ATLAS SMIZED, or NEW PHONE, WHO DIS JOHN GALT? (2017)
Greetings. It’s me, Ayn Rand.
Being dead for over 35 years has given me a lot to think about, so I’m commandeering this ouija board to share some critical dispatches from the afterlife. You might recall that brevity was never my strong suit. I hope everyone’s already been to the bathroom.
First, much to my fucking chagrin, there’s a heaven. Not the Christian one, but still. I got that one wrong. Also, it turns out that the unsanctioned pursuit of personal happiness at the expense of any and all others doesn’t help your chances of getting in–the opposite, actually–but whoever calls the shots around here has a boner for dystopian fiction so I got a pass on all of those things I said about American Indians and gays.
Second, I thought my funeral was tasteful and well executed. Thanks to all involved.
But what I’m really here to talk about is my undeniable masterwork, my baby, my ребёнок, the prophetic fruit of my loin factory best known as Atlas Shrugged. I’ve noticed that mentions of the book have been popping up–not unlike the gaseous corpse of Uncle Vsevolod after it became untethered from its leg weights and sprung from the depths of Neva Bay like a waterlogged phoenix–and I get why it’s so hot right now. Nothing fills the spank bank of an Alt-Right lemonhead like a Russian-American fist bump, even if one of those fists belongs to a woman.
The problem is the book needs an update. Nobody takes the train anymore. Nobody remembers the myth of Atlas. Nobody knows how to filet the stroganoff-coloured corpse of my so-called “emotionless” prose and get to where the blood’s been pooling. Even Paul Ryan probably just picked it up the book for the naked man on the cover.
I’m contacting you with a solution. I’ve been keeping an eye on pop culture. Yes, even the abstract spirit of a long-decayed skin bag like old Ayn knows a thing or two about what bends an ear in 2017. What this ghost needs is a ghostwriter–a live one. Someone capable of adapting Atlas Shrugged into a streaming TV phenomenon that can get my message to the masses. The people are grovelling for permission to ignore the world’s problems and I–with a little help–can give it to them.
I’ll leave the paint job to you, but here’s the nuts and bolts: Atlas, a 22-year-old quarterback with Martin Shrkeli-good looks, parlays a football scholarship into a successful presidential bid before resurrecting a Russian-American messiah to serve as his startlingly strong-jawed equal.
So, who at this ouija board knows someone at Netflix?