Because of popular demand, I’ve decided to make a blog post of my own somewhat earlier than I wanted to. I think that I’ll even share more of the information that I have about the COVID-19 pandemic. I’ve already made a post that includes my thoughts about this phenomenon, but, since it’s not going to go away any time soon, I can share some more of my thoughts about it. It seems that the authorities in Western states will keep milking this so-called pandemic for as long as possible.
Very rarely do I share information about my life on my blog, and, therefore, I think that it’s mostly a waste of time for people to attempt to deduce what I’m like and what I do based on my posts. Of course, this won’t stop people from trying to deduce what I’m like anyway. Therefore, my statement is only a suggestion for anyone who’ll listen. I’ve been running my blog for several years already, and I’ve made about two dozen posts of my own so far. This is a very small number. I can mention, for example, that I’ve been to Egypt and that I’ve seen the sphinx and the pyramids in Giza. I haven’t mentioned this information in any of my previous posts, however. I’m mentioning it now only to let people know that I’m not here to spill my guts about my life, as some people seem to think. As I’ve mentioned, I’ve made only about two dozen posts of my own in the last several years. Therefore, trying to figure out what my character is like based on these posts is fruitless. Still, my blog continues to grow, and I’m not here to discourage people. I’m only saying that my blog is not a complete representation of me.
The television series that I’ve been watching the most lately is Dallas, which began airing on CBS in 1978. I began watching Dallas about half a year ago out of curiosity because the heyday of this series was in the 1980s. In particular, I wanted to see Dallas as a period piece, with 1980s fashion and charm. So far, I’ve finished watching the first four seasons of the show. This may not seem like a lot, but that’s because I’ve been doing other things as well. Firstly, Dallas features hour-long episodes and not half-hour-long episodes. Secondly, Dallas isn’t the only show that I’ve been watching. For example, I’ve also been watching Magnum, P.I. (starring Tom Selleck). Magnum, P.I. is another series that I’ve grown to like after seeing the first several episodes. And I’ve been watching The X-Files (starring David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson), which began airing in 1993, as well. I got hooked on Dallas after watching the first few episodes, but I would say that this show becomes truly enjoyable in the second season. One of the reasons why the show is good is because it has a good cast. It’s worth remembering that in the 1970s and in the 1980s American actors could still act well, and this is one of the reasons why American shows and films used to be good. Back then, American actors weren’t simply going through the motions, as they do now. I can bring up the American flag as an example. The American flag used to be quite a good actor in Hollywood movies. In the last decade or two, however, the American flag has been delivering rather dull, one-note performances. I mean, you can look at the uninspired performance that the American flag delivered in Michael Bay’s masterpiece Transformers: The Last Knight (2017) as an example. Out of the main cast of Dallas, I think that Jim Davis and Larry Hagman did a particularly good job. All of the actors in the main cast were well suited for their roles, however. Dallas finally began to look and play like a show from the 1980s only in the fourth season. I enjoyed watching the first three seasons, but, in season four, that 1980s glamour finally became evident, with more memorable music, with 1980s fashion, and with more audacious stories. So, all in all, I can see why Dallas was popular in the 1980s. I’m still, however, not entirely sure what kind of propaganda is featured in Dallas. It is a show about a wealthy Texas oil man and his family. These people have millions of dollars at their disposal. For example, they buy pricey cars for one another as gifts. I think that before Dallas, in the 1970s, in the 1960s, and in the 1950s, American shows were mostly about average people and not about rich people. In the 1980s, however, when Ronald Reagan was president, and when oligarchical policies like neoliberalism appeared in the USA, rich people began to be glamourized and humanized on American television. Dynasty, a series that began airing in 1981, is another show that is characteristic of this trend, and it’s also a show that I began watching recently. The 1980s was also a time when oligarchical propaganda became more pervasive in the USA. This kind of propaganda has been making a comeback since 2008. One example of this propaganda is that people are told that if they don’t do well in life, it is their fault and not someone else’s fault. In other words, don’t look at what’s going on around you, look at yourself because you’re the problem if you don’t have a good job, for example. Anyway, Dallas does seem to feature a little criticism of rich people, but it also seems to humanize rich people. So, I’m not entirely sure what the intentions of this show’s creators were. Watching Dallas has certainly been a fine time for me. It doesn’t make me feel as good as when I watch the Indigo League season of Pokemon, however, because Dallas is not a show that I got to watch in my childhood. Sure, Pokemon is not one of the very best anime series out there, and it holds no surprises for me because I’ve already seen it, but it seems to be the only show that easily puts me at ease if I watch it. That’s probably because it’s one of the things that I fondly remember from my