Dennis Edwall

100,000 Atlas Shrugged DVDs Mistakenly Promote Self-Sacrifice, or Shit Happens

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http://gothamist.com...ds_mistaken.php

If you can get past the bleeding ignorance of this writer, there's this:

There's just one slight problem: the copy on the DVD describes the movie as "Ayn Rand's timeless novel of courage and self-sacrifice comes to life..." That's right, "self-sacrifice"—the very thing that Ayn Rand spent her whole life fighting against!

"It’s embarrassing for sure and of course, regardless of how or why it happened, we’re all feeling responsible right now," Scott DeSapio, Atlas Productions’ COO and Communications Director, tells an Atlas Shrugged fan blog. "You can imagine how mortified we all were when we saw the DVD but, it was simply too late—the product was already on shelves all over the Country. It was certainly no surprise when the incredulous emails ensued. The irony is inescapable."

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Ahh, great job by the film maker!

Could we possible look any stupider, any more incompetent and any more pathetic than this - oops. Maybe we can get Rick Perry to endorse the movie!

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Atlas Shrugged Producers Hope Their Delightful Mistake Will Sell DVDs

Vulture Fri, 11 Nov 2011 18:10 PM PST

Atlas Shrugged - Part I didn't do so well when it came out in theaters earlier this year (it's sad that there's so little room at the box office these days for unintentional sex comedies about trains ), but producers surely hoped the movie would get off to a more auspicious start on DVD. Whoops! Gawker noticed that producer Harmon Kaslow is promising a "recall" on 100,000 Atlas DVDs, though he's ...

LOL: âAtlas Shruggedâ DVDs Recalled Because of Objectivist-Opposing Marketing Blurb

/Film Fri, 11 Nov 2011 15:14 PM PST

This is simply beautiful. The first part of the movie adaptation of Ayn Rand's 'love it or hate it' novel Atlas Shrugged hit a few theaters early this year, and is now on DVD, the better to be the backbone of home drinking games. (Do a shot every time someone mentions metal or trains.) But the DVDs are being recalled, because of something that was printed in the marketing copy on the package ...

100,000 Atlas Shrugged DVDs Mistakenly Promote Self-Sacrifice

Gothamist Fri, 11 Nov 2011 14:21 PM PST

Ayn Rand's dogmatic 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged , beloved by simpleton frat boys and self-serving millionaires alike, was made into a movie that was released earlier this year to predictably derisive reviews. ("The dialogue seems to have been ripped throbbing with passion from the pages of Investorsâ Business Daily," quipped Roger Ebert .) But Objectivism adherents were no doubt enthralled, and ...

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Subject: Very Unusual? Tone Deaf? Inexperienced? Careless? Hubristic?

> Could we possible look any stupider, any more incompetent and any more pathetic than this - oops. Maybe we can get Rick Perry to endorse the movie! [Adam]

I guess it wouldn't bother me if this were a rare, one time only type of ineptitude. And it wouldn't bother me if Objectivism were doing so well, were so widely respected in academia, in the culture that a few mistakes wouldn't slow down our conquest of the culture. And it wouldn't bother me if I hadn't observed or been involved in other movements trying to make intellectual change or converts who do their jobs, pull projects off better.

For decades, I've been watching Objectivist intellectuals, Objectivist projects (Founders College?), the Objectivist movement make mistakes that experienced professionals in marketing, editing, writing, promotion, persuasion, social events, education and teaching tend to avoid.

Or that purely meritocratic hiring (or even just *retaining* - Bob Bidinotto, Robert Tracinski, George Reisman, John McCaskey, Donald Heath) of qualified, committed, top-notch people might help fix.

I could almost write a thousand pages on previous mistakes or missed opportunities. The two organized think tanks (ARI and TAS) have no monopoly on mistakes, of course. Even before they existed when it was a small group of individuals trying to spread Objectivism "tone deaf hubris" was often in evidence.

(This is minor in itself, but an event *only an hour ago* captures something: I have three redundant emails sitting in my box from one of the two major, contributor-supported Oist organizations about an online seminar in a few weeks. Whoopsy -- errors in the links and the text. both. Resent. Whoopsy Daisy -- More errors. Resent a third time. Office and Editing Skills 101: What you do is you check it and edit it -first-, just like this week's boner of saying Rand advocated self-sacrifice. And not only the original writer didn't notice, but no one else noticed. How on earth does that happen? Proofreading, much? Doesn't anyone *read their copy* (or op eds for typos and spelling) before sending them out. And it's in or very near the first sentence???)

