Editors Note: This post replaces the piece that appeared in incomplete draft form last night*.
Well, I had it in my head that the date was Columbus Day. Wrong. It was October 10, 1957 that Ayn Rand's masterpiece, Atlas Shrugged, was published.
If you'd bought a copy that day and kept the dust off of it it'd fetch close to three grand today. Even sweeter if it was signed. Keeping score at home? The inflation adjusted cost is thirty-five bucks or so. Tops. Not a bad ROI.
Although Atlas Shrugged influenced millions, it was never my first pick. Ayn Rand caught my attention with Anthem at a tender age, but really, We The Living was my favorite Rand novel.
Almost as popular as soccer, it has become an American pastime to devote incredible chunks of time and resources to find glaring and minor character flaws in people who have accomplished great things. In that vein, even Rand's admirers tend to throw rocks sometimes, forgetting that this Russian native, who witnessed the horrors of the Bolshevik Revolution first hand, arrived in New York by herself, bringing with her nothing much more than an empty purse and a fluency in Russian. By contrast, my worst trauma was riding my bike to Thriftimart to buy a box of those special things for my mother.
And here's the money quote.....
"So you think that money is the root of all evil?" said Francisco d'Aconia. "Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can't exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?
If you're local to LA and environs you can catch an exhibit commemorating the ideas of Atlas Shrugged at the Frances Howard Goldwyn Hollywood Regional Library 1623 N. Ivar Avenue, Hollywood, California. Not THAT Goldwyn. His wife.
The exhibit—a sequel to the library's 2006-07 exhibit on Ayn Rand's time in Hollywood—once again displays items from the Ayn Rand Archives, including rare and never-before-displayed reproductions of manuscript pages and notes from early drafts of the novel. Also on display will be original promotional materials produced by Random House, including a dollar-sign cigarette......
In Other News
Today marks the anniversary of Chris Columbus voyage to the New World where he discovered the locals were having a party on the beach in celebration of Not Having Been Discovered Yet Day. Like Lindy flying across the Atlantic, nobody had ever done that before. That's why Columbus is a major player in history.
Sure, the Vikings beat him to it, but they didn't videotape it, so people haven't paid much attention. I'll bet if the Vikes had landed in the Bahamas they woulda' stayed longer. Then everybody in Latin America would have red hair.
*an incomplete draft form of this post appeared (magically) about midnight Thursday 10-11-07. Apologies are in order, particularly to our email subscribers who received the incomplete version this morning and, hopefully, will receive this updated and complete post Saturday morning 10-13-07.