Home » Artwork » Ayn Rand, Cat Fancier Ayn Rand, Cat Fancier Mallory Ortberg on June 11, 2014 in Artwork 1531142 Commentshttp%3A%2F%2Fthe-toast.net%2F2014%2F06%2F11%2Fayn-rand-cat-fancier%2FAyn+Rand%2C+Cat+Fancier2014-06-11+14%3A00%3A44Mallory+Ortberghttp%3A%2F%2Fthe-toast.net%2F%3Fp%3D15311 In 1995, an editor by the name of Michael Berliner released Letters of Ayn Rand to mixed reviews. In 2014, a cat blogger from suburban California rediscovered it. Here is what she found. Are Cats Objectivists? A letter to Cat Fancy magazine “I hope…I will have a chance to see the pictures of my cat” Mailing an egg to Neiman Marcus Cat Drawing I Cat Drawing II Missed a real opportunity to sign off with “Stay Cool” This is legitimately good advice [All images via] Tags: and when she was bad she was horrid, artwork, ayn rand, cats, correspondence, i love that old gal, my love for ayn is 80% exaggerated and 20% sincere, these are real, when she was good she was very very good Related PostsWhat is Your Personality Type?The Greatest Wedding Group Shot Of All Time Is From 14th-Century BolognaWhat In The Hell Animal Is This, PleaseJust Some Good Paintings, No ReasonTwo Medieval Monks Invent WritingThe Greatest Good-Bye In Western Art History About Author by Mallory Ortberg Mallory is an Editor of The Toast. 15311Latest Commentshttp%3A%2F%2Fthe-toast.net%2F2014%2F06%2F11%2Fayn-rand-cat-fancier%2FAyn+Rand%2C+Cat+Fancier2014-06-11+14%3A00%3A44Mallory+Ortberghttp%3A%2F%2Fthe-toast.net%2F%3Fp%3D15311 anon210 "Your Fluff" Silver Deer I'm in this weird place where I agree with many of the principles of her philosophy (A human being is entitled to demand fair recompense for their labour! It is best if you help yourself, and don't demand others help you! It is OK to be selfish with your time, energy and money!) but when you actually get deeper I think it is a morally bankrupt one. And it makes sense that she would love cats. Is there any more perfect Objectivist than your average cat? Affection, attention and time are given only on their terms, and they only love as far as they can get something from you. petegaines "I'm in this weird place where I agree with many of the principles of her philosophy (A human being is entitled to demand fair recompense for their labour! It is best if you help yourself, and don't demand others help you! It is OK to be selfish with your time, energy and money!) but when you actually get deeper I think it is a morally bankrupt one." I think this is a perfectly normal place to be in, especially with the latter following the former. It's what separates us from the animal kingdom, or haughty college libertarians. Ophelia This is the only time I am ever going to say this out loud: "More Ayn Rand, please!" *scuttles back over to the comfort and safety of the Left* littlehuntingcreek My cat Etta is an Objectivist, but her brother Harry is a taker. robotneedslove Oh both my cats are definitely takers. threatqualitypress I like that she straight up cannot even write a letter in praise of cats without lecturing someone on the meaning of "objectivity." Also that she's wrong about what it means in exactly the way that all Objectivists are always wrong. deitybox This is what you get when you google "Objectivist Cat". You're welcome. <img src="http://studentsforliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/objectivist-cat1-300×300.jpg" alt="Objectivist Cat"> petegaines Fascinated by this 20% sincere love for Rand. Like, sincere love for her utter absurdity and smug self-satisfaction? Or like, for her as a person, or writer, or philosopher? I'm genuinely curious to see a pie chart or graphical explainer of this appreciation. MizGibson I can't speak for Mallory or anyone else, but I'm a liberal with a sincere love for Ayn Rand. I don't agree with her philosophy on a macro governmental level, but on a micro person-to-person level, I think she has some valuable things to say. Reading Atlas Shrugged taught me that putting yourself first is not the worst thing a human can do, and in fact, has some objective (sorry!) value. No joke, it got me out of an abusive relationship. Every time my ex-boyfriend told me that I was being "selfish" for not returning his million phone calls at work, or insisting on maintaining friendships, or whatever, it was nice to be able to think "so what if you are selfish. That's actually a GOOD thing." blunderbusst At least one very close ladyfriend of mine had that same experience: read "Atlas Shrugged," ended an abusive relationship. Maybe we should be handing out copies. DamnThatCat I agree! I loved Ayn Rand in high school. The problem comes in when you try to take her writing as rules to live by and not fiction. And let's be honest – anything can be made shitty when the Tea Party co-opts it. Anything. threatqualitypress I sincerely love her utter absurdity and her absolute commitment to moral positions that are patently awful. cosmia This is basically 100% my feelings towards her as well DeLoreanGrey I hate Ayn Rand and libertarianism with the heat of a trillion stars. Her philosophies as implemented by both neoliberals and neoconservatives have caused suffering for literally billions of people all around the world. Comic book supervillains would be jealous of just how evil her shit ended up being. And the worst part? She was on welfare herself. However, I love everything Mallory does. And so, I love this as well. FPTI Wait, equal rights and intersectional feminism is suddenly evil? Methinks you don't know what Ayn Rand actually said. Julie OF COURSE