Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Atlas Shrugged Part 1: Bad Because It's Good

                              Atlas Shrugged Part 1: Bad Because It's Good


                                                                   Jay Agan

      The critics didn't like it (If Roger Ebert doesn't like a movie, chances are I will.). The left, of course, hated it. The establishment "elitist" right (There's nothing elite about these nonentities.) such as the hack P.J. O'Rourke, blew it off. This made me do something I haven't done in years. I went to the theater.

      One nonsuch in The Other Paper (A local "alternative" rag in Columbus, Ohio.) put it down as low budget. Of course it was low budget! If this film got any real support from the Hollywood establishment, I would have suspected something wrong & wouldn't have bothered to see it.

      When this comes out on disc, I have every intention of getting it. If the other two parts are made they may be straight to disc due to the poor box office showing. I'll get those too. If they're as faithful to the book as this one they'll be well worth the getting.

      Atlas Shrugged Part 1 is as hard hitting & non-compromising as Ayn Rands' book. Parasites, hacks & mediocraties (Like the ones listed earlier.) are a drag on the rational, constructive, & creative people who are the real builders & maintainers of civilisation. The book opened my eyes to a lot of things in life, one of which is to not needlessly fear the mob of  lesser beings who populate the halls of media, academia, & government.

      My realisation of the above, came to a culmination one day when I was out for a walk along the railroad tracks that ran past my then apartment. I was fretting over what the "enlightened ones" in Washington had planned after the 1998 elections. I wasn't paying attention when I was shocked out of my contemplation by a locomotive air horn (The large diesels have a low pulsing sound to them. When coming from a distance it's a slow "build up" thus a train can "sneak" up on you.).

      A big GE locomotive was less than 100 yds away & I jumped off to watch it pass. As it rumbled by I couldn't help but notice how long the train was. Way over a mile. It then struck me. The engineer was doing something more useful, more productive, than that army of politicians in government could do in their entire lives combined! Also I noticed the raw power of that pair of locomotives pulling that huge cut of rolling stock. Let's see a politician(s) do that! Let's see them actually accomplish something real & useful. Shoot! Let's see them do an honest days' work at making a real living. I'm not afraid of them any more.

      I thought further. The unknown innovator who came up with the concept of the helical screw (& thus made possible such marvels as that locomotive.) did more for mankind (& himself!) than all the Schumers, Doles, Obamas, Boehners, etc., since time immemorial, ever could in their wildest  dreams  (The real future doesn't lie with them.).

      I thought of the above as I watched the film. My emotions ran from sadness to exhilaration to wanting to get up & cheer as I saw ideal heroes overcoming not so ideal adversaries. There were parts I wanted to cry over as I saw one of the greatest novels come alive on the screen. Real heroes, doing real accomplishments, with a power that can't be found in any & all of the lofty schemes/good intentions of the predatory & well meaning. The power of self. The self that makes things happen & is the only real engine that moves the world. The self that can turn off the world if forced by others to do so.

      Low budget, very limited release, almost no advertising/promotion & the hatred of many. My kind of film.

                                   Article copyright © 5-17-2011 Jay Agan

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  1. I wish I'd heard of the movie when it first came out. I didn't know it existed until I saw a Colbert Report bit making fun of its poor box office performance. There isn't a single theater near me that's currently playing it. Guess I'll be watching it DVD.

  2. If lesser creatures like Colbert are deriding a film, then you know its got to be good.

  3. Finally got around to watching this. I really liked it! It does have its flaws, but overall it was really engrossing. I think I may be reading the book in the near future.

    1. By all means, read the book! 1,100+ pages (Small print!) of a more than great read.

      Two great parts are:

      1. D'Anconias' "lecture" on the meaning of money.

      2. The 60+ page speech Galt gives to the useless masses on why the world is in the mess it is. Just look at the world today & you'd think Rand was a prophet!

      Part 2 has already come & gone in theaters & I intend on getting that too.