Harry's Randsday

gregster's picture
Submitted by gregster on Tue, 2012-01-31 20:07

Last week from Harry Binswanger's list:

"It's one week to Randsday: February 2nd, her birthday. Back by popular demand is my post on this from last year."

“Randsday” comes smoothly off the tongue. It's pronounced like “Wednesday.” I considered “Aynsday,” but decided it's too familiar, small-scale, almost homey. “Randsday” strikes a grander chord. (“Randday,” on the other hand, would convert her into an impersonal abstraction. And it risks being slurred into “Randy.”)

The meaning of Randsday is selfishness. To celebrate Randsday, you do something not done on any other holiday: you give yourself a present. Randsday is for getting that longed-for luxury that you ordinarily would not buy for yourself. Or for doing that long-postponed, self-pampering activity you cannot seem to fit into your chore-packed schedule.

(For this Randsday, I've bought myself a 256 Gigabyte solid state drive (SSD), a much faster replacement for my Mac's hard drive. As I type this, I'm cloning my hard drive onto it, in preparation for installing it inside the laptop.)

Randsday is for reminding ourselves that pleasure is an actual need, a psychological requirement for a volitional consciousness. For man, motivation, energy, enthusiasm are not givens. Pathological depression is not only possible but rampant in our duty-preaching, self-denigrating culture. The alternative is not short-range, superficial “fun,” but real, self-rewarding pleasure. On Randsday, if you do something that you ordinarily would think of as “fun,” you do it on a different premise and with a deeper meaning: that you need pleasure, you are entitled to it, and that the purpose and justification of your existence is: getting what you want—what you really want, with full consciousness and dedication.

In The Fountainhead, Peter Keating comes to realize this:

Katie, I wanted to marry you. It was the only thing I ever really wanted. And that's the sin that can't be forgiven—that I hadn't done what I wanted. It feels so dirty and pointless and monstrous, as one feels about insanity, because there's no sense to it, no dignity, nothing but pain—and wasted pain. . . . Katie, why do they always teach us that it's easy and evil to do what we want and that we need discipline to restrain ourselves? It's the hardest thing in the world-to do what we want. And it takes the greatest kind of courage. I mean, what we really want. As I wanted to marry you. Not as I want to sleep with some woman or get drunk or get my name in the papers. Those things-they're not even desires- they're things people do to escape from desires- because it's such a big responsibility, really to want something. [pp. 599-600]

Randsday is the time to challenge any duty-premise, re-affirm your love of your values, and honor the principle that joy in living is an end in itself.

Have a selfish Randsday!

"You can help Randsday go viral, by using all and any social media or whatnot to publicize this link. (The text there is a little altered from my post, to make it objective for the general public.)"

That is awesomee

Jules Troy's picture

Smiling you could roast a whole pig in that thingggggg...ok he wins im hungry.  Eye

Randsday's good

gregster's picture

Either is OK. It's the thought that counts. And that is to pointedly invert conventional ideas of giving being better than receiving. An easy way to demonstrate rational ethics.

I prefer Aynsday...

Marcus's picture

Even if it were falsely pronounced "Annsday" it still would require an explanation, which is good.

Unfortunately Rand is the name of the South African currency, and an abbreviation for random in the maths and IT world. And then there is an association with Rand Paul.

Ayn will conjure images of the "Iron Lady", "Iron Duke" or even "Iron Man" - which is no bad thing.

Happy Aynsday!

Having a lot of fun with it

Mark Hubbard's picture

Having a lot of fun with it too ... pity I didn't have more time.

Achievement Award

gregster's picture

It would be hard to beat the example set by Mark here. The first-in-the-country luxury mobile multi-cooker. Good stuff. Crown

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