I hardly know where to begin with this, my thoughts are so scattered and unfocused, and because this is Exactly What It Says On The Tin. Ayn Rand once had a breakup that went so badly she cursed the guy’s penis for the rest of his life and he moved across the entirety of America to Los Angeles to escape the Dick Curse of Ayn Rand, only it didn’t work because once Ayn Rand has it out for your genitals. you’re already dead.
So: Ayn Rand, Bad Dude is something I think we have all pretty well established, but I worry that sometimes we are less familiar than we could be with the glory that was her personal life. FOR EXAMPLE: were you aware that in 1999 Helen Mirren starred as Ayn Rand in a romantic TV movie called, actually, the title for real was and still is, The Passion of Ayn Rand? That happened.
You could be watching that movie right now. Why aren’t you? Because of your job? Explain to your boss what I just told you. They’ll understand.
So. Ayn Rand met her poor mealy-mouthed husband Frank O’Connor in 1926 when the were both extras on a Cecil B. Demille movie and she decided she liked his face, so she fucking tripped him. From the thought “I like this guy’s skull shape” to the action “I will make him fall over” there was not a moment of separation. What an asshole, but also credit where credit is due, I think this means she invented negging.
Cut to a bunch of years later and Nathaniel Blumenthal (who later changed his name to Nathaniel Branden so he could HAVE THE WORD RAND IN HIS NAME), a besotted teenage fan, writes Ayn a mash note in high school because he loved her work. A couple of years later, he ends up in New York City, and she calls him back. “Hi, teenage fan, you seem grown, what’s going on? Oh, getting married? Would you like, I don’t know, some witnesses to attend the ceremony?” So Ayn and Frank watch Nate get married, and then Ayn sits everyone down, and says, “So, it’s obvious that Nate and I are going to have an affair. And I think it’s fair if we ask for one afternoon and one evening a week. Just wanted to keep everything above board. We have the same principles, so…you know. Obviously we were going to have to do it.”
(Frank, by the way, drank himself to death. No reason.)
And that is how things went along for a long time! Until eventually, sometime around Ayn’s 60th birthday, she finds out that Nathaniel has taken up with a woman closer to his own age named Patrecia Scott Wynand. WYNAND. As in Gail Wynand from AYN RAND’S THE FOUNTAINHEAD. EVEN NATE’S NEW MISTRESS HAD NAMED HERSELF AFTER AN AYN RAND CHARACTER. THIS IS AN OUROBOROS OF FUCKERY.
So Ayn finds out about this other other woman, blames Nathaniel’s wife Barbara, then calls Nathaniel himself to the fucking mat in front of the rest of her inner circle for some good old-fashioned chewing out, and then Ayn Rand put a god damn curse on his dick:
If you have an ounce of morality left in you, an ounce of psychological health, you’ll be impotent for the next twenty years! And if you achieve any potency sooner, you’ll know it’s a sign of still worse moral degradation!
I would not lie to you about this, the Internet. The lady who wrote Atlas Shrugged was so mad at her married boyfriend for cheating on her that she put a curse on his penis when they broke up.
Ayn Rand: founder of Objectivism and also someone who cursed the penis of an adult man. Ayn Rand: she wrote Anthem and also one time with her human mouth told a fellow human that she wished his dick would break for two decades. AYN RAND DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO TAKE THE HIGH ROAD AND NEITHER SHOULD YOU. AYN RAND: EVERYTHING IS HAPPENING.
BY THE FUCKING BY, like a MONTH earlier Branden had tried to end his relationship with Rand by turning in an essay explaining that he no longer felt sexually attracted to her. Every aspect of this story gets more and more Randian the longer you examine it.
Anyhow, what can you do after Ayn Rand denounces your genitals? Branden had to move to LA with Patrecia (who, when she died fifteen years later in a freak drowning accident, everyone whispered was because of Ayn’s Curse) and spent the rest of his life writing books about how he used to sleep with Ayn Rand.
Oddly enough, Nate’s first wife Barbara kind of also spent the rest of her life writing books about how her husband used to sleep with Ayn Rand, in a manner that suggests she sort of wanted to sleep with Ayn, too:
I shall not forget my first sight of Ayn Rand. When the door to her home opened that spring afternoon in 1950, I found myself facing the most astonishing human being I had ever encountered. It was the eyes. The eyes were dark, too large for the face, fringed with dark lashes, alive with an intensity of intelligence I had never imagined human eyes could hold. They seemed the eyes of a human being who was composed of the power of sight.
It also makes Ayn Rand sound like an evil, flinty Betty Boop, which is kind of amazing. Anyhow, don’t cheat on Ayn Rand because she’ll put a fucking hex on your dick. This seems really basic. There are women you just don’t cheat on, and Ayn Rand is the Queen of Un-Fuck-Withable Jerks. She’ll trip you into getting married and if you ever try to get another girlfriend during her Affair Afternoons she will send a plague straight-up onto your genitals. God bless,
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.