Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Monday, May 9, 2011

In Brief

Shorter Megan McArdle: The Consumer Credit Videothon

I lasted for eight endless minutes of McArdle talking about herself. It's possible she managed to solve the mysteries of the universe in the other seventy minutes but it isn't worth the mental anguish to find out.

Shorter Too: GM Makes A Big Profit: Time To Celebrate?

You know what you won't read at McArdle's site? "Big Banks Make A Big Profit And Give Themselves Big Bonuses: Time To Celebrate?"

21 comments:

Pete said...

With the greatest respect and affection, don't you feel you're bracketing the target length for posts? Even putting these two together they come to approximately 2.5% of the previous one. Or, to put it another way, the one before was roughly 40 times as long. (That's either 4 or 400 in McMath, I'm not sure which and nor is she.)

But I have to confess it is possible that AR deserves 40 (or 80) times the castigating that McM does. So there's that.

Susan of Texas said...

Sometimes I have laundry.

Actually I've been surprised that I had so much to say about Rand. Once the snark revvs into high gear I have a hard time stopping.

NonyNony said...

But I have to confess it is possible that AR deserves 40 (or 80) times the castigating that McM does. So there's that.

Consider the fact that without Atlas Shrugged you quite possibly would not have a Megan McArdle to mock.

So much of McArdle's worldview comes from Rand that mocking Rand does double duty for this blog. And the further Susan gets into the mockery, the more obvious it's going to become that McArdle's worldview got set into stone when she read Atlas Shrugged as a teenager and the rest of her life up to this point has been all about building up reinforcements for that world view.

Susan of Texas said...

I didn't think that would happen--I knew she had to be lying about why she called herself Jane Galt but I'm surprised by how deeply she must have been influenced by the book. It's so unrelentingly one-sided and so steeped in alienation and resentment.

I know revenge and power fantasies are popular, but choosing that turgid book's fantasy doesn't seem like much fun. Especially since there are always smarter people who know more; pretending that you are always be the smartest person in the room can lead to very public humiliation. As we have seen with McGalt.

NonyNony said...

I am reminded of a quote:

There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.

The more of McArdle's work I read over the years the more convinced I become that at the center of her worldview is Ayn Rand.

And yeah - choosing the utterly miserable fantasy offered by Rand over so many other more positive fantasies out there in the world makes my head hurt too. But I know so, so many people who have chosen just that fantasy that it hurts to think about it.

Anonymous said...

mcmegs does NOT like that LOTR quote. she claims it was funny when it was first told 20 years ago but she must have used her calculator to claim that as the quote dates from 2009. About an order of magnitude off, as usual.

pragmatism

Anonymous said...

Does anyone other than the participants actually listen to that bloggingheads.tv crap other than to point and laugh. I admit, I've never made it through a minute of one - even ones with a shrieking harpy (Altmouse, or Geller, iirc).

-AWS

Susan of Texas said...

Althouse and McArdle did a bloggingheads together. It was awesome.

Myles said...

GM is a completely shit company, though. McArdle's sceptism here is exactly on point.

People: just remember that GM is shit. A profitable quarter doesn't change its ontological shittiness at all. Insofar as GM has a Platonic ideal, it is one of a fundamentally shitty company.

NonyNony said...

Myles you're showing your ideology again - GM is fundamentally a sound company. Its had some bad management in the last few decades, but fundamentally the company produces a good product that people want to buy - that's not the mark of a "shit company", that's the mark of a company whose management needs a whack upside the head with a clue-by-four.

fish said...

While I don't share Myles' politics, I share his views on GM. I can't think of a single product by them where I wouldn't rather have the Japanese version. Once you are using the measure of "decades" for needing a turn-around, there is a big problem with the company...

Pete said...

Credit where it's due: ontological shittiness is nice. Just remember that, when evaluating the government deal with the auto industry, it's important to bear in mind the ripple effects that would have followed its bankruptcy.

Susan of Texas said...

I don't like to see private companies bailed out or maybe even homeowner's credits given out, but to ignore the magnitude of the economic disaster is dishonest.

Anonymous said...

I don't see why GM is targeted for taxpayer contumely when at least when its working it employs people. We bailed out the fucking banks and they then refused to lend money to put people to work. Money to GM was essentially stimulus money that worked to keep an entire company and many communities afloat until they could figure out a way to become profitable and go it alone. It doesn't really matter if their product is terrible or not so long as people are paid an honest day's pay for an honest day's work.

I'd have been happy, at that point, to pay people to dig ditches and fill them back up again since we couldn't get federal money to build all new infrastructure or high speed rail or any of the other totally sensible things we could have done to put people back to work.
aimai

Susan of Texas said...

That's right, McArdle and her ilk always pretend that putting people to work, keeping their families from suffering, doesn't even factor into the equation. Which, for them, it doesn't.

We're going to hear a lot more about the scummy laziness of the poor and they'll get away with it if we let them.

Which reminds me, David Brooks wrote something especially offensive the other day. It's time to sharpen the knives again.

Anonymous said...

A little off topic, but Megan's talking about Groupons. Seems she regrets going to the Scotch tasting because there were too many people there and all the good stuff got tasted before she had a chance.

Emily

Susan of Texas said...

Heh. Poor thing.

It kills her that she's not rich enough to step over (or on) everyone else and get what she wants instantly.

KWillow said...

I don't see how a $75 Scotch tasting class could have really good stuff. "Good" Scotch is astronomically priced, and the Best scotch isn't even available for most people to gaze at the bottle thru a locked (reinforced) glass cabinet door.

ArgleBargle can't even bother to research her Social Climbing efforts.

Susan of Texas said...

McArdle needs tangible proof of her superiority and, being American, tries to buy it. But thanks to that same elite, it's now out of her price range, a situation she helped create. I love it.

Myles said...

Credit where it's due: ontological shittiness is nice.

Well, that's what they are, isn't it? It's like AT&T: shittiness isn't something AT&T just does, it's what it is. Shittiness is its ontology.

It's said that one ought to "hate the sin but love the sinner." What if the ontological essence of the sinner you love is sin? That's what the situation with GM is, except with shittiness instead of sin.

Pete said...
This comment has been removed by the author.