Even Libertarians can smarten up


I remember Rush in the 1970s — I even have a couple of their albums (in vinyl, so no, I haven’t listened to them in probably 30 years), but they always annoyed me with that selfish Libertarian pseudo-intellectual crap.

In the Seventies, Peart rankled the rock press with an affinity for libertarian hero Ayn Rand — he cited her “genius” in liner notes, and critics promptly labeled Rush fascists. Rush’s breakthrough mini-rock opera, 1976’s 2112, is, in part, a riff on Rand’s sci-fi novel Anthem. There’s nothing wildly controversial about 2112’s pro-individuality message: It’s hard to imagine anyone siding with the bad guys who want to dictate “the words you read/The songs you sing/The pictures that give pleasure to your eyes.” But Rush’s earlier musical take on Rand, 1975’s unimaginatively titled “Anthem,” is more problematic, railing against the kind of generosity that Peart now routinely practices: “Begging hands and bleeding hearts will/Only cry out for more.” And “The Trees,” an allegorical power ballad about maples dooming a forest by agitating for “equal rights” with lofty oaks, was strident enough to convince a young Rand Paul that he had finally found a right-wing rock band.

But now…

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The hero was the one with the coolest name: Imperator Furiosa!

We just got back from Mad Max: Fury Road.

I was disappointed. Everyone kept telling me it was some kind of crazy feminist movie. I kept waiting for the castrations, the misandry, the “I HATE ALL MEN” shrieks, the long didactic lectures about the superiority of women, and the goddess worship, and it didn’t deliver. Instead, we got a lively action movie with non-stop pacing, and an ensemble of men and women working together as equals, and being equally human…

Oh. Hang on a sec.

I guess that makes it a radical feminist movie. It was pretty good, I recommend it. Just go in expecting what it is, a vivid rapid fire thrill ride that manages to avoid tired tropes, using women as props for men to be manly around, or being patronizing.