A few nights ago I watched The Fountainhead for the first time. It was a real eye opener.
Not only was this my first Gary Cooper movie–yes, I was a virgin–but it gave me a weird sense of deja-vu, kind of like I had just spent an hour flipping between CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News.
Sure, Howard Roark was a real stand-up guy, with all of that integrity, but the story line which really grabbed my attention had to do with The New York Banner, a scandal sheet with an enormous circulation and little honor.
The paper is run by the ruthless capitalist, Gail Wynand, a self-made man who traded his principals for cash. Wynand cooks up scandals and then feeds them to the masses. Whether these stories are true or not is of no concern, the value is measured by the hysteria it creates.
Even though Wynand peddles in trash, he values truth. In his private life, Wynand is polished and educated. In short, he feels he is much superior to his readers. Therefore, since his audience are such simpletons, Wynand believes he can easily manipulate the mob and give them their marching orders.
And then there is the ideologue Ellsworth Toohey, the architecture critic for The Banner. Toohey also believes the common people to be idiots, but instead of manipulating their feeble minds in order to amass a personal fortune, Toohey trades in personal power.
Unlike Wynand, Toohey doesn’t believe in truth or inherent value. In fact, he believes it is dangerous–a threat to his quest for power predicated on the rise of mediocrity. Toohey actually believes the bullshit he is peddling. His only truth is the newest lie which will add to his power.
As The Fountainhead reaches its dramatic conclusion, there is a struggle between Wynand and Toohey as to who will controll The Banner and by extention the mob.
Who wins? I’m not going to spoil it for you. I will give you a hint, though. Just turn on your television.
Turns out Sarah Palin knows a thing or two about “death boards” after all. Seems Alaska had something similar when it came to providing caring for its elderly and handicapped citizens. Take it away Anchorage Daily News.
The common thread in the suits is that seniors and disabled Alaskans aren’t getting the services they are entitled to, under the law, Davis said. In one big win, the state Supreme Court ruled last year that the state had improperly cut off or reduced services to more than 1,000 needy people.
How bad was it?
A particularly alarming finding concerns deaths of adults in the programs. In one 2 1/2 year stretch, 227 adults already getting services died while waiting for a nurse to reassess their needs. Another 27 died waiting for their initial assessment, to see if they qualified for help.
The programs at issue provide in-home help for thousands of Alaskans with the basics of life, from medication to meals. The goal is to help people stay in their own homes rather than go into nursing homes or other institutions.
To recap: Sarah Palin is not O.K. with third party health care providers deciding the fate of her handicaped child or elderly parents, but if those decisions happen to effect other people’s loved ones, well, that is an entirely different story.
I got to hand it to IKEA.
Over a year ago, the company had the nerve to ban the use of plastic bags in their Renton store. Any guesses as to what happened next?
Large crowds of people continued to flock to the store, same as before. The only difference being these shoppers now brought their own reusable bags.
( Audible gasp.)
I know. These types of common sense solutions to protect the environment aren’t supposed to work in Seattle, let alone in South King County.