Ăon Flux and Ayn Rand...

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When I think about the relationship between Ăon Flux and Trevor Goodchild, it reminds me a LOT of the relationship between Howard Roark and Dominique Francon in Ayn Rand's novel The Fountainhead. Both relationships are ones based on strength and willpower: Because of their strength and their acknowledgement of the strength of the other, they constantly compete and strive to overcome one another; at the same time, because that strength is found in so few other people, they value each other immensely and, to some degree at least, love each other. Taking this into account, their relationship isn't so much love/hate as fulfillment/competition. The sexual dynamics between Roark and Francon also greatly mirror those between Ăon and Trevor - perhaps to an even more extreme degree, as their first sexual contact can only be described as "consensual rape."

I'm not a fan of Ayn Rand's philosophy by any means, but I still consider her an excellent writer... anyway, for those of you who've read Ayn Rand, what do you think about these similarities? Has Peter Chung perhaps read some Rand in the past and incorporated that influence into the show?

-- Brian Davis (ubik@purdue.edu), May 28, 2002

Answers

Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

I haven't read Rand's books, but what about 1984 by George Orwell? 'Big Brother is watching you' themes are prevelent throughout the series. Trevor's likeness is obviously in the image of Bowie and Bowie was the first choice by Peter Chung for the voice of Trevor. BTW ever hear Bowie's song 1984? Coolness in a lamentable spooky wail.

-- Barb e. (Suesuesbeo9@cs.com), May 29, 2002.

Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

Brian, sorry to go so far away from the Ayn Rand book idea. Actually, I've never read Rand, and so now it seems I must, because this isn't the first reference to that similiarity on this forum...as for the attraction between the two being related to strength I think that when the two are unequal in strength there is less chance for them to experience full potential, as they are decieved into believing they are always strong or weak and they become 'stale' by the ignorance of the depth within their own self. Or did the Fountainhead focus more on their clash of wills?

-- Barb e. (Suesuesbeo9@cs.com), June 01, 2002.

Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

Mtv probably thought the word 'Flux' implied a woman's indecision to be a 'good girl' or a 'bad girl'. Judging by their array of music videos and philosophies espoused therin the probable conclusion of what she was all about was likely based more on her 'sex and cute outfits' than any 'hard to follow' dialog the the A.F. writers penned for their tinnitus hearing ears. For all their trendiness IMHO they have more in common with organized religion than they realize.

-- Barb e. (Suesuesbeo9@cs.com), June 03, 2002.

Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

Good and evil as cosmic forces eternally struggling seems to be a favorite of screenwriters but I suspect just to lead up to the sensational fight scenes at the end. LOTR, Star Wars and White house press releases are good examples but I wouldn't include the Bible in there. My interpretation of Aeon when she became angry with Trevor (in Sinister End) suggesting the aliens were the human race evolved '(You're lying!)'was that she believed in the bible herself, after all. I'm with her. My interpretation of that ep may be wrong, love to know. The bible has many stories in it that are very much hard to believe but they've found incredible archaeological evidence proving the existence of ancient biblical 'myths'. Theres an ark sitting on Mt. Ararat and the shroud is likely Jesus's grave cloths but I'm sure you've heard this all before. Some scientists find it more likely we're descendants of an original couple, maybe it was Aeon and Trevor. We've all heard about the Flux bible.

-- Barb e. (Suesuesbeo9@cs.com), June 05, 2002.

Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

How do you think 700 years ago they made a perfect negative image on the top of the linen fibers, knees bent outward and legs perfectly foreshortened?

-- Barb e. (Suesuesbeo9@cs.com), June 05, 2002.


Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

Peter, I guess what I'm saying is that I wouldn't list the bible along with the other fantasy based Hollywood fictions. Certainly I wouldn't regard it as fantasy based as it is largely historic. Some of the origins of the more fictitious tales over so many hundreds of years have been lost though. These may have been well known allegories for original audiences aware of this or any number of explainations lost to us now. The world has many incredible happenings and although unbelievable doesn't qualify them to be ruled out without further proof. As for my peculiar leap of logic, all I can say is Arizona has made my red hair nearly blonde and I was born in the year of the leaper. As for Aeon's logic, when a person believes in evolution he also may believe in God, but when a person chooses not to believe in evolution usually it is in defense of God, and so I figured that was the intention of Aeon's statement of anger. Done with that, now I'm finally free to jump up and down for joy! YOW!!!!! Animatrix sounding cooler and cooler. I'm dying to see this, especially with the news of more freedom allowing for better creativity. Finally pure creation. Madhouse and Chung! It's a marriage made in heaven, (keeping in context haha). Totally psyched. Distinguished animators listed along with you on this project, too.

-- Barb e. (Suesuesbeo9@cs.com), June 06, 2002.

Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

Other guys: Watanabe, Morimoto, Kawajiri, Maeda, Koike.

-- Barb e. (Suesuesbeo9@cs.com), June 06, 2002.

Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

When Animatrix is ready where will it be seen?

-- Barb e. (Suesuesbeo9@cs.com), June 06, 2002.

Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

Now that's satisfaction!!! Sending one of the writers of the 'enigma' into spasms. The question I have is what was it Aeon got out sex(you know the rational expression of self esteem, if it can be obtained with your enemy) in this case one Chairman Goodchild??... (other than his trademarxist masculine coo, warm and cozy, so nice up close)...

-- Barb e. (Suesuesbeo9@cs.com), September 11, 2002.

Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

Here is something I've never said before, it could be just interpretation on my part, but...er, I actually never liked the Demi- urge guy(?). He/she seemed 'smug' to me, or somehow benevolently oblivious, is that just me? Devoid of real feelings, unconnected...not sure how to explain this one exactly, Aeon always seemed to be an 'action' kind of girl, very on the ready with her responses to things, whereas the Demiurge seemed to be a more of an oblivious figurehead.

-- Barb e. (Suesuesbeo9@cs.com), September 16, 2002.


Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

I do dig those crazy sounds man, like the most!

-- Barb e. (Suesuesbeo9@cs.com), September 19, 2002.

Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

Finally am getting into the Fountainhead. I find I really like it, and it IS reminiscent of A.F. in that it is a fascinating study of characters with real depth regarding their personal psychologies, ideals and strengths. The structure of which A.F. held me in constant fascination, debating to myself who/what is right, what will this unusual person choose to do now? I find the relationship to architecture also interesting, how certain societies reflected their ideals in their buildings; eg the Shakers or the Greeks, how insincere a building can be if the architect himself is a con artist palming off other civilizations natural responses reflected in their buildings as his own for his own time. This book makes the point that modern architects mix and match civilizations building techniques for effect and not in touch with the ideals that led to their creation. Contrast that with Bregna-oh THAT cities structures! Austere, oppresive, dark, brooding, reflecting at least some truths to the inner man of that world. Just to look at the neighborhood gave you the shivers! Haven't even arrived at the relationship between Howard and Dominique yet, looking good though.

-- Barb e. (Suesuesbeo9@cs.com), October 10, 2002.

Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

I'm forever grateful to have picked up and started to read the Fountainhead, thank you for bringing it to our attention Brian. I think it aught to be a mercy read for anyone who experienced that strange craving (we all know here) for more of the same once having seen Aeon Flux. You will be satiated. Whatever this strange craving is for (intellectually speaking) I honesty can't say; except that I haven't found relief from it since Aeon Flux.

-- Barb e. (Suesuesbeo9@cs.com), October 15, 2002.

Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

The world of "1984" and Trevor's world are fundamentally different in that Trevor is the undisputed leader of his nation, but the three warring nations in "1984" had no leader. Trevor is more than a figurehead, he IS Bregna; whereas Big Brother was just an imaginary icon created as an anchor on which to hold the social consciousness. Trevor is a very potent force of socio-political change in Bregna, whereas the mythical political elite in "1984" are seemingly as much victims of the social system as the lower party members and the prols; as individuals they have no power to change ANYTHING. And most importantly, Trevor seems to have purpose in whatever he does (misguided or not is up to interpretation) whereas in "1984" history, past, present, and future are all dead and there is no meaning in anything. (I know this stance opens up a HUGE door into the nature and meaning of existence - whether it is extrinsic or intrinsic or meaningless - which I am willing to discuss)

That being said, we really know precious little about the Breen social structure from the episodes. We know Trevor is the man, Breen soldiers seem to be ubiquitous, and certian scenes of factories and clones suggest that civil rights are not really much of an issue in Bregna, but we still don't know that much. We don't even know if it is really a socialist society, but I guess we can assume as much. However, Una was living in Bregna and she seemed to be living pretty well. And Onan and Cybil's apartment was bigger than MINE and I'm a capitalist pig. In Peter Chung's mind maybe socialism DOES work.

-- Logo (vosepherus@aol.com), May 29, 2002.


Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

I can't help but feel that Trevor is also far more well-meaning than err the guy who's name I won't spoil, in 1984. Trevor, it seems to me, is searching for something to create a Utopia. And Aeon, by her very nature, refuses to have someone else decide what utopia should be for her, and works for a nation of like minded people.

I guess I'm biased though, I cheered for Trevor as much as I cheered against him. For all his uber-pragmatism, he seemed likable enough, and for all Aeon's uber-individualism, she was often too caught up in things to work from anything resembling objectivity.

skye

-- skye (skyknyt@aol.com), May 29, 2002.



Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

Trevor and '1984 name here' are both well meaning, ultimately they both strive to bring out understanding and love.

-- Sam (janecherrington@paradise.net.nz), May 29, 2002.

Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

Do you think Trevor has a room 101?

-- Logo (Vosepherus@aol.com), May 29, 2002.

Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

What is the nature and meaning of existence - extrinsic, intrinsic or meaningless?? (Sorry Brian for aiding digression) Maybe the answer should be on a different thread...

-- cynical (gemini318@excite.com), May 30, 2002.

Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

The "answer"? I was just kidding.

-- Logo (Vosepherus@aol.com), May 30, 2002.

Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

Speaking of Aeon's political views, here is an Anarchist FAQ. http://www.geocities.com/capitolhill/1931/ As for the sexual dynamics in Rand's fiction books, I think they could be easily dismissed as Mary Sue-ism.

-- Kristine Rooks (mbkrooks@bellsouth.net), June 02, 2002.

Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

It's definetely more of a clash of wills thing; when I referred to "strength" in reference to the AF and Rand characters, I meant strength of will and emotion; for all their differences, these characters have that trait in common, and it is that trait that both brings them together and drives them to compete against - and perhaps destroy - one another. As for the disparity between powers thing... hmm. Trevor and Ăon hold power in entirely different manners, but does this mean that mean a difference in willpower as well? I don't think Ăon or Trevor is superior or inferior to the other in terms of strength, and that's the reason their competition is so heated, varied, and continuous.

