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Post 140

Saturday, November 26, 2005 - 10:14amSanction this postReply
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Brendan,

Excellent point.

It does not appear that Patrecia wished to share NB with AR indefinitely.

I wonder whether she took being expelled from Ayn Rand's entourage as a great personal loss.

Robert Campbell




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Post 141

Saturday, November 26, 2005 - 10:59amSanction this postReply
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It didn't escape my attention. I just wasn't sure how to write about it without, well, anyway... you did it just right.

But now that you got the ball rolling...

UN-FREAKING REAL.

I'm thinking like a guy here, but... let's say I was cheating on my wife with someone, and I've got total wild monkey fever. I have no interest in my wife, because of this new thing. Or maybe I have a shred of decency (or maybe just common sense in terms of social hygiene) left, and somehow I can't bonk two women at once. Either way... My wife is the Senior Knowledge Person (be it psychologist, philsopher, whatever), and she suggests (whether she knows or not, and let's face it, on some level, the other person always knows) counseling sessions.

What the $#%#??? You're sitting with AR trying to precisely delineate why you don't want to boink her anymore. No thanky, no thanky. Not without a sidearm, or at least a hefty mace cannister.

I do admit to having a mild cruel streak and black sense of humor that might propel me into doing it just to observe the pure absurd dark humor of it, but not bloody likely. It would be like being in an actors improv class, at gunpoint. Ack! Talk about improving your dancing and circling skills.

I think a lot of us agree that, from the jump, the whole sanctioned affair whatever it was thing was hanky and kind of sick from the start (I consider it egomaniacal), but that had to be the goddamn olive in the martini. As MSK says, DAYYYYYYMMMMMMM. Ack.

It just goes to show how this kind of stuff rarely, if ever works, on any level. Why do you think all the flower children stopped all the free love and settled down or gave up entirely? This stuff sucks.

rde
Love Ain't Nothing But Sex Misspelled- Harlan Ellison




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Post 142

Saturday, November 26, 2005 - 12:17pmSanction this postReply
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Bob Campbell wonders "whether [Patrecia] took being expelled from Ayn Rand's entourage as a great personal loss."

I figure that she took it rather like being let out of jail. ;-)

Nonetheless, although Brendan raises an excellent point about the relative "safety" (from the standpoint of not losing NB) of Barbara's being the other woman versus Patrecia's being that woman, I think that something which has been overlooked in the discussions here (or at least something which I haven't noticed being talked about -- I've by no means read all the posts on these Split-related threads) is the sense of insult AR would have felt at the thought of NB's being involved with Patrecia. Barbara was a person of "substance" in AR's eyes; Patrecia was in the "shop girl" category. I think it's helpful in trying to understand the behavior of everyone involved in the situation to keep in mind that Ayn Rand really felt to the core her views about the profound moral revelatoriness of a person's sexual desires. Consider things she said about "great men" being attracted to "shop girls." Consider the review of *Of Human Bondage*. (I don't recall whether AR herself or one of the others wrote that review; but whoever wrote it, I think it's indicative of how AR would have reacted to the idea of Nathaniel's being romantically involved with Patrecia. I believe that she would have reacted with outrage, i.e., with an emotion for describing which the term "jealousy" seems to me inadequate.)

Ellen Stuttle




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Post 143

Saturday, November 26, 2005 - 12:59pmSanction this postReply
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Hi Ellen,

I have no problem with your observation above. But is it not reasonable to assume that such moral outrage can be in addition to an emotion like jealousy?

Experience in life has taught me that people are usually motivated by many things at the same time, not just one.

Michael




Post 144

Saturday, November 26, 2005 - 1:43pmSanction this postReply
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Yet, it sounded like Patrecia was a wonderful person, and perfect for NB in every way. It just goes to show how wrong you can be.

rde
Judge not, lest I whup up on yo ass




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Post 145

Saturday, November 26, 2005 - 2:41pmSanction this postReply
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Would I want Ayn Rand's advice on such issues? Damn right I would. And judging from the brilliant and incisive nature of her notes, she had an enormous amount of insight to offer in these areas. Providing that the person requesting her help was not lying, her advice could be invaluable. The Fountanhead is really a treatise on the relationship of philosophy to psychology -- it was the very inspiration for Branden becoming a psychologist and the foundation of cognitive psychology.



