Sunday, December 4, 2011

Quotes from The Fountainhead - Tessa Virtue's favorite book (and other stuff)

Idea for this post goes entirely to the person who made the first comment on the post below this one. Thank you, and I hope you don't mind my taking your observation and expanding on it with my own thoughts.

I knew Tessa's favorite book was the Fountainhead -- correction -- on the now dead site she said it was her favorite book.
 The Lovely Ayn Rand

Tessa never said The Fountainhead is her Bible, Koran or Torah, or uses it as her guide to life. Still.

Favorite book.

Disclosure: I read both the Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged when I was around 14 and my takeaway was pretty much wanting to become a social worker, preferably for free, preferably while living in a tin shack without plumbing, preferably while associating only with people whose education had not progressed past second grade. I kept this fantasy in my head til the gag reflex from absorbing Ayn Rand's theories had subsided.

I think Objectivism as invented/espoused by Ayn Rand is revolting. Not because I have anything against individualism - but individualism as explained by Ayn Rand is ignorant, self-servingly selective plus not to mention that actually acting as an individual in the way Rand espouses relies upon exploiting others - which is a logic she doesn't follow.

Here are some quotes from The Fountainhead (bold text = my comments):
"As a matter of fact, one can feel some respect for people when they suffer. They have a certain dignity. But have you ever looked at them when they're enjoying themselves? That's when you see the truth." 
Dominique Francon, protogonist
"I don't intend to build in order to have clients; I intend to have clients in order to build.
Howard Roark, protogonist
The egoist in the absolute sense is not the man who sacrifices others. He is the man who stands above the need of using others in any manner.* He does not function through them. He is not concerned with them in any primary matter. Not in his aim, not in his motive, not in his thinking, not in his desires, not in the source of his energy. He does not exist for any other man -- and he asks no other man to exist for him. This is the only form of brotherhood and mutual respect possible between men.
*Really? So the egoist does not live on Planet Earth? 
Doesn't the quote above the egoist one contradict the egoist one? 
“I came here to say that I do not recognize anyone's right to one minute of my life. Nor to any part of my energy. Nor to any achievement of mine. No matter who makes the claim, how large their number or how great their need. I wished to come here and say that I am a man who does not exist for others.”*
Howard Roark, protagonist
 Well Howard, I'm sure we're very sorry to be missing out.
"Before you can do things for people, you must be the kind of man* who can get things done. But to get things done, you must love the doing, not the people! Your own work, not any possible object of your charity. I'll be glad if men who need it find a better method of living in the house I built, but that's not the motive of my work, nor my reason, nor my reward! My reward, my purpose, my life, is the work itself - my work done my way! Nothing else matters to me!"
Howard Roark
Peter Keating: But it's a humanitarian project. Think of the people who live in slums. If you can give them decent housing, you can perform a noble deed. Would you do it just for their sake?
Howard Roark: No! A man who works for others without payment is a slave!
 Here's an exchange between female protagonist Dominique and Gail Wynand:
[Dominique] “I used to travel a great deal. I always felt just like that [hating to be at a destination]. I’ve been told it’s because I’m a hater of mankind.”
“You’re not foolish enough to believe that, are you?”

“I don’t know.”

“Surely you’ve seen through that particular stupidity. I mean the one that claims the pig* is the symbol of love for humanity–the creature that accepts anything. As a matter of fact, the person who loves everybody and feels at home everywhere is the true hater of mankind. He expects nothing of men, so no form of depravity can outrage him.”

“You mean the person who says that there’s some good in the worst of us?”

“I mean the person who has the filthy insolence to claim that he loves equally the man who made that statue of you and the man who makes a Mickey Mouse balloon to sell on street corners. I mean the person who loves the men who prefer the Mickey Mouse to you statue–and there are many of that kind. I mean the person who loves Joan of Arc and the salesgirls in dress shops on Broadway–with equal fervor.* I mean the person who loves your beauty and the women he sees in a subway–the kind that can’t cross their knees and show flesh hanging publicly over their garters–with the same sense of exaltation.** I mean the person who loves the clean, steady, unfrightened eyes of man looking through a telescope and the white stare of an imbecile–equally. I mean quite a large, generous, magnanimous company. Is it you who hate mankind, Mrs. Keating?”***
 *Clearly Ayn Rand knew nothing about pigs:

***Wow, that's a compelling argument there, Gail.  I feel like Gail (and maybe Tessa) could benefit from reading Malcolm Gladwell.

**Kind of makes you wonder if the public falls into the category of unable to cross their legs and excess flesh spilling out of their "garters". Particularly skating fans.
More Fountainhead quotes:
love is reverence, and worship, and glory, and the upward glance. Not a bandage for dirty sores. But they don’t know it. Those who speak of love most promiscuously are the ones who’ve never felt it. They make some sort of feeble stew out of sympathy, compassion, contempt and general indifference, and they call it love. Once you’ve felt what it means to love as you and I know it–the total passion for the total height*–you’re incapable of anything less.
 *Oh.  Love is the total passion for the total height:

White Knight Gala 2010

White Knight Gala 2010
 "Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness Prince Phillip!"
      (Scott Moir)
Now I don't think either of these occasions in these photos represents the total height. Nor does getting a couple of free Audis 
or anything else in the realm of "we won the Olympics!" perks. Welcome to Olympic winner swag.