As for the comment earlier about Trevor: he's ALWAYS been my favorite character of the series, and though there's much touting of a "good and evil" struggle in Ăon Flux I don't see Trevor being at all evil. Trevor certainly has some misconceptions and some faults - he seems to have a "saving the world" syndrome coupled with arrogance and a certain sense of insecurity, and a tendency to engross himself in his latest endeavor to the exclusion of the needs of others (including the entire nation of Bregna ;) - but he's not at all evil. On the contrary, it often seems as if he's trying to do what he considers to be good for the people of Bregna as a whole, even if the outward appearance is hostile and oppressive. It's simply that his concept of what is "good" for people is vastly different from that of Ăon and many of the other characters, and I think that's one of the biggest catalysts for the ongoing conflict of the series: the use of strength to enforce the "good" of others, or the use of strength entirely for personal freedom? This goes back to Rand again, as the same struggle has occured in her works, but her angle is ludicrously skewed, to the point of asserting that "altruism is the ultimate evil." But what is Peter Chung saying about power here: that altruism is oppressive? That power entirely for personal ideals and purposes is destructive? That BOTH uses of strength are destructive, or beneficial, in some kind of symbiotic dynamic of power?

See, this is the reason I love the series so much: most people look at it as just a weird science fiction cartoon, but there's so much more going on underneath that that it's amazing. :)

-- Brian Davis (ubik@purdue.edu), June 03, 2002.


Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

I read The Fountainhead ages ago on the recommendation from my church pastor when I told him I planned to be an artist. As a young, inexperienced, but ambitious struggling animator, I identified strongly with the character of Roark, the iconoclastic architect who refused to compromise his ideals for the demands of the market. It was encouraging to see that view proscribed since I was trying to make my mark at Disney studios at the time and it was hardly the prevalent attitude there among my peers. That aspect of Rand's book made a strong impression on me and has stuck with me.

As far as the psycho-sexual stuff-- I think I agree with Kristine, although I'm not sure what Mary Sue-ism is. I think it oddly revealing that Rand would propose that the ideal sexual union from the woman's point of view is to submit to being ravished (okay, raped) by an ubermensch. The super-gifted individual is endowed with god-like powers and is exempt from the vapid ethical rules of mere mortals.

I can't say that I was thinking about Rand at all while working on AF. The more experience I got in the film industry, I realized that there's a more complex challenge involved in convincing the corporation (studio, network) that they have a commercial interest in your personal vision.

Brian, your comments are perceptive and interesting. As I've said before, and I guess it's time to repeat it for those new here-- the on-air disclaimer calling AF a show about good and evil (or some such nonsense) was MTV's way of covering their ass and goes to show just how clueless they were about what they had their hands on. I actually think it's funny, since it mirrors the struggle to impose structure that happens in the show itself.

Both Trevor and Aeon are acting altruistically much of the time, so I wouldn't agree with Rand on the point that it is a form of oppression. Aeon takes it upon herself to assist (or meddle) in the affairs of others (Sybil, Rorty, the Seraphs, Trevor himself), but her reasons for doing so are always personal, never ideological. That's what makes her different from Trevor. I don't believe that Good and Evil are cosmic forces engaged in an eternal struggle, as so many fantasy stories (Star Wars, LOTR, the Bible, White House press releases, etc.) keep proclaiming. They are mostly the doings of simple humans, arbitrary systems, and man-made institutions.

-- Peter Chung (cretep@earthlink.net), June 03, 2002.


Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

Mary Sue is the character that some writers use in order to remake themselves in their fiction as the person they feel they should have been. Mary Sue is tragic and strong, and not conventionally pretty but somehow perfect in just the right light. Friends, lovers and innocent bystanders are enraptured in her (or his) presence and enemies tremble in their shoes when she walks by, and she generally has a Flaw Which Makes The Masterpiece. Usually women write female Mary Sues and men write male Mary Sues (or Mary Stues, as they've recently become known) but there is a significant number of women writers who make their ideal other-selves male (Anne Rice comes to mind.)

I think Rand's major problem was that she believed that only a select few in the human race have the brains to make any major decisions, and in a perfect world, the stupid majority would recognize their place as inherent, dependent inferiors. I also distinctly remember a part of Atlas Shrugged where she all but comes out and says "Mexicans are lazy and stupid compared to Americans." Needless to say, she believed herself to be one of the elite. Or as elite as a woman could get, because she invariably described "the perfect man" as being just that, a man.

Speaking of Star Wars, I saw Send in the Clones the other day. It actually had a WHITE TRASH ALIEN. Episode III will no doubt feature an alien with a long feathered headdress who lets out a mighty war cry as he rides his horse-like animal into battle.

-- Kristine Rooks (mbkrooks@bellsouth.net), June 03, 2002.


Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

Oh yeah, and Senator Ladeedada gets her clothes ripped off in incredibly ludicrous fashion.

-- Kristine Rooks (mbkrooks@bellsouth.net), June 03, 2002.

Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

Wow, an answer from the man himself :D Thanks for taking the time to read and respond!

