Betsy Speicher

... It's wassup, Bro.

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From the next CyberNet:

DON ERBE spotted the following in the first few minutes of the January 9, 2006 episode of UPN's situation comedy, "One on One."

The show, now in its fifth season, is about Breanna, a college student who lives with her boyfriend Arnaz and also shares the house with several other young people including D-Mack. All three characters appear in this scene that begins with Breanna needing -- and getting -- help with her philosophy midterm.

(CLICK HERE!)

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From the next CyberNet:

DON ERBE spotted the following in the first few minutes of the January 9, 2006 episode of UPN's situation comedy, "One on One." 

The show, now in its fifth season, is about Breanna, a college student who lives with her boyfriend Arnaz and also shares the house with several other young people including D-Mack.  All three characters appear in this scene that begins with Breanna needing -- and getting -- help with her philosophy midterm. 

(CLICK HERE!)

What a remarkable clip! Someone there actually understands portions of Atlas and the philosophy. I wonder who the writer is?

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Fantastic!

Thank you for that link Betsy! That was truly refreshing, and yes, jaw-dropping!

~Carrie~

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Haha thanks Betsy! Not only was that amazing (who would have thought?), but it made me laugh too!

I'd really like to know how people responded to this episode. I'm sure that the Target Audience is high school-college. Most kids that age aren't into philosophy or more serious subjects. But this show makes Atlas Shrugged look like a good and fun book to read.

:o Thanks!

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I'm glad to see the mention of Atlas, as well as a decent number of elements of Objectivism explicitly identified.

But... I've never heard of this show, and the "humor" was pretty bad. Not inspired or creative writing at all. If someone involved with the show gets enough of Objectivism to present what was shown in the clip, surely they could learn to write a show decently. I think most people won't see the show; most of those that do, won't care about the references.

It comes across as blatant preaching tacked on to a C-list sitcom. Would it be any different if Jerry Springer talked about The Fountainhead for five minutes before returning to his usual trash?

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Ed,

I can't speak fully for that show, because I have never seen an episode. But from the clip I saw, I wouldn't compare it to Jerry Springer. It may be childish, but I wouldn't call it trashy.

That's why I stated who I thought the target audience was. It is just a silly show meant for High School and College kids. I don't think it was written for a 40 year old, fully integrated Objectivist Intellectual.

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To stay on topic, I'd like to add what I see as the significant issue. This clip is a prime example of how Objectivism is moving away from an intellectual movement and becoming a cultural movement. It isn't just people interested in pure philosophy who read or know of Ayn Rand. You are now beginning to see her in something as "removed" from the "intellectual" scene as a high school comedy!

Now that's amazing.

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It comes across as blatant preaching tacked on to a C-list sitcom.

My thoughts exactly!

Would it be any different if Jerry Springer talked about The Fountainhead for five minutes before returning to his usual trash?

Or if the Pope read out the Table of Contents of ITOE before giving a speech on the importance of faith.

I think the author's motivation may well have been to discredit Objectivism, but fortunately he won't succeed.

This clip is a prime example of how Objectivism is moving away from an intellectual movement and becoming a cultural movement.

[...]

Now that's amazing.

I agree--whether the author meant this in a good or a bad way, it's definitely a sign that Objectivism is winning! :o

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I was just about to go to bed...., and then I thought, "Awwww, I'll check this out now."

I wouldn't be making this post if I wasn't impressed!!!

Rather than repeating the above.....

I _do_ think this is a good sign, but more to the point,....

I think there _is_ something telling about why the excerpted scene _can not_ be anti-Objectivist, and this is subtle.

....but I have to think about this more...

here's one hint: note the tones/inflections of voice used...

here's another rhetorical question: Are the references to _A.S._ consistent or not?

The nay-sayers are missing the point, and come to think of it.... this vaguely smacks of the criticisms that Dr. Peikoff, et al. had about _Titanic_. (Is that too tangential a reference!?)

I have a lot more to say, but hopefully someone else will say what I am thinking...

THANK YOU, BETSY!

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Perhaps the writing was so awful that the TV executive said to the writer he'd only show it if he had one of his characters quoting Atlas Shrugged, lol!

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The clip I saw showed only the first few minutes. How did the show end? What was the "moral" of the episode?

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here's one hint:  note the tones/inflections of voice used...

I've noted them ... they sound like--Ed put it best--preaching.

