The April Fools Run Amuck, Anoop!
So this morning I posted a really nice song by James Taylor, "I Was a Fool to Care," in honor of April Fools' Day. Alas, we are less than one hour away (ET) from putting April Fools' Day 2017 to bed, and lo and behold, I found a new "Official Membership Card" in my email queue; apparently, I now belong to "Anoopism," whose motto is: "Stand with Us and We Will Stand With You. Together, We are One." And if you look really carefully at the card, you'll see some outstanding images among "Your Anoopist Leadership for the True Anoopist Movement": two dead people (Nathaniel Branden and Barbara Branden) and two people who are very much alive (David Kelley and WOW... Chris Matthew Sciabarra!!!).
I must say that given all that has been going on since Anoop Verma said farewell to "organized Objectivism," in a thread to which I contributed quite a bit (see my Notablog entry for all my comments), all hell has broken loose.
It's just so appropriate that the Membership Card arrived on April Fools' Day: it is a testament to all the beloved fools that came up with it. If I'm not mistaken, using images for promotional purposes, especially for this new, apparently vibrant organization, without the permission of the folks (or the Estates of the folks who are dead), might be legally actionable. Of course, there are folks out there belonging to certain institutes who are litigious to the point of no return. But sometimes, you just have to laugh at those who embrace the "foolish" in April Fools' Day, even if they start to resemble a lynch-mob with malignant malice as their only reason for being.
Well, for the record: I am a Cofounding Editor and Board of Trustee member of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies Foundation, but I am not now, nor have I ever been a card-carrying member of Anoopism. Anoop Verma tackled a whole lot of books on his reading list (including two of mine) and judged them independently; sometimes I agreed with him, sometimes not. But I would never think to rain on his parade: He has the right to live by the judgment of his own mind. That is, I suspect, the most important lesson he learned from Ayn Rand.
Still, I'm kind of honored that folks went through such trouble to photoshop my image into the Official Membership Card of Anoopism. Some of them, I'm sure, wish I could join two of the other Anoopist leaders who are six feet under.
Sorry, fools: I ain't buried yet. But I hope y'all had a Happy April Fools' Day. The joke is on you.