The wonderful thing about woke narratives is that you only have to wait a while until they collapse. The core of Donald Trump’s appeal in 2016, we were told by the media, was that white supremacists and various rubes saw a chance to reverse racial progress. The results of 2020 showed that, in fact, black and Latino support for Trump had increased over those four years, while Biden won by increasing his white male vote. The “racial reckoning” in the wake of George Floyd’s murder was proof, we were told, that we needed to “defund the police”. Only months later, the Democratic primary for New York City’s mayoral election was won by a black former cop, Eric Adams, who promised to increase police funding and had more support among African Americans and Latinos than upscale whites.

Last year every major media organization ran story after story about how white supremacists, inspired by Trump’s rhetoric on the “China virus”, were inflicting random violence against Asian Americans. As video after video and local news story after local news story showed that the attacks were largely by young black men or deranged homeless people, the establishment media started to run articles about “multiracial whiteness” to cover their posteriors. While racial justice figures insisted critical race theory was only being taught in a few law schools, teachers leaked high and even elementary school curricula showing precisely the concepts of CRT in action. The CRT scholars moved seamlessly to the argument that, sure, it’s there — and should be taught.

Unlike in Britain, where there is a strong debate about trans questions, especially the treatment of children with gender dysphoria, the woke media in the US will not print a word about it, and when they do, describe it as function of hateful transphobia and nothing else. But last week we found out, in fact, that medical treatment of gender dysphoric kids was “sloppy, sloppy healthcare”, without sufficient attention to kids’ overall mental health, and that many children who have been put on puberty blockers, followed by cross sex hormones, will never experience an orgasm as an adult. Who told us this? Two transgender surgeons who are pre-eminent practitioners of trans surgery — on the board of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health — no less.

We were also told it was an absurd idea that some people might abuse trans-inclusive provisions that allow trans women with male genitalia to be in intimate spaces with other women. And then a sex offender showed up in a spa in Los Angeles. First the media argued that nothing had happened, and that transphobes were making it up. Then they ran defensive pieces reluctantly copping to the truth. A second case is unfolding in Virginia, with a rape in a school girls’ toilet. We don’t know all the facts yet, but it has a similar dynamic.

Has any movement ever crashed and burned more quickly than the social justice revolution? Yet it powers on strong, sustained by the unfalsifiable, its increasing passion commensurate to the debunking that happens every day.

I know there are plenty of other things to worry about, but the increasing frequency of people playing their own music in public is beginning to get to me. People go to the beach or get a spot in a park, whip out their boombox — often now a small hi-tech gadget — and blast their noise so everyone else has to hear it as well. On their bikes, they play throbbing club music as they pass you in the street. Cars vibrating with the beat blasting from their stereos instantly force every passer-by to pay attention. I understand the need to brighten up your day and chores and work and even downtime with your favorite tunes. I do it all the time. But there are these things called earphones or AirPods or a million other headsets you might have heard of. They allow you to listen to a better quality sound, at any volume, without imposing your tastes on everyone else in your vicinity. It’s win-win! I used to be a total Karen about this, going up to these noise-machines and asking them to turn it down or off. Now, I just sigh, lick my wounds and walk on. It’s a strange time, isn’t it? At the same time that codes of speech and behavior are increasingly enforced with discipline in workplaces, on the street, anything goes. Is that what happens when civilizations die?

This article was originally published in The Spectator’s UK magazine. Subscribe to the World edition here.