Concerning the last paragraph you wrote, that's one of the things that's always drawn me to Ăon Flux: not some big overblown, clean-cut struggle between cosmic moral forces, but simply the struggles between inherently limited and flawed human beings. Trevor and Ăon represent people who are acting altruistically within their own moral codes, and the struggles and negative consequences that result from this behavior stems from their different perceptions of "good," "evil" and other abstractions, and the basic human flaw of only being able to fully perceive their own goals and ideals. The persistence and degree of their struggle results from their mutual strength of will, channeled through different moral drives (Ăon's personal drive vs. Trevor's wide ideological drive). In the end, each one is as susceptible to the influence of flawed human constructs - from institutions and societal norms to philosophical and moral fabrications to basic semiotic and psychological expectations - and is apt to fall prey to their own psychological and emotional flaws. We have characters who are fundamentally, identifiably human instead of simple personality constructs based on the moral construction of the fiction itself. And that is what makes me identify with the characters and world of Ăon Flux more than most other SF out there.

Have you ever read anything by the late SF author Philip K. Dick? His use of flawed, identifiable human characters to expose and speculate on larger issues is one of the most characteristic and enthralling traits of his fiction, and it enhances his novels in a way that nothing else could. He's my favorite SF author and probably my biggest influence in fiction as a whole :)

Again, thank you very much for the response :)

-- Brian Davis (ubik@purdue.edu), June 04, 2002.


Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

Yeah, but i find it hard to believe that no one in the goddamn MTV building understood that Flux was modifying the word "Aeon" to make it mean that the change implied by "flux" was to the will of god(s), rather than to the characters.

Actually, wait, this is the same company that forced its will on the production team and altered the content of the work to suit their views. Suddenly a lot more becomes believable... Dogmatic decrees from up above, demanding the change of heretical artists? Hell, they aren't jsut similar to organized religion, they ARE one.

skye

"Mtv probably thought the word 'Flux' implied a woman's indecision to be a 'good girl' or a 'bad girl'. Judging by their array of music videos and philosophies espoused therin the probable conclusion of what she was all about was likely based more on her 'sex and cute outfits' than any 'hard to follow' dialog the the A.F. writers penned for their tinnitus hearing ears. For all their trendiness IMHO they have more in common with organized religion than they realize."

-- skye (skyknyt@aol.com), June 04, 2002.


Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

What's the derivation of Mary Sue?

-- Logo (Vosepherus@aol.com), June 04, 2002.

Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

You can learn a-a-a-a-l-l about Mary Sue right here: http://writersu.s5.com/history/marysue.html

-- Kristine Rooks (mbkrooks@bellsouth.net), June 04, 2002.

Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

thanks for that info on mary sue, I've wondered where the term/idea came from.

skye

-- skye (skyknyt@aol.com), June 05, 2002.


Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

"My interpretation of Aeon when she became angry with Trevor (in Sinister End) suggesting the aliens were the human race evolved '(You're lying!)'was that she believed in the bible herself, after all. I'm with her. My interpretation of that ep may be wrong, love to know."

I assumed she was in denial. She was, at least unintentionally to her, forcing her decisions on someone else. That's precisely what she despised in trevor, yet by firing the ray herself, she committed the sin. She doesn't want to admit that she has killed humanity, and punches poor trevor for pointing this out. She goes to check.. And sure enough, she has to see the facts: she really has fired the ray on humans, or at least, what humans have become.

skye

-- skye (skyknyt@aol.com), June 05, 2002.


Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

The Mount Ararat Anomoly is just that, an anomoly. And it is called the Ark because that is what the locals call it, and everyone likes a little bit of the fantastic in their pedestrian lives. As for the shroud of Turin, how can we possibly prove that it is Christ's burial shroud? Do we have sampls of his blood and tissue or finger prints with which to compare it? (and can we confirm that those samples are indeed Christ's) And even if we could prove it was Christ's shroud, that would only prove that he existed and not that he was the Messiah. The bible stories are allegories. It's authors probably took real life events and totally blew them out of proportion to make a moralistic point. For instance, all over the world there are remnants of ancient beaches in what are currently mountain ranges, but this doesn't mean that there was actually a great flood; it's due to a natural change in the earth's geology. Not to mention the fact that the fossil record totally destroys the bible's interpretation of when and how men came about.

-- Logo (Vosepherus@aol.com), June 05, 2002.

Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

Actually, we have pretty conclusive proof the shroud of Turin is only about 700 years old. It was a Catholic scientist who first proved it. As for Bible stories, I would go with the "real life events exaggerated for symbolic purpose" theory. If you read Buddhist scripture about how Gautama Buddha became enlightened, you find a passage saying thousands of warriors shot arrows at him while he was meditating under the tree, and the arrows turned into flowers. A Buddhist monk or nun would tell you "That didn't really happen. It's a symbol. It means that adversity and suffering are indespensible teachers for reaching enlightenment."

-- Kristine Rooks (mbkrooks@bellsouth.net), June 05, 2002.

Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

Barb, I'm not sure I'm reading you right-- are you saying the Bible shouldn't be on that list because it doesn't promote the belief of Good and Evil as cosmic forces-- or because it isn't a "fantasy story"?

Also, does Aeon's denial that humans had evolved into an unrecognizable form mean that she therefore believes in the Bible? Of course, you're free to read this episode that way if you choose, but I can assure you it wasn't the intent. (It's also a peculiar leap of logic.)

Brian, I've read some Philip K. Dick in the past and have enjoyed it. His work deals with the nature of manufactured experience before the term "virtual reality" got tied inextricably to computers. For that reason, I find his stories have a broader scope of meanings than what cyberpunk I've read.

"Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" (and the movie Blade Runner) is a far more effective story about virtual reality than anything by Gibson. Rather than immerse real humans into a simulated world, he inserts simulated people into the real world. The problem with so many VR stories is that virtual events often lack real-world consequences.

