Ayn Rand. I thought that sounded horrible, but then again it would be interesting to read a book that, judging by its cover, is the advocating the opposite ideals to all of my advocations. On the back it suggested that Rand’s best work was Atlas Shrugged, more of a novel than a matter of fact description of theory, but with the same idealogy. This sounded a little easier to swallow while still being a challenging philosophical read. Luckily I found that book in my study as well, along with a bunch of her other work (apparently my free love Woodstock going mum at some point turned into an Ayn Rand fan – Frand?).
Anyways, the book was a struggle. She is a great writer in terms of imagery and makes great parable like analogies, and despite having moments where I was engrossed in the storytelling, the book is just infuriatingly repetitive. 1000 pages of semi convincing capitalist propaganda, it painted a picture of saintly industrialists producing wealth for the whole world while anyone who even considered helping someone else was a fucking moron socialist out to destroy it by leeching off the rich. Basically the anti Robin Hood fairytale (she actually does point out Robin Hood as a bad role model). But I still say semi convincing because a lot of her theory revolves around applying logic and reason to all situations to achieve the best result, which isn’t so bad. And her views on selfishness when explained don't sound selfish so much as logical. But she seeks to take notions such as compassion out of the equation and in my mind this is where capitalism loses responsibility and eventually turns its focus from being productive to oppressive.
Productivity, however, was the one point where I was in total agreement with Ayn. She stated numerous times that to produce is to exist and to stand still and not try to achieve your potential in life was the greatest sin. And while Rand was talking primarily in terms of tangible economic wealth, I saw it as a theory that applies to all aspects of our lives. Have you ever worked five days straight and all you want is a day off, then the day off comes and you wake up at 12, have breakfast, watch TV for an hour and then get bored shitless? It is because people need activity to stay sane, and the best way to be active is to be productive.
Work is the obvious outlet that we have to produce. When I work, apart from serving a customer once every 20 minutes, I have the option to stand around and do nothing or I can clean. I usually choose the first option, but when I do clean time goes much faster. I’m sure people who hold more exciting jobs than that of shitty barman (that is ‘shitty bar’man - as in the bar is shit, not me; I am an excellent shitty barman) have the chance to be really productive and derive more satisfaction from their work.
The other end of the stick (and the more fun end as well, I think) is being productive in a creative way. Every week I write a blog for my friends to read and this gives my life so much more purpose. I like to write little bits of music on the piano and although they don’t compare to the songs that the two genius music fags write, it is a lot of fun to create something myself. I think everybody should seek to be more productive a la Ayn ‘Do it for yourself’ Rand or Jason ‘I can write a screenplay in two days’ Bovino, and life will become even more enjoyable!
- Eden (while listening to SMiLE by Brian Wilson)