Flat White

What’s woke this weekend?

18 April 2021

4:00 AM

18 April 2021

4:00 AM

We have our finger on the pulse of wokism here at The Spectator Australia and this week we’ll answer some of 2021’s biggest questions for you. But I’m warning you, you probably won’t like the answers — or the questions. You will learn: What are ‘neopronouns’? How virtuous is your vaccination? When is a mistress not a mistress? Is cheese racist? Is a black TV character black enough if he doesn’t conform to black racial stereotypes? Strap in for your radical roller coaster ride at the world’s biggest theme park – Wokeworld.

Pronoun lowdown

The once great New York Times has fallen for wokism in a big way. Last week they published a handy guide for all of those seeking a deeper understanding of ‘neopronouns’, and, surely that would be all of us. In a grand gesture of inclusivity, the NYT even commissioned cutesy illustrations from artists who use ‘neopronouns’ to describe themselves. Examples from this important and brave article include:

A neopronoun can also be a so-called “noun-self pronoun,” in which a pre-existing word is drafted into use as a pronoun. Noun-self pronouns can refer to animals — so your pronouns can be “bun/bunself” and “kitten/kittenself.” Others refer to fantasy characters — “vamp/vampself,” “prin/cess/princesself,” “fae/faer/faeself” — or even just common slang, like “Innit/Innits/Innitself.”

You won’t be surprised at the things that apparently off limits, though:

Neopronoun users have shut down the notion of using terms related to Black Lives Matter, like “BLM,” as neopronouns… Others have claimed that using “fae” as a neopronoun is culturally appropriative from pagan communities.

Brave first-person accounts lend gravitas to the story:

“Being neurodivergent, I tend to perceive how a word makes me feel rather than just seeing the word,” the noun-self user Gum, 13, wrote in a direct message on Twitter. “I chose my bink/bonk pronouns because they remind me of clowns. Clowns and harlequin dolls make me very happy.”

Clowns. I rest my case.

Vaccine virtue

Forget trees falling in the forest. If your COVID vaccination doesn’t appear in your Twitter feed, Instagram or Facebook page, and if you haven’t got the commemorative T-shirt, did it really happen? Cue professional virtue signaler, CNN’s Brian Stelter, live on air:

It’s really important to see all these TV anchors, personalities, showing themselves getting the shot. We’ve seen a lot of vaccine selfies from lots of folks at lots of different networks. It’s been really inspiring to see.

But public virtue displays are not enough for the likes of Stelter. You have to sink the boot into someone else to prove just how virtuous you really are.

While the news chyron “Fox’s biggest stars have not shared vaccine selfies” ran along the bottom of the screen an outraged Stelter asked:

Where are Tucker and Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham? Where is Ainsley Earhardt and Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade? Where are the biggest stars on Fox getting vaccinated?

Stelter really has to scrape the bottom of the barrel now that Trump’s no longer around.

Don’t despair if you don’t have the online clout of woke TV talking heads. There’s always a T-shirt (or jewellery) to signal your vaccine virtue, courtesy of Etsy:

Kate Knibbs, a senior writer at Wired, unearthed a handful of t-shirts Thursday designed for people who are so excited about the COVID-19 vaccine that a simple vaccine card selfie won’t suffice. These people… need a more permanent, physical representation of how freaking jazzed they are to have received their immunity poke, their “Fauci Ouchie,” the jab itself! The best way to trumpet your vaccine status for all the world to see? A graphic t-shirt, obviously!

Mistress distress

The AP Stylebook is the go-to resource for journalists and corporate communicators about American-English grammar style and word usage. Well, it used to be. Now it’s a political tool of neo-Marxists and critical race hucksters attempting to force language into a woke box. One of their tweets last week was a doozie:

Because we can’t call anything what it actually is anymore. Friend, my eye.

While we’re on the subject of terminology, perhaps we should replace the word ‘journalist’ with ‘propagandist. Please discuss.

Anti-cheese pleas

Alison Plaumer, a vegan Extinction Rebellion activist (is there any other kind?), recently spoke at a meeting of Brighton and Hove City Council in England about her petition seeking two plant-based days a week for meals at state-run schools and for all council-run events to serve only plant-based foods once the pandemic is over. Clearly, that last one is a pipe dream since we all know the pandemic will really never be over.

And it obviously doesn’t matter that people who don’t want to eat meat are already catered for. A city councillor explained that:

[A] vegan option was available every day for those children who are registered as vegans and a meat-free option was always available in schools.

But it is Plaumer’s comments about cheese that have garnered the most interest:

Arguably, there is a racist element to serving dairy too much because 65 per cent of the world’s population are lactose intolerant, many from the BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) community.

Grimaces. Sighs. Now adding cheese to my ever-expanding list of ‘racist things for dummies’.

Black box

The BBC’s diversity chief, Miranda Wayland, took aim at the highly acclaimed and popular series, Luther, in which the eponymous anti-hero cop (played by Idris Elba) is a black man. But not the ‘right sort’ of black man, obviously. Her problem?:

When [Luther] first came out everybody loved the fact that Idris Elba was in there — a really strong, black character lead.

We all fell in love with him. Who didn’t, right? But after you got into about the second series you got kind of like, OK, he doesn’t have any black friends, he doesn’t eat any Caribbean food, this doesn’t feel authentic.

In other words, where are all the steel drums and jerk chicken? Never mind the fact that the troubled Luther doesn’t really ‘do’ friends, of any description.

The message couldn’t be clearer, really. Black characters on TV must stick to cultural stereotypes to ensure that shows are properly diverse.

You’ve been told.

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