"Totally coup, yo."

Caigoy Shrugs, Part II

Jan

02

by

BEAST philosopher-at-large Michael Caigoy reads Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, so you don’t have to


Part Two: Ayn meets “Charlie’s Angels”
(read part one here)

OK. Fine. You asked for it.
The intellectual libertarian: outstanding in his field.


I’ll say one good thing about Objectivism and libertarianism’s true believers. Through some combination of their myopia, comical zealotry, self-absorption, belligerent certitude, and knee-jerk social contrarianism, they sometimes eschew breeding. Mercifully, Rand is exhibit A.

In ‘82, her heart went all Galt on her, refusing to beat, just to spite her parasitic circulatory system. It’d gotten a free ride for 77 irrational years. What’s in it for me? the organ complained. It made its point, and she died alone and childless, just over eight months after the final episode of her beloved “Charlie’s Angels” aired.

But without her inexplicable writing success and the worshipful hangers-on that followed, her conspicuous misanthropy might’ve otherwise afforded her a death under a stack of toppled newspapers. She’d have lent sustenance to her 16 reluctant cats, until the epic odor rousted her neighbors to heroic action!!!

No moment in my regrettable plunge into the dank recesses of Rand’s mind has thus far betrayed her social skills more compactly than her interpretation of a party. Specifically, the banter. Better minds than mine have already captured the essence of her dialog. Remember that episode of “The Simpsons” where Bart’s nemesis, Sideshow Bob, gets out of jail and campaigns on the conservative ticket? At a debate he’s fed questions by a Limbaugh-esque Republican shill named Barlow:

Barlow: Sideshow Bob, councilman Les Whinen says that you’re not experienced enough to be mayor.  Sir, what do you have to say about that?

Sideshow Bob: I’d say that Les Whinen ought to do more thinking and less whining!

[audience laughs and claps]

Lisa: There’s no councilman Les Whinen.

Bart: [chuckling] Good line, though.

No doubt.

Now imagine it without the punch line.

Barlow: Sideshow Bob, councilman Les Whinen says that you’re not experienced enough to be mayor.  Sir, what do you have to say about that?

Sideshow Bob: I’d say that Les Whinen ought to do more thinking and less whining!

Again.

AGAIN.

Now, imagine it for-fucking-ever. Imagine it until you hate “The Simpsons,” and become convinced Matt Groening is the devil. Imagine the words repeating until you can’t remember anything else about your life. Until it’s all you can hear, and the rumbling feedback loop carries your epileptic body off into madness.

That’s pretty bad. Maybe as bad as counting the days as they slip through a barren, post-menopausal moribundity – where the gut-wrenching inevitabilities of one’s life choices wait in lieu of meeting one’s nonexistent grandkids; where the towering silence stands as protuberantly as Farrah’s overrated knockers — which are now one’s sole consolation.

I’d complain that character development wasn’t Rand’s strength, but pointing out something specific would mask the breadth and consistency of her ineptitude as a novelist. I’m uncomfortable referring to her characters in the plural, since it only insinuates a distinction between them. They’re not so much individuals as an array of mucilaginous blow holes discharging the author’s implacable lifelong harangue; one still ringing through manicured suburbs like an unpunished tantrum that metastasized into a philosophy.

It’s here that Rand shows ‘em all; a threat most high-functioning autistics can only achieve vicariously. The irony is, in some cases, it seems like she’s in danger of losing arguments to her own straw men. Maybe it’s just that their words are too preposterous for me to avoid rewriting in my head, and I’m just filling in the blanks, believing no one could say something so easily swatted down. Given her precarious grasp of Nietzsche (and things in general), Rand probably missed the point intended by whoever inspired her ideological punching bags. I can only speculate about what specific ideas she fiercely resisted considering, but I can glean that Ayn must have had many a conversation ruined by some inconvenient nuance falling outside the ossified binaries of her worldview. All the witty retorts conceived on the drive home — or alone, brooding in her dorm room — can now have the playground all to themselves.

