Flat White

What’s woke this week?

3 April 2019

12:26 PM

3 April 2019

12:26 PM

Wokeworld this week invoked cheese in the fight against Trump, introduced therapeutic cuddle parties for men to fight toxic masculinity, and determined mispronouncing names as acts of racism. They’re out there.

Turophiliac’s ‘arty’ Trump attack

G K Chesterton once said that ‘poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese’. While poets may have neglected it, one Canadian ‘artist’ and turophiliac (cheese lover) is doing his bit to enshrine blocks of cheese as a metaphor for — wait for it — Trump’s border wall.

Cosimo Cavallaro’s previous installation artworks include a cheese-covered chair, a cheese-smothered jacket, and his pièce de résistance: an entire room at a New York hotel coated with microwaved Swiss and mozzarella cheese. This guy has some serious cheese issues. But now he’s turned his attention to Trump.

The LA Times reported that Cavallaro

Works with perishable components such as cheese to demonstrate the fleeting and decadent nature of material objects and humankind” and that “he insists his installation is not political. He simply wants to show that people are better off without walls dividing them and inciting fear.

(And it sure beats getting a real job.)

The Cheese Wall Project is currently being constructed on the USA – Mexico border. In what has the cheesy whiff of collusion to me, non-profit public art organization, Art Above Ground (co-incidentally co-founded by Cavallaro and his wife Sarah) is sponsoring the project. Where is Robert Mueller when you need him? The Cheese Wall seems to be Art Above Ground’s only current project.

The sponsorship is for 200 blocks of expired cotija cheese that will form a six feet-high, 25 feet long wall. Cavallaro is hoping that donations through his GoFundMe page can extend the wall to 1,000 feet. Their $300,000 goal is a long ‘whey’ off at the moment, with only $2,625 raised in the last month. But at least the donators are an enthusiastic lot. Comments include “I donated because i [sic]know Cosimo as a Great Artist, a Genius and a Visionary” and “I believe in what the CHEESE WALL stands for and the genius of Cosimo Cavallaro and his GREAT vision and work”.

If you’d prefer to get something tangible for your money, rather than just the warm inner glow that comes from thinking you’ve struck a blow against Trump, you can purchase some of Cavallaro’s Make America Grate Again merchandise.

Make America Grate Again — it might be cheesy but it’s certainly woke.

Silly Philly cuddle huddle

CBS Philly reported this week about a men’s only ‘therapeutic cuddling group’ in Plymouth, Philadelphia. It may be men’s only but this is clearly no demonstration of the patriarchy. Oh, no. Like that woke corporation Gillette these guys want to pull the rug out from under toxic masculinity and create safe spaces for touching.

On their Meetup page founders Kevin and Scott state that the group’s intention is:

To provide a safe, structured, and platonic environment for men to experience what I call “The three As’; Acceptance, Affirmation and Affection”.

Some guys may want to cuddle with a man who may carry the energy of their father, a brother, or the jock who may not have affirmed them in High School. Other men may choose NOT to cuddle someone who reminds them of, for instance, their abusive teacher, uncle or a childhood bully.

As the evening draws to a close, the group joins in a huddle circle and each man would choose a word of personal affirmation to share as a man among men.

The group has 57 members, of whom it appears eight attended their last event. But things are looking up. Their next cuddle caucus, scheduled for April 3, shows 14 men planning to attend. Apparently there are other men’s-only cuddling groups in the US: Cuddling Men NYC and Men Cuddling Men in Chicago are two examples. I suppose it’s just a matter of time until cuddle groups become the next battleground for trans activism. I see nothing in their material that reflects ‘inclusivity’.

Here in Australia cuddle parties are a thing, too, but it appears these are not exclusively for men. They would be perfect for all those hard-working woke warriors who attempt to eviscerate with their keyboards anyone who opposes their ideologies, but need a little pyjama-clad affirmation and affection in their downtime. Or if that doesn’t work for them they could try meditating with baby goats. I kid you not.

Nomenclature nonsense

KUOW radio station in northwest USA’s Puget Sound this week produced a punchy podcast declaring that mispronouncing names is intrinsically racist. Oh, the horror of it. Co-hosts Keya Roy and Zuheera Ali spoke of their own experiences and got some insight from author Ijeoma Oluo and Rita Kohli, a professor at University of California Riverside, who has studied the effects of mispronouncing names on ‘students of color’.

You can listen to the whole 14 minutes here, but if that’s too much for you here is some of their snowflake wokespeak:

Keya Roy (my attempt would be Kay-a, but what would I know?):

As a person of color, I’ve always felt like the right to my name was a concession I had to make. It’s like a tax I have to pay to be here.

Ijeoma Oluo (OK, not a clue, so that clearly proves I’m a racist):

It’s racist at its core to think that other cultures[sic] names are invalid. It’s othering and purposefully disrespectful, and it’s often used as a weapon against me.

Zuheera Ali (seems pretty obvious to me):

My name is my identity, and allowing someone else to say it wrong is stripping me of that.

Believe it or not, people have been mispronouncing my names all my life. I get that some people are dumb, some are lazy and some are rude so it’s caused mirth rather than angst.

My apologies, that must be my white privilege exercising itself.

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