Atlas Shrugged and Critics Wept

And it looks like the invisible hand is about to give Atlas Shrugged, the movie, two thumbs down:

Its politics are the least of the hurdles for “Atlas Shrugged,’’ the movie.

About to lose his long-held rights to Ayn Rand’s novel, and perhaps to cash in on apparent Tea Party interest and support, producer John Aglialoro (the CEO of Cybex International in Medway) rushed this film into a low-budget production and it shows in every frame. Even fans of Rand’s 1957 antigovernment manifesto may balk at having to endure dialogue that would be banal on the Lifetime channel, along with wooden performances, particularly from Taylor Schilling as rail tycoon Dagny Taggart, and a tedious plot that reduces political and high finance machinations to boring dinner table patter. To make matters worse, this is merely part one, covering just the first third of Rand’s opus.

I’m sure a Reason TV video will set us straight.

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136 replies
  1. 1
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    About to lose his long-held rights to Ayn Rand’s novel, and perhaps to cash in on apparent Tea Party interest and support, producer John Aglialoro (the CEO of Cybex International in Medway) rushed this film into a low-budget production and it shows in every frame.

    He should have just gone Galt and refused to film until we deserved it.

  2. 2
  3. 3
    MikeJ says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: I understand the producer of The Fountainhead blew up all the prints of AS because it didn’t fit his vision.

  4. 4
    JonF says:

    Hard to believe that a movie about hot infrastructure policy isn’t setting the woods aflame.

    Cue the predictable whining about the liberal media when this movie bombs and doesn’t win any awards save razzies.

  5. 5
  6. 6
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    This’ll be one of those movies that eventually circulates in evangelical churches on Christian Movie Night.

  7. 7
    mrami says:

    Can we just ignore this and talk about vasectomies or something? I’d rather talk about vasectomies…

  8. 8

    @arguingwithsignposts: And you’re shocked by that?

  9. 9
    jheartney says:

    You can blame the budget, but the real problem is they aren’t getting any help from the source material. Even leaving aside the incredible length and turgid dialogue, the main plot points (trains and steel) are as dated as the ideology.

    It might have worked better if they taken a cleaver to the story and set the thing in the late 50’s.

    At least if it dies after the first installment, no one will have to try to figure out how to film The Speech.

  10. 10
    sukabi says:

    if it’s THAT bad, it could should be used as a “retraining” aid… strap those spouting the joys of Galtism in a chair, glue their eyelids open, and run the movie 24/7 until they cry uncle…

    and for those of you saying “we don’t torture”, nevermind, that would be those same people that embrace Galtism, the above doesn’t fall under your definition.

  11. 11
    jwb says:

    @JonF: Clearly, Aglialoro is a liberal plant who did this because Rand’s philosophy is taking hold in this country.

  12. 12
    Joseph Nobles says:

    Sadly, no, Reason’s Kurt Loder says this:

    Sitting through this picture is like watching early rehearsals of a stage play that’s clearly doomed.

    I guess Reason Online issues from the same fount as Reason TV.

  13. 13
    Warren Terra says:

    I’ve never read Atlas Shrugged, but if I understand correctly a key part of itsp lot is that their embracing of a perpetual motion machine will enable the Libertarians to demonstrate the superiority of their ideology.

    That’s your Libertarians for you: relying for comfort on their faith in a fictional tale about a perpetual motion machine, that famed staple of fraudsters and the deluded.

  14. 14
    Butler says:

    @me: Thanks for that. Favorite line from that review:

    The movie is especially disappointing because Rand’s 1957 book, while centrally concerned with ethical philosophy (and inevitably quite talky), has a juicy plot that, in more capable hands, might have made a sensational film

  15. 15
  16. 16
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    http://www.rottentomatoes.com/.....ed_part_i/

    It’s apparently pulling a 0% on RottenTomatoes right now. Love to see that last a few more days.

  17. 17
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    The movie is especially disappointing because Rand’s 1957 book, while centrally concerned with ethical philosophy (and inevitably quite talky), has a juicy plot that, in more capable hands, might have made a sensational film.

    Translation: John Aglialoro’s blasphemy will not go unpunished. We’re going to burn down his house tonight.

  18. 18
    JonF says:

    @jwb It must be awesome to have a belief system where any(and every) failure is because of the nebulous conspiracy against your beliefs.

  19. 19
    JonF says:

    @jwb It must be awesome to have a belief system where any(and every) failure is because of the nebulous conspiracy against your beliefs.

  20. 20
    Butler says:

    Incredibly easy predictions:

    1)If this movie does any sort of business (ie enough to turn a profit on its tiny budget) these reviews will be held up as proof that elite liberal Hollywood is out of touch with the wisdom of “real America”.

    or

    2)If this movie completely bombs, the reviews will be taken as proof of a liberal conspiracy to kill it at the box office.

    Heads I win, tails its a fucking liberal conspiracy.

  21. 21
    Sixers says:

    I eagerly await the knock off porn version called “Atlas Tugged”.

  22. 22
    me says:

    @Joseph Nobles: Reason TV actually did a set of moderately sycophantic videos about the movie.

  23. 23
    maya says:

    Heritage Foundation, Americans For posterity, etc., will buy up reels and reels of AS, or whatever they come in these days, and propel it to the top of the NY Times Bestseller’s list. Then they will be given away as door prizes stoppers at GOP/TP fund raisers.