The most contrived centipede in Ayn’s philosophical vagina is Dr. Simon Pritchett. I guess he’s a postmodernist. I’ll cop to hating them as much as the next guy (assuming that guy gives a shit). I’ll even grant – based on a presentation I watched tried to watch about PoMo jerkoff, Jean-François Lyotard — Pritchett’s arguments could’ve been taken verbatim from a sincere PoMo dipshit. I can’t explain why it’s worth debating a marginal and little understood philosophy aside from it being an easy target.

Anyway, the effete Pritchett’s all, Who’s to say what’s real? We’re just meaningless chemicals and what not! Nothing matters… and so forth.

Rearden insists that things do indeed matter.

Rand, you fucking rebel! Underscoring the hypocrisy and degeneracy of Pritchett’s remarks is that he’s eating. Possibly the only one mentioned eating at all – certainly the only one emphasized doing so. It’s a minor point, but odd. When he’s not listlessly condemning humanity like a mid-nineties goth girl, he’s fondling hors d’oeuvres and launching them down his gullet. I can almost hear him chewing, Lahff ith menninglthss. Weh’r thutht thumb ahnhimals.

In the Randverse, the repugnance of his eating snacks and talking at a party is apparently self-evident. If not for her belaboring some point about the seemingly appropriate behavior, I wouldn’t even know it was a problem for her. It’s like she’s saying, Hey, look at this guy. Eating food set out for guests at a party. What an asshole.

She rhapsodizes at (incredible) length about dickheads affirming life, enjoying themselves guiltlessly — but only as long as they do it on her terms.

To be continued.

_____________

  • Jerold Tabbott

    What totally ignorant drivel. Caigoy obviously neither knows, nor wants to know anything about Rand’s philosophy, nor has anything really accurate or intelligent to relate on the subject – just the self-indulgent blather of a proudly ignorant (that’s called stupid) wannabe.

    He must be very thankful for an internet that makes no demands on intellect or honesty. What a moron.

  • Cato The Censor

    On the contrary to Jerold Tabbott’s assertions, Mr. Caigay made a number of incisive points with respect to Ms. Rand’s literary, philosophical and other deficiencies. The critique inspired the obligatory, knee-jerk assault by a true believer who resorts to the old standby, ad hominem name-calling (“that’s called stupid”). Libertarians are quicker to rise to the defense of their one true religion than Muslim terrorists sworn to jihad. Rather than rail against Mr. Caigay’s accurate, detailed, and devastating criticisms, please favor us with some examples of Ms. Rand’s intellectual subtlety, literary, philosophical, political, or otherwise. You keep singing the woman’s praises. Show us something with a little more insight than that being a big fat, selfish jerk is cool, her chief and only point.

  • Buffalo Rude

    @Cato The Censor: I doubt Jerold will indulge you with a response that contains anything resembling an actual defense of Objectivism.

    And yeah, Libertarians do tend to be a little touchy. Remember back in the first half of the 2000s when the Paultards where going to any comment thread or forum that would have them and unleashing tedious and expansive missives defending that little racist piece of shit from Texas?

  • malachi

    Caigoy – you’re in for a treat! You haven’t gotten to the 60+ page John Galt rant yet. Oye. It makes the rest of the book read like Shakespeare.

    At one point, I soldiered through the book, too, for much the same reason as you – I didn’t want to talk shit about something that I hadn’t read. One point that I often hear from defenders is that since the book is meant to be allegory, we can’t judge her too harshly for bad character development, plot, etc. – these things are largely in service of the points she’s trying to make, or at least moreso than for a regular novel. Essentially, she’s writing a philosophical treatise, but trying to make it more palatable by cloaking it in the thinnest veneer of fiction.

    I don’t buy this – I think it’s rationalization by readers who are aware on some level that the book is painful to read. But even if we assume that they’re correct – being an allegory suspends the rules of writing – the best way to critique this book is on its abhorrent ideas. You do this pretty well in the straw man part of your review; I wish you’d do it more. Deconstructing how ridiculous the characters are is definitely fun to read, but way too easy.

