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PostPosted: July 26 19, 11:43 am 
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G. Keenan wrote:
GeddyWrox wrote:
Yep.

I still feel no shame if someone calls me "woke". It's true!

Nor do I feel shame if someone tries to call me an SJW. Nor liberal. I am proud of all of these labels.


Pretty incredible how opening one's mind to the state sponsored violence that is all around us gets twisted into an allegation of elitist affectation.


I think that's a fair point. But. Re what I was saying about absolute moral philosophy like that practiced by Singer and by the ultra-woke, that applies to how we on the left are using that information, especially in discussions among other leftists.

Here's an example. I was talking to a group of colleagues not long ago at a bar. One of them, Todd, is VERY woke, reads the internet all day, active on social media. This was after the woman at Aviary spat on Eric Trump. Todd lectured a few of us that we can't be ok with her spitting on Trump because we wouldn't be ok with her spitting on Obama or Hillary, and we're hypocrites for supporting Obama, who caused problems in places like Guatemala that led to the refugee issue and yadda yadda yadda. So a week ago I'm at the annual Green City Farmers Market Chef BBQ and Todd is working one of the cocktail tents, pouring booze for FEW Spirits. FEW's owner, Paul Hletko, has given money to a GOP congressman from Texas while lobbying for distribution laws because that TX Republican was head of Ways and Means before 2018. So Todd is, by Todd's definition and by the definition of a Singer-esque moral philosophy or the doctrine of the very-very-woke, a hypocrite.

Todd's woke, but to a bad bad extent. If you're not 100% ivory pure on every single micro-issue, in Todd's world you are a hypocrite. You're part of the problem. But--and this is fresh in my mind b/c it's also discussed in the podcast haltz referred to that I heard this AM--we have to accept some failure. Someone on our side will buy a Coors, either not knowing or not caring that the name on the can is that of a man who supports Trump. Someone on our side will not be fully aware of Obama's impact on Guatemala. Someone on our side will know that about Guatemala and criticize Trump's border policy, which does not automatically equate to hypocrisy. We can talk about that and hope it has an impact, but we can't villainize people over it, otherwise we'll all end up being villains, including Todd who is promoting that whiskey from a man who gives to the GOP at a charitable event.

For the very-very-woke, that crowd is going to have to understand that a vote for Hillary or Biden or Harris or Pete is not an immoral act because the candidate is not perfect. This is not a "you can make the train run over your Bugatti or a child" to borrow another example from Singer's writing. This is "you can contribute to pure evil, or contribute to a far lesser evil that gives us some hope for good." Nano-level purity on literally every issue can't be a deal-breaker for a candidate. Nano-level purity on literally every issue is not attainable anyway.


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PostPosted: July 26 19, 2:09 pm 
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33anda3rd wrote:
G. Keenan wrote:
GeddyWrox wrote:
Yep.

I still feel no shame if someone calls me "woke". It's true!

Nor do I feel shame if someone tries to call me an SJW. Nor liberal. I am proud of all of these labels.


Pretty incredible how opening one's mind to the state sponsored violence that is all around us gets twisted into an allegation of elitist affectation.


I think that's a fair point. But. Re what I was saying about absolute moral philosophy like that practiced by Singer and by the ultra-woke, that applies to how we on the left are using that information, especially in discussions among other leftists.

Here's an example. I was talking to a group of colleagues not long ago at a bar. One of them, Todd, is VERY woke, reads the internet all day, active on social media. This was after the woman at Aviary spat on Eric Trump. Todd lectured a few of us that we can't be ok with her spitting on Trump because we wouldn't be ok with her spitting on Obama or Hillary, and we're hypocrites for supporting Obama, who caused problems in places like Guatemala that led to the refugee issue and yadda yadda yadda. So a week ago I'm at the annual Green City Farmers Market Chef BBQ and Todd is working one of the cocktail tents, pouring booze for FEW Spirits. FEW's owner, Paul Hletko, has given money to a GOP congressman from Texas while lobbying for distribution laws because that TX Republican was head of Ways and Means before 2018. So Todd is, by Todd's definition and by the definition of a Singer-esque moral philosophy or the doctrine of the very-very-woke, a hypocrite.

Todd's woke, but to a bad bad extent. If you're not 100% ivory pure on every single micro-issue, in Todd's world you are a hypocrite. You're part of the problem. But--and this is fresh in my mind b/c it's also discussed in the podcast haltz referred to that I heard this AM--we have to accept some failure. Someone on our side will buy a Coors, either not knowing or not caring that the name on the can is that of a man who supports Trump. Someone on our side will not be fully aware of Obama's impact on Guatemala. Someone on our side will know that about Guatemala and criticize Trump's border policy, which does not automatically equate to hypocrisy. We can talk about that and hope it has an impact, but we can't villainize people over it, otherwise we'll all end up being villains, including Todd who is promoting that whiskey from a man who gives to the GOP at a charitable event.