I could tell the story of mistakes in doing Objectivist education and training, the mistakes in leasing the 'tapes' of the Peikoff courses that I was involved in. No air-conditioning in super-hot summer seminars in the middle of July - and having this pointed out several years running.

I could tell you the story about how I started seven campus clubs at major Southern California universities in multiple counties in only two months. And how the "powers that be" didn't want to allow me to go -nationwide- and do it at a hundred campuses. Even though it would have been essentially for free (travel costs). . . .

But I mean, really, what's the use.

The basic problem I think is the people involved are super-bright. And they know it. But they don't know their limitations or the need for a workmanlike care and the hiring of people who know more than they do in various areas.

...But I've posted on this for many, many years and it has no effect. Same Mistakes, New People Making Them

,,,,

[sorry about the bitterness of the rant, but I care deeply about the future and I'm so fed up that I'm often well past the point of tact and diplomacy**....By the way, at one point I -did- make these points or raise enormously polite questions tactfully, in private, non-judgmentally. For most of my experience with 'the movement', in fact.

But it was like bouncing cheese puffs off the shell of an armadillo.]

**Unfortunately, you can see this --- the anger and biliousness and frustration steadily escalating in many of my posts over the last few years on Oist boards.

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Subject: Very Unusual? Tone Deaf? Inexperienced? Careless? Hubristic?

> Could we possible look any stupider, any more incompetent and any more pathetic than this - oops. Maybe we can get Rick Perry to endorse the movie!

Adam, I guess it wouldn't bother me if this were a rare, one time only type of ineptitude. And it wouldn't bother me if Objectivism were doing so well, were so widely respected in academia, in the culture that a few mistakes wouldn't slow down our conquest of the culture. And it wouldn't bother me if I hadn't observed or been involved in other movements trying to make intellectual change or converts who do their jobs, pull projects off better.

For decades, I've been watching Objectivist intellectuals, Objectivist projects (Founders College?), the Objectivist movement make mistakes that experienced professionals in marketing, editing, writing, promotion, persuasion, social events, education and teaching tend to avoid.

Or that purely meritocratic hiring (or even just *retaining* - Bob Bidinotto, Robert Tracinski, George Reisman, John McCaskey, Donald Heath) of qualified, committed, top-notch people might help fix.

I could almost write a thousand pages on previous mistakes or missed opportunities. The two organized think tanks (ARI and TAS) have no monopoly on mistakes, of course. Even before they existed when it was a small group of individuals trying to spread Objectivism "tone deaf hubris" was often in evidence.

(This is minor in itself, but an event *only an hour ago* captures something: I have three redundant emails sitting in my box from one of the two major, contributor-supported Oist organizations about an online seminar in a few weeks. Whoopsy -- errors in the links and the text. both. Resent. Whoopsy Daisy -- More errors. Resent a third time. Office and Editing Skills 101: What you do is you check it and edit it -first-, just like this week's boner of saying Rand advocated self-sacrifice. And not only the original writer didn't notice, but no one else noticed. How on earth does that happen? Proofreading, much? Doesn't anyone *read their copy* (or op eds for typos and spelling) before sending them out. And it's in or very near the first sentence???)

I could tell the story of mistakes in doing Objectivist education and training, the mistakes in leasing the 'tapes' of the Peikoff courses that I was involved in. No air-conditioning in super-hot summer seminars in the middle of July - and having this pointed out several years running.

I could tell you the story about how I started seven campus clubs at major Southern California universities in multiple counties in only two months. And how the "powers that be" didn't want to allow me to go -nationwide- and do it at a hundred campuses. Even though it would have been essentially for free (travel costs). . . .

But I mean, really, what's the use.

The basic problem I think is the people involved are super-bright. And they know it. But they don't know their limitations or the need for a workmanlike care and the hiring of people who know more than they do in various areas.

...But I've posted on this for many, many years and it has no effect. Same Mistakes, New People Making Them

,,,,

[sorry about the bitterness of the rant, but I care deeply about the future and I'm so fed up that I'm often well past the point of tact and diplomacy**....By the way, at one point I -did- make these points or raise enormously polite questions tactfully, in private, non-judgmentally. For most of my experience with 'the movement', in fact.

But it was like bouncing cheese puffs off the shell of an armadillo.]

**Unfortunately, you can see this --- the anger and biliousness and frustration steadily escalating in many of my posts over the last few years on Oist boards.

Phil, I think your anger is well-judged.