  24. 24
    Suffern ACE says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Oh, and there is Wisconsin. Dagny and Hank ride blissfully in Taggart’s new high-speed train, and then Hank suggests they take a trip to Wisconsin, where the state’s policies caused the suppression of an engine that runs on the ozone in the air, or something (the film’s detailed explanation won’t clear this up). They decide to drive there. That’s when you’ll enjoy the beautiful landscape photography of the deserts of Wisconsin. My advice to the filmmakers: If you want to use a desert, why not just refer to Wisconsin as “New Mexico”?

  25. 25
    Joe Beese says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    He should have just gone Galt and refused to film until we deserved it.

    FTW

    Despite its well-documented flaws, I enjoy the book in a perverse sort of way without taking it as a guide to living. And the faithful seem to like the movie. So I think there’s a chance I might enjoy it. If it stinks, I won’t say I wasn’t warned.

    If nothing else, I’ll be interested to see what adaptation choices were made.

  26. 26
    C Nelson Reilly says:

    If only Kelsey Grammer could have cleared his schedule…

  27. 27
    jheartney says:

    The movie may be a bust, but there’s plenty of entertainment in reading the Randoids bleating in comment threads already. This review’s comments are worth a bag of popcorn all by themselves.

    What kind of review for that amazingly timeless classic you could expect from “moochers” and “looters” of current Hollywood elite. Seems that no matter what and who will write: people fighting current liberal elites will find any reminder of what could happen important and useful.

    This review is one of the worst pieces of trash to give an oppionion I have ever read, especially when done is such a biased manner. This person who clearly has never read the book much less an understanding of basic philosophical differences from objectivism and communism has no reason providing any opion at all. Along with all of this everything I read in this simply tells me that this reviewer is the non-thinking zero who can’t accept the success of others and that to work for oneself is an evil. To you from all the Men of the Mind: May you be damned.

  28. 28
    me says:

    @RSR: I bet it the reviews would have been much better if they had included the Big Daddies.

  29. 29
    patroclus says:

    Since when have right-wingers cared about trains?

  30. 30
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    My favorite piece of information from this is that Kurt Loder is working for Reason. I remember seeing him on MTV.

  31. 31
    Walker says:

    I find the fact that Taggart cannot extend her high speed train to Wisconsin to be incredibly ironic. It is almost as if it were a parody.

  32. 32
    Seanly says:

    Atlas Shrugged (the book) is so damn stupid. I read it before I studied engineering in college, but even then none of the stuff about the steel made any sense. Nevermind the metallurgy – that’s suspension of disbelief territory. But the stuff about being upset that people made tea sets and radio set casings out of the steel made no sense at all. I figured they would only do that for 2 reasons – 1) it’s less expensive than other steels or 2) it lends an aesthetic value allowing the manufacturers to charge extra. Both of those are virtues of the free market yet Rand portrays them as a failure of socialism. WTF? So Rand kills a trainload of people to show us how evil the free market is for using this new steel for uses other than rails.

    Fountainhead followed by some of her novellas & short stories got me interested in aspects of Rand’s philosophy. Atlas Shrugged actually turned me off from her philosophy.

  33. 33
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @patroclus:

    Since when have right-wingers cared about trains?

    The 50’s.

  34. 34
    Joe Beese says:

    @jheartney:

    You can blame the budget, but the real problem is they aren’t getting any help from the source material. Even leaving aside the incredible length and turgid dialogue, the main plot points (trains and steel) are as dated as the ideology. It might have worked better if they taken a cleaver to the story and set the thing in the late 50’s. At least if it dies after the first installment, no one will have to try to figure out how to film The Speech.

    Peter Jackson understood that the story of King Kong does not work in the present day. To a lesser degree, the same is true of Atlas Shrugged.

    Someone in the other thread brought up Marx. In both cases, technological progress has made their understanding of business into museum pieces.

    I was disappointed when I learned that they wouldn’t be doing it as a period piece. I would have loved to see them use an “inter-office communicator”.

  35. 35
    gnomedad says:

    I like the banner ad — apparently reminding you that you need a ticket to get into the “Cinema”. It’s being held by a snail doing a headstand, or something.

  36. 36
    Asshole says:

    I hope the film’s dedicated to William Edward Hickman.

  37. 37
    wasabi gasp says:

    Forty two bottles of beer on the wall and Dagny still can’t read the fucking map.
    Atlas Shrugged: Part I – No Change For The Toll

  38. 38
    Regular Reader says:

    I remember when the trailer for this movie came out at CPAC, the entire right-wing blogosphere was giddy with anticipation. And now, literally the night before the movie opens nationally, I can’t find a single major right-wing blog that is even mentioning it. I wonder why…

  39. 39
    Jon H says:

    Trains and rails are going to have a hard time in comparison to Tony Stark’s arc reactor and flying armor suit.

  40. 40
    Bruce S says:

    “Just Some Fuckhead – April 14, 2011 | 9:35 pm · Link

    “This’ll be one of those movies that eventually circulates in evangelical churches on Christian Movie Night.”

