In praise of Objectivist rage: huh?

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As much as I find Lindsay Perigo to be unfortunate and suboptimal as far as how he works in O-World, that wasn't enough to stop me from hearing his sermon at James Valliant's book signing; I just had to see what he came up with. The picture was cuddly, too.

So I listened to this thing, pretty carefully, too, although that took some patience and endurance.

Having done so, right off the rip my first thoughts were around the rave reviews he received on SOLOP, reviews which for a moment make me wonder if I had downloaded the right sermon, er, lecture, uh...performance. I'm suprised more of the minions haven't lined up to kiss his ring (or maybe pull his finger).

One of the first morsels insiders might get out of this thing is that very clearly Perigo is still smarting from his falling out with Barbara Branden; the pain and grief of this separation oozes through him. It's easy to spot a guy who's smarting over love lost.

It is generally pretty crude, when speaking publicly, to trash up someone else who is doing the same thing down the street. It's generally considered bad form, unprofessional. I'm thinking that neither Barbara nor Nathaniel would meet him with like treatment, although I suppose they might if they've finally had enough. Not bloody likely, though.

Ostensibly, the main riff of this talk was hyped as people being angry about other people being angry. This is a very cute kind of theme and you can really work the drama on it. The locals will buy into it just like they will any of the sideshow talent when Carnivale rolls into town.

It's a bit interesting (like rubbernecking a car accident-and you all know who you are), but ultimately underwhelming that Perigo decided to go for one of these whip-up-the-minions kind of moves.

Anger has an infinite number of types. That is because anger is simply an emotion; a feeling. And, for sure, anger is not as interesting nor useful as rage is; rage is a whole different deal, and I'm glad Perigo didn't go with rage because it would've been blatant silliness.

So it's bad to talk about ways to work on mediating anger, it's good to be angry- as long as you're angry about the same things Perigo is, I would assume. Actually, he is going past just that, it seems, by not only legitimizing anger, but putting it on a pedestal.

Well you know, we all get angry. Anger is a weak motivator, and unless you're pathological, it has very little sustaining power. Anger plays little role in the doings of professional anybodys, because they know that it is unhealthy, and for sure suboptimal, Anger is for amateurs, poseurs Anger is a very high-maintenance kind of thing- it depletes you on all levels.

This spin makes sense for Perigo (who, without question, is being a good O-ist and keeping his self-interest guns forward, though it wouldn't suprise me if they fire backwards). Anger can contribute to discord, and discord, controversy, is what Perigo needs a steady supply of, in order to keep his gameface in context and intact. Lindsay Perigo knows a lot more about social methaphysics than might think he does; he is pretty much a poster child for it, if you observe how he uses his network.

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Oh Dragonfly, you and your wicked OL smearing behavior...

Perigo clearly doesn't match his SOLOP avatar (which kind of makes him look like a Fred Astaire instructor, so from this moment forward I will reserve the option of referring to him as "Twinkletoes"). Valliant needs to get some serious bling going if he's going to do the daego unbuttoned shirt thing.


If I ever considered buying an Ayn Rand T-Shirt,

that dream is now forever ruined.

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Heya Rich,

Hmph. Now that I've actually gone and listened to Linz's talk I'm just as bemused as ever by him and his vaunted convictions. It is obviously and completely lost on him how shabby the whole escapade of flying out to Orange County simply to bad-mouth a former friend like that truly is. The man has balls, I guess you could say.

It's as if he's lived so much of his life now in cyberspace that he can't see the difference between refuting someone's argument and reading the mere title of that argument and constructing a totally hypothetical denunciation based on emails and forum posts from years gone by. Again, serious cojones to leave such an impulse uncontrolled. This goes far beyond framing the debate or constructing a convenient strawman to, what? Guilt by free-association? "It occurs to me that you might make such-and-such an argument, and for that I denounce you!"


And a couple picky, picky points while I think of them: what's this about Linz not being invited to the Seminar? You know, he says at one point some smug trash along the lines of "One wonders why I wasn't invited..." and it isn't even true! :---) IIRC, he refused to go, the big weeny! Am I wrong about that?

And secondly, he compares Rand freaking out on national television to Barbara posting on SoloHQ, implying that Barbara is a hypocrite because she said the same things Rand said on the Phil Donahue Show. Again, he's lost any sense of distinction between cyberspace and the real world; the problem with Rand freaking out on national television is not that she refused to answer a rude question as Barbara did on SoloHQ, but that she freaked out on national television.


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There have been all sorts of posts and articles on Objectivist Living to which I want to respond, and in a few days I'll begin to do so. But I can't resist the urge to say something to Kevin now.

