A Toast to Frank O'Connor!

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Tue, 2009-12-29 06:05

2009 has afforded us the unprepossessing spectacle, again, of tawdry life-challenged nobodies fixating on Frank O'Connor's allegedly "excessive" drinking—for which, again, they have singularly failed to produce remotely conclusive evidence.

I offer the following quotations by way of a toast to this sweet, funny and honorable man (and his knock-out Martinis), and by way of a two-fingered salute to the unremittingly, contemptibly, self-righteously, miserably, humorlessly, meanly, inexpressibly small grubs who have aided and abetted this blackening of goodness in its grave. Their names are Babs, Parille, Scherk, Campbell, Kilbourne, Heller ... and whoever else from that squalid cesspool of humanity-diminution that is Brandroidia. May we be spared their sordid pseudo-sanctimony in 2010. They are as rotten and grotesque as they are tiny.

I raise my glass to their antipode, Frank—a gentle generous-spirited giant!

I drink therefore I am.
W.C. Fields

I am not a heavy drinker. I can sometimes go for hours without touching a drop.
Noel Coward

I feel sorry for people who don't drink. They wake up in the morning and that's the best they are going to feel all day.
Frank Sinatra

Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and fat.
Alex Levine

It takes only one drink to get me drunk. The trouble is, I can't remember if it's the thirteenth or the fourteenth.
George Burns

When money's tight and hard to get
And your horse is also ran,
When all you have is a heap of debt
A PINT OF PLAIN IS YOUR ONLY MAN.
Flann O'Brien
From the novel At Swim Two Birds.

A man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry.
Bible
Ecclesiastes 8.15

Here's to the perfect girl, I couldn't ask for more. She's deaf 'n dumb, oversexed, and owns a liquor store.
Drinking Toast

Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?
William Shakespeare

Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.
Benjamin Franklin

I never turned to drink. It seemed to turn to me.
Brendan Behan

I only take a drink on two occasions - when I'm thirsty and when I'm not.
Brendan Behan

I spent a lot of my money on booze, birds and fast cars - the rest I just squandered.
George Best

In 1969 I gave up women and alcohol and it was the worst 20 minutes of my life.
George Best

I have made an important discovery…that alcohol, taken in sufficient quantities, produces all the effects of intoxication.
Oscar Wilde

Work is the curse of the drinking classes.
Oscar Wilde

I like my beer cold…my TV loud…and my homosexuals flaming.
Homer Simpson

Not one man in a beer commercial has a beer belly.
Rita Rudner

I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me.
Winston Churchill

My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them.
Winston Churchill

Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepted thy works.
Bible
Ecclesiastes 9. 7

Cigarettes and coffee: an alcoholic's best friend.
Gerard Way

Alcohol may be man's worst enemy, but the bible says love your enemy.
Frank Sinatra

I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.
Hunter S. Thompson

Alcohol is the anesthesia by which we endure the operation of life.
George Bernard Shaw

I tried to drown my sorrows, but the bastards learned how to swim, and now I am overwhelmed by this decent and good feeling.
Frida Kahlo

Wine is as good as life to a man, if it be drunk moderately: what life is then to a man that is without wine? for it was made to make men glad.
Bible
Ecclesiasticus

Alcohol removes inhibitions - like that scared little mouse who got drunk and shook his whiskers and shouted: "Now bring on that damn cat!
Eleanor Early

Candy Is dandy, But liquor Is quicker.
Ogden Nash

Alcohol is like love. The first kiss is magic, the second is intimate, the third is routine. After that you take the girl's clothes off.
Raymond Chandler

Here's to alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems.
Homer Simpson

The intermediate stage between socialism and capitalism is alcoholism.
Norman Brenner

Man being reasonable must get drunk; The best of life is but intoxication; Glory, the grape, love, gold - in these are sunk - The hopes of all men and of every nation.
Lord Byron

It is the unbroken testimony of all history that alcoholic liquors have been used by the strongest, wisest, handsomest, and in every way best races of all times.
George Saintsbury

So fill to me the parting glass. Good night and joy be with you all.
Traditional Irish song

Abstainer: a weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure.
Ambrose Bierce

This beer is good for you. This is draft beer. Stick with the beer. Let's go and beat this guy up and come back and drink some more beer.
Ernest Hemingway

Lady Astor: Sir, if you were my husband, I would poison your drink.
Winston Churchill: Madam, if you were my wife, I would drink it.

Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.
Anonymous

When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading.
Henny Youngman

I like to do my principal research in bars, where people are more likely to tell the truth or, at least, lie less convincingly than they do in briefings and books.
P.J. O'Rourke

The problem with some people is that when they aren't drunk they're sober.
William Butler Yeats

I have a total irreverence for anything connected with society,
except that which makes to road safer, the beer stronger,
the old men and women warmer in the winter, and happier in the summer.
Brendan Behan

Here's to a long life and a merry one
A quick death and an easy one
A pretty girl and an honest one
A cold beer and another one!
Irish Saying

When I die I want to decompose in a barrel of porter and have it served in all the pubs in Ireland.
J. P. Donleavy
From the novel The Ginger Man

The only person with a drinking problem is he who doesn't.
Linz

Hat-tip: All Great Quotes: http://www.allgreatquotes.com/...


Hahahaha!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Yeah, I saw that Saturn stuff. The scary thing is that this alien is a psychology professor in charge of impressionable youngsters. I fear they'll be traumatised for life.

It's a measure of Babs's desperation and moral destitution that her last remaining champions are creatures of this ilk.

Don't blame Sun Ra for the

PhilipD's picture

Don't blame Sun Ra for the noise- it was those damn aliens.

'… my whole body changed into something else. I could see through myself. And I went up … I wasn't in human form … I landed on a planet that I identified as Saturn … they teleported me and I was down on [a] stage with them. They wanted to talk with me. They had one little antenna on each ear. A little antenna over each eye. They talked to me. They told me to stop [attending college] because there was going to be great trouble in schools … the world was going into complete chaos … I would speak [through music], and the world would listen. That's what they told me.'

Campbell is awestruck by both the weirdness and the noise: 'I have done a good deal of research on the life and music of Herman Poole Blount (better known to the world as Sun Ra).'

Why? Really, why? Maybe Campbell also made the Saturn trip. Or perhaps he likes Sun Ra's way of dealing with conflict.

'Sun Ra would not confront any musician whose performance he was unsatisfied with. Instead, Sun Ra would simply gather the entire Arkestra minus the offending musician, and skip town, leaving the fired musician stranded. After repeated instances of US jazz musicians becoming stranded in foreign countries, Sun Ra's unique method of dismissal became a diplomatic liability for the United States. The U.S. State Department was compelled to tell Sun Ra to bring any fired musicians stateside rather than leaving them stranded.'
-Wikipedia

Mr. Holmes

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Thank you for your toast. You write:

My toast to Frank is not so much for what I know about him, for I know little, rather it is in response to the petty and small-minded destructiveness of men such as Parille and Campbell who devote such incredible effort to the tearing down of greatness.
I am not moved by the truthfulness or falseness of their claims, though I know such things matter if justice is to prevail. What strikes me is the mind-numbing, torturous relentlessness of Parille, and to a somewhat lesser extent, Campbell, as they peck and peck and peck. No recognition of the good; just a desire to destroy.
It makes me wonder about the psyche of such individuals. Where is the balance? These are, by all appearances, intelligent men. But where is the intellectual honesty?
They disgust me.

