Flat White

What’s woke this week?

28 November 2019

2:33 PM

28 November 2019

2:33 PM

Animal rights and feminist film criticism have stirred up wokeworld this week and, as we predicted last week, the run-up to Christmas is providing woke Christmas stocking stuffers everywhere, some of them particularly weird. Here are some of our favourites from the last week.

This little piggy went to… court

In wokeworld it’s not just acceptable but laudable to abort unborn human babies but woe betide you usually in the form of the social media version of Nineteen Eighty-Four’s Two Minutes Hate if you practice ‘speciesism’. It’s thoughtcrime of the highest order to suggest that ‘non-human animals’ are somehow less than human.

Well, things have taken a peculiar porcine turn this week in Germany where piglets are the plaintiffs in a complaint filed with the country’s Federal Constitutional Court by PETA to end the practice of castrating piglets without anaesthesia. You would think that most ‘human animals’ would abhor such a cruel practice but the announcement on PETA’s website was typically hyperbolic:

According to German law, animals cannot be harmed without reasonable explanation. The castration of piglets—with or without anesthesia—is in clear violation of this, giving Germany’s male piglets only one option: to sue for the enforcement of their rights in court.

While this raises the arresting mental picture of a parcel of porkers holding a clandestine meeting to discuss their rights, sadly this is not what happened, and PETA’s stated intentions go way beyond outlawing this one practice. Their statement continues:

[T]he filing’s objective is for the complaint is [sic] to be explicitly recognized in court, which would pave the way for granting nonhuman animals other fundamental rights in the future.

Clearly, this is just the sharp end of the trotter as far as PETA is concerned. The organisation’s founder, Ingrid Newkirk, had this to say about the case:

Not long ago, women, people of colour, humans with disabilities, and others were treated with disrespect and their interests were ignored. Now, people are waking up to the view that legal rights should not be determined by your species any more than by your gender, age, or skin colour.

My question is: where is Roald Dahl’s delightfully dark eponymous hero when you need him?

Feminist film furphies

Not one but two new cinematic productions have drawn the ire of feminist critics this week. Feminist media critic, geek speaker and consultant Anita Sarkeesian censured the Disney+ new Star Wars venture, The Mandalorian, for its lack of female speaking parts in the show’s first episode. On Twitter she posited:

Am I extremely tired or is there not a single female speaking character in the first episode of #Mandelorian?? I’ve gotta have missed something right???

The only problem was that there was a female speaking part, she just hadn’t recognized the character as female. Sarkeesian, whose raison d’être is to increase the representation of women in the world of geek, also failed to acknowledge that some episodes of the series will be directed by a female director – Deborah Chow – in a first for the Star Wars world and that future episodes will also feature strong female leads.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg News’ Hannah Elliott had an attack of the vapours about a movie about fast cars and the guys who love them. Her review of the elsewhere lauded Ford v Ferrari is subtitled:

It’s pretty to watch if you can suspend thinking about what that world must have been like for ambitious or creative folks who didn’t fit the white male demographic.

And elides into:

Picture this: During all 152 minutes of the film — which, for those who love vintage racing cars, will feel as good as an ice cream sundae on a summer afternoon, and you can read all about that here — men dominate the screen for 98 per cent of the time, by my unofficial count.

So, let me get this straight. The world of motor racing in the sixties was predominantly male. Colour me shocked. Elliott, who is supposed to be reviewing a film, then launches into a diatribe about female underrepresentation at the top of motoring companies.

There’s plenty to dislike about the internet but it’s a good thing that whole forests are no longer cut down to print stuff like this.

Rudolph’s rodent replacement

The Hampshire town of Alton’s annual Christmas display has this year eschewed its usual decorated Christmas tree in favour of wait for it a 16 feet tall marmot on skis. Why? Because, well, a thumping great rodent with earmuffs and scarf is what immediately springs to mind when you think of Christmas. And this one cost a whopping £4,200. Take that, Rudolph. A council spokesperson said:

Christmas is now such a diverse time of year. It’s not just about the traditional, now, and everything is pretty secular in its outlook. We used to have a traditional tree outside the Assembly Rooms but some people would say it was boring so we thought we’d do something quirky and hope to attract more people to the town and give the high street a boost.

So far it seems that rather than a boost the council is receiving a boot from locals who largely remain unimpressed.

Secret Santa suffering

The list of things that make millennials anxious appears to be as long as Santa’s Christmas list and the Christmas season has its very own horrors lurking under the tree. A recent study by Jobsite, found that the Secret Santa tradition is particularly heinous:

Just under a quarter of younger employees (22 per cent aged 23-38) said they felt angry at the person organising the whip-round for not considering their financial situation, some are even being ‘called out’ on the amount they have contributed. 17 per cent have also experienced allegations of stinginess relating to their contribution, resulting in a sense of shame within the workplace.

The study was discussed on Fox’s After the Show Show where millennial co-host Jillian Mele, when asked if the practice caused her anxiety, said: “It does, I’m already figuring out what to get everyone”. Silly me, I thought the whole idea of Secret Santa was that you didn’t have to get everyone a present.

But I have the perfect present that works for both givers and receivers of the millennial variety. Paper bags are cheap and the anxious recipients can use them for some deep breathing when hyperventilation results from contemplating all the injustices perpetrated against them.

The weirdness of woke

It’s hard to know what to write about this one. Fashion giant Burberry produces an annual Festive campaign, presumably to get the pundits buying up Burberry products for Christmas presents. This year’s edition is said to be “Embodying a festive spirit as an ethereal angel and a mystical faun playfully capture the feeling of the season”. Because they would, wouldn’t they?

Titled ‘What is Love?’ — as Titania McGrath would say, obvs — you can watch the whole sorry spectacle, featuring a powder blue-suited, winged angel and a disturbing dancing goatman, among other abominations, here. But you do so at your own risk.

Illustration: Buffalo Gal Pictures/Media House Capital.

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