Mediocrity Rules! The Simpsons Takes on The Fountainhead

Last night, The Simpsons finally got around to sending up The Fountainhead. Yes, Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead: the superficially architectural Objectivist manifesto so often given to incoming architecture students everywhere by their well-meaning relatives. The book that can have the unfortunate side-effect of brainwashing said first year architecture students. In typical irreverent form, the “Bible of Right Wing nutjobs” (Lisa’s words) is transposed to Maggie’s preschool, a preschool presided over by that staunch proponent of the prosaic, Ellsworth Toohey. In her defiant self-expression, Maggie Roark uses blocks, sugar cubes, and tinker toys to produce familiar structures ranging from the Taj Mahal to the Bird’s Nest. Toohey, staying true to his literary equivalent, is clearly enjoying himself in finding increasingly creative methods of destroying the block buildings, culminating in a sledgehammer redesign of Frank Gehry’s Bilbao Guggenheim (an ironic reversal of how the Simpson’s previously depicted Gehry’s “process”). Continue reading to view the full story, including Maggie’s version of Roark’s speech. UPDATE: Thanks to square for pointing out that Hulu is US only. A Youtube version of the clip has been added, but I’m not sure for how long it will stay online.




3 Replies to “Mediocrity Rules! The Simpsons Takes on The Fountainhead”

  1. Thanks for posting the Youtube version. No Hulu in Canada. I’ve now been able to add it to my current series of posts for “Neurartic” on the topic of arts education.

  2. Several years ago, I got in a fight with Leonard Peikoff (“the foremost authority on Ayn Rand”), as an opinion writer. He came to speak in Boston, and basically bastardized Rand’s ideas with his “closed system” (his description) interpretation of her work. As I mentioned then and will mention here, if you interpret Rand “as is”, without accounting for social change and an evolving populous and government, then I can see where the Fountainhead is a “right minded nutjob piece of literature,” however, if you objectively look at the work, then perhaps one might side more with someone like, David Kelly, another Rand scholar, who is more tolerant and objective in his observations….

    Why the hell are you looking to “The Simpsons” writers as your moral compass in the first place? Christ, its a TV show (Best series ever), but like I said, its a TV show….maybe you should go to church … or buddhist temple or to antigua, something….seriously.

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