  • Dan D

    Besides what malachi says, Animal Farm is allegory and doesn’t suck as a novel. If you’re not a talented enough fiction writer to turn your beliefs into a half decent story, then don’t, just write a damn treatise on your beliefs. Actual great philosophers do this regularly, unless I’m mistaken and “Leviathan” is actually a story about a sea monster. To say Rand’s shitty writing is excused by her laughable attempt to turn her beliefs into a story isn’t much a defence.

    And it’s not just because we hate libertarians that we critique her writing. Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is a decent read even if it is full of glibertarian nonsense. It’s not impossible to pack bad ideas into a readable book.

  • Proper Gander

    A friend had halfway convinced me that I was a libertarian a few years ago, so on his advice I read Atlas Shrugged. After I had finished, I called him up and told him that it was possibly the worst book I had ever read. i didn’t have the heart to go further (he still rarely talked to me after that day) but I wanted to tell him that it was not only badly written, but repugnant in its ideology. I’d go so far as to call it anti-american, possibly anti-human. What I wonder most at is how the Rand cultists manage to convince themselves that what they believe is somehow good…

    I also remember a pimply clerk in Barnes and Noble trying to convince two young girls (14ish) that they simply had to read it. I ran into them as we were leaving, and considered mentioning to them what an abomination Atlas was… then I looked at them, realized they looked somewhat normal and well-adjusted, and thought to myself that they didn’t look like the kind of dweebs who go for the Rand, that, “they’ll smell the reek of bullshit.” I hope that turned out to be true.

  • Ozinator

    I post on several unrelated sites (sports, politics, music) and have noticed the word, “blather” is a right-wing favorite! It’s a contemptuous pose suggesting the user COULD go into debate, when they are merely confused and afraid of looking stupid

  • Jimmy

    Wikipedia says The Beast is a left-libertarian biweely newspaper.

  • Jimmy

    I care mostly about the social issues and illegal wars, and libertarians are at least better than the Republicans and the teabaggers who claim to be libertarians but cannot walk the walk on social issues or the war. Ron Paul is a nut, but is at least preferable to Palin, Gingrich, Hannity, or 90% of Republicans, which isn’t saying much. Of course, it’s pretty extreme how some want to repeal Civil Rights and trim needed government programs to the size of Mary Kate Olsen.
    Then again, it would make sense for him to agree with the lunatic Alex Jones and his son Rand. After all, those values are taught at home.
    I also wonder what else would be on the reading list of one of the members of the Ayn Rand cult?

  • Jimmy

    The Loathsome list=Coming out in 2 or 3 days?

  • admin

    Jimmy,
    Loathsome = Monday. Sorry for the delay. And Wikipedia says a lot of things.
    The Management

    [And by Monday, we mean whenever it's done, which may not be Monday. : ( ]

  • admin

    Atlas autopsy continued here: http://www.buffalobeast.com/?p=3972

  • Jimmy

    As a Wikipedia editor, do you want me to change that? What would you like to be called? Independent left-wing?

  • Jerold Tabbott

    Hadn’t planned going back to this worthless website, but came across a link, and was surprised to see there’d been responses to my criticism of caigoy’s totally ignorant blog. So let’s see, Rand has a large body of work to draw from, but caigoy has only this one moronic blog. Please identify one “incisive point” (LOL), and I’ll comment. That is much easier.

    Caigoy’s gross ignorance is quite obvious in his blog to anyone with a passing knowledge of Rand or Objectivism. However, I’m sure he is quite dedicated to his (and other’s) ignorance, which is why it would be much more accurate to simply call him terribly stupid.

  • poopsquire

    point out one “incisive point” you made in defending Atlas Shrugged or Objectivism? i have no horse in this race, but if the extent of your commentary is limited to calling him “stupid” and “moronic”, I would say he is a few points up on you.

    • http://nanobotswillenslaveusall.wordpress.com/ Josh Bunting

      He doesn’t have time to defend Ayn Rand. There are dolphins that need a rapin’.