But possibly winning the Olympics themselves - winning them, of course, entirely as an individual, as an utterly autonomous egoist, completely free of any contribution from the fleshy hordes you see when you lower your glance instead of keeping it uplifted - represents the total height.

Now with the White Knight Gala, I want to mention this:
Ben Mulroney is going to show up in another blog post in a few days (more or less), cause he pretended to grill Scott and Tessa on ETalk about six months after the June 2010 White Knight Gala where they were both guests and I really enjoyed re-watching that interview recently.

The White Knight Gala was crawling with media personalities as guests, alongside Scott and Tessa. A lot of the public thinks that the media is the public's representative, working in their interest to deliver information, when really 90% of familiar media faces have way more in common with their subjects (as long as their subjects aren't fleshy subway riders who can't cross their legs, as long as their subjects are well known, rich, and/or famous and accomplished). The media and their well-known subjects move in the same circles and collaborate to squeeze the unsightly public like a cash cow.

Meeting Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness Prince Philip!!!! was understandably completely exciting for Scott and Tessa, and for Skate Canada.
So exciting that when Tessa wrote her account of the event for Skate Canada, she forgot to stipulate that she and Scott were in their separate residences when the invitation to dine at the Queen's table arrived via email at 930pm, and she forgot that she and Scott woke up the next day in their separate residences and only then rendevoused at the tux rental place early the next morning.

Her writing style allowed the reader to infer that Tessa and Scott were chillin at their shared home at 930pm when the invitation-bomb landed in their email, and they got up together the next day, drove in their car to the tux rental spot, hit the road for Toronto and arrived at their hotel. She failed to mention separate homes, separate hotel rooms.

I guess it was the excitement of it all.

It probably wasn't about wanting people to really absorb that SC's skaters had really been elevated to the elite, and using "couple" subtext as a kicker.

And then Tessa shared:
“Sunday night – 9:30 p.m. It was surprising enough to receive an invitation from the Prime Minister to meet the Queen of England and The Duke of Edinburgh, but on the eve of the big event, we got an official invitation to join the Royals at the HEAD TABLE! WOW! We were floored! What an incredible honour - but what could we have possibly done to deserve this privilege??!!!”
You won an Olympic gold medal maybe?

Knock that shit off Tessa, PLEASE. Yes, the people you’re writing this for are probably the sort who can’t cross their legs on the subway and have “flesh hanging out of their garters” but this is laying it on a little thick even for them.
*Couple of extra points: Ayn Rand was of course, female, but her book is full of "man this" and "man that".  And Dominique's beauty is right up there along with Howard's god-like powers of reason as evidence of superiority over those with flesh spilling out their garters. It's been a awhile since I've read these books, so I've forgotten the chapter where she and Howard nobly jump off one of his exalted buildings cause a) he's getting Alzheimer's and she's b) an old lady no longer statue-worthy.


  1. No problem OC, great post! It was definitely a lightbulb moment for me yesterday and I had to share.

  2. oc, you've talked a lot about why Tessa and Scott should join IMB. What if they really don't wish to join that organization, or if they've somehow burned their bridges with them by rejecting them, or for whatever reasons IMB isn't a good fit for them. Is there another sports' management company out there that could manage V/M in the professional way they need?

  3. Tessa's dad belongs to a law firm, Siskinds, that has a sports management piece of its practice, a/k/a Siskinds Sports Management.

    The contact attorneys for SSM have a lot of business law experience but not particular marketing experience or sports background, but of course, and naturally, they provide marketing services. :) You know how William Thompson got really general when he talked in sweeping terms about Debbi's amazing non-qualifications for her specific Director's role? Siskinds kind of does that with its sports department - if you look for background match between what the department is doing and their experience, it seems like a new venture for everybody.

    Siskinds got into sports management when they partnered up with businessmen who had hockey organization background. I remember reading, when this division was first launched, and publicized, that the article said this new division wasn't the only sports connection at Siskinds - litigation partner Jim Virtue had two elite athlete children (Tessa Virtue and (I can't ever remember if it's Kevin or Casey)).

    The Chief Operating Officer of Siskinds Sports isn't an attorney, but a former hockey player who then worked as an employee of the Colorado Avalanche hockey team. What he did there, they don't say. His name is Brian MacDonald. Gosh I hope there's no relation.

    I don't find their web page too inspiring in terms of marketing. If you're going to advertise yourself as a sports business/marketing entity, I think your web page should be well-written and not say things like "their fees can command significant compensation for their time." That way of phrasing sort of ends up reading that Siskinds has althletes named "Fees" who command a lot of compensation for their time.

    Maybe they just don't do marketing so good in Canada.

    In any event, I don't know if Scott and Tessa use Siskinds as a resource, but it's interesting. At the same time, whatever is preventing them from joining up with IMG are likely reasons that would prevent them joining up with any outside management company. IMG has a lot of personnel - it's not as if they'd have to work with one specific person if they went with IMG.

    oc, not signed in

  4. come on guys, almost at 2k signatures, plus yuna kim disaster and Ashley's call for anonymous judging, please sign