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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

• • The Bitcoin depression needs its John Steinbeck. Let me volunteer 
Capitalism  | [T]here were no alpaca socks that Christmas. Just a new laptop, a lecture on the evils of centralized banking and a set of hardcover Ayn Rand books, the 15th in my 12 years. (In good years, I’d get two sets.)

Friday, April 05, 2013

 BioShock Infinite a shooting game for deep thinkers 
BioShock  | Infinite shifts the BioShock franchise out of the Ayn Rand-inspired dystopian undersea world of Rapture and into Columbia, a utopian city impossibly suspended above the clouds through the magic of giant balloons and propellers.

Friday, March 08, 2013

• • Christine Day: In sweaty pursuit of innovation 
Atlas Shrugged  |Egoism  | Lululemon’s head office has taken [...] controversial stances. Both Ms. Day and [Chip] Wilson share a passion for author Ayn Rand and her brand of hard-core libertarianism, even though it doesn’t necessarily jibe with many yoga practitioners’ view of the world. Ms. Day found that out in the fall of 2011, when the company emblazoned its shopping bags with the question: “Who is John Galt?” a reference to Ms. Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged , which rails again government and advocates self-interest as a key ingredient to a better world. Lululemon’s link to Rand’s theory of objectivism offended some its customers, but Ms. Day says the philosophy is about hard work and being accountable for oneself, and she doesn’t shy away from the criticism the Rand references generated. “I’m not going to get hung up on those few people who don’t get it, if they’ve not done the work,” she says.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

 Are video games like Assassin’s Creed rewriting history? 
BioShock  | These days, [Erin Dolmage is] playing Skyrim, a gorgeous quester; Journey, an emotional, non-linear, non-fighting game that encourages co-operation with strangers; and BioShock – "the most beautiful game I've ever played. It's a critique of Ayn Rand."

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

 Why Irrational Games is taking BioShock in a new creative direction 
BioShock  | The previous two BioShock games were set in Rapture, an underwater city built by business tycoon Andrew Ryan. The games were different than the average first-person shooters in that players had to make moral choices – should they save the orphaned girls hiding throughout or should they harvest them for energy? – amid a tale steeped in Ayn Rand-ian Objectivism.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

• • Can you wear love? Sure, but it’ll cost you 
The Fountainhead  | Some designers proclaim to have been inspired by historical eras, famous people, emotions, art, even books. In 2009, for instance, a men’s-clothing collection by the New York-based design duo Shipley & Halmos was inspired, they say, by Ayn Rand. “Life must be a straight line of motion from goal to further goal,” their invitation read, quoting from The Fountainhead.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

• • Do capitalism and charity mix? 
Capitalism  |Egoism  | Greig Clark doesn’t strike you as the kind of person who goes in for social work. He’s a self-made man – inspired early on by Ayn Rand (“selfishness is good”) and skeptical of government.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

• • 2016 film points to the agit-prop business model 
Atlas Shrugged movie  |Atlas Shrugged  | A test of the conservative market might come next month, when Atlas Shrugged: Part II rolls into theatres. [....] In response to the mild reception of the first Atlas, producers have essentially rebooted the project, replacing the director and most of the cast. If audiences respond better to this version of Ayn Rand’s novel, perhaps other producers will begin putting serious money into conservative counterprogramming.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

• • • Today’s ideological battle in U.S. politics? Ayn Rand built it 
Alan Greenspan  |Altruism  |Atheism  |Atlas Shrugged movie  |Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |Capitalism  |Egoism  |Personal life  |Image  | Fresh from her invisible, starring role at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., last week, long-dead novelist Ayn Rand moved north to Charlotte, N.C., this week to continue her ghostly domination of the U.S. 2012 presidential election. Senatorial candidate Elizabeth Warren took the first shot at the doyenne of unfettered capitalism and the author of the 55-year-old doorstopping novel Atlas Shrugged: “The Republican vision is clear: ‘I’ve got mine, the rest of you are on your own,’ ” she told her fellow Democrats.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

• • A Man and Some Woman: Enjoy the claustrophobia 
[Playwright Githa] Sowerby, the program notes remind us, was a Fabian and a socialist, but I don’t imagine Ayn Rand would find A Man and Some Women objectionable. Jessica urges Dick to ignore familial ties and follow his bliss, while the play in general seems intent on illustrating how not working for a living and being reliant on others can turn women into useless gossiping nags.

