Atlas Shrugged: Fix Fic

Atlas Shrugged Part III: Who Is John Galt?I sat through the indifferent acting, threadbare script and shoddy production values of Atlas Shrugged Part III for one reason above all: I was eager to see how they dealt with the Eddie problem.As you'll remember, the book ends with Ayn Rand stranding Eddie Willers in the desert to die alone of thirst and exposure, while none of his supercapitalist friends care or even remember him. It's a fate so callous that it even makes some of Rand's … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: Also Starring

Atlas Shrugged Part III: Who Is John Galt?On paper, Objectivism and other libertarian ideologies ought to appeal equally to the left and to the right. After all, libertarianism promotes economic deregulation, but also greater personal liberty, such as to take recreational drugs, have same-sex marriages, or use contraception. The parts that conservatives dislike, liberals ought to approve of, and vice versa. Yet in practice, libertarians consistently ally with conservatives and not with … [Read more...]

New on AlterNet: 10 Final Lessons from Atlas Shrugged

My latest column is now up on AlterNet, "Ayn Rand's Demented Mind Is Best Understood by Her Idea of the 'Happy Ending' in Her Bestseller 'Atlas Shrugged'". This is the third and last of the "10 Lessons" posts I've been writing, one for each section of Atlas Shrugged, that sums up the moral principles taught in each major section of the book (part two, part one). Read the excerpt below, then click through to see the rest:In Ayn Rand's eyes, this is a happy ending. The government thugs who … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: They Just Didn’t Care

Atlas Shrugged Part III: Who Is John Galt?After plucking her out of the burning wreckage of her crashed plane (an event that, like in the books, only causes minor bruising and slight sleepiness), bargain-basement Matthew McConaughey takes Dagny on a tour of the capitalists' secret utopia. Remember, Galt's Gulch is high in the alpine wilderness of the Rocky Mountains, so it makes total sense that they drive through towering groves of these:These must be the famous majestic redwoods of … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: The Nth Doctor

Atlas Shrugged Part III: Who Is John Galt?Part of what adds to the general aura of amateurishness around the Atlas trilogy is that the third movie has a completely different cast than the second (which had a completely different cast than the first). Obviously, if it had been either a critical or commercial success, the actors would be more eager to reprise their roles. As is, it seems like everyone associated with the films couldn't cash their paychecks and get out of town fast … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: Take Our Word For It

Atlas Shrugged Part III: Who Is John Galt?There was a third Atlas Shrugged movie.If you weren't aware it existed, that's understandable. The first movie was made with a respectable $20 million budget and bombed horrendously, earning back less than one-quarter of that. The second movie was made with just half the budget, and it showed. Despite opening on three times as many screens, it bombed even worse than the first one. You'd think that by this point, a Randian supercapitalist would … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: Exeunt Omnes

Atlas Shrugged, part III, chapter XAfter three years and 160(!) posts, we've finally come to the very last scene of Atlas Shrugged. In our previous installment, Ayn Rand lowered the curtain on Eddie Willers, inexplicably abandoned by his closest friends to die in the desert. In this closing scene, she takes us to Galt's Gulch to show what the capitalists are doing instead.It's a quick scene, with just a few lines devoted to each of the protagonists. But in those few lines, like a … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: The Passion of Eddie Willers, Part II

Atlas Shrugged, part III, chapter XAnd now, the crowning infamy.The last time we saw poor, tragic Eddie Willers, he'd set out on a suicide mission to restore Taggart service in California - technically against Dagny's wishes, but she didn't make more than a feeble effort to dissuade him. Now, at the very end of the novel, we find out what happened to him:The locomotive of the eastbound Comet broke down in the middle of a desert in Arizona....When Eddie Willers called for the … [Read more...]

Some Right-Wing Christians Enthusiastically Promoting a Form of Genocide

This article originally appeared on AlterNet.In 2014, Charisma magazine, a major media outlet for evangelical and Pentecostal Christians, published an open call to genocide. The article in question, titled "Why I Am Absolutely Islamaphobic" [sic] and written by Gary Cass, begins with the premise that "every true follower of Mohammed" wants to "subjugate and murder" non-Muslims, and therefore it's impossible for Christians to live together peacefully with them.Cass proposes three … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: The Galtocaust

Atlas Shrugged, part III, chapter X(Thanks to Sajanas for the title suggestion!)With John Galt on board safe and sound, the capitalists' plane heads for the Gulch and freedom, leaving the looters' world behind. The countryside below them is "an empty black sheet", reduced to darkness by the collapse of society:But when the place that had once been the source of the tide — New York City — rose in the distance before them, it was still extending its lights to the sky, still defying th … [Read more...]