UPDATED: I Don’t Give a Rip About John Galt or Ayn Rand

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UPDATE:

Daniel Barnes at Ayn Rand, Contra Human Nature wrote the following:

“..While on Friday the Atlas Shrugged movie expanded from 299 to 425 theatres, helping to boost its overall gross a little, its crucial per-cinema returns fell by more than 70% – the most pronounced second Friday drop I could see in my quick skim of the Boxofficemojo charts. This is not a good sign for producers, and another indicator that the movie is simply running out of base. Quick, send round another mass email!..”

ORIGINAL POST:

From Charles Johnson comes the info I’ve been seeking.  That big tea party in SC with the Other Michele brought in only about 300 tea partiers.  I guess they were all rushing out to see Atlas Shrugged.  At least someone did.

From Box Office Mojo:

“…Atlas Shrugged: Part I was the top-grossing limited release of the weekend, generating $1.7 million at 299 single-screen locations. For a pure independent release, Atlas Shrugged: Part I’s opening was fine. But for the first-ever adaptation of Ayn Rand’s influential mega-selling 1957 novel that had far more media hype than any other independent movie could dream of, it was disappointing….Boosters of Atlas Shrugged: Part I might point to the movie’s per theater average to spin it as a success (ex. “it did almost as much per theater as Scream 4!”), but spin is all it is. It’s a common ploy to cling to per-theater average to rationalize a soft run. Obviously, it’s easier for a small release to have a higher per-theater average than one at over 3,000 theaters (at any rate, Scream 4 was a disappointment itself).

If the people behind Atlas Shrugged: Part I claim success, they are invited to reveal the capacity the movie played to at each theater. If the movie only had screens with tiny capacites and sold a high percentage of the available seats, then that would be a legitimate positive point to latch onto…”

It also proves how intellectually dishonest libertarians and tea partiers are, clinging to straws to hope this historic bomb is a “hit”.

According to my friend, Allen Barra well… (Allen is one of the leading authorities on the life of Wyatt Earp, and the author of one of the BEST Earp books to date – Inventing Wyatt Earp).

“…“I asked, a lot of advance ticket sales? “Some,” he said, “most of them groups. What we don’t seem to be getting is the date crowd.”…

…When the credits rolled, there was some polite and perfunctory clapping. Most of the audience seemed a bit puzzled, as if they didn’t know how they were expected to respond. The followers of the high priestess of individualism kept looking at each other, as if for a clue as to whether or not they liked what they had just seen.

A solitary voice rang out in the darkness, “Thank God Obama saved capitalism!” (My daughter swears it was me.) I heard another voice volunteer, “I can’t wait to see this on Mystery Science Theater.” (I confess, I snickered; the thought of those robots saying over and over “Who is John Galt?” is irresistible.)…”

Contrast this with Eric Dondero’s reverent comment:

“...Our movie theater was about 60% full for the matinee show. There was a bit of a standing ovation at the end from attendees.

Certainly, the row of us Libertarians in the back stood up and cheered.

It really is that good. Go see it, once, twice or even more times. And bring a friend or two. After the movie give them a copy of Atlas, along with a Republican Liberty Caucus or Libertarian Party brochure….”

The most important part of all of this, despite the intellectual dishonesty of the libertarian lovers of Ayn Rand (a truly horrible person) is that NO ONE went to see this movie.  Sure, maybe 10,000 or so were doing the tea party thing, but that is a very poor showing.

It proves my point about the tea parties, and just how important the libertarians are – they aren’t.  It is all smoke and mirrors.

News OK

In San Mateo, the crowds were equally small.

“…The turnout for this year’s Tax Day rally by local tea party supporters Friday in San Mateo appeared to be down significantly from last year’s gathering. Perhaps that’s because Tax Day is actually Monday? Whatever the reason, there were only about 100 people on the sidewalk on southbound El Camino Real at Hillsdale Shopping Center by 4:30 p.m. Last year by that time the crowd was three times as big….”

LGF

Turnout in Nevada was very low:

“…The police estimate of 250 attendees in Carson City was far short of the record 2,000 who attended a similar, but much more rowdy rally in front of the Legislative Building on Tax Day in 2009.

In Las Vegas, police estimated the crowd at about 250 people. Two years ago, the Tax Day rally drew from 1,500 to 2,000 people at Sunset Park. Similar tea party rallies in both cities in 2010 drew 300 people in Las Vegas and 600 in Carson City…”

Front Row Washington

Chicago was a huge disappointment:

“...Ask tea party supporters why they bundled up Monday and attended a downtown rally, and many will have a similar answer. “I think the country is going in the wrong direction,” said Marlene Koerner, 65, of Huntley, summing up the mood of the crowd. Koerner was one of several hundred tea party demonstrators from across the region who gathered in Daley Plaza to vent their frustrations with high taxes, unruly spending and big government.It was the third such rally since 2009 on the day federal taxes are due, said Steve Stevlic, director of the Chicago Tea Party.The crowd of approximately 500 people, many holding American flags and handmade signs, cheered on the dozen speakers who took to the stage, including U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill., and Herman Cain, a tea party leader who has formed a presidential exploratory committee….”

