The Origin Of Woke

How do you get a guy to stand in a closet, while you seal him in by bricking up the door??

Strictly a hypothetical question!  That odd-shaped portion on my basement wall is where the electrical panel used to be…. and I have no idea where that irritating neighbor got to.

And Google is no damned help.  I hate that auto-complete!  I type in How do you…. and I get back
….do the Hokey-Pokey?
….get picked up at a gay bar?
….serve curried Iguana?

I believe I found the birth of Woke, and it’s further back than you might think.  I woke from a refreshing afternoon nap, wondering how the narrator in Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado, kept his victim from just breaking out.  It turns out that he chained the loathed sot to the back wall, tightly enough so that he could not get loose.

I studied the tale in Grade 12 English – old enough to deal with some of the darker themes.  Living out in the boondocks, the teacher only explained a bit of the story motivation, and being an Anglophone-Canadian, managed to mispronounce the Spanish name.  He spoke ah-mon-tee-yad-oh like ah-mon-till-lay-doh.

I re-read the tale on the Internet recently, and was discussing it with the son.  Poe’s works have always been classified as horror.  That’s how my teacher presented it.  Like Romeo and Juliet, this was a valid story of Renaissance, upper-class hatred and competition between families and commercial groups – possible, even likely to happen, given the opportunity.

The son said that, when he studied it, approximately 1988, his (female) English teacher explained that it was all allegory.  The story-teller was just an alcoholic, who was symbolically imprisoning his weakness, and getting sober.  So I guess, no AA back then??!  The dark horror story had been changed into a bright, kind, redemptive one of rehabilitation and personal triumph.

Personally, I find that interpretation to be ridiculous, but I wonder if any of you were presented with it.  😕   😳

There’s always tomorrow.  CU then.

Judge-Mental

I can tell a judgemental person – just by looking at them.

Just when you might think that ‘Good Christians’ have reached the limit of the depths that they will sink to – someone starts digging.

I recently read a Christian’s blog-post.  Not an Apologist debater – merely a denizen of the American Bible-belt, publishing from just this side of the Westboro Baptist Church.

He went down-town to conduct some business, and saw a family of four get out of a car.  He just knew by looking at them, that they weren’t a Christian family.  The 7-9 year old daughter was wearing yoga pants – and he didn’t approve of yoga pants.

The mother had a Karen haircut – and you know what those Karens are like.  No, I don’t!  I don’t even know what a “Karen haircut” looks like.

I reached his post through an Atheism tag, although the word Atheism was not used in the entire article.  He very carefully skirted making that accusation.  He wrote, “I might be wrong, but I don’t think that I’m being too judgemental.”  Yes, you are, and with no proof or justification!  😯

What was most disturbing was that this was far from an isolated viewpoint.  The post was an hour old when I reached it, and already it had 7 likes from other self-appointed cultural/religious gatekeepers who agreed with him.

He may have been from Arkansas.  In a related (actually, two) story, 29 years ago, Arkansas banned yoga.  I don’t believe that the ban is state-wide, only in the schools.  🙄  We can’t allow our children to be exposed to that Asian voodoo stuff.  It might make them think hard enough to question Jesus.  All that stretching is way too sensual, and some of them poses might incite lust.  It’s a good thing that Sears went bankrupt.  At least they’re not mailing out those pornographic catalogues anymore.

You can mail all your dismay, disbelief, and disapproval to Archon c/o Archon’s Den.  I will mix it with liberal doses of kitty-litter siftings, and forward it where it will do the most good.

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow – will be another April day.  See you there.  😀

Poles Apart

I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend, to the death, your right to say it.
Voltaire

America is lost, because of all the things that America already has lost – empathy, acceptance, sympathy, good manners, ego control, anger management, social justice, patience, understanding, and public civility and discourse.

It has become a nation of whining, exclusionist, pushy, cancel-culture, entitled, thugs.  The attitude is everywhere – in politics, religion and day-to-day social interaction.  The give-and-take is all gone, replaced by take! take! take!  They advocate #MeToo, but it’s all Me, Me, Me!

