Objectivist dating

Yes, the above does happen, at least in theory. Yes, The Atlasphere, a dating site for Ayn Rand followers, is real. New York has highlights

[I am] short, stark, and mansome.

You should contact me if you are a skinny woman. If your words are a meaningful progression of concepts rather than a series of vocalizations induced by your spinal cord for the purpose of complementing my tone of voice. If you’ve seen the meatbot, the walking automaton, the pod-people, the dense, glazy-eyed substrate through which living organisms such as myself must escape to reach air and sunlight. If you’ve realized that if speech is to be regarded as a cognitive function, technically they aren’t speaking, and you don’t have to listen.

I love intelligent, sassy girls, particularly those working in consulting or investment banking (but other fields are great too). Really, nothing is hotter than an accomplished girl in a suit, as long as she is willing to settle down and have my children. I want a girl who will support my ambitions against the naysayers in society.

Yeah, those will go over real well.

Whittaker Chambers had the bitch’s number back in 1957.


Yes, exactly

We are so often told by opponents of marriage equality that they do not oppose our right to have basic legal protections. What they do not understand, because they have never had to understand, is that without legal marriage, gay couples are always subject to the veto of family members who have more say over our spouses under the law than we do.
I remember a story told me during the AIDS epidemic. A man was visiting a friend dying in hospital. It was a grim scene, as it often was in those days. The next bed in the ward had a curtain drawn around it. And from behind that curtain, you could hear someone quietly singing. The man told his friend, “Well, at least that dude is keeping his spirits up, however sick he is.” And the friend replied:
“Oh, that’s not the patient singing. He died this morning. And his family came to collect the body. That voice you hear is the man’s partner. The family didn’t approve of his relationship and they have barred him from coming to the funeral and kicked him out of their shared home. That song he’s singing is the song they called their own. It was playing when they met. He used to sing it to him all the time when he was dying.”
“He’s still singing it even though they’ve taken the body away. He’s singing it to an empty bed. I guess it’s the last time he feels he’ll ever be close to the man he loved. They were together twenty years. The hospital staff don’t have the heart to ask him to leave yet.”
Until you have been treated as sub-human, it’s hard to appreciate how it feels. We will not give up. And we will win in part for the sake of those who never made it to see this day.
This is what my faith teaches me, whatever the Vatican insists. Our love really is stronger than their fear.

Andrew Sullivan

If you’re voting on Election Day

Here’s where you can find your polling place. This is important information, as Asheville has a dizzying array of precincts, some of them quite small.

Furthermore, when people move, they often forget to update their address with the Board of Elections, and thus may have to vote in their old location.

Be prepared for long lines — turnout has already been through the roof in early voting this year — I’d set aside at least an hour to go vote, especially if you’re in a heavily populated precinct like downtown, Shiloh or Montford.

Look over the Mountain Xpress’ Voter Guide if you need to know about the local races. If you’re a liberal, Scrutiny Hooligans has a useful guide that goes down the entire ballot, explanations included.

I haven’t been able to find a conservative equivalent yet, but if someone knows of one, let me know and I’ll post a link to it.

Rundown, evil cackle edition

* I found out today that someone recently called me power-hungry. I’ll take that as a compliment, especially in this city.

* I have a craving for steak.

* Kathleen Sebelius is coming to Asheville

* While I’m on the topic of this fair town, what it really needs is a fetish/latex fashion place with some decently affordable stuff for us proles too. Combined with Genesis P-Orridge moving here, that could herald a new subcultural dawn: hippie bullshit out, shiny, driven occultists in! Bring the jubilee!

* You know what’s fascinating? Memory Palaces. Immensely so. Giordano Bruno had one. Much as I find technology and the change it can bring compelling, a lot of non-techne based talents and skills deserve far more exploration than they currently get.

* “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.”
-Eric Hoffer

It’s not there

I wrote a rough draft of the following in 2005 after a visit to Ground Zero — looking at it over three years later, I find that it sums up my thoughts on this day.

My first visit to New York was years ago. I went as a gangly kid, smack dab in the middle of high school. It was a United Methodist Church trip. I was awkward, with that seething discomfort in one’s own skin that’s the hallmark of any adolescence. Many of the things I have become now were just seeds then, waiting to come into form.

While there, we visited the World Trade Center. I remember the elevator ride first. Long. On one side of me were two well dressed, burly Hasidic gentlemen, laughing. To the other a group of Asian businessmen, speaking in their own language. What they thought of the young group of wide-eyed Southern teenagers behind them, I do not know.

The view from the top was magnificent. It was before dusk, the lights had just started to come on. Spread out almost into infinity, the buildings were so vast and beautiful. I could see everything: the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building — everything.

It hit me right then: this was a miracle. Here spread before me were thousands upon thousands of peoples, ambitions, cultures, thoughts, foods, languages. All of it. And it worked.

It was chaotic, dirty and sprawling, occasionally violent even, but it worked. Despite all the critiques of the venal nature of humanity all this managed to exist without rending itself apart.

Waves of immigrants, political turmoil, a civil war and the weight of three centuries had pushed onto it. New York was still standing there, strong as ever.

When I returned, it wasn’t what was there that struck me, it was what wasn’t. Just a space. Even if I had been an alien visitor, I still would have known that something just wasn’t right, that there should be something there instead of a massive, gaping hole and some twisted metal.

It was too quiet. It is still hard for me to comprehend it, just on a personal level. The old view I remembered so fondly, the one that made me realize how breathtakingly huge the world was, is gone. Those Hasidic gentlemen beside me in the elevator may well be ash by now. The steel I trod on? Torn into nothing.

The world has heard about 9/11 nearly non-stop for the last few years. The event still leaves marks, pulls up old, raw emotions. I knew what was coming when I decided the visit Ground Zero and its still hard for me to take in.

All the memories are tinged with a sadness, not just for the event itself, but for what has come after. How such an tragedy, almost so vast and terrible it defies comprehension, has become something for fat cowards to invoke to justify torture, lies, greed and fanaticism.

In a better world, we would have the leaders we deserve. In a better world Osama bin Laden’s head would be on a pike and George W. Bush would be a washed-up political failure. In a better world the nation that miraculously came to be would have taken an awful tragedy as a reason to rise from the ashes, not a fear to cower from. In a better world we would not have forgotten who our true enemies were.

But we live in this one. Bin Laden still lives and we have thrown fuel on his fires instead of snuffing them out. George W. Bush is President. Some days it seems that the same country that survived through so much is intent on undoing everything it has gained.

But New York still survives and so can we. What was torn down can be rebuilt, and one human can undo what another has done. There is a new age and a new generation in the workings.

The miracle I witnessed from atop the world trade center has gone nowhere and it waits to spring forth again, today or tomorrow.

Oh September

An election is coming. Universal peace is declared and the foxes have sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry.
-T.S. Eliot

Studies in Villainy

Happy Saturday