    It certainly exposes some dangers of atheism…

  41. 41
    Bruce S says:

    Despite certain weaknesses, this sounds like a very serious movie. President Obama must now release his own movie in response or he cannot be judged as courageous as the producer of Atlas Shrugged.

    I have to say that it’s a good thing those Heritage Foundation interns made it back from Baghdad in time to write the script.

  42. 42
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Sixers:

    I eagerly await the knock off porn version called “Atlas Tugged”.

    There’s also the upcoming gay porn “Atlas Buggered.”

  43. 43
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    I can think of all sorts of porn versions:

    “Atlas Boned”

    “Atlas Shagged”

    “Atlas Borked” – featuring a Senate Supreme Court nomination hearing you’ll never forget…

  44. 44
    Mark S. says:

    Why is there a big train crash? Is it intentional? Does it have anything to do with this magical steel?

  45. 45
    gnomedad says:

    This is the one without orcs, right?

  46. 46
    Joseph Nobles says:

    @me: Ah, yeah. Nice. The Kurt Loder review is of the “dayum, they wasted such a relly fine book, y’all” variety.

  47. 47
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    Speaking as someone who is still a fan of “Flesh Gordon” I salute you.

  48. 48
    S. cerevisiae says:

    This review is one of the worst pieces of trash to give an oppionion I have ever read, especially when done is such a biased manner. This person who clearly has never read the book much less an understanding of basic philosophical differences from objectivism and communism has no reason providing any opion at all. Along with all of this everything I read in this simply tells me that this reviewer is the non-thinking zero who can’t accept the success of others and that to work for oneself is an evil. To you from all the Men of the Mind: May you be damned.

    Good freaking God even I can write better than that.

  49. 49
    Swedish Chef says:

    BORK! BORK! BORK!

  50. 50
    S. cerevisiae says:

    I guess I can’t change my name without moderation, even for a lame joke. Oh well, I still love this place.

  51. 51
    suzanne says:

    @Sixers:

    I eagerly await the knock off porn version called “Atlas Tugged”.

    I would much prefer to watch this.

  52. 52
  53. 53
    Jay in Oregon says:

    That’s your Libertarians for you: relying for comfort on their faith in a fictional tale about a perpetual motion machine, that famed staple of fraudsters and the deluded.

    No, it’s better than that; it’s a perpetual motion machine and a miracle steel alloy that only the people who created them can produce.

    Because no metallurgist could possibly examine a sample of the steel to determine its composition, and no one ever took apart a gizmo to see how it worked. Shit, I can go onto YouTube and see all of the teardown videos I want of iPods, iPads, tablets, etc.

  54. 54
    Jon H says:

    @patroclus: “Since when have right-wingers cared about trains?”

    Mostly they only care about railroads when it involves a black person and jail.

  55. 55
    Studly Pantload, Vibrant Trollbot for Obama says:

    Any chance I can just watch a few eps of NBC’s 70s show, “Supertrain” (“The Love Boat” on rails) and call it good?

  56. 56
    patroclus says:

    @priscianus jr:

    Thanks! Paul Weyrich cared and he was a “contrarian” who died 3 years ago. “Conservatives” today hate AMTRAK with a passion, hate high-speed rail proposals and actually turn train-targeted funds down for their state for nothing in return.

    The reason, of course, that “conservatives” hate trains today is because the passenger rail industry is, except for certain corridors, completely unprofitable and the freight rail industry has to compete with far more efficient trucking, airline and other vehicular industries, thus rendering their profit margins low. It wasn’t regulation or moochers that caused the railroad industry to decline; it was “market” forces.

    Moreover, the heroine in the story inherited her wealth and position and, today, would just take a golden parachute after several years of outrageous unearned compensation; replete with stock options galore.

    The plot seems completely implausible and boring.

  57. 57

    Mostly they only care about railroads when it involves a black person and jail.

    @Jon H: Thread’s closed, you win.

  58. 58
    Studly Pantload, Vibrant Trollbot for Obama says:

    @Jay in Oregon:

    Reminds me of how on tonight’s Maddow (fire up those FOIA requests, Republicans!) she highlighted how the oil and offshore-platform industries are basically arguing – and the US government grunting “yeah, sure, fine by us” – that only they have the intricate knowledge needed to understand the complexities of deep-sea oil drilling equipment and procedures, and hence are involved in something too hard for any governmental agency to oversee. (One point on which this otherwise vomit-lapping Obamabot [hi, mclaren!] wishes our prez would get a clue.)

  59. 59

    In May 2010, Brian Patrick O’Toole and Aglialoro wrote a screenplay, intent on filming in June 2010. Filming wrapped on July 20, 2010. It is set for release on April 15, 2011.

    Written in four weeks, shot in five. I’m sure it will be awesome.

  60. 60
    opie jeanne says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Hey! When I was a kid they let us watch Godzilla and King Kong, and even some Dracula movies in the Sunday School rooms after dinner on potluck nights, while the adults talked about church budgets and stuff. That was in the 1950s. I feel so old.

  61. 61
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @patroclus:

    Actually, what happened was the trucking and air industries had even more impressive government subsidies (in the form of the Interstate Highway System and airports) than the railroads had, and they had fantastic subsides (to include real estate along the transcontinental routes).

