The long-awaited film version of Ayn Rand’s 1957 novel “Atlas Shrugged” has finally seen the light of day in “Atlas Shrugged Part
Atlas Shrugged Part I
I,” the first in a planned trilogy. The film, about 1 hour, 40 minutes, received an encouraging audience response on the April 15 weekend opening. A tight budget and limited distribution brought it to about 300 theaters, but positive response has increased showings to 1,000 theaters the following week and more later on as word of mouth spreads. Producers hope to release Part II on April 15, 2012 and Part III on April 15, 2013.
Response has been somewhat predictable to Rand’s pro-capitalist and individualistic epic view of economic collapse and government takeover in the near future — all too hauntingly realistic considering today’s headlines. Many fans of the novel voiced enthusiasm over the filmmakers’ ability to create heroes of the main characters in Part I while setting up the mystery for what awaits in Parts II and III. Some fans enjoyed the film, but felt much was left out of Rand’s 1,000-page plus novel, a near-impossible task considering the lengthy dialogue and deep philosophical segments in the book.
Because film needs to take an entirely different approach than books for artistic appeal, visual and emotional aspects replace much of the written page. There has to be movement instead of speech, along with creating banter, to get across the message, producer John Aglialoro explained. Aglialoro purchased the rights to the novel in 1992 and proceeded with great difficulty over the years to finally get it filmed, a mammoth accomplishment to overcome the resistance of pro-liberal and leftist leaning Hollywood. However, the film, as well as the two sequels to follow, focuses on ideas rather than left vs. right, the producer added.
Many opponents of Rand’s philosophy responded typically with anti-capitalist ravings on blogs. It was obvious some of them haven’t even seen the film and used the opportunity for left-wing vitriol. On Rotten Tomatoes, a popular review site, the response was revealing. While only 6 percent of critics gave the film thumbs up, 85 percent of moviegoers gave it high ratings. Some of the elitist comments from critics include, “weirdly esoteric about weirdly esoteric things,” “sterile and lifeless” and a “low-budget, no-talent treatment.” Kyle Smith of the New York Post was among the exceptions, stating the film has “a fire and a fury that makes it more compelling than the average mass-produced studio item.”
Contrary to narrow-minded and politically obsessed criticism, the film is extraordinarily well-made for an independent production with fine to excellent performances. Brilliant scenes take us to authentic laying down of railroad track and through colorful and mountainous Colorado and other regions, especially the victorious ride of the John Galt Line. Excitement rises during the journey to find the creator of an invention that could change the world. The emotional and stirring ending of Part I adds to the “why are people leaving” mystery that follows throughout the film.
Over the years, speculation about who should portray the novel’s characters in a movie version have been ongoing. Clint Eastwood was often mentioned as Hank Reardon. Rand herself, a fan of TV’s “Charley’s Angels,” mentioned Farrah Fawcett for the Dagny Taggart role. As it is, the selection of Grant Bowler as Reardon and Taylor Schilling as Dagny could not have been better. But Graham Beckel (brother of liberal commentator Bob Beckel) steals the show as entrepreneur Ellis Wyatt. Well-known supporting actor Michael Lerner (“Elf,” “Godzilla”) brings to life government villain Wesley Mouch. Matthew Marsden, who plays Dagny’s sinister brother, James Taggart, said he was honored to have a part in the film, but notes that, “unfortunately, that was not the case for many people out there,” referring to the reluctance of some actors who feared liberal Hollywood repercussions.
Asking for Help Makes the Easter Get Together Much More Fun
Does the host or hostess of a gathering ever have time to enjoy themselves? They put so much work into making a great time for others
Have a Blessed and Happy Easter
that they often don’t have the chance to sit down and admire the job they’re doing as host. This Easter, delegate some responsibilities. This will free up some of your time – and help others take part in the celebration.
There’s a lot to do before an Easter party, particularly if you are having a large number of people or children to your home. Start with help from the get-go. What is the most common response when you extend an invite for a family dinner or gathering? Typically, it’s “What can I bring?” And your response may typically be, “Oh nothing! Just bring yourself.” Change your response to, “Sure! Bring dessert.” Or a side dish or an appetizer or drinks. Whatever it is, take people up on their offers. It means less work for you, and it also allows others to have a sense of “ownership” in the event.
