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Post 40

Monday, September 26, 2005 - 8:14pmSanction this postReply
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MSK—you wrote:

Tell me honestly if this Rand is also not present in Barbara Branden's biography. Or even Nathaniel Branden's two books? Did you not see it? I sure as hell did - years ago. I still do. James Valliant now says it is not there. He wrote a book to prove it. What do you say?

See, you didn't read my review, did you? As usual, you're not listening. Now go back & read it. Read what I said about Barbara's bio. Read what I said about Prosecutor Valliant. He's not after the "rounded portrait"—he wants a conviction. He wants it because he's spent years coming to his conclusions, & he's sickened by them. He's not here to conduct the case for the defence. But the defendants are alive to defend themselves if they choose. You are free to defend them. What do I say? I say overall his case is very strong. And I shouldn't have allowed myself to be misled about his book by folk who were already grinding axes.

Jody—the label is not being used as a substitute for arguments. As anyone can see, there's no shortage of arguments going back & forth here. But you need to keep up if you want to participate, & the best way to keep up is to do exactly as you've decided–read the books. All of them. If nothing else, it'll keep you off the streets for a while!

Linz




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Post 41

Monday, September 26, 2005 - 8:19pmSanction this postReply
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Casey,

About your interpretation of the love and respect the Brandens held and hold for Rand, blah blah blah...

btw - You just gave an amazing piece of character assassination. As I understand it, an unmarried woman's sex life is her private concern - not mine and especially not yours. If you think she had affairs while married to Nathaniel, I would say the burden of proof is on you to support that amazing contention.

Nasty small-town gossip. That's all this is getting down to. Talk that crap to someone who likes nasty small town gossip.

Michael



Post 42

Monday, September 26, 2005 - 8:22pmSanction this postReply
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I think I'm going to do a Joan Collins on all this - and title the book, "The Mumbo Jumbo"...



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Post 43

Monday, September 26, 2005 - 8:26pmSanction this postReply
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Mr. Valliant—you wrote:

I am afraid that those who are presently assured of my own malice without having read the book or having met me, will soon see your own obviously sinister agenda, as well. Your effort to be fair and balanced here will not go unpunished, my friend, as we discussed earlier over highballs at ARI-HQ.

Yeah, but as we also agreed, Lenny will protect me. He said so himself over our twentieth Martini, remember? He said he'd overlook my drooling on this occasion. Me, I'm still paranoid that we may have forgotten to hide the bottles. Never know when those scolds'll be sniffing around.












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Post 44

Monday, September 26, 2005 - 8:30pmSanction this postReply
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MSK,

I cannot resist responding. In a book the size of mine, one examining the Brandens' various claims in some detail, a great many of their compliments to Rand are indeed covered -- as you know.

But so much of Ms. Branden's expressed "love" is directly cancelled out by her own expressed animosity. In one place, "the need to touch and be touched" was no less than "alien" to Rand, according to BB, and, in another place, BB claims that she'll never forget the "touch" of Ayn's hand "when something was troubling" her. This happens again and again.

Now, the first assertion is probably an unfair slam contradicted by her own experience, as related in the later passage. But, to keep our objectivity, we must admit that we can be absolutely certain of neither, due to the contradiction.

This sort of slam may be purely psychological in origin, rather than intentional -- unlike certain other assertions -- but the positive is so intermingled with the negative, it makes little sense to divide it up that way. But one can detect, as I note in the book, "manic-bipolar swings" in both authors' attitudes.

This sort of distortion cuts into both the "love" and the enmity simultaneously.

And, yes, there's plenty of both.

Linz,

LOL
(Edited by James S. Valliant
on 9/26, 8:32pm)




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Post 45

Monday, September 26, 2005 - 8:32pmSanction this postReply
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Linz, you wrote
This Rand, to be sure, is far removed from the Ayatollah Ayn who makes up a significant part of the Brandens’ portraits, and one can only laud Valliant for his resurrection of her.
My point is that this Rand also is a "significant part of the Brandens’ portraits."

Valliant would have you belive that this is not so. (There is even that silly rationalization that they stated good things about Rand in order to be taken seriously.)

I did read your review - several times. (Fence-sitter - LOLOLOLOL...) I just quoted it. This part came directly after the bullet-marked comments about the "resurrected" Rand I paraphrased.

This Rand in the Branden books. Just look.

Guess who's not in the Valliant book? Their names start with "B" and they do not have derogatory adjectives attached.

How about resurrecting them too?

Michael




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Post 46

Monday, September 26, 2005 - 8:39pmSanction this postReply
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Michael,

NATHANIEL BRANDEN reports the revelation of Barbara's infidelities in his book -- the one I'm not supposed to believe and you're supposed to believe, remember? He recounts Rand ferreting out Barbara's deception on the point during a living room conversation in which she challenges Barbara to tell the truth, and Barbara, to Nathaniel's shock and dismay, confesses that the affair did happen. And Nathaniel Branden intimates that this is not the only infidelity on Barbara's part -- "infidelity" being distinct from a romantic arrangement that has full assent from the parties concerned, which is, actually, NOT infidelity, just so that the moral equivalency crowd doesn't think I'm giving them an opening.

