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Recent lunch in Oakland

December 30th, 2001

Passes Quickly
Public television ran The Fountainhead last night. I wondered about it, Ayn Rand hasn't played much part in popular discussion since the 50's, the book published in 1943, the movie released in 1949, but I turned it on briefly just as the architect, Howard Roark, played by Gary Cooper, is leaving New York City on a yacht, the pre twin towers city passing in the distance behind him, talking with the Raymond Massey character who was giving him a commission to design "the largest building ever built, ever to be built" to stand above the city as his own personal monument.

It goes on, Roark (Gary Cooper) blows up a housing project in the middle of construction soon after this scene because his original contract with the government stipulated not one line of his design could be changed without his permission and the bureaucratic gnomes in charge had instituted a design of their own in his absence. Remember this was the cold war and the hand of faceless "bureaucratic gnomes" was another way of saying godless communism, and Roark, architect, unbending consumed by fire artist individualist, was what real capitalist mankind was about. A pox, I think, on both their houses.

That's simplistic to the point of being meaningless, but it was interesting to see it set against the 9-11 background, Roark both creator and destroyer, artist and terrorist, his own internal fire not all that different from the fire inside those airplanes. Well, let it rest. Ayn Rand gives me a headache and Raymond Massey gives me the creeps.

Rained like crazy this afternoon. I rearranged the computer desks and equipment again so now all the printers are hooked up. Tomorrow is a work day so I'm planning on going in and making last minute preparations for the New Year. Feels OK, I guess. Time, though, passes quickly.

The banner photograph was taken at a recent lunch in Oakland.