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The Week in Woke: The Biggest Loser Edition

It’s time once again for our weekly catalogue of some of the unlikelier things that right-wingers are denouncing as “woke.” This week features a cameo from none other than Donald Trump himself.

Let’s hop right in.

Jeb Bush

Poor Jeb! The former governor and failed presidential candidate recently reminded the world of his existence by putting out a rather confusing Tweet:

Well, it might not be completely clear what Jeb meant in the first sentence there, but that last bit seems awfully sympathetic towards immigrants — not exactly the stance of most Republicans.

So Mark Margolis went after Jeb on PJ Media, declaring that “Jeb Bush’s Woke Tweet About the Olympics Is Shockingly Anti-American.” Though it’s really not at all.

[T]he most disturbing thing (I think) about the tweet is that he seems to be implying that because of the Trump years, America didn’t get enough foreign-born talent to do better in the Olympics. So are foreign-born Americans better athletes than American-born athletes, Jeb?

[I]t seems incredibly anti-American to imply that American-born athletes are inferior to foreign-born athletes. I’m sure you thought it made you sound woke and inclusive, but instead, it just makes you sound anti-American.

Meanwhile, countless right-wingers have been actively rooting against allegedly “woke” American Olympic athletes, which seems, I dunno, a lot more anti-American than anything Jeb has said.

Losers

Speaking of which: the American women’s soccer team has been pilloried by right-wingers for being too “woke,” by which they mean that the team kneeled before a game and also Megan Rapinoe has purple hair. Some right-wing observers, falling into magical thinking, have convinced themselves that the team’s “bad karma” from being too woke made it lose critical matches and walk away with “only” a bronze medal.

Now Donald Trump himself is weighing in on this, er, theory. In a statement sent to reporters he launched into the soccer team (and Rapinoe in particular) for being “losers.”

If our soccer team, headed by a radical group of Leftist Maniacs, wasn’t woke, they would have won the Gold Medal instead of the Bronze.

Woke means you lose, everything that is woke goes bad, and our soccer team certainly has. …

They should replace the wokesters with Patriots and start winning again. The woman with the purple hair played terribly and spends too much time thinking about Radical Left politics and not doing her job!

There is a slight irony here in that a bronze medal isn’t really a loss, exactly, while LOSING A PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION very definitely is. Trump ain’t woke, but he sure went broke in the election.

Trump you lost.

You lost. You lost. You lost.

Now shut up and go away.

Cinderella

In the American Spectator, Emily Burke takes aim at what she calls “Amazon Prime Video’s new woke “Cinderella” starring Cuban-American pop princess Camila Cabello.”

The movie isn’t even out yet, but Burke has no problem declaring it “woke” based on the cast and some publicity materials.

Scheduled to be released September 3, the progressive musical’s take on the 1950 Disney classic boasts Broadway sweetheart Idina Menzel as the evil step-mother, Billy Porter as “Fab-G” (the new and improved fairy godmother), and action hero Pierce Brosnan as King Rowan. …

The project’s progressive interpretation is hardly subtle, given its career woman Cinderella, oppression lottery “Fab-G,” and slang dialogue.

Oh, no, not SLANG DIALOGUE.

The film’s marketing also leaves the viewer without a doubt of its woke mission.

In a commercial advertising both Mercedes Benz and the film, Cabello opens saying, “we all know the story.” The lens begins to follow camera crew and actors facetiously spouting phrases feminists have long deemed micro-aggressive and oppressive. The producer says, “just play your role;” a camerawoman quips “honey you’re prettier when you smile” … The video concludes with the phrase “a new kind of Cinderella has arrived” as Cabello hops into a Benz instead of her pumpkin carriage.

I don’t think the Benz is what is getting Burke mad. I suspect the real culprit in her mind is the diverse — that is, not all-white — cast. Indeed, she’s also mad that an upcoming Little Mermaid reboot stars Halle Bailey.

