Flat White

What’s woke this week?

14 November 2019

3:37 PM

14 November 2019

3:37 PM

The world has ridden a tsunami of woke this past week. It came crashing in from all corners of the globe and in a wondrous array of iterations. Everything from woolly jumpers, soft drinks and orangutans to literary classics, British history and schoolyard games has been the subject of some woke revisionism that will leave you laughing, crying or perhaps bleeding from the eyeballs. Read on for an insight into the woke week that was.

Baa-king mad

Ugly Christmas sweaters have recently become a cool, hipster accessory, so it was only a matter of time before the woke factor was revved up. For Christmas 2019 People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, PETA, has released a 100 per cent acrylic ‘Wool Hurts’ sweater that should go down a treat on Christmas morning with a soy latte and vegan French toast. And it will only cost you $150 to show your moral superiority. Baa-gain!

Of course, those donning the ‘3D bruised and bloodied plush sheep protruding from the front to the back of the sweater’ might scare the kiddies, but, on second thought, probably not. Those who would be likely to buy it are probably saving the planet by not having kids. Instead, their love and affection will be smothering some poor, unsuspecting pooch force-fed a vegan diet and dressed up in a Santa suit. Animal cruelty, anyone?

Tag gag

Tag, tip, tiggy, it — whatever you called it, you probably played the classic kids chasing game in the schoolyard and had a great time. So spare a thought for the students at the Rudyard Kipling Primary School & Nursery in Brighton, England. Following an edict from headteacher, Joanne Smith, ‘rough play’, including games like tag, is now forbidden. Instead, children are only permitted to play with ‘gentle hands’.

For the time being, they are still ‘allowed to hold hands or play clapping games with a friend should they wish to’, but who knows how long that will last? In inclusive institutions of higher learning, such as Oxford University, ‘jazz hands’ have now replaced clapping at Student Union events.

The war of the woke

The BBC’s soon-to-be-aired The War of The Worlds has been given a woke rewrite that would surely have even its socialist author, HG Wells, turning in his grave. Screenwriter Peter Harness gives us a storyline -– you’ll probably see this one coming –- that puts Eleanor Tomlinson as Amy, a minor character in Wells’ book, front and centre of the extra-terrestrial action. She even reads the famed introduction, which in the book is delivered by the unnamed male narrator:

No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s and yet as mortal as his own…

Tomlinson, in one of those ‘it’s 2019’ responses favoured by feminist celebrities said:

It’s time for a woman to do it. I mean, come on!


Funny how the ‘creative vision’ they’re always trying to protect for themselves is never extended to the author of the works they’re changing.

And, just for good woke measure, Harness ramps up the criticism of environmental damage, religion, nationalism and militarism. He said:

And religion is pretty roundly rubbished. Religion and militarism and these notions of nationhood in Wells’s book and in this adaptation, they just whither [sic] in the face of these aliens.

Naturally. It’s 2019.

Axein’ Anglo-Saxon

If, like me, you remember early British history lessons about the Angles, Saxons and Jutes, you’ll just love the latest from Canadian academic Mary Rambaran-Olm, an ‘active member of the Medievalists of Color organization which seeks to represent, mentor, foster individual and academic growth, and encourage diversity in the field of Medieval Studies’. Rambaran-Olm last week was quoted in The Times:

Generally, white supremacists use the term to make some sort of connection to their heritage (which is inaccurate) or to make associations with ‘whiteness’.

She was supported on Twitter by John Overholt, curator of early books and manuscripts at Harvard’s Houghton Library – surprise, surprise, another academic! – who said:

The term Anglo-Saxon is inextricably bound up with pseudohistorical accounts of white supremacy, and gives aid and comfort to contemporary white supremacists.

Scholars of Medieval history must abandon it.

Because there were so many diverse and inclusive ‘people of colour’ invading Great Britain at the time.

Sprite blight

That socially conscious mega-corporation (and wastewater polluter and contributor to marine plastic pollution) Coco-Cola, has just released a TV ad for its soft drink Sprite in Argentina to coincide with Buenos Aires ‘Pride’ Day.

Everything from the heart-tugging background music of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ and the poignant images of family members ‘helping’ their gender-confused and LGBTQI+ children to the maudlin tagline ‘Pride: What you feel when someone you love chooses to be happy’ was woke on steroids and a blatant promotion of the narrative that if you don’t support these behaviours you can’t be a loving person.

And clearly it all has so much to do with soft drink… sorry, make that dollars.

The ape escape

Sandra, an immigrant asylum seeker refugee from South America, last week settled into her new home in Florida. While you ponder what’s unusual about that I’ll let you in on the final detail. Sandra is an orangutan. Yes, you read that correctly.

Sandra spent 25 years in Buenos Aires Zoo and is famous as the ape that was granted ‘personhood’ by Argentinian Judge Elena Liberatori in 2015. Liberatori declared Sandra a ‘non-human person’ with legal rights. As Liberatori has stated:

With that ruling I wanted to tell society something new, that animals are sentient beings and that the first right they have is our obligation to respect them.

So, Sandra has finally made it to the US, that beacon of light for asylum-seekers everywhere, while simultaneously being the place loathed by its own woke activists. I just hope that the whole orange thing doesn’t confuse them too much. They’ll just have to remember – orange man, bad; orange ape non-human person with legal rights, good.

Illustration: PETA/Twitter.

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