Ayn Rand on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, 1967


It’s wonderful and disappointing to see that someone — demonized, idealized, and rarely humanized — is a person. Appearing on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1967, while Ayn Rand has the severe hairstyle of one of her heroines, she also has a distractingly thick Russian accent, doesn’t correct Carson for mispronouncing her pen name, and, while carefully articulating her philosophy of rational self-interest, including why one should be intimate only with those who personify one’s morals, she seems to want to be liked.

Which is not a wild departure from the author I might have imagined after re-reading Atlas Shrugged for the billionth time a billion years ago, but when one remembers a lot of Rand’s lit dealt with the physical representation of values, such as the elegant minimalism that results out of efficiency, one begins to wonder about Ms. Rand’s bulky brooch.

I’m just here to keep you to focused on what’s important…



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