Driven to Tears: Africa + Environs ‘Sliding into Starvation – Again’!

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The Usual Suspects: #Brexit Referendum Opinions ‘Split Along Entirely Foreseeable Lines’!

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Eurotrash No Longer: Top Two At #ESC2016 ‘Come From Another Continent’!

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All Played Out: Three Dating Questions for a Post-PUA Era

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One of the best things about being based in a truly global metropolis like London is the constant exposure to new ideas and concepts – no matter how counterintuitive – and meeting the people at their cutting edge. Recently, our Creative Director & CSO cast his mind back a decade to the emergence of the city’s pickup artist (‘PUA’) scene, a natural outgrowth of a curious American phenomenon which promised to turn wallflowers into casanovas through cultivation of ‘game’. Game – arguably one of the worst-defined terms in contemporary English – can perhaps best be understood as a sort of relationship psy-ops that purportedly enables full-spectrum romantic conquest.

Sympathetic to but not ultimately convinced by the underlying logic of the PUA movement, we at Mediolana had almost entirely forgotten about our brief encounter with the same. However, thanks to a chance, auto-generated Internet hyperlink, we have now become aware of what the rest of the world has known for some time: numerous key protagonists of the global PUA tendency have all but renounced their affiliation. The fate of Neil ‘Style’ Strauss is particularly instructive: the author of 2005’s seminal text The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists and former consort of Britney Spears, Strauss wound up in a sex addiction clinic and now swears by monogamy; having held a symbolic funeral for his alter-ego, he married the Mexico-born, California-based model Ingrid De La O in August 2013, and they welcomed their first child into this world in March 2015.

Prompted by these developments, we at Mediolana reflected on exactly why the PUA phenomenon failed to speak to us, and after some contemplation we concluded that it was principally because it had failed to ask the right questions. The movement’s stated aim – successful seduction of females by males culminating in zero-context sex, in a nutshell – means that it is almost always going to descend into statistical fixation (telephone numbers obtained per day, ‘notches’ racked up per month, etc.) with little or no risk of experiencing anything deeper.

Conversely, the post-PUA era demands a more profound line of questioning. While this blog is no dating column, men would do well to ask the following three questions of themselves:

  1. Are you virtuous enough to inspire loving behaviour? The PUA scene saw coupling as a product of things such as money, status, dress, conversational routines and crude emotional manipulation. This often resulted in the development of thinly-veiled abusive relationships, with dictatorial and paranoid ‘players’ wielding a command-and-control model to rule over ‘their’ women. Examine one’s own character through the lens of virtue is a much more intimidating course of action, but if you can audit yourself objectively then you may yet end up in the dream position of having a female do nice things for you not owing to external compulsion, but because she loves you.
  2. Are you capable of treating a beautiful woman as a gateway to Infinity? Throughout (and indeed beyond) the PUA movement, it was standard operating procedure to rank women on a numerical scale of 1-10 according to their physical beauty; men were also ordered on a similar scale, but using a more complicated mix of attributes aligning broadly with the ‘game’ concept. This generated an enormous amount of speculation. Could a 6 male go out with a 9.5 female? Were females valued at 8 too emotionally high maintenance for the return-on-investment? And what exactly is a 10? However, it is far more productive to ascertain if you are capable of relating to a beautiful woman as a gateway to Infinity. Paradoxically, this means developing an appreciation of beautiful women in ways that incorporate but transcend their physical appearance. If you can relate to them on a soul level having gone at least some way towards training your own soul (see numbered paragraph 1 above), then you can enter an entirely new dimension of spiritual experience.
  3. Are your expectations meaningful? Predominantly statistical approaches produce predominantly statistical results, and in an era of genuinely unprecedented superficiality, this can lead to perverse expectations: men who out of some firmly-held and logically indefensible principle will not date women with non-blonde hair; women below the height of 1.72m; women who telephone them more than once every three days; women who take selfies; women with the ‘wrong’ taste in music; women who wear jeans instead of dresses…vacuous criteria such as these kill serious relationships before they have a chance to begin. Instead, focus on the stuff that actually matters: the quality of the human being. Seeking out attributes which almost no one even considers – such as having a high capacity for love – can bulldoze shallow rules like practically nothing else.

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Reading Between the Lines: UK #University #Students ‘Can No Longer Finish Entire Books’!

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Looking Good: Mediolana’s Spring 2016 Makeover ‘Making Waves’!

An increasingly surreal London is finally cranking into spring – multiple hailstorms notwithstanding – and to mark this moment, we at Mediolana are revising our aesthetics once again. Our social media presence (on Twitter and Facebook as well as WordPress, with multiple other networks to follow) has never felt this fresh. Enjoy, and – to use a technical term – stay tuned!

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Kanadajin3: The First President of Japan?

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Regular readers of this blog will know that (at least periodically) we try to take the pulse of YouTube, a portal which has the potential to supplant television given the apparent ossification of the latter medium; an excellent example of a channel which could hasten TV’s demise is that of Kanadajin3. Kanadajin3 (aka Mira, an amiable Canada-born resident of Tokyo) publishes videos about interesting facets of Japanese culture, from vending machine products to culinary tips; the formula is obviously a successful one, having garnered over 200,000 subscribers.

Until recently, we at Mediolana looked upon Kanadajin3 as merely a cute entertainment channel headed up by an unusually-talented twenty-something YouTuber. However, a brilliant video on the subject of the 2020 Summer Olympics – which is slated to be held in Tokyo – has got us thinking about this slice of the Internet in a whole new way. ANTI Tokyo olympics 2020 – 東京五輪 反対します (16th February 2016) sees Mira riffing on the reasons why she – like many who live and work in Japan’s largest city – believes that the Olympics is a net negative for her metropolis. Having watched this critique, we think that Kanadajin3 could be (with more than a nod to Tsugihara Ryuji and Hidaka Yoshiki) the First President of Japan, or at least someone with a very bright future in East Asian politics:

  1. Nationalist Edge. Mira makes an excellent observation about how large events run by distant, secretive and largely unaccountable organisations can end up flattening the local in the name of soulless homogeneity: she despairs of the proposal that Japan should ban the display of a traditional Buddhist symbol purely because of its superficial resemblance to the Nazi Hakenkreuz. Her views will resonate strongly with a Japanese public that is sensitive to cultural imperialism.
  2. Internationalist Vision. As a Canadian citizen with realistic aspirations to become a Japanese one, Mira has the potential to become an icon for a new, internationally-minded and increasingly open generation. She can also function as a bridge between two of the world’s largest economies: both Canada and Japan are members of the G7.
  3. Easy Charm. Most impressively of all, we were struck by how well Kanadajin3 communicated complex points. She exudes the easy charm of someone who can garner the support of a political machine purely by being herself – something her burgeoning YouTube subscriber base testifies to.

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