Monday, June 25, 2012
Over at Salon is an anti-Ayn Rand piece -- and an "Editor's Pick" no less -- that is so bad it's good. If fact, had it not been hosted and promoted by Salon, I would have been been stumped by the question of whether it was intended as a serious piece or a parody. As with almost anything a leftist might have to say about Ayn Rand, the piece starts out with the usual litany of inane stereotypes and outright fabrications.
Make no mistake: All this Ayn Rand libertarian me-first-and-the-rest-of-you-go-to-hell stuff -- the there's-no-government-like-no-government theology that's now being piously intoned as Holy Received Truth by everybody, male and female, in the GOP -- is, very precisely, the kind of politics you'd come up with if you were a 16-year-old boy trying to explain away his dependence on Mom.Thank you, Sara Robinson, MS, APF, whoever you are, for setting me straight. I cannot believe that I allowed myself, via a careful reading of Ayn Rand's actual words, to imagine that my own best interests did not entail walking over a pile of corpses or working for the return of this country to government limited to its proper scope.
But then she really lets loose:
Also: I'm putting them on notice: I don't ever want to hear one more word about the "nanny state." Not one. Not ever again.Allow me to join the straw-man that is Ms. Robinson's imaginary nemesis in rolling my eyes, which is, frankly, about as serious a response as this drivel deserves. That, and maybe shouting "Nanny state!" over and over again.
First of all : It's ugly. It just reeks of that 16-year-old boy being told to clean up his mess. The big sigh. The dramatic eye-roll. The drawn-out, agonized, "yyezzzz, mommmm .. ." that lets you know you're about to spend the rest of the evening in a passive-aggressive battle during which your teenager will generate enough inertia to bring the rotation of this and several neighboring galaxies to a dead stop.
The "nanny state" is making you do the dishes, and then it wants you to clean out the garage. You poor persecuted darling. Go dial 1-976-WAAAAAH.
Second of all: It's sexist as hell. Anti-feminist at its very core. It says that the concerns that we most identify with mothers -- cleaning up your crap, minding your manners, not annoying other people, taking responsibility for your actions -- are intrusive and unwarranted infringements on your essential freedom instead of the basic adult responsibilities that are required of everybody if society is going to remain free and functional.
It says that the power and authority by which mothers -- "nannies," in this construction -- set the rules within the family is illegitimate. It belittles women who are bossy enough to insist on adult behavior from men.
I was tempted to explain here that Ms. Robinson's enthusiasm for defending the Leviathan state had perhaps caused her to jump to the wrong conclusion about why I and people of my ilk use (and will sometimes continue to use) the term "nanny state", that we're being infantilized, that women being traditional caregivers caused the term to be natural, no offense to caring mothers anywhere, etc., etc.
But that would do nothing to convince Ms. Robinson or her ilk of anything, as witness her seizure upon a single term yanked from context as the foundation of her massive castle of hot air. I don't give a damn what Ms. Robinson thinks, if what she does can really be called thinking. I do, however, hope that anyone with an active mind who does happen by will take my cue and see what Ayn Rand actually has to say on any of the things Ms. Robinson ranted about. If you do, you will see that this Editor's pick of the runt-filled Salon litter has almost everything completely backwards. And then you'll wonder why Ms. Robinson and Salon's editors think we all need gun-packing government mommies well into adulthood to figure out which end is up and somehow not fall down when walking and (if we're still allowed to) chewing gum at the same time.
Today: Corrected some typos.