Ayn Rand's Ghost Responds: "F**k You!"
Bumped and promoted. Originally posted 2009-03-16 17:59:47 -0500. -- GH
|VAHALLA, NY. Recently, there has been a stream of people quoting Ayn Rand and her novel, Atlas Shrugged as justification for the economic policies that created the current financial crisis. Ms. Rand's polemic novel which assaulted altruism and government has been quoted and promoted by CEO's, government officials, lobbyists as well as print, radio and television - and apparently, they've all got it wrong.
The source of this claim? None other than the ghost of Ayn Rand herself, who recently appeared near her tombstone in Kensico Cemetery. According to several witnesses, the image of Ms. Rand first appeared several weeks ago. Initial observers assumed that the spirit was simply another CEO come to Ms. Rand's tombstone to meditate and give herself permission to lie, cheat and steal in the name of some Libertarian higher moral code.
According to Mr. Rudolph Cosentino, head groundskeeper here at Kensico, it is normal to see lurkers around plot #254:
"We get them here all the time. A lot of corporate types will sit there and fill out their MBA applications. They ask for wi-fi, but I won't do that. It's too much fun watching them trying to use a #2 pencil."
On Tuesday, Mr. Cosentino was approached by the apparition when he stopped to light up a Lucky Strike in the shade of an elm tree near the grave of Ms. Rand and her husband, Frank O'Connor.
"She asked me for a light.
I said 'Sure.' and looked up to see her face.
I almost crapped my pants. I could see right through her! I just lifted my hand and flicked the lighter. She cupped her ghost hands around the flame and lit up her ghost cigarette. Then, she told me to go and get some reporters because she wanted to say a few things.
I hauled ass outta there, believe you me! I called the NY Times, Daily Post and The National Enquirer and about 60 other newspapers, TV and radio shows.
Ms. Rand granted her first interview in over 25 years.
The first reports were filed by a Ralph Pfingsten, a beat reporter from the Green Bay Packers Radio Network, in town for a cosmetic toe surgery. Pfingsten, a philosophy minor at Utica College, with the help of his managing editor in Fond du Lac was able to keep pace with the dead Ms. Rand for the roughly two hours that it took for his Vicadin prescription to be filled at the Rexall Pharmacy across the street.
Previous reporters may have struggled with Ms. Rand's complex and radical philosophical views and her distinctly Russian perspective and thick accent. Mr. Pfingsten claims to have been aided by the residual effects of the general anasthesia he received earlier in the day.
The full interview will appear in the Arts & Leisure section of next Sunday's Milwaukee Herald. Here are some excerpts from the AP pool feed:
RP: Ms. Rand, most people believe that once a person dies, they are gone. Why not, just stay dead?
AR: First, my life or my death is a personal decision of my own choosing. It is not for society to tell me when to be dead or alive. That is the whole point of Objectivism. Second, I felt that my work is being used by Moochers and Looters as justification for their attempts to steal wealth from those that earn it. I may be dead - but I am not blind nor deaf! I hear every word from these imbeciles and I have reached the point where I can no longer allow it to happen. Nobody else has spoken up to these people, so I took it upon myself to speak up and say to them, that which needs to be said.
RP: What specifically would you like to say to these people?
AR: F**k you! You lying dogs. You hide behind my work - the words of a dead woman and use people's trust in my intellect, to carry out your thievery. Well, this dead woman is not going to let you. F**k you!
RP: What was the tipping point for you? What ultimately compelled you to return to the land of the living?
AR: Cute boy. Adorable question. John Boehner, Dick Cheney and Bill O'Reilly all mentioned my book in the same day. These three have never worked a day in their lives. They live solely off the effort of others, lying, killing and stealing from millions of people every day. These criminals are the real Looters. They take wealth from everyone, at the point of a gun or with other weapons like outright thievery or the purchase of government policy and lawmaking. They are the very people I warned about in my book and they are hiding behind my book to rob humanity of its life blood - free will. Just look, almost the entire world is in debt except for these Looters. They talk about my book to no end, but going to a symposium about a dead Russian woman does not make them either individuals or moral human beings.
RP: Your work has been cited as part of the framing philososphy that got us into this financial disaster we are in. Many people, including long time Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan -
AR: Greenspan! Please - darling boy, do not talk to me about that panty sniffer. He was always trying to bed me. I even caught him stealing my panties from my luggage. Does he talk about that, when he is recommending my book? I will bet not. He is maybe the biggest Looter of them all. I abhor Central Banks as anyone who reads my work for 10 minutes can tell you.
RP: Ms. Rand, it is widely held that Objectivism is a promotion of selfishness. The book still sells 200,000 copies annually and is a staple for business schools, corporate think-tanks and is the de facto Bible of Capitalism. CEO's use it as a roadmap to success. Don't you feel in some way that you are now turning your back on the people you encouraged in the first place?
AR: Ah! You misunderstand Objectivism. The promotion of selfish excellence of the individual as a boon to society. We are witnessing the result of selfish manipulation and hoarding to the ruin of society. Objectivism is a celebration of humankind's greatest possession, the intellect. Most of these greedy Looters are using selfishness as a justification for thievery, murder and enslavement. Society is not made better by these people manipulating economies in secret deals or funding wars without end. The first casualty is the intellect. Education is not valued, but greed is. Objectivism is a moral code and not a permission slip for amoral destruction.
The rest of this interview deals with a wide range of subjects from Ms. Rand's love affairs in the afterlife to her views on how radical feminists are portrayed in Bollywood dance pictures.
Ayn Rand may no longer be among the living, but she still packs quite a punch. For anyone seeking an audience with one of the most acerbic wits in this life or the next, you are well advised to visit her grave to hear for yourself how the spirit of Libertarianism is holding up after all these years.
(Cross-posted at The National Gadfly)