The failure of Objectivism as a movement, as a spark of new ideas spreading from mind to mind; seems to be a failure of talent on all levels. Being super-bright and congratulating each other about it, does not a revolution make. To take one area, writing, the movement has produced no writers of talent who had any impact on the larger world. Objectivist-influenced fiction writers produce competent revenge fantasies, nothing more. And as to the philosophical writers, who are talented and more than competent,what is the impetus for anybody to read them? There are no evangelists. Contrast the Jesus movement, where converts of charisma and intellectual power went out to restate the message, changing it and refining it in the crrucibles of their souls. Peikoff and Kelley have stayed home in their cozy dens...best place for them.

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Didn't anyone affiliated with the film or the Atlas Society bother to proof the DVD copy? Apparently not. A basic and inexcusable blunder.

But look at the bright side. Fifty years from now those 100,000 DVDs might be collector's items and worth something. So if you think you will live for another 50 years, be sure to hang on to your copy and keep it in mint condition -- preferably in the original cellophane. . :wink:

Ghs

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Didn't anyone affiliated with the film or the Atlas Society bother to proof the DVD copy? Apparently not. A basic and inexcusable blunder.

But look at the bright side. Fifty years from now those 100,000 DVDs might be collector's items and worth something. So if you think you will live for another 50 years, be sure to hang on to your copy and keep it in mint condition -- preferably in the original cellophane. . :wink:

Ghs

George:

Sick minds think alike.

That thought rambled through my mind instantly as I read the article.

Adam

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> The failure of Objectivism as a movement, as a spark of new ideas spreading from mind to mind; seems to be a failure of talent on all levels. Being super-bright and congratulating each other about it, does not a revolution make. To take one area, writing, the movement has produced no writers of talent who had any impact on the larger world. Objectivist-influenced fiction writers produce competent revenge fantasies, nothing more. And as to the philosophical writers, who are talented and more than competent, what is the impetus for anybody to read them? There are no evangelists. Contrast the Jesus movement, where converts of charisma and intellectual power went out to restate the message, changing it and refining it in the crucibles of their souls. Peikoff and Kelley have stayed home in their cozy dens...best place for them. [Post #5]

Daunce, great points: relatively complacent self-congratulation..."no writers of talent"... philosophers need people with "charisma and intellectual power" to point them out, popularize them..and the need to "restate the message" in ways that are attractive and can be understood.

As far as the 'staying home in a cozy den', that is very different from what the early Christians did...as becomes clear in the book discussed in my "spreading a new philosophy" thread.

If there seems to be interest, I'll probably discuss it over there

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Objectivist-influenced fiction writers produce competent revenge fantasies, nothing more.

Which writers?

~ Shane

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Objectivist-influenced fiction writers produce competent revenge fantasies, nothing more.

Which writers?

~ Shane

Erika Holzer’s Eye for an Eye and Robert Bidinotto’s Hunter are probably the examples she’s thinking of. But why not include Ira Levin and James Clavell in the category of “Objectivist-influenced”?

BTW, I can’t help thinking that this “goof” is in fact a publicity stunt. It sure has people talking!

http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2011/11/11/ayn_rand_s_timeless_novel_of_courage_and_self_sacrifice.html?wpisrc=obnetwork

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http://gothamist.com...ds_mistaken.php

If you can get past the bleeding ignorance of this writer, there's this:

There's just one slight problem: the copy on the DVD describes the movie as "Ayn Rand's timeless novel of courage and self-sacrifice comes to life..." That's right, "self-sacrifice"—the very thing that Ayn Rand spent her whole life fighting against!

Technically, the novel contains examples of self-sacrifice and its consequences, no? So it could indeed be said to be a novel about courage and self-sacrifice (as well as production and looting, individualism and dependence, creative vision and envy, etc.)

J

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The failure of Objectivism as a movement, as a spark of new ideas spreading from mind to mind; seems to be a failure of talent on all levels.

Shouldn't they just use their powers of Objectivism and choose to be talented?

J

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> Shouldn't they just use their powers of Objectivism and choose to be talented?

As usual, what an incredibly dumb question.

(You've got to hope it's an example of brainless snarkiness rather than so elementary a grade-school misunderstanding of Objectivism.)

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> The failure of Objectivism as a movement, as a spark of new ideas spreading from mind to mind; seems to be a failure of talent on all levels. Being super-bright and congratulating each other about it, does not a revolution make. To take one area, writing, the movement has produced no writers of talent who had any impact on the larger world. Objectivist-influenced fiction writers produce competent revenge fantasies, nothing more. And as to the philosophical writers, who are talented and more than competent, what is the impetus for anybody to read them? There are no evangelists. Contrast the Jesus movement, where converts of charisma and intellectual power went out to restate the message, changing it and refining it in the crucibles of their souls. Peikoff and Kelley have stayed home in their cozy dens...best place for them. [Post #5]

Daunce, great points: relatively complacent self-congratulation..."no writers of talent"... philosophers need people with "charisma and intellectual power" to point them out, popularize them..and the need to "restate the message" in ways that are attractive and can be understood.

