Peritorial 7: Atlas Shrugged Special

Lindsay Perigo's picture
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,, 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.

Has anyone seen these?

Marcus's picture

Love Letters is a 1945 film adapted by Ayn Rand from the novel Pity My Simplicity. The movie was nominated for several Academy Awards.

You Came Along is a 1945 romance film set in World War II with a screenplay by Ayn Rand.

Another one ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Dear Mr. Perigo,

I spent the past 30 minutes in a state of inspiration and solace while viewing your Atlas Shrugged Special. I am writing you from Virginia, Thomas Jefferson's backyard, and I want to send you a resounding "Well Done!" You had one of the most lacing and impressive introductions of Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged that I have ever heard. It is clear that you understand the premises of her philosophy. And I also appreciated your controversial assertions. Let us face it: they have to be announced! Coupled with the Mike Wallace interview and Rachmaninoff's 2nd concerto, again, it was one of the best specials I have ever seen.

I am hoping you come to see the movie soon. Last I heard, it will be released on dvd sometime in November. I have seen it three times and, for a shoe-string budget, it is quite compelling and suspenseful (despite much backstory being left out and not to mention the overall intricacy and complexity of the themes-- which can't be totally conveyed in an hour-and-a-half film).

Again, let me acknowledge your creative achievement by sharing you this praise.


I just love it...

Olivia's picture

when people take the time to write us letters like that. So good to know we reach people and they love it.

Another nice note ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Dear Lindsay

Congratulations on your long overdue return to television. I have thoroughly enjoyed all 8 shows so far, I have just finished watching the Atlas Shrugged special on U-tube as I had missed it on TV. I especially enjoyed round two with Don Brash last week. The show got me thinking, with your discussions pertaining to John Banks, how it is actually Mr. Banks that I have to thank for my desire to tune in to your show at all.

It was many years ago that, newly married, and having bought our first house, my wife and I would listen to the radio while renovating our house in the weekends. I had never really been a fan of talkback radio, as I considered it the domain of whiners and moaners who would complain that the guvamint wasn't doing enough for them. However I was tempted to tune in as John Banks had a show that had been getting a bit of press and I wanted to find out what all the fuss was about.

Of course, If I remember correctly, your show followed, and from the first time I heard you I was hooked. I tuned in every Sunday from then on. You started me on a journey that has enriched my life with the discovery of Ayn Rand and objectivism and all that that entails.

It is great to have you back on TV, friends and family all agree that it is a breath of fresh air to witness a skilled interviewer that asks well thought out and pertinent questions and then actually allows the interviewee to respond!

I am sure that there are people out there right now, who are beginning a journey like I did because of this show.

Again, congratulations to you and Olivia for a job well done.

Symphony of Triumph!

Marcus's picture


You managed to get Ayn Rand on NZ TV, probably for the first time in history!

One thing I would like to suggest for the future - I know that you're limited by time.

Could you please apply her philosophy to the current situation, i.e. there is a popular tendency these days to say the current recession was due to a failure of capitalism led by the banking system.

This segues nicely with Rand's comment that depressions are always caused by the Government.

Great stuff, Linz!

By the way, what happened to the beard??!!! Smiling

Edit: By the way on Breakfeast news this morning they had the Chinese pianist called Lang Lang playing Hungarian Rhapsody no 6. Breathtaking. This is not the clip, but a similar performance.

Fan mail :-)

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Got this just now on Faecesbook from a fellow in Montana. This is the kind of response, as the cliche has it, that makes it all worthwhile:

I just watched your Atlas Shrugged Special (on YouTube); an excellent piece, thank you for putting it together. I hadn't heard of you before (perhaps I should apologize!) but I'm interested in watching more of your videos now... My interest in Atlas Shrugged stems from my own love of the book and the basic philosophy of Ayn Rand... I discovered her work about 15 years ago. I haven't yet seen the movie; [X] is a small city and it hasn't screened here, but of course I'll be able to obtain the DVD. By the way, as a story, I suppose I give The Fountainhead the status of "first love" over Atlas Shrugged (though I recognize the overriding importance of Atlas); I don't believe the film version was very good (very much disliked Gary Cooper in the role of Howard Roark) and would still love to see a wonderful new film version.

As a side note, New Zealand is one of a handful of countries that I would love to visit one day ...

Thank you again. It's nice to become aware of someone new and interesting who "gets it" and is able to communicate that which I believe to be our shared outlook so well.

This is for me

Wayne Nicholls's picture

This is for me.

I endorse totally your comments and you can be very proud of what you have achieved. The future is still very uncertain and I still think that Ayn Rand’s essay

“It is Earlier Than You Think” is still very relevant.

What she has given us all is an intense sense of personal worth .

I am confident about this universe of mine.

"...It was a symphony of

Newberry's picture

"...It was a symphony of triumph. The notes flowed up, they spoke of rising and they were the rising itself, they were the essence and the form of upward motion, they seemed to embody every human act and thought that had ascent as its motive. It was a sunburst of sound, breaking out of hiding and spreading open. It had the freedom of release and the tension of purpose. It swept space clean, and left nothing but the joy of an unobstructed effort. Only a faint echo within the sounds spoke of that from which the music had escaped, but spoke in laughing astonishment at the discovery that there was no ugliness or pain, and there never had had to be. It was the song of an immense deliverance."

Is this the passage? (The internet connection is insanely slow at the moment.) I look forward to seeing it.

In 1990 at an exhibition of my major works in Los Angeles, in front of about 400 people, Houlihan Burke read those words, prefacing Transcendental Rhapsody for piano by Don Edick. Houlihan spoke smolderingly slow with intelligence and style. The piece by Don, was something like a 20th Century Chopin, complex, lyric, beautiful and dramatic. It was quite an evening. Both of them are no longer here, one to cancer the other to aids - a terrible loss of two wonderful human beings.


This is it, for me ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I now don't care if I die tomorrow: I've paid my highest tribute to my highest values. The Rach at the end, over which I recite Rand's words about the Halley concerto—all of which I get that very few will appreciate—is the clincher. This is SOLO exemplified. It is Perigo! exemplified. I couldn't be prouder.

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