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This is Bosch Fawstin

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y_feldblum,

An artist's physical characteristics are obviously going to have a lot less to do with the quality of his work than his ideas, values, etc. are, so I don't think your analogy works. That's not to say that bad ideas rule out the possibility of producing quality art, and I've acknowledged that there may be some good things about Fawstin's style, but I'm not saying any more about that.

Now, regarding your claim that the justification "His hero is like him" is absurd, let me say two things. First, that is not exactly what I said--what I said was: "If his hero is anything like him, then I have no interest in buying his book." That is somewhat different, and it stands. And second, now that you mention it, let me add something to that: If an author is an Objectivist (as Fawstin claims to be)--that is, he understands and has integrated the philosophy into his life--then his hero would have to be like him in certain essential respects. So even in the way you mis-stated it, it's still not absurd--in fact, it's completely valid in this context.

I tried to have a rational discussion to determine whether or not the book would be something worth my money despite a few concerns, but encountered a situation in which it was impossible to have any rational discussion at all with someone who will not allow any criticism and demands 100% admiration simply because he claims to be an Objectivist. (Do you think that I should buy the book based solely on that claim?) Rather than coherent counterarguments, all I got was (usually nonsensical) insults. (I was kind of disappointed to see that Fawstin deleted his last response to me...it was hysterical. His attention span is apparently so short that he finds anything longer than two sentences "boring"--either that, or that's the kind of childishness he resorts to when he has no rational argument to offer.)

Frankly, I am rather tempted to ban Fawstin. He apparently has no interest in participating in this forum anyway, beyond promoting his book and making an ass of himself in this thread. Now, I have no problem with shameless self-promotion here, so long as it's somewhat Objectivism related. But for him to come on this forum and baselessly insult an administrator and still expect to be allowed to plug his book is ridiculous.

At this point, I am sick not just of talking to Fawstin, but even just about him. If you (or anyone else) still has a serious problem with the fact that I am not interested in his book (although I don't see why it's that big of a deal), feel free to continue to discuss it if you like--but I would prefer that if you still think it's worth discussion that you take it up with me privately, and if you insist on continuing to discuss it publicly, just be sure to keep it on rational grounds as according to the rules of this forum or be prepared to have your posts deleted and your account/ip address banned. I will not tolerate any more of the kind of nonsense that has gone on in this thread (this sentence applies mainly to Fawstin, not you, feldblum).

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y_feldblum,

An artist's physical characteristics are obviously going to have a lot less to do with the quality of his work than his ideas, values, etc. are, so I don't think your analogy works.  That's not to say that bad ideas rule out the possibility of producing quality art, and I've acknowledged that there may be some good things about Fawstin's style, but I'm not saying any more about that.

Now, regarding your claim that the justification "His hero is like him" is absurd, let me say two things.  First, that is not exactly what I said--what I said was: "If his hero is anything like him, then I have no interest in buying his book."  That is somewhat different, and it stands.  And second, now that you mention it, let me add something to that: If an author is an Objectivist (as Fawstin claims to be)--that is, he understands and has integrated the philosophy into his life--then his hero would have to be like him in certain essential respects.  So even in the way you mis-stated it, it's still not absurd--in fact, it's completely valid in this context.

I tried to have a rational discussion to determine whether or not the book would be something worth my money despite a few concerns, but encountered a situation in which it was impossible to have any rational discussion at all with someone who will not allow any criticism and demands 100% admiration simply because he claims to be an Objectivist.  (Do you think that I should buy the book based solely on that claim?)  Rather than coherent counterarguments, all I got was (usually nonsensical) insults.  (I was kind of disappointed to see that Fawstin deleted his last response to me...it was hysterical.  His attention span is apparently so short that he finds anything longer than two sentences "boring"--either that, or that's the kind of childishness he resorts to when he has no rational argument to offer.)

Frankly, I am rather tempted to ban Fawstin.  He apparently has no interest in participating in this forum anyway, beyond promoting his book and making an ass of himself in this thread.  Now, I have no problem with shameless self-promotion here, so long as it's somewhat Objectivism related.  But for him to come on this forum and baselessly insult an administrator and still expect to be allowed to plug his book is ridiculous.

