Flat White

What’s woke this week?

18 April 2019

12:11 PM

18 April 2019

12:11 PM

In France, trees have become sentient beings with rights, no less, while in Britain a man self-identifies as a dog. On top of that police cars with the word ‘police’ emblazoned on them have triggered people in California this week, and woke college students (is there any other kind?) at Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts, declared that ‘cops are awful people’.

Free the trees

At a symposium in France last week enthusiastic participants adopted a ‘declaration of tree rights’. The symposium was hosted by Delphine Batho, president of the French political environmentalist party Génération écologie, who is a member of the National Assembly and a former minister.

She and her cronies declared that:

A tree is a living organism whose average lifespan is far longer than that of a human being. It should be respected throughout its life and have the right to develop and to reproduce freely, from its birth to its natural death, whether it be a town tree or a country tree. A tree should be considered as a subject of law, including when laws regarding human property are involved.

I suppose tree hugging is out, then, unless you’re Joe Biden. Issues of consent and all that.

Clearly, there is good reason to protect specific historic trees, which the society for the protection of trees (A.r.b.r.e.s.) has done for significant trees like a locust tree across the Seine from Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris that was planted in 1601.

Of course, the irony there is that that trees have probably benefited from more protection than the sadly neglected, now smouldering cathedral. Notre Dame’s demise is in part due to neglect from decades of minimal government funding, cross-institutional red tape and a refusal by French President, Emmanuel Macron to allow a visitor fee to finance repairs.

Dog days

Kaz James, a store manager from Salford, Greater Manchester has come out of the closet… and into the kennel. The Daily Mail reported last week that James, who apparently never felt human and now self-identifies as a dog:

Regularly unleashes his personality by barking at friends, carrying items with his teeth and snacking on Bonio dog biscuits. Outside of work, he wears customised rubber outfits, masks, dog leads, harnesses and even a bespoke £2,000 fur suit.

James, the Mail continues, says:

I don’t eat at people’s tables when I go to friends’ houses. I can be a normal person in a restaurant. I’m trained and can deal with humans, but I don’t like it, it makes me feel uncomfortable.

James is the co-founder of Kennel Klub, where like-minded, er, ‘human pups’ can hang out together with tennis balls in their mouths.

That slippery slope just got a whole lot slipperier.

Flag rebuff kerfuff-le

In Laguna Beach, a small town tourist and surfing mecca and artist colony in California, the American flag just became a symbol of division.

Laguna Beach black and white police cars were re-painted in February, with a logo design that features a large word “police” filled with a red, white and blue representation of the stars and stripes. Detractors described the vehicles as ‘aggressive’ and ‘militaristic’.

Mayor Steve Dicterow said that he had received a dozen emails of concern from residents about the graphics:

Some of the words people used was that they felt it was threatening, intimidating, harassing and a symbol of racism.

Others just see it as bad art that doesn’t reflect the artist community. But, since artists are not the only people who live, work and play at Laguna Beach, perhaps visibility and safety are greater concerns. As Dicterow says:

This is about safety. I want anybody to see it, period.

Council is meeting on Tuesday to decide whether to choose an alternative design.

Holyoke hoo-haa

Students at Mount Holyoke, Massachusetts, planned a protest last week after being triggered about an event to be staged on campus. Their flyer stated that they were concerned that:

OUR ADMINISTRATION IS WELCOMING A LARGE NUMBER OF ARMED INDIVIDUALS from a known paramilitary organization with a documented history of white supremacy and patriarchal violence… TO MOVE FREELY AROUND MOUNT HOLYOKE.

And what is this obviously terrifying event? Why, the Western Massachusetts Police Academy graduation ceremony, of course.

The college administration had warned students about the event, telling them there was ‘no need to be alarmed’. But the prospect of 40 new police officers and 500 guests was just too much for the little snowflakes. In the flyer they opined that the event would:

Make campus especially unsafe(er) for Black women, women of color, Black queer and trans folks, queer and trans folks of color, non-Black/POC queer & trans folks, undocumented folks, and disabled folks… THIS IS REASON TO BE ALARMED.

Posts to a student Facebook group included such pearls of wisdom as ‘Cops are wife and children beaters. F*** them all’. But of course.

Further reports suggest that the protest did not go ahead once the students’ plans were exposed. They did, however, bravely hang a carefully worded and thought-provoking sign from one of the buildings: F*** COPS.

Take that you, white supremacists, you!

Illustration: pupplay.info.

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