Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Objectivist Rhapsody

Is This the Real Life?

Over this Independence Day weekend, Stephen, the girls, and I made a little road trip south to the Atlanta Objectivist Society’s first Mini Conference (AOSMCON).  The family went down to Georgia. We were looking for some Objectivists to meet (not quite as catchy as the CDB version).  And meet them, we did: All but one, for the first time.

It’s an interesting phenomenon, probably not too unlike a series of Victorian letters, when the post was the only reliable means of long-distance communication, that folks who’ve never met in real life can somehow know each other through their writing. Sure, we can post pictures, and carry on a bit of a dialogue through our blogs, but meeting in real life definitely puts the feather in my cap of these friendships.

Meeting (and staying with) Rational Jenn and her family, and Kelly Elmore was definitely the highlight of my trip. But we also met lots of other Objectivists (who don’t blog! – can you imagine?) who were wonderfully warm, interested in ideas, and living their own lives to the fullest (Hey, Dawn!). They were eager to share their areas of expertise, their homes, and their time with all the MiniCon attendees.

For an excellent summation of events that practically matches my own, see Rational Jenn’s post.

Is this Just Fantasy?

Back at home, I had my second aerial silks class.  Despite my vaunted one and a half pull-ups at AOSMCON, grace and fluidity continue to elude me. 

I looked like a sweaty cow in my poses, and my friend and daughter looked like ballerinas.  Sweaty ballerinas, but ballerinas nonetheless.

Katy in standard back-breaking
foot lock wrap pose.

I have a few pictures, and let’s just say that my oldest child, who shall remain nameless, after looking at them and laughing, said, “Mom, can’t you just Photoshop your ass?”  No joke. Last week the instructor, Phil, tried to encourage me by saying, “At this point, it’s all in the legs.  Clearly you have the power. Use it.”  And with that warning:

I call this "Struggling Angel
in Candy Cane Wrap" pose.

Remember, this was in 100 degree weather inside an old mill building. It was hot!  Too hot to eat, in fact, and on my way to class I recounted my nutritional intake of the day: one cheesestick. I was happy just to make it up the silk.  Speaking of which, below is my favorite picture: Phil, who, by the way, does have gymnasts spandex pants on, is clearly concerned about my safety here (nice framing, Katy). 

He is actually a very good-natured and encouraging coach as well as excellent aerial silk performer. 

Caught in a Landslide

And then there is the AOSMCON Twitterfest.  If you’re a Twitter user, you can read all about everyone’s favorite minicon moments by collecting tweets using the hashtag #FavMiniConMoments.  On the way home from Georgia, I figured out how to post pictures and tweet from my phone, so that was exciting, (even though now my phone seems to be broken). Those you may be able to find using #RoadTrip, but who knows what you’ll collect. Frankly, I don’t seem to be able to collect tweets by hashtags anymore (could yesterday) so it’s clear that I’m not a real Twitterer, just an occasional, recreational user. 

If you are so inclined to follow this recreational user, you can find me here.

No Escape from Reality

The purpose of all of the above efforts is to live my life in the best way I can. I want to be happy and celebrate living every day.  This doesn’t mean that I am immune to the problems around me. In fact, part of what I described above is in keeping with my commitment to attempt to change things around me for the better.  

Through AOSMCON, I was able to review some important epistemological ideas (which, frankly, continue to confuse me, but I’m going to take my time re-listening to the lecture), have some beautiful poetry read to me, get tips on increasing blog readership, learn some paleo cooking tips, attempt and succeed in a brief, but nonetheless grueling, crossfit workout, and make new friends, all of which support my philosophy for living.

Through the aerial silks class, I’m trying to train my body to move in ways it’s not used to in order to make it work better for me.  And I’m having fun (when I’m not being “quitty” like last night). That, and seeing my butt in photos, really helps motivate me to keep moving. Geesh.

Through the Twitterfest, I found a post of simple ideas for activism (compiled poolside at OCON) that I really like.  As soon as this heatwave breaks, I’ll be proudly sporting my “Who is John Galt, y’all?” t-shirt everywhere I go!  Until it smells bad. I might also have to do some type of Flashdance alterations.  I don’t yet know.  But you can be sure, that’s only the first step.  

I’ve unlocked my tweets, will post more Objectivists things on my Facebook, and not be shy about talking about Objectivism.  It’s not solely about politics, but as I understand the morality of capitalism I need to be able to explain it well, especially these days.  When I hear about epistemology, it makes perfect sense to me, but I need more academic work, reading, and writing about it in order to better understand it before I could attempt to discuss its importance. And so I go on trying to improve myself and, by extension, the world.       

The reality is that this is my one life, folks.  I’m making the most of it, not by making claims on the lives of others, but by sharing, by agreement, in the bounty of individual human achievements, one of the greatest of which is Ayn Rand's Objectivism.


Unknown said...

Hey, Lynne! (I'm e-waving to you.) What an awesome and inspiring post! Thanks!

Lynne said...

Yay! I'm glad you liked it.

It was a good weekend. We have a lot more to talk about. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Shea Levy said...

Hi Lynne!

If you have any questions while re-listening to the lecture, please feel free to ask. My talk was directed at a pretty wide audience and I may be able to clarify things in a way that I couldn't there. I'm really glad you found the ideas important!

Lynne said...

Thanks, Shea, I will.

Just because the ideas sometimes make my head want to explode doesn't mean I can't appreciate the importance of understanding them.

(And you can sing with us, anytime!)

Stephen Bourque said...

Good post! I love how you injected the lyrics to Bohemian Rhapsody as a sort of counterpoint to the material.