As you will have noted, they disgust me, too.

Mr. Parille has e-mailed me to inform me he ceased posting on SOLO in December. I don't know how we'll survive without him. Prof. Campbell, of course, flounced some months ago. Mr. Scherk is under moderation and has not yet learned that snark directed at me won't make it through the gate.

You ask about the "psyche" of such folk. They are, of course, Steven Mallory's drooling beast, so well personified in the Prof's favorite "musician":

If I can get folk to see the connection then having these slimebuckets on-site will have served a purpose, aside from the self-exposing of their intellectual dishonesty.

To Each of You

Curt Holmes's picture

Linz, forgive my delay in responding to your call.

I raise my glass first to Ayn Rand for her priceless contribution to my well being, and then to her husband, Frank O’Connor.

My toast to Frank is not so much for what I know about him, for I know little, rather it is in response to the petty and small-minded destructiveness of men such as Parille and Campbell who devote such incredible effort to the tearing down of greatness.

I am not moved by the truthfulness or falseness of their claims, though I know such things matter if justice is to prevail. What strikes me is the mind-numbing, torturous relentlessness of Parille, and to a somewhat lesser extent, Campbell, as they peck and peck and peck. No recognition of the good; just a desire to destroy.

It makes me wonder about the psyche of such individuals. Where is the balance? These are, by all appearances, intelligent men. But where is the intellectual honesty?

They disgust me.

I also raise my glass to you, Linz (pbuh), and to many of the regular contributors to your site. I gain great insight and value from this forum and offer my heartfelt gratitude.

I was wondering

Brant Gaede's picture

what happened to Stephen Boydstun. I haven't read anything new by Jeff Perrin since you gave him a broadside in early November. Etc. I'm waiting for Ms Burns to appear but suspect she won't. I want her to. I even want James to too apropos that. I suggest you set up a moderated thread for that and let them know.

--Brant

Can't say I do, Brant ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Do you guys realize this site is evaporating?

It's eluded me, Brant. Best I can tell, it's healthier than ever.

Wishful thinking here, perhaps? Distraught at the complete destruction of your icon's credibility, maybe? Her now-unambiguous status as a gratuitous smearer, as the "dirty fighter" you once yourself acknowledged she was, before you sold your soul to her?

Perhaps you can salvage her re Ventura?

Do you guys

Brant Gaede's picture

Do you guys realize this site is evaporating?

--Brant
man the life raft!

Bravo Mr Duck ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... for ducking no longer.

Now, I wonder what ducker-and-weaver extraordinaire and Rand-diminisher Scherk has to say now that it's been confirmed that Frank and Ventura didn't meet till 1962? This is the Ventura whom Babs cites as her source for the claim that Frank was knocking 'em back to excess in the 50s. Further down, Scherk says:

the issue for me remains the mid-fifties reality of Frank and the bottle. If there is nobody and nothing to corroborate the notion that Frank was sucking them back hard at a neighbourhood bar during the Branden/Rand sex dates, then it puts the kibosh on those passages in PAR, as our resident Coroner Michael Moeller has suggested.

Wot say ye now, Scherk? And where are your partners-in-diminution Parille, Babs et al?

'Why does Rand, who preached

PhilipD's picture

'Why does Rand, who preached loyalty to values, not have folk who stand up for her (and Frank), apart from a few so few you could number them on your hand?'
- Lindsay

Speaking only for and about myself, it's due to naivete, burying my head-in-the-sand, and a touch of stupidity.

Head-in-the-sand in thinking that pip-squeaks like Parille and Campbell are relatively few in number; naivete in thinking that Rand's work couldn't be seriously damaged by this 'all gong but no dinner' brigade; and stupidity for often ignoring evidence to the contrary.

I'm late to the party but here's to Frank!

ARI:
What signs of that [their devotion] did you observe in their daily life?

CHARLES:
There were so many signs. For one thing, they were demonstrative about their affection. When they sat together or walked down the street together, they held hands. They kissed “hello” and “goodbye.” Whenever Ayn and I were out at an all-day stamp show, she always wondered aloud what Frank was doing. She always called him her “top value.”

William

HWH's picture

I was still drafting a reply to your e-mail when you decided to rather post it here.

Had you not been the serial arsonist, I would perhaps have heeded your hypocritical admonishments to stop fiddling while Rome was burning, but you've deliberately missed the point again, havent you?

It's not a question of how much you've done (Galt knows you've done enough), but rather whether you approach the battle as a warrior or a traitor.

I've watched your evolution here from being no more than a jerk..highly adept at tripping the blogs fantastic, to someone who actually seems to be getting real and showing some concern for the internal naggings of what should now be a critically stretched conscience (the justified bile of those you've offended notwithstanding)

Question is whether that conscience being alluded to (as evidenced by some recent posts on the Adonis thread) is simply defaulting to its proven modus operandi of conjuring a confusing smokescreen in order to keep playing your game "deuces wild"

Only time will tell, even though experience allready knows.

Scherk-shit

Lindsay Perigo's picture

As usual, Scherk, you're full of it. You know damned well there are no "dogs locked in the basement" here. Anyone here can and may post anywhere else and is encouraged to quote everything said here by the principals far and wide. You *know* that everything said here is visible to the whole world from the get-go in any event, unlike the postings at HBL. You *know* that yet still you trot out this "dogs locked in the basement" a la Binswanger crap. This by way of an attempt at disingenuously evading the vicious paucity of the case against Frank and your own complicity in perpetuating it—all part of the concerted effort going on to diminish Rand. Instead of doing what an honorable person would do—acknowledge that the case against Frank is even flimsier now than it was when the latest skirmishes started—you demand to know why those of us who defended him in the first instance are not now proclaiming his innocence from yet more rooftops. Not even a nice try.

Then you cry crocodile tears that SOLOists like me aren't all over Wikipedia or whatever, somewhere "out there in the world." Clearly it's eluded you that SOLO *is* me in the world, and I'm under no obligation to conform to your affected expectations as to what I should do elsewhere. You talk about SOLO's influence as zero, yet it's you who remind me from time to time that SOLO is the top of the pops among Objectivist sites on the Vera ratings or whatever they're called. Honestly, you'd moan if your bum were on fire and you'd moan if it weren't.

As for "gadfly," "sharp jabs," etc.—quit kidding yourself. "Gadfly" is a Socrates or an Oscar Wilde or a Voltaire, and you, my friend, are not even a pale shadow of a remote semblance of a millionth of any of them. For one thing, those gentlemen had genuine wit. For another, they put it to noble use. Can you imagine any of them devoting a second of their time or an ounce of their talent to establishing that Frank was an alcoholic? In an effort to demean someone I'm sure they'd all acknowledge to be beyond their equal?

Your claim to be a gadfly is as risible as your claim to be a "critical thinker." The words "beyond presumptuous" come to mind.

I've seen the smarm you were drooling on Chat. That's no longer available to you. When you bore me totally and cease to have any use as a foil, I'll boot you totally.

You could, of course, do something interesting like respond to my "My Objections to Objectivism" challenge, but that would put you at risk of having to state a position of your own ... and oh my, we couldn't have that.

BTW, do not e-mail me, as you did today. Straight into the trash, unread.

Checking In

Ellen Stuttle's picture

All I have time for at the moment. I'm busy with other concerns.

I'll answer some issues in WSS's latest mush-ups when I have a chance -- which might not be till the second half of this week.

Ellen

The one blog that actually matters?