We spend most of our lives in virtual reality, whether we call it that or not. Living in civilized society, our cultural, legal, financial, and moral structures are artificial. Our thought processes are the result of mental conditioning by the schools, the government, and the media. Of course, all this was well portrayed in the Matrix movie.

Update: My Animatrix episode is turning into something of a mini-epic. It will run about sixteen minutes (double the originally planned length). There will be very little dialogue. I'm doing extensive work combining computer generated 3D models with traditional 2D elements. I've been granted pretty much free reign over my material -- more so than what I had at MTV. Most of my crew is here with me in Korea, but I've been very fortunate to also be lent some of the top animators at Madhouse to help me out. The results should be pretty interesting. (Please do not link or quote this info to other sites. This is a Lusenet exclusive. Thanks!)

-- Peter Chung (cretep@earthlink.net), June 05, 2002.


Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

Madhouse and Peter Chung!? Now I can die a happy man since I know nothing will ever top that visual experience.

-- Logo (Vosepherus@aol.com), June 05, 2002.

Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

*Loud squeal of excitement*

-- Kristine Rooks (mbkrooks@bellsouth.net), June 05, 2002.

Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

If I was actually a christian I think Id be very selective of what I treated as true in the Bible. To quote some guy "I dont know whether or not God exists, but I think it would be better for his reputation if he didnt"

-- Sam (janecherrington@paradise.net.nz), June 06, 2002.

Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

Actually in the bible(old testament much more so) corruption seems to range as free as the birds, I wouldnt like to regard either side as being conventionally good. Thomas Paine author of, The Age Of Reason says "It is not a god, just and good, but a devil, under the name of god, that the bible describes." Has anyone come across The Crimes of Jehovah by Mark Mirabello, Ph.D.? Who knew God caused canibalism on 3 different accounts, ie. Leviticus 26:27-29 Ezekiel 5:8-10, & Isaiah 49:26. Mirabello notes "Old Testament law, which carefully regulates diet, does not specifically exclude human flesh". Heres a funny one: "Degrading his priests: Jehovah threatens to smear excrement on the faces of his priests. -Malachi 2:1-3". News Flash!! "Jehovah sells childeren into slavery -joel 3:8" This just in! "Jehovah causes human sacrifise: first born childeren were the burnt offerings - Ezekiel 20:25-26" hey "Jehovah causes genocide" -can be found on several passages. Hell!? "Jehovah kills other gods -Isaiah 26:13-4" Mirabello's list go's on and on.

Hey mabey there is no good and evil, only power. It seems that in Bible Wars, strong is the 'power' of the Darkside.

-- Sam (janecherrington@paradise.net.nz), June 07, 2002.


Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

"Hey mabey there is no good and evil, only power. It seems that in Bible Wars, strong is the 'power' of the Darkside. "

Hence the gnostic's decision to regard "god" as a facade for the demiurge, a powerful being with evil intentions trying to look good. This actually confused me about the episode "the Demiurge" because I really felt for it, despite my atheism. Was the name meant sarcastically? Or was it implying that the Demiurge was a facade for "god?"

skye

-- skye (skyknyt@aol.com), June 15, 2002.


Response to ├Ţon Flux and Ayn Rand...

Trevor is no Howard. Roark is no Goodchild. In fact, antithesis to the "Aeon Flux" character, Roark is a Good-MAN who fights for his individualism in the face of collectivist thuggery. While it could be said that Aeon reflects the passionate and intelligent Dominique, it would be an insult to suggest that Dominique would offer even a nano-second's consideration to a tragically flawed character like Trevor. Sex, in the context of The Fountainhead, is a rational expression of self-esteem - something Trevor wouldn't recogonise if it knocked on his door and said "Fuck me." Read the book, folks, and stop this drivel.

-- Michael G Jameson (westernglenn@hotmail.com), September 03, 2002.

Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

I get the feeling I've stepped on the toes of a hard-line Objectivist here.

I was not at all saying that Flux and Goodchild are IDENTICAL to Francon and Roark. Quite the contrary, they have a great number of differences between them, especially given the extraordinary disparity between the creative intent and attitudes of their respective creators.

It's certainly true that Goodchild, as his name indicates, has some childlike tendencies: his relentless curiosity, his insecurity and his rather self-indulgent altruism having the most impact on his character. But to say that Goodchild couldn't possibly have any knowledge of self-esteem whatsoever is very much an overstatement. Goodchild isn't the most relentlessly confident and assertive individual, given, but he is light-years ahead of characters such as the cowardly Ilbren or the almost entirely passive Bargeld. And within the context of Ăon Flux, which doesn't reduce characters and situations to black-and-white ideological rhetoric like Rand's works, characters can easily be as multifaceted and contradictory as Goodchild without breaking the mold of their fictional microcosm. Within the universe of AF, Goodchild is head and shoulders above the average citizen in many respects, and as a counterpart to Ăon he works spectacularly. It's true that Dominique probably wouldn't offer Goodchild so much as a pittance of attention unless it was to her benefit, but she again represents the far end of the spectrum in the ideologically clean-cut world of The Fountainhead.

What one must understand is that Chung and Rand wrote entirely different moral stipulations into their respective universes. While Rand's universe only recognizes self-reliance and individual accomplishment (whether at the expense of others or not) as morally correct, and creates very contrasting and definite moral boundaries, Chung's universe in AF has no inherent moral boundaries and, as such, can ascribe a more vast and varied myriad of attributes and attitudes to its characters. Thus, while Goodchild and Flux may be more flawed and inconsistent than Francon and Roark, their actions make sense within their respective contexts. I was comparing the implications of willpower and strength on their personal interactions and relationships, nothing more.

