The opening paragraph sets up the key idea, as it classically should.
If the zeitgeist has a face, it supposedly belongs to Ayn Rand and her capitalist philosophy of Objectivism. Talk radio hosts adore the author’s demands for limited government; Congressman Paul Ryan insists that his staffers read her overstuffed opus Atlas Shrugged; picket signs at Tea Party rallies suggest that we all “READ AYN RAND.” And yet, some pieces are missing. Ayn Rand was anti-war, but spending for hundreds of military bases and two-and-a-half wars remains sacrosanct even as Congress made the debt ceiling a major issue. She found homosexuality “immoral” and “disgusting,” and yet gay marriage has regained the initiative in the public square. And Randian heroes are explicitly — nay, objectively — elitist. They are genius millionaire square-jawed heroes who walked right off the screen at the movie matinee. The average Tea Party rallier, not so much.
As you may or may not know, the first of a projected Atlas Shrugged film trilogy was released earlier this year. And as you may suspect, it tanked, perhaps endangering the next two films.
In what would seem like it's historical moment, why would this be? Well, from the IMDB page you might gather that the leads are rather bland compared to the collectivist trolls trying to bring them down. (In an intersection of ironies, both Michael Lerner and Jon Polito reperesented the dark and corrupt side of Hollywood in Barton Fink.) But movies don't have to be good to be hits. It may be that, per Mamatas, the people who were politically in sync with the film couldn't see themselves in the high cheekbones of the heroes. The rage of Caliban and all that.