Kevin, you have just made yourself immortal. "Guilt by free association" is a gem, a gift to every writer ever born -- and many of them, I have no doubt, will proceed to shamelessly plagiarize you.


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Heya too, Kevin-

I think you are on to something with the cyberspace/real world thing.

The whole gig smacks of it. What it starts reminding me of, more than anything else, is what you see with certain amateur bands, ones that have been down in the basement with their band-buds for years, trying to sharpen the saw. While this goes on, they observe what goes on in the real world, and are frequently engraged to KASSSSSSSS-like levels because of what they perceive as quality issues. What the world needs, of course, is them. Show the bastards how its done right proper.

So, what inevitably happens is (usually through some personal connection), they finally manage to book themselves somewhere; somewhere unfortunate and suboptimal. But, this escapes them, because they are deep into it- this motherfuckin' "concert" (sigh) is going to be bigger, badder, and better attended than Yanni when he was live at the Acropolis (well, they usually talk about like Skynrd, or AC/DC or some such- I like the Yanni image better because it is HUGE).

Now here is where the wicked scary bad promotion starts to kick in, which mostly involves inviting friends and relatives to the Stellar Event, friends and relatives who either won't or can't attend. Additionally, what they do is make little, oh, 1.5X3 foot signs that they tack up in the window. Occasionally, Xeroxing flyers is involved.

When gig day arrives, spirits are high, and things are ready to rock out. Bitchin' stagewear is pressed (perhaps an elegant red shirt or something).

What goes down after that is all in the eye of the beholder. From the performer's standpoint, it is a home-run; accepting that it was in fact a complete, effing trainwreck is out of the question, as it would cause untenable amounts of damage to the core. Afterwards, of course, the inevitable post-battle debriefing, wine glasses (well, really in this example it's like Pabst in cans, maybe) to the Glorious Warriors- of the seven in the audience, it is agreed that for a fact at least five stayed for the whole thing. Yes!

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Your story makes me think of the wonderful slap of reality the self-deluded get on American Idol/Canadian Idol. All see themselves as the next superstar if they only had the chance. All claim they have been told they are great. All have no talent and land flat on their faces but claim it is the judges who know not what they do. I like when they are asked to test reality– when they are asked to find one person on the street who likes their singing. Reality bites! (but it's better than the alternative)


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As much as I find Lindsay Perigo to be unfortunate and suboptimal . . .

-- I wish you would have fleshed this part out, Rich. I agree that he must smart still over the wrenched association with Barbara Branden. He must smart too over the breach with Joe Rowlands and gang. He got the boot. It's gotta sting (and sure enough, since Joe is evul, he hasn't a single word read at RoR, relying instead on 'as told by' from his coterie. Such intellectual range!).

Oh, the goings-on.

In any case the speech is said to be momentarily appearing in the fabulous new magazine from his majestic publishing house.

It's too bad that we don't have bugs at these things, these book-signing talks and schmoozings. I would loooove to have been a fly on the wall at the boozy gettings-on after the bookstore, buzzed around the offstage chatter at both Orange County shindigs.

Thing is, the melodious ranting was out of proportion -- delivered like a stump speech, but before an audience of polite kaffee-klatschers. I am sure that the rest of the place was puzzled. Why is Senor L so lonely? Why is he giving a speech in a bookstore? There are only 21 people listening to him.

Thing is, El Furioso did not quite actually get angry in the speech, didn't use ugly, intemperate language, didn't rage. Didn't let out the Inner Linds of pusballs wankeros yadda yadda. Used his voice to its radio limits, orotundo only.

Yes, the speech was well-performed, however tendentious and stupidly exaggerated in parts. My favourite comes early on, as he builds the Witching Stool for his enemies: "Now, for two decades, inexplicably to my mind, Ayn Rand's defenders made no comment." He's talking about the Two Evul Books and their aftermath, when he was fooled, fooled, fooled. It is not inexplicable once we realize that the air-conducting and speechifying leave little time to read for the darling.

The baloney is similarly cut thick in the rest of the speech. It is so dumb to pretend that two books lied and fooled him. Did he not get out to bookstores or librairies before this present encounter at Chapters? What makes his unreason congenial for some -- rousing, but wrong?

"Ayn Rand was a passionate valuer, as every Objectivist must be. The two are inseparable. To campaign against anger is to campaign against passion. To campaign against passion is to campaign against values. To campaign against values is to campaign against the Mind. To campaign against the Mind is ultimately, of course, to campaign against Human Life Itself . . ."

Um . . . no, not quite, but nice try. Maybe we could hear "to campaign against Human Life Itself . . ." again, this time in your Boris Karloff voice, please?

