Media

Two Thumbs Up for Atlas Shrugged

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[Above: Reason.tv goes on the set of Atlas Shrugged Part 1]

Over at Hot Air, Ed Morrissey gives a rave review to the film of Atlas Shrugged Part 1, writing:

I have to admit that I didn't hold out high expectations for the film.  The book was a smashing exercise in philosophical, economic, and political study — absolutely brilliant.  As entertainment, however, the novel has its problems, and even the most determined reader can find getting through the book's massive size a daunting and patience-testing task.  I read Atlas Shrugged twenty-five years ago, and while I appreciated its brilliance, I have had little desire to revisit it since.

So it's fair to say that I prepared myself for a difficult slog, but to my surprise, Atlas Shrugged Part I turned into an intriguing, stylish film that did not water down the Randian message in the least.   In fact, the film format seems to free the characters in some sense from the limitations of Rand's prose and give more clarity and purpose to the story, while keeping its message firmly at the film's center….

The best word to describe Atlas Shrugged Part 1 is … surprising.  It's surprisingly well-paced, surprisingly intelligent, surprisingly well-acted, and surprisingly entertaining.  Perhaps most surprising of all, it has me thinking about re-reading the novel again.  I would highly recommend it to friends and their families.

Whole thing here.

Columnist Ron Hart calls it a "must-see" movie, writing:

The trajectory of this country over the past six years has been troubling to those of us who understand the power of individual freedoms. Encroachments on individual and corporate liberties, such as making us buy health insurance while exempting favored unions, go almost unnoticed by the average person. That is why the debut of the movie "Atlas Shrugged" is so important….

We Libertarians have been against these wars and about the only thing Obama campaigned on that we liked was his promise to end them. He has done just the opposite. In fact he added a war by bombing Libya, on the eighth anniversary of the Iraq War. He should have paid attention; you don't get another war for a war on its birthday when it already has two. When our government shut down was looming, he spent billions to bomb Libya. Gadhafi's regime is still operating and ours was about shut down.

It seems our politician's convoluted logic goes: America uses 28 percent of the world's oil supply but only invades 10 percent of the mid-eastern oil producing countries. We need to invade more.

See the movie "Atlas Shrugged." If not, pay attention to Washington, D.C., as we seem to be living this great novel currently.

Whole thing here.

Read Reason's voluminous coverage of Rand and the movie here.

Here's a Reason.tv Ayn Rand video playlist, which starts with Atlas Shrugged's makers and Reason's Brian Doherty answering the question, "Who is John Galt?"

NEXT: Sunday Morning Nut-Punch

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  1. Did anybody though actually see it?

    1. My wife and I saw it this afternoon in Santa Ana. I didn’t expect much. However, I was actually quite surprised. The acting was pretty decent, and the production values were better than I expected. Some of the lines were funny, and deftly showed the absurdity of the Statist mentality. I was entertained. My wife liked it as well, and we had a lively discussion on the way home. I would give it a letter grade of “B”. Not too bad for $10 million!

      1. Just wanted to clarify that I do NOT worship at the altar of Rand, but I am a Libertarian. Also, I stayed until the end of the credits to see if they used union crew. Yep, they sure did! I thought it was funny…

    2. They said it couldn’t be done, and they were right. Simply dreadful. Bored actors going through their paces, Dragnet-style, whole chunks of critical storyline missing, disconnected scenes where a plot should be, all adding up to nothing. And worse, a scandalously misdirected female lead who who should have been the glue holding the project together but succeeding only in demonstrating her (and her director’s and screenwriter’s) utter incompetence, if not cluelessness. To anyone reading this who hasn’t yet read the novel, do yourself a favor and forgo this mess of a movie. Buy the book.

      1. Agree that in places it was paced a tad too quick and pieces of story (that will be critical in parts II and III) were left out. Film needed about another 20 minutes worth of material to make it work right.

        And I also agree that Taylor Schilling did an awful job of acting in this one. Out of the entire cast, I thought she was the worst. The part of Rearden was played well (and could have been better opposite a more adept Dagny). Francisco was okay. Ellis Wyatt was well cast, as was Wesley Mouch. The actor playing Paul looked like he’d have been more apt playing Hank’s brother Phillip.

        But other than some missing chunks of plot and the bad acting of Dagny, I thought it was okay.

  2. Morissey said he liked the book, placing him in the nutty fringe of the libertarian taffy apple, and Hart doesn’t even mention anything about the film other than the ideology upon which it’s based…so neither of these is convincing me to plunk down Mr. Lincoln for a matinee.

    1. Morissey (the blogger not the singer) is far more of a social conservative than a libertarian. He’s also deeply religious. So, he’s not your typical Randian fan boy.

      1. From his article:

        The book was a smashing exercise in philosophical, economic, and political study ? absolutely brilliant.

        Hence my beef.

        1. …with people who are craxy enough to actually follow an integrated view of the world centered on reason and liberty.

          1. It ain’t centered on reason. Reason tells you nothing without assumptions.

            1. Rand has three axioms, and if you dispute any one of them, it no longer matters if we argue, because the truth becomes whatever the fuck I say it is.

              That’s pretty much the beauty of the axioms she chose.

              You can say that what she did with the axioms isn’t correct [in which case I would appreciate detail] but if any one of the axioms she chose is rejected, than there can never be any truth or falsehood so it doesn’t matter anyway.

              1. She claims to use only those axioms, but along the way from that meager starting point to the full body of Objectivism she throws in plenty of stuff not justified on the basis of those axioms. Such as the foundational assertion of egoism, that humans should act purely in their own self-interest. Sorry, you don’t get there from “A is A”.

                1. “Such as the foundational assertion of egoism, that humans should act purely in their own self-interest. Sorry, you don’t get there from ‘A is A’.”

                  Sure you do. Of course the purpose of your life is to live your life and of course you get there from the law of identity(a thing is itself and acts according to its own nature). The mystery is how everyone else arrives at the conclusion that the goals and values of just about anyone who isn’t yourself should be the purpose of your life, at least, that is what you are supposed to tell people any time you are asked to give a reason for something you do. “It’s for others, not myself, so it’s okay”

            2. Reason is our tool to understand the world. Assumptions?

              1. Assumptions?

                Postulates or axioms. Irreducible primaries whose validity can not be questioned without first assuming their validity.

      2. When are you guys gonna accept that there is a lot of overlap these days. Rand appeals to the Christian conservative’s sense of exclusion, superiority, and selfishness. Like Jesus taught.

        1. Rand appeals to the Christian conservative’s sense of exclusion, superiority, and selfishness. Like Jesus taught.

          Tony appears to have only a passing familiarity with the Bible. There’s a hell of a lot in there, including words from Christ hissownself, that highlight those things as an inherent part of the Christian philosophy.

          Leftists have a fetish for portraying Jesus as a No-Standards-Holding Hippy, but anyone who’s actually read the Bible knows otherwise.

          1. Yeah. No hippie would beat the asses of moneychangers and destroy their property. Sounds more like a union thug to me.

            1. To be fair, he also said that he had come to set family members against each other, so perhaps he was more of a Progressive than I give him credit for.

    2. What Colin said. He’s no libertarian or objectivist.

  3. I enjoyed it. Went with a group of libertarians to catch the opening day showing at the lone screen in Hawaii showing it, and afterwards a dozen or so of us had dessert together. We went round the table giving our comments and rating the movie from 1 to 10, and the ratings ran from 7 to 9.5.

