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Objectivism In Tv Shows

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I don't know if anyone here has started a thread on this yet.

I was flipping through channels today looking for something to watch when I come across a show called "Judging Amy." I was going to change the channel until one of the character mentioned Ayn Rand. Basically what happened was this: An old social worker gets a call from a kid saying that he is going to commit suicide and quotes part of Galt's speech. The show made it look like "Atlas Shrugged" made the kid want to commit suicide. I was really irritated with the misrepresentation of Objectivism. One character even called the Objectivism "...Attila the Hun meets Martha Sturt..."

I was wondering if anyone know of shows that do a good/bad job of representing Objectivism?

Edited by softwareNerd
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I was wondering if anyone know of shows that do a good/bad job of representing Objectivism?

I found a website that talks about it but doesn't always give specific references:

http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:Q2Rvv...mpsons%22&hl=en

Also I remember in Dirty Dancing, the jerk guy who knocked up baby's sister tries to give her (baby) a copy of the FH and says something like "In this world there are people who matter and people who don't"

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It seems there are more mis-representations ...Or downright slaps in the face.

Of course. Because people generally don't bother to do the research from which they'd glean a basic understanding. It's much easier to go by popular opinion, word of mouth and generalizations based on what one person (objectivist or not) says.

The other type of person is the ex-objectivist who never understood it but was fond of regurgitating some of the basics, then later when they realise it's not such a popular philosophy they feel duped and lash-out.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Of course.  Because people generally don't bother to do the research from which they'd glean a basic understanding. It's much easier to go by popular opinion, word of mouth and generalizations based on what one person (objectivist or not) says. 

The other type of person is the ex-objectivist who never understood it but was fond of regurgitating some of the basics, then later when they realise it's not such a popular philosophy they feel duped and lash-out.

And of course there are just those whom even when presented with the facts by an Objectivist or one with similar values, just refuses to think about it at all. In fact they would rather give the most ridicoulous 'arguments' instead of thinking about it for a moment.

I find that alot of people automatically reject Objectivism because it is so unknown and rarely followed. They decide that just because most people do not practise it it must be invalid, as though the number of people adhering to the philosophy somehow defines its validity. I notice a similar problem when debating whether or not Objectivist theory would work in practise. People often say something like "if it is so great, how come it isnt being applied to fix all our problems? " Duh!!! Because it requires alot of thought, and few people bother to do that.

And apparently, objectivism isnt practical, because it clashes with their distorted view of practicality...

Of course, I soon learnt not to argue much with these people...

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The worst reference I've seen was in South Park, where that officer guy learns to read and is given a copy of Atlas Shrugged. At the end of the episode he makes a speech saying that the book is the worst book in the entire world and he is giving up reading.

Wow I can see someone who was forced in HS to read fountainhead or something eventually saying later in life (having never re-read it) "it wasn't that good" or I didn't enjoy it. But AS isn't something that's assigned I don't believe in HS or college. You have to want to read that, usually as an adult. To call it out as not just bad, but the worst...I can't even imagine what lead to the decision to think that , or say it. It doesn't make sense...not if they actually read it. My mind is a blank right now I don't understand. :)

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There are several references to Objectivism in The Simpsons. The only one I remember though is when Marge becomes an actor. She needed a babysitter and the director of the play sent her to his sister's daycare. The sign on the building said "The Ayn Rand Daycare Center" or something like that.

The worst reference I've seen was in South Park, where that officer guy learns to read and is given a copy of Atlas Shrugged. At the end of the episode he makes a speech saying that the book is the worst book in the entire world and he is giving up reading.
I saw that episode too. It was annoying how blatant their criticism of the book was.
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Futurama also had a brief mention. I forgot the episode, but Fry, Leila, and Bender were underground New New York and and somebody said "There's nothing down here but [something] and old Ayn Rand books."

Just thought I would fill in the missing part of that. "There's nothing down here but crumpled up porno and Ayn Rand." And since they were down in the sewer, it's yet another negative reference to Objectivism.

It seems that most of the examples people have mentioned are negative. Does anyone know of any positive references to Rand?