  • Jerold Tabbott

    Okay, turkeys.

    First, as far as Rand’s literary ability, she has more than demonstrated he ability to create complex and conflicted characters. I suggest that cretins like caigoy read “We, the Living”, one of Rand’s earlier works. Neither are their any deficiencies in her talent to write prose, and to breath life into her settings or characters. Some of the dialogue in “The Fountainhead”, particularly scenes between Toohey and Peter Keating, and Toohey and Dominique, were as sharp and clever as you will find anywhere.

    And boo-hoo if you’re complaining about her presenting cardboard villains. Again, Toohey in “The Fountainhead” was well fleshed out, but in “Atlas Shrugged” she deliberately painted her villains all with the same brush, because she was making a point that they all followed the same flawed personal philosophy. What is more, try finding many complex villains in almost any modern fiction. Painting the bad guys extra bad is a common device, particularly in popular fiction. So stop your whining. Rand spent her early years in Hollywood as a screenwriter, and Hollywood doesn’t feel safe unless they’re hitting you over the head with how bad the villains are.

    Now… as to Objectivist philosophy, what part of the following actual core tenets of objectivism do you – or the cretin caigoy – disapprove of:

    1. The right of an individual to own the fruits of his own labor
    2. Individual freedom of choice to act in one’s own personal self interest PROVIDING that one does not interfere with any other person’s individual rights.
    3. The concept of striving to do one’s personal best in all one’s endeavors.

    I could add ‘the right to ignore idiots’, which I intend to do next. Caigoy’s an absolute idiot who clearly knows absolutely nothing about Objectivism, and probably not much of anything else if this is an example of his work. Perhaps if he – and his fans – attempted to actually do some studying, he might eventually display some small glimmer of intelligence… but obviously not here.

    • http://nanobotswillenslaveusall.wordpress.com/ Josh Bunting

      Here’s the tl;dr version of dolphin-rapist’s comment:
      1. Yeah, AS sucks as literature, but Hollywood forced her to be a shitty writer.
      2. Here, I will define Objectivist “philosophy.”
      3. I don’t like Caigoy.
      4. Oh, I forgot to defend Ayn Rand again? Huh…

  • poopsquire

    sorry, don’t have time to read your novella. please paraphrase in 4 sentence or less if you want anyone to read it.

  • poopsquire

    thank you!

  • Jerold Tabbott

    poopsquire,

    Sorry, forgot the intellectual limitations of this crowd, but someone did ask a question. Not everything can be summarized in short sentences and two syllable words. And some things do require thought. Of course, again, that’s not this crowd’s strong suit.

  • poopsquire

    wow you really told me!

  • http://nanobotswillenslaveusall.wordpress.com/ Josh Bunting

    Jerold, when you’re done with your daily dolphin rape, maybe you could try actually defending Rand’s position or literary style such as they exist, instead of just conceding every point made against them.

  • Jerold Tabbott

    Just Punting,

    So… is English your second language, or do you just have a general problem with comprehension. What I wrote was clear and to the point. If you have neither the balls or brains to make an intelligent response… then just don’t. Silence would obviously make you sound much smarter.

  • http://nanobotswillenslaveusall.wordpress.com/ Josh Bunting

    Just punting, that’s really clever!
    English is my first language. What you wrote was clear but just as clear is the fact that there’s nothing in it that actually defends Rand’s literary style or philosophical positions. All you did was explain why her writing in AS sucks and define a small, hyperpoliticized version of her philosophy. There’s no defense there at all, just a lot of emo whining and bitching about how you believe critics don’t really *understand*, man.

  • http://na Mama Frizzly

    I’m no defender of Jerold’s dolphin rape ( http://profile.ak.fbcdn.net/hprofile-ak-snc4/hs445.snc4/49061_1707776702_700_n.jpg ), nor do I think Ayn Rand is worth a shit. But I do think there’s something to be said for selfishness. Namely, it’s all we got. Even the most charitable individual is motivated by the selfish way charity makes them feel. I don’t really have a point either, but it’s worth thinking about. And I’m just trying to pass the time until the goddamn fucking loathsome list comes out! Effin’ jerks, making me wait for things!