Plus, consider this: "If Atlas is holding up the world, then what's he standing on? Unless ... it's upside down!" Just what is that supposed to mean?

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I've noted them ... they sound like--Ed put it best--preaching.

Plus, consider this: "If Atlas is holding up the world, then what's he standing on? Unless ... it's upside down!" Just what is that supposed to mean?

What the actors say and how they say it has to be consistent with the characters of the show. From what I gathered, Arnaz, is not an intellectual who doesn't really take intellectual ideas seriously. I think when he said that comment about Atlas standing on nothing, it was his feeble attempt at trying to be intellectual or a very silly joke. Either way, he was being consistent with his character.

Also, I don't think the author's motivation was to discredit Objectivism at all. When D-mack was talking about how the Philosophy integrates Ethics, Epistemology etc... his tone was very serious and I could hear that the character was conveying genuine interest. Especially when he went off into that tangent, signifying he has been doing some reading on this. And that in itself really contrasted his character with Arnaz's character.

So, I don't think it was to discredit Objectivism at all, but I think it's great that it is coming into the mainstream like that.

tps_fan,

Yes, I think the references to AS were consistent. They were also expanded upon in that show more than any other show like that. Usually, you don't know what the character is reading (from what I've seen). I also noted the inflections, tones you are talking about.

~C~

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I think when he said that comment about Atlas standing on nothing, it was his feeble attempt at trying to be intellectual or a very silly joke. Either way, he was being consistent with his character.

Yes, he was being consistent with his character, and that is precisely the problem.

If the author actually agrees with Objectivism, then he ought to stop writing shows like this, read The Romantic Manifesto, and create some good works of art where the heroes do what they are good at instead of making silly jokes and feeble-and-never-improving attempts at being intellectual.

And I'm not sure you got the significance of the Atlas comment. Try to answer the question--so what does he stand on? If he has nothing to stand on, can he be actually holding up the world, as Miss Rand claims? And if he is not actually holding up the world, that would pretty much undercut the whole plot of the novel, and thereby its message, wouldn't it? ... Now, on the other hand, if we turn the entire picture upside down--if it is not the capitalists on which the great mass of "the world" is resting, but the capitalists weighing down "the world" ...

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Arnaz asking "If Atlas is holding up the world then what's he standing on?" has no undercutting-Objectivism motives, as far as I can see. In fact, from the brief clip, it looked to be establishing that Arnaz doesn't "get it", and leading to the beginnings of a spark of interest in the more intellectual D-Mack. (I've never seen this show in my life, so take my take with a grain of salt.)

Also, as to the claim that a REAL Objectivist would read the Romantic Manifesto and not associate with a show like this, I would say: lighten up. The content of a show is established by the head writer, not an associate writer. The Atlas- reference writer probably got the nod to provide a dialog showing that D-Mack was smart and understood philosophy, probably because the head writer knew that he/she knew about this stuff. This writer's probably happy to have this job, and will probably one day move up to a head writer of something within the industry. Typically you don't sign on to a new job by telling the boss exactly how his department will be run.

And, although the show was not my cup of tea, I didn't find it offensive. Certainly not something an aspiring writer should refuse to sanction by working on it.

And did it sound preachy? A little; I attribute that to the actor not knowing how to deliver this stuff (a smaller version of Gary Cooper trying to deliver Roark's courtroom speech).

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If the title of this episode is "Study Buddy" then it was written by Michelle Listenbee Brown. The episode was first aired on October 17, 2005.

According to IDMB.com, Brown is a producer and writer on the TV series "The Parkers", "Second Time Around" and "One on One". According to the NY Times and IMDB.com, Brown is also an actress who played the character "Ceo" in the movie "State Property 2".

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Yes, he was being consistent with his character, and that is precisely the problem.

I think you are taking this too seriously. Nobody is stating that the show itself is perfect, or "Objectivist" material. That's not the point.

The point is the fact that Objectivism is diffusing enough into our culture that even silly little shows like this one show Objectivism in a positive light conducive to the nature of the show. That's the big deal.

We shouldn't waste our time debating the values and "intellectual" meanings of a non-intellectual show. Instead, we should be rejoicing that Objectivism is spreading to all aspects of our culture.

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We shouldn't waste our time debating the values and "intellectual" meanings of a non-intellectual show.  Instead, we should be rejoicing that Objectivism is spreading to all aspects of our culture.

