by Emanuele Mastrangelo and Enrico Petrucci

England: "Hot audiobook, don't listen loudly!"

In last week's newsletter we joked about how we are moving from British humor to British trigger warnings. Now here is another news story that confirms this trend, with the trigger warning for audiobooks. Yep, because heaven forbid, if you listen to the audiobook in a public place and they hear you, someone might be traumatized or intersectionally offended.

The story has been reported for the latest novel by Dennis Lehane, author of, among others, "Mystic River" and "Shutter Island" from which the films of the same name were made, "Small Mercy". As the Telegraph reports, this special warning stems from a series of trending pranks on TikTok in which "inappropriate" audio clips of audiobooks are broadcast in public to see people's reactions. Pranks typically based on passages from "50 Shades of Grey," certainly not on angsty thrillers about racial tensions in 1950s Boston. How much sensibilities....

Anyway, in the UK more and more personalities are taking a stand against this obvious exaggeration of trigger warnings, such as recently Cate Blanchett (2) and Ralph Fiennes (3). Moreover, the effect of the trigger warning is probably contrary to the intention it is meant to arouse as would be shown by a study (4) from Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia (380th in the world rankings) that explains how marking a work with a warning increases the curiosity of the potential reader and, therefore, of the potential offended for the so-called "Pandora effect." Good find, we knew from the days of the NC-17

Scotland: Yousaf's bad wheat made poor bread (but Conservatives sleep...)

Meanwhile, Scotland's First Minister Humza Yousaf has resigned. But although the hate speech law has caused him to lose support among his voters, the political problem would be a different one. Unfortunately, it is not as told by a conservative newspaper like Australia's Sky News, which headlines "JK Rowling's revenge." In fact, it appears that Yousaf resigned not because he was too woke, but because he is too un-woke! Indeed, the leader of the Scottish National Party, a Labour-Social Democrat, has abandoned his ambitious legislative agenda for climate goals. A move that cost him the support of the Scottish Greens (5). A double and clumsy media spin: on the one hand, Yousaf's attempt to reconnect with the electorate by renouncing the most extreme environmentalist issues after holding his ground on hate speech. On the other, the Greens who had an easy time dumping a now indefensible political figure.

From the perspective of the Scottish Conservative parties, more a tactical victory caused by divisions in the opposing camp than a real success. One thing not to be underestimated politically: the real and only victory will be when they begin dismantling the legal monstrosities carried out by Yousaf's woke regime. And indeed, while in Scotland the prime minister is being changed (we shall see who will take the throne) in London celebrates another wokeshit (like "inclusive" subway stops) specialist, namely Sadiq Khan. A few weeks ago we reported this statement by his opponent, Tory mayoral candidate Susan Hall about the inclusively named subway lines: "1,000 people have been killed under his tenure as mayor and Sadiq Khan is only interested in this virtuous nonsense."

Yet, evidently "virtuous" wokeshit continue to pay off in a now narcotized public opinion. Perhaps it is time to take such "virtuous nonsense" more seriously, if one cannot win a local election even in the face of the obvious social disaster of wokeism and if liberal regimes fall not because of their unworthy woke policies but because they do not do enough of them. Until conservatives stop retorting to the culture war of wokeism with smirks and shrugs they will continue to place second or boastful not on their own merits but on the demerits of their opponents.

The spontaneous heterodirected activists

Activism, gender fluidity, ecology, feminism, and other wokeshit: how much are really initiatives coming from "young people" and how much the result of underhanded or hammered propaganda? Those who lean toward the latter are obviously branded as " conspiracists": but do you think there are puppets pulling the strings of activism? Young people are heroic, aware and brave, and boomers do not understand them.

But here is a barrage of news that seems to suggest just the opposite. Yes, so much for "stunning and brave" activists. Wokeshit among young people are being sown with full force. Let's start with the case of pro-Hamas protests at U.S. universities. Bloomberg reports that at Columbia nearly a third of the "student occupiers" were not students at all, but outsiders (6). At the University of Texas at Austin out of 55 apprehended, 26 were not related to the university. And the Wall Street Journal raises by explaining that groups of far-left activists have been training for months to prepare for the massive protests (7). Who pays for these organizations? Qatar's petrodollars? Or is there more to it (8)? The New York Post wonders, giving some answers, (9) which tells how pro-Palestinian university organizations are also able to provide hefty reimbursements spent on "piecework activists."