    I LOL’d in numerous places during the film — who knew Atlas Shrugged could be so funny?

    Tulpa and Epi — I think you’re missing out not seeing it.

    1. If you say so, dude, then I will check it out.

      1. You said earlier the movie had questionable cinematography. I don’t think that was the case. I just got back from it and my only beef was the dialogue could have used some better styling, but then again, the same could be said of the book. I give it a good, solid, 7 and a half.

        1. I wouldn’t say that the cinematography was questionable, but rather that they did a pretty good job given the budget constraints for a $10M filming budget, plus the extremely tight deadline for getting it made — no fancy special effects or big-name actors, but much better results than I was expecting given those constraints.

          I was torn between giving it an 8 and a 9, because I loved the story but the production values for that budget weren’t blockbuster quality — finally gave it an 8 as we were going around the table each giving our rating.

          1. they did a pretty good job given the budget constraints for a $10M filming budget, plus the extremely tight deadline for getting it made

            Yes we’re all about excuses.

            1. LOL, Howie. The guy had what, ten years to make the film? Every deadline is tight for procrastinators.

        2. I’d give it a solid B-plus.

        3. Superb!

          1. Delightful.

    2. Fanboy.

  4. Mrs. Hobbit and I saw it yesterday.

    2PM showing in Albuquerque, theater was about 25% full.

    The movie was MUCH better than I had anticipated. I realize that it had to be an adaptation and that much of the meat of the book would have to be discarded (Tom Bombadil, anyone?) but I thought that they did well with what they had.

    I’m re-reading the book and I’m glad that I made it thru part one before seeing the flick. Mrs. Hobbit never read the book and was still able to follow along.

    I really only found two faults:

    I thought that the actress playing Dagny was a bit wooden but the Mrs. thought that she had to play it that way because of her character.

    Second, the first run of the John Galt line was in July, right? How come all of the trees were in fall colors?

    *** out of ****

    … Hobbit

    1. Sorry, I was happy that Jackson left out Bombadil. I never thought he was a worthwhile character – even in a novel, where digressions are more easily tolerated.

      In a film, he would have been a big negative, distracting from the narrative and the main characters.

      1. I don’t see how you could have put Bambadill in the movie. Unless you are a Tolkien geek and have read the Silmarilian you have no idea just what the hell he is or why he seems so unconcerned about Mordor and the Ring. In the movie it would have been one long WTF moment.

        1. A big lipped alligator moment!

          1. Don’t get John started on Liv Tyler.

          2. Damn it no. TVTropes will ruin their lives.

        2. On a related note, Jackson has posted the first production diary of The Hobbit. Pretty interesting to watch, hope there’s a lot more of these.

          http://www.facebook.com/video/…..&comments;

        3. Agreed. I thought cutting out the whole “Saruman taking over the shire” bit at the end was a good idea as well, as by that point in time the climax had already occurred and it was time for the book/movie to end.

          I don’t even like the special editions that much, as I thought almost all the scenes that were cut were cut with good reason.

          1. Right, even knowing the reasons why it existed in the book (evil’s never vanquished, etc.). The liberties Jackson took with the film were all perfectly fine, IMO, and I’m a pretty big Tolkien geek. Who has read The Silmarillion. And can read/write in Quenya. A faithful rendering of even the least cinema-worthy elements of a book is a waste of the talents of directors, editors, screenwriters, etc.

            1. My problem wasn’t so much with the stuff they left out but with the stuff they put in, like Aragorn’s story between his “tumble over the cliff” and reaching Helm’s Deep, and everything with Arwen in that film. I mean, if you’re going to just “poof” Saruman with no explanation in the theatrical version of ROTK due to “pacing” concerns, what the heck is all that crud doing in the middle of TTT?

              I also didn’t like the complete character change of Faramir but grew to accept why they felt it necessary.

          2. While some of the EE extras are either goofy comic relief (Lego/Gimli drinking contest in ROTK) or fanboi buttkissing (Treebeard rescuing Merry&Pippin; from the angry tree roots), most of it was OK for DVD viewing, where you can take a break whenever you want. In particular the extra Boromir scenes in FOTR and TTT really fill in his backstory and that of his family. Denethor, for instance, comes across as a raving lunatic in the theatrical version, while in the book he was far more complex (and far more applicable to those in power), so the TTT extras showing him before his mind was overthrown helps to flesh that out a bit. Also, the reasons for the beef that the Steward line has with the absentee royal line of Gondor come across more clearly in Boromir’s extended FOTR scene.

            1. It appeared in the theatrical version that both Aragorn and Faramir needed to be taken down a peg from the noble natures as described in the books. Aragorn’s useless and probably futile fight against the evil of the world, and Faramir’s nobility of spirit, in freeing Frodo, Sam, and Gollum when he had the ring in his power, exemplified the difference between the heroes, who were filled with idealistic hope while being unafraid to judge others by their standards, and the very practical villains in the story, who allowed events and pride to suborn their choices.

              I suppose such nobility of spirit would be even more incomprehensible to modern audiences than Bombadill’s frenzied prose.

      2. Fuck that shit. Bombadil and the scouring of the shire are absolutely key, though I can understand their omission. Middle Earth is all about the depth of time and the real connections of characters to the mythical past. I’m not sure how it could have been done in the film, but you really can’t understand the Elf characters without understanding what it means that most of them really have been around since the first age.
        My take on LOTR movie is that they were visually just about perfect, but all of the plot changes and rearrangements add nothing and just seem weird to me as someone who knows the books well. For example, why put the back story exposition at the beginning with an unnamed narrator rather than leaving all of that in Elrond’s council? It just makes the story too big too fast.

        1. For example, why put the back story exposition at the beginning with an unnamed narrator rather than leaving all of that in Elrond’s council? It just makes the story too big too fast.

          Gotta suck in the audience with the allure of the larger-than-life story. Otherwise it would be an hour of hairy midgets eating pies before any action happens.

          Actually I’d say that is something FOTR does not do well. I know several people who had that book assigned to them and remember them telling me how much they hated it when it was about a third done. They thought it was unbelievably boring. Jackson guards against that by having elves and men in shiny armor stabbing orcs with klingon sword things in the first half minute of the movie.

    2. I thought the Dagny character was supposed to be a bit wooden and uptight, one of those driven women who have to be in control to make it in a man’s world and so they can’t easily relax and let their hair down, and so the acting was deliberate and true to the novel.

      Or maybe the acting was off — dunno, her character worked fine for me. I really enjoyed the work of the actor playing Rearden.

      1. I Wikipedia it and the actor who played Rearden was New Zealander Grant Bowler, who prior to this was perhaps best known for a brief stint on Lost.

        1. He was CAPTAIN GAULT on the freighter in Lost (!)

      2. Perhaps wooden, but I don’t think Schilling portrayed Dagny very well. She came off as a prom queen trying to act like a tough business woman. In Part I, Dagny didn’t really perceive the Washington looters as a major threat, only an annoyance. Her talk with Jim when she was talking about starting the John Galt line she’s taking this “in your face” attitude. But Dagny had the character that Jim would have perceived the ultimatum without her having to do so. Throughout the book it specifically mentions Dagny having a blank expression. Schilling was making so many faces it was like she was working in a silent film. She acted like she thought Jim was a threat. Dagny (especially in Part I) was dismissive of Jim. She viewed his Washington friends as just a distracting hobby that he was chasing and didn’t care one whit about it. But Schilling came across as almost being afraid of them. THAT isn’t Dagny.

