Nikolay Danilevsky’s remarkable book about Russia and the West

A still from the science fiction horror film Alien: Covenant (2017)

I don’t review films often, but I think that Avengers: Endgame (2019) is worth talking about. First of all, I saw Captain Marvel (2019) for the second time recently, and this time I paid for the ticket. I now think that it’s one of the best MCU films, if I’m being honest. I’ve never been a Marvel fan because I don’t like to be a fan of anything, really. But Marvel films, for example, are worth seeing because they’ve become what people call event movies. They’re enjoyable to watch. I’m not one of those people that dislike Brie Larson because of something that she said. She plays the role of Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel. I’ve got better things to do than hating some actress. I mean, what do people expect at this point? I guess that they need an outlet for their anger or frustration, and there are things to be angry about these days, but picking Hollywood as the object of hatred seems silly to me. Hollywood is one of the industries that have been feeding them propaganda for most of their lives, but now, all of a sudden, they’re angry because an actress stated an agenda in a somewhat obvious way. I don’t mean to insult them because I understand their situation, but I think that they should pick up a book and read once in a while. They’ll be more informed. This is one of the problems with people now. People hardly read anymore. Instead of reading, they watch television or see films. Nowadays, there’s a new distraction, which is playing video games. Therefore, because of their lack of knowledge and lack of critical thinking, they can be so easily manipulated by the authorities. Anyway, Captain Marvel, the character, doesn’t play an important role in Avengers: Endgame, as it turns out. I did find Larson’s acting to be fine in the film. Carol Danvers is important in her own film, but, in Avengers: Endgame, her importance in the story has been much overblown before the release of the film. Avengers: Endgame is kind of a mess. It’s not a piece of garbage because there are still many enjoyable things in it, but the script wasn’t written very well, in my opinion, and the film ended up being one of the worst MCU films. Honest reviewers on IMDb have already pointed out the flaws in this film. There’s fat, pathetic Thor. There are the inconsistencies with time travel. There’s the silly humor. There’s the poorly thought out final battle. There are the continuity problems. This film is a kind of a stinker. Still, I did find it to be entertaining. It didn’t make me feel bored. I think that out of the two most recent Avengers films, Avengers: Infinity War (2018) was much more important for Marvel and the filmmakers than Avengers: Endgame. Therefore, Avengers: Infinity War contains the exciting action and the messages that the filmmakers wanted people to see. Avengers: Endgame, on the other hand, turned out to be a film with leftovers. Thanos revealed his reasoning and his agenda in Avengers: Infinity War. He succeeded in wiping out half of all life in the universe with the “snappening”. Naturally, Marvel couldn’t let this be the end of the story. People would have been outraged at such a depressing finale. Therefore, Avengers: Endgame had to be made so that the Avengers could defeat Thanos and undo his doings, though Thanos does have a few more things to say this time as well. This time he makes a little speech about rewriting history and brainwashing people. In addition, Iron Man and Captain America had to be killed off because Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans had been playing these roles for long enough. In addition, the writers and the filmmakers saw an opportunity to patch up some of the inconsistencies from previous MCU films. Rene Russo came back to better develop the character of Frigga because of a lack of development in Thor: The Dark World (2013). Hawkeye gets more screen time as well because people complained about his lack of screen time in previous films. So, the filmmakers wanted to service the fans, and the fans sure did get serviced with Avengers: Endgame. In my opinion, Avengers: Endgame turned out to be a leftovers and patch up film after the main event that was Avengers: Infinity War. And, of course, Avengers: Endgame sets up the next phase of the MCU. Funnily enough, the directors, Anthony Russo and Joe Russo, are now responsible not only for some of the best MCU films but also for the worst and most ridiculous MCU film. In my opinion, that is.

I finished reading the book ‘Factories of Death: Japanese Biological Warfare, 1932 – 1945, and the American Cover-Up’ by Sheldon H. Harris. I think that it’s good reading for those who are interested in World War II. It’s about a rarely covered incident that happened before and during World War II. It seems that the history that this book covers has been suppressed in the USA because Japan is a close ally of the USA. In the book, there’s information about what happened to the American POWs that were captured by the Japanese after the capture of the Philippines. Japan, as it turns out, had the largest biological weapons program in the world at that time. The author also wrote about post-war Japan and about the domination of conservatives and reactionaries in Japanese government. I haven’t yet finished reading Nikolay Danilevsky’s ‘Russia and Europe: A Look at the Cultural and Political Relations of the Slavic World to the Romano-German World’ (1895). But I have come across more interesting information in the book that is worth mentioning. Danilevsky pointed out that there have been three periods of development and growth in the history of Western civilization. This is probably where Carroll Quigley got the idea that there were three separate ages of expansion in Western history. I know that Danilevsky’s book was influential for Quigley because he mentioned it in two of his books. Moreover, Danilevsky even wrote the rough dates of these periods of development, though Danilevsky didn’t go into them in detail and he didn’t explain why they took place. At this time, I’m also reading Immanuel Velikovsky’s ‘Worlds in Collision’ (1950), Oswald Spengler’s ‘The Decline of the West’ (1918), and Quigley’s ‘Weapons Systems and Political Stability: A History’ (1983), which is the only book by Quigley that I haven’t read yet. I’m often reading these books on my smartphone while I take trips on a ferry, on my way to and from work. Since I haven’t yet finished reading these books, I can’t comment on them much. I have been enjoying reading them so far, and I will probably tell what I think about them after I’m done reading them.

