Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Rand and Love

Like everything else in my life, my reading has been slow of late. I'm only on page 476 of Atlas Shrugged - out of 1000 pages.

Last week, I read an interesting bit in this grandiose novel on the subject of love and relationship choices. Here it is... (Spoken by Frisco to Rearden, pg. 453-4.)

"...The men who think that wealth comes from material resources and has no intellectual root or meaning, are the men who think - for the same reason - that sex is a physical capacity which functions independently of one's desire and makes a choice for you just about in some such way as if iron ore transformed itself into railroad rails of its own volition. Love is blind, they say; sex is impervious to reason and mocks the power of all philosophers. But, in fact, a man's sexual choice is the result and the sum of his fundamental convictions. Tell me what a man finds sexually attractive and I will tell you his entire philosophy of life. Show me the woman he sleeps with and I will tell you his valuation of himself. No matter what corruption he's taught about the virtue of selflessness, sex is the most profoundly selfish of all acts, an act which he cannot perform for any motive but his own enjoyment - just try to think of performing it in a spirit of selfless charity! - an act which is not possible in self-abasement, only in self-exaltation, only in the confidence of being desired and being worthy of desire. It is an act that forces him to stand naked in spirit, as well as in body, and to accept his real ego as his standard of value. He will always be attracted to the woman who reflects his deepest vision of himself, the woman who surrenders permits him to experience - or to fake - a sense of self-esteem. The man who is proudly certain of his own value, will want the highest type of woman he can find, the woman he admires, the strongest, the hardest to conquer - an achievement, not the possession of a brainless slut. He does not seek to..."
"...gain his value, he seeks to express it. There is no conflict between the standards of his mind and the desires of his body. But the man who is convinced of his own worthlessness will be drawn to a woman he despises - because she will reflect his own secret self, she will release him from that objective reality in which he is a fraud, she will give him a momentary illusion of his own value and a momentary escape from the moral code that damns him. Observe the ugly mess which most men make of their sex lives - and observe the mess of contradictions which they hold as their moral philosophy. One proceeds from the other. Love is our response to our highest values - and can be nothing else. Let a man corrupt his values and his view of existence, let him profess that love is not self-enjoyment but self-denial, that virtue consists, not of pride, but of pity or pain or weakness or sacrifice, that the noblest love is born, not of admiration, but of charity, not in response to values, but in response to flaws - and he will have cut himself in two. His body will not obey him, it will not respond, it will make him impotent toward the woman he professes to love and draw him to the lowest type of whore he can find. His body wll always follow the ultimate logic of his deepest convictions; if he believes that flaws are values, he has damned existence as evil and only the evil will attract him. He has damned himself and he will feel that depravity is all he is worhty of enjoying. He has equated virtue with pain and he will feel that vice is the only realm of pleasure. Then he will scream that his body has vicious desires of its own which his mind cannot conquer, that sex is sin, that true love is a pure emotion of the spirit. And then he will wonder why love brings him nothing but boredom, and sex - nothing but shame."

Rand goes on, and on, linking this to what she links everything to: money. But I find the basic concept interesting. What do you think?

Friday, October 24, 2008


We saw the coolest birdhouses at the Edom Arts Festival last weekend. I've never seen anything like them! They're made here in Edom by a guy who has his own shop dedicated specifically to birdhouses.

The base of the house is made from a cedar tree trunk. How cool is that? The birdies feel right at home.

Mom and I are going to learn how to make fairie gardens next month - I'll explain more then - and we were thinking one of these birdhouses, which can hang or sit on a pillar, would be totally cute with a few fairie gardens. Well, these birdhouses cost between $250 and $300! Maybe when we win the lottery....

On a political note, the New York Times editorial board has endorsed Obama. I guess we should have seen this coming, as they are part of "fake" America, which bin Laden mistook for "real" America. It's so good of the Repulicans to insinuate that those who died on 9/11 were un-American and un-patriotic. Good, God, what are they doing? And while we're at it, if you're Muslim, you're a terrorist. Got it. Thank you, Palin, for dividing this country so thoroughly. Are we going to go back to lynching as well? Maybe lynch us some Muslims? I repeat, Good God.