Flat White

What’s woke this week?

21 November 2019

6:01 PM

21 November 2019

6:01 PM

Non-binary wokeworld is at the top of our list this week with gender-inclusive gingerbreads out and proud. In other woke news the Swedish prime minister did his best impersonation of an ostrich, unwoke Disney movies now carry trigger warnings, and New Hampshire is the home of our first woke Christmas story for 2019, although we’re sure there will be plenty more ‘holiday’ hoo-ha in the following weeks as the woke brigade targets Christmas.

Gingernuts

Last year Scottish parliamentary catering staff were forbidden to use the term gingerbread men to avoid offending anyone and earlier this year British supermarket chain, Co-op held a competition to name their new gender-neutral gingerbread. This year Target USA’s foray into the ugly Christmas sweater market included a Gender Inclusive Gingerbread Long Sleeve Sweater. And what’s gender-inclusive about it? Nothing, it would seem, except its erstwhile description. The gingerbread man looks like any other gingerbread man since time immemorial.

Target must have decided to ‘run, run as fast as you can’ because the item’s online description undertook a mysterious change. It originally appeared in the ‘women’s wear plus size’ category but is now listed under ‘Adult general sizing’. If you click on the link you’ll also notice that the item’s name has now been changed in the online catalogue to the simpler Gingerbread Long Sleeve Sweater – still no ‘man’ anywhere in sight – but the URL still gives away its origins.

And if you’re wondering what happened in the competition to name Co-op’s gender-neutral gingerbread, I can’t enlighten you. Since the initial flurry, the media has maintained radio silence on the matter and there is no mention of non-binary bikkies on the company’s website. Another backlash to a puerile publicity stunt, perhaps?

I just can’t wait for the inclusive re-write of the classic children’s cautionary tale. ‘Run, run as fast as you can. You can’t catch me I’m the gender-inclusive gingerbread’ doesn’t have quite the same rhythmic ring to it.

Swedish ostriches

Swedish Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven, gave a television interview on Sunday night where he refused to acknowledge a link between the country’s escalating gang violence — including bombings and the use of grenades — and mass migration, instead blaming unemployment and segregation:

The segregation is because there is too low employment and too high unemployment in these areas. But that would have been the same regardless of who had lived there. If you put people born in Sweden under the same conditions, you get the same result.


His comments didn’t go down too well in Swedish social media where critics accused him of burying his head in the sand.

Along with gang violence and gun crime more than 100 explosions have rocked the country this year, with intelligence chief, Linda H Straaf, saying that most suspects and convicted criminals:

[H]ave grown up in Sweden and they are from socio-economically weak groups, socio-economically weak areas, and many are perhaps second- or third-generation immigrants.

Sounds like the increasingly usual problem with the usual suspects. Mass immigration, segregated ghettoes, parallel societies, violence, and hamstrung policing and deportation policies. So much for the Utopian socialist paradise of Sweden. But as long as you don’t publicly talk about the real problem, everything should be mysig, to use the Swedish vernacular.   

We are Siamese sorry, woke if you please

If all the oh-so politically correct Disney live-action remakes have been getting up your nose you may have been looking to the originals for some relief. Not so fast. Your old Disney favourites have been given a partially woke treatment for Disney+, the company’s newly launched streaming platform. Classic animated films like Dumbo, Lady and the Tramp, The Jungle Book and Peter Pan feature trigger warnings for the woke:

This program is presented as originally created. It may contain outdated cultural depictions.

Dumbo even features a warning that it ‘contains tobacco depictions’. Quelle horreur!

Outdated cultural depictions from movies made between 1941 and 1967? Surely not. And, in the case of Peter Pan, J M Barrie’s original story was released in 1901. If you live in the real world you may not need reminders that, as author L P Hartley put it, “The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.” But the woke, shielded from uncomfortable discussions and opinions in their echo chambers, clearly need trigger warnings about horrible history.

There were rumours that Disney was going to cut ‘offending scenes’ all together but corporate giants can always make sure that their bread is buttered on both sides. Their comfortable middle ground should ensure that the woke can shield their eyes from offensive characters like Lady and the Tramp’s Siamese cats, Dumbo’s black crows, the Jungle Book’s King Louis and Peter Pan’s Indians while keeping those dollars rolling in.

The town council that stole Christmas

The children of Durham, New Hampshire will be excused for thinking that the Grinch has stolen Christmas this year. The town’s traditional Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony has morphed into Frost Fest, and it’s not just the name that has been changed.

In a bid to be all things to all people (aka ‘inclusive’) the town council decided that their event was apparently ‘too focused on Christmas’, so now their festival will be a celebration of winter, instead. They have decreed that there will be no tree lighting, Santa will not arrive on the town fire truck and the town’s lampposts will not be festooned with traditional wreaths:

Town Councilor Sally Tobias says the changes came about after some controversy last holiday season. “There was another private citizen that came forward and said that he had always had a problem with the Christmas tree, as he called it,” Tobias said.

Some community backlash ensued but an editorial in the local newspaper, Foster’s Daily Democrat, offered some friendly suggestions for how those who are offended by the decision should react, including:

Remember, this is a two-hour town event and you can celebrate any way you want with family and friends throughout the holiday season.

Which seems to beg the question: Why couldn’t the handful of people who objected to the previous event do just that and leave the rest of the town to enjoy their traditional celebration?

Bah! Humbug!

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