Could it be, as El Fabuloso himself wrote, and read into the mic, "they are wrong, and they are not wrong innocently!"?

it's good to be angry- as long as you're angry about the same things Perigo is, I would assume.

[ . . . ]

But, he's so good! If a nasty extremist buffoon is what Objectivism needs in one little corner of its online expression, he is genius. Having been defamed as a drunken raging maniac, he turns it around on air -- and gets a (smallish) crowd of claqueurs.

Lindsay Perigo knows a lot more about social methaphysics than might think he does; he is pretty much a poster child for it, if you observe how he uses his network.

This I don't quite get. I see him as a thwarted leader, thwarted by his own hubris. Tragic in a minor boozy one-eyed pathetic way. But that isn't what you meant. He doesn't have a healthy sociality, to my reckoning. All normal human beings take great notice of their reception by important others -- he just does it in a stupid, self-aggrandizing manner. I never quite got what evul thang was social metaphysics anyhow.

At one point he smugly notes that "Serpent with two tongues" Barbara has likely just given a talk on Objectivist Rage! and then lets us know "for some obscure reason I wasn't invited."

No, you dope. You bitched and bickered and bitched and got turfed. Then you backed out in dudgeon, and cast the die. Over the road you are dismissed as a drunken belligerent extremist. You had your stage set to deliver whatever the fuck you wanted to say, but you backed out. Now in the smallish company of the similarly belligerent and one-eyed, you recede to just above the level of El Firehammer.

Yeah, verily, the speech by comrade Linz caught the world on fire!

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"Thing is, El Furioso did not quite actually get angry in the speech, didn't use ugly, intemperate language, didn't rage. Didn't let out the Inner Linds of pusballs wankeros yadda yadda. Used his voice to its radio limits, orotundo only."

I was thinking the same thing when he was quoting from Barbara's old post from SOLOHQ. I wondered why he didn't quote from some of his own posts and show the book store patrons what real, virtuous Objectivist rage is like in comparison. I was expecting that someone who had enough sand in his angina to fly all the way to California to deliver a speech to seven people at someone else's lackluster book signing event would make a point of demonstrating precisely the type of infantile rage for which he has constantly praised and congratulated himself despite its having cost him countless valuable friendships over the past year. ~That~ is the type of rage that is being challenged. Where was it?


(My favorite part of the Chubby Chinz appearance was the moment when the kid in the background asked, "Mommy, can I have a Charlie and the Chocola.... Mommy?")

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Well, Jonathan, I'd like to say that with passive-aggressives you can't always predict when they do their switching, but I don't think that's the problem, as much as it might look that way. Too much windmill-lancing and strawman-burning for that diagnosis.

And then there's this thing Brant Gaede (who for the likes of me I can never get a bead on, the way he moves to and fro) shoved up there on passionate_curmudgeons-dot-com:

have not read Linz's talk nor a transcript of Barbara's. I doubt if I will have much to say once I do. However, over on OL MSK has published the slimiest bit of stupid ad hominem (directed mostly at Linz) I have ever read written by a purported Objectivist. Whatever Barbara's talk was it had to be miles higher than his excoriations.

That Barbara is reduced to having to consort with the likes of MSK is beyond pity or any other emotion I think I can feel. I just have this pain in my gut. MSK is the king of Objectivist evil. He is also a megalomaniac. If not for profound hypocrisy he would acknowledge this.

What, because Michael went to the Borders thing and recounted what a goofy-ass non-event it was? It clearly was less-than-regal. If you ever saw the movie Spinal Tap, it was less than an inch away from the record store autograph event scene.

Evil MSK, megalo-MSK... hypocrite MSK... it's amazing what having a good relationship with good people like the Brandens will do to your street rep- but it is only harmed on streets where you would never want to walk in the first place, at least not after dark.

I totally don't get where Brant is coming from. All I remember is him getting put on punishment back in the SOLO days, and then let out of punishment. You always have to figure out who's sleeping with whom and who's grinding axe for whom with these folks. Such complex, nasty little relationships.

I'm curious as to what (or if) Barbara will say about Perigo's attempt at dry-gulching her. I suppose it could be taken as flattery...

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"Well, Jonathan, I'd like to say that with passive-aggressives you can't always predict when they do their switching, but I don't think that's the problem, as much as it might look that way. Too much windmill-lancing and strawman-burning for that diagnosis."

I wasn't necessarily thinking that Perigo would express rage on the spot, but, since he believes that his rage is praiseworthy, I was expecting him to at least flesh out his position with examples by proudly quoting from some of his nastiest past temper tantrums. I wonder why it didn't occur to him to use such an obvious and effective means of informing the bookstore's customers of the exact nature of the behavior that he believes is an Objectivist virtue.


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