A bit of slumming round the SLOP-trough today yielded this new piece by Jennifer Burns. It's quite lengthy, and there's quite a few mistakes in it, surprising things like saying The Passion of Ayn Rand was published in 1984, and that the estate has put out a volume titled Diaries of Ayn Rand. She also refers to Neil Parille as not just a Neo-Objectivist, but as a leader of this "faction" (my understanding is that he doesn't consider himself an Objectivist at all, Neo or otherwise). She takes aim at certain people, and is pretty disparaging of online Randland in general. Here's a favorite part:
My book validated the general worldview and intellectual approach of the neos, but it was most important to them as bloodsport, for it enabled them to attack their favorite enemy in the world, James Valliant. A Los Angeles area lawyer, Valliant is also author of The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics, a vigorous defense of Rand that can only with charity be called a book. The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics is a prosecutor's brief against Barbara and Nathaniel Branden, collecting in one venomous screed all the accumulated rage and denial of the Orthodox community. The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics is also noteworthy for being the first book to sample from the Ayn Rand Archives, and it includes several painful-to-read diary entries written by Rand during her breakup with Branden. Though Valliant intended these passages to puncture the legend of Nathaniel Branden, what they reveal instead is the desperate rationalization of a woman unable to comprehend the social or emotional world around her.
While I enjoyed stirring the pot by treating Valliant with respect rather than scorn, and wanted to follow the Objectivist discourse generated by my book, as a full-time college professor I simply did not have the time to keep up with the pace of discussion.