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Everything posted by thejohngaltline

  1. I think it's over there... under your fine horsehair hat? It's a delight to have you here!
  2. I thought the same. My perception in the past has been that that statement was spoken facetiously (which is more or less synonymous with it being from Lillian's point of view). However, it occurs to me to wonder whether Lillian herself would consider the act of being chained a feminine one. Her whole slimy goal throughout the novel is to break Rearden and see him cowering beneath her. He is the one she seeks to chain, not vice versa. I don't believe anyone could give AS a close reading and state that Dagny was a woman meant to be chained, nor could they say that her refusal to be so was a mark of masculinity. In her romances, in her moments alone, in her action, Dagny is distinctly feminine. Even when she refuses to shrug, which is itself, in essence, an act that defies Galt's power over her, she is fully woman. I'm inclined to think the issue here is a sexual one. Physically, man possesses woman, woman admits man. Spiritually, man loves woman, woman is worthy of man. It is not in spite of but rather because of these things that when Rand's characters have sex it is necessarily a violent, passionate meeting of the wills. One in which Dagny is physically bound to Galt, and free to revel in struggling against his strength, knowing he will win, knowing it is what they both want.
  3. So I realized that in my last comment months ago I mispelt sing as "sign"...

  4. I've often had trouble with this idea myself, mainly because I get hung up on the reality that once you are dead, you can't value anything. So by killing yourself to save a loved one, you are giving up the ultimate value of your life, which must necessarily precede the (albeit huge) value of your relationship with this person. I say this, however, realizing that there are circumstances in which I know I would act in a way that is incompatible with the above. Before my mom died, I would have done literally anything to save her life. And, now that she is gone, I often think that I would risk my life just to save what I have left of her--ie running into a burning house to retrieve photos, letters, etc. Maybe this disparity between my thought and my hypothesized action is the idea of risk Kendall is talking about. It's not for certain I would die in that burning house, but the pain of losing those mementos would be a guarantee. An interesting passage to consider in conjunction with this is from The Fountainhead. Roark tells Wynand: Do you think Roark really would have died for Wynand? EDIT: Just realized Roark says "could," not "would" die for him. So maybe he is just talking about the idea that one can die for another, not an imagined potentiality of Roark actually doing so for Wynand's sake.
  5. If you haven't heard of it, Post Secret is a website that displays secrets written on post cards mailed in anonymously. I don't tune into it very often, because I find the bulk of the secrets to be rather depressing evidence of flawed philosophies--suicide, eating disorders, and religion are prevailing themes. But the eighth secret this week has me puzzled. The text behind the secret appears to be a blurb about Atlas Shrugged, which makes me wonder if Ayn Rand is the "you" in question? And if so, does that suggest the sender wants to spread the word about Objectivism? Any other hypotheses?
  6. Yes! Definitely! Or, to continue the soon-to-be hackneyed metaphor, you want to drive! But you see, the flat tires, the barefoot pedestrians, the wild-eyed pushing their shopping carts... They clog up and corrupt what should be a beautiful and smooth highway. The fecundity, the efficaciousness, the beauty of your own wheels is or may very soon be restrained by these mindless clankers. To live, constantly swerving around deserted hubcaps in the road, to slow down your own car because the 50 in front are going their maximum speed, which is, incidentally, half yours, to watch as these inferior drivers begin demanding you give them your bumper or your steering wheel or your whole damn car, as if they have some claim on it... is not to live, not in the way we should and can. So we either have to clean up the highway or leave it (hmm, instead of road rage, is that road shrugging?) for a deserted country road where we can at least go our own way, if without the limitless potential joys of interacting to our mutual benefit with other drivers.