    “Market” forces, as imagined by Glibertarian/Randites, is a force of nature, not a social construct. They can’t get their heads around the fact that government has a hell of a lot more to do with it than their ideology would ever permit them to admit.

  62. 62
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @patroclus:

    Actually, what happened was the trucking and air industries had even more impressive government subsidies (in the form of the Interstate Highway System and airports) than the railroads had, and they had fantastic subsides (to include real estate along the transcontinental routes).

    “Market” forces, as imagined by Glibertarian/Randroids, are a force of nature, not a social construct. They can’t get their heads around the fact that government has a hell of a lot more to do with it than their ideology would ever permit them to admit.

  63. 63
    Maude says:

    @Studly Pantload, Vibrant Trollbot for Obama:
    The oil industry has been arguing that for a very long time.
    The MMS is gone and the feds aren’t going to let the industry do what it did before.
    There have already been changes to safety proceedures, how the leases are permitted and other such things that make the industry unhappy.

  64. 64
    Tokyokie says:

    The Wall Street Journal and Reason have already panned this opus, so I’m not sure where a good review is going to come from. Usually small-town media outlets are reliable for rave reviews of junk, but since this is being released as an independent production, it’s not likely to play outside large cities. So this thing has the chance to become what I believe would be the first movie ever to score 0% on Rotten Tomatoes. Or, as I like to think of it, 100% splat.

  65. 65
    Joey Maloney says:

    @jheartney: It might have worked better if they taken a cleaver to the story and set the thing in the late 50’s.

    Either set it in the 50s or abandon the train technology entirely. Move it to the near-ish future and make the maguffin a revolutionary new engine design, say, that makes sub-orbital passenger travel economical – Moscow to Los Angeles in 45 minutes! Or new energy storage tech so that instead of needing half a ton of batteries in your Prius you get something the size of a desktop hard drive.

  66. 66
    El Cid says:

    It isn’t the filmmaker or the budget which screwed up the movie, gave it horridly clunky dialog, shallow projections of characters, and ridiculous plots.

    It’s, you know, what the whole thing it’s based on is.

  67. 67
    Citizen_X says:

    @S. cerevisiae: The Men of the Mind spell opynion any damn way they want.

  68. 68
    Joey Maloney says:

    Or, even better, set it in some alternative steampunk world of indeterminate era, where the primacy of rail and the importance of tech to the story would cohere.

    But that would have taken several things the free market didn’t provide: a budget, a talented writer, a director with some sense of style…

  69. 69
    fraught says:

    oh, if only we didn’t have to think about Ayn Rand being kept alive by Medicare and paying for her Benzedrine habit with her Social Security checks, we could laugh at this silly attempt to canonize her. But she was such a liar and a fake that the failure of this piece of inept crap isn’t as satisfying as it could have been.

  70. 70
    Chris Wolf says:

    Hey, I’m just happy that Nick Cassavetes is working again.

  71. 71

    I can barely credit that they have made a movie from that turgid nonsense by Ayn Rand.

    I have about eighteen copies of “Atlas Shrugged” – all signed in that self-consciously spiky handwriting of hers.

    Every Christmas from 1957 onwards, a present would arrive from Ayn by ordinary post. It would be wrapped in festive newspaper, usually with a gift-tag recycled from last year, and every fucking time it would be a fucking copy of fucking Atlas fucking Shrugged.

    They’re good for weighting down decoupage projects, although when it comes to slugging a nurse over the head when I want to sneak out to buy booze, nothing beats my signed first edition of “The Fountainhead”. Mind you, it might be easier just to read it to them. Whoo, what a stinker it is. Temazepam in libric form.

    I do remember one year, however, when Ayn delivered the obligatory copy in person. It was 1959, or perhaps 1960. Frankly, I don’t care – I have found it’s better to leave the 50s and early 60s as an undifferentiated blur in my memory anyway.

    My husband Keith and I were on a trip to New York for Christmas. We were staying with dear Bitsy and Freddy Trump, of course. Bitsy had organized her usual pre-Christmas dinner at the Four Seasons.

    She was never content with just the Pool Room or just the Grill Room, so she always booked the whole place. Whenever she did, she’d pay the staff extra to leave the doors open, and then when people came in to ask for a table he had to say, “Yes, we are open, but there is no table for you. Off you fuck.” It did wonders for that place’s reputation. Two weeks after Bitsy’s first Christmas party, the Four Seasons was shooing the punters off with sticks, and there was a two week waiting list just to be sneered at by the maître d’.

    Anyhow, there were just 20 of us for dinner sitting at a big table in the middle of the Pool Room. Bitsy had seated me next to her, which was fine, but bloody Ayn Rand was on the other side of me, with the usual pinched expression she always had in the company of the genuinely rich or the genuinely talented, dressed as usual like a marxist lesbian librarian, and clutching this year’s copies of that fucking book.

    I had rolled my eyes at Bitsy when she told me about the seating plan. However, Bitsy explained that she couldn’t sit Ayn anywhere near Norman Mailer or he might go off with his penknife and that Jackie Kennedy had sworn to punch Ayn in the face next time she saw her after Ayn made that unfortunate quip about Gore Vidal and a torpedo boat captain. As a result it fell to me to sit next to her, if only because Bitsy knew I could distract Jackie with an oxycontin bottle if she got too close to our end of the table.