Originally posted on September 9, 2017:

Is Alien: Covenant (2017) really that bad? I did say that it’s a somewhat disappointing film. What I meant by this is that it’s just disappointing and not terrible. In my view, Covenant is a slightly better film than Prometheus (2012) because it makes a little more sense. A few people said to me that they kind of like Covenant. I can understand why they think that. Covenant is an entertaining film, in my opinion, and it does make more sense than Prometheus, but it also has some of the same problems. Because Covenant is a film by director Ridley Scott, it’s a given that it looks very good, though not as good as Prometheus. And, honestly, I’d like for him to make a sequel to Covenant. I’m a little interested in what he might be able to do with a sequel. I’ve been enjoying listening to the music scores by the composer Jerry Goldsmith to the first three Rambo films. First Blood (1982) is a standout film of the 1980s, and it’s easily the best of the Rambo films. What surprised me, however, is that Goldsmith’s scores for the Rambo sequel films didn’t drop in quality. The sequels themselves certainly dropped in quality, but this isn’t the case with the music. The scores for Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) and Rambo III (1988) are rousing as well, and they’re enjoyable to listen to. What I noticed about films starring Sylvester Stallone is that they usually have good music scores and soundtracks. I wonder if Stallone himself made it a priority to have good music in his films, especially in the 1970s and the 1980s. The biggest disappointment of this year at the cinema for me was the film It, which was directed by Andy Muschietti. It didn’t even seem like a film to me when I was watching it. More like a collection of nonsense. I can’t believe that so many people are praising this film. Sure, it’s kind of entertaining, the acting is fine, and there’s some humor, but this is where the good stuff ends. And, unfortunately, I fell for the hype. I had a good feeling that I’d be somewhat disappointed by this film because films are usually disappointing nowadays, and it’s hard to adapt Stephen King’s thick novel to film, but I didn’t think that it would be such a mess. What made my viewing experience worse is the fact that I finished reading the novel just several days earlier. It was still fresh in my mind, and I remembered pretty much everything that happened in the novel. While I was watching the film, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. There’s plenty of swearing that isn’t in the novel. There’s no explanation of who Pennywise is. The film is set in 1989, but the filmmakers still decided to make the characters act like they’re in 1958. This doesn’t seem to work. I can’t really imagine children, and even grownups, behaving like this in the 1980s. Therefore, seeing It (2017) seems like a waste of my money.

So, I finally finished listening to the audiobook of Stephen King’s It (1986). It took quite some time because it’s about 45 hours long. I didn’t quite get as much enjoyment out of listening to the novel as I did when I read it years ago because I know what happens in the plot. I still enjoyed listening to most of it, however, especially the first half, in which King reveals the history of Derry. It’s when the reader doesn’t yet know what It is. I don’t think that the novel is a masterpiece, and I don’t like a few aspects of King’s writing, but it still seems good to me after all these years, and it’s so much better than the novels that get written nowadays. Now that I’m done with It, I’m listening to Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot (1868), which is a novel that I’ve wanted to read for quite some time. Instead of reading The Idiot, I decided to listen to the audiobook since I had a few credits to spend. What’s also worth noting is that I’ve noticed a rather interesting trend in American fiction of the 1980s. I’m now reading a few American science-fiction novels from the 1980s, and something that pops up even in the genre of science-fiction of this period is anti-Soviet propaganda. I’m sure that many people know about the writer Tom Clancy, about the fact that his novels are pretty much anti-Soviet, pro-American military propaganda. Well, all of this isn’t a coincidence. The fact that Ronald Reagan praised Clancy’s propaganda novel The Hunt for Red October (1984) wasn’t a coincidence either. As historian Andrei Fursov pointed out, the Americans, when Reagan was the president of the USA, intentionally raised tensions with the Soviet Union. The Americans released a lot of offensive anti-Soviet propaganda in the 1980s. But this propaganda now seems mild if it’s compared to the anti-Russian and anti-Soviet propaganda that began to be released in the West in the 2000s. The fact that Hollywood released many action films in the 1980s also wasn’t a coincidence, in my view. The Americans were intentionally trying to create an atmosphere of tension, violence, and confrontation. They did this because they had a strategy of trying to weaken the positions of the Soviet Union. It’s because they saw this as one of two ways of getting out of the economic crisis that was affecting the West since the early-1970s. The other way for them was war. In the end, we know that the Americans succeeded, thanks to people like Mikhail Gorbachev, whom Fursov described as one of the two biggest traitors in Russian history. The other one is Boris Yeltsin.