  7. I'm with Tenure on this one. I can't speak as much to the damage done by using animation throughout the film, but as for the story (or, rather, the story as suggested in the preview) it seems a far cry from the original work. I really can't picture Beowulf doing the whole "I AM BEOWULF!!" thing. I think, were the script true to his character, he would simply dive into the cave or plunge the blade into his opponent or head back for another round at the mead hall. He's a doer, not a sayer. That's the beauty of his heroism--he's confident, even arrogant at times, but it's not flashed about as if he is looking for reassurance. Rather, it's all underlined by the subtle understanding that he can kick ass when he needs to, simple as that. Also, there is just no way Grendel's mom is meant to be a hottie. She is the most nefarious force Beowulf reckons with, and her appearance should mirror that. She is death, horror, evil personified--things that could never attract or tempt Beowulf. Making her character in the film a sexual one implies a weakness on his part, that he can be seduced by the enemy, that he has not fully integrated the idea that what is anti-life is disgusting and vile. So, I'm hanging on to my eight bucks.
  8. I say it centralizes on Che because, from my little knowledge of marketing, the split second of attention that calendar will receive from passers-by will be one spent glancing at and taking in the photo, rather than reading the title. If the picture were of someone obscure, say, Luther Burbank, the majority of customers would then have to pause and read the title in order to gather it was a calendar on horticulture. However, Che is a figure of international fame, likely moreso than Rand (another component that I assume led to his garnering the cover), so the odds of someone pausing to read 'Atheist' when they assume 'Socialist' is less likely. You know a great deal more about marketing than I do, so I assume you'll agree that there is no way the makers of that calendar did not put serious thought into who would adorn the cover. Your point about it facing the wall for a year is a great one. It's only value is eye-catching in the store. Which means ( A ) rational capitalists will turn away in disgust, ( B ) politically ambiguous atheists will pick it up and flip to the back, and ( C ) avowed socialists will have it in their basket before you can say 'commie.' But, maybe you're right, maybe this is a good thing. Specifically as it relates to my hypothesized group B. These are the people that could, hopefully, find February of special interest and pick up a copy of Atlas Shrugged next time they're at Borders, rather than something featuring Che. I think, actually, that potential good may outweigh the initial bad I was perceiving--having the symbol of Ayn Rand anywhere near a thing so loudly promoting the philosophy of a creature like Che. So, thanks for the food for thought. As for religion being a bigger threat than things like socialized healthcare, that's another discussion for another thread.
  9. I think an important aspect of this that no one but OF seems to be highlighting is that Che is not just another month of the calendar, he is on the cover. I understand and agree with the point that has now been made in numerous ways--that Ayn Rand's mere inclusion in a work that gives equal prominence to total scumbags is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, as Kendall suggested, it may be a very good thing. However, this is necessarily unlike the example of an encyclopedia in which entries of comparable importance receive an equivalent amount of space. Che's visage does not adorn the cover of any encyclopedia I've seen, nor do I think Ayn Rand would be included in such an atrocity. OF makes a good point. If Hitler (or Stalin) were on the cover of that calendar, February would have had to find another poster girl. Look at it; if you passed that calendar in a store would you even do more than pause to snarl? The title is minuscule compared to Che's face; barely an afterthought. Perhaps the publishers were hoping to ride the coat tails of the horrific fad Che has somehow become a part of (anyone else want to slap upside the head those hipsters wearing the Che shirts when they don't even know who he was?) or perhaps they really wanted to imply he represents some kind of atheistic ideal. Either way, the message clearly centralizes on the commie, not the atheism. I think it is possibly that some misguided atheist who is fostering socialistic sympathies because he thinks it compatible with his religious sensibilities may be inspired by the (rather well-written) blurb Rand has and change his ways. I also think it more likely that Rand has no business in that calendar.
  10. I like your profile pic better then you avatar now! What are you dressed up for? You look like you could sign on Broadway.

