Reading Ayn Rand, being bored, and cheap consumerist thrills

This is our last “free” weekend here in Sweden, so we have decided to make the most of it. We’re doing the age-old teen thing of lying draped over various furniture, feeling bored and not ambitious enough to do anything about it.

Next weekend we’ll have to pack, and then we’ll have to clean the cottage from top to bottom, and then on Sunday we’re off to the airport, and then we’ll go home.

I can’t wait to get home. I really, really can’t wait to get home. I have a million things I feel that I need to do when I get there, and I’ll only have two weeks or so to do it before school starts again.

I miss the place.

***

Yesterday I took the model of the flag pole that we have on the kitchen table, and I lowered the flag to half-mast, and formally pulled the plug on my movie.

I can not translate what I have in my head onto the computer screen for both technical reasons and ability reasons. The program that I’ve used is too limited when it comes to rendering images, and I think I need a professional package that cost thousands of pounds. Also, my hands seem to refuse to make anything that’s in my head look even remotely life-like.

So, continuing the movie would be banging my forehead against the wall, and would only lead to frustration and wangsting, so I had a little ceremony by the computer. I lowered the flag, and buried the movie.

***

I am actually trying to read Ayn Rand. I have “Atlas shrugged”. Whenever Mark passes me by, he makes a sign of the cross towards it. There is a danger in reading Ayn Rand. You can metamorphose into a bespectacled suit-wearing thing goes around and complains about the government.

The most vulnerable age for Randitis seems to be fourteen, and then you build up resistance over the next few years. If you don’t, you become a sad and terrible spectacle that illicit feelings of pity; particularly when they go on about how persecuted they are by everyone, and in particular the media elites.

I have a hard time to take the book seriously, and that is a rare thing. Even the most ineptly written books are mostly created out of some earnest need on the part of the writer. Ayn Rand mostly seems to want to show off her brilliance.

***

I wish that Mark would come over here and try to do some proper exorcism of whatever Rand does to pollute my not so innocent soul. Hey, he could try.

With the Olympics a thing of the past he seems to have even less to do than I, so I’ll probably nag him into going somewhere. Unless he wants to learn more Swedish so that he can watch the boring daytime shows on Swedish television.

I may bother him about a trip later. Maybe we can go to a shopping centre so that I can drool over an iPad. I want to buy one. I really want to buy one. But we might be getting those in school later, so if I go and buy one it would be sort of redundant.

Or I could go and buy a new laptop, which would bring up my collection to three. Or I could be sensible and sit on the money that dad gave me for my grades, but where is the fun in that when you can get some momentary satisfaction from buying expensive shit that I don’t need?

11 thoughts on “Reading Ayn Rand, being bored, and cheap consumerist thrills

    • You mean that they are ardent atheists that revolt against the use of religion to subjugate liberty? :D Sorry, couldn’t resist. I don’t like her philosophy, but I don’t think that the mental fourteen year-olds that run around spouting her nonsense actually understand her philosophy.

  1. LOL as an economist I’e got to say…Ann Rand’s ideas are the most hilarious things in the world.

  2. “but I don’t think that the mental fourteen year-olds that run around spouting her nonsense actually understand her philosophy.”

    No, they are probably in thrall of the sex. :)

  3. I can’t comment on the author – I’ve never heard of her! :/

    Regarding the money – don’t sit on it! Even if its not an ipad, get something of worth, that you can use/own/look at and think “I got that for my exam grades!”

  4. Ugh. I couldn’t make it through Atlas Shrugged at nineteen. I have no desire to go back there.

    • No need to go back there… except perhaps on sociological grounds. Rand suffers from the same desperate need for acceptance into what she sees as a “higher class” as Niall Ferguson and Margaret Thatcher. When Colin arrives at Oxford I’m sure he’ll see many examples of it. In fact I think it was him who pointed me to an example the other day of a young man from a poor background who embraces Tory ideology. In their desire (need, really) for acceptance they make themselves standard bearers for policies that de-facto work to sustain an aristocracy at the expense of those who are genuinely their peers.
      By defending those policies they create an illusion (mostly to and for themselves) whereby they are members of the aristocracy and the entitlements that come with it. Mrs. Thatcher does this very obviously by adopting an accent which is not her own, and later by insisting on being conceded the title of Baroness.
      Ferguson and Rand do this with their political ideas.

      • That’s actually pretty interesting. I hadn’t thought of that.

        What worries me most about Oxford is that it will be incredibly stuffy, filled with Public school people that will be insufferably classist in their outlook.

        I’m a fairly egalitarian guy – it’s the Swede bit of me, I think – and classist snobbery annoys me, and brings out the hidden revolutionary inside of me. :D

        • I don’t want to scare you but… well, Mike loved the city, the people and all of that, but he hated the politics and stiffness of academia.
          I hated university too. I had all these fantasies about amazing minds and watching foreign films and smoking and being an existentialist- and it turned out there’s the occasional great mind, but the vast majority of the time I just felt like another number on a list of hundreds of students. Very little real engagement and exchange of ideas. More like a “fill out your worksheets” or read this book, choose a point and write an essay on which I’ll give you a superficial critique. :D Excited now?!?

          • Sort of like… in every other aspect of life then? Haha. I don’t expect University to be that much different. What I would dislike is an institutional toffy-ness. I think I’d make a terrible member of such a community. :)

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