Atlas Shrugged Part II Reviews


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Michael, I like the way you said that.

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,,,in which the Men of the Mind stride forth to till the soil, freed at last from looters and moochers, but somewhat hampered by an absence of working ploughs or seeds.

Carol, I know you're not an Objectivist but at the very least you could try to make a more reasonable criticism.

Also remember that Galt's Gulch actually had working farms so I'd assume the strikers are all reasonably familiar enough with agriculture as to have ploughs and seeds.

Objectivism has never alleged that "everything unpleasant about anything is due to the existence of looters and moochers."

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,,,in which the Men of the Mind stride forth to till the soil, freed at last from looters and moochers, but somewhat hampered by an absence of working ploughs or seeds.

Carol, I know you're not an Objectivist but at the very least you could try to make a more reasonable criticism.

Also remember that Galt's Gulch actually had working farms so I'd assume the strikers are all reasonably familiar enough with agriculture as to have ploughs and seeds.

Objectivism has never alleged that "everything unpleasant about anything is due to the existence of looters and moochers."

I think it depends on what Carol meant by the "Men of the Mind." Is Leonard Peikoff a "Man of the MInd"? Peter Schwartz? Harry Binswanger? If so, then I'd have to agree with Carol. They'd be hampered by an absence of ploughs and seeds. They wouldn't have the slightest clue how to make things with their hands from raw materials. Not only that, but they'd be arrogantly certain of their every uninformed opinion, and would massively underestimate the importance of mastering the arts and sciences of production through hands-on experience, trial and error. They'd be totally lost and dependent on begging if the world's actual producers went on strike.

J

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,,,in which the Men of the Mind stride forth to till the soil, freed at last from looters and moochers, but somewhat hampered by an absence of working ploughs or seeds.

Carol, I know you're not an Objectivist but at the very least you could try to make a more reasonable criticism.

Also remember that Galt's Gulch actually had working farms so I'd assume the strikers are all reasonably familiar enough with agriculture as to have ploughs and seeds.

Objectivism has never alleged that "everything unpleasant about anything is due to the existence of looters and moochers."

I think it depends on what Carol meant by the "Men of the Mind." Is Leonard Peikoff a "Man of the MInd"? Peter Schwartz? Harry Binswanger? If so, then I'd have to agree with Carol. They'd be hampered by an absence of ploughs and seeds. They wouldn't have the slightest clue how to make things with their hands from raw materials. Not only that, but they'd be arrogantly certain of their every uniformed opinion, and would massively underestimate the importance of mastering the arts and sciences of production through hands-on experience, trial and error. They'd be totally lost and dependent on begging if the world's actual producers went on strike.

J

Yes, actually, as it was Part IV that was proposed, I was not thinking of the producers, I am sure Ragnar and Co. would have been capable of practical action to get some food growing, It was the next generation Theorizers I was envisioning,,, not specifically the ARIans, but their followers... I think they would have a tough time applying axioms to real treeioms,

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On hearing the character called "Leonard," I wondered if the name might have been chosen as a little dig at Leonard Peikoff.

Nah. No way. It's a reference to Martin Landau's character in

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdFVxvAIaHM

Leonard the implacable henchman. Obviously!

Aah - North by Northwest!! - what an absolute masterpiece that Hichtcock movie is!! I'll never tire of watching it over and over again.

Re Atlas Shrugged Part II, here's a link to the 'Tomatometer': http://www.rottentom...rugged_part_ii/

Jmpo, but I don't think AS can be made into a convincing movie.

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I think it depends on what Carol meant by the "Men of the Mind." Is Leonard Peikoff a "Man of the MInd"? Peter Schwartz? Harry Binswanger? If so, then I'd have to agree with Carol. They'd be hampered by an absence of ploughs and seeds. They wouldn't have the slightest clue how to make things with their hands from raw materials. Not only that, but they'd be arrogantly certain of their every uninformed opinion, and would massively underestimate the importance of mastering the arts and sciences of production through hands-on experience, trial and error. They'd be totally lost and dependent on begging if the world's actual producers went on strike.

Okay, that's a fair criticism and I concur with it. That said, it isn't exactly a refutation of the thesis of the novel.