Next, have a few adults or older children help with things like Easter egg hunts. You will also want to get some supplies, activities, and movies ready for small children to keep them entertained and happy throughout the day. It helps if you do not have to do the entertainment as
"I Could Write a Sonnet About Your Easter Bonnet"
well as all the other hosting duties.
Let others help after the meal – this is when the real work starts! Have someone clear the table, another start the coffee and get dessert ready, put food away, wash dishes, or take out the trash. Most hosts do not want to ask their guests to do any work – but most guests are perfectly willing to do so! They often feel better when they take a little work off your shoulders, so it’s only polite to accept help!
I’ve been wanting to write about this for quite a while now, but it is such an abstract and unpleasant subject all at the
A Message Which Is Wearing Thin On Those Paying 97.3% of the Taxes
same time, it just seemed too difficult. Day before yesterday though, I caught an interview with Marc Faber, a “Contrarian” Investor, so with his wind at my back, I decided to try.
First, a little trip back in time almost forty years. I’m the mother now, its dinner time, and in those days when I spoke the people at the table actually listened to me. So humor, me, please.
Today, I opened my Facebook and saw one friend ranting, “The homeless go without eating. The elderly go without medicine. The mentally ill go without treatment. Troops go without proper equipment. Veterans go without benefits that were promised to them. Yet we give billions in tax breaks to the wealthiest 2% of Americans — those who need it least.”
I’ve known this man for over 25 years, and while I know he has always been sensitive to those in need, he was never given to outbursts of total frustration and tirades of class warfare… at least not in a public forum, and Facebook is pretty darn public.
Meanwhile three or four conversations further down is the conservative group of friends arguing amongst themselves about whether or not the budget cuts in last year’s budget, which was just completed late Friday night, were deep enough for one member of the Republican group to stop referring to the Speaker of the House as Benedict Arnold.
Stop it….. just stop it, all of you. Don’t you see what we are doing to each other? Are we doing this as part of the denial dance to avoid dealing with the fact that our country is going broke and that the collapse of the dollar is almost inevitable?
We must, as we used to say, “get a grip”!
Here’s what is heading our way, whether we like it or not. It is a big fat spoonful of our just desserts for all that time we’ve spent since we got our TV sets, moved off the front porch into our air conditioning, and went on the dole as the “Great New Society”.
Well, I happen to think we are still Great, but we are pretty tired and old right now, and if we don’t get up and get together (operative word is “together”), we will become the “House Divided Against Itself That Fell”.
Today I have a little clip from a CNBC interview last Friday with Marc Faber. Before you click on the button to hear it, you must do this:
Pretend you are a Student Again. Pretend you do not have preconceived, simplistic notions that if only the Democrats or the Republicans weren’t involved, things would be just fine.
This is NOT Dancing with the Stars, nor Wheel of Fortune, but it is your invitation to get off that “crack” and get back to your civic duty. That’s right, your civic duty to spend enough time to learn and understand the world around you so you aren’t be so easily duped by the guys in Washington who are supposed to work for you.
You know, “While the cat’s away, the mice will play.” We are the cat and we’ve been away a very long time.
Things used to be different in this country, and I daresay in many ways were a lot better. A man’s word was his bond and a promise made was a promise kept. I believe we are still those people. However, we cannot continue allowing the ones we elect to run this country to continually feed us the verbal nonsense they spit out as though we are as dumb as a box of rocks. If we can’t at least do this much, then we deserve to stand on this desperate cliff and probably ought to just jump and get it over with.
Here’s how I think we got to where we are:
1. We fell for the Federal Reserve Scheme back in 1914. That’s when a few wealthy families took over the world’s banking. Their children’s, children and the cronies picked up along the way continue to profit from us through inflation to this very day.
2. Then in an attempt to buy votes and thus power, and using public funds under the pretense of concern for others, the entitlement programs began. First it was social security followed by public housing and public food in the form of what used to be called, “the commodities”. These are but a few of the programs. We may have gotten our cheese, but we lost our self-reliance and self-esteem in the process.
3. Sometime in the late sixties or early seventies, middle class Americans who would never take a “handout” decided, “If other people could get them, why shouldn’t they?”
4. Finally, in 1971, in order to allow the Federal Reserve to print enough money to pay for all of this, President Nixon removed us from the remaining gold reserve standard requirements backing the US dollar. This allowed the presses to roll without having to worry about that pesky little “gold reserve” problem. Let the planned inflation really begin.