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It seems that most of the examples people have mentioned are negative.  Does anyone know of any positive references to Rand?

It's been mentioned in other threads that there were some Objectivist-oriented themes in the series "Firefly". The upcoming movie release "Serenity" is based on that cancelled series.

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It's been mentioned in other threads that there were some Objectivist-oriented themes in the series "Firefly".  The upcoming movie release "Serenity" is based on that cancelled series.

I think Joss Whedon writes some of today's best dialogue.

Oh side note, I found the answer to "who is john galt?" apparently he is the guy who wrote the script for that new Ashlee Simpson movie. :(

http://imdb.com/title/tt0434424/

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The worst reference I've seen was in South Park, where that officer guy learns to read and is given a copy of Atlas Shrugged. At the end of the episode he makes a speech saying that the book is the worst book in the entire world and he is giving up reading. 

That character is an illiterate fool and a complete bone-head. Having him condemn "Atlas Shrugged" amounts to praising it.

Also there is a saying that "There is no such thing as bad publicity.". That is, it raises awareness of the book and some people might look at the book just to see why it was mentioned. Then they can judge for themselves whether the officer was right or wrong.

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  • 2 weeks later...

One of my favorite episodes of the original Star Trek series has a great Objectivist theme. The episode is called Mirror, Mirror, the plot synopsis of this episode is at this link here ----> Spock with a goatee.

This episode ends on a very hopeful note. Captain Kirk, right before he crosses over back into his own universe, appeals to the alternate Mr. Spock's logic that the evil empire that he serves is illogical. The alternate Mr. Spock seems to understand Kirk's reasoning.

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One of my favorite episodes of the original Star Trek series has a great Objectivist theme.  The episode is called Mirror, Mirror, the plot synopsis of this episode is at this link here ----> Spock with a goatee.

I like that story. It fits very well with the thread I started on

Movies displaying Objectivist Philosophy. Do you have anything else like that?

I just ask around, because: I need more mental food. :dough:

Edited by Felix
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There was an episode of the Beavis and Butt-Head spinoff, Daria, that mentioned Ayn Rand. I don't remember the exact quote or episode, but it amounted to the main character, Daria, referring to Atlas Shrugged as a book intellectuals read.

Daria is an intellectual loner who reminds me of a friend I had in high-school - the same friend who claimed to have read Atlas Shrugged in one day. Maybe she didn't lie, but I don't see how one could comprehend it in such a short amount of time.

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... the same friend who claimed to have read Atlas Shrugged in one day. Maybe she didn't lie, but I don't see how one could comprehend it in such a short amount of time.

I read very fast and I read it in three days. And I didn't understand everything then. Hell, I read Atlas Shrugged three times by now and I still don't get all of it.

I don't think you can fully understand a great book by just reading it once. You lose out on some of the best parts everytime you read it, but you find other gems.

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I was watching Home Improvement the other night. It was the episode where Tim is jealous of his wife spending time with a male member of her book club, so he decides to try and join. After the meeting (at which he made a fool of himself, knowing nothing of literature), when the ladies were leaving, Tim asked them which book they would be reading the following week. One of the ladies said The Fountainhead, and Tim exclaimed, "Oh yay, plumbing!"

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  • 5 years later...

*Commence thread necro*

There was a negative (subtle) reference to Rand in yesterday's episode of Supernatural. The two main characters of Supernatural often use aliases that are outside references (e.g. they gave their names as "Agent Geddy" and "Agent Lee" in one episode, referring to Rush bassist and singer Geddy Lee). In yesterday's episode, when one of the characters was soulless (literally, his soul was in hell at the time), his alias was given as Agent H. Roark, and his partner's as Agent Wynand. Made me sad, I really like the show too.

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In an episode of Lost (I don't remember which), a brief scene shows Sawyer reading The Fountainhead. I guess this again amounts to a negative portrayal of Ayn Rand: although Sawyer condemns Jack for running a "commie share-fest", he himself is an anarchist-, anti-law-, and might-is-right-type of a character.

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