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I present to you a moral thought experiment similarly along the lines of "what if Jesus was black?"

If Howard Roark was black:

Would he have been able to practice architecture in the first place? Let alone get commissioned work?

Would Dominique, his true love, have found him attractive? A potential suitor?

How would then then inform his worldview (i.e. ideas on manipulation, work, relations with men etc)? Essentially the whole surrounding society would be effectively acting as a "Ellsworth Toohey" against him, whereas in the story it was just one person. This IMO is profound. 

My purpose here is you to see past the basic assumptions you make when looking at a character and to see things from different angles to see if it "still works". I'd be interested in the responses

to this.

Thoughts?

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My focus is on the hero and main focal point of the story, not the supporting characters or romantic interests, and how if circumstances were changed (such as being black) how then do you think would *he* react differently to it. Since the hero embodies all of the objectivist principles, it is an interesting thought experiment no?

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If Roark had been black, his courtroom speech could have been much shorter, and he'd have had people demonstrating outside the courtroom with signs saying "Black architects' lives matter." And Loretta Lynch would have intervened saying his civil rights were violated by their changing his building design. I think it would have been a very entertaining book, especially hearing it snap, crackle, and pop after I threw it in the fireplace.

REB

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2 hours ago, Roger Bissell said:

If Roark had been black, his courtroom speech could have been much shorter, and he'd have had people demonstrating outside the courtroom with signs saying "Black architects' lives matter." And Loretta Lynch would have intervened saying his civil rights were violated by their changing his building design. I think it would have been a very entertaining book, especially hearing it snap, crackle, and pop after I threw it in the fireplace.

REB

 

Thanks for your non-contribution Roger Bissell. I'm sure you have other threads to troll or else pick another e-fight with Jonathan. Please do so now and lets get on with the real responses.

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14 hours ago, Marcus said:

If Howard Roark was black:

Would he have been able to practice architecture in the first place? Let alone get commissioned work?

Is the book still set in the twenties and thirties?  The era of Jim Crow, when Marian Anderson couldn't do a recital in Washington DC?  But could perform in the Musikverein, with the Vienna Philharmonic and a Jewish conductor? 

There's too much research needed into the restrictions this black Roark would have faced. 

BTW, does he get to keep the orange hair?

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14 hours ago, Marcus said:

I present to you a moral thought experiment similarly along the lines of "what if Jesus was black?"

If Howard Roark was black:

Would he have been able to practice architecture in the first place? Let alone get commissioned work?

Would Dominique, his true love, have found him attractive? A potential suitor?

How would then then inform his worldview (i.e. ideas on manipulation, work, relations with men etc)? Essentially the whole surrounding society would be effectively acting as a "Ellsworth Toohey" against him, whereas in the story it was just one person. This IMO is profound. 

My purpose here is you to see past the basic assumptions you make when looking at a character and to see things from different angles to see if it "still works". I'd be interested in the responses

to this.

Thoughts?

First question, uncertain. Second, Dom was attracted by his individuality, integrity, purposefulness and character, above the rest. No change that we can tell.

Third has fairly interesting possibilities. Toohey would have tried to enlist a black Roark as an underprivileged and repressed minority in his altruist-collectivist cause, and naturally been swiftly told to go to hell. Which might obscure the total moral message. But it could make for a small, new twist in a future movie.

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Tony wrote: First question, uncertain. Second, Dom was attracted by his individuality, integrity, purposefulness and character, above the rest. No change that we can tell. end quote

And since you are from South Africa I wonder about the lingering effects of Apartheid in SA, a black majority, and the continuing effects of tribalism in Africa in general. But, I agree, the heart goes where the heart wants to go. To this day, here in America (if I were asked) I would tell someone to consider the lowering of class (perception and actually income) and your treatment if you were to marry someone of a darker toned skin. I just saw a You Tube Chinese laundry detergent commercial that shows a black man being stuffed into a washer and coming out with a lighter skin and Chinese features.

Interesting thoughts. I agree with Ninth Doctor, that it would have been difficult for a black person, or an East Indian, or a Hispanic with an accent, to be in a profession that also served Whites in the 30’s, 40’s, or 50’s in America, or to get an education commensurate with their intelligence and drive . As a microcosm, look and see what jobs negroes (the older, term “negro” was considered PC back in them thar’ days) could hold in the military. There were a few Airman and fighting battalions commanded by white officers but the vast majority of negroes were in menial, military trades.

Remember . .  . psychologists, sociologists, evolutionary scientists and Educational authorities of those times looked at test scores, the ability to speak correct English, manners, and *class* and held the view that blacks were inferior. The same reasons for their *prejudice* have not changed but modern societies are more apt to consider the *content of character* after the initial white, learned response that a black person is to be avoided because of general lower intelligence and higher levels of criminality.

“Imprimis” the magazine of Hillsdale College touches upon this subject in their last issue when they discuss the ill effects of the “Black Lives Matter” movement.

Peter   

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15 hours ago, Marcus said:

I present to you a moral thought experiment similarly along the lines of "what if Jesus was black?"