The hardest job kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any.

No-one takes the time to consider others as individuals, especially ones with valid opinions of their own.  Everyone else is just reduced to labels.  It is far easier to shout names at people, than it is to critically think.  Tribalism runs rampant.

Woke: a selfish ridiculous attitude towards anything, by people who feel undervalued and have the need to express themselves obnoxiously without regard for others.

Their guiding principal is “never let a crisis go to waste.”  Only in times of a pandemic, a national quarantine, or volatile race relations, can the new, upscale, leftist revolutionaries use fear to push through policies that no-one could stomach in normal times.

They hate dissent.  They try to destroy anyone who questions their media-spun hoaxes.  Truth is their enemy, and fear is their weapon.  George Orwell warned about 1984.  It’s a little late, but 1984 is upon us.

A hundred years ago, politicians referred to members of other parties as, The Honorable Member, or, The Respected Mister ….  They were Opponents – equals; they just didn’t want to do things ‘our way.’   Soon though, Honor and Respect disappeared.  Those who had been Opponents, became Adversaries.  In the 1960s and ‘70s, Adversaries became Enemies.  There’s no Go along, to get along.  Death threats are now the accepted form of political statement.

Over at the Temple of Peace, Love, and Acceptance, things aren’t any better.  A Christian College has been denied accreditation as a school by the Department of Education, rendering any diplomas invalid.  Their publicly posted mission statement clearly states who they will discriminate against.  An Op-Ed letter quoted the president, saying that he loved everybody, but would not accept that Catholics, Muslims and LGBTQ+ views were truthful, and then ironically demanded equality and fairness.  I was going to fire off a superheated rebuttal, but didn’t, when I realized that I could boil my reply down to two words.  YOU FIRST!!

There’s another Civil War brewing in America.  This time, it won’t be the North against the South – exactly.  It may become a schism between the Red States, and the Blue States, or the Bible Belt against the Quietly Spiritual.  I would hate to see that happen, because the only thing that keeps public culture safely in the middle of the social bell curve, is the fact that each side balances the other out.  If there’s a split, no matter which side you opt for, with the best of intentions, the brakes are off.  It’s a long slide down that slippery slope.

We’ve lost the ability to disagree with one another, without trying to cancel each other out. Woke is the new religion.  Statues come down, and schools must be renamed.  It is the ultimate conceit to apply today’s truths retroactively.   Quite soon, a Theocracy or Oligarchy will form, which will make Nazi Germany or Communist Russia look like a day-spa.  It won’t be pretty, kids.  Be careful what you wish for.  Pandora’s box isn’t quite empty.   😯

I WOKE To A Problem

Just a little rant observation about what life is like these days.

I rolled out of bed early, with a smile on my face, and a song in my heart.

8:00 a.m. I made a snowman.

8:10 A feminist passed by and asked me why I didn’t make a snow woman.

8:15 So, I made a snow woman.

8:17 My feminist neighbor complained about the snow woman’s voluptuous chest, saying it objectified snow women everywhere.

8:20 The gay couple living nearby threw a hissy fit and moaned it could have been two snow men instead.

8:22 The transgender ma..wom…person asked why I didn’t just make one snow person with detachable parts.

8:25 The vegans at the end of the lane complained about the carrot nose, as veggies are food and not to decorate snow figures with.

8:28 I am being called a racist because the snow couple is white.

8:31 The Muslim gent across the road demands the snow woman wear a burqa.

8:40 The Police arrive saying someone has been offended.

8:42 The feminist neighbor complained again that the broomstick of the snow woman needs to be removed because it depicted women in a domestic role.

8:43 The council equality officer arrived and threatened me with eviction.

8:45 TV news crew from the ABC shows up. I am asked if I know the difference between snowmen and snow-women? I reply, “Snowballs” and am now called a sexist.

9:00 I’m on the News as a suspected terrorist, racist, homophobe sensibility offender, bent on stirring up trouble during difficult weather.

9:10 I am asked if I have any accomplices. My children are taken by social services.

9:29 Far left protesters offended by everything, are marching down the street demanding for me to be beheaded.

