Start at the Beginningngngn

Heinlein’s redeeming: the way he talks, he’d be fun to know. Someone to visit often and hang around with. Yet not the Eternal Mentor who wants a coterie of acolytes. He also achieves something only found in pornography: the sense that the author would have a good time doing it, and thus even has a good time imagining it in all its details.

Rand’s contradictions: The superrationalist writes novels that bear more than a family resemblance to fairy tales. She justifies it by saying that it is rational to use the imagination to show us exemplary lives, but the utterly inhuman characters that this total humanist creates lead not exemplary lives so much as abstract ones. The believer in the will, who uses art as propaganda and calls it the highest art, can only draw dry, sterile dances because her characters don’t represent the human. Representing, ostensibly, the more-than-human, they become caricatures of ideas in a manichean moonscape, having the determined motion of formal abstractions. Atlas Shrugged reads like The Lord of the Rings as told by Saruman, who happens to have gotten the Ring somewhere back there when the Orcs made off with Merry, Pippin, Sam, and Frodo, and slew the rest of the gang. Or maybe if Boromir got it. Either way, they’re going to get the power for themselves (even if it isn’t a Sauronic —oh, no— State) and they are incapable of seeing it as Tolkien normally does when he shows us someone who reasons with himself that taking the Ring would be a good idea.

What strikes me as most monstrous and most revealing about Rand in Atlas Shrugged is that not once does any group of any characters engage in bantering repartee, bon mots, sparkling wit. She not only couldn’t hear it when it was happening, she couldn’t conceive of it. There are no conversations in AS: only boorish speechmaking that assumes the listener is a brainless child. Thus she shows that she regards her reader likewise; Rand is/was a bore and a bully… in the exact sense given us in the etiquette manuals. It seems that people who value life above all else don’t have any room for valuing much of what occurs within life beyond the chance to get on a soapbox and yell about how grand it is… in the hopes that they’ll get the connection (the necessary, immutable next step,) and go out to overthrow the leaders that get in the way of soapbox orators.

The utter lack of relaxation does somewhat to rob her plot of its suspense, since when the tension is high, she can’t build it up any more than it already always is. This causes her Events to appear more as mishaps.

I haven’t yet gotten my thoughts concerning this particular novel in order… while I may have given the impression that there is nothing to recommend it, I think its positive aspects outweigh that about it which can be flayed… am moving on to the Romantic Manifesto for help. Experiment: show Ayn Rand to be utterly inconsistent with Randian aesthetics…

There have been about five major news stories that indicate to my sensitive eye that under the surface the secret cops of the world are busy as bees. Major reshuffling of the decks going on. Seems that both Andropov and Reagan are under hits to fall soon… some confusion, the glass is growing dark… Such a problem, sifting.

Life here continues, in intense heat that has caused me no small motivational problem. Music down; we start regular practice again next week if all goes well. I’ve been taking some lessons, learning jazz changes. One of the better radical posters of the year is presented within these pages, having been laid out by the incomparable Freddie Baer and produced under the auspices of Minitrue.

PYRRHO’s advice to Fritz Knese strikes me as the acme of strategic and tactical theory, and the line that should be propagated by all who are interested in such matters. Unfortunately, assassination being expensive and dangerous, there is the traditional public goods problem as was cited by Filthy in refutation of the Party, but at least we can scatter random encouragement within our limited budgets. Some somewhere told Pyrrho that assassination does no good because others just step in and are as bad as before. This is refuted by history. By the way, does anyone out there know where I can get a good photo or drawing of Gavrilo Princip? I want to entrepreneurally produce a princip T-Shirt (“Show your commitment to Principle, wear my product… ”) which will have him on the front, name and that’s it, on the back, the quote, “What one man can do… ” followed by the Minitrue logo, and maybe the number of the address: 82801-4081. Think of it, plunge the whole world into war. Some may argue that he was just the excuse, but the important word in the sentence is “he.”

Anyway, even if this doesn’t happen (world wars) remember what Voltaire said: “The best form of government is a tyranny tempered by occasional assassinations.” They do respond, and a lot quicker to anything else. The ones who step into the place next are not stupid. Before we ever get to Filthy, with nuclear-world, we will be at Pyrrho, with a number of secret societies that aren’t primarily territorial, and thus will be a little colder —and more careful— about assassinations. IBM is a very closed society already. The CIA has lots of practice and circulates personnel within ranks of Fortune 500. All kinds of groups will see it as efficient to protect their interests —as world moves toward more totalitarian states— to knock off the leaders that they have access to. Nice cults! Who ordered the hit on the head of the Birch Society?

Yesterday got a call from New York from friend at L.P. Convention; by publication time it may be old news, but Rothbard quits R.C. over their endorsement of CATO candidate Ravenal… Burns quits, and several people are running. I’m disgusted. I told him the whole WY party should either back Nolan or follow his lead in de-emphasizing Presidential candidates to the extent of not working to get them on the ballot and just running for other offices ourselves, explaining why we don’t like our candidate. If Nolan won for PresCan, he probably wouldn’t even run very much. Fine with me.

LET ME RECOMMEND TO ALL OF YOU THE PAMPHLET, ON THE POVERTY OF BERKELEY LIFE, by Chris Shutes, available for three bucks from him at: P.O. Box 4502, Berkeley, CA 94704. While at it, ask him for text of videotape CALL IT SLEEP by Isaac Cronin and Terrel Seltzer. This also three bucks. The two make a very good investment in the most revolutionary thought in the world, which is actually a stupid explanation of it and misleading. You will, anyway, find plenty of thought to think about and it will present you with some that you’ll be glad to have.

LOOMPANICS CAN DO ITS OWN ADVERTISING, but I would also like to let you know that they now carry a fine reprint of the masterful The Right To Be Greedy with stunning introduction by Bob Black. P.O. Box 1197, Port Townsend, WA 98368. You can also get it from Black himself at The Last International, 2000 Center St., #1314, Berkeley, CA 94704. Write to both because they both have other items worth checking out. (Loompanics main catalogue is two bucks.)

THE BOOK OF THE SUBGENIUS is also now out, and the first printing has sold out, which is good sign, but also a sign that it is sold out transcendentally. High price good only for entre-connoisseurs: 9.95 bucks. Personally I prefer their newsletter, for $3.50, The Stark Fist of Removal, especially the latest issue which contains piece by me and a plug for ME, again, write P.O. Box 140306, Dallas, TX 75214.

Steve “Iskra” O’Keefe: on music and lights I have my doubts and interest. Seems to me that music is a temporal and light a spatial art. However, my 1896 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica says that architecture is the art closest to music, being also wholly arbitrary invention. Ah, yes: our most permanent and our least permanent works… both deal with emotion itself rather than the results of that emotion as in the crasser arts…talk of’t more… later, Gerry

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