    And where’s the rest of the AS review? Did Caigoy succumb to teh stupid or something? I read Fountainhead and I’m not proud to admit that it made me dumb for a couple months. But this was back in highschool, so I don’t feel that bad about it…

    blah blah blah…

    where’s my damn list!?

  • Jerold Tabbott

    Sorry to hear English is your first language. Hopefully you have some other skills. Apparently, you failed to note that no one on this site, including the cretin caigoy, has made any real (intelligent, honest) criticisms of Rand in the first place. Frankly, even reasonable and intelligent people who disagree with Rand don’t really questions her literary talent.

    It is only typical that lesser intellects who disagree with her philosophy resort to attacking her personal life and writing style as a means of discrediting her… and, of course, to try to make themselves feel superior. Pathetic.

    Good-bye

    • http://nanobotswillenslaveusall.wordpress.com/ Josh Bunting

      Jerold, yes, I often “fail to note” things which are not true. Since you can’t seem to come up with any kind of defense of Rand’s literary style or philosophical positions, I can only assume that you realize there is no defense to be made. Now go back to raping dolphins and crying emo tears about how nobody understands you or your weird idol.

      Frizzly, the loathsome list should be up on Monday. But then again, a lot of things should be and yet aren’t.

  • http://na Mama Frizzly

    Mr. Punting, thank you! (It feels like X-mas eve!)

    Jerold, I think you’ve raped one too many dolphins, sir ( http://profile.ak.fbcdn.net/hprofile-ak-snc4/hs445.snc4/49061_1707776702_700_n.jpg . You seem to be conflating word-count with “talent.” It’s truly sad that you think this woman could write. Even in my youthful stupor of dabbling in Objectivism, I knew that Rand’s prose was lifeless, unbelievable and just plain bad. You, frankly, demonstrate the sort of mental process typical of someone in a cult. I’m shocked AS wasn’t on Jared Loughner’s must read list.

  • Jerold Tabbott

    Certainly, mama fizz, you don’t really mean to blame your stupor on reading a book. I’m quite confidant your stupidity was there in ample proportions beforehand. Did you mean to imply that you actually graduated from high school, btw?

    If intelligent discussion distresses you – as it does Just Punting – just stick to puerile jibes like “dolphin raping” as Punting (was that the most clever quip he could make with his limited vocabulary?) does. You should get a room together, but please… don’t have children. They might turn out like Caigoy or Jimmy, with IQ’s under 80.

    LOL. You guys are all a mess.

  • http://nanobotswillenslaveusall.wordpress.com/ Josh Bunting

    And it’s another comment from Jerold wherein he avoids defending Ayn Rand. I wonder if he’s ever even read her at all.

  • Jerold Tabbott

    Just Punting,

    No. You just fail to notice anything – particularly if it contradicts what you WANT to believe. I know the saying goes “ignorance is bliss”, but in truth… willful ignorance is just stupidity. How incredibly stupid you sound. Is this board only for junior high dropouts? It certainly seems it.

    You offer nothing of substance… less than nothing. You make puerile (really dumb) slurs, and then think you should get any respect. Sorry little boy. Life doesn’t work like that. This website appears to be nothing more than a playpen for infantile mentalities who like to make ignorant rants, and you’re just one of the kiddies playing out your fantasies.

    As an Objectivist, I can gladly tell you that it is your absolute and natural right to do so… so long as you never try to impose any of your infantile fantasies on me or others. That is called “free choice” – a concept whose importance you obviously do not fully appreciate. Poor you…

    Poor everybody else around you.

    • http://nanobotswillenslaveusall.wordpress.com/ Josh Bunting

      “No?” What were you answering “no” to, exactly? No you haven’t read Ayn Rand ever? Because there’s still absolutely no evidence that you ever have, given your extreme reluctance to actually defend her.