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Post 146

Saturday, November 26, 2005 - 2:48pmSanction this postReply
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"It does not appear that Patrecia wished to share NB with AR indefinitely."

What is this speculation based on, Robert? We don't even know for certain that Patrecia knew about Branden's affair with Rand. He lied to Barbara and Rand about Patrecia, why should we trust that he told Patrecia about Rand? This seems to be a baseless assertion.

And how would it fit in with the fact that Patrecia sought counseling from Rand?




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Post 147

Saturday, November 26, 2005 - 3:01pmSanction this postReply
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MSK asks, "But is it not reasonable to assume that such moral outrage [as I indicated I believe AR would have felt at the thought of NB's having a romantic relationship with Patrecia] can be *in addition to* an emotion like jealousy?"

Oh, sure, it could be "in addition to." Sort of like a volcanic eruption could be "in addition to" a rain storm -- or something like that. The point I'm trying to make is that I think the reaction was so much *more* than the rather tame term "jealousy" conveys, it's as if her anger is being downplayed instead of presented in its full force when so "garden variety" a description as "jealousy" is used.

Ellen S.






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Post 148

Saturday, November 26, 2005 - 3:02pmSanction this postReply
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They are all guilty  and they all contributed to this big mess! at different degree

The two  major  mistakes;
1)AR professionally starting the affair2)    NB unprofessionally ending it.
Ayn Rand deserved , in the beginning of the affair, the same smacks on the face she gave  NB at the end of the affair

(Edited by Ciro D'Agostino on 11/26, 3:13pm)




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Post 149

Saturday, November 26, 2005 - 3:10pmSanction this postReply
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RDE wrote, "Yet it sounded like Patrecia was a wonderful person, and perfect for NB in every way."

Quite. I didn't know Patrecia, but I've always wished I had met her. I think I'd have liked her a lot.

Ellen S.






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Post 150

Saturday, November 26, 2005 - 3:24pmSanction this postReply
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Thanks for your posts, Ellen. I think you make good points on the issue of "insult" vs "jealousy."

You wrote,

"As to Ayn's evaluation of Frank: She continued to claim to her death that Frank *was* a person of heroic stature. Thus the implied comparison doesn't work, since she wouldn't herself have seen the comparison."

Interesting. I understand that Rand had a very positive view of Frank (and I don't doubt that she had many good reality-based reasons for that view), but I've always assumed that some of her rather exaggerated praise of him wasn't something that she actually ~believed~. I guess I never consciously made the connection that her strong views on sexual psychology (especially in its role as one of her moral divining rods) may have been a significant factor in inducing blindness to the reality of what Frank actually was (or wasn't).

Sidebar: It's been a very, very long time since I've read either of the Brandens' books, so I don't recall if it was mentioned in either, but after a quick internet search, I see that Patrecia used the professional name "Patrecia Wynand," and appeared in the 1971 TV movie Do Not Fold, Spindle, or Mutilate, and in an episode of Mannix in 1972. Good for her.

J




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Post 151

Saturday, November 26, 2005 - 3:55pmSanction this postReply
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What is this speculation based on, Robert? We don't even know for certain that Patrecia knew about Branden's affair with Rand. He lied to Barbara and Rand about Patrecia, why should we trust that he told Patrecia about Rand? This seems to be a baseless assertion.

Pleeeeease who hasn't figure out yet that  the real complice of NB was Patrecia and not Barbara?
Why BB had to tell AR about the affair? wasn't AR screwing BB's husband?
beside sharing her husband with AR was she supposed to guard her affair too.? Fuck no!
Barbara should have spit everyone on their feet and leave!


 





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Post 152

Saturday, November 26, 2005 - 4:51pmSanction this postReply
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Ellen,

I do not presume to have known Ayn Rand, so I am not in a position to make a comparative judgment like volcano versus a rain storm. Did I understand correctly that you equate the volcano with moral outrage and rain storm with jealousy?

I am not sure that I would make light of how the emotion jealousy affects people. It could be a rain storm, but it could be a volcanic eruption also.

For example, a few months before I left Brazil, one of the senior editors of O Estado de S„o Paulo, sort of the NYT of Brazil and I believe the largest newspaper in all of Latin America, stalked his girlfriend until he got her alone on a ranch, then shot her in the back and killed her as she tried to get away from him on horseback. All this happened because she rejected him. This guy was one of Brazil's top intellectual guardians, not just a superficial jealous Latin lover. His plea was a jealous rage resulting in temporary insanity. That was pretty volcanic.

