In an era that has replaced intelligence with supporters, and intellectuals with militants, how do we know reality? How do we select information without having to bother to carry out wholesale psychological analyzes of the intentions of those who report it, without wasting our days reconstructing lines, in short: how can we trust those who inform us? Can we delude ourselves into knowing what we are talking about? Short answer: no.
Jon Stewart is a comic genius, and he’s also one of those who broke my balls at one point and retreated to the countryside. Every so often he appeared in Stephen Colbert’s program: he had made him start doing TV, many years ago, then Colbert became Letterman’s replacement (and the best – with detachment – presenter of the second American evening) and Stewart retired to private life.
Last year Apple convinces him to go back to doing something non-binding, an episode every two weeks, probably covering him with doubloons (I don’t add “on the other hand he’s Jewish” just because I need to keep your indignation for twenty lines, can’t waste it now). They add a podcast to the program, which is the new onanistic game: everyone makes podcasts, nobody listens to them. But nobody at all: those who say they listen to them push play and then start doing something else and would not be able to tell you in the least what they talked about in that hour that they theoretically listened to.
And so in a podcast a month ago Stewart fooled around with two youngsters (the Apple formula is that Stewart has sparring partners who offer alternative points of view to his being “old and white”, and I certainly won’t be making jokes about it. these new social patterns) on the fact that the bankers in the Harry Potter films are as they are to the representation of the Jews in the protocols of the Elders of Zion. Since nobody listens to podcasts, nobody notices. A month goes by – in Stewart’s words: “Two Corona Mutations Ago” – someone wakes up to digested turkey and notices the podcast, and that someone is from Newsweek, and headlines: Jon Stewart accuses JK Rowling of anti-Semitism.
“Anti-Semitism” was the accusation that got it all before all the accusations (from sexism to skill, passing through imaginative stuff that I will not give dignity to quote) were considered drinkable. It still retains a greater power today, not only because it came first, but above all because between one who can say “they killed my grandfather in a gas chamber” and one who can say “they called me with the wrong pronouns” it is quite obvious who prevail in the victorious tournament.
The curves are ready with scarves and trumpets, and they line up without any surprise (the last time a cultural party surprised me I bought five hundred lire of crescenta going to school).
On my social networks, the news arrives so divided.
Postmodern enthusiasts, to whom it does not seem true to say “Not only is Rowling terf, but she is also anti-Semitic” (“terf” is the acronym with which postmodernism indicates those women who believe that, if the locker rooms of the gym are separated by sex, this stick to anatomy and not to perception, and if you wave your bigolo you should stay in the male one even if you perceive yourself as Carmen Miranda).
British feminists defending Rowling by photographing the Harry Potter page describing the goblins – who are not actually portrayed with the hooked noses they will have in the movies – and saying it’s sexism that Rowling is blamed, not the billionaire producers. of Warner.
Saperlalunghisti who explain to us that Stewart had to attack Rowling in order not to alienate the postmodern public after defending Chappelle (I don’t have the patience to tell you about the Chappelle question: go over before reading me, instead of complaining about interdisciplinary references).
The three categories have one thing in common: they haven’t heard the podcast. And in fact, after a few hours of delirium, Stewart arrives to say something that anyone who has been transcribed by carabinieri or prosecutors already knows: things are said in one tone; if not a scriptwriter but a gendarme transcribes them, the tone is screwed up and remains: anti-Semitism, profanity.
The newspapers – I learned it from a certain trial of which I was accused, the world learned it from that transcript of Carlo and Camilla that you should have reviewed before reading here – are more like gendarmes than scriptwriters in their inability to bring back the tones.
Stewart says they do it on purpose, and gives the Newsweek folks arsonists. (He also says: once upon a time if something was on Newsweek it meant something, and I almost start to cry. Do you remember, the twentieth century? you could be sure he wasn’t an idiot. What a crazy nostalgia, I hardly even miss the coin-operated cabins so much).
At Christmas on the BBC it went on the air A very British scandal. It is the story of the divorce of the Dukes of Argyle, in the 1950s; the reason they tell it is the one that appears superimposed at the end: it was the first time a woman was shamed by the English newspapers for sexual reasons. The Duke of Argyle brought to court photos of the Duchess giving someone a blowjob (to him, in the version of events chosen by the television reduction).
But that is not the reason we sympathize with her. The reason why the Duke of Argyle as depicted on screen sucks us is that he is willing to do anything not to work and to be supported. One thing that if a woman does it we claim as her right and we must not allow ourselves to say that women must work outside the home and feminism is to respect everyone’s choices and bla bla bla. If a woman does not want to work, it is right that if he is fired and they are divorced the ex-wife goes a part of the liquidation. If a woman does not want to work, it is right that the divorce decree grants her alimony.
When a man is the kept man, we can finally say how much we despise the kept. There will undoubtedly be some story of a woman willing to do anything to lead a life she didn’t intend to work to afford – any classroom-goer that deals with family law tells that even today he is full of wives who separate with the intention to be kept for life – but no common sense TV producer would tell it today.
Because objectivity does not exist: there are versions of the facts, and the bestial effort that has to be done – in the face not only of a chronicle, but also of a fictional reconstruction – to understand what are the facts underlying the message that spirit of the times took us to stick on.