Archive for the ‘poets and philosophers’ Category

And the reviews are in….   1 comment

as published on examiner.com

Reviews by a critic with the caliber of Roger Ebert, half of what was the most noteworthy film critic team of the past twenty-five years; venerable critic of the Chicago Sun Times, these reviews are not a small matter. The opinions of critics such as these are not to be taken lightly, nor treated as if they have not occurred.

Roger Ebert and his fellow critics can make or break a film. They are the moderating voice and minds for America’s movie attendees, helping movie pickers sift the chaff from the wheat to determine the best film on which to lay their ten bucks.  They also help movie goers understand, amid the din of post film theater chatter and concession stand sticker shock, just what they saw up on the screen.

Such worshipful views of professional criticism are held only by those who read reviews and expect enlightenment and a release from the responsibility of making informed, rational judgments. Such are positions usually held by those who accept at face value a critic’s coronation (or execution) of a film, and are unwilling to express or experience independent thought.

Read the rest of this entry »

With a shrug (originally published at “Just a thought”   Leave a comment

[Originally published at “Just a Thought — Mental Illness Meets Common Sense”]

Today is April 15th.  It is Tax Day, 2011 [tax day actually moved up a few days, but you get the picture]. With it comes the release of Atlas Shrugged The Movie Part One.

I’ve been a fan of the novel Atlas Shrugged and a student of Ayn Rand’s philosophy for nearly twenty years.

Objectivism has allowed me to shrug off  what should have been a completely  debilitating illness.  Without Objectivism it is doubtful I would have maintained full employment, written a book, maintained a home, or be writing this or anything else.  My ability to manage a foot and a half in reality and reason – via Objectivism, mitigates against much of the effects of my schizophrenia. Read the rest of this entry »

“there you go again”   Leave a comment

Official Atlas Shrugged The Movie (part one) movie poster

as published on examiner.com

Fifty years plus have passed since Ayn Rand published her masterpiece of philosophy and Romantic literature.  Fifty plus years later and Conservatives still do not get Atlas Shrugged, nor do they apparently care to.  To paraphrase the epithet that Conservatives love to apply to the anti  Palin mentality, a label that has already become a worn out cliche — the traditional Right has spent the past fifty  plus years wallowing in “Rand Derangement”.

This derangement takes the form of the typical Conservative’s pathological need to distance themselves from Rand while simultaneously recognizing her influence, her prescience, and her grasp of ethical  and ideological truth.  Fifty plus years of history validating Ms. Rand’s premises and prophecy cannot be evaded, even by the Masters of Evasion within Conservative circles.

No one today can,  with either a straight face or with intellectual honesty, fail to acknowledge Mr. Rand’s achievements.  Those achievements can be and are still, however,  misrepresented, appropriated, and maligned — particularly by those threatened most by the ideas themselves.

I’m speaking of course of Religious Conservatives who evade the reality of Ayn Rand’s ideas so as to hide from themselves their own ideological bankruptcy.  I speak also of Conservatives who know full well that traditional Conservatism is as dead as the ghosts and corpses it tries to worship.

One week from tomorrow (4/15/2011) part one of a three part film version of Atlas Shrugged will be released to a movie going public.  That public has been saturated in treacle, terror, timidity, and toneless banality for so long it mistakes rehashed comic book plots and overly redone thirty year old classic films as original, entertaining,  and risky.

Those who attend such inane films (usually  in vain attempts to find in these movie’s moderately romantic style of story telling some form of original thought and some heroes to admire and aspire to be) will finally have the opportunity to enter  Galt’s Gulch.

True to form for Conservatives, the reviews, near reviews, reviews of reviews, and non review hatchet jobs are in — and ain’t they pretty? Read the rest of this entry »

On Palin (and Bachman, O’Donnell, Coulter etc.) derangement   Leave a comment

as published on examiner.com

Once again, the Left’s attack dogs in media and entertainment continues their campaign against female conservatives (and women in general) by substituting misogynistic schoolyard name calling for reasoned debate and skipping genuine criticism for the sake of elitist, nitpicking  faux outrage over verbal gaffes.

In response to the messiness of recent misogynist ad hominems against Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman, and others by an illustrious line up of reasoned, critical political scholars that include second rate comedians and fifth rate nearly unemployable wannabe journalists (Bill Maher, George Lopez, and MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, leading Conservatives miss the big picture.

Many Conservatives are baffled by what has become known as Palin Derangement; a bizarre fixation by the Left on all things female and Conservative.  many cannot grasp the reason that intelligent, beautiful, Conservative women fill the Left with dread.