  • http://na Mama Frizzly

    Jerold H. “The Dolphin Rapist” Tabbott, Captain of the Lady Diane II,

    You are laughably pathetic. “IQ’s under 80″? What is an “under 80″? Is that porn? And how can one’s intelligence quotient possess this porn?

    And Punting’s right, you’ve not offered one valid defense of Rand or critique of Caigoy since you opened your proverbial blow hole. I also get the feeling that if you respected Punting he’d hang himself.

    I’m not fully convinced that Jerold is not a troll. Jerold H. “The Dolphin Rapist” Tabbott, Captain of the Lady Diane II surely exists. He lives in Jacksonville, Florida. But is the person posting here actually Jerold H. “The Dolphin Rapist” Tabbott, Captain of the Lady Diane II, resident of Jacksonville, Florida, failed CEO of Marine Outsourcing Services? Or is it the sworn enemy of Jerold H. “The Dolphin Rapist” Tabbott, Captain of the Lady Diane II, resident of Jacksonville, Florida, failed CEO of Marine Outsourcing Services and Leadermar (USA) Corporation, who’s out to make Jerold H. “The Dolphin Rapist” Tabbott, Captain of the Lady Diane II, resident of Jacksonville, Florida, failed CEO of Marine Outsourcing Services and Leadermar (USA) Corporation look like a huge fucking idiot?

    I think it’s his sworn enemy. And he’s doing a very good job.

  • Jerold Tabbott

    LOL ! LOL ! LOL !

    A little over-sensitive, aren’t you, moma fizz?

    And Just Punting (snicker), I’m the only one here (so far) that has even presented any real discussion of Rand’s work. Beside – just look at the op ed by the cretin caigoy – and I quote “BEAST philosopher-at-large Michael Caigoy reads Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, so you don’t have to”. I fully believe that he knows his readers (you). The title pretty much sums up the collective knowledge of his readers.

    You guys are funny, really. Of course, it’s also pretty sad to see you continue your feeble efforts. I wasn’t particularly interested in this puerile website, but maybe i should stick around long enough to help straighten you all out. What do you think? Do you want to continue your life in the same futile ignorance, or would you like to grow up? Ask nice, and I’ll hang around.

    • http://nanobotswillenslaveusall.wordpress.com/ Josh Bunting

      OK, I guess he meant he’s never read Ayn Rand.

      Jerold, if you’d like to defend Rand, go ahead any time now. If not you can keep whining all you like too. It’s up to you, seeing that this is the biggest audience you’ll ever have. *yawn*

  • poopsquire

    eat my fucking poop!

  • Jerold Tabbott

    Really, Just Punting, you’re just going to stick to that lame strategy… like no one will notice you haven’t contributed anything? Of course, you’re accustomed to a pretty easy crowd (they’re not too bright here), maybe that’s why you think it will fly.

    Sorry, I don’t have to eat the squire’s poop, so I don’t have to eat yours either. Maybe I should just come back when you’ve all developed at least a smidgeon of intellect. Or I could just hang around and help raise the IQ of this site.

  • admin

  • Jerold Tabbott

    admin,

    I can certainly understand your embarrassment, but, then… your entire site oozes asininity. Sorry I have to be the one to tell you this.

    Don’t give up you day job.

    If you have nothing else now, I’ll say so long, and leave you to your utter… bliss.

  • admin

    Dear Jerold,

    T. pities you for your inability to defend a philosophy to which you purportedly subscribe. T. pities you for your ungrammatical ad homs. T. just pities you.

    • http://nanobotswillenslaveusall.wordpress.com/ Josh Bunting

      It’s so altruistic of the dolphin rapist to keep offering to “raise the IQ around here.” Clearly he’s motivated by pursuing the greatest good for the greatest number, and not by some misguided ideal of “rational self-interest.” What a great, selfless humanitarian.

  • Pingback: Michael Caigoy reads Atlas Shrugged so you don’t have to | jemery.com

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