Flat White

What’s woke this week

10 October 2019

2:27 PM

10 October 2019

2:27 PM

There’s more from the world of woke celebrities this week, plus some judicial bible bashing. And from the art world, the gift that just keeps on giving, we feature an art exhibition that’s so woke you’ll probably choke. Bon appétit!

Cackling’ Rosie

It seems that you can no longer be a celebrity without a public opinion about everything and a cause célèbre. And the highest cause of most United States-based woke celebrities is, of course, ousting Donald Trump. It’s interesting and perhaps foolhardy that their method of choice for achieving their ends has been social media, especially Twitter, a battleground where Trump has proven himself a modern-day Genghis Khan.

Rosie O’Donnell was one of a host of leftist luminary ‘celebrities’ like Lena Dunham, Snoop Dog and Chelsea Handler (who?) who threatened to move to Canada if Trump was elected president and probably helped get him over the line in the process. Those north of the border only stopped shaking in their La Canadienne boots when the inevitable happened and they all stayed put, much to the Donald’s delight.

O’Donnell has maintained a Twitter feud with Trump since 2006 and in the lead-up to the 2017 election he famously tweeted, “If me winning means Rosie O’Donnell moves to Canada, I’d be doing a great service to our country!”

Well, Trump had a major win in their war of attrition in the past week without having to lift a Twitter-primed thumb. O’Donnell, firmly convinced that everyone else thinks the same as she and the rest of her celebrity pals, launched a Twitter poll to confirm widespread grassroots support for impeaching Trump. Seemed like a slam dunk to Rosie, who wasn’t looking out for low-flying pigs.

The result? Of 272,582 respondents 42 per cent voted “Hell Yes” while 58 per cent declared a resounding “Hell No.” And this is from the kind of people who presumably willingly read Rosie’s strident missives, rather than average working-class Americans for whom O’Donnell and her elitist cronies are becoming increasingly irrelevant. Oops!

And what was the response of that brave crusader for truth (anti-vax and 9/11 conspiracy theories), justice (LGBTQI+, gay adoption and abortion rights) and the new American way (no Trump, natch!)?

Super Rosie — unable to deal with a real inconvenient truth — ran away faster than a speeding bullet, deleting the offensive poll results from her Twitter account. And if anyone heard a cackle that was the sound of Rosie laying a big, fat egg.

Bible bashers

In the UK last year Dr David Mackereth was dismissed from his job as a disability assessor with the Department of Works and Pensions. Before, he had been an emergency doctor at the National Health Service, a role which he had competently and compassionately performed for 26 years. His crime? According to his evidence at his case for wrongful dismissal at the Employment Tribunal (England and Wales) earlier this year he was asked by contract manager James Owen :

If you have a man six feet tall with a beard, who says he want to be addressed as ‘she’ and ‘Mrs’; would you do that?”. I am quite sure that this is exactly what he said to me, in substance if not verbatim. I told him that, as a Christian, I would not be able to accede to such a request in good conscience.

This week the judgement in his case was released. The unanimous judgement dismissing Dr Mackereth’s claims may not be surprising given the current state of affairs in the UK judiciary, but the reasons provided by Judge Perry, Mr RS Virdee and Mr R Trigg, were jaw-dropping considering that they simultaneously allowed that ‘Christianity is a protected characteristic’.

The three inverted wise monkeys referred to Dr Mackereth’s ‘lack of belief in transgenderism’ (sounds curiously faith-based rather than scientific) in the judgement and determined:

[B]elief in Genesis 1:27, lack of belief in transgenderism and conscientious objection to transgenderism in our judgment are incompatible with human dignity and conflict with the fundamental rights of others, specifically here, transgender individuals.

But the real kicker was:

In so far as those beliefs form part of his wider faith, his wider faith also does not satisfy the requirement of being worthy of respect in a democratic society…

So, there you have it folks. Christianity, the most widely practised religion in the world is not compatible with human dignity or worthy of respect.

Excuse me while I gag. We’re talking about Christianity, the religion that introduced hospitals for the public in the early fourth century and developed and continues to maintain charitable and medical institutions throughout the world. Specifically, the Roman Catholic Church is still the biggest non-government provider of health care services in the world, with 18,000 clinics, 16,000 homes for the elderly and those with special needs, and 5,500 hospitals.

Clearly Christians are just a bunch of bigots. Or maybe that was the members of the commission.

Dr Mackereth plans to appeal the decision.

Horror movie

The woker than woke online art publication, Hyperallergic, trumpets that it was:

[F]ounded by the husband-and-husband team, Veken Gueyikian and Hrag Vartanian, in 2009 as a forum for playful, serious, and radical perspectives on art in society.

You get the drift.

It’s kind of cute that in 2019 – more than a century after Marcel Duchamp signed a urinal “R Mutt” – these people still see themselves as ‘radical’ and ‘challenging the art world status quo’ rather than reflecting today’s rubbish but culturally dominant view of contemporary art. Ooh, aren’t they brave?

This week, among other gems, one report from contributor Eliza Levinson documented her visit to the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.) to view Labour, the latest ‘installation’ by video artist Candice Breitz. It apparently addresses ‘reproductive justice and power’ through the prism of Donald Trump and a range of other ‘dictators’. Well, how else could you possibly do it (assuming that anyone would want to)?

Labour comprises four video loops played in reverse. If you’re partial to a bit of messy voyeurism, you can watch videos of women giving birth, complete with “moaning, fast-paced, whooshing beats and high-pitched cries” circulating around the gallery space. How lovely.

And the artistic bits? There are three: it’s all shown in reverse to “demonstrate women undoing the moment they gave birth to tyrants and dictators”; it’s accompanied by a “‘MATRICIAL DECREE’, proclaimed from a matriarchal futuristic society, the ‘Secular Council of the Utopian Matriarchat’”; and once again public enemy number one is obviously the democratically-elected president of the USA.

You can read the whole story about what now passes for art here, but below are excerpts for your cultural edification:

When the baby is no longer visible, single letters in white text flash on a black screen, accompanied by a strange, underwater-sounding thumping: M-I-K, reads one; N-I-T-U-P reads the next; the other two read O-R-A-N-O-S-L-O-B and P-M-U-R-T.

And the writer’s cloying conclusion:

‘Labour’ is an immersion in extremes: obfuscation and intimacy; authenticity and fantasy; fantasy and politics. Moving through Labour’s world, one is forced to reckon with both the profound power of life-giving and the challenges of speaking truth to power through mythos, as horror plays out in the present.

I can get on board with that bit about horror.

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