semi-modern, i think.

18 Jan

I was just thinking, I should change the name of my blog to “A Taylored Stitch, A Semi-Modern Bitch.” Modern is too trendy. I definitely don’t encompass modern. I think I can stand with semi-modern though.

I’ve almost finished the book I’ve been reading since the summer. Well, it’s not like I have been continuously reading it… more like I read it for a week, stopped. And then picked it up a few days ago, and now, I’m almost done with it. This is good for several reasons. One: I can put it back on my room mate’s bookshelf and not be one of her hated “book stealers.” Two: I can read something else now without feeling guilty for not finishing it. And three: it’s a good book and I have learned a lot!

Whenever I have been spotted with said book, I receive much comment from those around me… “You’re reading THAT!…It’s so… conservative.” “I’m surprised you’re reading that.” “Isn’t that like, really, conservative?” “She [the author] is kind of crazy, right?” “How could you read that? It teaches capitalism.”

I was sort of confused by these questions, statements… but continued to read, with encouragement from the roomie. Academia can be so predictable … everyone has the same opinion about a book they’ve never read. And even if it was “conservative” or “capitalistic,” I could still learn a lot.

I won’t give a synopsis of it, because mine would be so drab, and I think Wikipedia does a pretty good job of it.  The book is The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand.

Here’s my favorite part:

“In what act or thought of his has there been a self? What was his aim in life? Greatness – in other people’s eyes. Fame, admiration, envy – all which comes from others. Others dictated his convictions, which he did not hold, but he was satisfied that others believed he held them. Others were his motive power and his prime concern. He didn’t want to be great, but to be thought great. He didn’t want to build, but to be admired as a builder. He borrowed from others in order to make an impression on others.”

Anyone familiar with Ayn Rand, knows her outspoken beliefs on laissez-faire capitalism and individualism. The Fountainhead definitely had these as recurring themes. I didn’t feel as if it were a political tyrade though – more of a really important critique on humanity. I wouldn’t describe myself as a capitalist or an individualist – but I read the above quote as if it were a bible verse for an evangelical christian. I mean, I wrote it in my planner, so I would have it for the whole year, handy. For me, this part wasn’t a political message, but a personal one. It’s what  do everyday: wrap my self-worth up in other’s expectations and ideas of success. Is it individualistic of me to think that sucks? Can I be selfish and selfless at the same time?

“That, precisely, is the deadliness of second-handers. They have no concern for facts, ideas, work. They’re concerned only with people. They don’t ask: ‘Is this true?’ They ask ‘Is this what others think is true?’ Not to judge, but to repeat. Not to do, but to give the impression of doing. Not creation, but show. Not ability, but friendship. Not merit, but pull. What would happen to a world without those who do, think, work, produce?”

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2 Responses to “semi-modern, i think.”

  1. lesbianist January 31, 2008 at 2:57 pm #

    dude. its not just capitalism and conservatism, its social darwinism. as in racism. there’s nothing wrong with reading it, hell, i like to read the bible sometimes. but for real, rand is royally fucked up and has inspired a lot of bat shit crazy homophobes and neo nazi types. i grew up with my cracker homeschooled cousins quoting her left and right. like, you could get inspired by reading mein kampf i guess, but it’d be silly to deny the importance of who wrote it and its political message.

  2. nicotineandmint January 31, 2008 at 3:48 pm #

    remember what i said- vessel of footnotes….

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