Saturday, June 27, 2009

Farrah Fawcett's E-Mail Reveals Ayn Rand Thought Their Sharing The Same Birth Date Had Significance

It appears that Ayn Rand reached out to Farrah Fawcett in the early 1980s to request she consider playing the character Dagny Taggart in a television miniseries version of Rand's epic novel Atlas Shrugged. Ayn Rand first contacted Farrah Fawcett's agents with a personal letter (and a copy of Atlas Shrugged) and they eventually spoke on the phone.

The shocking revelation revealed by Fawcett to Amy Wallace of the Daily Beast months before her death was that Ayn Rand "seemed to think we must have a lot in common since we were both born on the same day: February 2nd".

Dr. Tom Stevens, Objectivist Party Chair, stated he "finds this new information to be of some concern because it reveals that the founder of Objectivist philosophy, which promotes reason, logic and rational thought over faith, superstition, and mysticism thought her having the same birth date as someone else had significance. Believing two people might have ' a lot in common' simply because they were born on the same day of the same month is based on no scientific principle and exhibits faith in mysticism."

Dr. Stevens said, "It might make some logical sense if Ayn Rand thought that someone born in the same year in the same town might have a lot in common because they were exposed to similar socialization and experiences but it makes no sense at all for Ayn Rand to have assumed two women born in different years and different countries would have 'a lot in common' simply because they were born on the same day of the same month."

Stevens said, "No one is perfect and this in no way detracts from the great philosophy of Objectivism that Ayn Rand brought to the world. It is also possible that Ms. Rand threw that line out to Farrah Fawcett just to butter her up without believing their sharing a birth date had any significance at all. We will never know since both parties to that conversation are now dead and we can ask them no further questions about it."

Excerpts from the e-mail interview Farrah Fawcett had with Amy Wallace of the Daily Beast months before her death detailing the relationship she had with Ayn Rand follows:

Ayn contacted me with a personal letter (and a copy of Atlas Shrugged) through my agents. Even though we had never met (and never did), she seemed to think we must have a lot in common since we were both born on the same day: February 2nd....

When we finally spoke on the phone (actually she did most of the speaking and I did most of the listening), she said she never missed an episode of the show. I remember being surprised and flattered by that. I mean, here was this literary genius praising Angels.....

Ayn said that while Angels was uniquely American, it was also the exception to American television in that it was the only show to capture true “romanticism”—it intentionally depicted the world not as it was, but as it should be. Aaron Spelling was probably the only other person to see Angels that way....

She kept saying that someday somebody would offer me a script (and a role) that would give me the chance to “triumph as an actress.” Ayn wanted that script to be Atlas Shrugged and that role to be her heroine, Dagny Taggart....

I remember liking the [Fountainhead] movie because it was unique in that the characters seemed to be the embodiments of ideas as opposed to real flesh and blood people with interests and lives. Now that I think about it, I think that’s why Ayn was drawn to Charlie’s Angels. Because the characters that Kate, Jaclyn and I played weren’t really characters (the audience never saw us outside of work) as much as personifications of the idea that three sexy women could do all the things that Kojak and Columbo did.....

But I also responded to The Fountainhead because, as an artist (a painter and sculptress) myself, I related to the architect’s resistance to make his work like everyone else’s—which was, of course, what Ayn’s own art was all about. And that resistance to conformity is probably one of the reasons that she was so determined to see me play Dagny: At the time I would have been the completely unexpected choice.....

Later, when I read Atlas Shrugged, I was reminded of my first and only conversation with Ayn and how some of the characters in her novel(s) take an immediate liking to each other, almost as if they had always known each other—at least in spirit. And this was the feeling I got from Ayn herself, from the way she spoke to me. I’ll always think of “Dagny Taggart” as the best role I was supposed to play but never did…

Dr. Tom Stevens stated, "I am grateful to Farrah Fawcett for revealing the substance of the conversation she had with Ayn Rand. Whatever was meant, it has now become part of the historical record and future information that comes to light can be checked against it."

6 comments:

  1. I find Rand's comment to be an endearing 'throw-away" line used as a conversational ice-breaker containing nothing of significance in revealing some deeply hidden mystical belief.

    To ascribe significance to this amusing off-hand remark places emphasis on the non-essential.

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  2. What an amusing conclusion to jump to.

    People often entertain mystical connections and may even sing to them as though they signify a deeper meaning but by no means does this mean she believe in numerology, sheesh.

    (not that there's anything wrong with that)

    It would be like saying she was a catholic because she said 'bless you' when someone sneezed.

    She was no doubt courting Farrah for the role and as we've seen in her later acting prowess she would have probably made a decent Dagne.

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  3. The fact that Rand needed and bolstered a certain philosophy reveals her humanity in its vanilla form. I think we get into these arguments about whose religion is correct, whose philosophy is correct, etc. These are trite. Most mature adults understand that what is personal and a belief is not necessarily right or wrong, just a belief. Most all human beings seek a philosophy and Rand was no different.

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  4. Let's judge Ayn Rand based on her hundreds of writings, lectures, and interviews--not based on one comment from a poorly contextualized phone conversation. She made it perfectly clear what her views on mysticism (not to mention contradictions) were.

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  5. Ayn Rand is not perfect. She composed a brilliant philosophy and hundreds of great papers & works. I love it! But not every thing and every action she took was flawless.

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  6. Wow, that email was a great insight into Fara Fawcett and Ayn. Really a great read that reveals a Fara Fawcett I might be sad I missed.

    You focus on a throwaway line that opens it. Not the deep commitment to ideas miss Fawcett apparently had, or her grasp of Ayn Rand's message or her benevolence and understanding.

    No.

    One line. That means nothing in the context of the email.

    Failure sir. Failure.

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