"Totally coup, yo."

Caigoy Shrugs 6

Sep

15

by

Rearden Metal lands contract to build world’s largest asshole

The BEAST reads Atlas Shrugged, so you don’t have to!
Read parts onetwothreefour and five.

I’ve seen the inside of a courthouse a lot lately. Mostly on traffic fines. Next time a cop asks if I know why he pulled me over, he’s gonna get, “Because the city is desperate? Because they don’t trust you with real police work?” I don’t think I’ve won many friends in the justice system, even in my scant participation. I’ve poisoned jury pools with doubts about law enforcement’s efficacy being such to justify the death penalty (watching my reasoning cascade, repeated by other soon-to-be-dismissed jurors was quite satisfying), made lawyers backpedal and request sidebars that immediately preceded my eager dismissal; I’ve chatted with fellow defendants on how and why they should fight every ticket they receive.

One strategy that didn’t occur to me was that of Hank Rearden when he was summoned to give his blessing to some bizarre government regulations that don’t resemble anything on this planet. If the real legal system is a Monty Python routine, Rand’s version is Carrot Top given the Human Centipede treatment with Stalin and a Cirque du Soleil troupe. Her characters (i.e. just Ayn sounding like Ayn) rants tirelessly about the fictional “Equalization of Opportunity.” Though it sounds superficially like the stage for a bold critique of the laws directed at forcing people to pretend they’re not the bigoted pricks they are — or at least to deny them free reign to exercise said bigoted prickness in a professional environment. If libertarians are the quote-mining literary skimmers I assume they are — like Bible humpers — maybe this can explain some of the schizophrenic racism intrinsic to the bloc. I mean, how can undocumented immigrants opening nail salons and building plywood cabinetry not be the legitimate exercise of laissez-faire economics?

Or are Americans in need of a little protectionism, huh?

Undocumented immigrants work for dirt, because they’re terrified of pushing the whole “basic human rights” thing, and getting deported. (If we continue down the path of servile American pussydom, we’ll experience this soon enough, when we wake up and flee to better countries; the Norwegian Dream is alive in me — I hope they need polemicists. They don’t strike me as the epicenter of cutting humor — I’m going to assume Norwegian women would be impressed by scathing essays. Shut up; let me assume that. Snakker du engelsk, sugar tits?)

Is benefitting from the work of people whose rights aren’t recognized not a legitimate way to run a railroad? I thought that was the whole point of today’s cripplingly deformed capitalism. Why else are we so hostile to the idea of living wages for regular employees (as in the majority)? It’s consistent with the Apple Store ethos of explaining to its workers that the “experience” of working for Apple transcends monetary compensation; or the Kochs letting their employees know they’re better off being wage slaves, bullied into political lockstep (because if anyone knows hardship, it’s a squishy ballet patron punishing a tuxedo with his chin fat). Libertarians seem to begrudge anyone being compensated for anything at all — unless they’re CEOs; in which case there’s no limit on what their totally subjective contribution to the company is worth! Shit, even when they fail they get bonuses. I’ve never heard a peep from conservotarians on that one — though it’s hard to hear their message between the loud slurps as they venerate their betters.

If Rand’s evil regulatory law isn’t about those Mexicans sleeping under trees with big sombreros over their eyes, somehow benefitting from my tax dollars; or the crack-addled pimp rap stars, smoking their blunts, takin’ our wimmin’; or those swarthy garlic eaters skidding over the sea on an oil slick — whoops, too far back — then cui fucking bono? Well, see, The Man (noble industrial CEOs don’t buy favors in this world, thus becoming The Establishment — just like real life!) decided that stuff like Rearden Metal was making it hard for much shittier companies to compete (like Rand, he’s just too damned awesome to be tolerated). Since they can’t compete — what with the irredeemable shittiness written into their DNA by Miss Rand — they run to Mama Gub’mint to kiss it and make it all better.

Rearden is ordered to share his production methods, so shitty companies can also make his awesome metal (in a shitty way). Wait — that would be competition, wouldn’t it? Turning it into a commodity? (Anyway, consistency is like problem #6,738 on the list.) He’d also have to limit production, so shitty companies can have a share of the market; and he’d be compelled to provide contracts to companies he’s butthurt about; and to the government, who’s done nothing for him but make his contracts enforceable — who needs that? Naturally, corporations hate government contracts! That clearly bears out in reality, so just stop thinking about it.

As a formality, or just to humiliate him for being a tool, the evil government compels him to a hearing (“show us on the doll”) where he must agree to their terms, or face some kind of consequences, presumably.

Guess what happens. Go on.

He said no.

