Rebirth of Reason


Daily Linz 19 - Friday Miscellany
by Lindsay Perigo

SOLO seeks to galvanise all Objectivists who recognise that Objectivism is a tool for living, and who repudiate any reason/passion dichotomy. We seek to be a magnet and a home for those who are exuberantly rational and rationally exuberant, who aspire to the “total passion for the total height,” intellectually and emotionally, simultaneously and harmoniously.

—Lindsay Perigo, SOLO Credo

Ciro d’Agostino posted this quotation from Mario Lanza, Thursday:

“I sing from the heart. I sing the words of a song and really feel them, from the top of my head to the tips of my toes. I sing as though my life depends on it, and if I ever stop doing that then I’ll stop living.”

Lanza also said, separately, “I sing each word as though it were my last on earth.”

Such hot sentiments for such cool times!

Such a contrast to the contemporary Cult of Indifference!

Such blazing proclamations of “the total passion for the total height”!

Where else can one find such sizzling life-affirmation?

Well, Ayn Rand is one obvious source—and not just in the usual places.

Consider her notes for the character of Danny Renahan for a novel she was planning—at the tender age of twenty-three—as reproduced in Journals of Ayn Rand:

“He has a wonderful ‘sense of living.’ He realizes that he is living, he appreciates every minute of it, he wants to live every second, he is unable to exist as other men do. He doesn’t take life for granted and live as he happens to be living—just calm, satisfied, normal. For him, life [must be] strong, high emotion; he has to live ‘on top,’ ‘breathing’ life, tense, exalted, active. … He doesn’t have people’s attitude toward life, that is, the general way of existing calmly day to day [experiencing] something strong and exalting only once in a while, as an exception. ‘Everyday life’ does not exist for him. His normal state is to be exalted, all the time; he wants all of his life to be high, supreme, full of meaning. …”

Such a “sense of living,” of course, proceeds from mental clarity. But that’s only half the story:

“A perfect, clear understanding also means a feeling. It isn’t enough to realize a thing is true. The realization must be so clear that one feels this truth. For men act on feelings, not on thoughts. Every thought should be part of yourself, your body, your nature, and every part of your nature should be a thought. Every feeling a thought; every thought, a feeling.” (Italics Rand’s. Editor David Harriman notes that this is Ayn Rand’s “earliest statement regarding the harmony of reason and emotion that follows from a proper integration of mind and body.”)

What is the more common “sense of living” according to Rand?

“Most people lack [the capacity for] reverence and ‘taking things seriously.’ They do not hold anything to be very serious or profound. There is nothing that is sacred or immensely important to them. There is nothing—no idea, object, work or person—that can inspire them with a profound, intense, and all-absorbing passion that reaches to the roots of their souls. They do not know how to value or desire. They cannot give themselves entirely to anything. There is nothing absolute about them. They take all things lightly, easily, pleasantly—almost indifferently, in that they can have it or not, they do not claim it as their absolute necessity. Anything strong and intense, passionate and absolute, anything that can’t be taken with a snickering little ‘sense of humor’—is too big, too hard, too uncomfortable for them.”

Now, here’s an e-mail I received recently:

“Linz: I mostly agree with your latest SOLO article. …The one part I disagreed with is the SOLO attitude to pick on people who don't have the same ‘sense of life’ that you do. I recall that Alan Greenspan was reputed to have a downer attitude, but he was still accepted in Ayn Rand's circle because of his ideas. A person can't change their psychology to suit your own or change it on a dime, and making that be an important point for SOLO is only going to fill your site with pretenders and eliminate thoughtful but perhaps not ‘exuberantly joyful’ people. Francisco, exuberant as he is, won't be interested in a site that excludes and/or mocks Rearden.”

Well, for one thing, SOLO doesn’t “eliminate” anyone, except, after protracted slack-cutting, pomo-wanking pusballs and other bad-faith posters. We don’t screen people for their psychology or demand that they change it. For another thing, Rearden came right! His clouds lifted once he saw clearly. He blew off his mooching brother and chattering, social-climbing wife. Read the Rearden/Wet Nurse scene and tell me that’s someone with a “downer” psychology!

Perhaps some with “downer” psychologies infer a reproach from SOLO’s Credo, and choose to complain about feeling threatened rather than check their premises?

My e-mailer was alluding to this passage from a previous article:

“I am proud of the humour that goes down on SOLO. I never could stand the anal-retentive dourness of early Objectivist gatherings I attended, and I’m very glad SOLO is not afflicted with it. That there is, at the same time, an abundance of serious discussion is plain to anyone who cares to take an honest look; that ARIans choose to remain in their cloisters is unfortunate.”

The “humour” I refer to is, of course, the very antithesis of the post-modern “snickering” Rand refers to in her notes. It is the uninhibited belly-laughter of those in love with life, for whom there is much that is sacred and who take sacred things seriously. The same Mario Lanza who sang each note as though it were his last on earth also said, “All my life I liked fun. Even today when people get gloomy around I swear in High C and say, ‘Let’s get going! You’re fracturing me with this misery!’”

‘Nuff said!

Daily Linz has been less than “daily” this week and last, on account, as explained, of my being immersed in the upcoming Free Radical. I can report that this issue will KASS even more than most! Lead article is an interview with the world’s first “Political Correctness Eradicator.” What a hopelessly confused weasel-worder he shows himself to be! There’s an exclusive article by Casey Fahy, The Silence of Ayn Rand’s Critics, guaranteed to cause wailing and gnashing of teeth. Peter Cresswell’s SOLO gem, Unintelligent Design, appears, polished and tweaked. Julian Pistorius has an interview with a farmer who shot a low-life larcenist/trespasser in the bum and faced criminal charges as a result (the story has a happy ending). Yours Truly reminisces about his recent four years in the heart of the Establishment in Confessions of a Political Editor. Marcus Bachler salutes a debunker of Global Warming nonsense. The Horror File collates the onward march of irrationality and statism around the world. A new feature, The Funny, The Flaky and the Freaky, speaks for itself. Etc., etc.

To secure your copy of FreeRad 69, subscribe here.

Have a KASS weekend!
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