    It was a lovely night.

    Mailer was in good form and didn’t stab anyone, although I noticed him giving Gore the stink eye after the soup course. Capote got really annoyed and walked out after Gore managed to pick up a particularly cute, blond waiter and have him in the cloakroom, and Jack Kennedy smacked Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. in the eye during dessert, but then made it up to Bitsy by doing his famous elephant imitation. He used to… well, let’s just say that Jack was never shy of waving his prehensile trunk around.

    Ayn was pretty quiet all night. She was too busy stuffing everything she could reach into that enormous handbag of hers. That night, by my count, she managed to snaffle five or six spoons, two bread plates, a salt shaker and a gold lighter that Jackie took her eyes off for a moment too long.

    After coffee, Gloria Vanderbilt brought out the really good blow and the party took off. Robert Frost read a frightfully dirty version of “The Road Not Taken”, then Gore persuaded his waiter friend to take off his underwear and give it to Keith, and then the rest of the dinner is eclipsed by a discreet and attractive transition effect, probably accompanied by some quiet tinkling music or a nice swooshing sound.

    At the end of each Christmas party, Bitsy always used to leave her tips in a pile of little envelopes on the table, one for every staff member and with their name handwritten on the front. Waiters liked working Bitsy’s parties – she was a good tipper, and sometimes you got to sleep with Gore Vidal.

    Anyway, Gloria and I had said our goodbyes and had wandered off to the restroom to re-powder our noses before setting off into the night. After about three lines each, we bounced out of the stall, bounced over Gore who was huddled in a corner with what was either waiter number three or Jack Kennedy in half a busboy’s outfit, and strolled back into the restaurant.

    Everyone had gone home except Ayn. She didn’t see us come back in and, right in the view of all the staff who were cleaning up, she sidled over to the table, grabbed the little bundle of tips and stuffed them into her pocket.

    Ayn looked around, and then gasped when she saw us right behind her. She started to say something but got cut off when Gloria punched her right in the stomach. She fell straight down like Teddy Kennedy on a vodka bender, and I managed to get her in the head with my knee as she fell.

    We left her lying there for the waiters to pick over as they pleased.

    I hope they all wore gloves.

  72. 72
    Chris Wolf says:

    @Sarah, Proud and Tall:

    dressed as usual like a marxist lesbian librarian

    Priceless.

  73. 73
    JGabriel says:

    @Joey Maloney:

    Move it to the near-ish future and make the maguffin a revolutionary new engine design, say, that makes sub-orbital passenger travel economical – Moscow to Los Angeles in 45 minutes!

    Commie. Real Galtians never go to Moscow.

    .

  74. 74

    @Chris Wolf:

    marxist lesbian librarian

    I had thought of editing it by reason of tautology, but decided that was unnecessary.

  75. 75
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Sarah, Proud and Tall:

    Only one word for that, Sarah.

    Epic.

  76. 76
    Roger Moore says:

    @Jay in Oregon:

    No, it’s better than that; it’s a perpetual motion machine and a miracle steel alloy that only the people who created them can produce.
    __
    Because no metallurgist could possibly examine a sample of the steel to determine its composition, and no one ever took apart a gizmo to see how it worked. Shit, I can go onto YouTube and see all of the teardown videos I want of iPods, iPads, tablets, etc.

    And none of the people who work for the inventors could ever see enough about how the inventions work to sneak off and make cheap knockoffs. Unless, I guess, Rand is assuming that the alloy inventor is so superhuman he can make enough steel for a railroad all by himself. If anything, I think that’s the biggest hole in the myth of the lone genius. Even a genius inventor needs armies of helpers to convert his invention into a world changing technology. The people who realize the invention deserve at least as much credit for its success as the one who imagines it.

  77. 77
    Joey Maloney says:

    @Sarah, Proud and Tall: Beautiful, except Oxycontin didn’t exist back then. Aside from that one break in verisimilitude, beautiful.

    You should submit it to the New Yorker. Really.

  78. 78
    JGabriel says:

    @Sarah, Proud and Tall:

    Ayn looked around, and then gasped when she saw us right behind her. She started to say something but got cut off when Gloria punched her right in the stomach. She fell straight down like Teddy Kennedy on a vodka bender, and I managed to get her in the head with my knee as she fell.

    I love you. Marry me.

    .

  79. 79
  80. 80

    @Joey Maloney:

    Dammit. I got confused with Oxyc0done. What can I say? I’m an old lady.

    @Roger Moore:

    DC;FOF

  81. 81

    @JGabriel:

    Marry me.

    One marriage is enough for me, thankyou, young man. We’ll just have to shack up together instead.

  82. 82
    JGabriel says:

    @Sarah, Proud and Tall:

    We’ll just have to shack up together instead.

    A woman who kneed Ayn Rand can have: anything she wants.

    .

  83. 83
    SFAW says:

    Sarah –

    Thanks for that. It made for a longer-than-expected break from my work, but it was worth it.

  84. 84
    SFAW says:

    Wait, did I say “work”? I must be lying, because (from what I keep hearing), only right-wingers work, the rest of us are slackers.

    Or so TigerHork tells me. Or was it OxyContin-Pedophilia-Man?

  85. 85

    @SFAW:
    @Joey Maloney:
    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Thankyou for your lovely words. You make an old lady all mooshy inside.

