This is an embarrassing incident that happened in 2006: My wife and I went to see the remastered version of Monty Python and the Holy Grail at a local theater, I want it say in Bozeman, but the memory feels more like Billings, Montana. There were five people in the theater that night. We sat in the back, and several rows in front of us were three who, as the movie went along, were able to recite every line.
The embarrassment is that we went to see a movie whose time had long passed, the importance and humor of which was exaggerated in my mind.
I imagine that others had a similar experience as the movie Atlas Shrugged played to immense empty houses in 2011.
Which reminds me: A certain man I know, let’s call him Bob Bilby, made a profound life choice in 2007. Bob is an engineer, and helped design and build bridges and tunnels. Fed up with what he called “leeches and bums” feeding off of his enormous wealth output, Bob decided to “go Galt,” and retire to a cabin in the mountains at an undisclosed location.
He began to notice something from his cabin retreat – bridges and tunnels were still being built and widely used. And … no one was looking for him.
In 2009, Bob Bilby quietly rejoined society, and now authors a blog.
I make fun of Rand and Randians. A post from years ago, “Was Ayn Rand a Sociopath?,” still draws readers and comments. But I am familiar with a certain element within our ranks – people who live off of the output of others. They are called “children,” “disabled,” “students,” and to a smaller degree, trust babies and lazy bums.
Our output is enormous, large enough to support all of them, so we do not have a problem with stretched resources. Distribution of those resources is a problem, as by luck and happenstance a large percentage of our wealth ends up in a few hands.
Those who enjoy good fortune and are able to amass a fortune often imagine that luck and happenstance had nothing to do with it. They imagine themselves not just more talented, but immensely so, and not lucky, but rather entitled.
Sometimes they go Bob Bilby on us. I imagine once retired to their cabin in the woods, they begin to grow in depth and humanity, and become the anti-Rand versions of themselves, humbler, more welcoming and accepting of people as we are. They begin to realize that we’re all part of one being, all in various stages of development, many in need of a reboot.
Then they start their own blogs.