Last night, I was watching documentaries on Netflix with my boyfriend Corey. One of them was called "Park Avenue: Money, Power, and the American Dream," which features clips of Ayn Rand speaking about her vision of Laissez Faire Capitalism. This brought me into research mode, wanting to find out a little more about the Ayn Rand Institute. I have loved Ayn Rand and "Atlas Shrugged" for years, but I never knew that ARI was a political powerhouse. On my quest, I came across an article George Saunders had written for the New Yorker called "I Was Ayn Rand's Lover."
I had known about Ayn Rand's affair with Nathaniel Branden from reading her many biographies, in particular "The Passion of Ayn Rand." It creeped me out quite a bit back then, but now to see that she prowled on more than one innocent young man left me with a sour taste. If you know Ayn Rand and her philosophy of Objectivism, you wouldn't be too surprised that Nathaniel Branden was a target on her radar. To hear Saunders recount his having essentially been "raped" by her was a little off-putting to say the least, but his developing jealousy over Ayn having set her eyes on a young Paul Ryan disturbed me. It wasn't his feelings of jealousy that disturbed me, rather her voracious appetite for bedding young men in late puberty is what was particularly disturbing.
So, we now know of three men in their late teens who were successfully pursued by Ayn Rand. There are probably plenty more, but my interest stops there. Seeing Paul Ryan run wild with Ayn's version of Laissez Faire Capitalism as it pertains to our present day economy was like being punched in the gut by Ayn Rand herself. All of her theories sound good as just that -- a theory, but when put into practice as Paul Ryan has done as a congressman, they are truly frightening. I don't know what plagues me more: the affairs with young boys, or being disillusioned by Paul Ryan's crazy plans for American prosperity.
To understand what I'm talking about, you'll have to do a little research. Most of it can be done by watching the "Park Avenue" documentary, reading "Atlas Shrugged," "The Passion of Ayn Rand" (also a film), and then reading George Saunder's New Yorker piece (which is very well-written, I might add). It amounts to a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach, I'll bet, because that's what I'm feeling right now. It can all be summed up in one word: UGH!
Watch the entire "Park Avenue" documentary:
Barbara Branden (Nathaniel Branden's wife) on The Passion of Ayn Rand:
This is the best article I've read in a long time. It's written on a touchy subject: cheating. I don't do it, and I wouldn't be with anyone who did it to me; and I think there is a different dynamic in the gay world. Gay guys are especially promiscuous, so to find one who isn't is like finding the Holy Grail of gay guys, and you hang on to him with a vulture's grasp.
This article is thought-provoking. Is that how you really are, or know your boyfriend to be? You will hope not, certainly, but after a minute, it sets in. The truth. You'll know, mainly by your Spidey senses, that you or your boyfriend fits into one or both of these roles. What's more interesting is if you're the person who identifies with the role of the writer.
Here is the full article, written by Anonymous, from the Thought Catalog website:
I Will Sleep With Your Boyfriend And This Is How It Will Happen
I will meet him somewhere neutral: a coffee shop, a bar, a bookstore.
I will be cute, but in the way that you never are. With a light sundress that grazes the mid-thigh and a smile that says, “It’s okay, you can talk to me, I don’t bite.” Lately, you have been stressed with work and errands and family problems — you have forgotten that layer of sex appeal that you used to lacquer on before your dates together, the way it used to glimmer in the light and catch his attention from across the room.
He is not a bad person, and neither are you. Times are just difficult and everything loses its shine after a while. The first time he will touch me, his hands will burn because they are still used to the temperature of your body.
When he talks to me in the coffee shop, or the bar, or the bookstore, he will have forgotten how to talk to girls. What once used to come naturally to him, a language he felt he had created himself, will now be stilted and uncomfortable. Everything, he thinks, is going to be a giveaway that he already has a girlfriend and that he shouldn’t be doing this. I already know, of course, but that’s part of why I want him. That’s most of why I want him. He will edge around what he really wants to say, and I will brush my hand against his forearm and he will remember that it wasn’t words at all.
When we go back to my apartment, everything will look different to him, and different has replaced actual sex appeal as the most attractive thing in his world. In my apartment, there are no problems. There are no fights. There is no going to bed in some ugly tee shirt and forgetting to touch one another because you have better things to do, such as play around on your phone. Everything in my apartment will be for pleasure and for now. There won’t be any more complicated subtext.
My friends ask me why I always go for men who are in relationships. I tell them that I don’t know, but that there is something about all the sneaking around they have to do which makes me feel special and rare. I know that it means I am a secret that they need to keep hidden, but the more childish part of me still thinks that secrets are special. I don’t know. Maybe it’s because I know that it can never work, and I don’t really want it to.
As soon as our fucking becomes like the sporadic encounters he has with you, as soon as it carries with it even the slightest note of drudgery or repetition or obligation, he will leave. He will make up a reason and go back to you, a cleansed man who will probably find someone new to replace the monotony with. He thinks that I thought he would leave you, but I knew he wouldn’t. They never do. You are his mother, in many ways, and will one day be the mother of his children. I am a placeholder in the shape of a vagina. Madonna and whore.
You think that he cheated on you because you weren’t hot enough. That’s not true. He cheated because he was the kind of man who cheats, and I sought him out because I like men like that. They thrill me even in the predictability of their deception. You let your love run cold, yes, but only in the way that humans do. A more decent man would have stayed with you through the tougher times, stayed honest, and worked with you on building something that can create sexiness in its stability. He would have found you both comfortable and exciting, because he would be capable of seeing more than one facet of your humanity.
You would be better off without him.
I will sleep with him by reminding him of everything he can no longer have with you, and I will lose him by showing him that, after the warmth of the first couple of fucks dies down, I am just like you are. I am just another partner who gets colds and looks messy in the morning and snores after drinking and argues with her mother over the phone. I will sleep with him as a pixie, and I will lose him as a human.
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My name is Nicholas Emeigh, but everyone calls me Nick, and I prefer it. I'm usually called Nicholas when I'm in trouble. I'm from the Philadelphia area, work in business, and fancy myself as a freelance graphic designer, writer, and artist. I have a passion for art in all its forms including music, but I restrict my singing to the shower and the car for the good of society. If you'd like to know more, just send me an e-mail. I really appreciate you stopping by.