  86. 86
    Studly Pantload, Vibrant Trollbot for Obama says:

    @Sarah, Proud and Tall:

    You, woman, are a national fucking treasure.

    @B-J’s PTB: Front page this woman immediately!! !!

  87. 87
    opie jeanne says:

    @gnomedad: Thank you for posting that link. This is just great:
    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.

  88. 88
    HE Pennypacker, Wealthy Industrialist says:

    Slightly off-topic, but reading “Sarah, Proud and Tall”‘s stuff just reminded me of the classic “I fucked Ann Coulter in the ass, hard” post:

    http://ifuckedanncoulterinthea.....130ba45cc4

    Damn I still laugh hard when I read that.

  89. 89
    opie jeanne says:

    @Sarah, Proud and Tall: Delightful. Thank you for that.

  90. 90
    gnomedad says:

    @opie jeanne:
    You’re welcome but I can’t take credit; that quote is a staple around here.

  91. 91
    Andrew says:

    Too little demand in the smug asshole market.

    Perhaps a second home in the so-bad-it’s-awesome “The Room” market?

    I can’t wait for late night showings of this camp classic!

  92. 92
    Chris says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    This’ll be one of those movies that eventually circulates in evangelical churches on Christian Movie Night.

    My my, wouldn’t THAT be ironic?

  93. 93
    Chris says:

    @jheartney:

    This person who clearly has never read the book much less an understanding of basic philosophical differences from objectivism and communism has no reason providing any opion at all.

    Pretty simple difference: objectivism embraces communist theory while identifying with the other end of the spectrum. They totally buy the class warfare between one rich capitalist class that controls everything and one much larger class of peons. They just identify with the upper class.

  94. 94
    Chris says:

    @fraught:

    oh, if only we didn’t have to think about Ayn Rand being kept alive by Medicare and paying for her Benzedrine habit with her Social Security checks, we could laugh at this silly attempt to canonize her. But she was such a liar and a fake that the failure of this piece of inept crap isn’t as satisfying as it could have been.

    Eh. Like I said when it was first posted on BJ, that little tidbit was neither lying nor fake: it’s probably one of the most sincere things she ever did. Ayn Rand preached selfishness as the ultimate moral virtue. Social Security and Medicare money were available to her, it was convenient for her to take it, so she did.

    If her posse expected her to turn it down in order to make some sort of statement against the welfare state, they missed the entire point.

  95. 95
    WereBear says:

    One of the Terribly Ironic things about the Rand cult is that they supposedly celebrate superior traits, and fear mediocrity.

    However, the implementation of their theories leads to opportunities for only the hereditariarly fortunate. People are supposed to battle to the top out of their superior ability; but this “cream rises to the top” theory only works on a truly level playing field; which they are determined to destroy.

    So such embracers of impossible theory give us Trump as our Genius Magnate; Sarah Palin and her brood as the All American Family; and Doughy Pantload as the Movement Intellectual.

    Rand herself could not have a Superior Female in her work; both The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged featured heroines who had inherited their power and wealth; the fact that they hung on to it was apparently demonstration enough for Ayn.

  96. 96
    RSA says:

    @jheartney:

    You can blame the budget, but the real problem is they aren’t getting any help from the source material. Even leaving aside the incredible length and turgid dialogue, the main plot points (trains and steel) are as dated as the ideology.

    But that’s like saying that movies based on the Bible, produced by the faithful, generally suck! Oh, wait…

  97. 97
    Chris says:

    @WereBear:

    Apparently, she was aware of at least some of the discrepancies in our theory. After writing the book, she supposedly sank into a depression about how horribly inadequate she felt compared to the idealized John Galt she’s just constructed.

  98. 98
    WereBear says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Thanks for link; just the screenshot from the movie for the review looks sooooooooo cheezy; how did they do that?

  99. 99
    WereBear says:

    @Chris: Why did her brain vapor lock on making John Galt Jane Galt?

    I blame her feudal upbringing.

  100. 100
    Bob says:

    This is one of my favorite McSweeney’s Atlas Shrugged spoofs
    http://www.mcsweeneys.net/2008/11/20tucker.html
    There are a couple others like
    “Our Daughter Isn’t a Selfish Brat; Your Son Just Hasn’t Read
    Atlas Shrugged.”
    and
    “A REVIEW OF AYN RAND’S
    THE FOUNTAINHEAD
    CREATED FROM ACTUAL CUSTOMER COMMENTS POSTED
    ON AMAZON.COM, AN INTERNET BOOKSELLER. “

  101. 101
    Paul in KY says:

    @Sixers: How about ‘Atlas Shagged’? Brit porn, as it were.

    Edit: I see Villago Delenda Est ‘beat’ me to it.

  102. 102
    Paul in KY says:

    @Sarah, Proud and Tall: It’s like I was there! Great writeup, Sarah.

  103. 103
    clay says:

    This is classic. From Wikipedia:

    “Reviews of the movie in the mainstream press were mostly negative. According to Rotten Tomatoes, fourteen out of fifteen reviews were negative, giving the movie a “Fresh” rating of 7%. On the other hand, ratings appeared much more favorable from amateur users of Rotten Tomatoes, 88% of whom gave it a positive rating, with an average of 3.5/5 stars, before the movie was released.”