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Pallas by L. Neil Smith, (his site page here; Wikipedia summary here), is a secondary story about the progressive planners who designed our heroes feudal existence. When they themselves come to the asteroid belt, they die almost immediately in a disaster of their own making, starting with the fact that they cheaped out and bought tourist-grade space suits.

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AS cannot "be made into a convincing movie" is only a proposition by a non-movie maker. I think it would take a genius if it could be done, but we aren't to know that genius unless we be that genius who in turn actually makes that movie. Then hoi polloi goes oh and ah, oh and ah. Consider the novel before it was written but Rand had the idea. Even she had no idea what she was getting into.

--Brant

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AS cannot "be made into a convincing movie" is only a proposition by a non-movie maker. I think it would take a genius if it could be done, but we aren't to know that genius unless we be that genius who in turn actually makes that movie. Then hoi polloi goes oh and ah, oh and ah. Consider the novel before it was written but Rand had the idea. Even she had no idea what she was getting into.

I think that AS could be made into a convincing movie, but that would mean eliminating a lot of the style and content in the novel since the novel itself has issues which aren't convincing. As I said in a post on OO recently:

Most of the people I know who have read Atlas Shrugged think that the speechifiying in the novel doesn't work, at least not as art. Most of them enjoyed the knowledge or viewpoints gained from the speeches, but thought that they came across as unrealistic and preachy, and as bursting the microcosm of the novel. They felt as if the novel that they were reading was interupted so that they could receive a message/lecture from the author. I think most of them wouldn't quite label it propaganda, but would say that it comes very close. It's seen as a breaking of the "fourth wall."

I think that translating the novel into film is necessarily going to cause more people to see artistic awkwardness where they hadn't before. And I don't think that there's a way to successfully film Rand's speeches as written (or even condensed versions which remain true to the essence of the originals) without their coming across as aesthetically jarring to most people.

J

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The best movie version of a Rand novel was the Italian We the Living, a bootleg in which she had no involvement at all.

Il Duce gave Rand some of the best advertising she ever received.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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So, goodbye speeches.

--Brant

Galt's speech plays such an important part in the novel that cutting it out in the film version would mean cutting out Rand's philosophical credo.

But the speech is quite problematic in the architecture of the novel. It is so long and repetive that it comes across as a 'verbal atheroma' sticking out unevenly. In the movie as an audiovisual medium, the 'stlltedness' of the speech is likely to come across as quite odd.

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So, goodbye speeches.

--Brant

Galt's speech plays such an important part in the novel that cutting it out in the film version would mean cutting out Rand's philosophical credo.

But the speech is quite problematic in the architecture of the novel. It is so long and repetive that it comes across as a 'verbal atheroma' sticking out unevenly. In the movie as an audiovisual medium, the 'stlltedenss' of the speech is likely to come across as quite odd.

So, welcome back speeches.

--Brant

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So, welcome back speeches.

They don't usually cut the "speeches" from adaptations of Shakespeare. And they make them work.

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I note (without having watched the clips) that the timings are 5:16 and 3:03 respectively. They don't make a case for keeping Rand's speeches in.

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They don't usually cut the "speeches" from adaptations of Shakespeare. And they make them work.

Shakespeare's "speeches" aren't unrealistic or preachy, and they don't burst the microcosm of his plays. They don't interupt the art so that viewers can receive a message/lecture from the author. They don't break the "fourth wall." They are not artistically awkward, jarring or verging on propaganda.

J

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I note (without having watched the clips) that the timings are 5:16 and 3:03 respectively. They don't make a case for keeping Rand's speeches in.

And both clips run about a minute before the characters start speaking. Meanwhile, John Galt goes on for, what, 50-some pages?

J

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I’m actually thinking of the money speech here, not Galt’s speech. Earlier I was expressing the opinion that they should have kept more of it in. I haven’t checked with a stopwatch, but I believe both of the Shakespeare excerpts above run longer than Francisco’s scene did in the movie.

