion" materials). Both make claims of vast insight and value. Both have All the Answers. Both groups are also ignorant of the difficulty and thought that has gone into more complex, more significant systems, theological or philosophical.

Utilitarianism is to Atlas Shrugged as Fear and Trembling is to The Prayer of Jabez.
posted by sonic meat machine at 4:49 PM on May 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Just fixing a link, but these are the Forum 2000 (3000) archives and this, of course, is the greatest Ayn Rand moment of all.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:10 PM on May 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


I wished to know the meaning of things. I am the meaning. I wished to find a warrant for being. I need no warrant for being, and no word of sanction upon my being. I am the warrant and the sanction.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:50 PM on May 9, 2012


The piece is terrible, but you have to respect the name "Ayn Randers." The second I saw it, I was all "aw man, I wish I had come up with that one..."
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 6:03 PM on May 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Like most of Megan Amram's material.. I get lost in her deeply ironic sub-irony she concocts. Like she's making a joke about how funny it would be if a badly-written joke, performed even worse, was actually considered gut-bustingly funny.

Example 1, Example 2, Example 3.

Oddly enough, her Twitter profile headline (apparently a quote from her mom) sums it up perfectly :
"it's this weird, sexual, anti-comedy comedy that's 'in' right now."

Maybe I'm an old man, but I truly just do NOT "get it".
posted by revmitcz at 7:10 PM on May 9, 2012


In many ways, "objectivists" seem to me the secular equivalent of fundamentalists.

They are the inverse of Communists. If you replace "proletariat" with "industrialists" Marx and Rand read like one text (minus the sexual assaults). In one the proletariat control the means of production, in Rand the inventors control the means of production. What do the inventor/industrialists do in response to those who would steal the fruits of their labor? They go on strike FFS. Objectivism is just as rigid and stilted as Communism, just with different characters as the heroes, villains, and victims.
posted by benzenedream at 10:59 PM on May 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm writing a scholarship essay for the Rand foundation on "The Fountainhead." Basically my thesis is that the story is a superhero tale, and the main characters aren't so much people but forces of nature exerting themselves onto the world. Ergo everyone else is a chump.
posted by Taft at 11:04 PM on May 9, 2012


*Ayn Rand Institute
posted by Taft at 11:38 PM on May 9, 2012


Miss Florence King wrote the best single line about the shortcomings of Rand's fiction: "Then there was the Ayn Rand sex scene in which the characters hump because they both love the gold standard."
posted by gingerest at 11:38 PM on May 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


They are the inverse of Communists

Granted, Rand fled the country of her birth during the unrest that led to the formation of the USSR; it doesn't seem terribly strange to me that she'd have both a hate-on for Communism and a commonality of outlook.
posted by hattifattener at 12:53 AM on May 10, 2012


From Wikipedia:
Rand was born [...] to a bourgeois family living in Saint Petersburg. [...] Rand's father was a successful pharmacist, eventually owning a pharmacy and the building in which it was located. [...] Rand's family life was disrupted by the rise of the Bolshevik party under Vladimir Lenin. Her father's pharmacy was confiscated by the Bolsheviks, and the family fled to the Crimea, which was initially under the control of the White Army during the Russian Civil War. [...] After graduating from high school in the Crimea, at 16 Rand returned with her family to Petrograd (the new name for Saint Petersburg), where they faced desperate conditions, on occasion nearly starving.
That pretty much explains it. You have similar stories of bourgeoisie lives destroyed by government changes with Hayek and Von Mises. If the government/the commies takes away your nice childhood, you are probably going to become anti-government. Most people grow up and realize there was more to the story, other people write pulp fiction.
posted by gjc at 6:10 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Goddammit. We need a [warning: McSweeney's] on this shizzy.
posted by frecklefaerie at 8:17 AM on May 10, 2012


This had the potential to be funny, but it read more like an SNL cast member doing a recurring "impression" of a famous person or politician that is largely a character made up whole cloth with a few behavioral/verbal quirks thrown in (i.e. Chris Farley as Newt Gingrich, Tim Meadows as OJ Simpson, Norm MacDonald as anyone)
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 11:44 AM on May 10, 2012


>And what's with her shifty eyes!? I had never seen video of her but she looked like a straight up tweaker.

It's well known that she was an amphetamine user during a 30-year period -- two pills per day, it seems.
posted by darth_tedious at 12:36 PM on May 10, 2012


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