  5. Andrew Stuttford over at National Review says says that it’s “so-so, but basically enjoyable so-so.” Megan McArdle says ”Atlas Winced.” Think I’ll wait for the DVD.

    1. Even McMegan couldn’t give it a soft review? Wow.

      1. I don’t like you.

        1. I know him too well and he’s usually unpleasant.

          1. I agree that he’s hard to like, but let’s try to be polite.

            1. Well, I think he’s kinda hawt.

    2. I wouldn’t be surprised if McArdle was ashamed of her previous alter-ego at this point. The last thing she probably wants to remind her Atlantic readers is she once went by Jane Galt.

  6. The rap on Rand has also been that her characters were paper cut outs rather than real. But increasingly it is the real characters who look like paper cut outs and the fictional ones more like fantasies. There is an old canard about how documentaries can be better than fictional films because real people act in ways that if you their actions into a screen play no one would ever believe them. The last few years seem to have bourne this out in reverse. We have real characters like Barney Frank and Chuck Schumer who act just like someone out of Atlas Shrugged. Rand’s characters only appear to be card board cutouts because they are too realistic.

    1. …as Barack H Obama.

    2. To put it another way, if I were to write a novel that contained characters as cartoonish and as big of buffoons as Frank, Dodd and Schumer are in real life, people would accuse me of creating card board characteratures rather than real characters. Rand’s problem is that her characters are too real and her vision too prescent.

        1. Thank you. And I say that as someone who is not an objectivist or a particularly big fan of the book. But the facts are what they are.

          1. “Facts” is a pretty strong word when used to describe such a subjective thing as a work of art or literature.

          2. You’re in trouble if you think that the purpose of art is to describe life as it currently is. IOW If you think that the statue David was presented to show what males look like naked, you haven’t the foggiest clue.

            1. That wasn’t his point, at all.

              1. Oops

      1. I think the difference between the villains in Atlas and real-life villains like Obama or Schumer is that the Atlas villains are straightforward about their malign goals, while the real-life characters dissemble and try to spin things to make it seem like they have good intentions.

        Basically, in Atlas the words of the real-life villains are bluntly translated without subterfuge so the people reading know what exactly the hell they are up to and recognize them for the heavies they are.

        1. Yes, but the danger there is that people don’t recognize the less blatant villainy.

        2. Basically, in Atlas the words of the real-life villains are bluntly translated without subterfuge

          I disagree. There are a few outright thugs who show up later in the novel like Cuffy Meigs, but in the earlier parts they all chatter ceaselessly about how they just want to help people, their intentions are good, the need to be flexible and pragmatic (read: unprincipled) in times of national emergency, etc. These things only sound villainous to someone steeped in Rand’s philosophy.

          Jim Taggart, in particular, doesn’t figure out what an unredeemable asshole he is until the second-to-last scene of the book.

        3. Do you really think that Obama and Schumer have bad intentions? Think Barack Obama is frittering away his presidency with a deliberately evil plan to make people worse off? I don’t even say that about Cheney–a fiction villain in contemporary real life if there ever was one.

          Assuming evil on the part of your opponents gives you away as the true cardboard cutout dogmatist.

          1. Viewing Obama’s actions so far, what evidence do you have to the contrary — every day I am more amazed at the destructive policies he adopts. I don’t think he has an inner compass guiding him. He seems to be controlled by his handlers and events which tear him one way and another each day — Obama is the perfect Mr Thompson with an engaging smile.

            1. You don’t have to like his policies. I don’t like yours. I’m not attributing my disagreement to your being evil.

            2. You don’t have to like his policies. I don’t like yours. I’m not attributing my disagreement to your being evil.

              1. Except you know, you’re for stealing people’s hard earned money, and we are not. You are a slaver, and slavers are in fact evil.

                1. I’m not for stealing anyone’s hard-earned money either. I’m for taxing excess income and wealth, which is not the same thing as either stealing, or hard-earned.

                  1. I saw Tony’s lips moves and sound emanate, but heard nothing.

                  2. Keep on rationalizing that, Tony. And thanks for giving a great example of bad intentions rationalized so you can feel good about yourself.

                  3. …excess income and wealth…

                    You sound just like a character from the book. No wonder you don’t like it.

                    If you have money for a computer and internet connection while others are hungry, isn’t that because you have excess income or wealth?

                  4. Their intentions are bad. They intend to do things which are bad. The fact that they may honestly think they are good is irrelevant. They are bad people who want to do bad things to good people. They are motivated by injustice and corrupt to the point of taking pride in the act of punishing innocent men or initiating the use of force against men who have done nothing but make money which is why the only word for them is evil.

          2. Do you really think that Obama and Schumer have bad intentions?

            I assume that they, like virtually all politicians, R or D, will say or do anything that will advance their careers, usually at the expense of their constituents.

            So, yes, I would call that bad intentions, though I imagine they’ve rationalized what they are do as being noble and good somehow. I will stipulate that many of them have convinced themselves that fucking over their constituents is GOOD for their constituents.

            1. Real life evil isn’t about nefarious intentions towards others, but rather an attitude that holds others as means to ones own ends without otherwise caring about them one way or the other.

            2. I think nearly everyone has good intentions, if what is meant by that phrase is “good” according to their standard of what is good. People, for the most part, don’t go around trying to be bad. Almost all the evil in the world comes from people doing what they think is good. If the only proper occasion for one to judge someone’s actions is when that person is intentionally doing things that even he regards as bad, you won’t use your judgement very often and when you do, it will be to pass judgement on an action whose actor has already recognized it as a mistake or doesn’t care about good or evil. In my opinion, you have to have a good definition of “good” before you can have good intentions or else the phrase is meaningless.

          3. Assuming evil on the part of your opponents gives you away as the true cardboard cutout dogmatist […] the Christian conservative’s sense of exclusion, superiority, and selfishness.

            Not even a scant ninety minutes apart.

          4. I have to agree with Tony on this one. I think that most politicians genuinely believe that they are doing their best and trying to do what is good. They may be delusional and bad at understanding the full consequences of policy, but I don’t think many are evil or intentionally deceitful about their goals.

  7. Saw it opening night. I had fairly low expectations after the reviews here and was a bit delighted that it’s not nearly as bad as everyone has been saying. I’m not saying it’s great, but it’s actually pretty decent. The theater I went to was packed and erupted in applause at the end, which sorta surprised me from an audience in Ventura, California. My wife has never read the book but says she’d like to after seeing the movie.

    1. I always wonder why people applaud in a movie theater.

      1. Just got back from it a little while ago (Albany, NY’s lone AS screen) and the theater was about quarter full at 11:50am and at the end there was applause from everyone but me. I would have clapped, too, because I enjoyed it, but like you say, it’s a movie theater, so why?

        1. Geez, only one theater is showing it out of the whole state of New York? That is rather shocking.

          1. Albany’s lone screen. It is playing in other parts of NY. I know its in Syracuse, Palisades, NYC, and Long Island.

      2. I always wonder why people applaud in a movie theater.

        For the benefit of the audience goers. Different cultures — if you go to a musical performance done by Mormons for a Mormon audience, there’s this weird cultural thing where no one applauds at all, no matter how good the performance, you’re expected to just quietly appreciate the talent.

