These are a few of my favorite things: #43(Boris Yellnikoff from the Movie ‘Whatever Works’ by Woody Allen)
Sometimes my favorite thing is not a thing but a person,a fictitious person who lives only in a book/movie but is real to me nonetheless…somebody interesting,off-the-wall character with whom I can identify n admire. Howard Roark from ‘The Fountainhead’ by Ayn Rand is one such my all time favorite person. Recently I met another eccentric movie-character ‘Boris Yellnikoff’ from ‘Whatever Works’ by Woody Allen. Boris, who was once upon a time a Professor of Physics specializing in string theory n who now teaches chess to children has is quirky, witty, philosophical, pessimistic & has a cavalier attitude about human beings:
~All great ideas. These are all great ideas, but they all suffer from one fatal flaw. Which is they’re all based on the fallacious notion that people are fundamentally decent. Give them a chance to do right and they’ll take it. They’re not stupid, selfish, greedy, cowardly, short-sighted worms. All I’m saying is that people make life so much worse than it has to be and, believe me, it’s a nightmare without their help.But on the whole, I’m sorry to say we are a failed species.
~The human race. They’ve had to install automatic toilets in public restrooms, because people can’t be entrusted to flush a toilet.
& He has very interesting theories about life:
~There’s an old joke – um… two elderly women are at a Catskill mountain resort, and one of ‘em says, “Boy, the food at this place is really terrible.” The other one says, “Yeah, I know; and such small portions.” Well, that’s essentially how I feel about life – full of loneliness, and misery, and suffering, and unhappiness, and it’s all over much too quickly.
~Everybody’s happy to talk, full of misinformation. Morality, science, religion, politics,sports, love. Your portfolio, your children, health. Christ. lf I have to eat nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day to live,I don’t want to live. I hate goddamn fruits and vegetables.And your omega-3’s and the treadmill and the cardiogram and the mammogram and the pelvic sonogram and, oh, my God, the colonoscopy! And with it all, the day still comes when they put you in a box and it’s on to the next generation of idiots who’ll also tell you all about life and define for you what’s appropriate.
He Doesn’t think twice before insulting anybody, whether it be his chess protege/their parents/his girlfriend…wow that’s so charming n endearing 😀
~Look, you’re a sweet kid. Stupid beyond all comprehension, but you’ll never survive here. You got nothing going for you. Zero, zilch. Ya know, you may be beauty queen material in the deep south, but this is the big time. Here you’re a three. A five maybe after you bathe.
~Boris Yellnikoff : I mean it. I’m a profound and sensitive soul with an enormous grasp of the human condition. It was inevitable you would eventually grow tired of being so grossly overmatched. Greatness isn’t easy to live with, even by someone of normal intelligence.
Melodie Celestine : You’re upset. I don’t expect you to understand. How could you?Boris Yellnikoff : Believe me, if I can understand quantum mechanics, I can certainly comprehend the thought process of a sub-mental baton twirler.
& his ultimate philosophy in life is :
So, basically I liked Boris Yellnioff (Larry David) and his way of thinking n saying the truth without any sugar-coating whatsoever so much that I din’t really care about the story line or the plot.For me it was the guy who ruled!
Finally finished reading ‘Atlas Shrugged‘ by Ayn Rand. I say ‘finally’ because I’ve had to abort the attempt to finish this book a couple of times before. Much as I loved (& still love, ofcourse) Rand’s Fountainhead (which incidentally I’ve read more than a couple of times), I just couldn’t go beyond first few pages of this 1000+ page tome, maybe it was the small print that got me or maybe I don’t connect with the story of Atlas Shrugged in the way I connected with Howard Roark of Fountainhead…I’ve mentioned at more than one place in this blog as to why I just love Roark:
Howard Roark from Fountainhead -tends to be much more interested in what he’s doing than in anybody else’s opinion of what he’s doing. He’s not the part of the crowd but stands majestically alone. An individualist in the truest sense of the word. A man who does things his own way n never anything to please others.He is never out there to win a popularity contest. He is his own man and lives by his own rules. He refuses to join any fraternity. He is not anti-social so much as asocial. He never learned the process of thinking about other people. Nor does he care to. He achieves his top values: self-esteem, happiness, pride, Independence, Egoism, and Achievement.
