February 9th, 2004

The Devil & Lou Prophet

is a book, a western, by Peter Brandvold, who seems to be an accomplished writer of Westerns. The hero, Prophet, is a bounty hunter who claims to have made a deal with the devil, selling his soul as long as he can have lots of fun on earth. He has the usual value code of the gun for hire, he follows through on a contract long after it stopped being reasonably safe, because that was what he promised to do.

There is a romance in the book. He has been hired to bring back a reluctant (ahem) witness, a showgirl named Lola Diamond, and their relationship proceeds from animosity to respect to affection to wild lovemaking. Although he usually spends his money on whores and liquor, with Lola experiences a different set of feelings, which kind of embarrasses him.

It's interesting to compare this to Loaded, the book I read just before this. Both are fast paced adventure stories. But where Loaded was a book for women, this is definitely a book written for men, and I didn't get that "you don't belong here" feeling while reading it.

Objectivism in NYC

I left New York in 1980, when it was still the thriving center of Objectivism, and it still seems crazy to me that so little has gone on there for years. Of course, Peikoff moved out to Southern California, so that is where ARI is based, and a lot of people went with him.

David Kelley and his organization are a lot closer to NYC, but Poughkeepsie is just far enough away that The Objectivist Center doesn't have much Gotham City feel to it either, although they hold periodic one-day talkfests in the City. A few people have moved to Poughkeepsie, usually because they wanted to work for the organization, or were in love with someone who did.

But surely vast numbers of Objectivists remain in the city. The potential market is big. Partly the market is old timers, who remember NBI, Rand, etc. Partly the market is younger people who have read the books but who have had little contact with organized Objectivism.

That's part of why I'm watching the new Objectivist Community Center with such interest. Located in midtown Manhattan, operating on a shoestring, the organization simply exudes energy.