William Scott Scherk's picture

Hilton Holder writes:

Scherk, phrase-monger extraordinaire and supreme master of shit-stirring and O'ist blog straddling has whined thus, in effect:

"Aww Linz.what's eating you? I only said Ayn must have been sad when everything went pear shaped for her, and why not, she was only human, wasnt she?, and what's so bad about me being the only one saying it, huh, huh?

Anyway, if you and your toadies feel so strongly about defending the lies (some of which I know to be true), then why dont you go global with it?

No use you're all just bitching about it here on SLOP, is it?"

Well, Hilton, I asked what has been done by SOLO members to counter the bullshit about Frank's Drinking outside SOLO. You can answer that question in your own soul. I think most folk here would consider it pretty straightforward. Got a bitch with So-and-so? then get on your hind legs and go after him. It's like a bunch of barking dogs in the basement while a besmircher runs through the upper floors will-nilly. Why not let the dogs out? Fear? Laziness? Pure cussed Objectivism?

How are dogs locked in the basement at SOLO much different than the Binswanger contingent, or ARI and TAS -- in response to the new biographies? Nothing radiates out from the sanctums. That's the point. I am pointing out an irony. If it is so sharp it hurts you, good.

Hilton continues:

Firstly, what do you care? I have been on SOLO long enough to absolutely conclude that I've never seen you make a stand for anything on either side of the isle, except perhaps for the bit of breastwork you're flashing against Adonis's disingenuity.

What crap. You have been on SOLO for 2 years and some. I have been a member since December 2005. You are a staffer here -- Coordinator (KASSer-in-Chief), SOLO-Australia, SOLO Podcasts.

What podcasts? Have you manage to fit up Lindsay with a Skype connection and an interview list? Have you done something we are not aware of since Podcast five? Seriously, what have you done, Hilton, by way of your own committment as Staff?

More:

Secondly, since you so obviously have nothing better to do, how about comitting yourself to the one blog that actually matters (despite the excessive and obviously fake protests to the contrary), and become our PR advisor?

This doesn't make sense. I don't post to other Objectivish blogs/forums. I don't post to OL. I don't post to RoR. I'm banned from the Speicher list, and under watch at OO.net. What commitment are you looking at?

Maybe, just maybe, mine are the kinds of gadfly jabs that help readership at SOLO, insofar as my interjections draw out strong reaction, further comment and so on. In reality, there is a readership overlap between the old Three Sisters Of SOLO. It's too bad that the intermural discussion is shrinking again, with the departure of Parille, Campbell, Keer, Jonathan, Peter Smith, and so on. Once there was a list where not only those folks posted, but also real funny types like, um, Hsieh, Barnes, Valliant, Bidinotto, Sciabarra, Weiss, Cathcart, Bissell and many more. Sure, some have drifted away over time, but some have also been barked off the property . . . I don't see how any of this drives the Objectivish project up any hills. If Objectivists and their fellow travelers can't get their shit together in small ways (besides building fences), what are the chances they will have any effect outside the corral?

Committed to SOLO? No more so than you, HWH?



WSS

Pertinent ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... to this discussion:

MARY ANN
She observed that I looked troubled, and asked me what was wrong. At the time, I was unhappy about a career problem, and I told her what it was. And I added that I was down on myself for feeling as I did. That last comment was what generated the discussion. But first we discussed the career problem, what caused it, and the possible solutions. We concluded that I didn’t have any choice in the matter. She pointed out that I was about to lose a value, and that that was reason enough to be unhappy. So, she asked, why do you hold that against yourself, why are you critical of yourself for feeling as you do? That was what had to be identified. And here she made an eye-opening point.

ARI
Which was?

MARY ANN
She said that the fact that happiness is the moral purpose of your life doesn’t mean that you must never be unhappy. Or, put another way, unhappiness isn’t necessarily caused by immorality, and one shouldn’t equate the two. Then she elaborated.

ARI
What points did she make?

MARY ANN
Well, first she reviewed the relationship between happiness and values—that the former results from the achievement of the latter. Then she said it was important to realize and accept that we cannot always control the events and circumstances that affect our values. As an example, she gave what she considered the worst possible case—the death of a spouse. Another example she gave was losing a job because of a recession in the economy. Or having a friend go back on his word. We can’t prevent these things, she said, yet they affect us. She gave herself as an example—when The Fountainhead was being rejected by publishers, she was not happy.

She went on. If a person is chronically unhappy and depressed, regardless of the circumstances in his life, then there is something wrong psychologically, and the person should seek professional help. But if the unhappiness results from the loss of a value and the person is not responsible, then there should be no self-recrimination. Here she made another distinction.

ARI
What was that?

MARY ANN
When things go wrong in your life, you will be unhappy. But the important question at those times is: are you at peace with yourself? That, she said, is something that is within your control. And when people don’t make this distinction, they suffer unnecessarily.

ARI
Can you elaborate? What does being at peace with yourself come from?

MARY ANN
From the knowledge that you did not betray your values, that you lived up to your standards to the best of your ability. From knowing that whatever mistakes you might have made, they were honest mistakes, they did not come from the refusal to think. That you are free from the nagging thought: if only I had done thus and so, things might be different. That you know you did not let yourself down, that your self-esteem is intact. That you lived up to the best within you. Then you are at peace with yourself.

ARI
How did this conversation affect you?

MARY ANN
It made all the difference in the world to me. I still had the career problem, but I could localize it, confine it, see it in perspective. I went there feeling burdened by some kind of great weight. At the end of the evening, I felt free of the unnamed burden. She had named it.

Now, bad-faith Scherk tries to salvage his and his pin-up Babs's shared position as follows:

What a freakish inhuman thing would be a Rand that did not feel. Surely neither Lindsay or [sic] those who bark from his lap sees [sic] that kind of freak in Ayn Rand.

And indeed he knows that none among Rand's defenders does. His real argument is that Rand's unhappy moments were self-inflicted and chronic, that she was not at peace with herself, that the people like Babs who inflicted the pain upon her were innocent, that their ongoing attempts to besmirch her by besmirching Frank (without evidence) are justified. In the jaundiced nihilistic world of Sick Fuck Scherk, they are justified. But not in any decent realm.

Babs has the nerve to talk about empathy? That lying, smearing low-life bitch has the nerve to talk about empathy??

Rubber Tube

HWH's picture

Scherk, phrase-monger extraordinaire and supreme master of shit-stirring and O'ist blog straddling has whined thus, in effect:

"Aww Linz.what's eating you? I only said Ayn must have been sad when everything went pear shaped for her, and why not, she was only human, wasnt she?, and what's so bad about me being the only one saying it, huh, huh?

Anyway, if you and your toadies feel so strongly about defending the lies (some of which I know to be true), then why dont you go global with it?

No use you're all just bitching about it here on SLOP, is it?"

Firstly, what do you care? I have been on SOLO long enough to absolutely conclude that I've never seen you make a stand for anything on either side of the isle, except perhaps for the bit of breastwork you're flashing against Adonis's disingenuity.

Secondly, since you so obviously have nothing better to do, how about comitting yourself to the one blog that actually matters (despite the excessive and obviously fake protests to the contrary), and become our PR advisor?

If you cared for freedom in any way, wouldn't that be the manner in which you'd be able to garner the respect you so desperately seem to crave?

Shit, what am I saying, that would mean you'd actually have to choose sides, wouldn't it?

Sorry, joke!