Cabello’s Ella is not the first leftist interpretation of a Disney princess, but she marks a distinct pattern of woke politics dictating the portrayal of princess leads. The upcoming live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid” will re-envision Ariel with Halle Bailey as a black mermaid with long locks. Though of course there is nothing inherently wrong with this depiction, the problem lies in the leftist need to diversify stories already told.

And why exactly is that a problem?

A specific political message is being sold to children, especially young girls, in Cabello’s movie with LGBTQ characters and blatant third-wave feminist values. Crafting an artful, well-done film is sacrificed to the PC gods to fit the predominant, ever-increasing leftist cultural values. Whether some will admit it or not, children will be influenced by this movie.

Parents concerned over their children’s formation …

Their children’s what, now?

… should consider skipping this rendition and instead watch a more wholesome version like the 2015 live action adaptation or the original 1950 animation. 

Nah. I think I’ll wait for the new Little Mermaid. I

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GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
1 month ago

Camila Cabello is a talented young woman and I think she’ll be a good Cinderella. Also, the description of that Mercedes ad sounds a lot like the plot of her music video for “My Oh My”. Hubs and I are two of The Olds and we like what we’ve heard of her music.

And I thought the RW was all supportive of people who got out of Horrible Commie Hellhole Cuba, like Camila did? (Plus, it’s a musical and they got Idina Menzel!)

Surplus to Requirements
Surplus to Requirements
1 month ago

Jeb Bush’s Woke Tweet About the Olympics Is Shockingly Anti-American.

Yeah, it’s exactly as anti-American as the Statue of Liberty and that whole “give us your poor, your tired, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” thing. So anti-American!

Some right-wing observers, falling into magical thinking, have convinced themselves that the team’s “bad karma” from being too woke made it lose critical matches and walk away with “only” a bronze medal.

“Only”. Nobody gets anywhere near that podium without being in the top few people on Earth at some skill or another, depending on the event. Getting any color medal at all puts you in the top 3.

and action hero Pierce Brosnan as King Rowan

A direct-to-video Disney princess remake has Pierce fucking Brosnan in it? How did they manage to swing that?

Then again, maybe it just means Brosnan is on his way down. Indeed, it’s hard to go anywhere else after being in four iconic Bond films.

Okay, three iconic Bond films and The World is Not Enough.

The film’s marketing also leaves the viewer without a doubt of its woke mission.

In a commercial advertising both Mercedes Benz and the film …

Yeah, because nothing says “woke” like prominently featuring a luxury car brand that spews greenhouse gas, caters to the ultra-wealthy, and was the official car brand of Nazi Germany …

Nah. I think I’ll wait for the new Little Mermaid. I

Erm … where’s the rest?

Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy

Never heard of Emily Burke, but I just adore the fact that she appears to think:

  1. Disney invented Cinderella
  2. fairytales never ever change over time

Reminds me of when Neil Gaiman published his version of Sleeping Beauty, and people attacked him for “changing the original story”. He just kept gently pointing out to them how many times Sleeping Beauty has been rewritten and adapted 🙂

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
1 month ago

There’s been versions of Cinderella all over the world for centuries. So there’s that.

Also, the US women’s soccer team still medaled, so pronouncing them a failure is just a bit silly. And then there’s the pesky little fact that the team who did win the gold, Canada has a non-binary player. So, I guess it’s “go woke, go gold and bronze in the Olympics” which doesn’t quite have the same ring as “go woke, go broke” I guess.