The Fountainhead portrays individualism versus collectivism, not in politics, but in man’s soul.
Having admired Fountainhead for so long, it’s obvious that I wanted to finish this book too. So when I didn’t see that happening, I caught hold of the Audio book version, put it on my Ipod & listened to the book on my walks & while making lunch.
The book gets it’s title from the Greek God Atlas who literally holds the world on his shoulders…what would happen if one day, he being tired of this burden refuses to keep on doing this??
“If you saw Atlas, the giant who holds the world on his shoulders, if you saw that he stood, blood running down his chest, his knees buckling, his arms trembling but still trying to hold the world aloft with the last of his strength, and the greater the effort the heavier the world bore down upon his shoulders—what would you tell him to do?”
“I…don’t know. What…could he do? What would you tell him?”
This is the premise of the novel…in the novel the world is divided into two types of people: The Producers who have the finest minds & abilities & willingness to put efforts into making things happen, the people who really make the world go round..These people are represented by John Galt, Owen Kellogg, Ellis Wyatt, Dagny Taggart, Hank Rearden, & few others; The looters: those who want to live their life off the fruits of producers’ abilty & efforts while at the same time labeling them as greedy, money hungry & selfish. The looters consist of James Taggart, Orren Boyle, Weasley Mouch & their cohorts. Tired of the way the looters are shifting things in their own favor to enjoy eating the cake that producers are baking, by means of variety of irrational, absurd laws like Anti-Dog-Eat Dog Rule, Equalization of opportunity bill etc, the producers , led by John Galt ( Galt organizes and leads the strike of the mind. He is the inventor & the destroyer of the revolutionary motor) (having had enough of this nonsense which is just coming in the way of their productivity) decide to do the shrugging a la Atlas by quitting one by one (with the exception of Dagny & Rearden).
One of the Best things in the entire 1000+ pages is the John Galt’s Oath which basically summarize Ayn Rand’s philosophy (morality):
“I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.”
In her books , We the Living (1936) , Anthem (1946), The Fountainhead (1943) & Atlas Shrugged (1957), Ayn Rand speaks about the philosophy of objectivism ( that the proper moral purpose of one’s life is the pursuit of one’s own happiness or rational self interest).
Now waiting to catch the recently released movie based on this book.
Other Book Reviews on my Blog:
English Movie Revies on my Blog:
Hindi Movie Reviews on my Blog:
My List of Must Watch Movies (With Reviews)
Know More About Me:
- On the Importance of “Atlas Shrugged” (kylesmithonline.com)
- Review: Atlas Shrugged (ifyoutoleratethis45.wordpress.com)
- Donald L. Luskin: Remembering the Real Ayn Rand (online.wsj.com)
- Reason.tv: Who is John Galt? Behind the Scenes of Atlas Shrugged (reason.com)
- Atlas Shrugged: The Tea Party Movie? (usnews.com)
- New at Reason: Brian Doherty on Atlas Shrugged: The Movie (reason.com)
- “Atlas Shrugged opens April 15th in 14 Illinois theatres” and related posts (illinoisreview.typepad.com)
- Atlas Shrugged Part 1 – Movie Trailer (theoriginalwinger.com)
The book is full of memorable scenes & dialogues. It’s my endeavour to capture all these schzoid vs normal moments from the novel.
Snapshots of a ‘Normal’ person’s life & motives:
(Dialogue between Peter Keating & Dominique : Page 424)
“What do we do tomorrow night?” he asked.
“We have the Palmers for dinner tomorrow night,” she said.
“Oh, Christ!” he moaned.’They’re such awful bores! Why do we have to have them?”
“We have to have the Palmers,” she said, “so that we can get the commission for their new store building. We have to get the commission so that we can entertain the Eddingtons for dinner on saturday. The Eddingtons have no commissions to give, but they’re in the Social Register. The Palmers bore you and the Eddingtons snub you. But you have to flatter people whom you despise in order to impress people who despise you.”
~~The Schizoids seem to have broken this vicious circle of meaningless, boring socialising.