For the very-very-woke, that crowd is going to have to understand that a vote for Hillary or Biden or Harris or Pete is not an immoral act because the candidate is not perfect. This is not a "you can make the train run over your Bugatti or a child" to borrow another example from Singer's writing. This is "you can contribute to pure evil, or contribute to a far lesser evil that gives us some hope for good." Nano-level purity on literally every issue can't be a deal-breaker for a candidate. Nano-level purity on literally every issue is not attainable anyway.


I get what you're saying. Fortunately, most people, even those who would strive to be woke, are not as tedious as Todd. We are all sinners. People who engage themselves in some kind of constant virtue one-upmanship are annoying and for all their knowledge usually have little real wisdom, and are themselves the biggest hypocrites. No doubt Todd's lifestyle produces more carbon and consumes more resources than some impoverished farmer in Cambodia or whatever. Unless you are an orthodox hermit monk living in a cave somewhere reading the Bible by candlelight there is always someone out there holier than thou so why even try to play that game? Just social competition, really, which to your point is a certain dynamic on the left.

But while it may be annoying as practiced by some and imperfect as practiced by all, at least being woke means trying to be a more empathetic human being trying to understand the lived experience of fellow citizens on the receiving end of systemic racism. I'd rather be that than what Trumpism embodies, which is gratuitous cynicism and performative meanness.


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PostPosted: July 26 19, 2:24 pm 
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I completely agree, GK. For me, though, woke like many things has gone too far. In the 22 months since this thread started it's gone from having positive connotations to negative ones.

Sept 2017: "Todd's a good dude, he's woke." It meant the empathy you're describing for all of us.

July 2019: "Did you see Todd's latest Facebook rant, man that guy is way too woke." It means the empathy you're describing for some of us, but a lot of people treat their state of hyper-awareness as a badge of superiority.


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PostPosted: July 26 19, 3:00 pm 
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33anda3rd wrote:
I completely agree, GK. For me, though, woke like many things has gone too far. In the 22 months since this thread started it's gone from having positive connotations to negative ones.

Sept 2017: "Todd's a good dude, he's woke." It meant the empathy you're describing for all of us.

July 2019: "Did you see Todd's latest Facebook rant, man that guy is way too woke." It means the empathy you're describing for some of us, but a lot of people treat their state of hyper-awareness as a badge of superiority.


I guess, but why let Todd spoil the broth? That is just a certain personality type that ruins everything. Todd might as well be going on about his favorite esoteric band to the point that you never want to listen to their music again. You can never appreciate Captain Beefheart as much as Todd!

Are people really self-applying the term woke anyway as a personal adjective? I've been taking woke as describing a sociological perspective more than individual people.


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PostPosted: July 26 19, 3:03 pm 
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I think woke, like hipster or foodie is a tag that was once for describing an elevated status (aware, cool, a bon vivant, respectively) that now describes someone who is insufferable. I think the reason they make those transformations is the cultures that grow around them.

The culture of urban cool means hipsters aren't punk, dressed in thrift-store junk they bought ironically. They're cool kids in $300 Yeezys that look like thrift store Dad Shoes and $400 Off-White belts that look like police tape hanging out at speakeasies hidden behind barbershops that will give you a beard trim for $50 drinking CBD cocktails and participating in a level of conspicuous consumption that would make an old-school Beat or Punk hipster cringe. Pitchfork, Coachella, Lollapalooza, these corporate festivals are their CBGB.

That's the same kinda thing that kills the "woke" movement. Two years ago it was being empathetic to #metoo and #BLM. Then the culture of a giant Twitter bubble to live in came around and now it's a bunch of people yelling "YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND YOUR WHITE PRIVILEGE" at everyone online who says something that's 0.4% insensitive.

I submit to you we can't yell at everyone who is 0.4% insensitive. Or tear down every politician who is not 99.44% Ivory pure. We don't need for them to be "woke" in the sense that it is now, we need them to get to like 60%, for now, of what "woke" was two years ago.


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PostPosted: July 31 19, 12:56 pm 
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Worth following Serwer on Twitter if you use that platform and don't already. He's great at crystallizing race issues like this. I'm referring to the bottom tweet here.



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PostPosted: July 31 19, 1:12 pm 
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Yes, he's great. In case you don't follow her already, Bree Newsome is also outstanding on this topic:





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PostPosted: July 31 19, 2:03 pm 
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Tim Wise is a good follow on race issues too.


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PostPosted: July 31 19, 5:19 pm 
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GeddyWrox wrote:
Tim Wise is a good follow on race issues too.

I watched this at some point in college or shortly after and it was profoundly impactful. From 2002:



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PostPosted: July 31 19, 6:52 pm 
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just finished watching, good stuff, thanks for sharing. powerful story at the end.


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