So I don’t mind the idea that the Russian emigre’s books shaped Ryan’s word view. I just think he wasn’t a very discerning reader. The first clue came in that same 2005 speech. “The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand,” he said. There is a term for characters in Rand novels that proclaim a desire to spend their lives serving the public. They are villains. Or as she put it in one of her works of nonfiction:Since there is no such entity as “the public,” since the public is merely a number of individuals, the idea that “the public interest” supersedes private interests and rights, can have but one meaning: that the interests and rights of some individuals take precedence over the interests and rights of others. If so, then all men and all private groups have to fight to the death for the privilege of being regarded as “the public.”
Read the whole thing — which includes a number of specific policy comparisons between Rand and Ryan — here.
She came upon me out of nowhere, a predatory animal prepared to pounce upon its prey. At the sound of her voice from between the bookshelves, I quickly jumped back, knocking my head against the shelf behind me. As I managed to calm m rapidly beating heart, I looked up, to see her face protruding out of the shelf I had been perusing. Before I was given time to think, she spoke up again. “You’re quite a jumpy boy, aren’t you? And all I wanted to do was ask you a simple question.” She paused, giving me a chance to answer her question. Instead, a took a moment to evaluate this strange intruder upon my library time. She seemed a fairly attractive girl, from what I could tell from her face. Heavily lidded almond eyes, followed downwards with a small nose and large ruby lips, magnified by the pale complexion of her skin. She batted her eyelashes, clearly expecting an answer to her inquisition. Now that I had found my intruder to be non-hostile, I struggled to remember what the question had been. Upon seeing my struggling features, she let loose a long sigh which pulled the gaze of her eyes skyward as her mouth formed a perfect o. “The question I asked, which you seem to be struggling so ardently with, was simply, ‘Do you enjoy your tea warm or cold?’. There, that wasn’t so hard, was it?” She paused again, this time her gaze becoming more intense upon my own face. Though the question did seem a rather strange one to be asking a complete stranger, I decided that my unwelcoming behavior up until this point warranted a serious answer to her question. I brought my brows together heavily, thinking intensely for a moment, and then answered. “I would have to say, hot tea. To me, the flavors seem almost ready to escape as a vapor might from the tea, barely contained by the rim of my mug.” Apparently I had answered correctly, for the girl lifted her ruby lips into a large smile, her eyes sparkling as she evaluated my answer. “Now see, that is the answer I look forward to hearing every once in a while, upon my random ambushes into the lives of others. Granted, I do believe you might have been able to go about things a bit more poetically. For instance, you could have said, “The flavors, souls of passion which yearn to escape from their liquid prison, held back by the bonds of this universe. Now, if you would have spoken such an answer, I would be forced to scream with delight until you fled the scene, and then have been forced to follow you back to your car!” Though I was unable to tell whether the girl was joking or serious, it was clear to me she seemed to be enjoying the moment quite intensely, as the events played out upon her minds eye. After another moment she looked back up at me and spoke. “I’m Alice by the way, in case you might have been curious. At any rate it sounds much better than just thinking of me as , that girl, or something along those lines. And what would the gentleman’s name be? I stuck out my hand, but then quickly retracted it once again, remembering it was only her head which I was acquainted with. Instead I simply looked her in the eye. “Adam, Adam Einsley.” She sounded out the name upon her tongue silently, rolling the letters as if making sure the taste suited her. Then she looked up again. “Well Adam, we have now met, or rather I have met you and you have become acquainted with my rather large head. “I was unsure if I agreed with her on the matter, but allowed her to continue in speech. “Considering that it seems we both have a rather intense mutual love of poetical warm teas, would you consider joining me for a night chock full of both poetry and hot tea?” I struggled to answer, but it seemed a wall had formed within the lining of my throat, preventing the chords of my voice to vibrate together. This, of course, did not perturb Alice in the slightest way. “I am going to take your silence as a yes, and am also going to assume that you possess a geographical knowledge of this city. The Earth House is featuring an open mic night, and I shall expect you to arrive between the hours of 5 and 6, that we might continue this conversation we have started upon the poetry of live. Farewell, and I shall see thee