If you’re chuckling or cringing right now, either is probably an appropriate response.
I’m not sure I’ve discussed my own feelings on Ayn Rand on this blog before, so this seems as good a time as any. I read The Fountainhead in my late teens or early twenties, and was sufficiently engaged by the story-telling and intrigued by the philosophy at the time that I read Atlas Shrugged not long after. This experience is one I recall describing as like “having my brains repeatedly smashed out with a slice of lemon wrapped round a large objectivist brick”.
Her philosophy isn’t so utterly braindead and without merit that it’s not often interesting to discuss, and I certainly don’t immediately back away from anyone claiming to have enjoyed Rand’s work in general. But there’s a cadre of particularly devoted followers who very noticeably take it too far.
You should contact me if you are a skinny woman. If your words are a meaningful progression of concepts rather than a series of vocalizations induced by your spinal cord for the purpose of complementing my tone of voice. If you’ve seen the meatbot, the walking automaton, the pod-people, the dense, glazy-eyed substrate through which living organisms such as myself must escape to reach air and sunlight.
That’s the kind of thing I mean, taken from this article about the dating service from a few years ago. Even if I was convinced objectivism really stood up, I wouldn’t want anything to do with this crowd. I’ll take human empathy over grammatical competence any day.