In their columns for Fox News.com writers Penny Young Nance and Angela Tantaros offer the usual Conservative talking points — a mixture of bewilderment, genuine insight, and evasive sidestepping of the main issue. Read the rest of this entry »

keeping em’ on their toes   Leave a comment

Wisconsin Senator hiding out over the border thought he’d hide from his job…not so much

Video courtesy of the Rock Ford Tea Party (on youtube)

reading the tea leaves   Leave a comment

As this is being written, a partial revolution is happening in American politics.  A once in a lifetime, clearcut repudiation of a party’s agenda occurred in the midterm 2010 elections.  I say partial, not because there were not enough House wins for Republicans to provide a mandate undoing the Obama – Pelosi – Reid “hope and change” trifecta;  not because the Senate remains in Democratic control, offering our Republic a gridlocked Congress; certainly not because spot light Tea Party candidates failed to win key races.  It is a partial revolution because the message that was sent to Washington, to the “mainstream” (and thus clueless) media, and the two  main parties has apparently not been heard, if the reactions of the media, the pundits, and the parties are any indication. Read the rest of this entry »

some final thoughts on race: an open letter to tea party detractors   2 comments

We, The American Tea Party Movement – the Republic’s defenders against injustice, tyranny, and Statism, have had enough. We are ending this phony dialogue on motivations and our identity. We have allowed a year of unwarranted and unprovable attacks on our character, our identity, and our motivations to go unanswered in the vain expectation that our opposition would be rational enough to see that schoolyard taunts are not the same thing as intellectual argument. We expected our opposition to act in their own interest and cease the nonsense when it became apparent to them that no one was buying what they were selling. We assumed that our silence would be understood. On that, we were mistaken. As a result of the NAACP’s ridiculous “vote” on our character and their demand that we apologize for each and every individual within our movement who might hold racist thoughts or opinions, we have been forced to respond.

Our response is this: We are school teachers, firefighters, shopkeepers, elected officials, homemakers, retirees, students, bankers; we are police, business leaders, husbands, wives, small town merchants. We are the voice of every American who believes that his life is his own, and that his neighbor is not responsible for or entitled to either his failures or his successes. We are the voice of every American who believes that he answers to the dictate of his own conscience, not to the demands of the barrel of a gun. It matters not whether that gun is held by the hands of a street thug, or a thug in Washington, our response is the same, a gun is not an argument.

We have been stoic in the face of the intellectual equivalent of the barrel of a gun as an argument. Namely, unprovable smears that racism is the motivation for our opposition to the “fundamental transformation” of America. The fact that this transformation is coming via the hands of a black president does not change the fact that it is a transformation into Statism, which we abhor. We do not care that the vessel for that transformation is a black president, we oppose the change, not the man.

As to the man, we do not withdraw our recognition that he is a radical, regardless of his race. We do not withdraw our assertion that his past and current associations with radicals matter, and should not be ignored, regardless of his race. We do not withdraw our acknowledgment of his accomplishments or his achievements, regardless of his race. We do not believe race and identity are equivalent, though many of our opponents do.

As to our identity, we define it, we do not allow the Alinsky method to define it for us. To that end, it is interesting that we have been painted as ignorant and incompetent on one day, and well coordinated astro-turf the next. It is interesting that we have been portrayed as violent extremists one one day, and passive social security recipients the next. It is interesting that those who comment on our motivations frequently surmise that we must be unemployed layabouts while we are actively opposing policy that would make such a life untenable. It is utterly fascinating that our opponents are unable to use reason and logic. Finally, it is beyond comprehension that they have not yet figured out who we are.

We are the voice of reason in an irrational world, and we will not be silenced or muted into submission by accepting an unearned guilt. We are the choir which is the combined voices of America.

For those who have demanded that we repudiate or apologize for the small fraction of racists who may believe that they are tea party members or that they hold our values,; for those of you who demand that we do the logically impossible and, by default, prove our lack of racism – we say: are you serious? We can not, of course, prove a negative, except by implication. So we call out those who believe without evidence that we are motivated to oppose the radical that has inherited the sixty plus year old Progressive agenda at the peak of that agenda’s success, because that President happens to be black. We will be happy to engage on the merits of that argument, and on the merits of our ideas for the future of our Republic. We will not, however, continue the absurd distraction that is identity politics. We are too busy and have too much to do to engage in such nonsensical distractions.

We are too busy transforming America back to the vision our founders had for her to distract ourselves by engaging with those who wish to alter our identity in the minds of our fellow citizens, when those citizens have not yet met us face to face.