I think Galt’s speech is too long for the novel, never mind for a film. If AS were written by a David Foster Wallace, the full text would be available in an appendix, with maybe an abbreviated section or summary left in the main text. I think that would better reflect how the book is actually read, virtually everyone skips the speech and (maybe) comes back to it once they’ve finished the book.

My point here is that speeches are an inextricable part of Shakespeare’s works, and Rand’s too. A film adaptation ought to reflect that, and in AS2 they did, but I think they could have gone further with it.

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I'm actually thinking of the money speech here, not Galt's speech. Earlier I was expressing the opinion that they should have kept more of it in. I haven't checked with a stopwatch, but I believe both of the Shakespeare excerpts above run longer than Francisco's scene did in the movie.

I think Galt's speech is too long for the novel, never mind for a film. If AS were written by a David Foster Wallace, the full text would be available in an appendix, with maybe an abbreviated section or summary left in the main text. I think that would better reflect how the book is actually read, virtually everyone skips the speech and (maybe) comes back to it once they've finished the book.

My point here is that speeches are an inextricable part of Shakespeare's works, and Rand's too. A film adaptation ought to reflect that, and in AS2 they did, but I think they could have gone further with it.

Yes, too long novel qua novel, but there's nothing qua about Atlas Shrugged except qua Ayn Rand.

--Brant

we do better sticking with the movie

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I agree that he is a look-alike, but trying to look like Randi is another matter. [ . . . ] I see a rounder face, Randi's cheeks are kind of sunken now, the guy in the shot looks to me a good 10 years younger.

I hadn't gandered at the video forked up by our only Doctor, thinking that lots of people look like an off-duty Santa.

But I did look at it just now because Doctor has such piquant tastes in oddities. The mystery had a tang of 'research' to me, which is always a thrill, heading out on information patrol, hoping to get something good in my hunting bag to bring back to the fire here.

But before I tell you about that, here's the trap lines I thought I was going to run: I thought for sure Randi could have nattered about Rand somewhere somehow, though I did not recall that he ever sassed anyone outside his flim-flam investigations, nor did I recall 'right/left' political utterances. I didn't think that was his beat.

My hunch was that If he met Rand in the greenroom at NBC or was at least respectful of her as a phenomenon, he would be gracious then and since. She was bigtime enough to be on Carson and so was he. Was there ever a reason for him to drip scorn on her or her opinions (consider his friendship across the rainbow of small s modern skeptics (among them some Objectivish)? How does a man command respect from many under the big tent of Reason -- snarking about Rand?

Maybe not. Then I wondered at his jovial tone. Would he compromise in any way his presumed humanism or skepticism by joining colleagues Schermer or Teller in a walk-on? Would it not be fun? Hmmm.

In my wildest imaginings I saw a secret encounter, a passionate discussion in Burbank, after a Carson show.

She wanted a magician who was not a mystic, he went on. 'I might be gay as a boot, but this lady was turning on my valuations system. When she said to me, "I really like your schtick, Raaaandi," with that sexy gravel voice, that deep penetrating gaze, I suggested we take the time to talk more. And talk more we did. We talked and talked and talked all through a sweaty sundown in Burbank. She was not a woman to me, she was Man, a man with a mind hard and strong, and I too became Man. As we thrust and slid, we declaimed to each other hoarsely, insistently. We hectored each other about Reason until our united argument reached its climax. I never told Luigi or anyone else, having pledged to her I would keep our secret until I died.'

I digress.

But seriously folks, on further thought I then remembered that we could do a face comparison from a still, and try to gain that blush of recognition that lets us tell one Santa from another.

K4Cv.png

And then I sent a tweet to @jref asking if.

I really hope it was him. With both in the picture, do you doubt your senses or your perceptions or your analytical procedures? With more pixels, one could check the eyebrows, do point to point ratio analysis and run a morph on the two images.

But to hell with these trifles. I have no meat in my bag yet, so I will head back out.

Edited by william.scherk
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In my wildest imaginings I saw a secret encounter, a passionate discussion in Burbank, after a Carson show.