(Edited by Casey Fahy on 9/26, 8:48pm)




Post 47

Monday, September 26, 2005 - 8:00pmSanction this postReply
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Linz:The Brandens can do that. They're alive. Ayn wasn't when they did their number on her.

Dear Linz, how can the Brandens defend their  integrity against someone who calls them rotten, rapist, lier. Why bother to start anything at all.

(Edited by Ciro D'Agostino on 9/27, 5:18am)




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Post 48

Monday, September 26, 2005 - 8:40pmSanction this postReply
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James, you wrote
But so much of Ms. Branden's expressed "love" is directly cancelled out by her own expressed animosity.
Sorry. That kind of world is in your mind, not mine.

When you report on a person to the best of your ability - if you are honest - you say the good and you say the bad. One does not cancel the other. And a person (even Rand) can be charming one moment and scathing another. It's called the human experience.

Also I take issue with the term "bi-polar." I saw a great deal of romantic play-up for dramatic effect, but I also saw simple facts and many, many, many facets in a multi-polar context in Barbara's book (and Nathaniel's also) - not simply "bi-polar" swings. That to me is a perfect example of mischaracterization.

But you are entitled to your opinion.

Michael




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Post 49

Monday, September 26, 2005 - 8:43pmSanction this postReply
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MSK:

Nasty small-town gossip. That's all this is getting down to. Talk that crap to someone who likes nasty small town gossip.

It's in Nathan's book, for heaven's sake!!!

Edited to add: Oooops! Just saw Casey's post pointing this out. Things sure are happening fast round here today.
(Edited by Lindsay Perigo
on 9/26, 8:45pm)




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Post 50

Monday, September 26, 2005 - 9:04pmSanction this postReply
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Linz,

Barbara informed me in a private e-mail (much earlier and in other context) that she was 20 years old at the time and not yet Nathaniel's wife. JUDGMENT DAY nowhere states that they were married at this time - merely "committed" (that is the exact word, in quotes, used in the book - I checked just to make sure) and apparently Barbara was suffering with her feelings toward Nathaniel all during this phase.

She was not married at that time.

But hell, want me to ask her again? Want page numbers?

As I said - nasty small town gossip. I am beginning to lose respect for the capacity of the heavy researchers. (Reminds me of calling people alcoholics and stuff...)

Michael



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Post 51

Monday, September 26, 2005 - 9:14pmSanction this postReply
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MSK—I couldn't care less if she were having fifty shags a day behind the backs of twenty Mormon polygamous husbands. Hell, I'm not the scold around here. The point is, the "small-town gossip" as you call it was in Nathan's book. So if you want to gripe about it, gripe to him.

Sheesh.

Still, good to see everybody paying attention.



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Post 52

Monday, September 26, 2005 - 9:39pmSanction this postReply
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Linz:
"Yeah, but as we also agreed, Lenny will protect me. He said so himself over our twentieth Martini, remember?"
Aha. Proof of your lies and calumny!! You know you can't remember a thing after your twentieth Martini, you lush!
"Things sure are happening fast round here today."
They always do on issues such as this.  Sadly.

I have to say, aside from the news about Barbara, I see nothing in the noisy reproachments of Linz's article -- " I don't take hysterics seriously at all" says Alec hysterically -- that wasn't already answered in the article itself.  I am surprised for example how many "last words on this subject" Alec and others have chosen to write, at all the pumped-up outrage, and also who is putting up those sanctions for it all.  Is there a lurker or three whose vicarious participation in this debate we should know about?  Who could it possibly be? And what's the point? 

And didn't you notice the point early on that the book is written by a "prosecuting attorney by training' who is "out to convict."  Since I don't see anyone disputing the actual evidence provided by the book, feel free then to judge the evidence in your own mind, and weigh it against what else you KNOW to be true, what the evidence clarifies about who has been economical with the truth when it suits, and what the evidence shows about motivation for that economy.  Weigh it up in the courtroom of your mind, but please drop all the juvenile cries of "book-burning" and "whore!" and all that associated hyperbole.

While the news of Barbara's affair would normally be nobody's business except hers and those involved, and would normally not be worthy of discussion except by a small-town gossip, the news (it's news to me, since I haven't read NB's book) is germane to the discussion of Rand herself; it's germane because Barbara herself made it so in the way she wrote of  The Affair: what precisely was agreed, who precisely was kept in the dark, and about what, and for how long. All factors are relevant in determining -- not BB's standing which is of secondary importance -- but Rand's, since it was Rand who was deceived by the two who eventually wrote about the situation (but not all about the deception), and deceived in a manner apparently calculated to require her to evade the evidence of her own thinking.  That sort of deception is unconscionable to anyone, but particular so when one supposedly recognises the evil of evasion, and the consequences of faking reality.  To do that to your teacher and your friend, to someone you love, now that's nasty.

You can't fake reality, and perhaps the consequences for those who tried to in this case are more far-reaching than they might have anticipated at the time.

