1) Tell us who you are and what you do.
I'm an IT consultant, playwright, and poet. In 2015, my comedy, "O'Brien & O'Brian", was part of the New York International Fringe Festival. I also keep up my "Rhyme of the Day" blog, which usually consists of a humorous couplet inspired by some news item.
2) When did you first become familiar with Ayn Rand and her works?
In high school I was a voracious reader of science fiction, so I picked up Anthem, which I liked a lot. I was curious about Rand’s other novels and I picked The Fountainhead to read for an English class assignment. I found it moving, and admired the sense of inevitable logic that followed the twists and turns of the story line. I by no means agreed with her philosophy at this point, since mine leaned toward existentialism. But over the summer I read Atlas Shrugged. It hooked me completely. The story was great—it was science fiction after all, where super-intelligent plotters conduct a social revolution. The intellectual summing-up in Galt's speech was truly substantial. It confirmed many of my perceptions about the world, but challenged so many of my premises at the same time. So I picked up The Virtue of Selfishness, studied it carefully, and began to think the philosophy was worth a try. Rand gave me a lot of rethinking to do.
3) What most interested you or hit you with an “Ah hah!” about Rand’s thinking?
The way in which the assault on reason is shown to walk hand in hand with the assault on freedom, leading together to a degrading of human life.
4) How does her work inspire you today?
She is an outstanding example of someone who refused to shut up, who spoke truth to power, or what passes for power, since truth has a power all its own.
5) Rand wanted us to aspire to a world as it can be and should be. Can you tell us something optimistic you see in the world today or in the future?
We continue to see vast scientific and technological progress, and the scientific worldview continues to take hold around the globe.
John Enright, “Poetry and Freedom,” August 19, 2010.
John Enright, Wild Flowers - A Play. June 2012.