Friday, July 27, 2012

The Romantic Manifesto By Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand, the writer widely known for her best-selling novels: "The Fountainhead" and "Atlas Shrugged," is also a renowned philosopher credited for developing a philosophical system she called "Objectivism."  An advocate of Individualism and free-market capitalism (she grew up during the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia), she is often misunderstood as an extreme Conservative, due to her associations with the Republican Party.  But she specifically clarified her position as follows -- "I am not primarily an advocate of capitalism, but of egoism; and I am not primarily an advocate of egoism, but of reason. If one recognizes the supremacy of reason and applies it consistently, all the rest follows."  She vehemently opposed statism, which she understood to include theocracy, absolute monarchy, Nazism, fascism, communism, democratic socialism, and dictatorship.

In her book, "The Romantic Manifesto," she tackles the subject of "Art," and clearly defines its nature and its place in the order of human endeavor.  I highly recommend it to every Artist (no matter what discipline) as a definitive philosophical treatise on the topic of Art and its purpose in our lives.  Like all philosophical expositions, this aesthetic manifesto suffers from the author's own biases and limitations (photography and cinema were not even considered in her list of Arts) for Ayn Rand is human after all.  But if we are mindful of these minor flaws, we can readily distill the brilliance of her discourse.  Reading it gave me a clearer understanding of my role as an artist, and it also offered me an outline of an ideal to strive for in my own work.

Here is a brief excerpt from the book.  I always marvel at the clarity and the precision of Ayn Rand's statements and definitions:

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Two Legendary Actors Passed Away Last Week

Philippine Comic Dolphy and American Actor Ernest Borgnine

Two favorite actors from my youth passed away last week.  Filipino Actor/Comedian, Dolphy died on July 10 in Manila at the age of 83; and American Actor, Ernest Borgnine died on July 8 in Los Angeles at the age of 95.  Both had long and illustrious careers (in their respective countries) in cinema, television and the stage.  I will forever treasure the wonderful characters they artfully portrayed on television and on film as wonderful memories of my childhood-- particularly John Puruntong (Dolphy) and Quinton McHale (Borgnine), as well as the infinite roles they starred in like: Facundo Alitaftaf (Dolphy), Kapten Batuten (Dolphy), Captain Barbell (Dolphy), El Pinoy Matador (Dolphy), Tansan (Dolphy), Detective Mike Rogo (Borgnine), John Corbis (Borgnine), Sheriff Lyle Wallace (Borgnine), Harry Booth (Borgnine) and the Roman Centurion in Jesus of Nazareth (Borgnine).