Note ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I have edited the personal crap directed at me by Scherk from his post and placed him under moderation. To quote his pin-up, Obamugabe, "let me be clear": I welcome good-faith criticism but I will no longer put up with the bad-faith smart-ass snark-for-the-sake-of-snark that Scherk likes to spit in my direction on my own site. I'm sure there are other sites that will welcome such contributions from him, but that's not my concern.

Echoes of things someone I knew who knew her said . . .

William Scott Scherk's picture

Ellen Stuttle has responded to my stated issue with Barbara Branden:

I wrote to Barbara Branden, querying her on Frank's Drinking. I shall query her again.
At issue is a mid-fifties reality of Frank and the bottle. I have no trouble believing the
Kalbermans, Blumenthals, Weiss and Ventura that Frank was drinking beyond the red line in
the years of their witness.

Ellen seems to think that I should be pressing Barbara on more than the mid-fifties drinking, that my own issue with Barbara should be expanded. Fair enough. I suggest that Ellen confuses my queries with her own.

I invite Ellen to take up her own issues with Barbara in a straightforward way -- write to her with the results of her and Moeller's inquest. Write to Barbara with the gist. There is no obstacle, no falling out between them, as Barbara has confirmed (I apologized to Ellen backchannel for my earlier wrong assertion). Perhaps Ellen would post here such a note to Barbara, as she has posted her queries to Heller.

That said, the issue for me remains the mid-fifties reality of Frank and the bottle. If there is nobody and nothing to corroborate the notion that Frank was sucking them back hard at a neighbourhood bar during the Branden/Rand sex dates, then it puts the kibosh on those passages in PAR, as our resident Coroner Michael Moeller has suggested.

Now, what else does Ellen dispute? That Barbara gained information from the Blumenthals, from Weiss, Huggins, (Elayne) Kalberman and Ventura? Nope, not really. That I find no reason to believe Barbara lied about this information? Nope, she doesn't take issue with that. That somehow what information Barbara gleaned is tainted through and through? No, Ellen does not quite say that, just mutters something about a phantasm a la Hugo Chavez -- the sharpest thing she has said is that by some unexamined warrant, Barbara Weiss is not to be trusted**. Of Kalberman, Ellen says little.

What else? Well . . .

Further, I agree with Linz that you apparently relish the image of Ayn's
last years as tragic. How sad, how *human*! The account makes her "human"
in your eyes. What does this say about your meaning of "human"?

What did I write about tragic? What did I write about human?

Reading your book's chapters of the years since 1968 gave me an empathy for
Rand (and Frank) as a person that I had not experienced before. It coloured my
opinion of Rand, raising it. She was human. She suffered. How she must have
suffered from Nathaniel's loss and the loss of so many people and then Frank. That
some of her suffering was by virtue of her own actions and personality gave the
passages a tinge of tragedy.. Maybe I am wrong in my emotions or my reading or my
trust in your telling, but Ayn Rand came to life as a human being, and I responded
to the story as you have written it, 'novelized' (Ellen's graceless hedge) or not.

I mentioned the diminution of Rand's circle of love following The Break. I wrote of her loss and her suffering♥. Do I take some lip-smacking satisfaction in that suffering? No. This suggestion that I relish Rand's suffering, whether it comes from cognitive distortion or ventriloquism or pure conniption, is quite wrong.

Did Rand suffer that the Blumenthals abandoned her? That Branden betrayed her? That Barbara concealed the truth of Patrecia? Did Rand suffer from Frank's cognitive decline and at his death? Did she, in her heart, suffer from the betrayal of the Smiths, the departure of Elayne? Did she feel the emotions of a human being at the shrinking of her world of love and support?

Of my compassion for Ayn Rand it is still unclear what makes Ellen's beef. Does it denigrate The Goddess to find her subject to the passions and the despairs? What a freakish inhuman thing would be a Rand that did not feel. Surely neither Lindsay or those who bark from his lap sees that kind of freak in Ayn Rand.

+++++++++++++++

Meanwhile, to the greater point that Ellen underlines to Scott DeSalvo: countering the savage and stupid and heartless slags of Rand that have appeared in the popular press and on the internet, such in as in Slate and GQ.

There again, I suggest purists should suit up for action, not seethe on the sidelines. I see nothing from Ellen out there in reaction to the nasties, neither among the pushback against the authors of the slags nor in reaction to reposts in secondary blog pieces. I see nothing out there countering the Weiss quote from Heller that so burns her onions. I see no Stuttle review of Heller on Amazon, no Stuttle review of PAR, no Stuttle answers to calumnies in the public sphere, no corrections to the trope of Frank's Drinking presented in well-read places (for example, at Wikipedia♦). No, the heavy hitters of the Orthodox are on the field doing the work -- John Donohue, Betsy Speicher, Ed Cline, others both named and pseudonymous. I notice that neither pointed example, however awful and unfair, trots out a malevolent She Drove Her Husband To Drink. If Lindsay or Ellen or Michael are truly concerned about misinformation about Frank, then they would get to work on it and stop futzing with proxy tabletop games.

Again, if this is the most horrid time of a most horrid conspiracy to shoot Rand down, then to battle on the actual battlefields, not bluster here in the bunker. SOLO's tiny audience has zero influence on broader public opinion in its usual do-nothing-but-bitch mode.



WSS

______________

† As I have said before, I am usually smarter after an exchange with Ellen. Chastened, bum smarting from a thorough spank , but usually smarter.

** e.g., things like this:

Funny thing regarding that uncleanliness comment, I always thought that Weiss -- who was
heavy and unprepossessing -- looked negligent of cleanliness. A couple other remarks she's
quoted as making are echoes of things someone I knew who knew Weiss said about Weiss.

♥ It's not the first time I have commented on the losses. In a note from Barbara Branden she quoted and commented on a post I made on SOLO on the Rand/Hospers break. I was surprised and heartened:

that while in order to respond to Valliant, you have to point out many of Rand's mistakes
and character flaws, you don't forget her context and her pain, whether self-inflicted or
not. For example, you wrote: "I see a sad and needless ending to the Rand/Hospers
friendship. I see the cause stemming from Rand's sometimes unjust anger. It makes me sad
for Rand. I think she lost a value when she dumped Hospers. If there was real, personal
love between them, all the more so that it should be dashed."

You've expressed sorrow for Rand before, and your attitude is one I wish I saw more of.
Too often, despite my efforts in The Passion of Ayn Rand, people write about her as if she
were either a goddess or as a devil, not a living human being made up of the good, the
bad, and the in-between -- all magnified in her case, because she was larger than life.

I'm afraid you haven't learned one of the messages of some Solo people: that empathy is
weakness. I suspect you never will learn it.

♦ "O'Connor developed problems with alcohol abuse, after Rand became a widely-known writer. This was partly in reaction to Rand's relationship with Branden, which became very personal and hurt the marriage" [link]

Aaron

Lindsay Perigo's picture

You're right. I shouldn't have booted her for this.

I should have booted her for the lies she told in the post Gregster just reproduced.

She stays booted.

Linz: "After reading Robert's

Aaron's picture

Linz: "After reading Robert's latest post I've booted Sharon."

While her 'p.s.' comment was out of line, it was a joking reference and certainly nothing out of scale of vitriolic exchanges such as Beck vs. DeSalvo grudge matches or many others. I could see booting her for hijacking every single thread she touched into a poorly argued soapbox session for anarchy, but not for that one comment to Robert.

