From its very inception, the idea, the expression of “Woke” has been a deeply honest display of awareness - an "awakedness" of only those who know how troubling actions and attitudes can truly be. This is especially true within a collective which has come to be so full of itself it no longer cares about anyone or anything but itself - a time when self-esteem (how we feel about ourselves based on a superficial collective mantra dictates what is acceptable) supersedes an internalized and mature self-respect and joy.
That being said. Though all earnest intentions of great consequence are genuine, their fate is to often fall into the hands of exploiters. Woke is one of these. In the hands of the most arrogant among us, it has come to attain such levels of toxicity that it will not be long before everyone suffers the consequences of our see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil pretenses built around this appropriated woke “purportedly” means.
As stated, there have always been and always will be those who confiscate, who abscond with that which can be disfigured and remolded into a snake-oil concoction, a manipulation, a divisive tool of the masses which is then used as a cudgel against those who do not think as the perpetrator does.
Sadly, for woke to be a weapon of choice it needs not only a conquering evil but also a cadre of submissive fools. Woke, in the hands of these two demographics then easily becomes a fascist mirror reflection of its once earnest self. Appropriated, it is now an ode to superiority gone mad and moralistic bombast of the worst puritan kind. It has become an appropriation made insane by narcissistic individuals and self righteous groups who use shame and canceling and rejection to achieve their means. Even seen to be legitimate governments, corporations, honored associations, and institutions have succumbed to its siren call.
Is this in fact a fear response of being discovered faulty or less than promoted? Is it arrogance seeking to elevate itself above the fray - (lest the crowds discover the truth of their oh-so-superior authoritarian intentions in the abuse of the concept of "Woke"?)
Without the nurturing of control and evil in our times, Woke could not be the unintended moralistic plague that it has become. Even though good things, good intentions at conception, actually seek to wrap us in the warmth of their wisdom and giftedness, evil, always in the wings, is always ready to pounce. And how is that possible? Easy. It is what it is... evil. It appropriates and absconds with a valid precept in order to rot its innards and serve it as truth. And this is done to achieve an ultimate goal: power - to dominate and rule rather than lead and guide.
And if evil seeks to pursue, tempt, subdue and enslave - (and its goals always are), its weapon of choice is often what we think “we own” for legitimate intents and purposes. And so, unquestioning, and even gullible, we trust - considering it normal to feel safe in the havens of our democracies. But often, we become lazy, apathetic and no longer engaged in the protection of those same democracies. And there lies the rub... How easy it is to fall prey to that which seeks to destroy our illusions simply because we are too open to "virtually" anything because we are too comfortable and unconcerned.
But then, as all other incantations-become-evil have done before, Woke, at its worst, will dissipate - and we will once more strive harder to purify ourselves, our societies, our organizations and our institutions.
But this time... is this true? If it is, how can we think that it will easily come to pass before serious damage is realized to have been done to the very structural foundation of our worlds - the very core of our now tainted democratic principles? What of the damage to our schools and the children who attend them, our freedoms and values? What of all the divisiveness, the victimhood obsessions, the identity politics? These will not go away willingly. For the next several decades, we will be left with nothing less than toxic remnants of our own follies. A cult of victimization and memes of superior moralism which will continue to create an ever-slower healing of festering wounds incised by “our” new world order of pointing fingers before we are pointed at, of shaming those "not like us" and of cancel culture neo-puritanism.
“Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words can never hurt me..............”
Bring on the witches of Salem... Lest we forget? That time of “I am pure and you are not” is once again upon us.
Bernard Poulin. . . I paint, I draw, I write