Here’s a great new song by Glen Shulfer called “America.” It’s a wonderful Memorial Day tribute to America and our armed forces.
With the recent release of the movie “Atlas Shrugged Part 1,” it has been astonishing to observe the level of hatred that the left has for this movie and the novel that it is based on. Of course, they hate Ayn Rand and her philosophy, but the story of “Atlas Shrugged” strikes mortal fear into leftists because it exposes them in a way that nothing else does. While many great books promote capitalism, none explore the inner workings of the opponents of capitalism and freedom like “Atlas Shrugged.”
Visit the Official Atlas Shrugged Movie Web Site!
The left has always claimed to promote the “working” man over the “rich” man; this has always been a fraud, as the favor trading of wealthy leftists has so often demonstrated. The left has always opposed generalized tax cuts, which they claim are for the rich, in favor of targetted “tax incentives,” which target their wealthy political contributors. Likewise, the recent government bailouts and “stimulus” spending were another form of payoff for their rich, leftist cronies. On the other hand, regulations are passed and lawsuits are filed against businesses that don’t suport the left. All of this is often benignly refered to as “crony capitalism”; Ayn Rand rightly calls it “The Aristocracy of Pull.”
The term “crony capitalism” masks the true nature of what is going on. There is no capitalism in any of their policies, and they aren’t simply promoting their cronies to positions of power. They aren’t merely “crony capitalists,” but thieves or “looters,” as Ayn Rand properly calls them. They tax and regulate their enemies and give “tax incentives” and government money to their friends. These are the “looters” who make up “The Aristocracy of Pull” that Ayn Rand deftly exposes.
Ayn Rand doesn’t merely expose these leftists in “Atlas Shrugged” either, she exposes them all in great detail. She explores the connection between organized labor and organized crime. She uncovers the bogus usage of universities and scientists as authorities to institute public policy: can you say global warming anyone? In “Atlas Shrugged” the entire evil plot of the left is laid bare for all for see. That’s why leftists hate the novel and the movie so much.
Amid the leftist celebrations over the performance of the “Atlas Shrugged” movie at the box office, well-known facts have been overlooked. While it’s true that “Atlas Shrugged: Part 1″ isn’t doing well in the theaters, the fact is that few movies do. The movie “The Conspirator,” which came out the same weekend that “Atlas Shrugged: Part 1″ did, has comparable box office performance. The two movies are very similar in cost and target audience.
“The Conspirator” has taken in about twice as much as “Atlas Shrugged: Part 1.” However, it also had a larger production budget (25 million versus 20 million), a much larger advertising budget, and a much wider distribution. So, the box office results for these movies is very similar. Many people are blaming the producers of “Atlas Shrugged: Part 1″ for poor marketing, but it looks like the marketing didn’t matter much. Neither movie will do well in the theaters and that’s more an indication of the state of movie theaters than the movies themselves. Movie theaters are losing out to DVDs and rentals, and the few movies that do well are largely geared toward children or adolescents. In short, no one should expect these movies to do well in the theaters.
However, “Atlas Shrugged: Part 1″ will probably make back its investment and a good deal more. When the DVD comes out, many people will buy it, and we can expect that the sales will continue for years to come (Ayn Rand’s 1957 novel just sold half a million copies in 2009). Moreover, the movie producers are selling merchandise, which will further add to the revenue generation. In fact, the “Official Rearden Metal Bracelet” that they are selling is currently sold out; at $160 each, that’s a good bit more cash than a $9 movie ticket. The novel “Atlas Shrugged” is a classic, and we can expect a following for years to come. “The Conspirator,” by contrast, will simply lose money.
So, I expect that the producers will continue to make Parts 2 and 3, and they will make a ton of money in the long run. The actors and actresses will stay on as well, if they have any sense. After all, this is a classic that will live on for the rest of their lives and beyond. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?
Atlas Shrugged will live on in movie as well as book form, but the interesting thing to see is the reactions of people to the movie. The leftists, predictably, hate the movie as much as they hate Ayn Rand and her philosophy. Less understandable are those on the right, who have criticized the Atlas Shrugged movie. While some conservatives are fond of saying that they don’t care who gets the credit as long as the right thing gets done, that is clearly not the feeling of those on the right like P. J. O’Rourke.
Hey Conservative Authors, Why So Bitter?
Mr. O’Rourke’s review, which you can read in the Wall Street Journal here, pretends to have respect for Rand while simultaneously delivering backhanded compliments to her and anyone who admires her work. To him, we aren’t just readers who love her writing, we’re part of a cult, like scientology.
So, what drives such a man to say nasty things about the people that he claims to agree with? Is he a closet liberal? No, it’s much worse than that. He’s a failed conservative writer. Mr. O’Rourke writes books and, as such, he’s bitter that Ayn Rand has been such a success, while he is not.
To illustrate that point, he goes to great lengths to tell us just how bad her writing is. He even goes into detail about how phony the technologies in the book are (note to Mr. O’Rourke: that’s why it’s called science fiction). Yes Mr. O’Rourke, it’s not that your writing is bad, it’s that “Randians,” like me, are too stupid to understand your brilliance. Keep telling yourself that; I hope it makes you feel better.