At this point, I am sick not just of talking to Fawstin, but even just about him.  If you (or anyone else) still has a serious problem with the fact that I am not interested in his book (although I don't see why it's that big of a deal), feel free to continue to discuss it if you like--but I would prefer that if you still think it's worth discussion that you take it up with me privately, and if you insist on continuing to discuss it publicly, just be sure to keep it on rational grounds as according to the rules of this forum or be prepared to have your posts deleted and your account/ip address banned.  I will not tolerate any more of the kind of nonsense that has gone on in this thread (this sentence applies mainly to Fawstin, not you, feldblum).

Obviously my post has gained a Lot of interest on this board, including your own. So much so that you're still here after writing in your 'last' post that you were done with me.

If you decide to back up your threat and ban me, so be it.

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y-feldblum: I was being condescending in that I condescended to answer his ridicule in the first place. I was giving him an example, pointing out the difference between my first post and my second. While I used the (sometimes) synonymous terms, I was using "patronizing" in its third meaning (as in patronizing a business) in an ironic fashion (not that I'm any good at this practice!) Remember words mean more than their dictionary definition.

I've met many people who considered it more important to be thought to be right than actually being right. Objectivism, as Bosch so aptly demonstrates, has it share. It's called having false pride (with emphasis on the "false") and is unattractive no matter what the ism is. In my first post, I was merely stating my observations and did so in good faith. It is now my considered opinion that Bosch is too busy worrying about being "dissed" to pay any attention to what is actually being said. He has an attitude problem. My only answer to his continued diatribe against anyone he feels disagrees with him is, "Whatever." I wouldn't engage him in a rousing game of toe wrestling, much less a serious philosophical discussion. I doubt it will ever come up, however. It's too bad, really. He might actually have had something to say worth listening to, but his bad attitude, bad manners, and disrespect gets in his way. I hope he grows up a bit and tries again. I'm never willing to just write off someone, having never heard what he actually thinks -- especially someone young.

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If you decide to back up your threat and ban me, so be it.

My pleasure.

Fawstin has been banned. I contemplated deleting this entire thread, because I don't want him to be able to advertise on this board (for reasons I mentioned in my last post), but decided against it for two reasons.

First, because in general I prefer to let a banned user's posts stand as the evidence for why I booted him. That way you can all see for yourselves that this isn't a witch hunt, but that he was in fact asking for it (literally, in this case).

A minor secondary reason is that there has been some interesting discussion in this thread (e.g., the debate on the use of profanity, particularly in art), whenever Fawstin himself hasn't been involved. That material is of some value, and so it should remain.

As for my concern about Fawstin getting advertising from this board--well, anyone who decides to look into his work based on what they have seen from him in this thread is the kind of audience he deserves.

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Live and learn?

Here's what Bosch wrote to me about _Table for One_ on Sept. 11 of this year, a day after I "met" him on FB:

"Thanks, looking forward to your thoughts on it. I don't know how you feel about profanity, but the book's profane, it was a choice of mine to keep it true to itself, to my experience in the restaurant business, a sometimes very ugly place. Some are turned off by it, some aren't."

And here's what I wrote back:

"I'm not big on profanity, but if it seems natural in the context then of course it's OK. I'll see what I think."

Both of us had forgotten that we "met" on this board 4-1/2 years earlier, but obviously we both took something from that exchange. A few weeks ago Bosch Googled us and found this thread. Too funny!

Anyway, thanks for not deleting it, Ryan, because it's given us a good laugh!

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The way Bosch and I connected on FB is a good story in and of itself. Not quite serendipitous (in its literal meaning), but it definitely involved some elements of luck.

Isn't life funny sometimes, with its startling serendipity!

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First off, it's good to be able to post here again.

This thread got a whole lot more interesting when I realized, 4 years later, that the first response was from Amy. Looking back, I think I should have been clearer about exactly what I meant by my book being a mature readers one, and been a little more explicit as to why I chose to go that route from my first post.

I also could have dealt with the quick dismissal of my book based on a few profane pages better than I did, and I will admit that I got defensive pretty fast because if there's one place I feel at home, it's with Objectivism and Objectivists.