Mlive

The turnout in WPB and Boca was was equally disappointing.

“…BOCA RATON — On the deadline day for Americans to file income tax returns, about 60 people turned out in Sanborn Square this afternoon to demand that big corporations and the wealthy pay a larger share.

The event, organized by labor unions and the liberal group MoveOn, came two days after a South Florida Tea Party rally with Donald Trump drew more than 2,000 people to the same site to hear a very different message.

The tea party’s red-white-and-blue bunting was still hanging in the park, along with a Florida flag and a “Don’t Tread On Me” Gadsden flag. Organizers of today’s rally removed the Gadsden flag and hung up their own sign saying “Tax Day — Make Them Pay.”

The event was part of a nationwide effort to highlight corporations that paid little or no taxes for 2010. About 40 people turned out for a similar afternoon demonstration in West Palm Beach, organizers said. More than a dozen other events were planned across Florida….”

The Atlantic

Evidently The Donald was a greater draw:

“…The stark difference between the crowds for the tea party rally and today’s event didn’t bother MoveOn organizer John Foley. “We knew we couldn’t outdraw Donald Trump,” Foley said.

Delray Beach pediatrician Joni Albrecht used the disparity in turnout to try to motivate the activists who showed up today.

“The tea party had 2,000 people here on Saturday,” Albrecht told the crowd. “We’re here. Thank goodness everybody’s here. But we need to educate, we need to get more people out here the next time, otherwise nothing’s going to change.”…”

The Daily Kos

In El Paso, only about 200 attended the tea party.

“…Just one day before taxes were due, about 200 local tea party members gathered at the Western Playland pavilion, 1249 Futurity, to listen to fiscally conservative candidates speak.
“People like me are tired of being taxed, especially now when times are tough,” said Sammy Carrejo, chair of the Latino National Republican Coalition. “And we are here today to support all conservative candidates and to show that we are against every tax being proposed, such as the sugar tax on sugar drinks, increased property taxes and school taxes.”

Speakers at the event included candidates for El Paso City Council: Manny Hinojosa, District 1; Sonia Brown, District 5; Zulema Lazarin, District 6; and Malcolm McGregor III , District 8 — all of whom were endorsed by Pastor Tom Brown.

Tom Brown, husband of candidate Sonia Brown and pastor at Word of Life Church, supported an initiative to deny benefits for gay and unmarried partners of city employees last year. The ballot initiative passed, but a lawsuit challenging it was filed, and a federal judge ordered the city to preserve the health benefits for gay and unmarried partners for city employees and 200 others….’

One of the larger events was in Bellingham, Washington.

KGMI

St. Paul, Minn drew “Dozens”.

“…Previous rallies outside the Capitol have drawn thousands, but the cold weather and lack of a keynote speaker may have kept the rally for smaller government from growing. A vocal group of dozens attended, playing patriotic music, waving flags and making their own impassioned speeches….”

In Laguna Beach 11 people showed up for their big tea party rally.  The small crowd in Tampa had Marco Rubio and maybe a hundred or so people.  The Pink Flamingo has been informed that there were around 5000 people who showed up in Boston, but it doesn’t look like a 5000 person crowd.  The Boston Phoenix puts the crowd at 300 or so.

“…I really do enjoy a good political rally, and yesterday’s Tea Party event on the Boston Common had the two key ingredients for success: the sun was out, and the sound system was good. And, although turnout was so-so — maybe 300 people — it was a good mix of earnest believers, crazies, curiosity-seekers, counter-protesters, and media. The speaking program was well-paced, fairly engaging, and, as far as I could tell, free of dangerously evil people. Plus, public curiosity Tim Pawlenty — my #1-ranked contender for the GOP Presidential nomination — spoke, right in Mitt Romney’s back yard. So, I had a good time….”

CS Monitor

In Phoenix, Russell Pearce was his usual racist self.  Sheriff Joe was heckled, and someone was arrested.

These people are delusional.

“…“The Tea Party continues to grow in political influence,” said TheTeaParty.net’s Media Director, Dustin Stockton. “As we look to advance our agenda of fiscal responsibility, personal liberty, and limited government, we must have representation on Capitol Hill. Donna Keene has been promoting conservative values, and we are honored to welcome her as our Washington D.C. Liaison.”

Besides being a member of TheTeaParty.net family, Donna Keene is also the CEO of BrainTrain, a business specializing in marketing and communicating political ideas and projects. BrainTrain works with executives and lobbyists to propel ideas toward policymakers and ordinary citizens….”