  104. 104
    Kathy in St. Louis says:

    Read the book as a teen. I decided that if the world were really the way Rand envisioned it, there really wasn’t much of a point. Might as well shoot oneself. I find it amazing that anyone who reads it sees it as anything but a bunch of self-indulgent crap that glorifies selfishness. Definitely not for liberals, that’s for sure.

  105. 105
    Rorgg says:

    There’s a pretty interesting train story in there somewhere. Too bad Rand chose not to write it and do a strawman-choked political screed instead.

    It’s probably possible to make a good movie out of the general story of Atlas Shrugged, but doing so would piss off the crazy-Randians to no end, because a good story would in no way resemble the book.

  106. 106
    Rorgg says:

    Just looked at Rotten tomatoes — it’s got ONE “fresh” review of 16, from the NY Post. So I went and read it, and it essentially says “sure, it’d be easy to dismiss this as a bad movie, just because it’s bad, but it’s IMPORTANT AND SERIOUS, so I give it 2 1/2 out of 4”

    So even those who are bound and determined to like it can’t actually, you know, say it’s good.

  107. 107
    taylormattd says:

    @Sarah, Proud and Tall: You have just won all of the internets, forever.

  108. 108
    MooseHB says:

    …one of the worst pieces of trash to give an oppionion…. This person…has no reason providing any opion at all.

    I want my opion.

    How’s come I don’t get no opion?

    Opion comes from oppi-onions, right?

  109. 109
    Dennis says:

    @jheartney: Apparently, Objectivists are objectively anti-comma. Who knew?

  110. 110
    rick m says:

    @Failure, Inc.:

    Yes he wins! best comment to a comment ever. :-)

  111. 111
    Anoniminous says:

    @Sarah, Proud and Tall:

    Bloggers across the Internets! Toss it in, Girls and Boys.

    The Comment of the Year Award has been won.

  112. 112
    Catsy says:

    @Anoniminous:

    Bloggers across the Internets! Toss it in, Girls and Boys.
    __
    The Comment of the Year Award has been won.

    Seconded.

    Consider my marriage proposal tossed into the growing pile.

  113. 113
    BeccaM says:

    @Sarah, Proud and Tall: This comment desperately needs to be promoted to the front page.

  114. 114
    kestral says:

    @Anoniminous: Thirded. The epic is off the scale.

    @Sarah, Proud and Tall: I wish my grandmother was even a quarter as awesome as you are, Sarah. From a representative of the twenty-something set: thank you!

  115. 115
    HyperIon says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    My favorite piece of information from this is that Kurt Loder is working for Reason. I remember seeing him on MTV.

    Yes!
    So sad.

  116. 116
    woody says:

    Ayn Rand brings to cinema, literature, and philosophy what coprophagy brings to cuisine.

  117. 117
    John Galt says:

    @WereBear:

    So am i to assume every single person on this site voted for Obama???
    Hahaha
    I am not a Dem or Rep, i don’t need or want either. And thats what this books teaches. That we all have the power to succeed, without the help of others, nobody needs a handout, but our government pushes its citizens towards apathy by handing out a mans life to him. That he needs not to seek any industry or greatness because everyone should all be equal, with no hopes for growth. To take from a mans what he’s earned with his own power and intelligence is simply slavery.

  118. 118
    Tehanu says:

    Hey John, just wondering: who educated you? Who built the house that sheltered you in your infancy, stoked the fires that kept you warm, brought the food and cleaned the water that kept you alive? Did you do it all yourself? No?

    Then shut up.

  119. 119
    Wilson says:

    @John Galt, yep, there’s nothing more apathetic than a roof over your head and three square meals a day. So what if only the rich and their inheritors actually control the vast majority of the wealth in this country and the rest of us are simply wage slaves. I freely give my taxes, nothing is taken from me, but that’s because I believe in a higher ideal than selfishness and a fool’s ideology.

  120. 120
    Panda Boy says:

    @Tehanu: Thank you! I get so sick of these idiots who apparently believe they invented the Whole World, all by themselves. It’s like Buddhism gone terribly wrong.

  121. 121
    blivet says:

    @Sixers: Atlas Shagged

  122. 122
    Hogeye Grex says:

    @Sarah, Proud and Tall: I heartily join in the chorus of awed appreciation.

  123. 123
    Hogeye Grex says:

    And thats what this books teaches.

    Well, it doesn’t seem to have taught you very much in the way of basic grammar or spelling.

  124. 124
    barryweber says:

    In my humble oppinoin, this is the best comment string I’ve ever read. It is the Galt of comment strings, inspiring and intimidating..

  125. 125
    PanurgeATL says:

    @John Galt:

    I just wanna say, you’re full of shit. Plainly you have no idea that what Rand is saying is that you are NOT John Galt and that John Galt can take whatever he likes and you need to be sucking his dick. The End.

  126. 126
    John Donohue says:

    @71 unsubtle, stilted, trite, lame and old. Writing so dismal it does not even deserve to take Ayn Rand’s name in sarcasm. I could write a shit piece on Ayn Rand in two minutes that would make that crap roll up and flush itself in shame. You’d think that after 50 years of jealous ragging by your ilk you could have come up with something snarkier than grabbing the food and tips.

