Atlas Shrugged: Good Men Are Hard to Find

Rose

Atlas Shrugged, part II, chapter IXDagny gets a letter from Quentin Daniels, the physicist she hired to work on reconstructing the motor. He tells her that he's reached the end of his rope and that he intends to cease his efforts, because "I do not wish to work in a world that regards me as a slave... I would not take it upon my conscience that anything produced by my mind should be used to bring them comfort."When she reads the letter, she frantically calls Daniels, who confirms his … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: Kiss with a Fist

Atlas Shrugged, part II, chapter IXI've said this before, but it bears repeating: Hank Rearden is an awful human being.He's jealous, possessive, self-centered and misogynist. He has a short fuse and a violent temper. He makes a point of never caring about anyone's welfare but his own. He feels contempt and disgust for his family. He cares about nothing but work, is disgusted by charity and socializing. He cheats on his wife, lies to her about it, and threatens to beat her when she finds … [Read more...]

Marriage Is Suffering and Suffering Is Good: A Catholic View

BirthControlPills

Last week, I wrote about the crushing burden of fear and guilt about sex that women labor under in Orthodox Judaism. Taught to fear pleasure, to shun knowledge and to regard their own bodies as sinful vessels, they often end up in loveless and unhappy marriages, trapped by religious rules that bar them from happiness and affection.But I don't want to give the impression that Judaism is the only religion which has irrational, anti-humanistic rules about sex, and Catholicism has some uniquely … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: Objectivist Mating Rituals

Atlas Shrugged, part II, chapter IXWhile Francisco is being cryptic at Dagny about the disappeared capitalists, their conversation is interrupted by a surprise visitor:The sound they heard was the turning of a key in the lock of the entrance door. The door opened and Hank Rearden came in....Francisco had risen to his feet, as if in the unhurried, automatic manner of a d'Anconia trained to the code of courtesy. There was nothing that Rearden could see in his face. But what she saw … [Read more...]

The Crushing Burden of Religious Sex Guilt

OffLimits

This week, there was a lengthy profile of Bat Sheva Marcus, a Jewish sex counselor who helps Hasidic Jews with intimacy problems in their marriages. Marcus is merely Orthodox, rather than ultra-Orthodox like most of her clients: she "sometimes wears pants", and though her synagogue has segregated men's and women's sections, they're side-by-side rather than consigning women to the back. (By ultra-Orthodox standards, this is straying dangerously close to anything-goes liberalism.)As in other … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: To Have and To Hold

Consolation

Atlas Shrugged, part II, chapter VIIIHappy New Year! If you haven't already seen it, here's an article that's worth a laugh: an Ayn Rand acolyte pens an editorial in the Washington Post explaining how to have a properly selfish Objectivist Christmas, and why the holiday season is really about gratifying your own desires rather than caring for or thinking about the less fortunate.I think this is my favorite line: "When we wish happy holidays to strangers, that, too, stems from … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: Ad Baculum

Fist

Atlas Shrugged, part II, chapter VHank and Dagny are returning to New York after their trip to Colorado. Hank's wife Lillian, by now, has come to suspect that these "business trips" are about more than just business, so she arranges to be waiting for him on the platform:Her first sight of Rearden in the crowd came as a shock: she had not seen him step out of a car, but there he was, walking in her direction from somewhere far down the length of the train. He was alone. He was walking … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: Slash Fiction

MaleSymbols

Atlas Shrugged, part II, chapter IVRearden is winning plaudits for the innovative "la la la, I'm not listening to you" defense strategy he deployed at his trial. Even the government overseer at his mills, the boy Rand nicknames the Wet Nurse, is coming to admire him:The Wet Nurse asked him at the mills, "Mr. Rearden, what's a moral premise?""What you're going to have a lot of trouble with."The boy frowned, then shrugged and said, laughing, "God, that was a wonderful show! What … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: Cherchez la Femme

You're the only one who understands me.

Atlas Shrugged, part II, chapter IIIAfter the disastrous ending of Jim Taggart's wedding party, Hank drops Lillian off at the train station, telling her he has to stay in New York for some more business appointments the next day. Then he goes straight to Dagny's apartment for that hot capitalist lovin' he missed out on earlier. Later, their pillow talk wanders to the subject of Hank's wife:"Dagny, what do you think of my marriage?""I have no right to think of it.""You must have … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: The Marital Contract

WeddingRings

Atlas Shrugged, part II, chapter IIFollowing his illegal meeting with Ken Danagger, Hank Rearden is still in his hotel room in New York, eagerly anticipating a night of adulterous sex with Dagny, when he has a surprise visitor:When the door of his room flew open without warning, he did not quite hear or believe it, at first. He saw the silhouette of a woman, then of a bellboy who put down a suitcase and vanished. The voice he heard was Lillian's: "Why, Henry! All alone and in the … [Read more...]


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