Friday, June 4, 2010

Whiskey and Car Keys and the evolution of The Paltry Press

Recently I've been blogging primarily over on Whiskey and Car Keys, which was Aaron's brainchild to replace Incessant Dissent. I'm still trying to figure out what I'll blog about here. For now, I'm thinking that I'll use it for more esoteric or technical writing, but that's subject to change. Rest assured, though I haven't posted to The Paltry Press in a while, it is certainly not dead.

Charles Murray on Ayn Rand

Charles Murray reviews the two recent biographies of Ayn Rand. I haven't gotten around to reading them yet, but I really should. I'm particularly interested and surprised by the kinder, gentler Rand of the early 1950s.

Both biographers also describe a kinder, gentler Rand who was just as real as the fierce intellectual combatant. To Martin Anderson, Ronald Reagan's long-time advisor, she was a "pussycat," who alone among a crowd at a café noticed that Anderson couldn't get his package of cream open (he had a broken arm) and helped him prepare his coffee. Joan Kennedy Taylor, for whose wedding Rand was matron of honor, once told me about Rand shushing Joan's objections when a recently widowed friend talked about rejoining her husband in heaven. If it gave her comfort, Rand said, Joan had no business trying to convince her she was wrong. There are repeated examples in both biographies of the ways in which Rand could be a sensitive, loyal, and affectionate friend.