I definetely have to take issue with the statement that sex in Rand's world is "a rational expression of self-esteem," as you put it. The very first sexual encounter between Roark and Francon in the novel is about as irrational as I can conceive - how is the act of rape in any way a positive expression of self-esteem, for either party? The book explicitly states, "He did it as an act of scorn. Not as love, but as defilement." And although it's been several years since I last read the novel - and correct me if I'm mistaken here - I recall Francon being rather passive yet manipulative in her sex life, which does not at all strike me as an act of esteem for oneself or others. Both acts are self-serving, but are in effect contemptuous of both the self and others, which is distinctly the opposite of self- esteem.

And whether you agree with the arguments made in this thread or not, you are obligated to at least respect them as genuine intellectual debate instead of "drivel" as you put it. Such an arrogant tone won't help your argument nor gain you any respect (on a personal note, though, I've unfortunately seen very few Objectivists give credence to any opposing or dissenting opinions).

-- Brian Davis (ubik@purdue.edu), September 04, 2002.


Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

On this thread or in general?

-- Sam (janecherrington@paradise.net.nz), September 04, 2002.

Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

-- 3wqu0[er5u8-he4598dr6p upgxhrh6 m,/xDFBXCOKAYILLWAAAAAAAAAAIT

-- MARS (artian@charter.net), September 04, 2002.

Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

OK but I can say this much to you mr.Jameson-I'd say that in AEON FLUX it's all about two people (or more) who can't seem to get it straight - finding themselves in this Clean Cut Cartoon Cel- Vynilloid - painted Perfect Worlds' War IV.

Maybe AEON FLUX is about an Antiheroine who doesn't need a hero. Is that what you need, Mr. Jameson? I know I don't.

But we're not on the same page here are we...

-- MARS (artian@charter.net), September 04, 2002.


Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

""& THAT's wud I'm tawken abat!! Sombodez' selfESZTEEEEEMB tuh nawken meeyup & sez, " FOKMEH, DADDEYEH, FOKMEH FOKMEH BIGDIMOHyEEEEEEEhhhhh!!!!"

So, uh I um zorro u'm sbozduh figyer ya no dit aphduh awl yuhgadda figgore BREGNA apparently ain' so Bauhaus Roarke no SOCIAL ARCHITECT; Dizzney/EPCOT , no PANACEA after awl, aw, SHUCKS mr. Jameson SHUCKS!

I meen, kummon, now mr J thod we wuz all on DELLEBIZZUN(television)........

I Meen, SHEEEEP.

So, Mr. Jameson you discover o your embarrassment for us all that indeed yer Mr. Trevor Goodchild is TRAGICALLY flawed? Or that AEon might prey on his STRATEGICAL flaws or vice/versa?

Huh. No SHT HOLMES Trv. no "G-MAN" Trevor might want YOU to believe HE really believes that but oh, NOOOOO - No you fool Trevor Mr. Goodchild as we get a fkn clue heer 's a TOTALITARIAN NERDOID whose "issues" are conspicuous by their amputations - Trevor Goodchild is a mercenary yupmeister from fkn HELL dys-guised as a teflon Stalin HEEEE-roid oKAAAAYY

Oh - I forgod awmozd - Yeuh mr J. yuh some trust fund baby with the Rand Corporation yet or whud. Public or Private? (How 'bat jr. cadet. . . )

Ayn Rand and her fkn "OBJECTIVISM" huh. That shit is FUNNY - as in Social Objectification or is that Antisocial Darwinism or yer Disco-Hitler Reaganomics with a humanoid face?

But wait, Mr. Jameson we're still workin on yuh SEXUAL Politix - DOOD, hay

I gadda bogga slash

-- MM (artian@charter.net), September 05, 2002.


Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

I have yet to translate the last post from it's original "Martian"; however, I would tend to agree. Aeon/Trevor are hardly heroic figures; tragic heroes, at BEST, but no Ayn Randian "role models". And, if you ask me, that's just fine.

What's funny about Ayn is her reversal from anti-dominator rhetoric ("Anthem") to a pro-competition, pro-dominator stance (everything after). In attempting to promote "rugged individualism", she winds up glorifying it's opposite: lust for power among the few keeping the "masses" (who are really just a large collection of individuals) down.

-- Inu (paul@nadisrec.com), September 05, 2002.


Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

I have yet to translate the last post from it's original "Martian"; however, I would tend to agree. Aeon/Trevor are hardly heroic figures; tragic heroes, at BEST, but no Ayn Randian "role models". And, if you ask me, that's just fine. What's funny about Ayn is her reversal from anti-dominator rhetoric ("Anthem") to a pro-competition, pro-dominator stance (everything after). In attempting to promote "rugged individualism", she winds up glorifying it's opposite: lust for power among the few keeping the "masses" (who are really just a large collection of individuals) down.

