Atlas Shrugged: Bells and Whistles

AtlasPart2Computers

Atlas Shrugged Part II: The StrikeIn most things, the producers of Atlas Shrugged Part II were unwilling to deviate in the slightest from the book. They followed the text as slavishly as possible, keeping everything that screen-time and budget constraints would allow. But there are a few places where they chose to make changes, one of which was the climactic train-disaster scene of Part II. It's illuminating to look at the reasons why, and to see what the changes show - or fail to show - … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: Talking Is Not a Free Action

Atlas Shrugged Part II: The StrikeThe hallmark of Atlas Shrugged is the character filibuster: the story grinds to a halt so that one of Rand's heroes can deliver a long, apparently extemporaneous speech, explaining the philosophical grounding and moral implications of Objectivism in grueling detail. These often stretch to absurd lengths: for example, Francisco's speech at Jim Taggart's wedding about the importance of money is about 2,600 words long. Most people speak at about 120 words per … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: Bring Me a New Black Guy

Fig. 1: Eddie Willers

Atlas Shrugged Part II: The StrikeThe most noticeable and jarring change between the first and second Atlas movies is that this one has an entirely new cast. This page from the Atlas Society explains why: Part 1 was shot in a rush to keep John Aglialoro's rights from expiring, and the time pressure and limited budget meant there wasn't time to get the actors to commit to more than one film. The page doesn't say so, but the fact that the first movie bombed surely gave them no great desire to … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: The Craft of Not Acting

Atlas Shrugged Part II: The StrikeIn 2011, a wealthy businessman named John Aglialoro produced a movie based on the first part of Atlas Shrugged. Aglialoro imagined himself as John Galt, boldly speaking the truth to a complacent world. As it turned out, he was more like Ivy Starnes, the inheritor of a famous brand who thought people would flock to buy an inferior product just because of the name stamped on it. The film landed with a resounding thud at the box office, earning back less than … [Read more...]

A Christian vs. an Atheist: On God and Government, Part 11

This is part 11 of my "Think! Of God and Government" debate series with Christian author Andrew Murtagh. Read my latest post and Andrew's reply.Hello Andrew,I'm ready to move on to comparing our views on government, really! But I have to tarry on one small point:Goodness itself is not a necessary truth, but God as the Final Cause (Being and Goodness itself) is a necessary truth in the Aristotelian-Thomistic conception, (goodness being inseparable from God's nature).I've read … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: The Rapture of the Capitalists

Rapture

Atlas Shrugged, part II, chapter XLeaving the stranded train behind, Dagny and Owen Kellogg set out into the night to seek help. As they walk along the tracks, they get to talking. Dagny tells Kellogg how hard her job has become, lamenting, "I don't have a single first-rate man left on the Taggart system" (ouch - sorry, Eddie!), and offers him any job he wants if he'll work for her again:"All right. Track walker.""What?""Section hand. Engine wiper." He smiled at the look on her … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: Thank You For Riding Taggart Transcontinental

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Atlas Shrugged, part II, chapter XHaving heard the tramp's conveniently about-to-be-relevant tale, Dagny drifts off to sleep, puzzling over what it might mean. When she wakes up, it's to a sudden, disorienting silence: the train has stopped moving.The sweep of her hand pressed the light switch and the bell to summon the porter. The electric light came on and brought her back to a rational world. She glanced at her watch: it was a few minutes past midnight. She looked out of the rear … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: Sixteen Tons

Scrip

Atlas Shrugged, part II, chapter XThe tramp on Dagny's train reveals how the mysterious meme "Who is John Galt?" came into being, and why he fears he might have been the one who started it:"Well, there was something that happened at that plant where I worked for twenty years. It was when the old man died and his heirs took over. There were three of them, two sons and a daughter, and they brought a new plan to run the factory. They let us vote on it, too, and everybody — almost e … [Read more...]

Book Review: Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

SmokeGetsInYourEyes

Summary: Morbid, irreverent and funny, but a subtle and compassionate humanism runs throughout.Caitlin Doughty is a mortician, the creator of a popular YouTube series answering questions about the funeral industry, and the founder of the Order of the Good Death, a "death acceptance" organization dedicated to helping people reconcile with mortality. Her book Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and Other Lessons from the Crematory grows out of that mission, offering a disarmingly honest glimpse into an … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: Hobo Sign

ManInBlackAndWhite

Atlas Shrugged, part II, chapter XDagny is in a desperate race against time to reach Quentin Daniels, the physicist whose brain might save the world, if only she can persuade him to resume his work before it's too late. So, naturally, she takes a transcontinental train that will take several days to get her there, rather than flying.The telegraph poles went racing past the window, but the train seemed lost in a void, between a brown stretch of prairie and a solid spread of rusty, … [Read more...]


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