Universe Now By Zarathustra's Serpent Amazon.co.uk Review

A noble attempt at ennobling popculture. Zarathustra's counter to the relentless negativity about the pop age.
I was unsatisfied with my nitpicky Universe Now book review so here's take two.

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You know how like Ayn Rand became the philosophical defender of Capitalism, trying to confer dignity onto what was seen in many other philosophies as soulless greed, at best a necessary evil? Well, the author of this book does the same thing but for Pop Culture rather than capitalism. Then again defending pop culture, like the Marvel Cinemantic Universe, is in a way defending Capitalism both from the left and the reactionary right.

After all if you asked the average reactionary about what he thought of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he would say that it is "bug man" consumerism  for the mass man borne of mass culture who heart can only "consume product, and get excited for next product" mindlessly. 

The author of this book does a great job at going over the influences and thought put into the MCU revealing it not to be totally mindless after all.

As with Ayn Rand, in the end I can't say that I agree with him but as with Rand, I think this was a noble ennobling attempt, and I can never hate someone who has done their research and put in the work, as this author clearly has.

The book tries to extract an answer, a reconciliation, to the politically divided world we live in by interpreting the text as a humanist work defending liberal democracy - with different heroes (and their character arcs) in the MCU representing archetypes of groups, for instance Iron Man would be representing private industry, Nick Fury the governing civil service, and Thor the white majority in the US which is slowly losing power and in decline.

Fundamentally it is a message that we can work it out if we work together as one people complementing each others flaws like a happy family of a nation, like the archetypes of society assembling together to defeat yet another foe to western liberal democracy, rather than a bunch of classes and groups attempting to assert dominance over each other. But we see how all that ended up in the real world, as opposed to fantasy, in Afghanistan.

It is not an altogether disagreeable message but honestly if you asked me the best we can hope for at this point is try to keep out of each others way because we are too different to be with each other and the balkanisation of western societies into its constituent classes may as well not be a violent one.

I confess that I haven't watched most of the films discussed here but the author's retelling of the stories is probably more interesting than the movies themselves, and it was certainly enough for me, a non-marvel fan, to understand everything that was said.

As I have said a few times now, this was a noble attempt to foster some kind of confidence in the current world order dominated by decadent, weakening, ageing, divided, pitiable, dying, flailing, sick nations of Europe (yes, America is a Europeanised country though it's turning into a third world country), I cannot fault it as an attempt but was it successful? Not yet, but it is a start so I am very curious how this author's ideas will develop in the future.

Given that I started with the Objectivists, let me end with what Leonard Peikoff said; "philosophy is the motor of history." It has the power to "determine the history of nations," and so let me commend this author on taking seriously what most do not consider to be serious art from an age that most do not consider serious let alone able to give birth to anything worth protecting.

Amazon Rating: 5/5

By Otaking, or The Good Student