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“I was inspired to make Atlas Shrugged because shrugging is how I respond when poor people ask me how they are going to afford food”: ‘In the Archives’ with Ayn Rand

Here at clickity-lit we plunder the archives for interviews with old authors. Today it is Ayn Rand, renowned weird name haver whose quotes are the best way to know that the person who you are arguing with on the internet is a teenage boy. The text is from her 1974 interview with Generic Boobs Magazine, a softcore porn magazine that also had a social angle even though the guy who owned it made young women very uncomfortable. So, let’s get into it.

Ayn. Hi. How are you today?

AR: I refused to take the bus here because the bus driver wouldn’t let me drive. So
I walked but then I realised that made me dependent on my foot doctor. So instead I devised a method of moving whereby a homeless man carries me on his back while I scream “This is what you deserve.” I call it objectimotion and it’s innovative.

Cool. So I’m Hippity Happenstance from Generic Boobs. I thought we’d just jam for a while, talk about your books.

AR: Jam is a capitalist triumph that takes the lazy formless strawberries and turns them into delicious foods.

Wonderful. So, Ayn Rand. Writer. Philosopher. Jam enthusiast. What inspires you to write?

AR: I am inspired to write by an enchanted troll that sleeps on the chest of society and chokes innovation. I call that troll Socialism.

That’s a funny name for a troll.

AR: That is what we writers call a metaphor. The troll isn’t really called Socialism.

What is its name then?

AR: No, the troll is a metaphor for socialism.

Wow, you writers sure are kooky. The other day I had F. Scott Fitzgerald in here and he told me Gatsby was a metaphor for Music.

AR:  Hasn’t Fitzgerald been dead for thirty-four years?

Probably! So you wrote a book called Atlas Shrugged. Can you explain the plot in one hundred words or less?

AR: I can’t explain anything in less than one thousand pages. I sent my niece a letter about how to look after my goldfish while I was away and by the time she’d got through my letter they were dead.

They as in the goldfish? Or the goldfish and your niece?

AR: Sure.

Some people might say that’s a weakness as a writer. The inability to self edit or put momentum into your story.

AR: Well Henry, people who disagree with me are communists deserving of death.

…my name is Hippity.

AR: Names are a crutch of the weak who rely on their parents to give them things.

Wow! I never thought of it like that! So back to Atlas Shrugged, the only book of yours that people remember or have ever even slightly cared about. What gave you the idea for it? Where did you come up with that kooky title?

AR: I was inspired to make Atlas Shrugged because shrugging is how I respond when poor people ask me how they are going to afford food. And then I thought ‘I should make a whole book about this. But most of the book should be people talking at you like a white man on a subject he knows nothing about.’ And so I did.


AR: Yes, no other author has ever had the follow through to publish a book. Which is why mine came third on the bestsellers list, the highest place of all.

Isn’t first and second higher?

AR: What is this, math class?

No! This is Generic Boobs Magazine, socially conscious porn. Math is boring. Boo, We don’t want math.

AR: Mathematicians are communists. Always using numbers. Stand on your own! That’s why I use my own system of counting. I call it objecticounting and it’s innovative.

Wow, can you give us a taste?

AR: No I cannot.

Great! So, what inspires you to write?

AR: Didn’t we already do this question?

I don’t know. I’m hopped up on bath salts like 90% of the time.

AR: Bath salts are one of the four corners of the triangle of my philosophy. You’re an Objectivist now.

Cool! What is that?

AR: Didn’t you read my book?

Which book?

AR: Atlas Shrugged. My innovative book about trains and a man and sometimes verbs. So many verbs…

I’ve got to be honest, no. It was long. I might have thumbed through it, but it was large. Why is it so large?

AR: I wanted to make a book large enough that it could be use to kill the government when they come to take away your guns.

Why wouldn’t you just use the guns in that scenario?

AR: What am I, psychic?

…are you?

AR: Well, some people say I can see the future. I call it objectivision and it’s innovative.

Who says that?

AR: My mom?

Aww. Do you guys have a good relationship?

AR: She’s dead.

Then how does she say that you can see into the future?

AR: Death is communist because everybody does it, so I refuse to acknowledge that my mother is dead. So I have placed her skull on a mop and I say things like “Ayn, you sure can see into the future” but in her voice and I say “Thanks ma, I’m so glad that you’re so into capitalism that you chose not to die.”

Cool! So it’s kind of like the plot to Psycho?

AR: Plagiarism is also a capitalist triumph.

Wonderful. Well, that’s all the time we’ve got time for. Anything else?

AR: Trying to stop poor people from starving leads to the Holocaust. Now I believe there was some mention of bath salts?

Copyright 1974, Generic Boobs Magazine, reprinted with their ignorance (shhhh, this is our secret)





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