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Author Topic: Thought Police: Are we allowed to query 'woke'?  (Read 13718 times)

Will Cooling

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Re: Thought Police: Are we allowed to query 'woke'?
« Reply #120 on: 07 October, 2020, 07:44:48 PM »
Surprised no one's mentioned the interesting journey the phrase "woke" has taken

It began as an African-American term, meaning to be awake to the systematic injustices and dangers that a white dominated society posed to black people. It somehow got picked up by white liberals, and became a broader descriptor of being alert to discrimination and bigotry. In my experience, it feels its now became something that is almost only used to mock or insult people. It's basically "political correctness gone mad" for people who spend too much time on Twitter.

Can you query it? Depends what you mean by that. The impulse to breakdown discrimination and bigtory is good and important, but specific examples may take the principle beyond the point of common sense, especially when you're dealing with white-dominated institutions prone to overreact to what an atypical group of activists are saying. A good example is some Americans adopting the word "latinx" as gender neutral term for latino/latina people, something that has increasingly been proven to be incredibly unpopular within that community because it doesn't map onto Spanish. Likewise there's been a lot of backlash towards "defund the police" from African-Americans.

Likewise  there's often good arguments that politicians (more in the states) have become too quick to frame policies in ways that needlessly irritate poorer white voters, where a more traditional class frame would make the policy more popular (casting economic redistribution as a "reparations for slavery" was a good example of this).

And of course there's the argument that a lot of culture war issues are arguing about symbolism which might be interesting to people online, but doesn't actually do much for minorities. A lot of BAME people have expressed irritation that (as they saw it) white liberals steered the conversation on race equality towards statues, rather than actually dealing with the issues they faced.

And finally there is an issue in the UK with people conflating the issues that we face as a country with those that America, a very different country, face. There is obviously racism in Britain, but its not the same as Americas, and adopting the same frame doesn't work. For example, America is more racially segregated than Britain is, and so sometimes their framework doesn't allow for things like Adele donning a Notting Hill Carnival costume as an example of her celebrating the culture of where she grew up. 

So yeah, it would be silly to go along with every "woke" argument. But you can disagree about particulars without losing sight of the need to address the systematic issues that people face in the UK and other countries.
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Re: Thought Police: Are we allowed to query 'woke'?
« Reply #121 on: 07 October, 2020, 09:30:16 PM »
Quote from: Funt Solo
link=topic=46939.msg1040848#msg1040848
date=1602091219


Quote from: repoman
link=topic=46939.msg1040841#msg1040841
date=1602085892
I just watched a film yesterday that was an allegory for the white middle classes gentrifying black neighbourhoods. The black kids in the film were the heroes, the whites were literally blood sucking vampires ... I'm
not going to start thinking it was anti white.


It was anti-white. Or, rather, it was anti-
oppression. It just so happens that it's the white folk that are oppressing the black folk. See, if the white folk are doing that, then it's okay to be anti that. So, it's okay (to an extent, right?) to be anti-white. Anti- oppression.



I'm with you at the beginning, that it's okay to be anti-oppression. But I start to feel uncomfortable when oppression and skin colour are conflated. One only has to mention Rwanda or China to remember that oppressors come in all colours.

Does it really matter whether it's white oppression or black oppression, and what colour the oppressor and which the oppressed? Indeed, does attaching a colour to the crime somehow alter its flavour in the public consciousness? Does white oppression sound any different than black oppression? I guess the tears are just as salty, in any case. In considering arguments such as this I personally find it useful to replace words like black or white (or refugee or asylum seeker or soldier or politician) with the word "human," which often affords a sliver of extra perspective.

In my view, then, I don't think it's okay to be anti-white oppressor or anti-black oppressor because it allows racism to ride the coat tails of reason. Anti-oppressor or anti-human oppressor (the second one, I guess, so the anti-meat guys can go after the farmers with the first), sure. Be that.

I'm not having a go, the concept of labels and symbols is quite fascinating. The way movements concentrate and conflate symbols and labels intrigues me. The idea of trying to legitimise a bad label (racism) by sticking it onto a good one (anti-oppression) is not one that fills me with optimism.

TL;DR - Movements are flesh-bound buckets containing labels representing simplified ideas congealed around a basic theme into which people too busy to think for themselves can reach in order to select the ones which most appeal to their emotional requirements.

