Flat White

What’s woke this week?

17 October 2019

5:31 PM

17 October 2019

5:31 PM

Wokedemia strikes again this week, along with giving new meaning to the term fairy godmother, and a few other cameo appearances just too delicious to pass by.

Putting the squeeze on SpongeBob

Kids’ cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants, who lives in a pineapple under the sea with a host of anthropomorphic sea creatures, has been mired in controversy this week. ‘Absorbent and yellow and porous is he’ — and a racist, sexist coloniser as well, according to Holly M Barker, principal lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Washington. You just knew she had to be an academic, right?

A previous controversy had seen sociologist Jeffrey P Dennis — another academic with way too much time on his hands — argue the ‘queer’ nature of the relationship between SpongeBob and his best friend, Patrick Starfish (along with calumniating earlier cartoon duos like Yogi Bear and Boo Boo and Rocky and Bullwinkle – God forbid!). But just to rain on that gay parade creator Stephen Hillenburg categorically denied that SpongeBob is gay.

Fast forward a few years and Hillenburg is no longer around to defend his creation (he died last year). It appears that he never specifically alluded to Bikini Atoll as the home of Bikini Bottom, although Tom Kenny, the voice of SpongeBob, has been quoted as saying that the aquatic playground is named after Bikini Atoll. But no matter. I’m sure you’re still wondering how the fifth longest-running animated series in American history has become the latest symbol of cultural oppression.

Here it is in a nutshell (emphasis on nut). Barker’s paper, Unsettling SpongeBob and the Legacies of Violence on Bikini Bottom posits:

Billions of people around the globe are well-acquainted with SpongeBob Squarepants [sic] and the antics of the title character and his friends on Bikini Bottom. By the same token, there is an absence of public discourse about the whitewashing of violent American military activities through SpongeBob’s occupation and reclaiming of the bottom of Bikini Atoll’s lagoon. SpongeBob Squarepants [sic] and his friends play a role in normalizing the settler colonial takings of Indigenous lands while erasing the ancestral Bikinian people from their nonfictional homeland.

That’s a lot to sheet home to a lovable, guileless, short-order cook kitchen sponge; a dim-witted starfish; a money-hungry crab; a clarinet-playing octopus; a diving suit-wearing squirrel; and an evil copepod and his wife, who just happens to be a computer. Just how many clues do you need that this is a fictional world?

Too much is never enough in wokedemia.

Bibbity bobbity Billy

Big news in Hollywood this week was the latest casting announcement for the Cinderella movie currently in development by woke celebrity, James Corden. LGBTQ+ activist and actor Billy Porter will play the fairy godmother. What followed was celebrity sycophancy on steroids, not uncommon in wokeworld.

Savannah Walsh from Elle, whose life, based on her articulated ‘wildest dreams’, seems in serious need of a makeover, had this to say:

If given the opportunity to live out my wildest dreams before the stroke of midnight, chances are they’d involve Billy Porter as a Fairy Godmother. Luckily, there are no magical glass slippers required for this news: a live-action Cinderella reboot from Sony is heading to theaters. And yes, Porter has confirmed his involvement, granting wishes everywhere.

And, of course, Vogue breathlessly announced:

In a stroke of true casting magic, Billy Porter will play the Fairy Godmother in the forthcoming live-action reimagining of Cinderella, the Emmy-winning actor revealed at this weekend’s New Yorker Festival. Porter seems perfectly suited to the sparkling majesty of the role, given his Pose sashays, Kinky Boots, and having been carried into the Met Gala on a golden litter. But Porter’s casting also represents a much-needed, progressive update to the wand-wielding godmother and the fairy tale itself.

Notice the absence of simple nouns like ‘movie’ or ‘film’ to describe the project. Instead, we have turgid terms beloved by woke wordsmiths, like ‘a live-action Cinderella reboot’ and ‘live-action reimagining of Cinderella’.

Back in the real world, I had never heard of Billy Porter, but my research demonstrated that clearly I was missing out. In this day and age, just being invited to the Met Gala is a woke badge of honour celebrities would kill their grandmothers (or should that be their babies?) for. So being carried a la Cleopatra into the Met Gala by a sextet of gold lame pants-wearing ‘men of colour’(not that I’m making any assumptions about gender, here), while clad in a jewelled catsuit sporting wings, would of course qualify Porter for any job he fancied in the fairyland that is Hollywood. It’s also an image that unfortunately I now can’t unsee.

But perhaps there’s a sparkly camp elephant in the room. I thought it was ix-nay on the airy-fay word in conjunction with homosexuals. But what would I know? My fairy godmother is never around when I need her/xyr/vis etc to grant my wishes. I know this because not one of the shallow, sensationalist, attention-seeking celebrities of wokeworld has been turned into a pumpkin yet.

More juicy nuggets

A vegan called police after her ‘friends’ fed her chicken nuggets while she was ‘white girl wasted’ and then later posted the video. The perpetrators are now facing charges. Social media reaction ranged from the view that she had been ‘violated’ to accusing her of white privilege.

Extinction Rebellion’s self-fulfilling prophecy

An image did the rounds this week purporting to show an Extinction Rebellion camp powered by a diesel generator. While it was subsequently proven that the image was not from one of their camps and this was then trumpeted throughout the MSM, members then happily posted an image on Twitter of a diesel generator they actually used at an event in Northern Ireland.

Barbarella, space cadet

In an interview this week rent-a-cause warrior Jane Fonda claimed, “I’ve been a climate scientist for decades and decades”. To be fair I think she was probably just having a Joe Biden-esque senior’s moment, but there’s no stopping Jane jumping on the latest woke bandwagon. Inspired by the ubiquitous Greta she’s moving to Washington where she will protest at Fire Drill Fridays. As if anyone needed another reason not to go there.

Illustration: Marianne Productions/Dino Di Laurentiis/Paramount Pictures. 

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