Moral: There is no moral to this story. It’s just the world in which we live today, and it is going to get much worse.

WOW #73

Oops! This is the wrong catchpole.

I’d like to introduce you to a fine, upstanding pair of brother-words.  They don’t get out much anymore.  They’ve gone into semi-retirement because of the constant suffusion into everyday English usage, of valley-girl-speak, obvs.

Our protective pair for this week are

CATCHPOLE

and

TIPSTAFF

Catchpole: (formerly) a petty officer of justice, especially one arresting persons for debt.
Tipstaff: a staff tipped with metal, formerly carried as a badge of office, as by a constable.
any official who carried such a staff.

Gone are the days when these boys, and their Italian cousin, Fasces, could implement some social wellbeing by applying a few stripes across a few backs and butts, and some knots on some heads.  (Therefore, knotheads.)

I was gratified by the recent decisions to use riot-geared police, complete with two-foot truncheons, to finally bring an end to both the Ottawa Freedom Convoy, and the Windsor/Detroit bridge blockade.  Police showed remarkable restraint.  They barely had to use their billy-clubs.  I thought that a few more heads could have been cracked, to engender some good manners and social responsibility.

Society is a constant pendulum – from too restrictive, to too lenient.  This current Woke/cancel culture/snowflake – nobody even gets their feelings hurt, much less their ass, or their head – has swung too far into permissive.   I don’t want police beatings in the street, any more than I don’t want guys being shot for driving while black.  But there’s gotta be some workable middle ground.

If I set up a Patreon account, Tipstaff is what you could do.  Until then, I’ll just be happy if you have Uber-Eats deliver another helping of my rants in a couple of days.  😀

’21 A To Z Challenge – Q

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sugar and spice, and everything nice
That’s what little girls are made of.

Snakes and snails, and puppy-dog tails
That’s what little boys are made of.

Folks – some of them smart and educated – used to think that people, and the Universe, were made of some strange things.  They thought that all things were made up of four ‘Elements.’  Not elements like carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen, but the Elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water.  You can build a fire, but I don’t know how even God could build anything except panic and destruction, from fire.

Having been constructed of the four ‘Elements,’ the human body then somehow related to them with the four humors of Black bile, Blood, Yellow bile, and Phlegm.  Our ancestors seemed to be a dour lot, not having any room for silly, playful, happy, or even Woke.

Four Humors – And there’s the humor of it: Shakespeare and the four humors (nih.gov)

Black bile – Earth – melancholic
Blood – Air – sanguine
Yellow bile – Fire – choleric
Phlegm – Water – phlegmatic

The four humors somehow worked the body through hot, cold, moist, and dry, but in hot/moist, hot/dry, cold/moist, and cold/dry combinations.

The four Humors were also known as the Four Essences, which, at long last, brings us to today’s word.

QUINTESSENTIAL

Having decided that only four Essences comprised and controlled the human existence and behavior, they realized that there were actually times and situations where a Fifth (Latin – quinta) Essence was present, or required – that indefinable, indescribable property that made a genius, a genius, or a great leader, a great leader.

Today’s archaic word was brought to you with a smile, by toast and crab-apple jelly.  Wednesday’s post will use more modern words to complain about how “Black Friday” isn’t really over, but like a zombie, keeps lurching onward as Black Friday Weekend, and Black Friday Week sales.  Then I’ll really get into character by ranting about all-Christmas carols, all the time, from now till the 25th.  😉

Flash Fiction #265

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

UNDER THE BIG…. DISAPPOINTMENT

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, and all non-specifically-gendered LGBTQ+ persons – welcome to the first All-P.C. Circus.

Rather than cotton candy, hot-dogs and caramel corn, we are providing kale salads and frozen, whipped tofu in a chia-based cone.

Instead of trained seals and lions, we have a solar-powered Jumbotron, showing happy animals living in harmony in the wild.

Midgets have been replaced by stature-challenged roustabouts holding colorful posters showing global warming and extinct species.

Our daring high-diver will leap from his lofty ivory tower into two feet of WOKE.