As far as the 'staying home in a cozy den', that is very different from what the early Christians did...as becomes clear in the book discussed in my "spreading a new philosophy" thread.

If there seems to be interest, I'll probably discuss it over there

Many thanks, Phil. I will be over on your new topic as I have always been fascinated by the phenomenon of conversion and movement-spreading, the book looks well worth discussion. As to snark---well, I will give a sermon to he who casts the first snark if it is gratuitous. Rise above. Turn the other you know what.,,,

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I am shocked that a discussion of religious conversion would sink so low!!125545j8cm8avcgh.gif

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> Shouldn't they just use their powers of Objectivism and choose to be talented?

As usual, what an incredibly dumb question.

(You've got to hope it's an example of brainless snarkiness rather than so elementary a grade-school misunderstanding of Objectivism.)

"No one is born with any kind of 'talent' and, therefore, every skill has to be acquired. Writers are made, not born. To be exact, writers are self-made."

Ayn Rand

Why haven't you "self-made" yourself as a writer, Phil? Why haven't you chosen to acquire any skills, and to use those skills for productive purposes? Why are you not using your volition to choose to practice the Objectivist virtues, and why have you chosen instead to slack off, to attempt to fake reality by constantly puffing yourself up, and by trying to derive counterfeit pride from scolding those whom you envy for their talents and achievements?

J

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Objectivist-influenced fiction writers produce competent revenge fantasies, nothing more.

Which writers?

~ Shane

Erika Holzer’s Eye for an Eye and Robert Bidinotto’s Hunter are probably the examples she’s thinking of. But why not include Ira Levin and James Clavell in the category of “Objectivist-influenced”?

BTW, I can’t help thinking that this “goof” is in fact a publicity stunt. It sure has people talking!

http://www.slate.com...pisrc=obnetwork

The authors I read, Terry Goodkind and Nicholas Dykes, were pretty damned good at their books. But, that is my opinion.

Terry Goodkind does have revenge subplots, such as when Kahlan goes into her Con Dar (not all instances are vengeful, but there are one or two). But his approaches are far from being revenge novels.

Nicholas's book is a "guide to happiness" fiction, and I don't recall any revenge there. Although it's slanted more towards anarchistic points of view, the plots are extremely tame.

Suffice to say, it's hard to nail down that "Objectivist-influenced fiction writers produce competent revenge fantasies, nothing more." Just sounds like stereotyping. Hence the question for specific authors ;)

~ Shane

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Suffice to say, it's hard to nail down that "Objectivist-influenced fiction writers produce competent revenge fantasies, nothing more." Just sounds like stereotyping. Hence the question for specific authors ;)

The class “Objectivist-influenced” isn’t defined, so at this point anything goes. Ralph Nader’s recent novel was influenced by Atlas Shrugged, does that count (obviously not)? Is any writer who has expressed admiration for Ayn Rand a candidate for inclusion? Tom Clancy? Or is it just people who are known to have attended courses? Then Ira Levin’s in, and James Clavell is out, however I think the influence is more evident in Clavell's work than Levin's.

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Objectivist-influenced fiction writers produce competent revenge fantasies, nothing more.

Which writers?

~ Shane

Erika Holzer’s Eye for an Eye and Robert Bidinotto’s Hunter are probably the examples she’s thinking of. But why not include Ira Levin and James Clavell in the category of “Objectivist-influenced”?

BTW, I can’t help thinking that this “goof” is in fact a publicity stunt. It sure has people talking!

http://www.slate.com...pisrc=obnetwork

The authors I read, Terry Goodkind and Nicholas Dykes, were pretty damned good at their books. But, that is my opinion.

Terry Goodkind does have revenge subplots, such as when Kahlan goes into her Con Dar (not all instances are vengeful, but there are one or two). But his approaches are far from being revenge novels.

Nicholas's book is a "guide to happiness" fiction, and I don't recall any revenge there. Although it's slanted more towards anarchistic points of view, the plots are extremely tame.

Suffice to say, it's hard to nail down that "Objectivist-influenced fiction writers produce competent revenge fantasies, nothing more." Just sounds like stereotyping. Hence the question for specific authors ;)

~ Shane

Shane, how did you miss the gleeful humiliation of the trespassers of Galt's Gulch West, or the triumphant foiling of stereotyped cops and officials in Scotland, or indeed the instant financial success of Jaques at age 18? Plus, he also gets to go to Oxford. Pure revenge, Dykes style.

