The other day I decided to begin rereading The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand. This has to be one of my all time favorite books. Ayn Rand, as a person, mystifies me. Although I am no expert, her philosophy, Objectivism, is both highly reasonable and completely ludicrous. However, regardless of her ideology, this book is an absolute masterpiece.
While I have a great deal of admiration for Howard Roark, our hero, I find myself wondering how horrible it would be to be the kind of person that he is. I like being a person rules by emotion and instinct. I think it would be a cold, albeit noble, existence to exist solely for self-satisfaction and pursue that with rigorous logic. As someone said to him, while trying to add some columns to his building (funniest movie scene ever by the way), “in practical life, one can’t always be so flawlessly consistent. There is always the incalculable human element of emotion. We can’t fight that with cold logic”. Nor would most of us want to.
The other facet of Objectivism that I really have a hard time grasping is the idea that all in life should contribute to making the self as happy as possible, which is fine, but that in doing so all altruistic actions are seen as detrimental to the pursuit of happiness for the self. Maybe I am one of the few that get personal satisfaction helping others, but I don’t think I am by any means alone in this. I think altruism is something many people hold dear. However, since she also says there is no place for faith in a true Objectivists life, then maybe she would find more people open to this idea. Then again, I’m not big on faith but I sure am big on altruism. The whole Capitalist thing in Objectivism is also something that makes a lot of sense to me but also something that I can’t totally buy into. But it is to a lesser extent than the others so it isn’t as important to mention.
In fact, I think I lack a lot of necessary qualities to be a true Objectivist. Not that I really want to be, but I think it is interesting that I can look at a philosophy and see so much in it that I admire and yet want nothing to do with it. I do, however want to be like Howard Roark. This presents quite a problem for me because he is a character based on the Objectivist ideal. He has incredibly strong convictions and a sense of purity about him and his passions. He cannot compromise on his work because he loves it and it is an integral part of him. He exists to create and build that which is most important to him. He would rather toil endlessly an a job where his talents aren’t used at all then to compromise his integrity and do a job in a way that compromises his true love for his creations. I find this all incredibly beautiful.
I also find it incredibly depressing. I wonder how many people of conviction with a true passion for their work have decided to stop because I wasn’t well received. How often is a true genius overlooked by the establishment and resigned to their insignificant fate, unable to create what they know they can and unable to compromise to create anything less than ideal? Such immense tragedy lies in that thought. Sadly, much art needs to be commissioned. Much writing can’t be written because no one will publish it. How many times do we hear about great works of all genres that were almost never made, published, painted, etc. because of financial problems? Far too many. I hope we can find some of those pieces. I hope we find them in their purest and unadulterated states. I hope that they come to mean something to someone. That is the true purpose of art.
Then again, maybe we should be mourning the pieces that were compromised for the sake of being put in front of the public eye? Should we look at everything we are fed and wonder if it is the creator’s intention that it come cross that way. I guess it leaves us realizing we have to create for ourselves. I think that, in a way, is what blogs, podcasts, youtube videos, etc. have become. It’s a place for us to speak out, uncensored, about what we feel is important. It’s a place where anyone and everyone can create their ideals and share them with the world. I think Ayn Rand would have been proud of bloggers, well some of them at any rate. Which is kind of disturbing to me.
1. What happened to/ The world we knew/ When we were dreaming, scheming/ Whiling the time away.
2. Megan/ She don’t eat bacon/ She never killed a sweet innocent little piggy to get bacon.
3. Fuck the police/ coming straight from the underground/ a young nigga got it bad cause I’m brown/ and not the other color/ so police think/ they have the authority to kill a minority. Fuck THa Police, NWA. Identified by Johnny Yen
4. Something’s wrong cause my mind is fading/ and everywhere I look there’s a dead end waiting/ Temperatures dropping at the rotten oasis/ stealing kisses from the leprous faces. Devil's Haircut, Beck. Identified by Monica
5. Little salamander/ Where did you go/ Edge of the yard/ I found you, you know/ All brown and hard.