Full Metal Ox
1 month ago

@Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy:

Never heard of Emily Burke, but I just adore the fact that she appears to think:

  1. Disney invented Cinderella
  2. fairytales never ever change over time

Reminds me of when Neil Gaiman published his version of Sleeping Beauty, and people attacked him for “changing the original story”. He just kept gently pointing out to them how many times Sleeping Beauty has been rewritten and adapted 🙂

Thank you for affording me a cue to recommend the hell out of an animated film by Michel Ocelot: Tales of the Night. The framing device is that a boy, a girl, and an old man sneak into a theater after hours and enact lavishly-produced shadow-theater fairytales*—and the narrative portrays editing as an inherent part of the storytelling process, as the three negotiate the story. The Russian (I think) story of the Dancing Princesses? Let’s try it in a Jamaican setting! The princess in this story is evil? Let her realize the error of her ways!
Here’s a sample: “Le Loup-Garou” (“The Werewolf”); French with English subtitles:

*Heavily influenced by the work of pioneering animator Lotte Reiniger, who also pretty obviously inspired the Shadow Theater sequences in Revolutionary Girl Utena and the Steven Universe episode “The Answer”: http://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/jun/02/lotte-reiniger-the-pioneer-of-silhouette-animation-google-doodle

Last edited 1 month ago by Full Metal Ox
Battering Lamb
Battering Lamb
1 month ago

Man, American Exceptionalism must be one hell of a drug. Last weekend I finished watching a 3 part review/analysis of Starship Troopers, both the book and the film, by Kyle Kallgren, a youtuber who spent a lot of his formative years in the Netherlands. He pointed out how privileged he considers himself to have seen America from the outside during that period (he had plenty of criticisms of dutch culture as well, thankfully. Including some insights into dutch/american foreign relations). Highly recommend it, though it is a three-parter with each part being about 2 hours.

galanx
galanx
1 month ago

Trump officially declares Canadian women’s soccer team non-woke.

If our soccer team, headed by a radical group of Leftist Maniacs, wasn’t woke, they would have won the Gold Medal instead of the Bronze.

Woke means you lose, everything that is woke goes bad, and our soccer team certainly has

Since Canada’s team won, I guess that means they’re not woke. Nice to have confirmed by an expert.

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
1 month ago

The original animated version of Little Mermaid is from 1950 ??

Apart from that, I still don’t have much sympathy for Jeb Bush, apart from the fact he take a stand against the litteral worse (but waiting for the litteral worse before saying anything). If this was a school test, he would have the participation point, unlike some other republicans I guess.

Also, it show how easily theses assholes will spin anything made by their opponent as utter defeat, with the only very good performance of their female soccer team. Notably, if they did not have political point to do, I think they would just have said bad things about that “effeminate” sport compard to good old american football.

LollyPop
LollyPop
1 month ago

Similarly to the Cinderella thing, I noticed on Twitter that the Amazon Silmarillion series already has terrible media commentators frothing at the mouth about it being woke, mainly because the cast isn’t 100% white. These people are just so relentless, it’s exhausting.

Also, regarding the USA’s Olympic team, it may help if athletes were paid to compete like in loads of other countries, especially as they so consistently smash it out of the park.

Kat, ambassador, feminist revolution (in exile)
Kat, ambassador, feminist revolution (in exile)
1 month ago

Wait until right-wingers hear about West Side Story. It’s Romeo and Juliet, but it’s also Puerto Ricans. In New York City. There are gangs who have obviously taken ballet classes. Back when I was young, gang members were gang members, and ballet dancers were ballet dancers.

Full Metal Ox
1 month ago

@Kat, ambassador, feminist revolution (in exile):

Wait until right-wingers hear about West Side Story. It’s Romeo and Juliet, but it’s also Puerto Ricans. In New York City.

As orchestrated (literally) by Leonard Bernstein—-mustn’t leave out that detail! (And lyricist Stephen Sondheim, choreographer Jerome Robbins, and playwright Arthur Laurents also merited the Triple Parentheses of You-Know-What.)

There are gangs who have obviously taken ballet classes. Back when I was young, gang members were gang members, and ballet dancers were ballet dancers.

I’m just going to leave this here:

Last edited 1 month ago by Full Metal Ox
Alan Robertshaw
1 month ago

@ full metal ox

the Triple Parentheses of You-Know-What.