        1. Are you a Mormon expert now, prolefeed?

          1. The expiration date on the freshness of your concern trolling was two years ago last Monday.

            1. I’ve been labeled a “tiresome scold” by people who wanted this place to be a comfy echo chamber/chat room for far longer than that, but I’m still here and still respected by the community in general. That says something.

          2. I am technically considered to be still a Mormon since I had not had my name removed from Church records as a member. I have an expired Temple Recommend in my wallet. So, yes, I do know quite a bit about Mormonism.

            1. Very well.

            2. Wow, one less Mormon and one more Objectivist. That’s like two for the price of one.

            3. There is a brilliant young singer songwriter from Alberta Canada named Corb Lund. He has a song called “Brother Bringham, Brother Young” that is simply brilliant. The tune is very upbeat gospel and the lyrics are sly. Please give him a listen. And if you are a noninterventionist like so many here you will enjoy his song “Student Visas” http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb…..nd&x=0&y=0

      3. A pragmatic reason for applauding: Especially with a movie like this, in extremely limited release, there may be representatives of the filmmakers — or some of the filmmakers themselves — checking out audience reaction for evidence that a wider release (or a more marketable “cut”) may be advisable. Even were that not the case, the projectionist and other cinema employees may take note of the applause and relay it back through appropriate channels to the filmmakers, or at least to the cinema management — the latter being those who decide on whether to extend the run, devote more and better screens to the film, etc.

  8. It’s about as good I expected it would be: at its heart, it is a made-for-TV adaptation that is so-so in almost every way. I don’t have anything to say about the cinematography or technical aspects of the film (though there were some odd panoramas of nature), but it was plodding and austere — I didn’t feel anything when watching it, good or bad.

    Definitely watch it if you are a fan of the book, or if you’re curious about how the book was translated to the big screen, but don’t watch it if you are interested in seeing the movie based solely on its own merits.

  9. I have been depressed ever since I found out who the creative team was in adapting Atlas Shrugged to film. Fatal Mistake No 1- Writing: John Aglialoro, the investor and fitness equipment manufacturer decided this whole screenplay thing must be really easy to do. Just take text from the book and cut and paste it into Final Draft. Trading in subtlety and metaphor for stilted dialogue better left for reading rather than speaking, Aglialoro perfectly encapsulates the saying, “When all you have is a hammer, every problem tends to look like a nail.” Fatal Mistake No 2-More Writing: Compounding the problem, instead of investing a chunk of money into a reputable script doctor, he hired Brian Patrick O’Toole to co-write who has very few credits other than low budget video games and straight to video horror movies. Not satisfied his team was mediocre enough, we come to Aglialoro’s Fatal Mistake No 3- Directing: He decided Paul Johansson, an actor with a few credits directing a small TV series, was the perfect guy to direct an epic film with millions of hardcore fans. What a surprise when the trailer looked like an episode from One Tree Hill. We are now left with an unexceptional film rather than something radical or notable. Hey wannabe Spielbergs out there, leave it to the professionals, OK? That’s why they make the big bucks.

    1. investor and fitness equipment manufacturer

      LOL! That’s all you need to know right there about the quality of the writing.

      1. OH NOES THE CHINKS ARE COMING FOR OUR FITNESS EQUIPMENT! RUN!!!

        1. They are going to steal are manufacturing base. We used to make treadmills and now we don’t. Two words for you Epi, Gloria Stevens. You don’t see any of her American made equipment around anymore do you? If we had a real government and some real industrial policy, we would. We would I will tell you that.

          1. Then they aren’t stealing it; our government is.

          2. I get what you’re saying, but saying they are “stealing” our manufacturing is not really accurate.

          3. We cannot allow a treadmill gap!

            1. Why? Doesn’t America already have enough exercycles to hang their clothes on?

      2. You’d be surprised how many films get made paid for by ordinary millionaires like Aglialoro.

    2. Lots of great films and filmmakers wouldn’t exist today if they were to follow this dictate.

      This film wouldn’t exist, either, in any form. They only did it this way because they had no other choice.

      1. I’m a nobody. I couldn’t have written this screenplay but I or anyone else on this board could have made the dialogue better. The movie was good. It could have been great if the dialogue and the three main actors you’ve never seen before were just a little bit better. Rearden was OK, not great. Dagny was just OK. I think she was trying too hard to be stiff and cold because of the source material, and Jim Taggert was just OK. All the supporting actors you’d recognize from the dozens of films each of them had been in were very good like they always are. Maybe the big three were held back by the dialogue failures. Or the director. I won’t be sure until I see them in something else.

        1. If the dialogue in the movie closely follows that of the book, you should realize that Rand purposely wrote it the way that she did. I remember reading her comment in one of her articles years ago that she was stylistically averse to writing dialogue the way people actually spoke in everyday life. (I believe it was in something she wrote about her novel, The Fountainhead, concerning her exceptional use of a wisecrack retort common at the time.)

          1. That’s because Rand’s art was grounded in Romanticism, not Naturalism.

            “Instead of presenting a metaphysical view of man and of existence, the Naturalists presented a journalistic view. In answer to the question: “What is man?”?they said: “This is what the village grocers are, in the south of France, in the year 1887,” or: “This is what the inhabitants of the slums are, in New York, in 1921,” or: “These are the folks next door.”

            Ayn Rand, “The Esthetic Vacuum of Our Age,” The Romantic Manifesto, 124.

  10. Encroachments on individual and corporate liberties

    Calling barfman…please we need barfman.

  11. http://pajamasmedia.com/rogerk…..lm-sunday/

    Tangentially related to Rand. In England some poor bastard made the mistake of putting a cross on his vehicle.

    Colin Atkinson, 64, from Wakefield, has been called to a disciplinary hearing at the housing association where he has worked for 15 years.

    His bosses at the publicly funded Wakefield and District Housing (WDH) have demanded he remove the eight inch long cross made from woven palm leaves that sits on his dashboard.

    The organisation claims the cross may cause offence but says it strongly promotes “inclusive” policies and allows employees to wear religious symbols at work.

    Tolerance for everyone except the despised minority. People at this work place put up pictures of che guavera and are allowed to wear burkas. But this guy has a cross and he is up for dicipline. Some pigs are more equal than others.

    England and America if some get their way are on their way to becoming some kind lands with all the economic freedom of a Rand novel and all the social freedom of Orwell. God help us all.

    1. I thought libertarians favored freedom of association. If he wants to keep his cross he can find another job.

      1. Because it is the government. If it were a private firm you would have a point. But the government shouldn’t be able to say “these people are okay but these people are not”. Either everyone plays by the same rules or not. Sadly, some self professed libertarians, you being one of them apparently, are more interested in the Kulture war than they are actual freedoms.

        1. Are you suggesting Tulpa is more interested in, what, being on the left side of the Kulture War than in libertarianism?

          WTF?

        2. But the government shouldn’t be able to say “these people are okay but these people are not”.

          When it’s acting as employer, the government should be able to do anything that a private employer can. I don’t favor giving govt employees more rights in their job than private-sector employees have.

          1. When it’s acting as employer, the government should be able to do anything that a private employer can.

            I don’t think that is realistic — when your income comes from coerced taxes, and you don’t have to please your customers to stay in business, then some restrictions on such silliness are necessary.

