The Dim-Post

October 16, 2016

A question of etiquette

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 6:19 pm

This afternoon I was out walking and I saw a young guy at a bus stop reading a copy of The Fountainhead. I was with my daughter and one of her friends, so couldn’t stop, but if I could have, what – if anything – should I have said to him?

Update: I’ve been thinking about The Fountainhead a little more, and Rand is supposed to be the arch-propagandist of capitalism, which Atlas Shrugged definitely is, but maybe The Fountainhead is quite anti-capitalist?

39 Comments »

  1. Public transport is for second handers and takers. Buy yourself a car.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — October 16, 2016 @ 6:24 pm

  2. I occurs to me that aspects of Rand’s view of relations between men and women are being played out right now in the US election.

    Comment by Bill Bennett — October 16, 2016 @ 6:42 pm

  3. Has there *ever* been a society based on Ayn Rand’s world view that hasn’t gone pear-shaped or deviated from its ideals? Galt’s Gulch in South America shows how easily it doesn’t work out.

    Comment by Kumara Republic (@kumararepublic) — October 16, 2016 @ 6:48 pm

  4. I’ve been thinking about The Fountainhead a little more, and Rand is supposed to be the arch-propagandist of capitalism, which Atlas Shrugged definitely is, but maybe The Fountainhead is quite anti-capitalist?

    I guess so – Howard Roark does blow up someone else’s property (the building he designed) because he thinks the owners’ changes to it (in order to meet market demand) so debase his original vision.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — October 16, 2016 @ 7:34 pm

  5. Probably the best thing you could have said to him is a question about how he was liking it so far. Or this: “Are you seeing any relevance to contemporary society?” If he seemed the thoughtful type, you could try “The capitalist as hero. Cool idea, huh?”

    Or you could come on like a college english teacher: “So what’s the primary theme of the book?”. If he seemed literary, you could go for “What is it about the Ayn Rand style that didn’t get her a Nobel Prize for literature?” But I like your assumption that he would have been worth talking too. Us kiwis need to foster our culture in less of the normal banal manner. Dunno about your second question – 40 years since I read both & a zillion other books since then dulls the memory, but I think Andrew answers it well.

    Comment by Dennis Frank — October 16, 2016 @ 7:54 pm

  6. I think the kind thing to do would have been to reassure him that he would grow out of it. Most people do.

    Comment by Deborah — October 16, 2016 @ 8:03 pm

  7. I’d buy him a beer if he was up to it. And exhort him to rejoice in his difference coz the Leftie majority will childishly tell him he’ll grow out of his thirst for knowledge and Truth and one day join the Borg. .. At ya Deborah 🙂

    Comment by Mark Hubbard (@MarkHubbard33) — October 16, 2016 @ 8:20 pm

  8. Is (3) on drugs? Serious question.

    Comment by Mark Hubbard (@MarkHubbard33) — October 16, 2016 @ 8:30 pm

  9. In response to #8, definitely not. And I have a serious question in addition: is #8 on Kool-Aid?

    Comment by Kumara Republic (@kumararepublic) — October 16, 2016 @ 9:08 pm

  10. Two bubblies. One straight wine. Brandy. All thanks to capitalism.

    Comment by Mark Hubbard (@MarkHubbard33) — October 16, 2016 @ 9:15 pm

  11. Mark H: only thing I’ve drunk today is coffee, which by and large is traded freely worldwide. And capitalism has never been a monolithic bloc. All Randroids think they’re capitalists, but not every capitalist is a Randroid.

    Comment by Kumara Republic (@kumararepublic) — October 16, 2016 @ 9:30 pm

  12. Why is it that soi-disant capitalists come across as self-promoting jerks?

    Comment by paritutu — October 16, 2016 @ 9:30 pm

  13. Oh I’m no Randoid. Left think in such straight lines. But Rand was one of best minds in 20th century. You’ll never see past the kumara patch to see that aye.

    Comment by Mark Hubbard (@MarkHubbard33) — October 16, 2016 @ 9:34 pm

  14. (12) you don’t need the hyphen mate. Great word use though.

    Comment by Mark Hubbard (@MarkHubbard33) — October 16, 2016 @ 9:38 pm

  15. And I’m more hippy than capitalist.

    Comment by Mark Hubbard (@MarkHubbard33) — October 16, 2016 @ 9:39 pm

  16. Hang on Kumara: free coffee? Where? Coz I’m in.

    Comment by Mark Hubbard (@MarkHubbard33) — October 16, 2016 @ 9:53 pm

  17. Mark: not that kind of free. I meant free as in few or no tariffs or quotas or subsidies.

    Comment by Kumara Republic (@kumararepublic) — October 16, 2016 @ 10:13 pm

  18. Actual capitalism. Brilliant. Can’t better it for consumers.

    Comment by Mark Hubbard (@MarkHubbard33) — October 16, 2016 @ 10:21 pm

  19. If you were sitting reading Fountainhead, which you must have done at some point, then what would you want a passer by to say to you?

    A.

    Comment by Antoine — October 17, 2016 @ 5:09 am

  20. you don’t need the hyphen mate.

    Technically you don’t “need” most punctuation. However, you do need hyphens in phrasal adjectives if writing correctly matters to you.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — October 17, 2016 @ 6:45 am

  21. …Ask if he was reading it in spite of his worldview. I know I did that reading the hideous Anthem.

