"Villains of the Corn"

"A Moment of Fallout 3"

"True Crime Stories"

"The Survivors"

"Sights for Sore Isotopes"


comic updated December 08, 2008

I love me some "Bioshock." Conversely, I hold the philosophies of Ayn Rand in bewilderment and contempt. The bewilderment is mainly due to the fact that her obviously-incorrect-when-practically-applied philosophies have managed to endure amongst a subset of people to this day, and the contempt is because she couldn't write human dialogue to save her life.

You know how in, like, the "X-Men" comics, especially in the Chris Claremont era, there'd be some sort of fight going on, and Wolverine will jump in the air, adamantium claws unsheathed, and somehow in the space of the half-second from the time he jumped to the time he lands he manages to say, "All right, bub, this is it -- time we got down to business! Bet you didn't realize I was trailin' you all evening. Got enhanced mutant senses, y'see. To  a normal human, you just blend into the crowd, but to my mutant olfactory senses, you're a mix of dirty dishwater and apple dumplings and lawn clippings and body odor and aftershave and ketchup and kielbasa burps. I'm the best there is at what I do, and what I do is sniffin' people. Let's go, bub!"

Ayn Rand wrote like that. It's sort of fun when Wolverine says it. When it's from a self-important Objectivism-spouting casual murderer like Dagny Taggart in "Atlas Shrugged," on the other hand, it's not just head-shakingly awful, it's unbearably BORING, because it can go for PAGES.

Ayn Rand tended to use her fiction to push forward her philosophical ideals. Because her ideals tended, upon even casual examination, to be inapplicable to the real world, most of the character dialogue that was written to justify these ideals through argument and discussion went more or less like this:

Hero: All obstacles can be overcome by reason. It is through rational thought that one asserts oneself worthy of the mantle of humanity, and by working in one's own rational self-interest, one achieves the highest standard of morality that exists in the universe.

Other Guy: What if your rational self-interest conflicts with someone else's rational self-interest?

Hero: You do not understand. By analyzing the situation rationally, we can see that all rational self-interest leads ultimately to the greater good of society at large. Thus, anyone working in his own self-interest is, in effect, working towards the interests of all rational people.

Other Guy: Wow, you told me!

To this end, I would say you should be glad that you have Bioshock for the Cliff's Notes version of the philosophy, as expressed through screaming undersea freaks trying to kill you.

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copyright 2008 spookingtons