            A private firm is different because they have the discipline of a marketplace to reign in such assholery.

            1. A private firm is different because they have the discipline of a marketplace to reign in such assholery.

              Which marketplace?

              In the marketplace where the private firm is selling, customers don’t have any reason to care about employment practices.

              In the labor marketplace where the employer is a buyer, government has to compete just like everyone else. (I admit that if government becomes the dominant employer then this doesn’t hold water anymore, but we’re not at that point yet.)

              1. In the marketplace where the private firm is selling, customers don’t have any reason to care about employment practices.

                Which is why there are exactly zero people who care about say, sweatshop practices. Or “fair trade” coffee.

                What? There are some small set of people who actually make buying decisions based on that? Then you are fucking wrong.

                1. People who care about employment practices form an insignificant share of the market. Outside of a few items that require high-skilled workers to manufacture, in the US you have to go way way way way out of your way to buy manufactured goods that don’t come from a sweatshop. That says something about how much the market cares.

              2. Which marketplace?

                In the marketplace where the private firm is selling, customers don’t have any reason to care about employment practices.

                The marketplace for labor and for customers. A private firm that treats its employees poorly is liable to having competing firms in similar industries poaching its employees, and have its customers abandon it in revulsion. A government monopoly doesn’t allow direct competitors to spring up and poach its employees by offering better working conditions, and it doesn’t allow its taxpayers to stay in the same geographic region and move their “business” to a competitor.

                1. As posted above, the consumer market really doesn’t care about working conditions for the most part even in the private sector.

                  There are also few skill sets that government monopolizes employment of. Even road constructors, police, and firefighters have private firms that desire their skills. City planners are mostly employed by govt but still can move between govts to find the employment policies they want.

                  I guess you have a point regarding, say, astronauts, but beyond that I don’t see it holding water.

          2. When it’s acting as employer, the government should be able to do anything that a private employer can.

            Nope.

            A private employer should be allowed to discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender, political party affiliation, you name it.

            The state should not be allowed to discriminate on any of those bases.

            1. Yawn. You got an argument for that claim?

              1. May I try? The administrative agency and its physical manifestations are funded by taxpayers and are, therefore, taxpayer property. We should refuse discrimination when it comes to government employment because each and every diverse taxpayer pays for these agencies, either directly or indirectly, and should therefore not be shut out from the opportunity to be employed.

                On the other hand, private employment is created by individuals, admittedly with either (ahem) natural rights recognized by government, or other exclusive property rights granted by the government with an eye towards efficient policy. There’s more of an argument for abridging those rights in the latter situation, but we’ve been through that before, and that’s possibly the logic of where modern property law allows for things like this.

                1. The administrative agency and its physical manifestations are funded by taxpayers and are, therefore, taxpayer property.

                  Which taxpayer’s property? It’s likely that taxpayers don’t agree on how their “property” should be run.

                  If you think the shareholder model is a good one, then it’s satisfied by having elections. When I say that the govt can do any non-coercive thing it wants to its employees, I don’t mean they should be immune from losing elections if they piss off the voters with ill treatment of employees or potential employees.

                  We should refuse discrimination when it comes to government employment because each and every diverse taxpayer pays for these agencies, either directly or indirectly, and should therefore not be shut out from the opportunity to be employed.

                  Stockholders aren’t guaranteed an opportunity for employment in the company they buy stock in either.

                  1. That assumes that ownership of government property and services is analogous to owning shares in a private-sector corporation.

                    I can see where you’re going with it, but the two strike me as very different, and have always been considered so. Think of sovereign immunity, for example. That’s a pretty fundamentally different approach in how we deal with government actions as opposed to privately-owned corporate ones.

                  2. It cannot be considered as a ‘stockholder’ situation because you are forced to buy ‘shares’ you cannot sell.

          3. “When it’s acting as employer, the government should be able to do anything that a private employer can.” But if so, then the government should also not be able to do things that a private employer cannot! Such as, for example, compete with private sector employers for labor by offering unrealistically sweet working conditions or compensation/retirement packages, because they think they can count on raising taxes (or, if the federal government, printing money and/or raising the debt ceiling) to defray the unsustainable expense.

            What Tulpa said, by the way, is a big reason why we should strictly minimize government employment.

            “Which marketplace?

            “In the marketplace where the private firm is selling, customers don’t have any reason to care about employment practices.”

            No, but they care an awful lot about the price of the finished goods or services. If a private business raises its prices, in order to provide better conditions, compensation, or benefits to its workers, the business’ customers may conclude that the value received is not worth the asking price. They may refrain from making the purchase, or may go elsewhere to do it. Private sector businesses must walk a tightrope — balancing prices vs. costs vs. quality of output — which government providers of goods and services do not. I think it is this kind of “market discipline,” to which prolefeed referred.

            1. Part of that balance involves weighing the environment businesses happen to find themselves in. You can’t say it’s not fair that your business fails if you’re trying to sell snow cones on Mt. Everest.

              That environment includes minimum social standards for workers enforced by government. If you can’t succeed while paying employees a decent wage, then maybe whatever you’re selling isn’t valued enough to be worth making. Especially since there is all the more overall demand because of higher purchasing power because people are given a decent wage.

              1. That cuts both ways, Tony. If your output isn’t of sufficient quality or quantity to deserve a government-enforced minimum wage, or to defray the costs of providing you with other “minimum social standards for workers enforced by government,” then maybe you shouldn’t have a job at all.

                Now, I’d bet money that you would call someone taking such a position to be “heartless.” Yet condemning business-owners to “well-earned” failure because they can’t jump the hurdles erected by the government is at least as heartless — especially so in the case of the owners of “on the bubble” small businesses, who put their hearts and souls into their enterprises and, in the aggregate, are responsible for MOST of the employment in economies such as ours.

                By the way, in talking about the “business environment,” you picked a bad example. When my family and I visited Alaska, we took a helicopter trip to a glacier, and at one point, in the middle of nowhere in the freezing cold, we were scooping up the slushy snow. Some had thermos bottles to transport it as a souvenir; others ate/drank it on the spot. Someone in the party said, “if only there were snow-cone syrup!” A person who came prepared could have made some good pocket change at that moment and I can’t imagine it would be any different on the top of Everest (in relatively calm weather, of course). One might reasonably expect to sell as many snow-cones per capita at the top of Everest as at the Jersey Shore in August. On the other hand, the remoteness would constrain the size of the crowd on the mountaintop, so trying to sell anything there (apart from oxygen tanks or helicopter trips to the base of the mountain) might not be your best business decision.

                Bear in mind, also, that the environmental conditions of Everest are a natural phenomenon, to which we can readily adapt via technology UNLESS there is some government entity, forcefully disallowing such adaptations. Government, on the other hand, is an artificial construct, which we can alter or abolish as we please. When people understand that the interventions taken by government are generally more harmful than beneficial, they can act to change government in a way that a similar crowd of people simply cannot change the weather on the top of a mountain-peak. Likening government to a natural force, which must be accepted and, at best, adapted to, raises government above the people it is supposed to serve, in profound contradiction of what government established on the US model is supposed to be. The government is not a God or natural force: The more we assert or believe that it is, the more fools we.

            2. Such as, for example, compete with private sector employers for labor by offering unrealistically sweet working conditions or compensation/retirement packages, because they think they can count on raising taxes

              Well, I’d think granting special rights to government workers, as others in this thread would do, would fall into that category.

