Friday, February 25, 2011

Atlas Shrugged Should Not Be Filmed with 2011 Cars

I'm with Tyler Cowen on this. It needs a Sky Captain dieselpunk paleofuture treatment that recognizes how thoroughly the work is rooted in the middle of the twentieth century, a world in which steam locomotives are still common on main line railroads, the U.S. economy is dominated by smokestack industries, labor unions wield immense power, no-fault divorce doesn't exist, news media are monolithic and radio is the dominant news broadcast medium. Blacks are invisible and women are housewives, socialites, secretaries or Dagny Taggart. Rational people of the mind chain-smoke cigarettes, and why shouldn't they?

On top of this, Atlas Shrugged is set in an industrialist swashbuckler nerd revenge porn alternate reality that's disconnected from both the time it was written and the real world history that followed. In the Randiverse, all of Europe, India and South America have been taken over by communist people's states that teeter on the brink of impotent collapse shortly after the middle of the 20th century. In the Randiverse, leftists are simultaneously evil and incompetent, like the Nazis in Hogan's Heroes. It's not like they could actually do something dangerous while Rand's heroes are throwing the United States into economic collapse. Like building an enormous thermonuclear arsenal with ICBMs to launch it.

In the Randiverse, industrialists proudly treat the companies they manage as their personal fief, and stockholders be damned. If the industrialist wants to burn the enterprise to the ground and sow the ground with salt, so much the worse for the stockholders. They should have read the prospectus more carefully.

In the Randiverse, a philosophy-major pirate roams the Atlantic and Caribbean, immune to the sort of air search that eliminated surface commerce raiders by the middle of WWII. As a reverse Robin Hood, he redistributes wealth from the poor to the rich, using his throbbing enormous Objectivist brain to correct the obvious errors of the democratic process and determine who is actually truly deserving of a tax refund.

Tuckers. They should be driving CGI 1960 Tuckers.


Anonymous said...

You don't like Objectivism very much, do you?

Tim Mayer said...

I agree.
Next thing you know Hollywood will be filming an ectopian remake of FAREWELL TO THE KING in outer space with blue people featuring a whole new messiah in the Nick Nolte role AND expect it to make more cash than any movie in history.
Oh, wait.