Flat White

What’s woke this week?

28 January 2021

4:01 PM

28 January 2021

4:01 PM

In my ongoing quest to ‘do the work’ and come to terms with my inherent white supremacy I discovered recently that ‘third world’ is a term I shouldn’t use because of its intrinsic racism, but what the heck, I’ve decided to live dangerously for this week’s woke instalment . While third world countries continue to battle real problems like starvation, civil war, and access to education for children, in the first world the woke have bigger fish to fry. They’ve bestowed Moby Dick status on minnow myths like sexist playing cards, fat phobia racist monkeys and homophobic fairytales, and pursue them with the characteristic obsession of Captain Ahab himself. Melville nailed it, except for the gender thing:  

There is no folly of the beasts of the earth which is not infinitely outdone by the madness of men.

Falling for the three card trick 

If the dreaded misogyny lurking in your deck of cards has been keeping you awake at night, you’ll now be able to rest much easier, thanks to Dutch psychology graduate, Indy MellinkMellink, incensed that a king is worth more than a queen, has pulled off a superlative three card trick by garnering publicity and, more importantly, orders from around the globe for her genderless card decks. Talk about the product you didn’t know you neededHer decks replace jacks, queens and kings with a bronze shield, silver coins and gold bars. 

If we have this hierarchy that the king is worth more than the queen then this subtle inequality influences people in their daily life because it’s just another way of saying ‘hey, you’re less important’.  

Mulling the eternal questions posed by this story roused my inner wokescold so here are some important considerations that I’m calling on Mellink to address immediately or be cancelled. Ignoring the fact that picture cards have equal worth in games like blackjack, I still want to know why the ace didn’t incur her righteous wrath. Perhaps the fact that aces can be either high or low in some games is the cardgame equivalent of choosing your own gender, letting aces off scot-free.   

And then there’s her tacit support of capitalism — gold bars and silver coins, indeed! Hasn’t she heard of The Great ResetAnd who said gold and silver should be worth more than bronze? Sounds like discrimination against alloys to me. I also think the hierarchy of numbers is deeply problematic and needs to be addressed. Why should nine be worth more than three, for example?  

Ms Mellink, please explain. 

Weighty matters 

Quackademics are at it again, this time at the University of New Hampshire. What woke student worth his/her/ their Himalayan pink salt would study ‘Analysis and applications of algebraic and transcendental functions, with special emphasis on exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions’ when you can get the same number of credits for ‘Weight Matters: an intro to fat studies’? And you can even repeat Weight Matters to get double the credits. Bargain. 

The university website is short on details about the course, except that it is offered by the Womens and Gender studies department and taught by Dr Joëlle RyanRyan, whose pathosprofuse bio you can read here, identifies as a queer, asexual, non-binary transgender woman and uses They/Them/Their pronounsBet you didn’t see that coming.  

Ryan’s previous contributions to indispensable knowledge for the 21st-century college student include ‘Gender Politics in Film’Trans/Forming Gender and Queer Cinema and Feminist Thought. 

See no racism 

They seek it here, they seek it there those wokesters seek it everywhere; racism, that is. And if you keep looking you’re bound to find it, even where it doesn’t exist. Spare a thought for the clueless organizers of a University of York art history conference who recently withdrew imagery from promotional material  and their call for submissions page because academics were concerned that the image could be insulting to ethnic minorities.   

You might ask what reprehensible representation caused such a stir? The three wise monkeys. Yes, you know the ones: see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.  

The image has origins in Buddhist and Japanese culturemonkeys are seen as important beings in the Shinto religion and the conference, entitled ‘Sensorial Fixations: Orality, Aurality, Opticality and Hapticitywas about the sensory experiences of the body. That all makes the image appear relevant and suitable, but academics sniffed out racism anyway, and then fell all over themselves with a fawning apology straight out of the woke playbook: 

Upon reflection, we strongly believe that our first poster is not appropriate as its iconology promulgates a longstanding visual legacy of oppression and exploits racist stereotypes,” they wrote. “We bring this to your attention, so that we may be held accountable for our actions and, in our privileges, do and be better.”

Perhaps we need to slip in another monkey for circumstances like this: think no evil. I suspect it takes a particular kind of racist to see an image of monkeys and immediately associate that with ‘black, indigenous and people of colour’.   

Mermaid makeover

The wait is finally over, be still my beating heart. A modern retelling of The Little Mermaid is set to hit bookstores in June to coincide with Pride month. You guessed it, the story, Nen and the Lonely Fishermanhas ” LGBTQ+ inclusivity and a subtle environmental message.” And is it just me, or does Nen look like a merman of colour? That’s the woke trifecta then. 

Here’s the heartwarming synopsis: 

Nen and the Lonely Fisherman tells the story of a merman’s search for true love. Nen sends a song of hope across the sea while a lonely, caring young fisherman named Ernest hopes to find warmth in his heart. As the two meet, they feel a special connection, much to the dismay of Nen’s father, Pelagios, who creates a wild sea storm to protect his son and the ocean. Can Nen save Ernest?

I bet this will have your littlies beating down the doors of your local bookstore, and you beating your head against the wall.  

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