childhood. Watching this anime, and playing the Pokemon Red and Blue video game for the Game Boy, can bring back some good memories for me. Because of this, I understand why, for example, some people have a large collection of science-fiction novels. They read science-fiction when they were growing up in the 1950s, in the 1960s, or in the 1970s. Back then, the science-fiction genre was hugely popular. Their collections of science-fiction novels don’t only look good. They also remind them of their childhoods and of a time when everything seemed better and more simple. Adults do have a longing for their youth, after all. By the way, it’s after I began acquiring science-fiction novels of my own that I began to see the appeal of reading and collecting these novels. Many of these novels, from the 1950s to the 1990s, have fantastic covers and artwork. It’s enjoyable simply to look at the covers of these novels. I don’t have a large collection of science-fiction of my own. I have a few dozen novels, and some of them are science-fiction novels. I bought most of these novels in used books stores. In general, I prefer to buy used books. This is because I think that buying new books is a waste of money and paper. Why buy something new if you can buy something that already exists? This is why I buy books in used books stores or on the internet. I have a much larger collection of books and novels in electronic form on Google Books in my Google account. I was able to find and download almost all of these books on certain websites for free. After doing this, I uploaded them to Google Books. In this way, I can easily read books on my smartphone. This especially comes in handy when I’m outside and when I have nothing to do. If I’m waiting for a train, for example, I can take out my smartphone and easily read a book instead of wasting time by standing and doing nothing. Anyway, I have a few hundred science-fiction novels in my Google account. I downloaded most of them after looking at Jim Harris’s lists (https://auxiliarymemory.com/2013/04/09/the-defining-science-fiction-books-of-the-1970s/). I’ve already read a few dozen of them, including Inherit the Stars (1977), which is one of my personal favorites, Tau Zero (1970), Blood Music (1985), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Beyond Apollo (1972), Moonwar (1998), Venus (2000), Starship Troopers (1959), The Gentle Giants of Ganymede (1978), Jurassic Park (1990), The Lost World (1995), Ender’s Game (1985), Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968), Speaker for the Dead (1986), Desolation Road (1988), Icehenge (1984), Downward to the Earth (1970), Dune (1965), The Robots of Dawn (1983), Titan (1979), The Visitors (1980), The Running Man (1982), In the Ocean of Night (1977), Beyond the Blue Event Horizon (1980), and Gateway (1977). I enjoyed reading almost all of these novels. In fact, several years ago, I had a particularly good time reading some of these novels in the morning, in the summer, while I was on a ferry crossing Burrard Inlet, on my way to work. Beyond Apollo is worth reading simply for the humor and the science facts that it contains. Beyond the Blue Event Horizon is worth reading because of its story. I suggest looking at the plot of this novel on Wikipedia. I understand why Isaac Asimov is one of the most popular science-fiction writers. His novels are easy to read and they’re not boring. The same goes for Arthur C. Clarke’s novels. 2001: A Space Odyssey is an impressive novel, especially for its time. Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is very memorable. It’s quite different from the 1982 film Blade Runner. Dune is not one of my favorite novels, but it’s clear to me that it’s a well-written novel. I understand why it’s popular. Its popularity, however, is not entirely natural. Dune has been heavily promoted by the publishing industry and by the establishment because of its propaganda. First of all, Dune is one of the novels that marked a change in the science-fiction genre in the West. It’s different from almost all of the science-fiction novels that came before it. It’s not a story that features optimism, and it’s not about ordinary people exploring space. Instead, it’s a story in which the main characters are members of noble houses or their servants. The protagonist, Paul Atreides, is not some commoner but the son of a duke. I suppose that Paul can be called a messiah or a prophet, kind of like Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, or Rich Evans. In the novel, the author, Frank Herbert, wrote in detail about the behavior and the affairs of Dune’s noblemen. Democracy doesn’t exist in the world of Dune. In addition, the novel features an environmental message, which is also something that Western oligarchs approve of. Dune does feature fantastic world-building and a fantastic story, but it’s a novel that has been heavily promoted in the West because of the propaganda that it contains. This is why there have been numerous attempts to make Dune into a film, despite of the fact that it’s not easy to adapt this thick novel to film. A film finally got made and released in 1984. This effort by the director David Lynch, as flawed as it is, still appeals to me a lot. I like the cast, I like the special effects, and I like the music. Some of the well-known science-fiction novels in the West that followed Dune are also sour in theme and feature propaganda that oligarchs approve of. In fact, even back then, in the 1970s, a few critics noticed that a change occurred in the science-fiction genre, and they didn’t really like this change. Anyway, the science-fiction novels that I’m enjoying reading at this time are Planet of the Apes (1963), 2010: Odyssey Two (1982), and Prelude to Foundation (1988).