The Tantalizing Fascism of Legoland

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If Ayn Rand liked children’s toys, which she most certainly did not, she would have loved Legos. And if the shovel-faced founder of Objectivism liked amusement parks, which she totally didn’t, she would have adored Legoland. After all, the Atlas Shrugged-y motto of Danish Lego creator Ole Kirk Christiansen was “only the best is good enough,” which some translate as “the best isn’t good enough.” The Best ISN’T Good Enough? Ayn would have jazzed on that so hard.

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The Howard Roark-like triumph of Legoland is, of course, Miniland. This is the area of the theme park where Lego Master Builders have created perfect scale replicas of famous cities and world monuments. Miniland is like a much better, smaller, plastic, lifeless — but still better — version of reality. Case in point, in Miniland, the Lego Freedom Tower is already up and running (unlike Daniel Libeskind’s mired-in-political-infighting-and-then-changed actual Freedom Tower), giving the finger to Lego terrorists everywhere. The Lego Freedom Tower even contains working wind turbines that power 20 percent of the building’s electricity. Truly, the best isn’t good enough.

Ultimately, the world of Lego is a world of total order. No, not a world. Worlds are messy and unpredictable. A SYSTEM. A system so organized, so well-thought out, so simple-yet-ingenious, so meticulous, so well-made, that, by comparison, real life is a lumbering, smelly Brobdingnagian doofus. Finally, a totalitarian society that works! The acrylonitrile butadiene styrene Lego elements (Master Builders call Lego pieces “elements”) last forever. Pieces, I mean, elements made in 1963 still connect with those made today. Using only simple images — no words — Lego instruction manuals are so intuitive they could teach a Kalahari Bushman to build a Technic Formula One Racer. Good luck figuring that out via “written” language, Click Click, or whatever your name is.

The Legoverse is so anally utopian that I’m dropping everything and moving to Carlsbad, California — no, better — the Legoland in Billund, Denmark. That’s keeping it real. I’ll buy up the rarest, most beautiful Lego pieces in colors you’ve never seen — by the pound. (Yep, they sell it by the pound.) I’ve already got my The Unofficial LEGO Builder’s Guide, or as I call it, the good Bible. It’s full of great techniques, like bracing, staggering, and graphing design grids. They’ll start me on Dulplo, but soon I’ll be moved all the way up to the highest echelons of power: Mindstorms. Finally, I’ll create my own Lego version of John Galt’s secret valley — and the only sound I’ll ever hear will be the satisfying click of two Legos becoming one.

Yep, time to ditch real life and become an Adult Builder of Lego. Just spend everyday at Legoland… if there just weren’t so many stupid kids there.

(NOTE TO NERDS: Lego branding these days is just exquisite! In the Lego Batman Arkham Asylum set, Lego orderlies have strapped down the Lego Scarecrow for a nasty Lego torture-session. In the Lego Harry Potter Slytherin Common Room, Ron and Harry’s polyjuice potioned-up Lego heads turn into into Crabbe and Goyle! And in the Lego Star Wars II video game, when I saw Lego Chewbacca happily rip the arms of a Lego Stormtrooper, I almost cried. A Lego Massively Multiplayer Online game is in the works too. I don’t know anything about it, but SPLORT.)

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