I would not make light of how moral outrage affects people either, though. Ayn Rand was very clear and vocal about what she hated.

One thing also is clear. Ayn Rand had vastly more experience with moral outrage than she did with an emotion like jealousy. Of course, I am going by what she wrote and what others wrote about her.

Michael




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Post 153

Saturday, November 26, 2005 - 5:27pmSanction this postReply
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Ellen Stuttle wrote:
although Brendan raises an excellent point about the relative "safety" (from the standpoint of not losing NB) of Barbara's being the other woman versus Patrecia's being that woman, I think that something which has been overlooked in the discussions here (or at least something which I haven't noticed being talked about -- I've by no means read all the posts on these Split-related threads) is the sense of insult AR would have felt at the thought of NB's being involved with Patrecia. Barbara was a person of "substance" in AR's eyes; Patrecia was in the "shop girl" category. I think it's helpful in trying to understand the behavior of everyone involved in the situation to keep in mind that Ayn Rand really felt to the core her views about the profound moral revelatoriness of a person's sexual desires. Consider things she said about "great men" being attracted to "shop girls."
OK, Ellen -- or anyone -- please tell me what I'm missing here. Patrecia was an aspiring actress. Frank O'Connor was a retired actor. Actress -- actor. Now, that's an "ominous parallel," if I ever saw one!

OK, if Patrecia was in the "shop girl" category and thus not a person of "substance," then by the same reasoning, wouldn't Frank have been in the "shop boy" category and also not a person of "substance"? If Branden was insulting Rand for being a "great man" responding sexually to an (aspiring) actress aka "shop girl," then wasn't she insulting herself for being a "great woman" responding sexually to an actor aka "shop boy"?

(Or, perhaps, was she not responding sexually to Frank? And was that perhaps part of what motivated her entering the affair with Branden in the first place?)

Seems that there is a bit of a double standard in this argument, don't you think? What's morally revelatory for the gander is morally revelatory for the goose, wouldn't you say? Perhaps Branden's romantic choice held up more of a mirror to Rand than she was willing to admit?

I think Brendan's hypothesis makes a lot more sense. It has the ring of truth to it.

REB




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Post 154

Saturday, November 26, 2005 - 6:08pmSanction this postReply
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Michael: "We have an honest disagreement. Nothing more."

:)

(It's a shame that we have to have these kind of disagreements to begin with...sigh. We didn't have to take any of it seriously, did we?)



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Post 155

Saturday, November 26, 2005 - 6:18pmSanction this postReply
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Roger,

I think what you're missing is that you seem to be assuming that AR would have seen the "logic" (of putting Patrecia and Frank in the same category) the way you see it.

Michael,

Yes, I was analogizing the volcanic eruption to moral outrage and the rain storm to jealousy -- in *AR*s psychology. I wasn't speaking of "people," generically. And I no more than you would "make light" of how jealously might affect "people." My point pertains to AR in particular. And I think I've made the point as clearly as I can: that the factor of insult and moral outrage seems to have been overlooked (at least insofar as I'd noticed) in the discussions of how she'd have reacted to NB's having a romantic relationship with Patrecia.

Ellen S.



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Post 156

Saturday, November 26, 2005 - 7:19pmSanction this postReply
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Ellen,

I certainly will agree with you that insult and moral outrage would be part of Rand's emotional package in responding to being rejected by a man she loved.

To me, that part has two components, though. I am not talking about jealousy here. Merely insult and moral outrage.

1. The first is precisely the sense you mention (which I am presuming - so please tell me if I got this wrong): an emotional reaction based on conscious programming, just like Rand laid out in her writings. She consciously identified her ethics and programmed her subconscious with them. According to her ethics, her own highest value choosing an equivalent (to her) of a shop girl would be highly insulting and prompt moral outrage, regardless of whether she was replaced by this or not.

2. The second part, one not so much under her control, belongs to the another part of the mind I don't find discussed too much in Rand's writings. All great artists I have personally been near have this - and I usually find it in written accounts of the great.

There is a sort of centering the world on their own existence in an almost childlike manner. It is more of a conceit or self-absorption than rational selfishness - a narrowing of the world's problems and all the contexts of others to the small universe of their own personal affairs. Rand got near that issue with the "world will end when I do" sentiment, but that is all I remember.

