Friday, October 23, 2009

Conversation in the Dark Tower

This Bloghost was out of commission for a few scary hours, thankfully it's now back in action. Here's the continuing conversation between our two trainmen, the wormy and the innocent, coming from the high corner office in the old Art Deco skyscraper of Taggart Transcontinental. I have recently discovered a pop genre that perfectly encompasses Rand's ATLAS universe. You've heard of "Steampunk," well, this is "Dieselpunk." It's a fantasy concept based on the mid-20th-century technology of heavy industry, steel, railroads, flaming refineries, coal mines, oil derricks, propeller planes, all the things that Rand writes so enthusiastically about.

I have been a fan of heavy industry for most of my life. My father introduced me to its wonderfulness, though his interest in it was from a "socialist realist" sort of outlook. That is, this grimy prosaic technology, maintained by the downtrodden proletariat, supported our world. Rand, from the other end of the political universe, turns this on its other end. This grand, effective, powerful technology, maintained by a brotherhood of the competent, supports our world, and is in turn supported by a heroic elite of brilliant, inventive, good-looking geniuses. All you need is the smoke and flames. I hope to be seeing some of that soon, as I pass through the refinery area of New Jersey on my way north.

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