I did not know that Clavell was Oinfluenced, I loved Shogun and very much enjoyed the Jardine novels.

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The DVD version of Atlas contains a special feature: "I am John Galt." This consists of hundreds of people looking into a camera, usually one at a time, and saying, "I am John Galt."

I thought this was clever for the first 5 or 10 minutes, despite the potentially pretentious "I am Spartacus" reference, but the segment continues for 35 minutes. The kids are cute, and the almost total absence of minority voices (there are a few black guys) is only slightly annoying, but after a half hour of hearing "I am John Galt" repeated so many times, I got the feeling I was listening to a mantra. In the final analysis, this segment won't do anything to dispel the cultish reputation of O'ism. It did, however, virtually guarantee that several hundred people would purchase the DVD. :cool:

Ghs

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When films are "ripped," condensed in file size, and placed on peer-to-peer networks such as BitTorrent, it's extremely rare for any of the special DVD/BD features to be included. (Except for subtitles, which are placed in separate files. On perhaps one out of fifty, a second audio track for a director's commentary.)

I take it that those who avail themselves *a-HEM!* of this mode of access — whether to gauge disc transfer quality, sample a film before a purchase, or defy a bankrupt concept of "IP" — aren't missing much by not having several hundred such affirmations being included.

Such postings do often include a scan of the front cover of the DVD or BD disc ... though rarely the back cover. Does anyone have such a scan of the latter, to show this philosophic and esthetic copywriting gaffe from the Gang Who Couldn't Market Straight? (And is offering replacement case inserts. Too late, really.)

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Objectivist-influenced fiction writers produce competent revenge fantasies, nothing more.

Which writers?

~ Shane

Erika Holzer’s Eye for an Eye and Robert Bidinotto’s Hunter are probably the examples she’s thinking of. But why not include Ira Levin and James Clavell in the category of “Objectivist-influenced”?

BTW, I can’t help thinking that this “goof” is in fact a publicity stunt. It sure has people talking!

http://www.slate.com...pisrc=obnetwork

The authors I read, Terry Goodkind and Nicholas Dykes, were pretty damned good at their books. But, that is my opinion.

Terry Goodkind does have revenge subplots, such as when Kahlan goes into her Con Dar (not all instances are vengeful, but there are one or two). But his approaches are far from being revenge novels.

Nicholas's book is a "guide to happiness" fiction, and I don't recall any revenge there. Although it's slanted more towards anarchistic points of view, the plots are extremely tame.

Suffice to say, it's hard to nail down that "Objectivist-influenced fiction writers produce competent revenge fantasies, nothing more." Just sounds like stereotyping. Hence the question for specific authors ;)

~ Shane

Shane, how did you miss the gleeful humiliation of the trespassers of Galt's Gulch West, or the triumphant foiling of stereotyped cops and officials in Scotland, or indeed the instant financial success of Jaques at age 18? Plus, he also gets to go to Oxford. Pure revenge, Dykes style.

I did not know that Clavell was Oinfluenced, I loved Shogun and very much enjoyed the Jardine novels.

Don't know of the first two to comment, however, I cannot argue the point of Jaques being well off. I'm guessing that implies revenge against the system. I'm working with you. But do you really consider the entire novel as being revenge? That's what I got from your first statement. I see pieces of revenge, not the whole puzzle being revenge.

~ Shane

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> saying, "I am John Galt."...clever for the first 5 or 10 minutes...this segment won't do anything to dispel the cultish reputation of O'ism. It did, however, virtually guarantee that several hundred people would purchase the DVD. [GHS]

Yeah, well, several hundred here, several hundred there....

After ten thousand years of incremental growth it will add up to a billion. :cool:

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[...] I think the influence is more evident in Clavell's work than Levin's.

Ever since I first read Shogun shortly after it appeared in 1975, I've wondered if the strong structural resemblances to Atlas Shrugged resulted from rather remarkable coincidence, or from subconscious influence, or from intent.

ND, do you happen to know of any evidence beyond that provided by Marcia Enright which would indicate when Clavell became an admirer of Rand's work? (Marcia cites the inscribed copy * of Noble House -- 1981 -- which Clavell sent to Rand, but I haven't succeeded at finding anything more specific as to the history of Clavell's admiration for Rand.)

--

* http://fountainheadinstitute.com/james-clavells-asian-adventures/

"This is for Ayn Rand/—one of the real, true talents on this earth for which many, many thanks/ James C/ New York / 2 Sept 81."

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