For many people, the books of Ayn Rand are a source of great spiritual, philosophical, and political wisdom. Her readers, furthermore, demonstrate the kind of devotion most writers can only covet from afar. In a show of gargantuan appreciation, one of those devotees recently scrawled the commandment “Read Ayn Rand” across the United States using a GPS tracking device as a makeshift pen, according to World’s Biggest Writing.
In the comments section of the New Yorker’s Book Bench, one quipster has remarked that it is “sad that such a cool thing, and a pretty neat ambition, was wasted on something so frivolous as ‘Read Ayn Rand.’ Unless someone's willing to spell out ‘Don't’ all over Canada.” That made me chuckle, but then I was reading the World’s Biggest Writing a little more closely, in particular the bottom of the page, where links and small thumbnail images of Rand’s books suggest buying her work on Amazon. Below that, the proprietor of the site—reachable at nick at worldsbiggestwriting (dot) com, an email address that suggests he is the same Nick Newcomen who pulled off this nifty stunt to begin with and therefore seems to be talking about himself in the third person on World’s Biggest Writing—has included a note making it clear that “[i]f you click on the above link(s) and buy a product(s) at Amazon.com, the owner of this site will earn a commission.” Then I really chuckled, because I can’t help but wonder if he’s talking about himself in the third person in order to cover his self-interested, entrepreneurial tracks. Oh, he’s so Rand-y!
(Thanks, Book Bench.)