Without such a high sense of self-importance in the overall scheme of things, a person does not have the emotional "fuel" needed to become great. I know of no great person where this is absent. (Yet the world does go on without any particular one of us.)

Also, great people (the ones I have known) tend to be very controlling of their intimates. The descriptions of Rand in this sense that I have read show her to be extremely similar to what I have seen up close in other greats. I believe that this "childlike" facet of selfishness is the reason for this.

From that view, the rejection of a world where earth-shattering events are occurring (which happens to be the artist's own world) is extremely insulting. It is a negation of the obvious and it is disgusting to them.

Rand's documented reaction to Branden's rejection is so similar to what I have witnessed in others that I have no reason to believe that she was immune to this automatic drive to excel and become the center of the universe within herself.

From there I would add jealousy. However, I also believe that Rand would be perplexed by the emotion itself and actually not know what it was unless she pondered it introspectively.

This is something that actually happened to me in my thirties. I have no recollection of having felt jealousy up to that point except for some memories about my brother when I was very young. All of a sudden I found myself acting strangely with a woman at that time. Often, I did not recognize myself - and I did many strange things that were out of character for me. Fortunately I was able to introspect enough to understand that I was becoming jealous. (Still, a fat lot of good that did! - LOLOLOLOL... Maybe I'll tell the story someday.) I have rarely felt that emotion since then. I know how it feels and it is horrible. When I sense it coming on, I take immediate steps to halt whatever is causing it.

All this makes me look at Ayn Rand as a human being who was very much subject to human emotions. She just had the added context of being one of the greats, with an internal emotional make-up that is very typical to what I have seen, and furthermore the added context of a conscious programming her subconscious (to the extent that it can be programmed) with her ethics - exalted ethics, by the way.

As you can see, I do not believe in simple equations for human behavior. The human being is a complex animal and I sincerely believe that Ayn Rand was complex, too.

A strong conviction of this complexity - and a driving need to understand it - is part of my almost violent rejection of the viewpoint of people who say that Rand was not jealous, was perfect (morally or otherwise), and whatnot. I detest the oversimplification of great lives. It is a bane on a proper understanding of them and of life in general.

Michael




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Post 157

Saturday, November 26, 2005 - 11:11pmSanction this postReply
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Michael,

I haven't read in detail your most recent reply (post 156) to me. I'm just quickly checking SOLO (and Atlantis2) on a late-night (here) skim. And maybe I should alert you to the fact that very often I simply don't read in detail anything which seems to me longer than is needed to make a point -- I have eye problems, and I'm ultra-sparing of how much time I spend reading list posts.

So please take this comment basically as an "impression" that something has gone amiss in your interpretation of where I'm coming from.

You commented about not believing that AR is simple, that you believe she was "complex too." If you're interpreting me as posing any "simple" picture of AR, you're misinterpreting. I am extremely well aware of how complex AR was -- she was one of the most complex people I've ever met. Exactly what I was driving at is that her complexity seems not to have been recognized and taken account of in the discussion. If you're taking my comments as presenting any sort of case for her "perfection," please read again. I don't even think in those terms.

Ellen S.



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Post 158

Saturday, November 26, 2005 - 11:17pmSanction this postReply
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Casey - you write, "The Fountanhead is really a treatise on the relationship of philosophy to psychology -- it was ... the foundation of cognitive psychology."

I would love to hear your evidence for Ayn Rand's influence on cognitive psychology. Right now, I can't think of anything beyond "post hoc, ergo propter hoc." You've got to have more. Out with it, please!


(Edited by Adam Reed
on 11/26, 11:29pm)




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Post 159

Saturday, November 26, 2005 - 11:51pmSanction this postReply
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Ellen,

I wish to state the following very clearly and unmistakably:

I was not implying that you are one of those who propose an oversimplification of Rand. Although there are a few people I have engaged to whom that observation applies, I do not make indirect criticism by analyzing something.

Once I get cranked up, I get going on a topic and I seem to forget the world of other people. So sometimes it might appear like I am making indirect barbs, I guess. That is not my way, though.

My way is to say what I want to say about somebody - up front, to their face and in simple language.

In the particular case of our discussion, I was merely sounding out my own ideas as we go along.

We perfectly agree about Rand being complex (apparently, she was wonderfully so). We may not agree on degrees of certain aspects, but I don't mind. Do you?

Sorry if the wrong impression came across.

Michael




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