later.” Instantly her head disappeared from view, and only silence greeted my ears as I waited for any further noise to come forth. I quickly strode to the left of the shelf I had been earlier searching for politics within the early 19th century, instead turning into the row from which Alice’s body must have been frequenting just a moment before. However, the shelves were very wide, and by the time I had turned the corner of mine into hers, she was gone, disappeared completely. I pondered the rapid set of events which had just taken place, shaking my head in disbelief at that insane girl who had so easily interrupted my daily routine of hunting down literature. I also thought about the date which she had set up for the both us later that night. It was ironic that she had planned on meeting at the Earth House for open mic night, which was one of the several events upon my list for future destinations since I had moved into the city. I was only about a mile and a half from the ancient building, easy walking distance. ‘You know you want to go, even if she actually is interested in you.’ That was one of the several voices which operated within my head, though one which was usually more snide than the others. Another spoke up, this one with a cautious tone. ‘You know that if you go, you’re going to have to explain to her, and you remember how well the last one reacted.’ At this a painful memory rose to the front of my mind, but I attempted to push it back down, not willing to endure it a second time. The snide voice spoke up again, this time its tone changed to one more coaxing and less abrasive. ‘You could always just not tell her. Let her play along and she if she guesses it for herself. Who knows, you may even enjoy it.’ At this I winced, for I realized where the voice had drawn its idea from, a hidden bastion within my subconscious, which I had been unable to penetrate and eradicate from my mind. The fortress was composed of voices from my past, those of my family, my friends, and my teachers. Every so often it still spoke up, attempting to wound where it had been ineffective for so very long. But for some reason, it still held out hope that it might overpower my mind one day. That day would not be today. After quieting all of the voices, I decided that one way or another, I would go tonight, though any planning from there would be planned on the go, and not before. After making that decision, I resumed my hunt, looking for something to divert my attention from drawing inwards.
Ok, so today I was reading Fahrenheit 451, a delightfully dreary novel about future America, and came upon something incredibly interesting. Though the book was delightful, many of the ideas he produced have already been repeated to the public through more recent novels, of which most are found in the genre of dystopian fiction. It was actually in an interview at the back of the book, that an idea which both enthralls and terrifies me. When asked how he set up his stories, whether he planned the ahead of time or not, he simply answered, “No, I just live in the story.” Now, though I know that this is an idea many have embraced, I have usually taken the approach of Mary Shelley, famed writer of the novel Frankenstein. When asked how she came up with the idea for the story, she told the press. “It was not something I could rid myself of. Rather it was always there, in the form of a large, lurking shape at the foot of my bed. No matter how I tried to escape its presence, it would not leave me alone until the story had been written.” Though those were not her exact words, that was the general idea. And I have always felt the same way. When I allowed the characters of my story to take hold of my life, I found myself incessantly losing weight, drinking distressingly large amounts of coffee, and seldom talking to the people around me. In short, I began to lose my mind. It was at that point the notebooks went back upon the bookshelves, and the finely pointed pens were put to rest. But now, with the repetition of such ideas coming from a man who led an almost normal life. (Remember, Mary Shelley was considered one of the most depressing authors of her time, having lost almost all relational ties before the writing of Frankenstein even began) Perhaps I balance may be achieved between writing and normal life, and for that, I am now turning to the Internet. Perhaps if I allow my stories to be put in a public place, where the thoughts may still be pursued but will not be forced to lurk upon the secret places of my mind, I may maintain a vague sense of sanity. It’s worth a shot at least, so here goes.
Since I can’t even remember when the hell I even made this account, Im goi.g to say hello again to my own littke tumblr, which I suppose I will use to contain my own private little thoughts about the world. You’re free to read it to though, if you’ve already got the the time to be browsing tumblr. Who knows, you might even relate to a young teenage gay guy from Indianapolis. Just maybe.
— U.S. military spokesman Col. Barry Johnson, explaining why Iraqi media weren’t invited to the U.S.’s Iraq withdrawal ceremony.