Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Rand's Request

Ayn Rand made this public request during a Q&A session, as presented in AYN RAND ANSWERS:

"Speaking of one’s ability to know another’s sense of life, now might be a good time to make a request: Please don’t send me records or recommend music. You have no way of knowing my sense of life, although you have a better way of knowing mine than I have of knowing yours, since you’ve read my books, and my sense of life is on every page. You would have some grasp of it-but I hate to think how little. I hate the painful embarrassment I feel when somebody sends me music they know I’d love-and my reaction is the opposite: It’s impossible music. I feel completely misunderstood, yet the person’s intentions were good. Nobody but my husband can give me works of art and know infallibly, as he does, that I’ll like them. So please don’t try it. It’s no reflection on you or on me. It’s simply that sense of life is very private."

 This is interesting in light of the many debates I've seen on Objectivist forums about music. A pattern that emerges is that when someone wants to defend or convince another about the greatness of a certain song or performer, they post a video or mp3 file.  It's almost as if this is done in a "Roarkian" manner, i.e. , throw some pictures on the table and say "the defense rests." But this rarely seems to lead to that "Eureka!" moment, which often leads to disappointment and confusion (and, on occasion, a moral denunciation of those who "don't get it." The irony is that Rand and Objectivism are evoked as justification for this "superiority," yet here we have Rand asking people NOT to do this to her! 

 Food for thought.

No comments:

Post a Comment