Sunday, June 21, 2015

Flannery O'Connor vs. Ayn Rand, and more

  • Academician and old friend John Treat on what's wrong with libertarianism (but, being open-minded, I've learned much from it: I'm a live-and-let-live Ron Paulian who's consistently voted LP since '04; first did in '92 — socially conservative MYOB, not the libertarians' sassing of all authority), or to be more accurate, Randianism (Objectivism; Ayn Rand didn't like many people, including libertarians); "if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem." Flannery O'Connor used the abnormal and parochial as a mirror for what she saw as the shallowness of modernity. Ayn Rand idealized modernity and rootlessness. Rand's books are full of a Russian Jew's charming wonder at the marvel of golden-era industrial America, but part of their problem besides Rand's philosophy is the message came first, the art second, which makes them excruciating to read. I've tried.
  • "Safe spaces" for Benedict-optioners. Rod Dreher's dangerous because he's persuasive, but once you've figured him out (as someone has done for me) you can refute him calmly and briefly, not cruelly: his strategy is one of surrender for conservative Christians (he's a false friend to them); fitting that perfectly, his Christianity is schismatic; and like us all, the man has faults; he's a little conceited.
  • U.S.: Already long gone, Eastern puma declared extinct. I wonder why it was listed as endangered in '73 when it went extinct in the '30s. Still hoping for survivors, I guess. Good point about keeping the deer population down. Bambi, my foot. Kitty's gotta eat.
  • Basics: Why liturgy? From a Lutheran pastor.
  • Humour about Canada. (As our northern neighbours spell it.) Old. In short, it's very cold and they're Americans too but underneath it they're really British.
  • Photo: '60 Impala, Vineland, NJ.


  1. Funny I was just thinking of Rand today because of a Facebook post of a friend of mine who draws much inspiration from her damn near unreadable tomes...

    I feel like her "magic" only works among those not inoculated against poorly written pedagogical allegory. That is to say most any kid who grew up watching Vegetales or reading "Left Behind" type books will have already grown too sophisticated to become too ensnared in the flat unreadable prose of this bitter Russian emigre.

  2. It's easy to remember the name of Ayn Rand's particular philosophy. I mean, she objected strenuously to everything else.

    Supposedly Rand detested Murray Rothbard -- Ron Paul's muse -- even though they pretty much agreed on everything. Her problem was that Libertarianism didn't go far enough. I tend to think of her as a totalitarian libertarian and she is too dead to object to that. You only get her laissez faire ice-cream after you choke down her philosophical broccoli.


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