"USCPR provides up to $7,800 for its community-based fellows and between $2,880 and $3,660 for its campus-based "fellows" in return for spending eight hours a week organizing "campaigns" led by Palestinian organizations."

And of course the Open Society could not be absent, which after the publication of the New York Post article felt compelled to clarify:

"For the record, Open Society Foundations has a long history of fighting anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and all forms of racism and hate. Open Society has funded a broad spectrum of U.S. groups that have advocated for the rights of Palestinians and Israelis and for peaceful resolution to the conflict in Israel and the OPT."

And a closer look at some of the pro-Palestinian initiatives in the U.S. makes it clear that the influence of the Gulf monarchies and their petrodollars is pretty far behind. Just look at the drag queens for the Queer storytime for Palestine to celebrate the history of Palestine and the "queer heroes" intended for elementary school children in Northampton, Massachusetts. I wonder what Hamas would say about this unexpected rainbow ally? (10)

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Another phenomenon that requires massive investment to become popular among young people is that of transgenderist phenomenology. Bringing to light how these trends are actually massively financed by the usual nonprofits are two French feminists (one of whom was part of the Femen collective) in the volume "Transmania," which has stirred up several controversies in France. Volume that puts the magnifying glass on the mountain of money needed to carry out "the agenda." About the volume by the two feminists Dora Moutot and Marguerite Stern, soon to be branded "TERF, trans feminists," is the subject of Tempi, which publishes some excerpts (11):

"If transmania is advancing so rapidly, it is because there is a lot of money behind it. And it is not about those online collections that are launched to finance the transitions of isolated individuals. It is about very rich 'philanthropists,' through a myriad of foundations and NGOs."

Of note (but the amounts are still quite relative), that also funding these transgenderism nonprofits is a pharmaceutical company that manufactures puberty blockers. Could this be a conflict of interest? Jokes and complexity of the phenomena aside (one certainly cannot reduce the Israeli-Palestinian issue to just "activists-a-cottimo" at U.S. universities), it is clear that the issue of nonprofits with billion-dollar budgets and how they can turn completely marginal topics into mass phenomena is the real elephant in the communication room of our times.

USA. Fat is beautiful and good for your health. And if you don't think so, mind your degree....

Would you go to a doctor who instead of medicine studied "inclusiveness"? What you risk by getting one out of the University of California, Los Angeles. In fact, at the David Geffen School of Medicine, one of the most prestigious according to Wikipedia reports, there was a course-seminar, mandatory, entitled Structural Racism and Health Equity. Among the topics were so-called "fat phobia." According to course content reported by Fox News (12):

" It is proven that weight loss is a useless, hopeless endeavor. You are unlikely to lose weight in any permanent way and highly likely to open yourself to the myriad risks associated with weight cycling. The relationship between weight and health is also muddy."

Studies to correlate heart attacks and strokes coming to fat people to daylight saving time, scary horror movies, climate change and of course systemic racism are already underway. And stop picking on that innocent, poor, discriminated against cholesterol at 600 in the latest tests, you damned cholesterol-phobes!

As usual, for all the Doubting Thomases who don't trust, here are the sources:

Redattore del blog del Centro Studi Machiavelli "Belfablog", Emanuele Mastrangelo è stato redattore capo di "Storia in Rete" dal 2006. Cartografo storico-militare, è autore di vari libri (con Enrico Petrucci, Iconoclastia. La pazzia contagiosa dellacancel cultureche sta distruggendo la nostra storia and Wikipedia. L'enciclopedia libera e l'egemonia dell'informazione).

An essayist and popularizer, his publications include "Alessandro Blasetti. The forgotten father of Italian cinema" (Idrovolante, 2023). And with Emanuele Mastrangelo "Wikipedia. The Free Encyclopedia and the Hegemony of Information" (Bietti, 2013) and "Iconoclasm. The contagious insanity of the cancel culture that is destroying our history" (Eclectica, 2020).