Aaron

Sharon: "Robert, at least I

Aaron's picture

Sharon: "Robert, at least I don't abuse children."

Scott: "I was going to mention that comment of sharon's, but decided that it COULDN'T be what it looked like. It MUST have been some referecne to an exchange you two had."

Two threads a couple months ago were about corporal punishment of children. Sharon was against it, and Robert among others was for it. While I too am against corporal punishment, her wording it as child abuse in her 'p.s.' joke was over-the-top. Anyway, it was a reference back to those threads.

Aaron

A good New Year signifier

gregster's picture

The end of another know nothing bad faith fool anarchist.

Submitted by sharon on Mon, 2009-06-22 02:40


"There is much I have learned
from reading Objectivist forums, personal emails to me divulging information and just knowing the Objectivist sub-culture in general.
Pertaining to issues of fallouts and scandals, here are some interesting tidbits that I find interesting:
Micheal Stewart Kelly and Mr. Perigo used to be very close online friends. We have about 500 emails between us. Then some stuff happened, all involving his little "ego" in the most petty sense possible.
I also know that Mr. Perigo founded the Libertairan party in NZ (Libertarianz) and didn't do much with it. Then a one bigwig Libertarian Jim Peron, joined forces with Mr. Perigo to see if they could jointly push the movement forward. I understand that Mr. Perigo and Jim Peron didn’t have any “chemistry” and so they had a fallout. Mr. Peron then organized the party and became a force to be reckoned with in NZ politics. Mr. Perigo felt snubbed and started supporting all attempts to discredit Mr. Peron.
The plot thickened: Peron was in Europe for a Libertarian convention and at that point a small right-wing Christian organization in NZ contacted the Locke Foundation digging up papers from decades ago showing how Peron allegedly supported pedophilia in his San Francisco book shop by printing and selling a magazine called "Unbound". He also supposedly held Nambla meetings there as well. (All this information is available online, in the forums and wiki).
There was a formal movement among Libertarians to get age of sexual consent lowered to 14 or under and so I speculate that Mr. Perigo was playing that card against Mr. Peron—a new twist on the “guilt by association” canard. Consequently Peron's visa was cancelled while he was traveling as he was considered an undesirable for his former "pedophilic activity".
The issue moved to the SoloHQ for dialogue and I can see that Mr. Perigo tried to browbeat everybody into calling Peron a pedophile. Michael Kelly chimed in—and later regretted his actions because he did so without proper evidence. (Mr. Kelly later saw documents and sent them to Barbara Branden much later, but they were decades old.) Mr. Peron was a longstanding friend of Miss Branden’s and she balked in the face of this. Numerous high-profile people left SoloHQ around that time because of Mr. Perigo's crabbiness.
Mr. Perigo’s nastiness is legendary. I have read Mr. Perigo’s posts where he is telling esteemed people to fuck off and then Mr. Perigo would apologize the next day, saying that he drank too much the night before, but then it would happen again and again. Fury in the gut remained unsatisfied, and so it was at this point Mr. Perigo tried to leverage support to intimidate Miss Branden into turning on Peron. Miss Branden did not submit and was eventually banned.
Later on, Mr. Perigo read PARC and, lo and behold, this became the gospel truth whereas before it had been refuse. Glory to God! The former sycophant became a present snubbed avenger. Mr. Perigo put on an Academy Award showing with his "I was lost but now I see the light".
Yes, sir, rejection by Objectivist icon Barbara Branden stung this petty aspirant to Objectivist leadership pretty hard. The only way for Mr. Perigo to “save face” was to try to dishonor her if he could not have her endorsement. And you know, I don’t really think that Mr. Perigo believes in PARC. Not really. I don't think he really gives a rat's ass. PARC is only a convenience that has become a banner for Mr. Perigo in his drive to establish himself as an Objectivist leader. In this respect, he is no different than any “leader” or aspiring politician. Lying, manipulation, string-pulling, tactics, libel—all the goodies that has become characteristic of the Objectivist subculture--is the strong suit of any politician. O-Lying indeed!
Edit: Feel free to correct any grammar lapses, Mr. Perigo."

Many falsities for which she trawled O-Lying. It took this long, your tolerance is becoming legendary Lindsay.

And whereabouts is the anarchist project??? Well, nowhere, they're fucking dope-smoking hippies. The enemy. You're ugly Sharon, in soul and appearance.

Better late than never! :-)

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Hilton, thanks for your post (and toast?) and bravo! on its content, however belated.

I don't know why folk claiming to be Objectivists, and SOLOists in particular, are so averse to standing up for their values, among which, presumably, is Ayn Rand. Are we not passionate valuers? We are now 24 years into Brandroidism—if we date it from the publication of PAR—with its attendant humanity-diminution and Rand-diminution, and some folk are only now just starting to get it. Most are still not getting it at all. Is my vision of a Band of Brothers for reason and freedom so way out? Must we endure indefinitely the Perrens who say, "This has nothing to with her philosophy" even though it's a scumbag's way of attacking the philosophy? Even worse, must we endure indefinitely the cowardice of those who know better but say nothing?

You say:

Good on you Linz and James Valiant for watching and taking the fight to these scumbags while no one else actually cared.

Hilton, you, like me, are an Ingersoll fan. You probably know that he was defamed by the clergy, both when he was alive and posthumously, as a drunkard and whatever else. Fortunately, he had folk who stood up for him. Why does Rand, who preached loyalty to values, not have folk who stand up for her (and Frank), apart from a few so few you could number them on your hand?

Someone please tell me, 'cos I certainly can't figure it out, except in one or two cases where folk remain silent because they're esthetic Campbellians who are therefore essentially in the enemy camp ... and know it.

The traitors, Remoras and Sabre-Toothed Blennies

HWH's picture

Not ever having been prone to step into the soap-opera that surrounds the supposed infidelities of Ayn Rand or Frank O'Conner, I have never wasted too much effort getting involved in these spats. My attitude was that "the dogs may bark, but the caravan moved on", to quote an old Arab proverb.

Having seen Ellens research as to the degree that these lies have become poisonous darts in the arsenal of the vile dross who perpetrate these baseless attacks against her legacy and ideas, I have to have my say.

Barbara Branden, not having gained any distinction other than by association to Ayn, has, like an old haggard whore who now resorts to peddling handjobs only, survived by trading fictitious accounts of Ayns's and Franks alleged flaws in exchange for being kept in the "free lunch" loop by those who'd stoop to any depravity to find a chink in Ayns's armour, whether contrived or not.

Her toadies seem to be those who superficially grasp the essence of Ayns's reality-based ethics, but whose avarice for the unearned leads them to forego principles, and instead resort to the "luxury" of moral expedience. The personal guilt induced by this cowardly copout seeks justification and rationalisation at any cost, and the most convenient salve for a self-maimed conscience always comes in the form of alleged moral flaws in the integrity of the messenger.

Had the poisonous effects of this kind of rationalization been confined solely to the added misery of the perpetrators, one could have overlooked it, but to hand the ill-gotten lies about Ayn Rand and her husband Frank to the diseased misanthropic midgets who use this tripe in ad-hominem "package-deal" type smears against Ayn Rands's ideas is so vile an act, it defies condemnation by words alone.

It seems there are two kinds of parasites swimming in the chum here, firstly the common Remoras who scrounge from the ideas of Rand when convenient, and secondly those for whom no slating would suffice. I'm talking about those "sabre-toothed blennies" who mimic benevolent behavour towards Ayn and her ideas only in order to stealthily take bites out of her legacy when they think no one's watching.