Number three is how the spiral begins, but interestingly enough, the “me too” attitude began as soon as the abuse of the welfare system became public knowledge. I will never forget my good friend from college who was moving to Charlotte from Atlanta to take another job. She took it, but decided she didn’t want to go to work when she first got to Charlotte. She learned there was a way for her to collect unemployment instead of going right to work. When she told me about it, I think I said something like, “Why are you going to do that, you have a job.” She fired back, “Well, they all do it and brag about it, so I want mine too.”
No, two wrongs don’t make a right, but human nature is what it is. Obviously, this example is meant to show the beginnings of the entitlement syndrome were small, but have grown tremendously through the years. Remember, it has been almost fifty years since the Great New Society and there is hardly a person I know, if anyone, who isn’t receiving some kind of benefit from the government.
Fewer and fewer of us are bearing the burden of paying for all of this as more and more votes have been bought with more benefits and lower taxes for the shrinking middle class. We have reached the point in this country where almost a full 50% of us pay little or nothing in taxes.
The top 5% of earners in our country pay almost 60% of the tax revenue. The top 50% of earners (those of us paying taxes) pay over 97% of all of the taxes paid. On top of that staggering number, we have now reached the point where the number of us with “skin in the game”, as they say, are just about to be outnumbered at the polls.
Ronald Reagan used to say, “If you don’t like your state taxes, vote with your feet.” It’s meaning, move to another state. People do that all the time today to avoid state taxes. Know this little factoid: The top 10% of earners contribute 70% of our tax revenue. My bet is they have discussions about voting with their feet, if they haven’t begun to do so already. Problem is, when they vote with their feet this time, they will be gone for tax purposes and probably for good.
The answer isn’t to have class warfare, because the only ones who will win will be the wealthy. They will leave and take their money with them. The rest of us will be stuck right here with scads of people who want or need something for nothing and there will be no one able to pay for it.
Souring gas prices. Fears of rising inflation. Hordes of unemployed.
Jimmy Carter Then
A President over his head and considered weak by enemies and allies alike around the world.Don’t like what you’re seeing in today’s headlines? Don’t fret. Those were just some of the concerns from the late 1970s.
The more things change the more they stay the same. History repeats itself. It’s déjà vu all over again, as Yogi Berra would put it. Those phrases stay in vogue or become revitalized because we never seem to learn. But actually, we do learn . . . eventually.
Our current economic woes have caused some observers to remark that our plight is the worst we’ve seen since the Great Depression. It’s really the worst we’ve seen since the late 1970s. And we got out of it — with an economic boom that lasted a couple of decades.
Just as President Carter agonized over double-digit inflationand unemployment rates, the energy crisis, and insurmountable chaos in Iran, President Obama apparently has his hands tied with fears
of stagflation and sustained unemployment predicted to last for years, escalating gas prices, fanatics in Iran and upheaval throughout the Middle East.Progressives are now faced with damage control, even resorting to calling Obama a “conservative,” exactly what some liberals tried to do with Carter as the 1980 election approached.
Campaigning for Sen. Ted Kennedy’s run against Carter during the 1980 primaries, watch and listen as Carroll “Archie Bunker” O’Connor compared Jimmy Carter to Republican Herbert Hoover.
By November 1980, the American public had enough and sent Ronald Reagan to the White House. Under President Reagan, shifts in economic policies kept inflation under control and gas prices stabilized. Unemployment rates went from 10 percent to single digits, steadily dropping with occasional fluctuations for the next 25 years. Reagan’s tax cuts helped the stock market skyrocket through the 1980s and 1990s.
Reagan even threw in the destruction of the Soviet Union for dessert. While communist insurgency spread throughout Central America and Africa during the 1970s, it suddenly fell to a complete standstill. Reagan was re-elected by a landslide in 1984 as the country once again felt good about itself.
Will it be déjà vu all over again? Do we need another Reagan? Perhaps we need somebody different. Times change. The country may have needed an FDR in the 1930s and a Reagan in the 1980s. We may benefit from someone with the proper vision and leadership skills to carry us through the 2010s. Fear not. When federal leaders fail, the American people succeed.
When Staying Young Gets Tough – You Need This Advice!
Read Me Before You Buy Cosmetics!
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