Movies Left and Right

There is a movie and a cable mini-series that I am looking forward to viewing in the near future. One is inspired by a diehard libertarian and the other by an unabashed liberal.

I cannot wait to see both.

Today, the first part of the popularized version of Atlas Shrugged hits theaters. As many of you know, Atlas Shrugged is based on Ayn Rand’s objectivist philosophy. This philosophy combines unapologetic views of free market capitalism and extreme social Darwinism, combined with atheistic religious and social views. It can sometimes be cold as it measures individuals almost exclusively by what they produce.

On Sunday, HBO will launch a mini-series of George R.R. Martin’s popular A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy series. The first book of the series is A Game of Thrones. While I am a voracious reader of this series, I am frequently irritated by its author’s left wing politics. That said, the books are fantastic as is the first segment of the HBO series below (Warning: there are two decapitation scenes, so watch at your own peril).

Vodpod videos no longer available.

My personal view on both books is that Ayn Rand’s vision captures the way society works fairly accurately, but her characters tend to be wooden and idealized. The methods the book’s antagonists use to consolidate power chillingly remind me of the arguments many Democrats use to justify more entitlements and increased taxes.

George R.R. Martin, however, tends to have far more realistic characters. Few of them are good, and most of them ruthlessly pursue their own interests. In my personal experience, people tend to behave in this manner pretty consistently, particularly in business.

Either way, I am looking forward to seeing both of these productions.

About Sean Patrick Hazlett

Finance executive, engineer, former military officer, and science fiction and horror writer. Editor of the Weird World War III anthology.
This entry was posted in Business, Finance and Economics, Media, Politics and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Movies Left and Right

  1. pino says:

    On Sunday, HBO will launch a mini-series of George R.R. Martin’s popular A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy series.

    Never heard of this. And I’m a D&D Geek from WAY back.

    We just interviewed a dozen kids graduating from college. I support teams that fix broken networks. As such, I need “game theory” kinda folks. I almost asked them each who E. Gary Gygax was.

    • D&D!

      My grandparents bought me my first D&D set. Then my parents told them that kids playing the game were killing themselves and my grandparents felt guilty.

      Turns out that by nerding it out playing D&D when I was between 8-12, I learned Algebra without even knowing it. Turned out to be a pretty beneficial game for developing my mathematics skills.

      Alas, then computers started doing everything for people and the game lost some of its luster…

      • pino says:

        Then my parents told them that kids playing the game were killing themselves

        My aunt, my mom’s sister, said the same thing. My mom told her to go to hell! HAHAHA

        That game kept me home at night and on weekends, taught me conflict resolution, cooperation, puts and takes and even some morals and ethics.

        What a time!

  2. pino says:

    Have you seen either yet?

    • Unfortunately, no.

      Cable is far too expensive where I live, so I cancelled it in 2007. It is cheaper just to wait for it to come out on DVD and buy it then.

      I may see Atlas shrugged though at some point in the near future.

  3. V. R. Kaine says:

    Missed the premiere of Game of Thrones. Thankfully, though, there’s HBO on Demand. 🙂

    Looking forward to seeing Atlas Shrugged.

    • I will probably wait until its on DVD and then buy it. I cancelled cable in 2007 and never looked back.

      HBO is WAY too expensive in Northern California (>$200 per month for a cable package with it).

      I may see Atlas Shrugged in theaters. We’ll see.

  4. nickgb says:

    Fair to say that Ayn Rand’s philosophy rocks your boat but not her writing, while the reverse for Martin? Personally, I’d never see a movie based on or involving what I considered bad writing, regardless of the philosophy. But I can definitely ignore a philosophy I’m not down with in order to enjoy well-written or well-directed scripts, which is why I was a big 24 fan early on (before it jumped the shark).

    Watching Game Of Thrones now, though I never read the books and am coming at it with fresh eyes. Almost finished with the first episode, it’s rich enough to keep me engaged. I’m reading Patrick Rothfuss’s second book right now, so the large scale and fleshed-out cultures are right up my alley. Have you read his stuff yet?

    • nickgb,

      I think you got it right. I haven’t seen the HBO version of Martin’s book yet, but if it is anything like them, you will not be disappointed. Without spoiling anything, I must say that Tyrion is my favorite character. What I really like about Martin’s world is its sheer cruelty. From watching the trailer for the second episode, I am guessing Bran had his fall. Very twisted stuff.

      I will check out Rothfuss. If you like world-building, also check out Robert Jordan. Not as good as Martin on drama, but he’s developed a much more intricate world. Thanks for the recommendation!


      • nickgb says:

        The nice thing about Rothfuss is his hardcovers sell for $15 or so and are 600-1000 pages. The bad thing about Rothfuss is that the third book won’t come out for another couple years probably. Also, a friend of mine didn’t like them because he found the main character to be “too perfect”, which didn’t bug me at first but ever since it’s glaring.

        Bran had his fall. Damn. If he’s going to kill that dire wolf puppy when he hits the ground, I’m gonna be some kind of blue. I was a little distracted while watching, which was a mistake as I’m a little bad with the names now, but New Boromir (Lord Stark?) is an early favorite.

        As for D&D, I can only hope you’ve heard the Dead Alewives comedy bit on it. Here, I found it for you as a present.

  5. Thanks for sending this! I’ve seen this version (, but never heard the intro before, which was in the version you sent.

    As for the Martin books, he has a nasty habit of killing off or maiming major characters just when you start to like them…

    Like Rothfuss, Martin takes FOREVER to write his books. There are four in the series and I think he published the last book in 2005. The fifth book is slated to come out in July.

  6. pino says:

    On Sunday, HBO will launch a mini-series of George R.R. Martin’s popular A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy series.

    Most excellent recommendation! We just saw Lord Stark get ambushed at the brothel.

    Good stuff.

    • Just wait until the “red” wedding…but not until season 2 or 3…

      The thing I love about this series is you just never know who will die.

      It’s the most realistic fantasy I have ever seen.

      I don’t have HBO though, so I see it with a friend once every two weeks. We watch two episodes in a row that always seem to end too quickly.

      BTW, I am calling it now.

      Tyrion is the best character by far.

  7. Vern R. Kaine says:

    I’m still trying to follow/catch up with the whole plot/storyline of GoT. Liking it more and more with each episode though. HBO is King.

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