STL;SDR - Movements are generally shit.

~~~^~~~~~~~


Rest in peace, Dave.

Funt Solo

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Re: Thought Police: Are we allowed to query 'woke'?
« Reply #122 on: 07 October, 2020, 09:51:05 PM »
Anti-white oppression, is what I was trying to say, in my muddled, half-arsed way. You can cut it down to anti-oppression, but the context of the discussion at that point revolved around white privilege, so not mentioning the word white seems like introducing an elephant into the room.

You sometimes get arguments along the lines of: "Black Lives Matter is racist", that are deliberately (or idiotically) missing the point.

It's not an even playing field, which is why black folk get to use the n-word and white folk don't / shouldn't. Some people cite that as unfair, but it's the unfairness that already exists that makes it okay.

So, it was okay, in context, for the movie to portray the blood-sucking vampires as white. It's always about the context.

---

(I'm not suggesting that white folk should be eliminated, but then, it's not white folk who are being choked out by their own police force in broad daylight. And, to take it down a notch in terms of outcomes, it's not white folk who are being continually questioned about why they are there, when there is their place of work.)
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Re: Thought Police: Are we allowed to query 'woke'?
« Reply #123 on: 08 October, 2020, 12:01:35 AM »

I think I've blundered into three arguments here - the artistic, the real, and the ideal.

In terms of the artistic argument, I have none. If the point of the fantasy is to comment on some present aspect of society then sure, have at it - white vampires; no problem. An army of them. An empire of them. Artistically, it's all good as far as I'm concerned - counting, as I do, Iron Sky as one of the guiltiest of my guilty pleasures.

In the real world, yes, it's a mess. A Gordian Knot of timelines so closely entangled that they're choking each other. There's very little reason in it, and way too much blind faith. Too many people too angry, or too afraid, to do anything to even consider the galactically distant possibility of getting ready to entertain the notion of maybe pondering the chances of an initial approach to the idea of thinking about maybe letting all this crap drop and moving on, for f*ck's sake. So instead they continue to shout at one another, and over one another, and past one another. And reason battles emotion on yet another front - which might just be the war mankind's been fighting with itself since achieving self-awareness. It can't be solved by reason alone and neither alone by emotion.

Lastly, my old Mistress Nemesis the Ideal - or the ideal as I see it. "No, no, no," I cry, "look at it this way - if you look at it this way, it makes sense." Then you all tell me to f*ck off and hilarity ensues - but hold; not this time. Just stfu and listen, because if you look at it this way, it actually makes sense.

If I had a magic wand which could, in the most ideal of ideal worlds, eradicate racism then I'd use it. I think it's counterproductive, it's dangerous, it's barbaric and it's immoral. But I can't banish it from the world. What I can do is try to banish it from my world. This leaves me open to the criticism of ignoring the realities of a subject, often entirely justified as that's exactly what I am doing - trying to dig down a little bit further, to take things apart. Here, I was faffing about trying to decouple "white" (and "black") from "oppressor" because the colour of an oppressor, on a purely intellectual level, is of no consequence. The bullet doesn't care whose finger's on the trigger. To decouple one from the other seems to me a good way to focus on what it means to be an oppressor without the distortion of a coloured lens of any hue. Which is not to say that racism is not a driving factor in the real world - just like geography, sociology and economics - but the trait of oppressor, whilst no doubt influenced by many factors, stands apart from them all; even racism, which is an evil unto itself.

TL;DR - Whilst race may be a factor in oppression, oppression is not always a result of racism and the human race will continue to war upon itself as colour agin colour and sex agin sex and me agin thee until The Blessed Day when Lord Sir Most High John Lennon is made God of Earth and Imagine the global anthem. Then we might have a chance.

STL;SDR - Racism bad, oppression worse.

~~~^~~~~~~~


Rest in peace, Dave.

TordelBack

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Re: Thought Police: Are we allowed to query 'woke'?
« Reply #124 on: 08 October, 2020, 11:57:35 AM »
Was it a millionaire who said "imagine no possessions"?
A poor little schoolboy who said "we don't need no lessons"?
The pop princess is downtown shooting up
And if that goddess is fit for burning
The sun will struggle up
The world will still keep turning.



Little bit of Godders* there for the regulars, nice memory to start the day.

*By way of Declan MacManus OBE (1991).
« Last Edit: 08 October, 2020, 12:00:29 PM by TordelBack »

repoman

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Re: Thought Police: Are we allowed to query 'woke'?
« Reply #125 on: 09 October, 2020, 02:22:51 PM »
What you don't want to get into is a list of what we can and can't tell jokes about.

I don't like the idea that as a rule comedy has to 'punch up' because comedy shouldn't have rules as such.  It should just be funny.  Picking on certain targets just doesn't lend itself to comedy which is why Jim Davidson is shit but if a comedian can craft funny material out of a topic and it works for humour's sake and not out of some sort of cruel intention, then maybe it should stand for itself.  Buyer beware I guess.