No Snowflakes will be melted during the presentation of our show.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Woke Up, Kitchener!

I had hoped that all this Woke Society/Cancel Culture, delusional fad-du-jour would remain in the Excited States.  Alas, t’was not to be.  This is the Information Age, which means that it’s on the internet, and spreading faster than COVID.  It has wafted North across the border, and settled on Canada like wildfire smoke, including in my usually staid, sane-thinking Kitchener.

The first symptom developed a couple of years ago, when a local artist donated a bronze statue of Sir John A. MacDonald, Canada’s first Prime Minister and the one in charge of the beginning of Indian residential schools, where thousands of unmarked graves are only now being found.

A huge fuss was raised to prevent the statue from being put in the big, down-town park.  It eventually was shipped to a small town, ten miles west, where there is an historic mini-mansion.  It was doused with red paint twice, and finally knocked off its pedestal.

More recently, the statue of Queen Victoria in her namesake park has been painted red twice.  While she was mostly a figurehead monarch, apparently she’s being blamed for British colonialism.  A brown-skinned immigrant from India has started a petition to rename the city.  Beginning as ‘Sand Hills,’ it became ‘Ebytown,’ and then Berlin, Ontario.

105 years ago, the woke generation of English-speakers demanded that the town change its name, to show loyalty to Britain during WW I.  The local German burghers didn’t really care.  Victoria, the ‘English’ queen, was actually German nobility, from the House of Saxe-Coburg-Anhalt.

British Lord Kitchener’s name was a last-minute addition to a referendum with six names.  The outstanding feature of the plebiscite was the absolute indifference displayed by the ratepayers.  With about 10,000 voters, (All of them men  😯 ) only 892 bothered to cast a ballot, and the name Kitchener got a plurality of 346.

Kitchener (the man) was not excessively colonialist, or racist.  He was just steeped in the unthinking beliefs of the time and place.  White, British males held a Manifest Destiny to own and control the world.  It is a huge mistake to try to retroactively apply 21st Century morals.

In 1973, Waterloo Lutheran University went public, and adopted the name Wilfrid Laurier University, partly to honor the subject of my Where’s Willy post, and partly so that they could retain the same initials – WLU.

Now there is another petition being circulated to have that name also changed.  True, Willy helped administrate the residential Indian school system which damaged so many Indigenous, but, like Lord Kitchener, he did what he did out of an honest belief that it was in their best interests.

I think that we are taking this name change of streets, cities, schools, etc. way too far.  The past is the past, which we cannot, nor ever will be able to, change.  Really people, this needs to stop.  Move on.  We need to learn from it, not bury it.

I ask the woke folk to take a good look in the mirror, and ask themselves two questions.  “Looking back at your very short existence and past behaviors, is there anything that you now regret doing and would do differently if you had the chance?”  Judge not, lest ye be judged.  Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.  “Second, how did Canada become one of the best counties in the world in which to live?  Could it be because of the leaders of the past – the ones whose contributions and reputations you so eagerly want to tarnish?”

Name changes are not only inconvenient, but are also very costly.  Anything that’s associated with a data-base which contains addresses will be affected.  Passports, drivers’ licences, health cards, property and automobile ownerships, Federal, Provincial and municipal taxes, utilities accounts, postal services, road signs, mapping, GPS – the list goes on and on.

Come on, Snowflakes!  Nowhere in the American or Canadian Constitution are you guaranteed the right not to be offended.  😳

Flash Fiction #257

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

MOUNTAINS OF MOLEHILLS

Chris didn’t know why most people hated him.  In fact, most people felt that Chris didn’t know that they hated him.

There wasn’t a comment or request that he couldn’t read out of context, and take personal affront with.  A simple request for a work-file, had him running to HR with accusations of harassment.  There was always plenty of Guilt, and Blame, and Fault handed out.

Seemingly asleep on most Social Justice Issues, he still managed to stridently surf the crest of the Woke wave.  While not belonging to any, he constantly voiced loud opinions on BLM, LGBTQ+, and Feminism.

***

If you’d like to join the fun, go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.