And yet another week fills me with Rand-ian glee... and sorrow:
1. Is Ratatouille Objectivist propaganda? Some people think so. The director also was responsible for the Iron Giant which I saw while working at a children's film festival (almost cried, but didn't) and the Incredibles which left me feeling passionate and inspired by its portrayal of a world which would rather crush the exceptional than accept their help. I saw it a year before I read Atlas Shrugged and was blown away by how similar they felt. Then a friend pointed out several people believed it was a covert Objectivist tract.
Me, I just thought the rat was cute. I cried a little at the themes of father/son bonding, but that stuff always gets me. I can see the way that the film celebrates greatness and also encourages all of us to realize our strengths and limitations... but Randian? Not really.
2. In horrible and depressing news, a company named the John Galt Corp. (the hero of Atlas Shrugged) is the subcontractor being blamed for the horrible Deutsche Bank fire that killed three fire fighters. The intersection of corrupt big business, government sponsored construction, and heinous, preventable loss besmirches the name and does a horrible injustice to everyone involved. My heart goes out the families of those effected by this tragedy.
3. To end on a happier note, a video game was just released called Bioshock which was inspired by Atlas Shrugged. In the game you play a man lost in an undersea world where the world's industrialists and intellectuals, led by Andrew Ryan (Andrew Ryan... Ayn Rand, get it) escaped to found a better society unfettered by altruism and societally-enforced moral codes. The result, predictable for American media, seems to be tragedy.
Having said that, the game is waiting for me at home. My roommate purchased it which saves me from any sense of compromise if the game does turn out to be anti-Objectivist. It looks awesome, and totally creepy. And you get to shoot big scary monsters wearing diver's outfits. Who knows, maybe in the process I'll learn a valuable lesson in the virtue of selflessness.
But probably not.
<<Video after jump>>