ToddSeavey.com Book Selections of the Month (February 2011)
1. Before getting to the actual capitalist books, a capitalist performance art piece must be noted: Don't Tread on Me, directed by Chelsea Knight -- and featuring me among the performers (you can see the director directing me in the nearby photo, in fact). That's today at 3pm (well before any stupid sporting events) at Momenta Art, 359 Bedford Ave. in Williamsburg
(and for cowardly Manhattanites, note that the Bedford Ave. stop is the first one into Brooklyn on the L train at 14th St. and that the performance -- which is FREE -- should be over within an hour). It's the perfect way to celebrate Ronald Reagan's hundredth birthday -- and remind yourself what sort of principles Republicans should be sticking to instead of engaging in globe-damaging protectionism for the sake of one Alabama sleeping bag company, like Sen. Jeff Sessions
I will be reading excerpts from Reagan's fantastic 1964 pro-Goldwater speech "A Time for Choosing," a.k.(quite rightly)a. "The Speech." One of my fellow performers will recite from a Palin speech -- though not from her unduly, even absurdly criticized "blood libel" comments (if being falsely accused of being part of a murderous conspiracy that took the life of a child is not the time to use the wholly philosemitic phrase "blood libel," I don't know what is -- and I care enough about editing to notice that more than one media outlet, including Politico, irresponsibly made it sound as if the phrase
"blood libel" is routinely deployed by anti-Semites, when in fact it is the anti-Semites who think there was actual blood, not a libel, and so have no reason to use the phrase, any more than 9/11 Truthers would have reason to use the phrase "nonsensical conspiracy theories," save ironically).
(Without the live performers, the installation aspects of the piece -- including video of me -- will also run from noon to 6pm each day this coming Thur.-Sun., the 10th-13th.)
2. Though I am not an Objectivist, I loaned the aforementioned director, a very open-minded leftist keen on fostering more civilized political dialogue, the copy of Objectively Speaking
that I received from the Ayn Rand Institute. It's a book of most of the major interviews done with Rand over the years, even ones from newspapers who talked to her when she was just an opinionated young Russian immigrant girl.
(And if you are a sick little monkey and this Rand volume doesn't contain the kind of blatant references to sadomasochistic sex you've grown to expect from Rand works such as her Nietzschean play, which I saw recently at Hofstra, Night of January Sixteenth
-- in which the main couple bond via rape threats and later her wearing of a scalding-hot platinum dress warmed in a fireplace -- I am informed of the existence of a book called Sex for America: Politically Inspired Erotica
, though I have not read it. It may contain what scum like you need. As Valentine's nears, recall my entry from last year about the rough sex tropes in Atlas Shrugged
, which are more pervasive than a casual first encounter with the novel might suggest. I haven't read the graphic novel adaptation of Rand's more chaste Anthem
, pointed out to me by Ali Kokmen, who also notes the video trailer
3. Speaking of opinionated Russian immigrants who admire Objectivism, my friend Michael Malice, who likely cannot be stopped
, has co-written another book, Concierge Confidential: The Gloves Come Off -- and the Secrets Come Out! Tales from the Man Who Serves Millionaires, Moguls, and Madmen
, about all the shocking things co-author Michael Fazio had to know to be truly helpful to hotel guests. And I am in the acknowledgements, always good for sales
4. Malice and I met -- along with several other interesting people, as it happened -- at one of Jeffrey Friedman's small annual seminars for libertarians, and Friedman's journal Critical Review recently published an issue on problems with deliberative democracy
(people may just get more nutty the more they debate, to make a long story short), a copy of which I left with green local-democracy enthusiast Pagan Kennedy in Allston, where she swears she is not running for alderman.
5. At long last, the movie adaptation Atlas Shrugged: Part One
is on the way in two months (Tax Day, April 15, to be precise), likely playing only in a commie-run art house theatre near you, ironically, but we'll see. And we'll see if $10 million and a cast of near-unknowns is enough to get the long-overdue job done.
Taylor Schilling, the woman playing Dagny, is apparently dating Zac Efron. That could help with publicity. The fact that the screenwriter has thus far done horror movies and videogame reviews actually slightly encourages me. A poet would make me more nervous. It also occurs to me that with the budget being so tiny, they should simply set it in THE PRESENT (hope, change, etc.) instead of attempting some art deco alternate universe.
And if they're trying to save money, they should just let libertarian thinktank staffers play all the extras and bit parts for free. 'Cause you know they'd do it, though it'd look like a world overrun by Asperger's cases instead of second-handers and parasites. Well, then again, that could work.
The Ayn Rand Institute released a volume last year called 100 Voices: An Oral History of Ayn Rand
, with various celebrities explaining her influence on them, including Raquel Welch, who, had she played Dagny back in the 1960s, might very well have altered the entire course of human history for the better, possibly preventing the Johnson and Nixon presidencies and hastening the collapse of Communism. Welch says of Rand's novels, according to an ARI press release: