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Book Reviews


Caigoy Shrugs, Part IV

Jan

16

by

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


Part Four: Rand Vs. Nature

(read part one, two and three)

RANDMEN

It’s important in Atlas Shrugged to vilify Rearden’s wife, Lillian, so his betrayal can be rationalized. For an author like Rand, who has little interest in the pathos of female characters (Dagny hardly counts), shortcuts must be taken in undermining any sympathy the reader might develop. To this end, Rand picked through the literary trough and found frigidity — the gimmick wheeled out by Orwell to justify Winston’s separating from his wife, freeing him morally, to later bone Julia and brew coffee out in an old peeping-tom’s loft space.

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Caigoy Shrugs, Part III

Jan

05

by

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


Part Three: Ayn and the Ghost of Dead Prose
(read part one and part two)

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Courtesy of ideologically_abhorrent_tattoos.com


While it’s definitely not a favorite (it’s not even passable), Atlas Shrugged tops a few lists for me. It has the flattest, least engaging characters I’ve dealt with. It makes the Brave New World lineup seem dimensional in comparison — and that’s saying something. It’s also the most humorless, insistent, ridiculous manifesto I’ve encountered — and I’ve read plenty of those. Worst of all, this might be the longest book I’ve ever fucking read.

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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!!!

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Caigoy Shrugs

Dec

27

by

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


Part One

“What is it with you and rape? No one’s raping anyone!”
— Dexter Morgan

I’ve always found Rand objectionable as a philosopher. Specifically, her uncredited middle-school re-writes of Nietzsche’s hits, and personal revelations based on really obvious tautologies. Seriously, “A” is “A”? It’s a symbol, you dingbat. It’s what we say it is. Is somebody spreading rumors that an abstract symbol isn’t itself? A legit problem is determining its relationship with our experience of reality (e.g. Wittgenstein’s language games if you’re ready for the real shit). And existence exists? Are you fucking kidding me? We’ve gone from Hume and Kierkegaard to this? Listening to her impatience at other ideologies reminds me of a five year-old considering the world’s problems. Can’t get the Chilean miners out? “Why not just build a robot?” she’d say, handing over a sketch; herself pictured overseeing the operation from a unicorn. When kids do it, it’s cute (theoretically), but seeing a brusque Russian author do it — not so much.

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Abandon All Hope

Oct

24

by
Economics for the Rest of Us: Debunking the Science that Makes Life Dismal by Moshe Adler
BEAST Book Review by Michael Caigoy


Noam Chomsky is the Mick Jagger of sad mouthed intellectuals. He’s been churning out crowd pleasers since the sixties. Big auditorium anthems about massacres in the Southern Cone, US-Israeli suppression of the Palestinians and CIA-backed coups the world over. Like Bowie and Bing Crosby, will any of us forget his stirring duet with Foucault? Or his flirtatious Sonny and Cher banter with William F. Buckley? As with Jimmy Page and P. Diddy, he’s even lent street cred to young punks like Alan Dershowitz.

What’s this have to do with anything, you ask? Shut up. Don’t get ahead of me.

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Little Wack Hambo

Aug

11

by

Author Alexander Zaitchik on Glenn Beck and “White Culture”

BY TYLER BASS

“[Glenn] Beck has repeatedly, respectfully, and recently played audio of men like Ezra Taft Benson, a Mormon apostle who thought the civil rights movement was a dastardly communist plot. Benson also wrote the forward to a book of race hate whose cover illustration featured the severed, bloody head of an African American.”

- Alexander Zaitchik, Common Nonsense – Glenn Beck and the Triumph of Ignorance

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Book review: Pygmy

Dec

08

by

BY JOSH BUNTINGpygmy-chuck-palahniuk-hardcover-cover-art

OK, first of all, this book is much better than his previous one, so those who were disappointed by Snuff and thought Palahniuk was in decline can probably write that off as an anomaly.

But Pygmy is written in a very different, Engrish-y style. And it’s relentless. It almost never stops. The only escape from the narrator’s voice is through other characters when they speak. And unlike other books with a lot of slang (A Clockwork Orange, Irvine Welsh), it’s not something you can just put aside and hope it all starts to make more sense as you go. You really have to understand what the narrator means to say by syncing yourself up with his way of thinking or else the plot will escape you completely.

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