Weird weird weird - Rand and Greenspan in Bed?

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Weird weird weird - Rand and Greenspan in Bed?

I've seen some weird anti-Objectivist humor over the years. I thought the weirdest by far was The Floating Head of Ayn Rand.

But, incredibly, I think someone just passed this threshold. Check out the following "article":

New Report Details Sexual Relationship Between Ayn Rand and Alan Greenspan, Proving Most Americans Have Therefore Slept with Ayn Rand

By BC Bass

October 4, 2011

Bennington Vale Evening Transcript

From the article:

Sociologists from San Narciso’s Poeslaw Institute for Social Research and Development (PISRAD) released a disturbing report on Tuesday that exposed new evidence of a sexual relationship between Ayn Rand, the progenitor of Objectivism, and Alan Greenspan, the American economist who served as Chairman of the Federal Reserve between 1987 and 2006. The study, a joint effort between PISRAD and Professor Regis Ketamine’s sociology team at San Narciso College, includes newly discovered entries from Greenspan’s journals. Janus Heuchler, the director of PISRAD, explained that the journal excerpts were found pressed between the pages of an old diary belonging to Rand, which went on auction last Wednesday. Heuchler described himself as elated with the find, but the more reserved Ketamine warned of distressing ramifications nationwide: “If Alan Greenspan screwed Ayn Rand and America, then we’ve all slept with Ayn Rand. That’s not something to be taken lightly.”

OK, that last quip was kinda funny, but that's about as funny as this thing gets. The rest is just simply exaggerating misinformation about Rand.

The point of satire is to poke fun at and embellish something real. A politician recently made this about as clear as you can make it. Chris Christie said poking fun at his weight is fair game (so long as the comedian is funny and not lame). But trying to portray Christie as a person who cannot make decisions because he does not have enough self-control to lose weight is simply boneheaded. It's not based on reality.

In other words, if the focus is weight on a fat person, that's cool.* If the focus is lack of decision-making ability in politics for an accomplished politician, that is completely invalidated by his record.

This is exactly the error of the satire piece. Rand haters will love it, Rand lovers will hate it, but I predict that the general population will simply not get it. I think they will mostly ignore this thing.

Here are some of the weird points.

  • Greenspan annulled his marriage to Joan Mitchell because he was paranoid about her becoming a peace-nik singer on the sly.
  • Rand admired the child killer Hickman because he shaved his pubic hairs with a device made from nun’s teeth and orphan knuckles.
  • Rand approved of her cancer because the cancer cells were competing on the free market inside her body.
  • Rand called Greenspan "the undertaker" because he was able to navigate her ghastly vagina (the author used Poe-like language for the description).
  • Rand wanted Greenspan to urinate on her manuscripts and fart on her.

I'm a person who finds Rothbard's "Mozart was a Red" funny. (I've tried not to, I swear, but I'm too good natured to relegate it to simply an arrogant put-down pose. I see a lot of playful poke in the ribs in it.)

But I can't relate to that odd stuff above.

It's not that I find it offensive, which it is, although I personally don't feel anything along these lines. For the record, I mostly feel perplexity.

The problem is that it is weird qua weird. Sort of like taking that Floating Head of Ayn Rand thing and redoing it as something like the Floating Bowel Movements of Ayn Rand.

That's supposed to be an attack?

It just isn't funny. It's mediocre and lame.

What's worse, it comes with a presentation that shows some real effort went into it.

I wish I could find some common ground with this thing so I could understand the mind of the person who created it, but I draw a blank.

Well, there it is.


* One caveat. I believe making fun of a fat person isn't cool if it hurts the fat person's feelings real bad. But even with this caveat, that's not the point of what I was talking about. In good lampooning, the real stuff--however distorted--is the foreground. It's the subject. In bad satire, the real stuff is loosely connected as background to an unreal subject. You can get away with this for the length of a quip, which will have the same humor value as a pun, but once you go beyond that, it gets really lame.

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I’ve seen this site before. It’s supposed to appeal to Pynchon fans, but speaking for the target market, it is just utterly lame. BTW, San Narciso is a fictional location in The Crying of Lot 49, one of the “columnists” goes by the name Wendell “Mucho” Maas, a character in the same book (also Vineland), and there’s another one named Zapf, who I’m pretty sure is a character in Gravity’s Rainbow (or it might be Zampf, I’d have to look).

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The great - and ironic - thing about the Rand bashing, is that when the readers of their invective one day decide to actually pick up and read one of her books (perhaps out of curiosity - can she really be as bad as they say?), is the sudden realization that they "have been had." No doubt, a lot of Rand's readers became her fans after they made that discovery.

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