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July 4, 1952: After years of thought, research and consultation with select Objectivist scientists, Rand concludes that achieving floating-head-hood is within her grasp. Never one to do publicity by half-measures, she decides to hold a press conference -- and make it the first by a private citizen to be broadcast live to America.
Negotiations with ABC ("The only network not completely overrun by knee-jerk liberals and crystal-suckers," she is heard to grouse) are concluded swiftly, though not swiftly enough to prevent rumours from circulating. Most assert that she is planning to level a by-then routine accusation of "perfidious, unreasoning treachery" against President Eisenhower for his failure to hold on to St. Petersburg (described by Rand as "America's last line of defense against Moscow" [and not incidentally, her birthplace]).
Thus, the carefully-guarded subject of the press conference takes nearly everyone by complete surprise. Revealing a level of technology surpassing all expectations, Ayn Rand announces to a shocked America -- and her equally shocked followers -- that she is planning to have her head severed after her death and left to roam the world at will.
"This life is only the beginning of my quest for a rational existence," she says at the beautiful Airport Hilton in San Jose, California. As the ABC television cameras broadcast events live across America, she continues: "By the release of my greatest tool -- my brain -- by my greatest tool, from the shackles of the body, I will achieve a rational satori, an Objectivist nirvana. The triumph of Reason will be complete. So long, suckers!" Rand then bursts into maniacal laughter and frenzied kung-fu chops, and has to be subdued by an ABC handler lurking at the back of the room with a tranquilizer gun and a net.
Several hardened reporters, including a then-unknown Hunter S. Thompson, are seen to faint.