This signifies where Rand's philosophy uttelry breaks down: Not only does Rand believe that only those who believe in Objectivism - ergo, those that follow her - are true individuals, she believes that anybody with individual power has the right and obligation to exercise their power in a way that entirely eschews accountability. Somehow she believed that her stance on individualism justified the greedy, manipulative and utterly destructive actions of large corporations and powerful individuals alike. In essence, the ability of small groups of people to take political and monetary power, and prevent anybody else from taking advantage of it, is a failed mutation of social and economic Darwinism. By that virtue, it actively stifles and destroys the ability of the able individual to make gains, enabling the increasingly lazy, selfish and corrupt class of executives to grow wealthier just by sitting on their laurels, or even actively stealing from the public. Rand's philosophy might work in the same world that Reaganomics and "trickle-down" economics would work, but we all know where those got us. The fact is, the present social and economic systems only reluctantly allow individual willpower to prevail without deception, manipulation and the blatant harm of the "weaker," and Rand's ubermensch would have to stoop to the most harmful and reprehensible of practices to truly gain any real success. Yet Rand believes that the true individual should and must exist without any sort of accountability whatsoever, which could only lead to a destructive regression in social structure and responsibility.

On a more personal note, I could never entirely have faith in a woman who had to logically argue somebody into going down on her in the first place. ;)

-- Brian Davis (ubik@purdue.edu), September 06, 2002.


Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

"Sex, in the context of The Fountainhead, is a rational expression of self-esteem - something Trevor wouldn't recogonise if it knocked on his door and said 'Fuck me.' "

--- Michael G Jameson (westernglenn@hotmail.com), September 03, 2002.

You know, I have to admit, though, for my own sake that this quote has just been sending me into spasms, intermittently, for several days.

After some refraction, I must say that also I, now, wonder myself whether sex, in the context of AEON FLUX, were some/every/any thing/object/subject Trevor would recognise even if it knocked on his door and said, "Fuck you!"

I think he would have gone for whatever AEon wanted to have to do with him - crashing the party right through the fkn window, especially - had it not been for Sybil all falling to pieces.

-- (tryin' ta be) SYBIL (artian@charter.net), September 11, 2002.


Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

"Aeon/Trevor are hardly heroic figures; tragic heroes, at BEST, but no Ayn Randian "role models". And, if you ask me, that's just fine."

Precisely. Having any "perfect" characters in the context of Ăon Flux would totally shatter the flawed humanity and moral ambiguity that define the show. Imperfect humans are the only characters that can truly persist in the context of AF, and I wouldn't have it any other way. They make the characters more believeable, more dynamic, easier to empathize with, and more interesting overall.

-- Brian Davis (ubik@purdue.edu), September 16, 2002.


Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

What about the Demiurge? It was perfect, yet sympathetic at the same time.

-- Logo (Vosepherus@aol.com), September 16, 2002.

Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

Aeon was pretty adverse to that.

-- Sam (janecherrington@paradise.net.nz), September 16, 2002.

Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

Thank you, Brian Davis. (..., again...)

-- Mark Mars (artian@charter.net), September 16, 2002.

Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

Yeah, but dig that music.

-- Sam (janecherrington@paradise.net.nz), September 17, 2002.

Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

coincidences! today i've spent 4 hours looking for information on ayn rand, and through some weird thought connection i was reminded on aeon flux... which brought me here... and the first thing I see is a discussion concerning ayn rand...

speaking of ayn, anyone read g.a.s. by matt ruff?

-- kai (hyperhunter@bjork.de), October 15, 2002.


Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

Well, I must say that i have enjoyed this entire discussion of Ayn Rand and Aeon Flux. Since there have been no Ayn Rand scholars to clear things up, i find myself obligated to contribute to the discussion. The relationship between Roark and Francon, i.e. the sexual relationship, is not a form of altruistic or ubermensch submission. Roark see's Francon as his equal, moreso than anyone he has met thusfar in his life. The same applies to Francon and her thoughts regarding Roark. Their interactions before the sexual encounter provide both characters with the knowledge of their opposites philosopies, morals, and ideals. While their sexual encounter may be seen as Francons submission to Roarks supremisy of ideals and the embodiment thereof, Francon's submissive actions the direct effect of her connection to Roark. Roark portrays everything she herself knows and believes as true, this allows dominique to enjoy the sexual encounter, offering no resistance because she see's no reason to. Roark's actions of seizing Francon and somewhat forcibly interacting sexually with her are in no way related to rape. Roark as a man of action does only what he deems nessecary and beneficial for the continuation of his own life, as we see as a key factor of both the novel and Objectivism, Rand's philosophy. Roark has sex with Francon because she is the only person worthy of his desires, and conversly, this all applies to Francon also. When comparing this philosophy to Aeon Flux, one must first look at the basis of the philosophy in question. Objectivism is based around only several key axioms. The most important, and apparent in this situation, is what Rand calls, The Virtue of Selfishness. This has nothing to do with what is commonly thought at the mention of the word Selfish. The virtue of selfishness is based around the belief that the primary goal in life, above ALL others, is to continue living... as is apparent in our bodies unconscious sustainment of our vital systems. All actions taken by the individual in question must first meet this goal of the continuation of ones life. Without even going further into Rands philosphy, we already see an obvious contradiction to Aeon Flux. Aeons death is nearly always the result of her own actions . . . Howard Roark would never find act the way Aeon does, for he would be overly concerned for his life before the possible social rewards for his actions. Aeon, as Chung stated in his generous contribution to this discussion, is very altruistic, that is, to say that she is very self-less, or the opposite of Roards selfishness. Aeon's goals are both self motivated and socially routed, and very much so not that of a pure objectivist. One may, however, see an interesting twist upon Rands philosophy in Aeon Flux. Any action taken by any individual EVER, may be type- cast into a philosophical category. One might say Aeon relates to several other philophies just as we as she does to Objectivism. Aeon's character and her enviroment create a very complex philosophical ordeal. This, i feel, is the heart of the show. I'm not sure of how to sum this all up into one nice and tidy package, so i won't try, i'll just offer my understanding of Ayn Rand and hope that it enlightens and intrigues further discussion of the topic. Thansk...sorry that was so long.

