How woke is woke (or, gimme that old progressive vision)

I sort of fell into my recent blog series on the cultural lead-up to Woodstock (1969), but now that I’m there, I’ll piggyback with a curious political look at those filthy hippie progressives.

This may come as a shock to my younger woke friends, but back then, progressives were the ones fighting AGAINST official restraints what to say, think, and do; fighting AGAINST sorting, judging, and voting for people based on skin color or sex organs; fighting AGAINST double standards based on demographic identity and AGAINST tribe-specific definitions of truth and justice. And conservatives were the ones fighting FOR all those things. In a word, that old progressive vision was to obliterate the cultural police, while conservatives wanted to BE the cultural police. So when you criticize an old-timer whose values were forged in the Civil Rights/hippie days for being too conservative, remember: To them, YOU may look a lot like the conservative they grew up fighting against 😊

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(Click covers for links)

BookCoverImage     year-bfly-cover          mgg cov clipped 2019-11-23

19 thoughts on “How woke is woke (or, gimme that old progressive vision)

    • Thanks Nikita. On the topsy-turvy point, I think one of the main problems with “woke” progressivism is that it deals a devastating blow to true progressivism, and indeed rolls back many of the gains in consciousness we’ve made since the 1960s. (I think the wokes deep down have good intentions, but damage is damage, and they are doing a lot of it.)

      Liked by 2 people

    • True, TJ — in the general sense via their moralizing restrictiveness on what to say, do, think, and wear; and in the specific (sexual) sense in their eagerness to scarlet letter people for crude jokes, clumsy flirtations, and any representation of male heterosexual desire, which is intrinsically suspect in a vague consensus that “male pleasure is inextricably tied to victimizing, hurting, exploiting” [Dworkin].

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Ted. I was a bit young for Woodstock (saw it on TV news as a kid while my grandma yelled obscenities about hippies) but had older friends there. I also visit the mid-Hudson valley a lot and always run into a Woodstock veteran with a tale up there. I’m wallowing in the muck with ya, brother!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Woke today is not very woke at all when it comes to vacuous and mindless protest. Yes, let’s all remember George Floyd but suddenly the extreme Left has exploited the moment. You see it in Portland and Seattle. This is not to say that it’s okay for Trump to exploit the situation! If woke was really woke, it would be a far more mature, sensible, and thoughtful woke.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My point exactly, Henry. Rather than representing the Left, the wokes are hijacking the Left. The point is not to turn from woke to Trump but from woke to a newfangled version of the 1960s radicalism. But like one of my comic book heroes (The Forty-Year-Old Hippie, who said on one of his covers while popping a pill into his mouth surrounded by his own hallucinations, “200 trips and they’ve all been bummers, but I ain’t giving up yet!”), I ain’t giving up yet. Beneath the demoralizing crust of the woke, I suspect there are a lot of good-hearted kids with an inadvertent eye on a new Age of Aquarius!

      Liked by 1 person

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