Good on you Linz and James Valiant for watching and taking the fight to these scumbags while no one else actually cared.

Scum gone

Lindsay Perigo's picture

After reading Robert's latest post I've booted Sharon. I too thought her comment must have been an allusion to some earlier exchange, and not what it looked like. It was all the more warped for the fact that Sharon was one who peddled the Babsian line on Peron the pedo-publisher.

Bro DeSalvo, I hope you absorbed this bit (as well as Ellen's very pertinent points):

She believes that the simple act of toasting a man's memory and leaving a brief eulogy on a modern electronic bulletin board is too grand an action for something as base and common (according to her) as goodness. To me, these are the least that one can do. Goodness must be heralded whether it be common or not.
And this goes double when the subject of the toasting has been viciously maligned when he is unable to answer the gutless muck-racking fucking cowards who are making the accusations as a way to malign the memory of his wife.

I was going to mention it

atlascott's picture

"A smiley face to cover the fact you have snidely accused me of abusing children? Tell me, you sickening harpy, Whose children have I abused? When? Where? How? Does evidence not matter to you? Or is it a case of "evidence? Whutevva!""

I was going to mention that comment of sharon's, but decided that it COULDN'T be what it looked like. It MUST have been some referecne to an exchange you two had.

Every time I try to give sharon the benefit of the doubt...

Sickening harpy is about it.

Sharon: I don't get it!

Robert's picture

What a surprise.

Sharon doesn't understand why anyone would Celebrate the essential goodness in a particular individuals character.

She believes that the simple act of toasting a man's memory and leaving a brief eulogy on a modern electronic bulletin board is too grand an action for something as base and common (according to her) as goodness. To me, these are the least that one can do. Goodness must be heralded whether it be common or not.

And this goes double with the subject of the toasting has been viciously maligned when he is unable to answer the gutless muck-racking fucking cowards who are making the accusations as a way to malign the memory of his wife.

Obviously this concept never occurred to you or more likely, it has, and you dismissed it out of hand. Sharon: Celebration of the good for being good - whatever?

That is why you are scum. And your parting shot only reinforces that fact.

A smiley face to cover the fact you have snidely accused me of abusing children? Tell me, you sickening harpy, Whose children have I abused? When? Where? How? Does evidence not matter to you? Or is it a case of "evidence? Whutevva!"

Obviously the subject is so frivolous to you that you can use it as a punchline, so I can see that anything is possible.

Do us all a favor and crawl back to the sewer from whence you came.

"Ayn Rand" "a killer of people"

Ellen Stuttle's picture

This post is in answer to a question Scott asks on the "I Was There" thread.

I didn't want to deflect that thread further with comments about the extent to which arguments about Ayn Rand the person are part of the same battle. Scott is dubious, to put it mildly, and doesn't see why anyone would care, for instance, whether or not Frank was a drunk:

link

Frank's drinking
Submitted by atlascott on Wed, 2009-12-30 17:31.

Whether Frank was drinker or not? REALLY? THAT'S how they are going to diminish Ayn Rand, the creator of a philosophy that not one in 50,000 Americans has any clue about?

Please do not take this the wrong way, but ridiculous.

These Ayn Rand smear jobs are pathetic and weak, put forth by old, insecure, gnats who could not carry Ayn Rand's jockstrap, had she for some reason ever wore one. NB is half a nut job and BB is a weak-minded nobody. They both are STILL trading on their association with Ayn Rand, the ultimate second-handers.

My read on this is: (1) Whether Frank drank or not is utterly irrelevant; (2) No one but the inner, inner, super-obsessed Objectivist -OR- those who were around during the Branden's reign at NBI give a fiddler's fart about the personalities, the affairs, whether someone drank, whether some nobody was right or wrong about this one who said that.

WHO CARES?

In answer to "Who cares?," I submit: More or less everyone who's out to shoot Rand down, and that's a lot of people.

As an experiment if you can stomach the results -- maybe best wait till after you recover from whatever New Year's libations you indulge in -- try Goggling the following, as written, quotes included in the first:

"Ayn Rand" "a killer of people"

Rand bitch

I currently get 3,220 hits for the first and 843,000 for the second.

With the first, many are to blog posts quoting in full or excerpting from a Slate article by Johann Hari:

link

How Ayn Rand Became an American Icon
The perverse allure of a damaged woman.

By Johann Hari

Posted Monday, Nov. 2, 2009, at 7:01 AM ET

[....] [H]ow did this little Russian bomb of pure immorality in a black wig become an American icon?

[The new bios] are thrilling psychological portraits of a horribly damaged woman who deserves the one thing she spent her life raging against: compassion.

[....] Rand expresses, with a pithy crudeness, an instinct that courses through us all sometimes: I'm the only one who matters! I'm not going to care about any of you! She then absolutises it in a Benzedrine-charged reductio ad absurdum by insisting it is the only feeling worth entertaining, ever.

This urge exists everywhere, but it is supercharged on the American right. We all live every day with the victory of this fifth-rate Nietzsche of the mini-malls. Alan Greenspan was one of her strongest cult followers and even invited her to the Oval Office to witness his swearing-in when he joined the Ford administration. You can see how he carried this philosophy into the 1990s. Why should the Supermen of Wall Street be regulated to protect the lice of Main Street?

The figure Ayn Rand most resembles in American life is L Ron Hubbard, another crazed, pitiable charlatan who used trashy potboilers to whip up a cult. Unfortunately, Rand's cult isn't confined to Tom Cruise and a rash of Hollywood dimwits. No, its ideas and its impulses have, by drilling into the basest human instincts, captured one of America's major political parties.

The hits for the second often refer to another recent Rand take-down, the one from GQ, which is headlined:

link

The Bitch is Back

2009's most influential author is a mirthless Russian-American who loves money, hates God, and swings a gigantic dick. She died in 1982, but her spawn soldier on. And the Great Recession is all their fault

By Andrew Corsello

October 27, 2009

If you follow up on the blog posts linking these, and on the comment threads on the blogs, you can see how prevalent is the image of Ayn Rand as a psychologically ugly "bitch" -- and even among people who are in basic sympathy with her political ideas.

Now some here argue (paraphrasing), never mind the ad hominems, just focus on her ideas. Why bother to be concerned over what people say about Ayn Rand the person?

I can't agree. I think that the Image Problem is a severe handicap to people's recognizing the value of her ideas. That problem isn't simply an issue of, Did she drive her husband to drink? This is just one charge amongst the many leveled against her -- charges which are maybe best summed up in the remark from Barbara Weiss (quoted by Anne Heller) describing Rand as "a killer of people." I think that all of the charges need examining with strenuous questioning of the extent to which they're true.

Happy New Year.

Ellen

I did, Sharon,

Ellen Stuttle's picture

know Frank first hand. Not well -- talked to him maybe five or six times, saw him at lectures and other events a great many more times than that, heard a lot about him from people who knew him well. Along with everyone else I've ever known of who knew him at all, I liked him quite a bit.

And he was beautiful to behold. I'll tell a little story involving a friend of mine, a woman with a keen appreciation of the masculine sex. This happened at one of the lectures, I think it was Allan's music course -- the woman was a singer, so she'd have had special reason to take that course. She'd never seen Frank before.