That aside, and as far as Mr Valliant's book goes, if BB's account does show Rand in a lesser light than is truthful -- that is, in a lesser light than she deserves -- then I sure as hell want to know about that.

It would be satisfying to think that discussions such as this were unnecessary, but as long as Objectivism is a philosophy for living, those who are living it will be scrutinised.  That's as it should be, and ~that~ is why the manner in which AR lived is important. Every great thinker has more than one biographer, and each will offer a different context; I welcome anyone who helps to honestly explicate the context of those who have gone before.




Post 53

Monday, September 26, 2005 - 9:53pmSanction this postReply
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Linz,

Hey, wait a minute!

Did I just see a rewrite of history?

LOLOLOLOLOLOL....

I was merely complaining about Casey's harping on the fact that Barbara was having an affair WHILE MARRIED TO NATHANIEL. (The master sleuth that he is.) That's what I was referring to in my "nasty small town gossip" remark.

But still, you stood up for him. Now I see that his posts are edited to take out the MARRIED part - without any retraction, of course from anyone...

What's that sound in the distance?

Louder?

a...

ar...

ari... ari... ari... ari...

Hmmmmmm....

Michael


Edit - I was able to still catch one before it gets edited (which, since I caught it, it might not now): Post 39 (Casey)
I bet that most folks at Solo don't know that Barbara had affairs, secret from Nathaniel while she was married to him, BEFORE he ever initiated an affair with Rand. 
[My emphasis.]

That is what I was rebutting when I said that a single woman's sex life is her own business (and everyone loudly complained). Barbara was single, not married. I merely assumed that with the level of the "facts" and "research" coming from Valliant and Casey & Co., precision, at least, meant something, since interpretation means nothing coming from a "prosecutor." Maybe I was wrong?

(walking off in deep thought, thinking about double standards...)

(Edited by Michael Stuart Kelly on 9/26, 10:10pm)




Post 54

Monday, September 26, 2005 - 10:02pmSanction this postReply
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Gimme that ARIan label. Gimme that old-time Randroid rock-n-roll. I'll glad wear it and listen to it rather than the TOC-like drivel from some people's mouths.

I like the idea of Ayatollah Ayn. It appeals to me because she was someone who did not compromise.

Enough with the threadjack...

I personally was never all that impressed with the Brandens, not his books nor her writing as I witnessed in TPAR or on here. I thought that we venerated her too much and she contributed too little. There are smarter, more well-written and more objectively correct people on here we should be glorifying. Don't let intellectual dwarves tear down a giant.



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Post 55

Monday, September 26, 2005 - 10:11pmSanction this postReply
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I didn't edit anything, Michael. The statement about Barbara being married during her infidelity with Nathaniel is on the other thread, I think, but I didn't delete it. Don't sweat it. I gladly retract the marriage part from the record without actually deleting it -- I'd hold my track record of fidelity to the truth and willingness to retract an unfair claim up against the Brandens any day. They were still together, "serious," but still pre-marriage during the referenced affair.



Post 56

Monday, September 26, 2005 - 10:24pmSanction this postReply
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Thank you, Casey. I, too, have a habit of retracting when I am wrong.

The edit I mentioned is in Post 46 on this thread. The marriage reference I caught is on this thread also, Post 39.

Michael




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Post 57

Monday, September 26, 2005 - 10:41pmSanction this postReply
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Since Barbara is clearly following this thread, this is an open invitation to her to recreate an account & participate. It was her decision to leave SOLO, & to do so sanctioning smears. But in light of the current controversy, we're inviting her back regardless. She'd be under moderation & would be allowed on this thread only.

Nathaniel created an account weeks ago. He can chime in at any time.

Linz



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Post 58

Monday, September 26, 2005 - 11:01pmSanction this postReply
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Michael,

The edit I made on post 346 was actually only one word: "an." I changed the sentence from:

"And Nathaniel Branden intimates that this is not the only infidelity on Barbara's part -- "infidelity" being distinct from a romantic arrangement that has full assent from the parties concerned, which is, actually, NOT infidelity, just so that the moral equivalency crowd doesn't think I'm giving them opening."

to adding an "an" between the last two words.

Do better, Michael, or let it alone. When you swoop that low to discredit me, it discredits you. Of course, I'll allow that it was just a mistake on your part, and not part of some dishonest effort. It's your turn to retract.

Casey





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Post 59

Monday, September 26, 2005 - 11:22pmSanction this postReply
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You know I've read most of this thread and basically I think Linz nailed it in the opening paragraph: 
"Ancient history … Yawn … Better things to do …"

This whole thread reminds me of an old and (in the current context) poignant joke:

A drunken man was sitting in a country pub in England, rambling to whoever might listen.
"Walk ten miles down that road, and you'll cross five bridges. I built them all. But do they call me Sean the bridge-builder? No! I forged half the horseshoes in this village, but do they call me Sean the smith? Of course not! If it weren't for me, there'd be no rooves on any of these houses! Sean the tiler? Of course not!"
"But you fuck one goat..."




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