Hail all truly ‘awakened’ – Chuck Stephens

If, like me, you wondered at the liberal use of the word ‘woke,’ here’s Chuck Stephens playing with the term, somewhat as a cat does with a ball of yarn. It’s woven into many a yarn, with a meaning as arch and inflated as a cat facing off an adversary. I hardly dare say that’s an ‘appropriate’ metaphor, because that meaning, like ‘woke’ depends upon who’s using the word. Who exactly is woke is cause for some merriment, given how meaningless the word is when it comes to mutual intelligibility. It’s about as lucid as those who tend to overuse it. For example, Simon Lincoln Reader loves to poke fun at the ‘woke’ among us – but at least he makes it clear whom he regards as woke. They may be ‘alert to injustice and discrimination in society, especially racism,’ but they do sometimes take it to farcical lengths. Chuck Stephens highlights this silliness with some cogent examples. Cogent…well…OK. I. Will. Now. Stop. – Chris Bateman

Woke is broke

By Chuck Stephens* 

Let’s start with the meaning of “woke”. Sometimes the semantic range of a new word in English self-inflates to a point that renders it almost meaningless or ambiguous. This happened to the word “appropriate” in my span of memory. It was thrown about as if it was defined and understood, but as a relativist term, it didn’t mean much. Which made it vague, and dangerous to use in insightful dialogue.

Terms like this can be used as “dog whistles”. You blow on them but they make no sound. In other words, people hear you but they don’t really understand you. This becomes code language for like-minded people to nod in agreement. So meaningful communication gets lost in the group-think.

Anyway, the dictionary definition of “woke” is: Alert to injustice and discrimination in society, especially racism. Strictly speaking, that should be the way that people use it.

But “woke” means many things to different people. I have been trying my best to track the etymology of this overused word…

“Woke” tend to be a term that those on the Left identify with. So are they saying that all Republicans are racists? Are no Democrats racists? Can a conservative not be “woke”?

The term really took off in 2020. From “woke” to BLM… from to BLM riots to defund-the-police… there has been a logical expansion of its semantic range. Someone who is truly woke probably supports all of the above.

So is woke incompatible with trucker blockades? Some liberals seem to characterize truckers as racists, insensitive to injustice and discrimination. My view is that the truckers who blockaded Ottawa were themselves victims of stereotyping.

Because “woke” has been championed by the Left and was grabbed by the Biden campaign to try to discredit Trump, the semantic range inflated again to include socialist WEF-induced globalism and the “new normal“. That was the trending as Biden watched his lead shrink all through the 2020 elections. Woke became the opposite of red-neck.

Then along came the Covid crisis and the huge disagreement over how to handle it became politicized. Masking and lockdown were the Left’s strategies of choice, to the point that they are accused of “overreach” and even fascism! The Alt-Right argued for HCQ and saving the economy not just saving lives. Remdesivir was the via media which both sides cheered. The Left cheered it to insult HCQ. The Alt-Right cheered it to prove their contention that treatment was as good as prevention. Now a study has just found in 2022 that 27 percent of all those treated with Remdesivir in New York City died within 6 months. Meanwhile “woke” inflated again to mean those who support masking and lockdown as the strategies of choice.

Now “woke” will probably expand again to encompass all those who heartily oppose Putin’s aggression. The Left will never admit any degree of responsibility for the debacle in Ukrania. Although it was in 2014 – UNDER OBAMA – that Russia swallowed Crimea. There was no significant response over that invasion, except a lot of rhetoric. Anyone like me who looks for a via media in the conflict between Russia and Ukrania will now be regarded as a trucker-renegade even though I have a career history of fighting racism and injustice.

A funny thing happened on the way to the mid-terms. My reading is that the Republicans are going to trounce the Democrats leaving Biden isolated as a lame duck. He may spend his last 2 years in his basement in Delaware? But who knows? The popular anti-Russian sentiment in the West could revitalize Biden’s chances and deflate Trump’s rising popularity? Wasn’t it Biden that claimed that all blacks are Democrats? Not any more.

So what do I mean by “woke is broke”?

Well now that you understand the inflated meaning of “woke” in 2022, two years after it burst into international parlance, what about “broke”?

Do I mean “broken”? Am I referring to the run-away inflation, to be exacerbated by oil prices heading for $200 a barrel? Do I mean the rising Gini coefficient that makes the rich richer and the poor poorer? Do I mean the worsening polarization in the world? Putin’s aggression could be summed up as “Make Russia Great Again”. No wonder this does not endear him to the Left, who themselves are being accused of overreach and even fascism.

The term Nazi is confusing. Putin says that he wants to suppress neo-Nazis. That term means National Socialist. Some see Putin as a communist dictator (which should be oxymoron but it’s been that way ever since Lenin). Russia is anything but a socialist state at this point – it is an oil-rich oligarchy. But it is fiercely nationalistic. Whereas the socialist Left are now globalists who get very suspicious of nationalism. Which leaves Nazis nowhere.

Back to “broke”… Maybe I meant that Biden’s FDR-esque spending spree is going for broke? He wants to revitalize the economy like FDR did, but he may bankrupt it on the way.

In Canada, Justin Trudeau has run up a bigger deficit that all of his predecessors COMBINED. See what I mean? Woke is broke.

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