Thar she blows: Ayn and the search for Ragnar Danneskjöld’s gold!
“There are twelve people in the world. The rest are paste.”
— The Fall describes Rand’s pitch for Atlas Shrugged
Because Atlas Shrugged is ultimately a steam punk Harlequin novel, it’s got to be fap-ready for a segment of the female population turned on by hot business-to-business action and sex at bayonet point, which is one of the many reasons I find the book’s appeal among men so disheartening and simultaneously hysterical. (I can only console myself by continuing to assume few that brandish it have actually read it; if it were bulky enough — and it almost is — it’d be in the rec room with dirty laundry hanging from it, next to the Soloflex.)
I can gather that a few key elements are at play here: the domineering male figures who know telepathically when “no” means “yes” (Ayn “Grrl Power” Rand undermining decades of women who campaigned relentlessly on the platform that they don’t really want to be violently raped — which, historically, had been a topic of debate for some time, when it was a consideration at all); the love triangle (or polygon, since no less than three muscle-bound executive sociopaths want some transportation CEO tail), including the tragic pretty boy suffering his futile devotion to Rand — er, Dagwood — shit, I mean, Dagny.
The last would be the Quixotic Francisco Franchesca Bananafanafofesca D’Anconia III. In one, of about 638 epic monologues, Franciso lays out Rand’s — er, his theory of primate courtship. She’d already outlined elsewhere that, even for men, power and intellect determine attraction — a hilarious premise, turning all men into Stedman Graham-like figures. “Tell me what a man finds sexually attractive and I will tell you his entire philosophy of life,” Rand wrote. Maybe that’s why she assumed her philosophy would remain marginal! An ideological “He’s probably gay anyway!” But let’s put Rand’s hypotheses to the test, neoconserviles. Imagine the Russian Olmec statue casting wanton glances your way; blowing kisses from her equestrian visage.
I’ll give you a moment. Seriously — if she’s right (and you unconditionally think she is, you sad nincompoop), you should want to FUCK her. Do you? DO YOU?
There is no good answer to that for you. If not, you’re a hypocrite (more so). If so…. Even by Rand’s reasoning in this — which is as mind-meltingly wrong as everything else she’s written — that the mind is what matters most in attraction, you’d still be stuck with a scenario equivalent to wanting to get with Margaret Thatcher.
Why did I have to go there? Why did Rand have to be so cheeky with this shit? Some braincells go malignant every time I crack this book. Something dies and enters the bloodstream.
In a “heartfelt” soliloquy disguised as a conversation with Hank Rearden, Francisco confesses his unrequited affection toward Miss Taggart. Sure, descriptions of her evoke images of a woolen sock carrying broken pottery, but we’re through the looking glass, people. Just go with it. Understanding Ayn’s essential solipsism is crucial to tolerating this drivel. D’Anconia goes on to admit that he’s never slept with her. He runs his mouth even further, boasting that, you know those ditzy society hoes he had strutting about in their birthday suits at his gadabout rich playboy ice castle parties? Yeah, not them either. Well, bully for him.
I have to wonder whether this was inspired by real life; did Rand get the backhanded “I respect you too much” speech (like hundreds of thousands of times)? Under normal circumstances, society tended to scrutinize the “confirmed bachelors” of the world. You’d think someone as rabidly homophobic as AR would’ve had a better mechanism for detecting “teh gay.” Francisco’s unmolested bimbos would’ve had their suspicions, no doubt. But Ayn was so desperate for attention that even a wall of rejection portrayed as a compliment might’ve been worth filing away for her later spin on Danielle Steel — or rather Dagny Reardenmetal?
Rolls right off the tongue, like the name Ragnar Danneskjöld. Haha — really? That’s the name of a dread pirate who shows up out of fucking nowhere in the book. The book…it has pirates…in it. YEAH. I can’t even type the words without feeling somehow ashamed. I feel like an adult reading Twilight now. Soiled. Diminished. Taken down a notch. His schtick? He sinks ships delivering materials meant for frivolous bullshit, like developing a civil infrastructure. Who the fuck needs that? The majority of the populace? Dannskidöld has a more practical agenda, as illustrated in a scene with Rearden. The mysterious (and predictably white bread) figure meets with the metal tycoon to give him something.
A…wait for it…gold bar!
YES. Aha — that’s where you Ron Paul shit-sticks got it! I didn’t think it’d actually be in there, but damn libertards, she really drafted the blueprint for your entire conflicted existence, didn’t she?
Dagnüskköld explains to Hank that it’s rightfully his money. Rikroüll Dümasdirt destroys and loots transoceanic commerce to redistribute it according to Rand’s — er, his principles. Like Pareto-inspired Robin Hood, he diverts resources to where they’re needed least. Wait — didn’t Rand say something against violence and coercion? And something against redistribution?