It is quite obvious the largest turn-out was in Wisconsin, for Sarah Palin.  She’s still the super-star of the TPs.  It is also quite obvious that only about 10,000 people turned out NATIONALLY for tea party rallies.  You add that with the fascinating box office numbers for what is going to be one of the great bombs in history, and it is quite obvious that the tea parties are an illusion.

I do have one question:  Why all the Americans for Prosperity booths?  Everywhere there was a crowd, you see AFP banners.  They spent a fortune on it.

Getting back to Atlas Whatever and Ayn Rand.  The Pink Flamingo doesn’t quite understand how reading a single book can effect normal people into becoming life long devotes of is little more than a cult.

Yea, it’s possible a single reading of a single book can change the pat of a person’s life.  You read about it all the time with people who carry around really strange books about destroying society and killing people.  You read about their reading habits after they’ve gone out and shot up a school or tried to murder a Congresswoman.

Ayn Rand was a truly despicable person, a vile, nasty human who was devoted only to her selfish desires.  She created a cult following.  It is still a cult.  While The Pink Flamingo, like most people, thinks that we need lower taxes, less government, and less government spending, I’m not going to take the copy of a piece of fiction and read it aloud during a session of the United States Senate.

Like Allen mentioned in his review, it’s about like people dressing up as Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock.  It’s like people roaming the streets of Tombstone dressed like either the Earps or the Cowboys.  Rand cultist cling to her writing like it was some sort of religion.  Quite honestly, I don’t know of many other books that receive that sort of attention and devotion unless it is the Communist Manifesto or Mein Kampf.  While I don’t put Rand in that league, this is an attempt to insult her followers.

This is a fake.  Her followers who slobber around the tea parties are fakes.  It is an illusion, smoke and mirrors.  How can anyone take seriously a movement that includes the legalization of what are currently illegal narcotics?

There are some perfectly rational individuals who truly benefited from reading Rand.  There is a difference between having something you read effect your life and going around being devoted to it like a cultist.  The Pink Flamingo admits that Mary Stewart’s Merlin Trilogy is one of the reasons I am a historian and a writer.  I don’t go around quoting it.  I admit that Stuart Lake’s bio of Wyatt is also terribly important, but I don’t go around quoting the movie Tombstone (that often).  I admit to being a Trekkie, but that’s not my life.

Tea Partiers like to go around quoting and misquoting things, especially the Constitution and the Founding Fathers.  They quote them like an over-zealous Bob Jones University student quotes the King James Version of the Bible.  (no insult to anyone from BJU intended).  When you go around quoting people and books, all the time, there’s something terribly wrong about an intellectual process and a person’s maturity.  It just isn’t there.

That says a lot about the tea parties – the numbers just aren’t there.  So, would someone please, please explain to The Pink Flamingo, why our good Republicans in the House and Senate are allowing themselves to be literally battered and abused by these few people.   If a movie for the devout can only pull less than two million bucks and only about ten thousand of the select showed for rallies.  When one considers a couple thousand turned out in Florida to see The Donald (which was celeb driven) and maybe 4000 turned out in Wisconsin to see SP (also celeb driven), there is no way these people should have the clout they have.

This good Republican wants to know why.

Getting back to my friend Allen Barra and his review of Atlas Whatever, I stand with Maggie on that shout out.  I’m also going to embarrass myself a little and quote the subject of one of Allen’s books, the Great American Philosopher himself.

“It ain’t over ’till it’s over.”

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2 thoughts on “UPDATED: I Don’t Give a Rip About John Galt or Ayn Rand

  1. Ayn Rand was my muse for about a year, at age 18. She helped me find a really nice, much older and well heeled boyfriend named George. I learned to like nice restaurants and cars with functional wipers & windows.

    The Fountainhead was my first Rand book which to me was much more compact, thrilling and accessible than Atlas. The movie was fantastic too — Gary Cooper & Patricia Neal (who had a hot years-long affair that began on the set).

    We actually intend to go and pay for tix to support the effort, even though we know in advance it is not a great movie. But at least it’s something different, something that aims to provoke thought and contemplation which is so un-Hollywood. I’m curious! And from the trailer, the actors look pretty good to me.

    I don’t see why Liber-tards and Tea People should have a monopoly on Ayn Rand. She had some good ideas, worth knowing. And a rare ability to excite youthful minds with ideas.

    But yeah, the cultie shruggers are as weird and obnoxious as any other culties. You can’t be a Christian and a full blown Randian at the same time – incompatible. I’m with the cult of Christ.

  2. I’m working on a post about that now. Her philosophy is not simpatico with Christian living.

    SJR

    You are right about The Fountainhead and Gary Cooper!

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