And his persecutors just widen their eyes, and waggle their jowls in ASTONISHMENT (a word some variation of which occurs 63 times in this garbage), totally dumbfounded, and seeming to have set aside no actual legal recourse. How about tossing your ass in jail, Mr. Rear-den? He says more, of course — everyone does, though it all sounds remarkably alike — and we cue the iconic slow clap. The tribunal is still struggling to free its violently inverted nut-sack when an allegorical mix of jurors come up and praise their valiant lord CEO! Underclass people actually lay out the hardships in their lives, only to graciously resign themselves to their fates, and grovel at the feet of someone unwilling to lose even one nickel of money he literally — by his own acknowledgement — doesn’t even care about! A man who considers workers expendable vermin! It’s the principle — Ayn is all about principles.

Rand has captured the mind-shearing asininity of the pampered billionaires’ wet dream. Was she the architect of it, or was it historical cryptomnesia? An ideomotor effect, with Rand channeling Nero?

In addition to everything else they want (which is everything), rich nitwits desperately crave approval. To see just what they do when they solicitously cajole their Magic Mirrors. Hyenas with preternatural clitoral erections; majestic gila monsters with beautifully fetid maws; enormous sequined lobsters bathed in iridescent flames! Wonderful, terrible beasts — motivational posters come to life. When they imagine the faceless collective estimation of your miserable proletarian existence, they want to see you giving your enthusiastic thumbs up as all of your kind orgiastically vanishes into their dislocated jaws! Squeal like you mean it, fuckers! Why do you think they constantly surround themselves with neutered sycophants?

The image they’d rather no one acknowledged is the expulsion of pallid biscuit dough whispering “memento mori” over their gilded faucets and marble reliefs each morning; regarding and judging them from indifferent salamander eyes. Or that continuum of head and neck, inflating before our eyes and straining both the tensile strength and basic dignity of a designer tux. The combover. The liver spots. The beige choppers. The coronary scar. The wiry, greying pubes they’d realize have overtaken their withering genitals, if only they could see beyond their ponderous bellies. The weakness and decrepitude. The dizzying ointment stench their trophy wives pretend not to notice, for the compromise of whiling away their lives on the diminishing thrill of shopping for trinkets, and retaining a doctor with a thick prescription pad. That slight quiver, as a suppressed understanding that anyone can “succeed” at inheriting a fortune tries to find the surface like an infected follicle, and it must be vanquished.

Even though they didn’t get there by raw merit, like Rearden; nor do they suffer a hostile government like the fictional steel magnate, they’re motivated by the same rationale. The decimal places in their balances are all that validates their sterile, abortive personalities. Trying to mitigate their pointless monetary accumulation based on any actual contribution is just poor sportsmanship. Very tacky of you. Like the Pac-Man grand champion, those little numbers on screen are their sole distinction as human beings, and they’ll swat at you ineffectually if you try to take it away.

When you’ve never worked a day in your life with the awareness it’s the only thing between you and homelessness, you have the luxury of narrowing your moral focus to things like “civility” and “manners.” Without any sense of what actual consequences are to the majority of the population — especially those you render unto them — you’re free to substitute any recreational ethos you like in lieu of the actual human decency most of us figure out before first grade. To billionaire powder-bums, life is just a gentlemanly pursuit; like competing to raise the most inbred bulldog (like master, like pet), or taking up polo. Never mind that they’re the only ones who get horses. Or mallets. Or access to the field. Or an invitation.

They’re the Romanovs, rollerskating on the deck of a hovercraft. As far as they’re concerned they’ve won the balloon race around the equator and beaten all you assholes fair and square. They deserve a slap on the back, and a “Well done, old boy!”

_______________________

  • Cernunnos

    “Libertarians seem to begrudge anyone being compensated for anything at all — unless they’re CEOs; in which case there’s no limit on what their totally subjective contribution to the company is worth! Shit, even when they fail they get bonuses. I’ve never heard a peep from conservotarians on that one — though it’s hard to hear their message between the loud slurps as they venerate their betters.”

    Actually, I have heard a peep about this one, but it’s usually a snotty “What business is it of yours what a CEO makes? Worry about your own job and stop blaming others for your failure.” Then I usually imagine that person’s head on a pike.

  • http://anteprepro.xanga.com/weblog/ Anteprepro

    “Actually, I have heard a peep about this one, but it’s usually a snotty “What business is it of yours what a CEO makes? Worry about your own job and stop blaming others for your failure.” Then I usually imagine that person’s head on a pike.”

    True story: Just about a month ago, a bunch of sane human beings provoked that response from a libertarian on a discussion board when they dared suggest that she was wrong in thinking that people earning several hundred thousand dollars a year (in the top 5% of earners), or even earning up to a million dollars a year, weren’t rich. Apparently, she believed such people weren’t rich because not all of those people in that income bracket happened to dip their balls in gold every other Tuesday or didn’t own a gross of Ferraris, or some such shit. Nah, those people aren’t rich, and we only believe they’re rich and want them taxed more because we were jealous. The second we were in the multi-millionaire’s shoes, we would become libertarians, because normal decent human beings are just as mindlessly selfish as libertarians are and will only advocate political ideologies that benefit us personally. Otherwise, what’s the point, right?

