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Screenwriting Prompt from Real Life If any budding writer can't take the following news story as a prompt and turn it into an industry-grade horror movie screenplay, he's not even a hack. LOL... 76-year-old Tries to Attack Son with Chainsaw, Son Runs Him Over with Lawn Mower I mean, swap out the family feud angle and do a "Monster in the House" story and one act is already done. Hell, you can even keep the family feud as a subplot. ("Monster in the House" is one of ten standard blockbuster premise situations given in a book called Save the Cat by Blake Snyder. I'm not crazy about the rigidity of structure and beat placement in the book, but the identification of dramatic situations that resonate with the wide public is one of the best I've seen anywhere. Several of Ayn Rand's dramatic situations can be pegged to this system.) Michael
Has at it here in a post taken from the http://www.peikoff.com/ site, front page, in response to a question about Ayn Rand and smoking. I will search diligently to find out what the heck this snippet means. Q: If Ayn Rand were still alive, would she smoke? A: No. As a matter of fact, she stopped smoking in 1975. When the Surgeon General in the 50s claimed that smoking was dangerous, he offered nothing to defend this view but statistical correlations. Ayn Rand, of course, dismissed any alleged “science” hawked by Floyd Ferris, nor did she accept statistics as a means of establishing cause and effect. Statistics, she held, may offer a lead to further inquiry but, by themselves, they are an expression of ignorance, not a form of knowledge. For a long period of time, as an example, there was a high statistical correlation between the number of semicolons on the front page of The New York Times and the number of deaths among widows in a certain part of India. In due course, when scientists had studied the question, she and all of us came to grasp the mechanism by which smoking produces its effects—and we stopped. Doesn’t this prove, you might ask, that she was wrong to mistrust the government? My answer: even pathological liars sometimes tell the truth. Should you therefore heed their advice?