Amen.

Off hand, it looked to me as if someone (the researcher, if not the writer herself) perused through the Cliff's Notes for Atlas Shrugged and lifted broad statements that were suitable for the show. I imagine the rich kid is intelligent in some way (character consistency), and it seems they only discuss the book for a short time (selection of short, to-the-point statements).

How exciting to see Ayn Rand's philosophy in pop-culture! :o

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We shouldn't waste our time debating the values and "intellectual" meanings of a non-intellectual show.  Instead, we should be rejoicing that Objectivism is spreading to all aspects of our culture.

Hey, I was simply impressed that Atlas was mentioned with a detail about the areas covered by philosophy, even sex!!! And it was in the context of a pop culture TV show!!! Of course Objectivism is winning. And the discussion was more accurate than most mainstream media discussions.

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I've noted them ... they sound like--Ed put it best--preaching.

Plus, consider this: "If Atlas is holding up the world, then what's he standing on? Unless ... it's upside down!" Just what is that supposed to mean?

Sit coms regularly preach. At least this is about something positive.

And as for the second comment - it was a completely innocent joke for goodness sakes! This is not a conspiracy to discredit Objectivism. What an absurd idea.

How exciting to see Ayn Rand's philosophy in pop-culture!  :o

Exactly. I was shocked -- in a good way for once. It's not meant to be a flawless presentation of the philosophy in one minute (thought I was surprised by how well it was presented within such a short time). This is not supposed to be a great work of art either. Those who want or expect great art should create some, rather than complaining about this innocent insertion of Objectivism into a sit com.

Hey, I was simply impressed that Atlas was mentioned with a detail about the areas covered by philosophy, even sex!!!  And it was in the context of a pop culture TV show!!!  Of course Objectivism is winning.  And the discussion was more accurate than most mainstream media discussions.

Yes.

I was momentarily, and really surprised by this very respectful reference on a sit com. But I am much more surprised at the unwarranted negative reactions here. If you want/desire more, this sort of thing is not preventing better things.

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With the millions of copies Miss Rand's works have sold, I think it's not a stretch to say that a majority of Americans have at least heard of Objectivism by now. So the question for me is not mainly whether they mention Ayn Rand anymore, but how they mention her. And when you focus closer on the "how," you'll tend to notice things that might escape your attention when you're only concentrating on the "whether."

To give an analogy: If you hear your two-year-old daughter say meaningful sentences in English, it's natural that you'll be jumping with joy. But when she's already four, you should take the fact that she speaks ... well not for granted, but at least as a given, as an already-known good news, and perhaps it's in order to pay some attention to her grammar and correct her when necessary.

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With the millions of copies Miss Rand's works have sold, I think it's not a stretch to say that a majority of Americans have at least heard of Objectivism by now. So the question for me is not mainly whether they mention Ayn Rand anymore, but how they mention her. And when you focus closer on the "how," you'll tend to notice things that might escape your attention when you're only concentrating on the "whether."

To give an analogy: If you hear your two-year-old daughter say meaningful sentences in English, it's natural that you'll be jumping with joy. But when she's already four, you should take the fact that she speaks ... well not for granted, but at least as a given, as an already-known good news, and perhaps it's in order to pay some attention to her grammar and correct her when necessary.

To make the analogy more accurate, I would say that the four-year-old child is not your daughter -- or mine -- but has grown up with parents who are deaf-mutes, lives in an entire colony of deaf-mutes (Hollywood), and has only recently had some small exposure to anyone who can hear and speak at all, much less properly. It's not only that grammar-checking at that point would be inappropriate (it would) -- but I disagree that there is anything fundamentally incorrect in this child's manner of speaking.

But to leave analogies behind and be specific -- the joke that seems to be the cause of concern was a remark by a character who is clearly not the brightest bulb in the chandelier, and I am sure that this aspect of his character is used in show after show as fodder for jokes. Now you may disagree that this is a proper subject for humor, or is tasteful or whatever, but that is the level of the show.

And his question is just a typical example of his simple way of looking at things. It does not indicate any evil, because the question is perfectly legitimate if one attempts to understand literally the myth of Atlas holding up the world, which is exactly how this kind of character would attempt to understand it. One does not have to enjoy or approve of the show to understand this.

I think the main issue that is being overlooked here is context. It is simply wrong to assume a sophistication of context that is either rare or non-existent in Hollywood.

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