Flat White

What’s woke this week?

3 September 2021

1:16 PM

3 September 2021

1:16 PM

The more I research stories from Wokeworld the more I conclude that they’ve just got to be pulling our collective leg. Surely they just can’t be as dangerously unhinged as they appear. They must be gaming us with their burlesque buffoonery, which this week includes paying criminals not to shoot people, an atheist head of chaplains and a gender-neutral narwhal student activist college mascot.

It’s all so eerily reminiscent of the nonsense works of Edward Lear, Lewis Caroll or A E Housman. Houseman’s The Crocodile, or Public Decency, with a couple of amendments, seems particularly apt:

Though some at my aversion smile,
I cannot love the crocodile wokophile.
Its conduct does not seem to me
Consistent with sincerity reality.

Fellowship of the sting

Newsweek this week presented a story of such gob-smacking, stupefying, WTF wokeness to make the mind reel. I’ll just let the first sentence speak for itself:

A new program in San Francisco will pay people at high risk of shooting someone not to pull the trigger to help alleviate rising gun violence in the city.

No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you, nobody has slipped you a Mickey Finn, and you have not been transported to the centre of a dystopian novel. This is social justice, San Francisco socialist Utopia-style, and we all know just what a utopia that is.

Ethics-challenged  Mayor London Breed’s Dream Keeper Initiative aims to “reinvest $120 million over the next two years from law enforcement into San Francisco’s Black and African American community”. Did someone say ‘defund the police’?

And what about those ‘people at high risk of shooting people’? Those poor misunderstood gangbangers, thieves and drug dealers will be catered for through the optimistically-named Dream Keeper Fellowship, which will pay 10 people (eventually increasing to 30) $300 each month not to be involved in shootings.

They’re not actually going to take their guns away. They’re just going to pay them not to use them. How could that go wrong?

Participants will be paired with life coaches from the city’s Street Violence Intervention Program and will be considered “community ambassadors” who work to prevent violence. They will work on their professional, personal, and community development and will be thought of as “partners” in engaging community members and decreasing violence.


And if they’re especially good they can earn an extra $200 a month for performing Herculean tasks like working and going to school.

$500 tax-payer-funded dollars every month to buy new kicks or maybe, just maybe, more guns (because it’s not like that’s what actually happened in the ‘massively successful’ pilot program).

What enterprising  gangbanger would say no to that?

Delusive inclusive

A Lutheran, a Christian Scientist, an evangelical  Christian and a Bahá’í walked into a bar… well, actually it was a meeting room at Harvard University and they weren’t there for a palsy-walsy pint. Their mission was to elect the new president of Harvard’s organisation of chaplains, which they did in a unanimous vote. Some gag. Can we get to the punchline?

The new president is ‘humanist chaplain’ Greg Epstein, author of Good Without God

He’s an atheist.

To Mr. Epstein, becoming the organization’s head, especially as it gains more recognition from the university, comes as affirmation of a years long effort, started by his predecessor, to teach a campus with traditional religious roots about humanism.

“We don’t look to a god for answers,” Mr. Epstein said. “We are each other’s answers.”

Which might be all very well for an advisor, a counsellor or a philosopher, but a chaplain?

“Maybe in a more conservative university climate there might be a question like ‘What the heck are they doing at Harvard, having a humanist be the president of the chaplains?’” said Margit Hammerstrom, the Christian Science chaplain at Harvard. “But in this environment it works.”

Well, this is Harvard where biology professor Carole Hooven was recently castigated by the director of the department’s diversity and inclusion taskforce for ‘transphobic and harmful remarks’ when she lamented the use of the term ‘pregnant people’ and other prescribed terminology unhinged from biology.

I have a question. If Harvard is so big on diversity I want to know why Jedis, Raelians, devotees from the church of Maradona, and Panawaves seem to have been excluded from the chaplaincy decision-making process.

Inclusive? I think not.

Cetacean mutation

An arctic dwelling sea mammal seems a pretty unlikely mascot for a New York university but in 2012 the student body at The New School (yes, it really is a university) voted for a narwhal as their mascot.

Nine years is a long time in the life of a radical Frankfurt School-immersed college so in 2021 Gnarly the Narwhal was deemed no longer fit for purpose. Instead of cancelling their tusked teammate, as other American colleges have done, Gnarly was given a pudding-brained social justice, gender-neutral makeover. Get this:

Gnarls Narwhal (they/them) is the official mascot for The New School, a social justice advocate, and the first and only sea mammal to earn a BA/BFA dual degree from The New School. Gnarls is a Pisces.

There’s also a puerile potboiler of a backstory, tugging at the heartstrings with some climate change pathos and showing a surprisingly limited knowledge of cetacean behaviour. I’m pretty sure narwhals swim rather than ‘float’. Read it and weep.

The New School’s interdisciplinary curriculum strongly appealed to Gnarls and led them to pursue a BA/BFA dual degree, studying Communication Design at Parsons and Environmental Studies at Lang.

Shortly after graduating, they were asked to return as the university’s “sea mammal-in-residence,” serving as an advocate for students and all of their scholarly and extracurricular activities, an attendee at political protests, and ambassador for oceanic lifeforms.

To the woke I suppose a gender-neutral narwhal student activist is just as plausible as an atheist chaplain.

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