The Strange Death of Europe

The Strange Death of Europe is written by Douglas Murray (an English journalist). In the book, Douglas writes about subjects such as Muslims, multiculturalism and immigration. In the book, Murray shows that Muslim people are threatening figures but this idea of Muslims, in my outlook, reeks of illiteracy. The idea does not correctly represent followers of Islam around the world; Muslims would be threatening if they only participated in activities, such as supporting of terrorism and committing crimes, but Muslims, in general, do not do only those two things.

Furthermore, Douglas writes that Muslim immigrants would have drunk beer if they genuinely had wanted to think of themselves as British but if they would have done that then they would not be contributing to making Britain a multicultural country, as they do now. Murray also portrays purveyors of racist behavior in Europe – a few political parties, in a good light which is a very disagreeable thing to do. This is because any political party which swears by abusive behavior towards races which they feel are lowly is not a party that should be labelled a good party, irrespective of whether or not that party functions inside a multicultural society.

Douglas also feels that the presence of large numbers of Muslims in British society is a problem which is doubtable. I think a large presence of conservatism or primitiveness which followers of any faith could practice in British society – a modern and advanced society, is what could instead be more of a correct example of a problem.

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Austerity Britain 1945-51

Austerity Britain excellently sums up the idea of Britain from 1945 to 1951 with the support of actions or sentiments of British people of that time. The book also provides a good account of how disenchanted the British public were with the Labour Party (a British political party) when it had formed a government for the first time under Clement Attlee (an English politician) following the end of the Second World War in 1945.

At the time, the British public were not attracted by socialism or nationalization of steel and it makes sense that they were like that back then because ideas such as those should generally seem quite disconnected from people’s daily lives. People in their daily lives busy themselves with things such as food plus household chores and this reality, more or less, stays fixed for people, no matter if it they are from the present time or the past.

Additionally, normally people are not supposed to have a great degree of understanding of something as complex as British politics; back then, a majority of British people could not even utter the name of a British colony. It’s also important to mention that the book includes some photographs because they do a good job in capturing British cities and people from that time period.

Expectation

Expectation teaches you about flawed female lives. The protagonists in the book are three women: Hannah, Lissa and Cate (who had gone to university during the nineties) and, as a reader, you can learn about their lives up until the period when they are in their forties. During their younger years, the three women were best friends: they used to reside in East London – on the border of a common, and their lives were illuminated with romance, merrymaking and activism.

However, after ten years their lives look drastically different; their lives have also not turned out as they had expected it to turn out. Hannah is married and she is eager to have a child of her own but she unsuccessful in doing so; Hannah’s marriage comes under strain too for repeatedly going through numerous cycles of IVF – a fertilization course, to have a child. Cate, meanwhile, lives in a house bought by her in-laws in Canterbury. She is also afflicted by a type of depression and finds comfort in thinking back about a former attachment.

Furthermore, Lisa is an actress with an underperforming professional life. She is also a woman who aches for a man who is out of her reach. What I found interesting about the book was the contrast between the women’s lives during their younger years and their relatively older years which can make you marvel at how much life can change with time; the contrast can also make you realize that change does not always have to signify something good.

A Spot of Folly

A Spot of Folly is a collection of mystery stories by British author Ruth Rendell; the book was published after Ruth’s death. Some of the stories in the book were assembled together from publications, such as Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. The titles of a few of the stories in the book are: Never Sleep in a Bed Facing a Mirror, Trebchet and The Haunting of Shawley Rectory.

The main characters of the stories can sometimes be flawed and yet, interesting, but it is difficult to generalize about all the main characters (in the book) because the characters, much like the stories they are part of, are quite dissimilar to each other. A variety of themes are explored in the book: sometimes the stories can be scary and have no foundation in reality and at other times, the stories can be very real. Furthermore, the stories can also make you wonder about people and their natures because of the things that people do which can even shock you.

Dumbo

Cast: Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito and Eva Green
Director: Tim Burton
Rating: 8/10

Dumbo is a touching movie with a brilliant protagonist. The movie is set during the early part of the 20th century: in the movie, a small elephant called Dumbo has oversized ears and can fly; his mother is called Mrs. Jumbo and she is an Asian elephant.

What is very interesting about the movie is the relationship that is portrayed between Mrs. Jumbo and Dumbo: it greatly resembles the traditional relationship between a mother and a child. Mrs. Jumbo, in my outlook, is a stereotypical mother. She lands herself in grave trouble more than once and, at one point, you can even find yourself feeling afraid over whether or not Mrs. Jumbo is going to fine.

The movie also shows how Dumbo acquires his name: a crowd of people at the circus derisively give him that name – this portion of the movie was very interesting (to me) as well because it shows that, sadly, people can react negatively to somebody who was born different. Furthermore, something like this, tragically, can happen to people (or animals) in real-life as well and so that portion (of the movie) definitely provides appropriate mental nourishment.

A Star Is Born

Cast: Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga and Sam Elliott
Director: Bradley Cooper
Rating: 8/10

A Star Is Born is an excellent movie. In the movie, Jack (Bradley Cooper) is a celebrated country rock music artist who begins a romantic liaison with Ally (Lady Gaga) – a waitress who is trying to have a successful music career of her own. Jack takes Ally with him on tour and during it, she meets a record producer who gives her a contract and also makes her concentrate on pop music. Ally then goes on to earn three nominations at the Grammy Awards and wins one of those awards as well but tragedy (of epic proportions) strikes her life later on.

The movie nicely portrays a relationship which is not a stranger to problems and in doing so, in my outlook, it showcases what a real relationship can sometimes look like – that it can be lovely but imperfect. What was also interesting about the movie was how Jack would sometimes react to Ally’s professional choices: it seemed as if Jack was (secretly) resentful of Ally’s professional successes, even though he shared a romantic equation with her, but could not voice that resentment; if it was so, then it is quite difficult to gauge the trueness of Jack’s affection for Ally because he could not really be happy with how Ally had steered her career, even though she was doing a very good job with directing her professional life.

Captain Marvel

Cast: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson and Jude Law
Directors: Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck
Rating: 8/10

Captain Marvel is a remarkable movie; the movie shows a female superhero in a very good light. In the movie, a woman called Vers (Brie Larson) is a part of a wicked team called Starforce. She is a superhero who can fly, she has superhuman strength but she is also a woman who often sees her former boss – Wendy Lawson – in her nightmares.

A significant portion of the movie is devoted to the different discoveries which Vers makes, for example: the discovery that Lawson died or the discovery that she is also supposed to be a woman called Carol Danvers. There is plenty of action in the film too and it is littered with interesting characters, from Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) to Yon-Rogg (Jude Law), but the highlights of the film, in my outlook, are the discoveries which Vers makes.

A superhero is somebody who saves people and Carol strangely excels at this: she goes against her kind – the Kree (an alien race), to aid their bitter enemies – the Skrulls (another alien race), when what she is supposed to do is regard them as her enemies. Danvers is very similar to Wendy when she does this; I think she is a different kind of Kree – she is less of an alien and more of a superhero.