Rebirth of Reason


Writers' Report Cards!
by Lindsay Perigo

This is it, then, galley-slaves. The moment of truth. Did you imagine for a second that the slave-labour status of your literary/polemical efforts on SOLOHQ rendered those efforts immune from ruthless critical scrutiny by The Founder and Slave-Master? You poor, deluded fools! Abandon hope! Prepare to meet thy doom! The delicious fact is, it pleases His Callousness to pass on His evaluations forthwith, for no other reason than that it pleases Him. (Writers who are evaluated so cruelly below can console themselves that at least they have been evaluated, unlike the deadbeats and dilettantes on the list that follows, the AWOL list.)

Here you all are, then, without fear or favour, in no particular order.

Alec Mouhibian. A P.J. O’Rourke in the making, only better-looking. Needs to try less hard to be clever, since he already is clever—a matchless inducer of belly-laughs—and the over-reaching can jar and mar. With just a tad more maturity will come the substance to match the style, and this young man will be an international star.

Marcus Bachler. Has come a long way since the days when he pestered Founder with socialist e-rants. Deft in diverse topics, a quintessential NEM (New Enlightenment Man) distinctive to SOLO. Punctuation can be an editor’s nightmare, but well worth persevering with. Passionate and persuasive; lots of KASS (the distinctive SOLO virtue of Kick-Ass).

Jennifer Iannolo. Referred to affectionately by Founder as "Regina Dildo Iannolo" (middle name bestowed because she didn’t know the meaning of the first). Mediterranean hot-bloodedness and fierce intelligence, corrupted by aberrant MBA/TOC morbidities. Magnificent when the former win the day and her vibrant sense of life shines through. An impressively unabashed gourmand and bon vivant. Contributions always delectable.

Joseph Rowlands. A techno-genius who admits to finding writing tough, yet always manages to produce taut, tight expositions of exceptional insightfulness and utility-value. Has inspired many newbies in particular with his wisdom. Cares deeply about Objectivism. Adept at mopping up carnage caused by Founder’s occasional tsunami impersonations. A gem.

Barbara Branden. One of the world's great exemplars of the art of writing. Peerless in her elegance and eloquence. Invariably leaves her readers, crusty Founder included, moist-eyed and wistful for more. Will go down in history as Rand’s definitive biographer. Told the truth, lovingly, fearlessly. Kept her head while all about her were losing theirs. Honoured by Founder as "Majesty."

James Kilbourne. Majesty’s trusty soulmate. Another of the true NEM of SOLO, part of the elite corps of humanity that is alive to the super-human glory of the voice of Mario Lanza. Exalted writing satisfies the heart and mind, simultaneously and compellingly. James Kilbourne is a resounding "Yes!" to life.

Matthew Humphreys. Another who has come a long way—this one from a Christian background. Still betrays the occasional hankering to ban things of which he disapproves, and needs to check his Utopian urge to have the state contrive (impose) a "perfect" outcome for every contingency in life. Intelligent and staunch, with enormous potential. Has borne Founder’s flayings bravely.

Luther Setzer. Straight (very "straight") from the Bible Belt. SOLO’s resident Mormon (just kidding, Luke). Can be a tad slow on the uptake with others’ humorous posts, yet has reproduced here some extraordinarily witty—and sharply barbed—speeches to Toastmasters. Founder would like to see him in action without his ever-present Covey props; believes he would soar even higher when liberated from formulae. One of SOLO’s staunchest foot soldiers, exuding solidity and decency.

Chris Matthew Sciabarra (Her Royal Whoreness, Dr. Diabolical Dialectical). Diabolical is going to receive special attention a few days from now, for reasons that will be obvious then. En passant, Founder notes, happily, that Her Royal Whoreness has tamed his unseemly tendency to spread himself around other, unsavoury sites (that never, thankfully, included such Saddamite sewers as lewrockwell.com).

George W. Cordero. A diamond, rough-hewn but of dazzling gleam. At his magnificent best when his dander is up; occasionally loses confidence and falters (dander dysfunction?). Writes with impressive oratorical flourish. A hardened battler with an exemplary contempt for BS. Epitomises KASS. Has an unrequited love/hate relationship with Founder ... "unrequited" because Founder thinks of George overwhelmingly as admirable—just occasionally as an annoying bastard!

Peter Cresswell. Did someone say "annoying bastard"? This incorrigible contrarian can be annoying, to be sure, especially when indulging his yen for pedantic one-upmanship. Can be forgiven, however, because of the force and scope of his writing. Another to whom it didn’t come naturally—when he began, his prose was ungainly, disjointed and ham-fisted; now his writings are among the very best to be found on SOLO or anywhere. Recent essay on growing up and discarding childish things, musically speaking, was worthy of Rand herself. Another whose persona shouts out, or rather sings, "NEM!" (Just so long as he doesn’t sing!)

Adam Reed. Also a quintessential NEM, formidable intellect plainly apparent in his writing. At home equally in the arts and sciences. Best encountered via his writing rather than in person, when copious head-patting—or hanging— may be necessary to curb his loquaciousness! Perhaps a little overly-concerned with "Christianists," but hell—eternal vigilance and all that ... !

Tibor Machan. "Simply the best." Well versed in the most arcane nuances of philosophy, but also excels in the juggernaut of op-eds that clatter from his keyboard: crisp, trenchant, easily-understood polemics for freedom. "Ferociously fecund," as I have said elsewhere. An Objectivist Olympian.

Edward W. W. Younkins. The writer formerly known as Edward W. Younkins. ("W. W." = "Wayward Waif.") To characterise Prof. Younkins in a way appropriate to the teasing affection this prolific and sturdy intellectual deserves, I cannot improve on my description of him in the latest Free Radical: "Looks like a Mormon, teaches at a Catholic university, but is an Objectivist—which is very confusing and rather careless."

Fred Seddon. A delectable showbiz charlatan who likes to argue that Plato, Kant and Hegel were pre-Randian Objectivists, Jesus was a hedonist, Hitler was a libertarian and Catholic priests have sex with adults. Outrageous and outlandish, but keeps us on our toes (which he claims are our heads).

David Bertelsen. A delightful youngster whose idealism is not only intact but burgeoning. Writes with humour, grace and bite; should write more!

Jason Dixon. Ditto! Our newest newbie writer, passionate, articulate, bright and sincere. Watch this star rise!

Duncan Bayne and Julian Pistorius. Not (yet) prolific writers, but more than worthy of honourable mention on account of the sterling slave-labour they perform as FreeRad web masters.


PS: By dint of their mere inclusion in the above evaluations, the aforementioned luminaries have their NEM status reaffirmed. But I hereby suspend the NEM status of the following entities, by dint of their defaulting on their article-writing talent. Excuses such as mortgages, children, day jobs and death are not acceptable. Inexcusably AWOL are Messrs and Mesdames: Rawlings, Bissell (no, Andrew, one sloppy second won’t save you), Maurone, Landauer, Sechrest, Buker, Frazier, McGovern, Kanabe, Elliot, Lamont, Pierson, Kayton, Gibes, Sturm, Visser, Lewis, Darby, Pritchard and Teets. (Messrs Drayton and Howison escaped inclusion, albeit narrowly, because they're about to launch SOLO-Youth!)

PPS: If your name doesn’t appear here at all, you are clearly on the lowest rung of hell. Or my Alzheimers has kicked in. Or you're Michael Newberry, artist, and anything is permitted.

PPPS: If your name appears here and you're sore, please note the category under which I posted these report cards!

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