  • Anthony

    “Rather free in a foreign place than slave back home.” -Ivar Aasen

  • Anthony

    Jagshemash Winston!

  • Kozmund

    I absolutely love that the Atlas Shrugged Part 1 DVD is what’s advertised to me at the bottom of the post. It makes me happy I white-listed The Buffalo Beast in my ad-blocking software.

  • http://vectorpress.blogspot.com Trevor

    You might have better prospects in Sweden. They once advertised Monty Python’s Life of Brian as “So funny it was banned in Norway!” Which it was at the time.

  • http://bohemianwriter1.wordpress.com/ Bohemianwriter

    One thing about Norway.

    We have our own scat munchers, political hacks, and gaffes as well. Though not nearly as hillarious and frightening as the American sircus called politics.
    Hell! As a writer, I had to go to Ireland to be able to write anything sensible!

    I came back to Norway after 1.5 years in England and Ireland a few weeks after the 22. July terror attacks.

    People seem almost dosile, almost drugged down since the last time I was home a few months in 2010.

    But like said, we have our own political clowns to deal with. The reactionary “Progressive Party (FRP) tries to play victim after the 22. attack, despite the fact that the terrorist was once a youth party member, or something rather.
    The old kingpin in the party, Carl I. Hagen whom does not like “non-western” immigrants, wants to import a bunch of cheap labor from Spain, rebuilding our roads for Spanish tariffs 12 hours a day for two weeks at a time before being shuffled back to Spain. In his eyes, that is “re-envigerating the Norwegian economy”.

    They are the typical quasi libertarian party whom defines freedom as a pure capitalist system. Though as they want free bpooze 24/7, they are also the “law & order” party whom wants to imprison pot smokers, and wants the government to sentralize the whole HC system.

    They appeal to our own bible thumpers, xenophobes, “patriots”, and anyone whom gets the whiver every time they see aa woman in a burka.

    What is also hillarious about this party is that every county they have had the seat, are the counties with the worst economy.

    This is the party whom wants to sell out Norway one company at a time. Some of their followers praise Pinochet, and accuse the socialists for worshipping Pol Pot in the 80′s. Truth is that is was the other way around. King Carl supported Pol Pots claim to his seat in the UN, legitimizing his mass murder, while the Socialist party was against.

    I’va had many fun hours while being abroad the betteer part of the last 7 years, bashing their staggering hypocricy, ignorance, and flagg waving lunacy.

    Some of them are punk randists too.

    Some of them even tries to blame “us ebil Socialists” for what a RW psychopath did…

    I have some articles about this party and Norwegian politics on my own blog. Giving readers a little crooked vies about the sircus. Though not in English. If interested, I might write about Norwgian politics for the ones of you whom longs away from an increasing corporate theocracy in USA.

    (Oh! and for the record, I went to high school as an exchange student in Kansas 20 years ago, when creationism was not yet an issue, and William Burroughs was still alive and kicking)…

    On a more personal level, instead of sgetting bored out of my skull at the university, I spent all my time in the bars and pubs, writing poetry for girls, and getting blow jobs. Must have been my antipathy towards «order» and authorities after my tour of duty in Bosnia…

  • Anthony

    The main draw for me regarding Norway or anywhere else in Scandinavia is the Nordic Welfare Model. I think the highly progressive taxation along with the incredibly robust social programs are to be emulated by most of the rest of the world. At the same time, I think an expat from the U.S. would have to sacrifice much of their autonomy in Scandinavia. From what I understand, Scandinavian culture is very homogeneous. The ideals of liberalism and equality for all seem to be accompanied by sort of traditional expectation of conformity and uniformity. Nothing wrong with this, but I have my doubts about someone who is not ethnically Nordic (or at least resembles an ethnically Nordic person) emigrating to Scandinavia and necessarily finding true happiness. Personally, I really want to check out Germany. I’ve never been to Europe at all, but from what I hear Germany is pretty ethnically and culturally diverse. (Rather like America) Australia would surely also be fun. I am very fortunate to currently live in Hawaii. It’s not perfect here, (Actually it’s a bit of a backwater) but I have to say that the residents are a bit more civil than the typical “mainlander”. Americans tend to have an intrusive obstinance (Regardless of their actual knowledge of facts) that I can’t fucking stand any longer. I’m fucking done.

  • lcl

    LOVING these pieces. You should write a book. I would buy a lot of copies.

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