If Howard Roark was black:

Would he have been able to practice architecture in the first place? Let alone get commissioned work?

Would Dominique, his true love, have found him attractive? A potential suitor?

How would then then inform his worldview (i.e. ideas on manipulation, work, relations with men etc)? Essentially the whole surrounding society would be effectively acting as a "Ellsworth Toohey" against him, whereas in the story it was just one person. This IMO is profound. 

My purpose here is you to see past the basic assumptions you make when looking at a character and to see things from different angles to see if it "still works". I'd be interested in the responses

to this.

Thoughts?

The Fountainhead was Rand's creation of an imaginary alternate world. In such a place, race wouldn't be relevant, and Roark would have been the same character, and would have achieved the same things.

Well, that is unless Rand wanted to turn it into a completely different novel which, instead of being about individualist creative integrity, was about the stupidity of superficial judgments, then Roark would just be facing different challenges as a black architect than he did as a white one. My guess is that it would be something like To Kill a Mockingbird meets Django Unchained. Black Roark wouldn't be the tragic Tom Robinson.

J

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Jonathan wrote: In such a place, race wouldn't be relevant, and Roark would have been the same character, and would have achieved the same things. end quote

I agree. Except for physical descriptions no one is of a particular race in Rand’s novels though Francisco was obviously Hispanic, and since his mines were south of the border I would assume Spanish was his original language. In the recent Atlas Shrugged movie, one character, Eddie Willers, was played by black actor, Edi Gatheg. Also Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and Ron Paul had cameos.

In a sense unless you tell of your ethnicity no need ever know it on the internet.

Peter

Eddie Willers walked on, wondering why he always felt it at this time of day, this sense of dread without reason....It's the twilight, he thought: I hate the twilight.

Edi Mue Gathegi is a Kenyan American film, stage and television actor. He appeared as recurring character Dr. Jeffrey Cole in the television series House, as Cheese in the 2007 film Gone Baby Gone and as Laurent in the films Twilight, its sequel The Twilight Saga: New Moon and Darwin in X-Men: First Class. He also has a role on The Black List as a villain.  

Banner: How about composites of people—or actors and actresses whose faces she liked?

NB: No, I never heard a word from her to suggest that… Possibly Zorro—who was a fictional character, not a real person—possibly Zorro, in a very general, abstract way, played a small role in Ayn's concept of Francisco [d'Anconia, a hero in Atlas Shrugged]. I remember her talking about Zorro. Francisco is almost like a classic figure in literature of a certain kind. The Scarlet Pimpernel, that's another variation of the same idea: the man who pretends to be a fop, but who's really involved in a grimly serious mission. Zorro was obviously that.

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Roger wrote: I think it would have been a very entertaining book, especially hearing it snap, crackle, and pop after I threw it in the fireplace. end quote

“If you saw Atlas, the giant who holds the world on his shoulders, if you saw that he stood, blood running down his chest, his knees buckling, his arms trembling but still trying to hold the world aloft with the last of his strength, and the greater his effort the heavier the world bore down upon his shoulders - What would you tell him?"

What if Ayn Rand were the inner city sister of Maya Angelou?  This your text translated into ebonics: if ya saw atlas, da giant who holds da world on his shoulders, if ya saw dat he stood, blood runnin down his chest, his knees bucklin, his arms tremblin but still tryin ta hold da world aloft wit da last of his strength, and da greater his effot da heavier da world boe down upon his shoulders - what would ya tell him? - aww yea foo.

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Okay. Thank you. Thank you, ladies and gentlement. Stop clapping. One more deeeep thought. Have you ever noticed that some white writers and lyricists try to sound jazzy too? I won’t translate the following into Ebonics.

Peter   

Cole Porter’s “I Get A Kick Out Of You.”

My story is much too sad to be told
But practically ev'rything leaves me totally cold
The only exception I know is the case
When I'm out on a quiet spree
Fighting vainly the old ennui
And I suddenly turn and see
Your fabulous face . . . .

I get no kick from champagne
Mere alcohol doesn't thrill me at all
So tell me why should it be true
That I get a kick out of you

Some get a kick from cocaine
I'm sure that if I took even one sniff
That would bore me terrific'ly too
Yet I get a kick out of you

I get a kick ev'ry time I see
You're standing there before me
I get a kick though it's clear to see
You obviously do not adore me.

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4 hours ago, Marcus said:

Thanks for your non-contribution Roger Bissell. I'm sure you have other threads to troll or else pick another e-fight with Jonathan. Please do so now and lets get on with the real responses.

 

3 hours ago, 9thdoctor said:

BTW, does he get to keep the orange hair?

 

3 hours ago, anthony said:

Toohey would have tried to enlist a black Roark as an underprivileged and repressed minority in his altruist-collectivist cause, and naturally been swiftly told to go to hell.

???

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43 minutes ago, Roger Bissell said:

???

What's your question?

Never seen a black guy with orange hair?

red-heads-dennis-rodman.png

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18 hours ago, Roger Bissell said:

 

 

???