    Ugh. That novella left such a bitter taste in my mouth I resolved never to read Rand again. And I originally planned to use it as a stepping stone to Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead

    Comment by Auto_immune — October 17, 2016 @ 8:41 am

  22. …what – if anything – should I have said to him?

    Would you have said anything to him if he was reading Time magazine, or the Dominion Post, or the latest Dan Brown novel?

    If the answer to that question is “no”, then I respectfully suggest you leave the guy in peace to read whatever he damn well pleases without being interrupted by some fucking busybody.

    Comment by Phil — October 17, 2016 @ 9:02 am

  23. I second #22, “- if anything -” is the money part of your question, if that’s not an excessively ironic way of putting it.

    Comment by Bill Forster — October 17, 2016 @ 10:21 am

  24. Plenty of people read things without agreeing with the author. What would you have said had he been reading DimPost?

    Comment by roy — October 17, 2016 @ 10:26 am

  25. You should have snatched the book out of his hand, thrown him to the curb and stamped on his face with your boots – forever!

    Comment by Exclamation Mark — October 17, 2016 @ 12:33 pm

  26. I hope you have been working hard to get her books removed from the university library.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — October 17, 2016 @ 1:36 pm

  27. Cut Danyl some slack. It is one of “those” books. I would have asked how are you finding it? It usually means something if someone is reading it – 5% chance they’re a junior member of Act working through their approved reading list, 95% they’re a left wing type trying to swot up on what the other side thinks, at least in my experience (particularly if they are waiting at bus stop – the junior Act person would be driving a 1990s BMW and wouldn’t be caught dead on public transport). About 90% of readers conclude literature as dogma doesn’t work out too well. My memory of it, one of the most wooden, tedious, unreal works I’ve ever plodded through, and it said as much about the righties who put it on a pedestal as the author or the times.

    Comment by Joe-90 — October 17, 2016 @ 1:55 pm

  28. what – if anything – should I have said to him?

    Asked if he liked Wham!

    Comment by NeilM — October 17, 2016 @ 4:14 pm

  29. …if I could have, what – if anything – should I have said to him?

    “Have you read the Unspeakable Secrets of the Aro Valley?”

    Comment by unaha-closp — October 17, 2016 @ 5:05 pm

  30. Generally reading this repulses even the most ardent Rand fanbois http://michaelprescott.freeservers.com/romancing-the-stone-cold.html

    Comment by Cliff Clavin — October 17, 2016 @ 6:15 pm

  31. Meanwhile, out in the real world of NZ, here’s Eric Crampton on Dangerous Cheeses:

    Biddy Fraser-Davies’ ongoing fight with the Ministry for Primary Industry again bubbled up into the media spotlight. She makes award-winning small-batch raw-milk cheeses in Eketahuna. Radio New Zealand reports that, last year, at least half of the $40,000 her four cows’ cheese earned went to cover the State’s regulatory fees.

    She says, “It works out that the raw cheese testing cost for me is $260 per kilo, which doesn’t include the ancillary costs of actually making the cheese.”

    I was surprised that MPI still hounds Biddy. The 2014 Food Act was supposed to scale regulatory burdens to the risk imposed, but that doesn’t seem to have affected cheeses under the Animal Products Act. Biddy has to submit samples for expensive testing from ten consecutive tiny batches. She has four cows.

    Perhaps some one should send a copy of Atlas Shrugged to Biddy. She’d recognise that world in a heartbeat.

    Comment by Tom Hunter — October 18, 2016 @ 9:28 am

  32. Classic, Tom. Leftist parasites in government departments sucking the economic life-blood out of entrepreneurs whenever they can get away with it. The right operate corporations as parasites, so their sucking is more effective, of course. Still, if we can ever get the political left/right to abandon such immoral behaviour, our economy would become way more efficient.

    Comment by Dennis Frank — October 18, 2016 @ 10:33 am

  33. As John Rogers puts it: There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.

    Comment by Trouble Man — October 18, 2016 @ 11:35 am

  34. Leftist parasites in government departments sucking the economic life-blood out of entrepreneurs whenever they can get away with it….

    Oh do grow up.

    Comment by paritutu — October 18, 2016 @ 12:58 pm

  35. Did that almost half a century ago Paritutu. When you make that transition yourself you’ll find that denial isn’t as comfortable a psychological refuge as you thought. Reality tends to intrude down into that comfortable burrow on a regular basis. Try to find ways to justify that behaviour of our leftist bureaucrats, next time you climb that local rock…

    Comment by Dennis Frank — October 18, 2016 @ 1:22 pm

  36. Did that almost half a century ago Paritutu.

    And as Sophocles said, “A man growing old becomes a child again.”

    Comment by Flashing Light — October 18, 2016 @ 2:52 pm

  37. You should have reported him to the thought police you repugnant little left wing coward.

    Comment by Redbaiter — October 21, 2016 @ 8:32 am

  38. Hehe go team Red

    A.

    Comment by Antoine — October 21, 2016 @ 1:17 pm

  39. I’m with Frank #5- encourage him for reading! Then ask those questions – most people who read it can’t shut up for the next few years so the conversation ought be easy!

    Comment by Sittingbull — October 21, 2016 @ 6:43 pm


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