I don’t know where I read or heard this statement (as it is not my own), but when the economy/political state/world start to look bad, it seems a whole new generation finds their way to Atlas Shrugged and the sales for that book skyrocket.
And since this statement came before me, I have seen a ton of young adults (men and women) reading it on the subway. Mostly hipsters as well. Skinny jeans, big glasses, snarky 80’s reference/thrift store t-shirt, whacky 80’s accessory, even whackier shoes. I have yet to see some one in a suit or business casual dress reading it. Maybe because these folks are too busying working to sit down with that behemoth and read it.
A few disclaimers before I continue. First off, hipsters bug me in the HULK SMASH! primal way. The undeserved elitist/better then others attitude and stupid clothes do it for me. I cannot count how many times one of these freaks stands RIGHT IN MY WAY when I am trying to get of the subway. I make sure to throw a bit of an elbow each time, harder if I am in a particularly cranky mood.
Secondly, I have never read it myself. I thought about it, then went to Wikipedia to get the gist of it. I read about Rand and the book and decided it was not for me. I got the sense that it was an ENTIRE book of elitist/better than others attitude.
Thirdly, I find Objectivism to be a selfish and cruel joke on humanity. If you do not adhere to the idea that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one, then you do humanity as a whole no good. I am not saying that Socialism or Communism is the way to go, all I am saying is that the balls to the wall capitalism that Objectivism represents isn’t right either. In fact, there isn’t an ism out there that has been useful yet.
And finally, the kind of intellectuals in this book, that give up on society and go hide, are not the kind of intellectuals the world needs. And I am not one of those meatheads that thinks ALL intellectuals should go. The intellectuals the world needs are the ones that will continue to fight, continue to work, and continue to believe in humanity. No matter how many religious/populist/hateful nutjubs come at them. The MOMENT you stop fighting is the MOMENT you die. These elitist douche bags that up and decide that the world cannot survive without them and decide to go hide in a secret place until they can come back out and create an utopia for themselves are the kind of douche bags that can die in a fiery rollover. We don’t need you, you’re just dead weight to carry and you’ll be just as fucking worthless when things get fixed as you are now. Get a shovel and start digging or get the fuck off the worksite.
An Aside: The idea for this post has been in my head since yesterday, and even I had no idea it would come out with such teeth. 😉
Where was I? Oh yeah….
So anyway, when I see some one with the book I have the following thoughts in order:
- HAH! They’re reading Atlas Shrugged
- By the way they are dressed, damn hispster, I’m surprised they know about it
- They’re too young to be into that literature
- I bet they are reading it for a class
- I bet they are reading it because they’re hipster friends or hipster idol is or has mentioned it
- They probably have no idea what the point is, and see it like some sort of hipster status symbol, something to show off to prove their hipster cred, like skinny jeans.
- What a douche
This is just one of those things that the cynical side of me, the one closest to the surface right now, finds amusing.
Now, I’m not saying I am right to feel this way or that anyone else should feel this way either. In fact I can be wrong. I have been before, I will be again. I am man enough, and intellectual enough, to admit that.
I might decide to sit down with this book, read it in one sitting, have an epiphany, and save the fucking planet all by my lonesome. Or, I might listen to an Objectivist/Libertarian, have an epiphany, have my ‘Come to Jesus’ moment, become a card carrying member, and save the fucking planet.
But, more than likely, I’m right, and these folks are a waste of air. They can sit there and argue about it, but in the end they look like a bunch of emaciated stray dogs fighting over a piece of garbage; No matter who wins, they’re gonna end up getting hit by a car at some point and be dead on the side of the road.
If you want to read a bit of fiction in this uncertain times, read about the Gunslinger. The world could use more of them, that’s for sure.