Barking Kitten

Fiction, musings on literature, food writing, and the occasional Friday cat blog. For lovers of serious literature, cooking, and eating.


Close to forty. Not cool. Politically left. Atheist. Happily married. No kids.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Hairball of the week

And it's only Monday. Maybe I need to refine this into the Hairball Roundup, or some such. Maybe a hairball rating? A scale of one to five?

This article discusses the endless quest to turn Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged into a movie.

Poor Ayn Rand. People love to hate her, and with good reason. She was not generous. She did not play nicely with others. She hurt those she loved. And she wrote those nasty books promulgating selfishness.

I like Ayn Rand's books. I don't agree with much of her philosophy, though her thoughts on taking responsibility for one's actions are worth recalling. Perhaps the President might read her books and admit wrongdoing. Perhaps I might grow wings.

Anyway, I read Atlas and Fountainhead as a teen, and those cold, sharp, decisive characters made an impression. Especially Dagny Taggart, who, as a woman running a railroad, arguably paved at least some of the way for the concept of female leadership. Remember, this book was published in 1957. Betty and Gloria weren't on the scene yet. We women were supposed to be happy housewives having babies. Not beautiful Dagny. She was power suiting before Armani, showing off her sexy legs in high heels, having an affair with steel tycoon Henry Reardon, and running Taggart Transcontinental.

My paperback copy of Atlas Shrugged is 1,084 pages. Even the most dedicated, honest moviemaker would have difficulty condensing that much material into a decent two-hour screenplay. But this latest band of would-be Atlas makers is cause for concern. Phil Anschutz? I knew little of the guy, but Hockeyman hit the roof when he read this. So I went to Wikipedia, where I learned Anschutz is the 31st richest man in the United States. And an evangelical Christian. Huh? Then I clicked over to "social causes" and found this:

"Anschutz has been an active patron of a number of religious and right-wing causes:
Helped fund Amendment 2, a ballot initiative to overturn a Colorado state law protecting gay rights.[1]
Helped fund the Discovery Institute, the conservative Christian think tank that is the center of the intelligent design movement. [1]
Supported the Media Research Council, which generated nearly all the indecency complaints with the FCC in 2003. [1]"

How Angelina Jolie, who appears to be interested in singlehandedly rescuing Africa, could possibly be involved with this pond scum boggles my little mind. (Let's not even discuss how ill-cast the va-va-voom Jolie is in this role...nope. Or who on earth would play John Galt. Brad Pitt? George Clooney?)

Having a bunch of Right Wing Christians mucking about in the former Alice Rosenbaum's masterwork is--hell, let's say it--sacreligious. Rand was a passionate atheist, and while none of us know what she'd make of issues like gay marriage, we all know how she'd feel about the FCC (she fled Russia after the revolution) and the notion of "intelligent design."

Non-believers can only hope the project falls through. The faithful ought to pray.

Four hairballs.


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