-- mike siciliano (mds362@psu.edu), December 16, 2002.

Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

I had planned to write a nice screed here lambasting Rand and the sort of folks who think she's a philosopher, but then I realized there's no damn point. This thread's a coupla months old. More importantly, the only thing that cures a Randite is time and experience. I'll just nudge ya in the right direction by suggesting that if you're wondering how Rand came up with those crazy schemes, you should try reading a biography or two. Provided you don't pick up a Randite Paean, you can see how a stressful and challenging life twisted a woman who could have been a serviceable if verbose novelist into a mad tyrant of pseudophilosophy.

By the by, though, as a semi-architect myself, I thought you might like to know what happens to bright eyed go-getters who walk into an Architecture school saying they want to be just like Howard Roarke. First they provide endless hours of entertainment to grad students and upperclassmen alike. Then they either come to their senses or flunk out. If they're hard-headed and fortunate enough to go a conservative school, they might find a happy ending over at the economic school.

-- Charles Martin (bebop432@earthlink.net), March 06, 2003.


Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

Ack! Then I see that I missed the most important service I could perform here. Sorry I didn't see your post, Kai - I'll expand on it a touch.

Matt Ruff is a great young novelist who's written a spectacular novel called Sewer, Gas, & Electric. It's a sci-fi comedy thriller kind of thing. It's set in 2023, which means Ruff is taking a shot at predicting how my generation will screw up the world. SGE is hilarious and smart and also thought-provoking. Definitely well worth a read if you're any kind of sci-fi fan.

SGE is germane to this thread because one of the protagonists winds up with Electronic Philosopher - a holographic reconstruction of Ayn Rand in a hurricane lamp. She takes a proper lambasting in the course of the story.

I liked SGE a hell of a lot. It's terribly interesting stuff; I spent a lot of fun time doing sketches of characters and fixtures from the book. Somehow I think this is one of those novels that pops up in the sci-fe section, hangs around for a coupla months, then disappears into remaindered hell. It deserves a lot better, folks, try and track it down.

-- Charles Martin (bebop432@earthlink.net), March 06, 2003.


Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

Skimming through the old threads, yo. Thought I should mention that about six months ago I read The Ayn Rand Cult by Jeff Walker. Morbidly fascinating stuff. I've decided that Rand was so severely demented that she could only have been the product of a childhood of intense physical, mental, and probably sexual abuse, repressed out of memory and unconsciously re-enacted.

-- LavenderGray a.k.a. Frostbite (mbkrooks@bellsouth.net), March 02, 2004.

Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

Incidentally, about mike siciliano's comments: If you look up "altruism" in the dictionary, it means "regard for the welfare of others." It has nothing to do with making decisions based on what other people think, with being conformist or obedient. Any intelligent person dislikes conformity and supports altruism. Rand used "altruism" in a dishonest, doublespeak way, probably intentionally. She tried to tie the idea of "regard for others' welfare" with the idea of "doing what other people tell you." She used the phrase "living for society" to blur the two concepts together because it's an ambiguous phrase which could mean either one. In fact the two have nothing to do with each other. Rand was an extremely hateful and sadistic individual, and cast about for a philosophical justification for her behavior. This use of doublespeak was apparently the closest she could find.

-- LavenderGray a.k.a. Frostbite (mbkrooks@bellsouth.net), March 02, 2004.

Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

How's your novel coming?

-- Ashly Kehl (stefburk@metrocast.net), March 02, 2004.

Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

I'm appromimately 1/3 finished with the rough draft. I still have absolutely no idea what to do to get this thing published, so I'll have to ask my English professors.

-- LavenderGray a.k.a. Frostbite (mbkrooks@bellsouth.net), March 03, 2004.

Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

A definition for altruism is:

"Zoology. Instinctive cooperative behavior that is detrimental to the individual but contributes to the survival of the species."

-- Sam (janecherrington@paradise.net.nz), March 03, 2004.


Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

In zoology, maybe. The word might have a different definition in a certain kind of scientific discourse. I don't know. The world "unique" for example means unusual in everyday usage but in mathemtical theory means that there exists only one of something.

-- LavenderGray a.k.a. Frostbite (mbkrooks@bellsouth.net), March 03, 2004.

Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

I just figured "altruism" as it is defined within zoology is relavent, because were all animals anyway.

-- Sam (janecherrington@paradise.net.nz), March 04, 2004.

Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

It's just a different definition of the word. Like, again to use a math example, obtuse meaning stupid and obtuse meaning greater than 95 degrees. There's a difference between "regard for others' welfare" like throwing a life-ring to somebody who's drowning, and "instinct of self-destruction and species preservation" like a creature that mates until it dies from exhaustion.

-- LavenderGray a.k.a. Frostbite (mbkrooks@bellsouth.net), March 04, 2004.

Response to ├ćon Flux and Ayn Rand...

Haha, good example. Yeah, I understand that different definitions of words make for different meanings, and that altruism has at least 2 defined seperate meanings. However, my instincts would tell me to help someone who's drowning in front of me, and if I was the right species of mouse or whatever, they'd have me make babies untill it killed me. You may or may not find the merit in occasionaly applying a zoological perspective onto humans. I simply posted that definition because I thought it might be found interesting.

-- Sam (janecherrington@paradise.net.nz), March 07, 2004.

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