• • Reading boosts empathy, but sympathy for the devil too 
[T]here’s a dangerous corollary to the idea that stories can affect your morality – surely it means that they can corrupt as well? What about stories that denounce or deride empathy, that describe success and social order through sheer self-centredness (e.g. Ayn Rand)?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

• • The Big Decision: More CBC pro-business blarney 
Capitalism  |Video  | One reason The Big Decision is not great TV is its slavish devotion to the billionaire-hero myth. The iconography is groan-inducing – the billionaire in the sky looking down on us, and the possible recipients of his largesse are like hand-wringing serfs hoping to please the god or the king, or whatever it is that the billionaire is supposed to represent. This is the Ayn Randian sensibility, the exaltation of the entrepreneur, reduced to comic-book drama. The whole world depends on the grace of the deity that is the super-rich entrepreneur. It’s an insult to the hard-working business people seen on the show, and to viewers who don’t think the Ayn Randian sensibility is gospel.

• • A child’s garden of curses 
Book review: Arcadia, by Lauren Groff.
Groff can do funny too. When Bit and his dinner date discover a common interest in reading, he listens, horrified, as his date’s love of Ayn Rand gushes forth. Later, when they both accept that the spark has fizzled out, he says “I think it was the Ayn Rand.” She laughs and laughs at this, graceful under the implied criticism, under the sting of the differences between them.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

 Treasure this book!!! Also, read it!!! 
Book review: Treasure Island!!!, by Sara Levine.
If you can think of Sara Levine’s very funny and winning fictional debut as one of those quickie Hollywood elevator pitches, maybe as Robert Louis Stevenson (obvious) meets Holden Caulfield meets Ayn Rand, you’ll have some idea of the tenor of this wackily original tale.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

 Why would anybody care what Tim Thomas thinks about politics? 
Hey look, hockey world’s most fervent Ayn Rand disciple strikes again. You’d have thought Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas had enough of being pilloried after his White House snub and the baffling verbal attack on U.S. democracy that accompanied it. You’d be wrong.

Monday, January 16, 2012

• • Lululemon ad pokes fun at customers – and goes viral 
Atlas Shrugged  |Egoism  | In October, new shopping bags with a phrase from the novel Atlas Shrugged chafed some customers who felt Ayn Rand’s philosophy of self-interest clashed with the teachings of yoga.

Monday, January 02, 2012

• • A three-way split in the battle for America’s soul in Iowa 
Capitalism  | A Ron Paul rally is a unique political event, best described as Ayn Rand meets Iron Maiden. Clean-cut, college-aged capitalists bond with shaggy-haired, semi-employed potheads, all in the name of the Paulite mantra of individual liberty.

Monday, November 28, 2011

• • CEO of the Year: Christine Day of Lululemon 
Atlas Shrugged  |Inaccurate  | [Day] says that she considers Lululemon to be “part of, and contributing to, a bigger macro-trend that affects consumers from their early teens to their 70s. Investing in your health will pay big dividends for individuals and society...elevating the world from mediocrity to greatness.” But then, what’s interesting about the chosen quote is that it layers an interest in community over a reference to Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand’s treatise on the essential shamefulness of being merely like everyone else and the necessity that truly great people strive through all obstacles toward individual dominance.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

• • • How would Mrs. Dalloway look in Lululemon pants? 
Ayn Rand Institute  |Atlas Shrugged  |Onkar Ghate  | Our most popular story this week was Simon Houpt’s tale of how Lululemon has upset the intelligentsia with its controversial take on Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. It all comes down to a shopping bag. And your interpretation of objectivism and yogic values, but let’s start with the bag.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

• • Dumb, smart & funny things people said and did today 
Capitalism  | Tweet of the day from @JustinWolfers: "Welcome to the free market! Lululemon's stock down 3.5% as they learn latte-sipping yoga moms abhor Ayn Rand." A reference to today's article by Simon Houpt.