Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Rodak's Writings: Sparring With the Political Right

I don't know what prompted me, but this morning I made a brief visit to a right-wing, online publication which several years back was among my daily web-surfing stops. This visit resulted in my sending off the following note to a writer whom I first met in that venue:

Hiya, D____:

Being in a puckish mood this a.m., I made one of my extremely rare visits to The Corner @NRO. I came across a post by J_____ in which he discussed the confusion caused by having to differentiate between two George Bushes (I can see how this would confuse many typical individuals of the conservative persuasion.) He also discusses the virtues of Ayn Rand. I was prompted to send J_____ the following note:

Dear J_____:

Not complicated: “Dubya” worked just fine.

p.s. I strongly feel that Atlas Shrugged should be required reading for the youth of America. It depicts, in dumbed-down terms, precisely the evil that is bringing Western civilization to its knees. The fact that “Shrugged” advocates, rather than warning against, this evil is a thing that needs to be flagged, of course, when putting the book into the hands of the young. But, with that caveat made clear, I would have all young people read the novel at high school age, before they fall prey to the Limbaughs, the Becks, the Hannitys, the O’Reillys and the rest of Evil’s somnambulant minions.

Perhaps you, D_____, would like to lend your considerable prestige to my nascent campaign to make Miss Rand required reading in our nation's public schools? (It might be good to beta-test the thing in charter schools, where the danger of youth being irretrievably corrupted by irrational fear of a New World Caliphate delivered by Black Communist Choppers is undoubtedly the greatest.) Can I count on your support?

As always,


Katley said...

I wonder what this person's response is going to be.....the right wingers wouldn't know satire if it hit them on the head :)

Rodak said...

He isn't going to answer it. If he were, he'd answer it on his own post on the blog for which he writes.
I wouldn't characterize my argument as "satire," though. I am making a straight argument based on the premises underlying their doctrinal position. I am asking him to defend the terms of his own proposition.

Mad said...

You give Rand and NRO too much credit. "Bringing western civilization to its knees?" Hardly.

No one is rushing out to buy Atlas Shrugged---be it at the soon-to-vanish Borders or online---and no one is going to pay to see the upcoming Atlas movie, regardless of NRO promotion. No one. Rand was a horrible, horrible writer. I watched the trailer for this upcoming Atlas movie and the only thing that came to mind as these "actors" tried to make Rand's stiff, hyperbolic language less soporific, was Harrison Ford's comment about suffering through three George Lucas Star Wars screenplays

"You can TYPE this shit, but you can't SAY it!""

Mad said...

"I would have all young people read the novel at high school age, before they fall prey to the Limbaughs, the Becks, the Hannitys, the O’Reillys and the rest of Evil’s somnambulant minions."

I just had lunch with a group of bright, top-of-their class grad students today, all young enough to be my kids (if I didn't believe in condoms - lol). Believe me, none of them are thinking about Limbaugh OR Obama. They're all concerned about massive student loan debts and ZERO job prospects, none of which Obama OR Limbaugh is going to save them from, one iota.

The whole right/left thing is meaningless when you're 24 years old, and don't know if you'll even be able to pay RENT AND LIGHTS by the next presidential election, let alone loan payments!

Atlas Shrugged? Pfft. A whole generation shrugs and walks away from Rand, Limbaugh, Obama and every other ideologue ...

Rodak said...

First, this was a humorous piece, Mad. But secondly, you are completely wrong about "Atlas Shrugged." I refer you to this previous post to back up that contention.
Sure, Ayn Rand was a lousy writer. But her audience isn't tuned or educated to pick up on, or worry about, her artistic ability. It's the mindset that her philosophy legitimizes that makes acolytes of them. And they are "the Masters of the Universe" who run the show.

Mad said...

Well, I still think your perception that she has great influence in the modern workplace is erroneous, but at least we agree that fascist bitch couldn't write her way out of a paper bag!

Rodak said...

Then you didn't understand the message of the book. The endgame of Atlas Shrugged is a metaphor for exactly what we are seeing happen today.
As for her influence, did you read the NY Times piece? The numbers don't lie. Who do you think are buying all those copies of the novel for 50+ years running?

Moose said...

Yo Rob,
Speaking of books, I just read one you may find interesting.

It's called "A Wretched Man" by RW Holmen about St Paul.

I'd love to hear your take on it.

Anyway, hope all is well in Ohio.


P.S. Good to see you're still not pulling punches, Madscribe. Keep it up.

Rodak said...

Hello, Moose! You've been keeping a low profile since Sarah "Moose-Slayer" Palin has been on the loose, and I don't blame you.
Thanks for the book tip; I'll check it out.
Maybe I can get you to stand in for your timid co-religionists by tackling the issues raised by my Feb.15th post "A Different Right-to-Life Issue."