    Oh by the way, please contact me. I will take those signed copies of Atlas Shrugged. As one of the “epic” publishing stories in the history of literature, Rand’s first editions blow away all those other garbage writers mentioned. Unsigned AS: $800-2000. Signed, $15,000+

    But those prices are low, because it was not an early novel and the first edition was large. Apparently you have a signed Fountainhead first edition? La de da I won’t even tell all you idiots how much that is worth. Look it up assholes.

    I’ll trade you that Fountainhead for lessons on how to really give Ayn Rand a thrashing. After all, you have to do better: thousands of elite literati-nobs spewing their fear and hate have failed to stop the thunderous Niagara of sales of Rand’s books.

    Do you think me shallow for citing the popularity of Rand’s first editions and record of sales half a century after publication? Before you get all snooty about how popularity is bourgeois, trite and boorish, please contact Gore Vidal (still alive, still not selling!), Truman Capote and Normal Mailer and ask them if they’d risk those accusations in trade for Rand’s publishing history.

    Affectionately,
    John Donohue
    Objectivist
    Pasadena, CA

  127. 127
    John Donohue says:

    about those reviewer reviews….we Objectivists were hoping for a clean sweep, all excoriating. unfortunately, raves are appearing all over the country on blogs, letters, etc.

    Not to mention actual human movie-goers, all raves if Rand fans.

  128. 128
    PanurgeATL says:

    @John Donohue:

    I could write a shit piece on Ayn Rand in two minutes that would make that crap roll up and flush itself in shame.

    Fine. Put up or shut up.

  129. 129
    John Donohue says:

    not until i receive that signed edition of “The Fountainhead” and it better have a perfect dust jacket.

  130. 130

    @John Donohue:

    Why are you arguing with a fictional 92 year old woman in a dead thread from two days ago?

    Put up or shut up.

    What he said.

  131. 131

    @John Donohue:

    Do you think me shallow for citing the popularity of Rand’s first editions and record of sales half a century after publication?

    No, we think you’re shallow because you take that selfish narcissistic harpy seriously.

  132. 132
    Yutsano says:

    @Sarah, Proud and Tall:

    Why are you arguing with a fictional 92 year old woman in a dead thread from two days ago?

    Because they seem to base their whole lives off of fictions, like Objectivism is a workable philosophy or that Rand was some kind of superior intellect instead of an amoral woman. I bet if you ask he thinks John Galt actually existed and Atlas Shrugged is a hagiography.

  133. 133
    John Donohue says:

    Your writing only lives for two days? No wonder you have no radar for someone who lives for 50 years.

    And, if you construct a parody per a fictional woman you might be expected to grasp the appropriateness of an ironic ‘as if’ response.

    Unless your head is flat.

  134. 134
    Rihilism says:

    @126 unstable, kilted, lite-brite, same and mold. Writing so dismal it does not even deserve to take Sarah Plain and Tall’s name in sarcasm. I could write a shit piece on Sarah Plain and Tall in two minutes that would make that crap, crap, wipe and flush itself in vain. You’d think that after 2 days of jealous ragging by your ilk you could have come up with something snarkier than ad hominem attacks and penis measuring.

    Oh, by the way, please contact me. I will taking a vaycay on National Review’s Alaskan cruise and am in need of a “cabin boy”. As one of the “epic” cruises in the history of “trickling-down economics”, NR’s cruises “blow away” all those other garbage cruises mentioned (did I mention other cruises?) and guarantee 32.5% fewer salmonella outbreaks. Unfurnished “rumpus” rooms: $800-2000. Fully scotch-guarded latex nirvanas $15,000+. Your choice.

    But those prices are low, because it’s not an “anything goes” cruise and penile enhancement is verboten. Apparently you have a signed, first edition ProExtender System? La de da I won’t even tell all you idiots how much that is worth on an NR cruise. Look it up assholes.

    I’ll trade you that ProEx System for lessons on how to really give SPT a thrashing. After all, you have to do better: thousands of elite libertaria-nobs spewing their fear and hate have failed to stop the thunderous Niagara of Niagara. It’s a big river. Look it up assholes.

    Do you think me shallow for focusing on penis size? Before you get all snooty about how it’s all bourgeois, trite and boorish, please contact Gore Vidal (still alive, still fucking!), Truman Capote and Normal Mailer and ask them if they’d risk those accusations for some rough trade.

    Dyspeptically,
    Rihilism
    Objectionalist
    Lunatic Fringe, Outer Mongolia (Look it up assholes. Sheesh)

  135. 135

    @John Donohue:

    Your writing only lives for two days? No wonder you have no radar for someone who lives for 50 years.

    No – my writing survives on my blog. This is an old old thread that no-one else but me is reading. But if you enjoy shouting at the gale.

    And, if you construct a parody per a fictional woman you might be expected to grasp the appropriateness of an ironic ‘as if’ response.

    Oh. Were you trying to be ironic? Sorry, I must have missed that because you were being so unfunny.

  136. 136

    @ arguingwithsignposts:
    @ Yutsano:
    @ Rihilism:

    Thankyou dears.

    If any of you are interested, I have posted a copy of silly old Donald Trump’s Mexican birth certificate here.

Comments are closed.