As an update, I've been working on my follow up to Table for One, titled The Infidel. It's about twin brothers whose Muslim background comes to the forefront of their lives on 9/11. One responds to the atrocity by creating a counter-jihad superhero comic book called Pigman and the other embraces Islam, becoming a born again Muslim. Their diametrically opposed responses necessarily brings them into an escalating conflict.

I have a blog that I'm using to promote The Infidel as I work on it, so take a look when you can and I'd love to have a give and take on it:

http://fawstin.blogspot.com/

Edited by FAWSTIN7

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Looking back, I think I should have been clearer about exactly what I meant by my book being a mature readers one, and been a little more explicit as to why I chose to go that route from my first post.

I also could have dealt with the quick dismissal of my book based on a few profane pages better than I did, and I will admit that I got defensive pretty fast because if there's one place I feel at home, it's with Objectivism and Objectivists.

For my part, I could have started by asking a question, e.g.: "Was the amount of profanity on those few pages representative of the book as a whole?" (It wasn't.) Or the more basic, "Why did you choose to use profanity in the book?" If I did that, perhaps Bosch wouldn't have gotten his hackles up right away. ("That's too bad....for you." ha) I did use the frown emoticon, probably as a softening element, but Bosch isn't big on computer-generated emoticons and so probably tuned it out.

Anyway, we definitely got started off on the wrong foot 4 years ago, but I'm glad we got a second chance. :)

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Sorry to rain on this parade of unbearable cuteness, but I'm curious, Bosch, whether you're still involved with or supportive of David Kelley's group, The Objectivist Center / The Atlas Society. I recall that you did an interview with "The New Individualist" a while back, and in your blog comments on that, I just noticed that you said that you were at their 50th anniversary of Atlas Shrugged event.

(I inquire for personal reasons. Due to my own history with that crowd, I have strong feelings on the matter. But I hope that you might not mind saying something on the record.)

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Diana,

Though I was interviewed by The New Individualist and am a subscriber to the magazine, I'm not involved in any official capacity with TOC and I tend to eschew any kind of official institution, even Objectivist, but Rand's writings have been a constant in my life and Objectivism has been the only system that I've ever felt at home with. Re: The New Individualist, with Robert James Bidinotto not being the editor in chief of the magazine anymore, my interest in it has collapsed. I also must note that David Kelley's thoughts on Islam are as limp as can be, and they only help Islam, which hurts us, so I have a less than serious interest in an Objectivist organization whose head gets something so important so wrong. ARI has been far better about the war and Islam, even if the terminology makes me wince at times, with Yaron Brook referring to Islam as 'Totalitarian Islam' and John Lewis calling Islam 'Political Islam'. There is no non-totalitarian Islam or apolitical Islam, and suggesting otherwise only helps Islam, but short of that, they're dead on about what needs to be done to crush the enemy and they've been far more forceful in stating it.

In the end, it's Ayn Rand's fiction, it's the philosophy that has moved me for nearly twenty years, not officialdom in any way. I was going to be at the 50th Anniversary event for Atlas Shrugged no matter which Objectivist organization hosted it, and besides a few speakers who felt a need to shoehorn god into the proceedings, along with Barbara Branden's need to speak, ad naseum, about how profoundly demoralized Rand was by the critical response to Atlas Shrugged, [which bugged the hell out of me because this is Ayn Rand we're talking about], it was a great thing to have been present to celebrate the achievement that is Atlas Shrugged.

Edited by FAWSTIN7

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Bosch,

Thanks for your thoughtful reply. David Kelley's views on Islam are indeed "as limp as can be," but that's to be expected, because his approach to Objectivism is exactly the same: totally subjectivist, without the slightest bit of spine for moral judgment. (Sorry for all the links. They're for anyone unfamiliar with his views.)

I cannot share your enthusiasm for Robert Bidinotto. He does have some talent, but he's very much committed to Kelley's very wrong approach to Objectivism, including offering a platform for the Brandens. Plus, Bidinotto has always been particularly nasty toward ARI intellectuals and supporters (including me, I should mention) for very bad reasons. And, to speak to your focus on Islam, his idea of hard-hitting commentary is not mine.

In any case, it sounds like you've got your eyes open about all sides -- and that's really all that matters, as everything else will work itself out from there.

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