10 Shameless Right-Wing Tributes to Ayn Rand That Should Make Any Sane Person Blush
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Not being a Zhdanovite myself, I hope the now indie-scale Atlas comes out well; look what fun King Vidor got out of The Fountainhead! But conservatives, alas, aren't interested in quality -- victory is all they want: Big box-office, and proof that America loves what they love.
And so at Big Hollywood John Nolte talks up the troubled production as a sure winner despite its "colorful history." As for the casting debacle, the producer suggests to Nolte that he was in fact happy to do without "the 'distractions' often associated with 'A-List' talent.'"
Spoken like a show-biz professional! Plus, more good news: The $5 million project is now only part one of a proposed Atlas Shrugged trilogy (the three parts to be titled Atlas Shrugs, Atlas Takes a Load Off and Atlas Shows All You Bastards, presumably). Mediaite's Frances Martel is dazzled: "The progress on the set of Atlas Shrugged," she gushes, is really "a much more important story to both pop culture and the political world" than, say, the recent Shirley Sherrod scandal, which the damn liberal media chose to follow instead "because race is a sexy thing to cover," unlike wonkish subjects like Hollywood movies.
Of course, the real hardcore Randians don't even want to see the picture made. "Every time they turn a novel into a movie," grouses Galt's Gulch or Bust, "about 80% of the vital dialogue gets left out, and sometimes, when artistic freedom takes hold, the plot and underlying theme of the story take on a complete new form." Nonetheless, if it has to be made, GGOB wants John Galt to be played by...Rand Paul. (Well, Harold Russell never made a movie before The Best Years of Our Lives, either, and he won an Oscar.)
10. The ideal Randian art: Soviet and Nazi kitsch
In his 1998 paper " Unexpected Illustrations of Ayn Rand's Philosophy of Aesthetics," presented to the International Society for Individual Liberty Convention in Berlin, Christian Michel says, "I will examine how Rand's aesthetics can help us to reassess certain artistic works."
Rand, he explains, favored heroic art calculated to inspire "admiration, exaltation, a sense of challenge." Modern artists like Paul Klee and Joan Miro, with their crappy little squiggles, failed to rise to this standard. "Pure tomfoolery," Michel sniffs. (For obvious reasons, this low view of the moderns is shared by many Randians.)
Fortunately, Michel says, abstractionist buffoons weren't the only artists working in the 20th century. "Rand's aesthetics can help us to reassess certain artistic works that are for the most part spurned today," he writes, "specifically art produced under the National/Socialist and Communist regimes."
Hold on -- does he mean the Nazis and the Soviets?
He does indeed. "Because the leaders of the Nazi and Communist regimes were mere thugs," he writes, "we find it difficult to believe that they could produce any culture, art, or beauty. In fact, quite the opposite is true."
Michel effuses over the art of these tyrant regimes, the kitsch as well as the Constructivism. Though he sometimes suggests that the artists were inwardly rebelling at their masters' wishes, he swoons unironically over statues featuring rippling Hero Worker biceps, and finds Franz Klimtsh's "Galathea" "the embodiment of beauty, full stop." He also likes the nudes Hitler commissioned for his apartment in Munich.
One lesson some of us might take from this is that Rand's aesthetic vision was, to put it kindly, better suited to propaganda ministries than the atelier. But this was written for a Randroid conference, after all. So, in cheerful "Springtime for Hitler" mode, while admitting that Rand's "artistic culture... seems limited to what she read as a teenager," Michel still endorses it, and suggests, "let's look for the artists that bring out the hero that is inside each one of us."