Your puzzlement is justified as you haven't the slightest clue what a contribution to this thread consists of. Either you are too stupid to get it or too ignorant to let the truth get to you. In any case I can't really help you. Off you go.

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Marcus wrote in his original post: My purpose here is you to see past the basic assumptions you make when looking at a character and to see things from different angles to see if it "still works". I'd be interested in the responses to this. end quote

Is that supposed to mean Howard is exactly the same as Rand’s *Roark* but he has darker skin? Is that your supposition? I think your questions leave room for more nebulous scenarios. As soon as you used race as a factor, I assumed you did not seek Rand’s idealistic character but something more realistic and gritty.

Peter

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Marcus responded to Roger’s panning of the idea: Your puzzlement is justified as you haven't the slightest clue what a contribution to this thread consists of. Either you are too stupid to get it or too ignorant to let the truth get to you. In any case I can't really help you. end quote

Perhaps you should read something from the Roger Bissell Corner here on OL. Yup. He gets his own scholarly corner. He is not stupid or ignorant. The way you asked the question, without much description, made your question humorous to me. I thought Roger’s humorous response was brilliant. After re-reading my own contributions I still agree my intention was to give some offense  - to provoke.  But I still think I was funny.

Peter

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Grrr. Different angles? Hmmm?

So, if Roark is black does it still work? It assumes Howard Roark does not have the average IQ of negroids which is 80 in America (fudged up to 85 by Progressive manipulation), and 70 in Africa, (in spite of Black Psychologists going to Africa with IQ tests designed to improve test scores), nor does it include the less than good, average, basic lifetime choices of blacks, nor the criminality found in blacks which is six time the rate of any other race.      

Black author Walter Mosely said something like, “Black people live in the most affordable, whitest neighborhood they can afford.” Is that assumption true to your questions? Let me suggest that Howard’s Dad was a doctor in an Atlanta suburb, and Howard Roark went to college, not at Howard, but to Yale . . . . and graduated . . . . well that’s one possible, plausible plot line.

What if Howard Roark’s profession had been what is available where blacks live in the inner city? Howard grew up bad. He saw who had the money, so he followed his neighborhood idols into the drug trade. He profited off the addictions of . . . .

Your hypothesis allows our own assumptions about what being “black” means.  Of course few whites or Hispanics would (or could) follow the ideal Randian path of Howard Roark. As a thought experiment your questions have generated responses.

Aha! Marcus is an alien who has tapped into the human internet from the orbit of Mars and he is judging humanity’s response to aliens who look like Worf from StarTrek TNG. The truth is out there . . . Before the aliens announce their presence and we see that their intelligence levels are many points higher than global human rates they want to see if we will instantly fight or welcome them . . .

Peter

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1 hour ago, Marcus said:

Your puzzlement is justified as you haven't the slightest clue what a contribution to this thread consists of. Either you are too stupid to get it or too ignorant to let the truth get to you. In any case I can't really help you. Off you go.

Nor do you know to whom you are talking nor general OL protocol. Unless you have a "Corner" on OL you have no real control over who posts what on a thread you start. Sin loi. That's the way it is.

--Brant

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And you can always ignore anyone at this farthest and best outpost of America.

"Sin loi.” Brant, is that Mandarin for “carpe diem”? My second guess would be Gaelic for, “My lips are dry, where is the Chap Stick?” And then Latin, for “Let the buyer beware.”

Sine quack,

Huey, Dewey, and Lewey  

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Wow. That movie was from 1948 and Dean Stockwell was just a kid. 

The Boy with Green Hair is a 1948 American comedy-drama film directed by Joseph Losey.[4][5] It stars Dean Stockwell as Peter, a young war orphan who is subject to ridicule after he awakens one morning to find his hair mysteriously turned green. Co-stars include Pat O'Brien, Robert Ryan, and Barbara Hale.

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I didn't know it could be done but "Random Useless Quotes" Peter managed to stumble and bumble even further than Roger Bissell. Quite an achievement.

 

1 hour ago, Peter said:

Grrr. Different angles? Hmmm?

So, if Roark is black does it still work? It assumes Howard Roark does not have the average IQ of negroids which is 80 in America (fudged up to 85 by Progressive manipulation), and 70 in Africa, (in spite of Black Psychologists going to Africa with IQ tests designed to improve test scores), nor does it include the less than good, average, basic lifetime choices of blacks, nor the criminality found in blacks which is six time the rate of any other race.      

So it appears the only angle you can somewhat perceive is through the lens of racial prejudice. "Negroids"?

I suppose you didn't (or couldn't) realize the glaring irony of saying "black psychologists" in the same sentence as "blacks have low IQ". lol.

In any case what does pulling out IQ stats out of your ass have to do with the central point of this thread? Do you think Howard Roark had an IQ of 80 in the original story? Was he comparable to the "average" in any way? Obviously the hero of the story was not "drawn upon averages". The "average" white person has only a high school education in the US. The "average" working class white in certain parts of the country is an alcoholic, drug abuser and porn addict. Bad lifetime choices indeed.

You are a clown.

Get your shit together and come back when you've got it all figured out.

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