Dagny Taggart Did Not Have PMS

ME: (Tries to work)

MY BRAIN: Do you think Dagny Taggart ever had PMS?

ME: ?

MY BRAIN: Some of that book looked kind of hormonal is all I’m saying.

ME: No. We are not going there.

MY BRAIN: It’s important.

ME: Whether Dagny Taggart got PMS is not important.

MY BRAIN: Oh yes it is. She’s absolutely perfect! She never has problems, she –

ME: Rand talked about this. It’s a heroic presentation.

MY BRAIN: It’s stupid to espouse a philosophy and then make your examples cardboard cutouts whom no one could possibly emulate.

ME: Perhaps.

MY BRAIN: And a female hero? Ha. Her only overt feminine characteristics involved playing “hide the manifesto” with John Galt and Hank Rearden and Francisco.

ME: (“Hide the manifesto”?)

MY BRAIN: Awake three days in a train going cross country, and does she show up with leg stubble and two chin hairs? Nope, because she’s perfect Dagny Taggart.

ME: I think it’s kind of demeaning that you’re simplifying the meaning of being female down to hormones and leg stubble.

MY BRAIN: Not any more than simplifying it down to submissive sexuality. Rand never acknowledges Dagny Taggart as a female in any other way except with a crying jag.

ME: Oh, come on, she –

MY BRAIN: A whole month in Galt’s Gulch. Smoldering hots for John Galt? Check. A trip into town for some hand-rolled objectivist tampons? No way.

ME: No no no. I’m done. We’re not going there. Go away. I have to work.


ME: Fine.

ME: (Tries to work)

MY BRAIN: Look, if — at certain times of the month — someone had given her a dollar sign made out of chocolate —


Ayn Rand & Charles Nelson Reilly

ME: (Tries to work)

MY BRAIN: Do you think Ayn Rand ever recognized her essential dichotomy?

ME: ?

MY BRAIN: Just think of it. Hundreds of pages of Atlas Shrugged going to establish that man is not, in fact, just a collection of chemicals, but all her heroes must subjugate every human foible and weakness. They must behave like creatures of pure production, like golems. She moved humans from being a collection of chemicals to a collection of chem.

ME: Whatever.

MY BRAIN: See, “chem” could be a pun that means –

ME: Yes, thank you, I get it.

MY BRAIN: So what do you think?

ME: I don’t care.

MY BRAIN: Aw, come on! I have to think about SOMETHING. I’m bored!

ME: Think about something else. Go back to debating whether misotheism and atheism are the same thing. It was fun listening to you try to figure out whether assigning the characteristic of malevolence to a divine being changed its context.

MY BRAIN: No, I got tired of that.

ME: Well, go do something. I’m busy.

MY BRAIN: Oh, I know! I’ll recite the Preamble to the Constitution —

ME: If you must.

MY BRAIN: — In a Charles Nelson Reilly voice —

ME: Um…

MY BRAIN: — for two hours!

ME: …

MY BRAIN: Rand or Reilly, chum. Take your pick.

ME: How about neither?

MY BRAIN, IN A CHARLES NELSON REILLY VOICE: “We the people, in order to build a more perfect BLANK…”

ME: (Turns Pandora all the way up)

I love Charles Nelson Reilly, and apparently my brain does too.