There are a number of his films that I will eventually include in this series of documentaries (which seems to be the focus of the blog of late - though the reader shouldn't worry, as those docs I feel are worth posting has a finite number). The one I'm starting with, All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace, is a three part series which largely examines - apart from what other sources say - how fucked up we all are due to the philosophical theories of a few driven, somewhat deranged individuals: Ayn Rand, Arthur Tansley, Jay Forrester, William Hamilton and so on. None of these people could be called 'stupid' ... yet all were to some degree more interested in making the data fit the theory rather than the theory fitting the data, as Curtis patiently relates.
I want to say a few words about Ayn Rand. I have always felt that she made a terrific diagnostician. For me, she has always had the ability to go straight to the heart of the problem and identify it. The most mediocre people, prepared to concern themselves with gain rather than achievement, gain the greatest notariety; the incapable resent the capable; the weakest, most useless people demand the greatest amount of energy; people, by and large, seek to find their own value in the attention and opinion of others; and so on.
She is, however, a really shitty therapist. The prescription she offers is pure, unmitigated bunk, and because it is bunk the actual value of anything she might have said otherwise is overshadowed by the satisfaction her detractors gain in dancing naked on the ludicrous grave of her proactive philosophy. Which is a shame, really. But that's how it goes - she herself describes exactly how it goes that way.
For those who watch the first episode and take glee in the light that is cast upon her by her actions and strangeness, I'd only point out that she does nothing in the throes of love that millions of people haven't also done - millions of people whose lives are not examined for fault because of a book they've written or an opinion they've had. But if you put yourself out there, you have to prepare yourself for the shit-storm ... which, if you're really significant, will continue long after you're dead.
There are things I want to say about communes that only just occurred to me as I was watching the second show of the series last week ... but I'm saving it, and its relationship to dungeon mastering, for my next post.
If you want to see this, its not hard to find ... google videos will take you there. Still, the best links can be found here, here and here.
I am curious to know if anyone out there is following along with the documentaries you haven't seen as I post these. Please let me know.