Editor’s Desk, Jan-Feb, 2006
Okay, folks—lighten up, now. I’m sure that when you first saw the cover, you wondered if you had received People or Us by mistake. Or, if we had suddenly “sold out” and decided to join the gossip press, simply in order to increase circulation.
Relax. Our cover is just a lighthearted parody of celebrity magazines, and their breathless headlines about the private lives of the rich and famous.
But in this case, the parody is meant to underscore to a serious point: Ayn Rand has become part of the cultural mainstream.
When A-list, p.r.-savvy movie stars like “Brangelina,” Rob Lowe, and Jim Carrey are no longer afraid to publicly associate their names with Rand and her ideas, you know that something significant has happened. And they aren’t alone. That’s the phenomenon that this special issue of The New Individualist explores in depth.
John Berlau leads off with an up-close profile of TV soap star Tracey Ross —a refreshingly independent woman whose commitment to Rand’s philosophy is deeply personal and unusually thoughtful.
In “ Celebrity Rand Fans ,” I provide an extensive catalog of other Hollywood stars—as well as media icons, sports figures, business moguls, and cultural prominenti—who acknowledge Rand’s influence in their lives and thinking.
Ayn Rand’s most noticeable impact has been in the political arena. She played a vital role in shaping the thinking of political leaders, high-profile judges, and public intellectuals, while also blazing exciting new trails for academics to follow. Ed Hudgins assesses “ Ayn Rand’s Stamp on American Culture ,” and concludes that it has become indelible.
Then, in “ The Randian Fantasies of Terry Goodkind ,” Bill Perry profiles a best-selling fantasy author whose imaginative stories manifest his own profound commitment to Objectivism. Public interest in Rand was fueled during her lifetime by her electrifying public appearances, where she fielded challenging questions and replied with provocative, often surprising answers. In a new book, Robert Mayhew compiles the best of the Ayn Rand Answers. For reviewer Roger Donway, the book brings back nostalgic memories of the heady days at the dawn of the Objectivist movement. I close the issue by explaining patiently to William F. Buckley why reports of Ayn Rand’s death have been greatly exaggerated. (At least, metaphorically speaking.)
Back to our cover. I know that Objectivists aren’t widely known for an uproarious sense of humor. But come on, now—admit it: the cover is hilarious. I told this issue’s production designer, Marla Neville, to give me a parody of People, and she simply hit it out of the park. Thank you, Marla, for exceeding my wildest expectations and delivering me a collector’s item.