        3. I should clarify — I think the govt employer is acting silly, and it’s a stupid restriction, but they’re not violating any rights.

      2. Yeah, I’m sure the fact that his boss has a huge poster of Che Guevara above his desk is just a coincidence.

    2. Sad story, but I don’t see how it’s even tangentially related to Rand.

      By the way, Rand probably would’ve been in favor of forcing him to remove the cross. She was more militant in her atheism than even Bill Maher.

      1. You’re full of shit. Rand did not support forcing people to remove religious symbols from their property. Being a militant atheist asshole doesn’t necessarily mean she didn’t believe in property rights.

        1. The property rights in question are those of the owner of the parking space he uses.

    3. Christians are retards.

      Ayn Rand said so.

  12. I read the book about 30 years ago and saw the movie last night. I, too, had low expectations and they were not disappointed.

    I somewhat enjoyed the movie, but that only means I didn’t walk out midway to cut my losses.

    The film was indeed faithful to the novel, and that’s the problem. A story about the struggle of 1940’s steel, railroad, and oil tycoons with the 1940’s federal government set in 2016 is just too embarrassingly unrealistic to a critical viewer.

    – It’s hard to imagine shortages of iron ore being a problem. The original story should have adapted to make Rearden carbon nanotube technology threaten the entire ferrous metals industry, or something like that, to make it relevant.
    – Railroads? Really … railroads? Hey, I like trains, too, and I know they are important, but railroads? This whole storyline should have been adapted to incorporate some sort of conflict with the Left’s current love interest in high-speed rail. Absent that, it makes the whole story ridiculous.
    – Oil is transported in pipelines, not by rail.
    – The 20th Century Motors’ magic motor story is pretty well worn out and now sounds more like the unicorn and rainbow power schemes advocated by the Left. It, too, should have been adapted to 21st century.
    – A bank CEO goes Galt? You gotta be kidding! A BANK CEO? With the exception of a few regional and community banks, there are no mouchers and looters more obvious than too-big-to-fail bank CEOs. In fact, among 21st century corporations, I can’t imagine that many CEOs even faintly resemble a Randian hero. For every Koch or John Allison, there are at least hundred CEOs whose position was attained by political connections rather than hard work, ingenuity, and persistence.
    – Finally, and perhaps most significantly, the US Government is not nearly as toothless as depicted in the movie. When the USG determines to ruin a business, it moves in with armed federal agents, issues arrest warrants and subpeonas, seizes computers, shuts down Internet access, etc., etc. Look at what happened on Friday to the online poker industry for a recent example.

    1. Your last paragraph is sadly true. I don’t think Rand had any clue how horrible and how powerful the government really would get here. As I said above, you need Orwell and Rand to understand what is going on right now.

      1. I’m reading Atlas Shrugged after recently reading 1984. They very much complement each other.

        1. You would do well to read Huxley’s Brave New World as well.

          1. And Go, Dog, Go!. Probably before AS, so you don’t give up reading forever.

            1. Go, Dog, Go! Is that anything like See Spot Run?

      2. You DO know Orwell was a Socialist, right?

        Right?

        1. Yes I do you fucking smug retard. I said you needed both of them to understand the current world. That means they compliment each other not that they necessarily are the same thing. Orwell understood the evil nature of governments in a way Rand didn’t. Rand understood civil and economic society in a way that Orwell as a socialist didn’t.

          Sadly we can’t hand out programs for people like you who know just enough to be dangerous. Seriously, did I know Orwell was a socialist. Yes, I am well aware of that junior. Why don’t you go back to worrying about the red hoard and let the adults talk for a while.

          1. Well, the biggest difference is that Orwell was a good fiction writer, while Rand had the literary “skills” of a 15 year old girl who writes Harry Potter fanfic.

            1. Considering that you are fan boy of Communist China, you didn’t learn much from Orwell. So your endorsement of his fiction is odd at best. You may have enjoyed the books but your love of and admiration of authoritarian governments show you didn’t learn anything.

              1. Present day China is not a Stalinist system. If you want to unfavorably compare it to a literary dystopia, try Brave New World, that’s much closer to the mark than 1984.

            2. Considering she didn’t know English until she was an adult, she wrote rather well; not great, but well.

              Joseph Conrad always gets a pass because he wasn’t a native speaker, but Rand never does. And she was a better writer than Conrad, in my opinion.

              1. Conrad gets a pass because, unlike Rand, he was more adventurous in his prose and plotting and story framing (just think about Lord Jim and the whole idea of telling all these different stories through different narrators).

                Also, his books weren’t about objectivism, which is also a plus.

                Look, I like Libertarianism as much as the next guy but Ayn Rand is just a bad author.

                1. I’ve read Anthem and Night of Jan 16th and We the Living. I liked all of them and don’t understand what makes her so bad in comparison to say Dostoevesky who’s Crime and Punishment needed a severe trim way more than anything of Rand’s that I’ve read.

                  1. Right on the money!

                  2. Ayn Rand WAS severe trim.

                    She wrote as well as she could with two bags over her ugly puss. No wonder she only fucked mutants like Greenspan and Peikoff.

              2. What? Rand a better writer than Conrad? No way. And I like her books well enough.

            3. “while Rand had the literary “skills” of a 15 year old girl who writes Harry Potter fanfic.”

              Just like John.

              1. You have the HTML skills of Sugarfree.

            4. You are a truther, aren’t you, truth? And an anti-vaxxer?

        2. Yes and despite this he aimed 1974 directly at the center of his fellow socialist’s foreheads. “EngSoc” of course stood for English Socialism and Big Brother’s government was of the English Socialist variety.

          Orwell knew the dangers of socialism as well as anyone and his writing reflected this. He was a socialist scared by what he saw in other socialists.

          1. He wrote a book titled 1974, too? 😉

            1. He foresaw Nixon.

      3. Orwell was a socialist, and would probably support Obama-care if he were alive today.

        1. “you need Orwell and Rand to understand what is going on right now.”

          Is it just me or is that sentence pretty fucking clear? Oh I forgot I am dealing with children who know one fact (that Orwell was a socialist) but understand nothing.

          And let me give you one other neat fact, “socialist” as the term existed in the 1940s doesn’t mean “21st Century American Liberal Democrat”.

          1. No, Orwell was pretty far to the left of that. He liked Trotsky, that’s anathema to you people.

            1. Though not nearly as ruthless as Napoleon, and very much dedicated to Animalism, Orwell still cast Snowball was a pig in his allegory Animal Farm.

          2. Hell the portion of 1984 that is “Goldstein’s Book” is pretty much a pamphlet about Trotskyism.

            1. Yeah, I guess you could think that, if you don’t know jack shit about who Trotsky actually was. But Orwell tells us through O’Brien that Goldstein is in fact the brains behind the Party and Big Brother. Members of the Brotherhood drink toasts to his health.

              Stalin killed Trotsky and Trotsky was not the brains behind Stalinism, Lenin was.

              1. God you’re a fucking moron.

                I didn’t say Goldstein=Trotsky. I was pointing out that Goldstein’s Book was basically a Trotskyist analysis of Stalinism.

                1. I didn’t say Goldstein=Trotsky. I was pointing out that Goldstein’s Book was basically a Trotskyist analysis of Stalinism.

                  Thanks for that stunning example of self-contradiction, Humpty Dumpty.

