Nemo wrote:I thought I was the only one who felt soiled by contact with Ayn Rand. Like needing to scrub ones brain with lye soap. Did she even think what would happen to the next generation? Painful.
The worst a book has ever viscerally made me feel was Brett Easton Ellis' American Psycho. That was the first time I felt like I needed an enema in my skull.
Ayn Rand took a little while for me. I was probably 17 or so, so the story of heroic industrialist kind of fit into the trope you find in Homer. It was on reflection of how her ideas play out in real life that it made me feel sick. I suspect many people read her insipid stories, never realizing what's being slipped in, and those values just seep into their brains, corrupting their whole outlook. There's no horror in the books so you never get the signal to be on the defensive. Its all some sort of valorized capitalist experience. For many it takes a degree of awareness to catch what is being slipped in with the story. Especially if you're younger and don't have enough life experience to call the BS.
I remember one of those frat boys I referenced above talking about a time in his life when he became very cold and hard hearted toward people... "Yeah, I was reading a lot of Ayn Rand and Nietche, and doing a lot of cocaine..."
A sort of similar effect is Oliver Stone's Wall Street. Stone intended that as a morality tale about the evils of greed. In an interview he talked about people coming up to him and instead of getting the moral of the story, they were raving about how Gordon Gecko was their hero. Probably the same types who read Rand and rave about how great a thinker she was.