BY JERRY TALLMER | Wonder of wonders. Who could have foreseen that not just one but two Off Off Broadway farces about Ayn Rand, the High Priestess of Selfishness, would be headed our way even as her most talked-about political acolyte, Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, had been selected as baggage-carrier for a presidential hopeful named Willard Mitt Romney?
Well, maybe those strange people could have foreseen it who believe — no, would have us believe — that Barack Obama’s mother could have planted his birth notices in Hawaiian newspapers and places of record a full 50 years before the actual birth, in Hawaii, of her son the actual president.
I doubt if Ayn Rand disciple Paul Ryan is going to squeeze in a quick educational trip to Off Off Broadway just as the Republican National Convention is closing in on him and us, so here, Mr. Ryan, is what you’re going to miss:
1. “Ayn Rand in Wonderland,” a triple ill of short, dirty and very funny plays by and starring actress / writer Hildy Brooks of Hollywood and Greenwich Village, September 6-8 at the American Theater of Actors, 314 West 54th Street, (212) 581-3044.
“Wonderland” takes Ayn Rand from a raucous, based-on-fact appearance before the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities to an even more raucous, sex-and-sneering, fictional encounter with Ernest Hemingway as he and she are waiting in a TV green room to go on the Johnny Carson show.
Payoff line, incredulous Hemingway to Rand, on her boast about “Fountainhead” star Gary Cooper: “You f—– the Coop?”
I once tried to read “The Fountainhead,” by the way, long, long ago. Turned to the rape scene, like everybody else. Thought it trash. Whole book trash. Just last night, on the tube, Ron Reagan, son of Ronald Reagan, spoke of Ayn Rand’s “turgid banalities.” Couldn’t have put it better myself.
Back to Off Off Broadway:
2. “Song of a Convalescent Ayn Rand Giving Thanks to the Godhead,” an entertainment written by Michael Yates Crowley and performed by him and Michael Rau, September 13-20 at IRT (Interborough Repertory Theater), 154 Christopher Street, Apt. 3B, (212) 627-8098.
The only thing I can tell you about this show is that it’s tied to quite a lot of loud music — the kind I believe Paul Ryan goes for. I know he also goes for strict bans on all forms of abortion — for rape by ultrasound — and has sponsored a nationwide bill giving the fetus (every fetus everywhere) “personhood” at the instant of conception, thus making all post-coitus birth control liable to prosecution for murder in the first degree.
What would Ayn Rand have said?
Here, Mr. Ryan, is what she did say (in The Objectivist):
“An embryo has no rights. Rights do not pertain to a potential, but only too an actual being. A child cannot acquire any rights until it is born. The living take precedence over the not yet living (or the unborn).
“Abortion is a moral right — which should be left to the sole discretion of the woman involved. Morally, nothing other than her wish in the matter is to be involved. Who can conceivably have the right to dictate to her what disposition she is to make of the functions of her own body?”
Not I. Not you, Mr. Ryan. Not all the king’s horses and all the king’s men. We know better than that, Off Off Broadway.