commented on Bill Would Require Every High School Student in Idaho to Read Atlas Shrugged
I'm an Objectivist, which is to say I am all down for as many people as possible learning how to be rational and living life rationally. (There are some political stances that usually follow through on this, but they are not the same ones the good people of Idaho think they are.)
I'm also a writer, and an avid reader. I've read this book four times... and if I were assigned it in high school, and worse yet had to pass a test on it to graduate, I wouldn't have blown my brains out. I certainly wouldn't have gotten a damn thing out of it, and would have reached for the Cliffs Notes like everyone else.
This is the wrong Ayn Rand novel to push into high school required reading... the 'right' one would be Anthem. It's short, and works over simpler concepts (and doesn't have twenty-five-page speeches). But 'introducing the concepts of rational thought, self-reliance and self-empowerment' wasn't what the sponsors wanted, they wanted to mandate their own misreadings of Atlas Shrugged as justification for Republican douchebaggery.
They don't want better children, they want more Republican voters, and their reading of Atlas Shrugged is comparable to Christian Fundamentalists' reading of the Bible (with all that made-up shit about Jesus going on about the gays just so Jerry Falwell can con rubes out of their dollars). The people who want to make Atlas Shrugged their bible have rather missed the point of the thing.
(For the curious, I'm a libertarian who usually votes Democrat, and spent the last year at Occupy Wall Street. A contradiction wrapped around a riddle wrapped around a Paul Ryan joke, I know. It's possible there is more to this book than the rough liberal treatment gives it, but considering what the conservatives do with it, I entirely understand and say 'have at it,' because they need to be knocked down seven or twelve pegs before we can even deal with these assholes.)
Sep 8, 2011
commented on Are You There God? It's Me, Rick Perry
Perhaps instead it should be readily apparent that Texas should rush through gay marriage legistlation. It is, after all, a cause-and-effect relationship, isn't it?