Ayn Rand was a cat person. Just, of course. robotneedslove hey now sneftel Cats: The societal parasites you are not morally obligated to oppose! laylapalooza I can't believe the first letter in particular – and the cat drawings – are real. HOLY. SHIT. OliviaPJones Wait, no, wait. They are? laylapalooza I think so! Google "Ayn Rand" and "cats." But it's weird and now I question everything and am giving away my cats. Sorry, guys, you're on your own now. (As are we all.) MalloryOrtberg shit yeah OliviaPJones Welp, I was pretty sure this was a joke but now? Now I do not know what to think. anachronistique I have learned more about Ayn Rand and objectivism since the Toast opened than I did in the previous twenty-eight years of my life. Not sure if that's a good or a bad thing. farrisonhord I am loving the Internet offerings on this day. Praise Google! combledore Why do I find the drawings of weeping cats so upsetting? tubatoothpaste Me too!!! Those made me really, deeply sad. Some Call Me... Tim It reminds me of this image from Struwwelpeter (which Rand no doubt knew). http://www.gutenberg.org/files/12116/12116-h/1211… janekathy1 Hello I am 52 weeks behind on this, but just had to share this because it was so interesting (started googling because initially the picture link above did not work for me). So I read in 300 Years of Children's Literature at Cardiff University that this at-first-glance ludicrously passe children's book (Struwwelpeter: Merry Stories and Funny Pictures) was actually a parody, with Hoffman purposely "[taking] the traditional morality tale to grotesquely violent extremes." Cool. This is lent support by the description of Heinrich Hoffman at the Google translation of the website of the Struwwelpeter Museum as a "humorous keynote speaker" and the author of "romantic poems, time-critical comedies and black satires" for adults. Also there's something unclear about "liberal-minded citizens." Also, there's a Struwwelpeter Museum. And it was neat to see bilingual English/Welsh academic writing. I'm a Yank and was not familiar with Cardiff/Caerdydd. The Royal Charter of its original incarnation "was the first in Wales to allow the enrollment of women, and specifically forbid religious tests for entry." If Wikipedia can be trusted. Okay climbing back out of the rabbit hole. Wikipedia also says Struwwelpeter was very popular with children. Megano! Are these seriously real because if so now liking cats is ruined for me. MalloryOrtberg YES IT'S REAL I EVEN LINKED TO THE BOOK AT THE TOP GoatseFanfic how is it ruined it has been OBJECTIVELY FOUND TO BE CORRECT N Coley According to a GoodReads review, the book contains a letter written to her niece, after her niece had asked to borrow some money. In response Ayn Rand wrote this: ""if, when the debt becomes due, you tell me that you can't pay me because you needed a new pair of shoes or a new coat…then I will consider you as an embezzler. …I will write you off as a rotten person and I will never speak or write to you again." It thrills me to imagine that the niece in question was 8 years old and being snapped at by mean Auntie Ayn. Becky Mallory, your 20% genuine love for Ayn Rand coming through in recent postings has inspired me to re-read the Fountainhead. (I read it in high school – 15 years ago – and enjoyed it. Read Atlas Shrugged in the same time frame and hated it). It's… not holding up well. The writing is terrible. And remembering how the "most people are shallow and empty" stuff resonated with me as a teen is making me cringe. But I still find poor doomed Peter Keating's story tragically compelling. And I still like the message that it's dangerous to care too much what people think about you (although of course I disagree with the extreme she takes it to). MalloryOrtberg Oh yeah, her books just straight up aren't good. BUT I STILL LOVE HER. She is bonkers and morally bankrupt and hypocritical and silly but I love her. Beakses The delightful thing about Anthem is how short it is. I had to read it for school, and then I read the Fountainhead out of self defense (if you go into architecture everyone asks if you've read it and they don't shut up if you say no). It's basically Anthem with a bunch of (absurd, no relation to the real world) architecture window dressing to make it a zillion times longer. I will never, ever read Atlas Shrugged. beatricks Somehow "Mailing an egg to Neiman Marcus" is what pushed me over the edge here and also made me google The Simpsons' Ayn Rand School for Tots from the classic "Streetcar Named Marge." A IS A!!! sednarea51 "Do you know what a baby says when she reaches for a pacifier? She is saying, 'I am a LEECH'. Our aim here is to develop the pacifier within." Heather S. The illustrated cat with a can tied to his tail reminds me of Archy and Mehitabel for some reason. "There' still a dance in the old girl yet…"…or would be if I wasn't tied to these refried beans. And these letters are amazing; you can feel her just whipping them off and popping benzedrine and cackling. Ayn Rand: The speed freak of choice for those uncomfortable with beatniks. emdash I just think there's something stunning/awful/amazing/WTF about someone who lived through the very real horrors of Soviet collectivism and came to the conclusion was that the problem was people were being TOO NICE to each other. Like … how on earth did you get there? Bless your heart, lady. Objectivists are garbage humans, tho stuffisthings Ayn Rand also had good thoughts on cigarettes and used logic to make married dudes sleep with her.