              2. “But Orwell tells us through O’Brien that Goldstein is in fact the brains behind the Party and Big Brother. Members of the Brotherhood drink toasts to his health.”

                Are you bat shit insane? Did you read 1984?

                It is never revealed whether Goldstein actually existed. To claim that Golstein was “the brains” behind the Party reveals a profound ignorance. I think you vaguely remember that O’Brien helped write “The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism” and crossed some wires.

                Now back to your Truth Minutes Hate.

        2. Orwell was a life-long socialist who longed for the dream of the beautiful society socialists say is possible, but who had a clear-headed view of the awfulness of socialism as it was actually practiced in his day.

          The cognitive dissonance was strong in him.

            1. Thank you! I love the Internet. And folks like you who point out fun little corners of it!

          1. “had a clear-headed view of the awfulness of socialism as it was actually practiced in his day.”

            If only libertarians could be so honest with themselves about their beautiful theories.

            1. Why does the Left associate free markets with monopolies? Monopolies existed prior to capitalism and were sought by established businesses (often through the government, trade guilds, etc.) to prevent new competitors from cutting in on their business.

              In other words, the natural state of the economy is not for one person or company to control the market. Monopolies can only be accomplished through the enforcement of some higher authority.

              Under capitalism, a private organization may still try to get the government to help it eliminate competition, but it can only do so if the government is powerful. Considering that Marxism requires a the government to create a monopoly of the entire economy, it’s ironic that the Left choses to blame monopolies for the reason the free market must be eliminated.

            2. If only critics of libertarianism were able to offer more than the most isipid criticism they might be respectable.

      4. Orwell’s insight on language is timeless, and entirely unrelated to Eric Blair’s advocacy of socialism.

        Blair had some adled notions that conflated free enterprise with monopoly and imperialism. However, in his 1944 review of The Road to Serfdom, Blair acknowledged that Hayek was correct in his argument. Blair’s own depressing conclusion was: “Collectivism leads to concentration camps, leader worship, and war.” He wasn’t a garden-variety socialist.

    2. Yeah, this seals the deal for me not seeing it.

  13. I saw it Friday. It was no better or worse than I expected. Pretty horrible acting.

    1. Pretty horrible acting pretty much equals perfect rendering of Ayn Rand’s characters.

  14. I’m going to see it tomorrow. It might be bad but I’m kind of excited. I saw “The Room” last weekend so just about anything would be better. That’s a terrible basis of comparison though.

  15. I really liked it. The problem seems that there are so many details only glanced over that they would be hard to grok without being familiar with the book. If they could have simplified the story, the significance of such details might have better shined through.

    I don’t understand the people complaining about the production value. Other than the CGI train, I thought it looked great.

    1. The lack of establishing shots for everything but the Colorado countryside bugged me a little, but you have to expect that from low budget.

  16. I wonder how many reviewers which call the movie a “must see” also call the book a must-read?

    Just curious, and that applies to the converse proposition, as well. I sort of assume it breaks down like this:

    If you’ve read the book, then you want a reviewer who’s read the book.
    If you loved the book, then you want a reviewer that loved the book.
    If you simply want a good film then you want a reviewer who’s ambivalent about Rand.
    If you hate Rand, then you want a reviewer who hates her, too.

    I think 2 or 3 out of 4 of those cases probably look for a reviewer who will tell them what they want to hear.

    Not much difference from how we generally approach media for our other news, I suppose.

    1. There are lots of subsets, such as liking Atlas Shrugged, but not liking Rand (or her politics or followers) or liking Rand but not preferring Atlas Shrugged.
      The proposition remains the same in all those cases, you will just have to search a little harder to find your own personal reviewer.

  17. Are people seriously comparing George Orwell to a hack like Ayn Rand?

    You guys do know Orwell was a Trotskyist Socialist, right?

    1. No we are not “comparing them” in the sense of saying they are the same. But since you are too stupid to understand anything beyond the most basic points you probably think that.

    2. Rand was a lot of things (many of which were unpleasant), but a hack she most definitely wasn’t.

      A hack is someone like you — a brainless nothing who just regurgitates other people’s ideas and is incapable of original thought.

      Something that can’t be applied to Rand.

      1. I agree Rand was no hack, fanatics and zealots usually are not hacks.

        This is not meant to be a silly swipe at here, were I a supporter of Rand I guess I would reply, chanelling Goldwater that a fanatic of liberty is no bad thing.

        My point though is that fanatics and zealots often make terrible art. A counter-part to Rand would be Upton Sinclair, and both have many of the same terrible writing problems.

        When it comes to art hacks likely do better, think of good works by talented artists who were essentially whoring themselves out for money for whatever reason at the time.

      2. Yes, she definitely was a writing hack. Just because her ideological notions garnered her a bevy of worshipers doesn’t mean her writing skills weren’t shit. Which they were.

        1. The problem is that every person who says that is applying mid-to-late 20th century literary standards of what constitutes “good writing”, and the character, theme and plot conventions of postwar English literature were all picked by her philosophical enemies.

          Rand is the one writer I can think of where just about every criticism of her technique falls under the category of “But I meant to do that.”

          One of the most contemptible things about modern literary types is that if we took them seriously and consistently applied their so-called standards, NO literature of any kind was written before 1914. None. Every word set to paper was hackery. And that can’t be right. If only because it’s an extraordinarily provincial attitude.

          1. +1 highly insightful.

          2. I’ve always thought her writing was pretty good, actually. Quite passable if you just substitute the words out with a good story.

            1. One of the most contemptible things about modern literary types is that if we took them seriously and consistently applied their so-called standards, NO literature of any kind was written before 1914.

              this is so off the mark you’d think you’d bought this in an off the mark shop. (it’s the first left off of mark st.)

              1. I buy mine at the off the rack off the mark market but only when they’ve been marked down.

              2. dhex, Don’t forget that this discussion is being led by people who paid to see Atlas Shrugged and who can sincerely discuss whether the adaptation was disappointing.

                1. true, true. i forget that libertizzles can often be the truthers of the arts.

                  didactic novels don’t melt!

    3. You guys do know Orwell was a Trotskyist Socialist, right?

      Orwell was a life-long socialist who wrote some of the most devastating critiques of socialism ever written.

      So, your point is that you don’t get how cognitive dissonance works?

      1. His issues with socialism were that it didn’t market itself well enough and that it could, like anything else, become dogmatic–dogma being the central target of this critiques, I think.

        His viewed morphed over time but the real ‘problem’ with pinning them down is that it would be counter-Orwellian to label Orwell. Labels or easy political classification could lead to dogma and then authoritarianism.

        So he was a socialist because the core of his concern was human well-being. He certainly did not champion capitalism, at all–fascism was just one form of capitalism, to Orwell.

        In this way he is the opposite of Rand, who was all dogma, and hence, if you read just a little between the lines, authoritarian.

        1. His issues with socialism were that it didn’t market itself well enough

          I’m pretty sure the premise of “1984” is NOT that Big Brother’s all-encompassing state was benign but poorly marketed to the proles.

          Unless by “marketed well” you mean the ending of the book where Winston learned to love Big Brother due to relentless indoctrination backed up by excruciating torture at the slightest sign of dissent.

          Like you, Orwell mistakenly felt that pure capitalism was heartless and led to virtual slavery, as laid out in “Down and Out in Paris and London”, but, unlike you, he knew damn good and well what pure socialism did to its hapless subjects.