She and I had been talking at intermission. She turned toward the aisle, without looking behind her, and ran smack into Frank, who was passing. She began to apologize, looking up at the tall figure's face. She told me afterward that the apology died as her eyes grew wide with an "oh!" expression. I could see Frank's gentle smile and twinkle of understanding as he slightly inclined his head, then continued down the aisle. "He really is beautiful!" my friend exclaimed.

Not hard to imagine Ayn's reaction to him when she first saw him all those years ago.

Ellen

Scum?

sharon's picture

There are many good men that are as common as Frank. Yeah, good for them! Wonderful! Why this particular good man for all this praise? Toasts at dinner tables, a whole thread. Whatever.

Sorry, I don't get it.

p.s.

Robert, at least I don't abuse children. Big smile

She is ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

And "whatevva" is the first resort of scum.

Sharon: Saluting a good man? Whatever.

Robert's picture

You truly are scum.

Lest We Forget ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Facets of Ayn Rand:

CHARLES
Ayn’s Introduction to the 25th Anniversary Edition of The Fountainhead says it all. It was written in May 1968. I don’t want to dilute the strength of her statements by paraphrasing them, so let me read some excerpts:

”. . .it would be impossible for me to discuss The Fountainhead without mentioning the man who made it possible for me to write it: my husband, Frank O’Connor.

“In a play I wrote in my early thirties, Ideal, the heroine, a screen star, speaks for me when she says: ‘I want to see, real, living, and in the hours of my own days, that glory I create as an illusion. I want it real. I want to know that there is someone, somewhere, who wants it, too. Or else what is the use of seeing it, and working, and burning oneself for an impossible vision? A spirit, too, needs fuel. It can run dry.’

“Frank was the fuel. He gave me, in the hours of my own days, the reality of that sense of life which created The Fountainhead and he helped me to maintain it over a long span of years when there was nothing around us but a gray desert of people and events that evoked nothing but contempt and revulsion. The essence of the bond between us is the fact that neither of us has ever wanted or been tempted to settle for anything less than the world presented in The Fountainhead. We never will.”

Ayn also writes in the Introduction about an evening when she felt profound discouragement about “things as they are.” She says, “. . .it seemed as if I would never regain the energy to move one step farther toward ‘things as they ought to be.’ Frank talked to me for hours, that night. He convinced me of why one cannot give up the world to those one despises. By the time he finished, my discouragement was gone; it never came back in so intense a form.”

That night, she told him she would dedicate The Fountainhead to him “because he had saved it.”

It takes little to impress?

sharon's picture

Toasting a man thirty years dead that nobody here knew first hand, only through second hand accounts? Toasting a man because he was a gentle and kindhearted soul? Toasting a man because he was married to Ayn Rand? Toasting a man because the evidence of him being an alcoholic is slim? He shall be toasted tonight at dinner? LOL. Whatever.

Once Again: To Frank!!

Michael Moeller's picture

When the two new biographies first came out, people like Neil were giddy about both supporting allegations of Frank's heavy drinking. However, the biographies have actually done the opposite as the scalpel has been applied to the pieces of evidence.

By all accounts Frank was a kind, lighthearted, and generous soul. I am not sure what kind of concept of "love" publicly outs a man as a drunk, especially with little to no evidence. It is certainly not my concept of love.

As I have done repeatedly through the holidays, I will once again raise my glass to Frank.

Michael

Garbled talk, inflated witnesses

Ellen Stuttle's picture

WSS: "At issue is a mid-fifties reality of Frank and the bottle. I have no trouble believing the Kalbermans, Blumenthals, Weiss and Ventura that Frank was drinking beyond the red line in the years of their witness."

At issue is more than "a mid-fifties reality of Frank and the bottle." And you have no trouble believing more witnesses than there are!

Let's try to get this straight:

Ventura is the only witness Barbara B. cites for the mid-fifties. Best we can tell from Heller's account of Frank's and Ventura's relationship, Ventura *hadn't met* Frank in the mid-fifties. The only reference Heller gives for Ventura and Frank drinking together is their having cocktails at The Russian Tea Room after Monday-night art lectures, during some unspecified period following the founding of NBI.

Barbara B., in some posts, references the Blumenthals as witnesses. However, she doesn't cite them in Passion; nor does Heller cite them, although Heller interviewed them twice while doing research for her book.

Harry Kalberman isn't cited, only Elayne -- and only lightly.

The primary witness is Barbara Weiss, via whom we have the only cited, indirect report as to quantities from Eloise Huggins, a report which is significantly less strongly worded than BB's description.

What you're having no trouble believing is thus far a phantasm.

Further, I agree with Linz that you apparently relish the image of Ayn's last years as tragic. How sad, how *human*! The account makes her "human" in your eyes. What does this say about your meaning of "human"?

Ellen

PS: I shall toast Frank this evening at dinner.

The husband of Rand

gregster's picture

is a true hero, Mr Frank O'Connor.

Without this charming individual, it would have been many times more difficult for his wife to craft the amazingly insightful novels, for those of us, who are intellectually honest, to study for ever. I'm not joking.

The best the HDers can do is suggest he had a few drinks!!

Fuck the humanity/Rand-diminishers. Cockroaches all.

Precisely where you are so fetid, Scherk ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

You say, in hypocrisy of which only you on this site are capable:

I salute Frank, but I don't salute the kind of overwrought, self-pleasuring prattle retailed above by our Principal. Booze is a wonder and a balm, a pleasure and a fine achievement of human alchemy. But it is not an unalloyed wonder and pleasure. Some people find suffering, and a life diminished by dependence on booze, by a consumption that is obsessive, addictive. I am sure Lindsay does not wipe away this aspect of reality. Lots of folks can drink robustly without becoming a wreck, as many will attest. Yes, there is good in the thing, but not only the good, and not a good for all. For some, there is danger in the bottle. There is sadness.

Of course. But that isn't the point. Babs, without evidence, with your support, has Frank in the "obsessive addictive" category. Because to do so diminishes him, and Ayn. Which is her agenda, and your agenda too. It's integral to Babs's diminution programme that "those last years were tragic." She wishes, but how the hell would she know? SHE WAS NOT THERE!! But you, self-proclaimed "critical thinker," swallow her self-serving slime, hook line and sinker. And now you're ga-ga from receiving an e-mail from the low-life. She "wept" for Ayn?? Oh, please. She weeps all the time. For her own sorry-assed betrayals, not least of which are the betrayal of her own potential and her Judas-like betrayal of Ayn Rand. Her life is a wasteland. And she, Babs, created it. But she blames Ayn for it. Go figure.

To the extent that Ayn suffered pain, Babs herself contributed to it by abetting Nathan's deceit. And you just *love* games like that, don't you, Scherk?

Now come on, the rest of you: don't just supply more witticisms about alcohol—for once, stick your necks out for a decent and maligned human being and join me in my toast ... and put this squalid, funless, sunless socialist, this foul and pestilent congregation of vapors, in its place!

I say again: to Frank!!

