The Fountainhead (1949)

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The Fountainhead (1949) From the novel and screenplay adaptation by Ayn Rand, King Vidor directs Gary Cooper, as the ruthless architect Howard Roark [modeled on Frank Lloyd Wright] and Patricia O’Neal as the devoted socialite Dominique Francon in this allegory celebrating unbridled capitalism in the struggle between individualism and collectivism. During the final courtroom sequence, Cooper delivers an impassioned speech that embodies Ayn Rand’s philosophy. Standing atop the tallest building in the city, Cooper watches as Patricia O’Neal ascends on a scaffold to join him in a visual homage to futurism.

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The main lobby is an arrogance of kitsch opulence:

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Pink white-veined marble, brass abs polished smooth,

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All beneath a five-level atrium with internal waterfall,

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Suspended walkway, cafés, and pedestrian bridge,

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Its shops selling the owner’s merchandise and memorabilia.

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Nobody goes into the basement. That’s for

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Sewage, water heaters, and back-up generators.

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The Seventh Floor is restricted to offices

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For managers, lawyers, and security guards,

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With a specially designed, sound-proofed room

For monitoring the surveillance cameras

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That record what happens in the guest suites.

Nobody goes into the basement. That’s for

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Secret rendition and water-boarding.

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Corporate executives rent office spaces

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Between the Eighth and Seventeenth Floors

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Where hedge funds, Ponzi schemes, and pharmaceuticals

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Are telemarketed through fiber-optic cables

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Into the heartland and around the globe.

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Nobody goes into the basement. That’s for

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Tax returns, lawsuits, and bankruptcy filings.

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 The Eighteenth Floor boasts a high-tech convention center

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For fashion shows and Victoria Secret models,

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Where even a First Lady could strut her stuff

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Down the runway before visiting foreign billionaires

Surrounded by gold-plated bowls of sour grapes.

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Nobody goes into the basement. That’s for

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Presidential failures and female reporters.

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Starting on the Nineteenth Floor, condominiums

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House rich Saudi Princes and American Movie Stars,

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 And once even “Baby Doc” Duvalier, ex-dictator of Haiti —

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For the higher up you go, the more expensive the rent,

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Although everything is negotiable, depending on your fame.

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Nobody goes into the basement. That’s for

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Illegal Mexican slave labor.

   

The Top Floor is the owner’s private residence,

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Fully equipped with his own broadcasting studio,

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Where antiquity slimes everything in gold,

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A bronze of Eros and Psyche for the Apollo

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Of deal-makers the only thing black in the room.

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Nobody goes into the basement. That’s for

 

The golden calf to be eaten by worms.

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[Disposable Poem December 7, 2016]

Welcome to the New Year 2017

Dr. Mike

http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/ayn-rand-and-corporate-tax-cuts-wont-mend-the-economy?mbid=nl_161222_Daily&CNDID=29823027&spMailingID=10107338&spUserID=MTMzMTgzMDQ3MDU5S0&spJobID=1061981406&spReportId=MTA2MTk4MTQwNgS2

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