I went to see Jerry Sadowitz a few years back and it was a rough ride but that was the act and it was funny.  That needs to be protected as much as the feelings of woke people.  Especially as woke people more often than not are white young adults with nothing to complain in their own lives (if you've got an iPhone to tweet angrily from then your life isn't exactly in the gutter).  They can't be marginalised but they can get angry about BLM, trans rights and so on.  Even though they are doing more of the complaining than any black or trans person. 

Indeed I've known a few people online who seemed to become SJWs overnight and suddenly that was their entire persona when prior to that there was no sign of it.  People just get drawn to things I guess.

Funt Solo

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Re: Thought Police: Are we allowed to query 'woke'?
« Reply #126 on: 09 October, 2020, 02:30:50 PM »
You’re so wrong that I don’t know where to start. Are you trolling?
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Re: Thought Police: Are we allowed to query 'woke'?
« Reply #127 on: 09 October, 2020, 02:37:55 PM »
I don't like the idea that as a rule comedy has to 'punch up' because comedy shouldn't have rules as such. 

I definitely don't think there should be rules or anything in comedy. A lot of the things I'm really interested in are fairly extreme in their content and I'm a big opponent of censorship on the whole. I just think that punching down when making a joke isn't comedy, it's just really cruel behaviour.
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Re: Thought Police: Are we allowed to query 'woke'?
« Reply #128 on: 09 October, 2020, 02:41:16 PM »
You’re so wrong that I don’t know where to start. Are you trolling?
I’m wondering that. There are no ‘rules’ to comedy. But there are trends. No-one has ‘cancelled’ Jim Davidson. It’s just that his always slightly dodgy routines fell totally out of fashion and so he became more extreme and is now Mr Why Can’t I Be Racist And Do Blackface, complaining about SJWs.

Also, quite why repoman feels that relatively well-off white people can’t be angry about the rights of oppressed  minorities baffles me. Without people giving a shit about those who are worse off, it’s much harder for things to get better.
« Last Edit: 09 October, 2020, 03:53:54 PM by IndigoPrime »

JayzusB.Christ

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Re: Thought Police: Are we allowed to query 'woke'?
« Reply #129 on: 09 October, 2020, 03:17:04 PM »
Without wishing to rise to the bait if this is trolling, there's a difference between Jim Davison being 'cancelled' and Jim Davison being outdated, shite and as such largely ignored.
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Re: Thought Police: Are we allowed to query 'woke'?
« Reply #130 on: 09 October, 2020, 03:36:03 PM »
Indeed I've known a few people online who seemed to become SJWs overnight and suddenly that was their entire persona when prior to that there was no sign of it.  People just get drawn to things I guess.

A female creator I was following suddenly started saying it wasn't cool to send her rape threats or say that you hope the breast cancer kills her.  She literally tweets about nothing else now except her far left political agenda and it just came out of nowhere.

Modern Panther

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Re: Thought Police: Are we allowed to query 'woke'?
« Reply #131 on: 09 October, 2020, 03:50:36 PM »
I can understand why people might want to treat others with basic decency, but can't they do it in the privacy of their own home rather than shoving basic decency down our throats at every opportunity? Can't turn on the TV nowadays without getting a face full of mutual respect and not calling for genocide. I blame the BBC.

TordelBack

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Re: Thought Police: Are we allowed to query 'woke'?
« Reply #132 on: 09 October, 2020, 04:35:09 PM »
...if you've got an iPhone to tweet angrily from then your life isn't exactly in the gutter. 

The only people who absolutely need a smart phone are homeless people.

Tjm86

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Re: Thought Police: Are we allowed to query 'woke'?
« Reply #133 on: 09 October, 2020, 04:39:15 PM »
A female creator I was following suddenly started saying it wasn't cool to send her rape threats or say that you hope the breast cancer kills her. 

On one level I'm tempted to remark that being offended at being sent rape or death threats is such a 'snowflake' reaction ...  then again considering that MP's in this country have seen those death threats translate into action, perhaps that is the sort of joke that might be in poor taste, even if it is being sarcastic.

As for Jim Davidson, I'm not sure he has ever been anything other than "outdated, s**** and as such largely ignored" ... Granted he's had a big following amongst certain sections of the army but considering that the intellectual calibre of those sections is slightly smaller than that of their weaponry that really isn't saying much.

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Re: Thought Police: Are we allowed to query 'woke'?
« Reply #134 on: 09 October, 2020, 04:49:49 PM »
...if you've got an iPhone to tweet angrily from then your life isn't exactly in the gutter. 

The only people who absolutely need a smart phone are homeless people.

Still amazes me that there are people who think "you have an iPhone therefore you cannot be poor or a member of an oppressed group" is a thing that should be said out loud.