You practice the piano not in order to perform but for the sake of practicing the piano. With music, you don’t practice and then one day become a concert pianist. You are that. Practice is as much an expression of that as of practice itself.
I’d been fascinated with Rand since I’d written a story in the New York Times magazine about a competitive championship tournament bridge player who was also an active objectivist and Rand devotee. I had read half of Atlas Shrugged before I got the gist of my role. I really enjoyed the book because of its absurdly reductive philosophy that inadvertently plays on adolescent male narcissism like a jazz saxophone — to draw a connection to the famous Randian saxophonist and economist Alan Greenspan — but it also spoke directly to the adolescent male fantasy of “I’m the only smart one. Everyone is leeching off of me and I’d rather destroy my work than compromise my integrity by being nice to others.” Her moral severity came as a tonic to my cultural relativist upbringing.
The dress in which John Hodgman impersonated Ayn Rand, one of the many magnificent garment-related tales in Emily Spivack’s Worn Stories.
Sehnaz Bac, Stones…