  11. Correct me if I'm wrong, Steve, but I think you are speaking of loving someone before or without an explicit statement of reciprocity from them. Loving someone the way you love a beautiful temple on a hill top; not knowing if you will ever live there, but knowing, when you pass it, that it is a beautiful and perfect ideal. I don't think "loving" Natalie Portman could be an appropriate analogy for that unless one knew her personally. That kind of love, the kind of love I think Steve means, is the kind of love that stirs within you when you see someone who is a perfect embodiment of your own ideals--not just physically, but emotionally, morally, rationally. And so you love them and value them and treasure the knowledge that they exist, whether you or they act or have acted on that attraction or not.
  12. I think the thing we're all dancing around putting our finger on here is that if someone does not love you back, they are intrinsically less attractive. For a man with a high self-esteem, who values himself and so can truly value others, the woman who does not "see" him like that and cannot or does not value him fully is less worthy for it. If one is unique and valuable and special and knows it, the potential lover who does not is immediately lacking. She or he does not, then, like what you like, value what you value (at least in this one essential instance) and so is incompatible in a crucial way. That person may still be incredibly valuable as a friend, admirable as a person, special even, but in the romantic context of this particular man and this particular woman together, the unrequiter is rendered unattractive.
  13. That's even hotter than the invariably attractive and shirtless men on the covers! Nice work.
  14. You hit the nail on the head, Steve. Once, a gentleman asked me on a date. I explained to him, gently and without spending too much time on the matter, why I would not and could not accept the offer. His response was, "I know those are problems I have. I was hoping you could fix me." I have not, to this day, gotten over the quiet sense of wonder that fills me at that concept. Wanting to be "fixed" by someone else. Not by your own productive effort, not by the beautiful and honed precision of your mind, identifying and solving problems, but by someone else's influence. What a sad morality that is.
  15. Wow! I don't know that I've ever seen that amount of texture established with water colors.
  16. I'm confused by this. Do you mean that if there was a man you admired, valued, etc. but did not feel a sexual attraction toward, you could just as easily opt for a woman whom you admired, valued, etc. but did not feel a sexual attraction toward? Also, is sexual attraction a matter of choosing the lesser of evils? I think, should there not be a soul on this earth I were attracted to romantically, a life devoid of sex would be the only rational course of action. I think the key issue here is that a woman, no matter how "butch" and no matter how much she denied her essential femininity, could never be masculine. A woman is fundamentally unlike a man. She is not physically, hormonally, or emotionally like a man in any way, and vice versa. So to say you do not make a distinction between men and women is fundamentally flawed. Masculinity, while a value in men, is an impossibility in women, by definition.
  17. I vote for reversing it, that way we can keep the handy palindromatic acronym.
  18. Don't know which one I like more your avatar or your profile pic.

  19. Hey, that's a cool avatar! ;)

  20. The graduate schools I'm applying to all require, among numerous other things, an academic resume. Having never made one before, I researched the thing online, talked to several professors, and attended some resume-writing workshops at my school. With each of these pursuits, one overarching piece of advice (though disguised for appearance's sake) has emerged: embellish. Every little thing I've done in the past four years that could at all be stretched to sound impressive, academic, or, most popularly, altruistic should be included, I'm told. Because it isn't a professional resume the one-page rule is out, so the more the better. Clubs, awards, volunteer work, research... They want it all. With the suggestions of these multiple sources, my resume is now three pages long, citing such obscure events as a blood drive I helped out with my freshman year, tutoring work (although there were only two clients), and being employee of the month at a coffee shop I haven't worked for in years. I've even been told, "It's good, but could you maybe work some religion into it somehow? Did you ever go to a youth group, even once, you can claim membership of?" But now I think I'm at my resume-shrugging point. I don't want to lie with statistics, embellish insignificant events, or otherwise dress up my life on paper. If I were bold enough, I would simply submit something along the lines of "I have a killer GPA, great test scores, and a work ethic like you've never seen. If you're wondering why I don't have more extracurricular and volunteer experience, it's because I care more about feeding myself than feeding the homeless and I've had at least one full-time job at every point of the last four years." But, realistically, I may simply turn in a short and sweet resume, listing my academic accolades and legitimate activities and work experience and nothing else. Anybody else fed up with the facades employers, schools, etc. demand? Have any good "resume-shrugging" stories?
  21. I am soooooo terribly excited all the time in anticipation that I can't feel any other emotions.... *marks another day off the calendar* :P

  22. And yours seems to me, "Oh, who bathed me in this divine light here!"

    :D I'm sure he must be very impressed. ;)

  23. It seems that the dominating protest to the name change is the unusual nature of "Cogito." Well, what does that matter? Yes, you will have to repeat it often, spell it more often, and explain it twice as much as all that. But does that matter? After all, you're picking it because it's meaningful to you. So, discussing it with curious strangers and acquaintances should be an enjoyable and meaningful experience. Your name is probably the word you hear most often in a day. I think it can have a great deal to do with your sense of self. I knew a guy named, seriously, Shithead, pronounced Shy-thead. He hated it, dreaded being addressed in public, and generally lost interest in meeting new people. Why should someone bear the burden of being addressed by a name that doesn't represent them? A name is a profoundly self-oriented thing, and it's a selfish decision you're making. To go by what you feel describes you best, because you care about who you are and want to represent that reality in your dealing with others. Don't factor every one else's reactions into your decision unless you really think it will be too much of a hassle to spell "Cogito" a couple times a day.
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