Frank's Drinking

eg's picture
Submitted by eg on Wed, 2006-03-22 17:04

Barbara Branden has just posted on Objectivist Living her sources previously unnamed for Frank O'Connor's drinking. I certainly believe he had a drinking problem in his last years, but question whether in the context of dementia it is right to call him an "alcoholic." Barbara called him one in an email to me last Fall.

If you read "The Passion of Ayn Rand" there is the clear and strong implication that Frank began his heavy drinking right after the start of the Rand/Branden affair, but ALL of her sources are for the post-break period. I know James Valliant posted that I was wrong about when Barbara claimed in PAR that the drinking began in the 50s, but he ought to go back and review PAR on this point. Barbara also claimed in PAR that he drank because of his "failed life" without seriously demonstrating he had had one.

The point of Barbara's story-telling in PAR is to show that Frank was a drinker because of the affair, but she needs another raft of sources to begin to actually demonstrate any such thing. I regret that a truly critical reading of PAR causes much of it to melt away, especially when it concerns Ayn Rand's life after she met the Brandens.

--Brant


( categories: )

Over Here

James S. Valliant's picture

Readers of this thread are directed here for a full discussion of this.

Ms. Branden implies and

William Scott Scherk's picture

James Vallienat: Ms. Branden implies and hints and suggests that O'Connor's drinking could have begun much earlier [right after the start of the Rand/Branden affair], and Lord knows she doesn't make her accusation clear, but even her alleged "evidence" (quotation marks required) can be said to begin pnly in the late 60s. Her only named-witness testimony is still confined to the weeks just prior to his final hospitalization, during the period of his most severe illness.

Are Ms Branden's named interviewees, as far as you know, Elayne Kalberman, Barbara Weiss, & Don Ventura?

WSS

Thank You

James S. Valliant's picture

Thanks to you both. I will be forever grateful for the kind of courage both of you have shown!

Chris

Lindsay Perigo's picture

How a good dose of PARC would transform me from the KASSless, dickless, wanking little piece of shit you see below, to the hard-ass you see before you now.

I have observed this transformation & been thrilled by it. Not to mention incredulous—doesn't happen often. KASSless, dickless, wanking little pieces of shit usually remain so. Phil Coates, for instance, to whom I once likened you (to your chagrin at the time Smiling).

I daresay you appreciate too, the difference this transformation has made to your writing. When I saw your name I used to yawn. Now I sit up, knowing I can expect something with sizzle. Whether exulting in the positive or demolishing the negative, something KASS!

I salute you, Private Cathcart! And you, Valiant Valliant, for having sPARCed this miracle. Smiling

Seemingly

eg's picture

It would seem that Frank did drink in the last few years of his life.

Damn . . .

Chris Cathcart's picture

How times change. How a good dose of PARC would transform me from the KASSless, dickless, wanking little piece of shit you see below, to the hard-ass you see before you now. Jim and others are putting the sources in their proper perspective in the other thread. Just consider in this whole context Barbara Branden's enthusiasm about the turd that is the PAR movie (one that even Branden "allies" like Bidinotto thought didn't "do justice to the heroic Ayn Rand of the book") and the picture it painted of Frank there.

Revived thread

eg's picture

I've revived this thread because another thread has doglegged into this unfortunate suject.

--Brant

Re: Frank's drinking

mcohen's picture

According to PAR, Frank was driven to drinking by the affair. It is stated as a fact, not hypothesis: i.e. that when Rand and Branden were meeting, Frank would go to a bar to drink and in PAR's words "was becoming an alcoholic." The testimonies cited here by Brant are from years after the affair, so the allegations made by PAR are still arbitrary. In view of the fact that these allegations became part and parcel of personal attacks against Rand, (oddly, not against the Brandens who were just as responsible for the affair), the revelation of the identities of those witnessing Frank having a drink years after the affair does not change anything.

I do find it a bit troubling...

Chris Cathcart's picture

The "Drooling Beast" episode (of which I can claim to personally know at this point only a couple general facts, not many details) notwithstanding, here's what Ms. Branden says about Frank's drinking. I could concur with the assessments that the claims of the Brandens should be approached with some considerable degree of skepticism, and still realize when corroborating testimony (ugh, legal language) paints a rather persuasive picture of Frank's drinking. This does look like something more than just Barbara's say-so. I'm not sure what the "silence of the Brandens critics" on this is a reflection of -- of unawareness of the additional testimony, of discounting the Brandens' credibility to such an extent as for Barbara's claims about additional witnesses not to be considered believable (though she'd have to be implicating three more living people in the "story," who I'm sure would have an opportunity to speak up and challenge it), or simply a quiet acquiesence that the claims of Frank's drinking appear to be more than just Barbara's say-so after all. I rather doubt that a remaining alternative -- that these other four (three of them living) all together were also just making it up -- is particularly plausible.

Just in case

eg's picture

Just in case anybody missed this, as MSK seems to have on R of R (?), here again is what I said (above) about Barbara's sources. Michael: you are just as much a "control freak" as anyone I have ever encountered. You do it with a river of words sluicing between the banks of your apperceptions.

--Brant

Innuendo v. "Evidence"

James S. Valliant's picture

Ms. Branden implies and hints and suggests that O'Connor's drinking could have begun much earlier, and Lord knows she doesn't make her accusation clear, but even her alleged "evidence" (quotation marks required) can be said to begin pnly in the late 60s. Her only named-witness testimony is still confined to the weeks just prior to his final hospitalization, during the period of his most severe illness.

TEST

eg's picture

testing

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