          1. What I mean is that he felt socialism to be the obvious conclusion anyone should come to, but that they don’t because socialists themselves–or the caricature of socialists people had in mind–were unappealing.

            1984 was not a critique of socialism. Here’s Orwell himself:

            My recent novel is NOT intended as an attack on Socialism or on the British Labour Party (of which I am a supporter) but as a show-up of the perversions to which a centralized economy is liable and which have already been partly realized in communism and Fascism. I do not believe that the kind of society I describe necessarily will arrive, but I believe (allowing of course for the fact that the book is a satire) that something resembling it could arrive. I believe also that totalitarian ideas have taken root in the minds of intellectuals everywhere, and I have tried to draw these ideas out to their logical consequences.

            Maybe you’re confused because you equate socialism with totalitarianism, which is common around here. Surely they can go together–see my post above–but then obviously so can capitalism.

            1. Actually, it’s not particularly “obvious” that capitalism and authoritarianism go together. In fact, if anything is clear it is that property rights, freedom of contract, and other important economic freedoms are not particularly assured in dictatorships of either a “right-wing” or a “left-wing” variety, which is one reason that “free market” dictatorships are better characterized as corporatist dictatorships. This is particularly true in the Far East and Latin America, where true liberalizations of the market were only possible with the addition of democratic input to the system.

            2. So Orwell didn’t intend 1984 to be an attack on socialism — and socialists don’t intend to create totalitarianism.

              But, 1984 was in fact a devastating critique of socialism, regardless of Orwell’s intentions, and poorly written legislation with what should be obvious unintended bad consequences is bad legislation regardless of the intent of the authors.

            3. Socialism is far more succeptible to totalitarianism’s development than market capitalism is. Of course, there’s a strong element of socialism in every economy in the developed world at this point in time so it’s tough to differentiate.

            4. So Orwell wasn’t criticizing socialism, just centralized economies. And directly lifting examples of totalitarianism from Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. Alright then.

        2. His issues with socialism were that it didn’t market itself well enough

          Sorry, Orwell was not a precursor to Thomas Frank.

    4. Actually, they’re very comparable.

      Orwell’s output was fairly limited and outside of 1984 and Animal Farm, pretty forgettable. Down and Out, for example, is really only interesting to literary historians now.

      Orwell was not really a literary genius. He was fortunate enough to be in the right place in the right time occasionally [i.e. Spain] but other than that his best-remembered works are highly stylized non-realistic works that function as politicized morality plays. Hell, 1984 even halts the action for a book-within-a-book that’s highly didactic, almost like a Rand radio speech or courtroom scene.

      1. “Orwell’s output was … outside of 1984 and Animal Farm, pretty forgettable.”

        I will never forget these:

        “Shooting an Elephant”: http://www.online-literature.com/orwell/887/

        “On the English Language”: http://georgeorwellnovels.com/…..-language/

        1. To be fair to the late Mr. Blair, the title of the latter essay is “Politics and the English Language,” but I have mentally abbreviated it to what I wrote above, ever since first encountering it, years ago. 🙂 Both essays are well worth reading and, I daresay for anyone who HAS read them, unforgettable.

  18. I thought it was really good. I honestly don’t know what all the complaining was about. I’m usually pretty hard on writing, but I thought the script worked. Sure there were one or two silly sounding lines but there’s hardly a movie that comes what that doesn’t have a few of those.

    1. I agree.

      I though Schilling was stilted at points and some lines were silly and some good lines were left out, but it generally represented the 1st third of the book well.

      I thought they stretched the $10 million well. The cinematography seemed okay to me (but I judge art by “does it look pretty?”, so YMMV). The cgi train didnt suck, but wasnt awe inspiring either.

      And, of course, Armin Shimmerman, so duh, its good.

  19. Jesse Jackson Jr has tracked down the cause of high unemployment – the iPad!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5X8W7MgbhM

    1. What a “cardboard cutout” political villain.

    2. Ned Ludd for the 21st century.

  20. Saw AS Fri night w 3 who had not read the book. They were really intrigued, wanting to learn more (only one could be called libertarian), and could easily see the parallels to the current US. All felt the acting was ok, if unspectacular, and effects were adequate for the story. It more than met my expectations. The biggest flaw is that Mouch et al are too transparently evil, too simply drawn. I do plan to see it again. The audience applauded at the end – in the shadow of the Ohio State campus! Overheard lots of ‘I’m going to read the book’

    1. It more than met my expectations.

      And that’s good enough!

  21. “The Truth”, if Orwell were alive, he would have called you the buffoon that you are. Your narrow minded diatribes against China are perfectly represented in 1984, when the people partake in their hate sessions against Oceania.

    1. WE ARE AT WAR WITH THE CHINKS. WE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN AT WAR WITH THE CHINKS.

      1. “The Truth” probably does want a war with China. If I had to guess, he probably secretly wanks off to the idea of China attacking USA, like a rerun of the 1940’s golden days.

    2. Hey, you’re an Oceanian.

      — We are all Oceanians.

      That’s right. That means we cannot invade Oceania!

  22. Oh wow, OK that really does make a lot of sense dude.

    http://www.web-anonymity.at.tc

  23. Some ISPs also talk about membership in the Commercial Internet eXchange (CIX).When the Internet was funded by the NSF, and commercial network traffic was prohibited, CIX was formed to enable businesses a means of obtaining Internet access. Now that the Internet has been all-but-deregulated, CIX membership doesn’t really mean much of anything other than membership in an organization of commercial providers. Most local ISPs will not be CIX members, due to the organization’s fee requirements. CIX has recently announced that they are going to refuse Internet traffic on their routers from non-CIX members. This might cause delays or bounced mail from ISPs who are not CIX members. If you are going with any of the larger national or regional ISPs that shouldn’t affect your service, but it never hurts to check.

    Tricks of the Internet Gurus, Chapt. 2, 1994

  24. I thought it was fun. I screamed when the mother was stabbed though the mailbox door. Can you believe who the killer turned out to be?

    1. That decapitation in the middle came out of nowhere and really threw me for a loop.

  25. Let me tell you, I am impressed by this movie. My son with the habsburg jaw said it was good, so I trust his judgement.

    1. I want to be First Lady

      1. Dfirst ding we do is the gold leaf the front of de house.

  26. any reviews for Game of Thrones?

  27. I’m not going to take a risk, and I’m not going to play chicken with the U.S. military. I owe them for my freedom more than I owe my constituents.

    — Rep. Duncan Hunter

    But without the fun of group sex and bulimia.

  28. That Dagny’s a hot little bitch, ain’t she? Loved her in the book. How’s she in the movie?

  29. That Dagny’s a hot little bitch, ain’t she? Loved her in the book. How’s she in the movie?

  30. I’m not sure why any libertarian minded person would drag their feet regarding seeing this movie. Purchasing a ticket is just a vote in support of the entrepreneurs who were willing to risk making a movie with an anti-socialist message.

    As it happened, I thought it was pretty passable and will catch part 2 if they make it.

  31. Too bad nobody else in this world thought Atlas Shrugged was good.

    “Atlas Shrugged” Producer Scrapping Plans For Pt. 2 & 3, Blames Reviews

    http://t.co/Xc4QizA

  32. The Free Market does Not support Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged movie? http://t.co/wOCLLvM

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