I heard a really good documentary once. It set out how Jewish composers fleeing the Nazis in the 30s ended up working in Hollywood. Which is why those classic movie soundtracks have all the tropes of Austrian classical music. Things like Leitmotifs, and a load of other things I’ve forgotten.

It was very interesting though.

Malitia
Malitia
1 month ago

The original animated version of Little Mermaid is from 1950 ??

I think original whiner meant Cinderella. That had the 2015 (fairly bland, “close to the original”, musical where the cast can’t sing well enough) live action remake.

Karalora
Karalora
1 month ago

@Ohlmann:

The original animated version of Little Mermaid is from 1950 ??

Nah, Cinderella is from 1950. Mermaid is from ’89, and I seem to remember a spot of controversy at the time, when the fairy tale purists were outraged that Disney would change the ending. Of a fairy tale. Can you imagine?

Disney doesn’t really do animated adaptation of fairy tales anymore. Their newer animated works are original stories, and their fairy tale adaptations are live-action remakes of their older animated works. And now the (reactionary) Disney purists are outraged that Disney would change the race. Of a fairy tale protagonist. Can you imagine?

Alan Robertshaw
1 month ago

Isn’t Cinderella originally a Chinese story anyway; with various alternative endings, as might be imagined with a folk tale stemming from an oral tradition?

Full Metal Ox
1 month ago

@Alan Robertshaw:

Isn’t Cinderella originally a Chinese story anyway; with various alternative endings, as might be imagined with a folk tale stemming from an oral tradition?

The earliest recorded version seems to be the Greek story of Rhodopis, as chronicled by Strabo circa 7BC—24 AD, but it’s one of those stories that occur all over the dang place; here’s a Mi’kmaq version from a fairytale anthology I read as a child. Interestingly, Little Burnt-Face wins her prince not by force of beauty, but by having the discernment to realize his true nature (and only afterwards are her disfigurements healed.)

http://www.365cinderellas.com/2011/03/cinderella-79-little-burnt-face.html

Here are multiple versions of the story of Ye Xian, including one in which the heroine is initiated into a martial secret society:

http://www.365cinderellas.com/search/label/China

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
1 month ago

I guess my feeble brain was too weak to follow the flow of their MGTOW logic. That or I shoyuld have paid more attention, I guess.

And yes, folk tales have fascinating genealogy trees. Or herhaps evolutionary tree depending on how you look at them. Wonder if the RW would actually appreciate the original Little Mermaid ending, who is sooth-black dark. And not even in a particulary interesting sense to me ; like Romeo & Juliet it seem to be designed just to scare people into staying in their place.

… Actually, maybe that’s why they want the original ending.

Alan Robertshaw
1 month ago

@ full metal ox

including one in which the heroine is initiated into a martial secret society:

Then why the heck are they not making that one!!!

(Does anyone have Michelle Yeoh’s phone number?)

Long Xia Hui DRAGON SOCIETY OF WANDERING KNIGHTS 
     Martial Arts Academy. Plaza in Du Mei Gardens and 2200 Avenue Pétain, Shanghai
“We help the oppressed and downtrodden. We show the tao— way—to those who are 
     lost. Martial Arts, Judo, Karate, Boxing, Kickboxing, Acrobatics. Chinese Classics. Poetry.             

Alan Robertshaw
1 month ago

Some archeology news that may be of interest to people.

In summary, there’s a burial in Finland that has had archeologists puzzling. Unusual mix of masculine and feminine items found. Like dressed in women’s clothes but also has swords.

Now it’s believed it may be someone with Klinefelter syndrome. So some intriguing insights into the social status of non-binary people at the time.

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/european-journal-of-archaeology/article/woman-with-a-sword-weapon-grave-at-suontaka-vesitorninmaki-finland/33A89DB1D7E4900F017833D87C997D3D#

Hambeast
Hambeast
1 month ago

I wonder if Ms. Burke has ever seen West Side Story? She’d probably hate it.