One for William: I don't

PhilipD's picture

One for William:

I don't drink liquor. I don't like it. It makes me feel good.
Oscar Levant

One for HWH:

You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on.
Dean Martin

Daddy wuvs you, and a few more

HWH's picture

COACH: What would you say to a beer, Normie? NORM: Daddy wuvs you. -- Cheers

"Oh, lager beer! It makes good cheer, And proves the poor man's worth; It cools the body through and through, and regulates the health."
-Anonymous

"The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind."
-Humphrey Bogart

"The sum of the matter is, the people drink because they wish to drink."
-Rudolph Brand

"No soldier can fight unless he is properly fed on beef and beer."
-John Churchill, First Duke of Marlborough

"Make sure that the beer - four pints a week - goes to the troops under fire before any of the parties in the rear get a drop."
-Winston Churchill to his Secretary of War, 1944

The roots and herbes beaten and put into new ale or beer and daily drunk, cleareth, strengtheneth and quickeneth the sight of the eyes."
-Nicholas Culpeper

"Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drink I feel ashamed - Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn't drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, 'It is better that I drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver.'"
-Deep Thought, Jack Handy

"A woman drove me to drink and I didn't even have the decency to thank her."
-W.C. Fields

"Everybody has to believe in something.....I believe I'll have another drink."
-W.C. Fields

"I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer."
-Abraham Lincoln

"Whoever serves beer or wine watered down, he himself deserves in them to drown."
-Midieval plea for pure libations

"May your glass be ever full. May the roof over your head be always strong. And may you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you're dead."
-Old Irish Toast

"Give me a woman who loves beer and I will conquer the world."
-Kaiser Welhelm

"I'm going to buy a boat... do a little travelling, and I'm going to be drinking beer!"
-John Welsh, Brooklyn bus driver who won $30 million in the New York lottery

"You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer."
-Frank Zappa

A fine beer may be judged with only one sip, but it's better to be thoroughly sure. -- Czech Proverb

Quaintest thoughts, queerest fancies come to life and fade away. What care I how time advances; I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

SAM: What'll you have Normie? NORM: Well, I'm in a gambling mood, Sammy. I'll take a glass of whatever comes out of that tap. SAM: Looks like beer, Norm. NORM: Call me Mister Lucky. -- Cheers

WOODY: Hey, Mr. Peterson, there's a cold one waiting for you. NORM: I know. If she calls, I'm not here. -- Cheers

WOODY: Pour you a beer, Mr. Peterson? NORM: All right, but stop me at one. Make that one-thirty. -- Cheers

SAM: What do you say, Norm? NORM: Any cheap, tawdry thing that'll get me a beer. -- Cheers

The Church is near by the road is icy. The bar is far away but I will walk carefully. -- Russian Proverb

I would give all my fame for a pot of ale, and safety. -- Shakespeare, King Henry V

Give beer to those who are perishing, wine to those who are in anguish;Let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more. -- The Bible, Proverbs, Chapter 31 verse 6 and 7

I drink with impunity...or anyone else who invites me. -- W.C. Fields

The problem with some people is that when they aren't drunk, they're sober. -- William Butler Yeats

What whiskey will not cure, there is no cure for Irish proverb

A good gulp of hot whiskey at bedtime - it's not very scientific but it helps. Alexander Fleming

The true pioneer of civilization is not the newspaper, not religion, not the railroad--but whiskey! Mark Twain

'For some, there is danger in

PhilipD's picture

'For some, there is danger in the bottle. There is sadness.'

No kidding, William? Thanks for that little lecture, you miserable sod.

Straight talk, mixed premises

William Scott Scherk's picture

I salute Frank O'Connor, not with a nod and a wink at booze, but with a recognition that he was a good man, and a good man for standing by his woman.

I wrote to Barbara Branden, querying her on Frank's Drinking. I shall query her again. At issue is a mid-fifties reality of Frank and the bottle. I have no trouble believing the Kalbermans, Blumenthals, Weiss and Ventura that Frank was drinking beyond the red line in the years of their witness. But in the end, problems with booze don't make you a bad man. Frank was a good man, the best man.

So I salute Frank for his fortitude and his grace. Nothing remains of him but his art.


Diminishing Returns by Frank O'Connor, courtesy of the fiends at the Other Place.

+++++++++++++++++++++++

I salute Frank, but I don't salute the kind of overwrought, self-pleasuring prattle retailed above by our Principal. Booze is a wonder and a balm, a pleasure and a fine achievement of human alchemy. But it is not an unalloyed wonder and pleasure. Some people find suffering, and a life diminished by dependence on booze, by a consumption that is obsessive, addictive. I am sure Lindsay does not wipe away this aspect of reality. Lots of folks can drink robustly without becoming a wreck, as many will attest. Yes, there is good in the thing, but not only the good, and not a good for all. For some, there is danger in the bottle. There is sadness.

For those who have a bitch on for this subject, who relish the high notes of Objectivish Opera, the thrilling trills of moral repudiation, what is the actual impact of the above posting? Where is this going? What does it get you and how does it get you there? If the bitch is with Heller, get Heller on the horn for an interview, somebody. She is on week nine of a promotion that regularly gets her on the grille. Put your queries to her. Gin up a mic, a computer, a credit card, a Skype connection. Why let this teaching moment pass by buried in a SOLO rant?

I say again: Put the findings to some actors who matter.

And for those who can still the palsy of rage long enough to assemble their thoughts and bring action to their limbs, do some followup to Ellen's work. Make some calls. Write the summary that Barbara should read. A message in a bottle, maybe. Smoke signals. Something. Because the monks under Mount Ari aren't going to do anything, nor will there be a statement from the worthies at TAS. Beating drums in the bunkers slays no monsters .

Lindsay, seriously, write up some questions for Heller, man. Start your internet radio series with a bang. I will drink a Russian-style multiple toast to such a valiant effort. I will dance till dawn. At least one beast will be slain and there will be feasting. The villagers will jubilate for at least a week.

Here's part of what I wrote to Barbara, and a bit of her response (I am sure she will be horrified that I published a private email on SOLO!):

The dynamics of that family in extremis saddened me. The diminution of Rand's
circle of love and affection was sad, that she lost so many people as the old gang
departed bit by bit. Losing Frank to illness and death must have been a blow upon
blow. Reading your book's chapters of the years since 1968 gave me an empathy for
Rand (and Frank) as a person that I had not experienced before. It coloured my
opinion of Rand, raising it. She was human. She suffered. How she must have
suffered from Nathaniel's loss and the loss of so many people and then Frank. That
some of her suffering was by virtue of her own actions and personality gave the
passages a tinge of tragedy.. Maybe I am wrong in my emotions or my reading or my
trust in your telling, but Ayn Rand came to life as a human being, and I responded
to the story as you have written it, 'novelized' (Ellen's graceless hedge) or not.
I expect you got as much of the tone and tenor right as you could, that you tried
to counter any bias, and that some details -- as in any biography -- may be in
error.

++++++++++++++++++++

I'm very glad that you reacted as you did to my description of Ayn's life during
the years after 1968. Yes, I worked very hard to capture not only the facts, but
the tone and tenor of those years, what they were for her, how she coped with her
losses, and to capture the nobility of spirit that, despite all she had done to
create those losses, remained with her to the end. Those last years were tragic,
and I can't tell you how many times, writing about them, I wept for her. In an
article I wrote recently, I said "It was not the way the story should have ended.
It was not the way it would have ended in an Ayn Rand novel."



WSS

Some weasel took the cork out

PhilipD's picture

Some weasel took the cork out of my lunch.
W.C. Fields

I always keep a supply of stimulant handy in case I see a snake- which I also keep handy.
W.C. Fields

Guinness makes you drunk.
Brendan Behan after being asked for a Guinness advertising slogan.

There are two things that will be believed of any man whatsoever, and one of them is that he has taken to drink.
Booth Tarkington

It was my uncle who discovered that alcohol was a food well in advance of medical thought.
P.G. Woodhouse

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