She wanted a magician who was not a mystic, he went on. 'I might be gay as a boot, but this lady was turning on my valuations system. When she said to me, "I really like your schtick, Raaaandi," with that sexy gravel voice, that deep penetrating gaze, I suggested we take the time to talk more. And talk more we did. We talked and talked and talked all through a sweaty sundown in Burbank. She was not a woman to me, she was Man, a man with a mind hard and strong, and I too became Man. As we thrust and slid, we declaimed to each other hoarsely, insistently. We hectored each other about Reason until our united argument reached its climax. I never told Luigi or anyone else, having pledged to her I would keep our secret until I died.'

I digress.

But seriously folks, on further thought I then remembered that we could do a face comparison from a still, and try to gain that blush of recognition that lets us tell one Santa from another.

K4Cv.png

Bravo to your wildest imaginings. "Randy Rand and Randi" should usher in a new genre of fanfic.

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They don't usually cut the "speeches" from adaptations of Shakespeare. And they make them work.

Shakespeare's "speeches" aren't unrealistic or preachy, and they don't burst the microcosm of his plays. They don't interupt the art so that viewers can receive a message/lecture from the author. They don't break the "fourth wall." They are not artistically awkward, jarring or verging on propaganda.

J

'O for a Muse of Fire', powerful prologue to Henry V:

http://www.davidpbro...hakespeare.html

O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend

The brightest heaven of invention,

A kingdom for a stage, princes to act

And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!

Then should the warlike Harry, like himself,

Assume the port of Mars; and at his heels,

Leash'd in like hounds, should famine, sword and fire

Crouch for employment. But pardon, and gentles all,

The flat unraised spirits that have dared

On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth

So great an object: can this cockpit hold

The vasty fields of France? or may we cram

Within this wooden O the very casques

That did affright the air at Agincourt?

O, pardon! since a crooked figure may

Attest in little place a million;

And let us, ciphers to this great accompt,

On your imaginary forces work.

Suppose within the girdle of these walls

Are now confined two mighty monarchies,

Whose high upreared and abutting fronts

The perilous narrow ocean parts asunder:

Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts;

Into a thousand parts divide on man,

And make imaginary puissance;

Think when we talk of horses, that you see them

Printing their proud hoofs i' the receiving earth;

For 'tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings,

Carry them here and there; jumping o'er times,

Turning the accomplishment of many years

Into an hour-glass: for the which supply,

Admit me Chorus to this history;

Who prologue-like your humble patience pray,

Gently to hear, kindly to judge, our play.

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They don't usually cut the "speeches" from adaptations of Shakespeare. And they make them work.

Shakespeare's "speeches" aren't unrealistic or preachy, and they don't burst the microcosm of his plays. They don't interupt the art so that viewers can receive a message/lecture from the author. They don't break the "fourth wall." They are not artistically awkward, jarring or verging on propaganda.

J

'O for a Muse of Fire', powerful prologue to Henry V:

http://www.davidpbro...hakespeare.html

O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend

The brightest heaven of invention,

A kingdom for a stage, princes to act

And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!

Then should the warlike Harry, like himself,

Assume the port of Mars; and at his heels,

Leash'd in like hounds, should famine, sword and fire

Crouch for employment. But pardon, and gentles all,

The flat unraised spirits that have dared

On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth

So great an object: can this cockpit hold

The vasty fields of France? or may we cram

Within this wooden O the very casques

That did affright the air at Agincourt?

O, pardon! since a crooked figure may

Attest in little place a million;

And let us, ciphers to this great accompt,

On your imaginary forces work.

Suppose within the girdle of these walls

Are now confined two mighty monarchies,

Whose high upreared and abutting fronts

The perilous narrow ocean parts asunder:

Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts;

Into a thousand parts divide on man,

And make imaginary puissance;

Think when we talk of horses, that you see them

Printing their proud hoofs i' the receiving earth;

For 'tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings,

Carry them here and there; jumping o'er times,

Turning the accomplishment of many years

Into an hour-glass: for the which supply,

Admit me Chorus to this history;

Who prologue-like your humble patience pray,

Gently to hear, kindly to judge, our play.

Bliss. Great that Branagh got his K, wasn't it? I liked his Henry better than Olivier's.

To Jonathan, I couldn't agree more. And the history plays were the greatest propaganda ever written. Tudors good, Yorks bad!

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