If ya don’t like it, don’t watch it and let the other people with kids sort it out their own way. As was mentioned, there is a VAST repository of stuff to choose from that features white folks and their ways if you don’t want to be exposed to anything else. Oh, and Pureflix *gag* too, apparently (according to some of the ads I get on YouTube.)

Personally, I enjoy new takes on old stories and including people who have been largely sidelined in entertainment for, well, ever is a big part of that. Also, including/featuring different ethnicities and viewpoints can be done very well; as good as and often better than the same ol’, same ol’.

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
1 month ago

I mean, The Little Mermaid got pushback, but it’s also a lot more recent and a lot more specifically traceable than Cinderella; Mermaid was written by Hans Christian Andersen in 1837, so it was never really an oral tradition tale with lots of multiple versions. So in that sense the pushback for changing the story is at least a little more… understandable? At least there’s not as many easy arguments against the self-appointed purists.

I will admit I really liked Ever After, the ‘realistic’ version of Cinderella with Drew Barrymore. No magic, Leonardo da Vinci shows up (and yes, he actually did spend a year or so in France just before he died), and Cinderella ends up rescuing herself half the time. (The scene where she gets the gypsy band to agree to let her take anything she can carry with her when they let her go because they only want the prince for ransom purposes, and she then picks up the prince in a fireman’s carry and starts staggering off with him; that was brilliant.)

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
1 month ago

“The scene where she gets the gypsy band to agree to let her take anything she can carry with her when they let her go because they only want the prince for ransom purposes, and she then picks up the prince in a fireman’s carry and starts staggering off with him; that was brilliant.”

And that loophole *is* itself a folktale, or at least a folktale element that I have seen on several different stories. (possibly also an historic event ?)

(still make perfect sense to reuse that here)

epitome of incomrepehensibility

I was in a grade 5 play where Cinderella’s fairy godmother was also a man – see, he was the godfather, as a joking reference to the mobster movie (e.g. he said something about making an offer Cinderella couldn’t refuse).

I’m guessing here the character’s gay because of the word “fairy,” which…well, the term wasn’t always complimentary, so I’d guess I’d be more worried that it’d reinforce the stereotype of gay men being flighty or silly or, uh, “Fab.” Well, fab is fun. Maybe I’m being too serious. And it’d probably be a parody of that stereotype.

Anyway, yeah, fairy tales and stories in general are always getting changed and redone. Silly critic just wants to keep out POC & LGBTQ+ people and won’t admit it outright.

Full Metal Ox
1 month ago

@Ohlmann

And yes, folk tales have fascinating genealogy trees. Or herhaps evolutionary tree depending on how you look at them. Wonder if the RW would actually appreciate the original Little Mermaid ending, who is sooth-black dark. And not even in a particulary interesting sense to me ; like Romeo & Juliet it seem to be designed just to scare people into staying in their place.


… Actually, maybe that’s why they want the original ending.

The impression I got from Romeo and Juliet was that families ought not to embroil their children in stupid accumulated force-of-habit hereditary feuds.

And there’s a short story by Lord Dunsany, “The Kith of the Elf-Folk”, that takes the piss out of the Little Mermaid concept: a faerie creature who receives a soul, and then experiences human life in industrialized London, reconsiders her life choices.

http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/dun/swos/swos04.htm

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
1 month ago

@Full Metal Ox:
And there’s certainly a place to take the piss out of the original The Little Mermaid. The whole bit about mermaids becoming nothing more than the foam on the waves when they die because they aren’t human, the pain and suffering she went through, and the way she sacrificed herself for her love’s happiness…

There was just something almost relentlessly Catholic about it, as well as the classic Romanticism.

Karalora
Karalora
1 month ago

Mermaid was written by Hans Christian Andersen in 1837, so it was never really an oral tradition tale with lots of multiple versions.

Yes and no. There is no shortage of folktales about water sprites and similar that fall in love with human beings. (Consider for example the selkie myth, which is only sometimes about a horrible man who blackmails a woman into marrying him by holding part of her body hostage.) Andersen’s innovation was the motive of acquiring an immortal soul via marriage.

