The Politically Incorrect Show - 02/11/2001
In February of this year I brought to fruition a project which had been dear to my heart for some time - SOLO: Sense of Life Objectivists. Objectivism is the philosophy of reason, individualism, freedom & romantic realism formulated by Ayn Rand, the novelist & thinker who said she was challenging the cultural tradition of 2,500 years, that "the purpose of morality is not to suffer & die, but to enjoy yourself & live." The idea of SOLO was to provide a haven for those who took seriously the sense of life - one of Rand's seminal concepts - that such a philosophy presupposes & engenders. Given the nature of existing Objectivist establishments, such people were, philosophically speaking, all dressed up with no particular place to go. SOLO was to be for them. As I wrote at the time, "We want to plant another flower in the garden - small, perhaps, but fiercely, radiantly colourful." The SOLO Forum is testament to our success in doing just that.
In February of NEXT year, I can now happily announce, SOLO will celebrate its first birthday with a veritable orgy of life-affirmation. The first-ever SOLO conference, under the auspices of the Free Radical Foundation, will take place here in New Zealand, from Friday February 22 to Monday Feb 25 - the height of our glorious summer - at the exotic Waitomo Caves Hotel. It will out-glow the famed glow-worms of the caves themselves. As my colleague Peter Cresswell says, "Just think: Summer in NZ while your friends freeze in the States. Sip your pink gin or your Pimms and Lemonade sitting on the terrace of this place that has seen so much turbulent NZ history - and then see if you can drink Objectivism's biggest legends under the table."
Guest of honour & keynote speaker will be Barbara Branden, longtime associate of Ayn Rand & author of The Passion of Ayn Rand, routinely deferred to by certain SOLOists as Her Imperial Majesty, Her Incomparable Divinity, etc.. Also strutting his stuff will be the world's most eccentric Objectivist, the redoubtable Prodos - organiser of the forthcoming international D2 Walk for Capitalism, poet, Internet radio show host, & muso. Homegrown speakers will include yours truly, the aforementioned Mr Cresswell & the brilliant Robert White, founder of the Centre for Objectivist Studies. It is hoped that the event will also be graced by the attendance of Matt Ballin, lovably impish moderator of the SOLO Forum, & Joe Rowlands, SOLO's San Francisco-based web master & co-founder of ImportanceofPhilosophy.com.
My associates Mr Cresswell, "Hooch" Helen Hughes (Director of the Free Radical Foundation), Anna Wolf & Shirley Riddle have been working feverishly to make this happen. I want now, for the record, to salute them with a heartfelt "thank you." We are able to accommodate 120 people in rooms ranging from basic backpacker-style to luxury - more, if some are happy to bring tents! We are able to promise the opportunity to chill out & hang out with some of the best brains & liveliest spirits in the Objectivist business.
If you can't bring yourself to miss the physical, intellectual & spiritual party of a lifetime, contact Peter Cresswell & stay tuned to the Perigo list, the libertyloop, & the SOLO Forum.
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