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Peritorial 7: Atlas Shrugged Special
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Fri, 2011-05-13 13:14
See the entire Atlas Shrugged Special, including this Peritorial, at:
Good evening and welcome to Perigo! I'm Lindsay Perigo and I'm dangerous. "Perigo" is Portuguese for "danger" and I seek to be that to the enemies of reason, freedom and excellence who rule the world in some shape or form.
There's a movie causing a bit of a stir in America right now. It's about what happens when the personifications of reason, freedom and excellence go on strike. Fed up with being persecuted and despised while carrying the world on their shoulders, they disappear to a secret safe haven where those who spit upon them while living off the wealth they create cannot touch them.
The movie, of course, is Atlas Shrugged, the first of a three-part adaptation of Ayn Rand's novel of that name.
When the novel came out, 54 years ago, it was vehemently attacked by all and sundry. Conservatives attacked it because it attacked religion; liberals attacked it because it attacked socialism. Intellectuals attacked it because it exposed them as charlatans and shysters, no better than witch doctors and with even less excuse. Moralists of all stripes hated it because it taught that man is not a sacrificial animal and “the purpose of morality is to teach you not to suffer and die but to enjoy yourself and live.” Ayn Rand herself acknowledged, nay boasted, that she was challenging the cultural tradition of 2500 years. The extraordinary thing was, for all the unremitting hatred poured upon it by all branches of the Establishment, the novel became a run-away best-seller, cited in one famous survey as being the second-most influential book after the Bible.
Mark this, ladies and gentlemen: when it becomes the most influential book, and garbage like the Bible and the Koran, not forgetting Mein Kampf and the Communist Manifesto, is widely derided as the life-hating, freedom-denying, mindless, superstitious, derangement that it is, then the world will be able to become free, peaceful and prosperous ... enduringly.
Now, with what used to be able to call itself the free world disintegrating exactly as Rand portrayed, with an openly socialist slimeball in the White House whose economic czars and their relentless regulations are straight out of the novel, the movie version is evoking a similar response. The critics are falling over themselves to deliver the smart-assiest one-line put-down.
“Atlas Shrugged: Part 1 is nearly as stilted, didactic and simplistic as Rand's free-market fable,” says the Washington Post.
“This comically tasteless and flavorless adaptation of Ayn Rand's bombastic magnum opus delivers her simplistic nostrums with smug self-satisfaction,” says the New Yorker.
“Ayn Rand's monumental 1,168-page, 1957 novel gets the low-budget, no-talent treatment and sits there flapping on screen like a bludgeoned seal,” says Rolling Stone.
One thing I learned a long time ago: when critics unanimously hate a movie, it's almost certain to be very, very good.
The New York Post allows:
“Though a bit stiff in the joints and acted by an undistinguished cast amid TV-movie trappings, this low-budget adaptation of Ayn Rand's novel nevertheless contains a fire and a fury that makes it more compelling than the average mass-produced studio item.”
On my own website, SOLOPassion.com, philosophy professor Fred Seddon reports:
“Just saw the movie for the 3rd time. When I asked the ticket taker What was the most popular movie this weekend, he told me, ATLAS SHRUGGED. His theatre sold out at least one of the Saturday evening showings. The theatre I went to on Friday sold out 2 shows on Friday night. There was a round of applause at the end of the movie today. Go ATLAS.”
Atlas is "going." The novel is back in Amazon's overall Top 20: it's enjoyed an astonishing comeback since the disastrous election of the disgraceful Obamugabe in fact—and the film is striking a timely blow against all the evil bastards like him who want Big Government in your face, your pocket, your bedroom, your boardroom. It may be too late, but if there is to be any hope, this is it.
That's the Peritorial. Next, a clip from the movie, and you'll get to meet Ayn Rand herself.
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