Friday, April 15, 2011

A day to shrug

Nothing seems the same anymore. The weather is warm when it should be mild and snowing when it should be sleeting.

Today, for instance, is the annual tax day, except that it's not. It is on Monday, April 18, this year because of a holiday in Washington, D.C.

We should all take the day off and go see a movie.

For the Ayn Rand crowd, there is the long-awaited film debut of "Atlas Shrugged," also known as the libertarian manifesto. First published in 1957, it tells a tedious story of how government thwarts initiative.

Rand's philosophy is "objectivism," whatever that is. Sounds like something from Russia, where Rand was born. She moved to the U.S. in 1926 when she was 21. Google her, she would've loved it.

The amazing thing about Randites is when they claim they have read this 1,088-page monster. Anyone who can get through such an unreadable book deserves some sort of kudos.

The book is so long that the film released today is just the first part of a trilogy. Well, those other two parts may not get filmed if "Part I" makes little money. As this story makes clear, the filmmakers are relying on teabaggers to rescue them.

Critics, though, are pounding away at it. Here is just one sample:

 "I suspect only someone very familiar with Rand's 1957 novel could understand the film at all," Roger Ebert wrote in the Chicago Sun Times. "For the rest of us, it involves a series of business meetings in luxurious retro leather-and-brass board rooms and offices, and restaurants and bedrooms that look borrowed from a hotel no doubt known as the Robber Baron Arms."

I'll shrug, too. I may take in "Rio" instead.

But, as libertarians get their crank on today over what was supposed to be Tax Day, here is some truly illuminating writing titled: "9 Things The Rich Don't Want You To Know About Taxes."

It is written by David Cay Johnston, who does great work in exposing the travesty of how tax cuts solve everything. 

Also, check out this column on how a public broadcasting station in Idaho, which is owned by a Republican, provides a definite need to red-state potato-heads by broadcasting NPR.

By the way, I've already got my tax refund. Have you?

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