Lakitha K Tolbert
Lakitha K Tolbert
1 month ago

I was going to skip the new version of Cinderella (actually version 2,165), because I hate Caballo’s singing voice, which sounds really nasal. Plus, I already have two versions of Cinderella that are my absolute favorites, the 1960 gender-swapped version, called Cinderfella, starring Jerry Lewis, and the 1990s race-swapped version starring Brandy!

The animated version comes in somewhere as a distant third favorite, because the last time I saw it, I was a child of about eight or ten. Honestly, these people really outchere acting like movies haven’t been remade over and over and over again for like 70+ years!
There have been about 500 different versions of Cyrano de Bergerac, umpteen million versions of Hamlet (Hollywood remakes that one every five to ten years) The Little Mermaid alone has three forthcoming versions, and I don’t know how many existed in the past as its a fairly popular story.

What I do know, is that I’m getting pretty damned tired of those on the Right appropriating words and meanings invented by Black culture, and bastardizing them in the mainstream media, to mean anything they don’t like, and I will be very happy to never again hear the word “woke” or “canceled” from yet another angry white dude, for the rest of my natural existence!

Lakitha K Tolbert
Lakitha K Tolbert
1 month ago

Why have I never heard of this guy?!!! I am constantly searching for people with interesting and good analytical takes on film, from a knowledgable viewpoint.

See, this is why I hate the Youtube algorithm. It insists on offering me stupid shite that OTHER (stupider) people like, rather than similar stuff I have actually watched and/or searched for, and subscribed to! How hard is it to not offer me irrelevant videos from ten or eleven years ago?!

Tabby Lavalamp
Tabby Lavalamp
1 month ago

Crafting an artful, well-done film is sacrificed to the PC gods to fit the predominant, ever-increasing leftist cultural values.

Ah, the old “but I just want a good story/game” BS we got from GamerGate, Sad Puppies, ComicGate, and every other reactionary when people want to actually do something different with stories. She hasn’t even seen either movie so she has no idea how artful or well-done they are.

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
1 month ago

Ssh. Don’t tell Ms. Burke about Jim Hines’ Princess series, which tends to be described as “Charlie’s Angels, only with Disney princesses.”

GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
1 month ago

@Kat, @FM Ox: And the upcoming movie of “West Side Story” is directed by Steven Spielberg.

(Being a big fan of Sondheim, Bernstein, and Spielberg, I am buying my ticket, like, now.)

Some fairy tales probably go back to the Stone Age, so they’ve been changing for a long time.

And I guess the people who whine about things being changed from the Disney version must have missed all bazillion seasons of Disney’s network TV show “Once Upon A Time”, which threw everything Disney ever did (plus other stuff, like Wonderland and Oz) into a Mixmaster and put it on TV weekly. Did they have a cow when Peter Pan turned out to be Rumplestiltskin’s father? (Yes. That is a thing that happened.) Mulan was a lesbian in that one.

@Surplus: The new Cinderella movie was supposed to be theatrical, but Covid meant it got sold to Amazon instead. Thus the cast is a little more starry than you’d expect.

Alan Robertshaw
1 month ago

@ gss ex noob

And the upcoming movie of “West Side Story” is directed by Steven Spielberg.

I liked Steven Spielberg’s film about his circumcision. It was the director’s cut.

(I’ll get me coat)

GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
1 month ago

Sorry, Alan, that’s bad enough you’ll have to leave without your coat.

Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy

@Full Metal Ox, thank you so much for sharing that snippet of Tales of the Night. I’d never heard of it before, and this excerpt is gorgeous.

GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
1 month ago

@Victorious Parasol: I love those books, except the last one.

His “Bibliomancer” series is even better, though less feminist.

Dub trump
Dub trump
1 month ago

Trump sucks , the Biggest loser any! What’s worst is the trump loser lovers!

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
1 month ago

@GSS ex-noob

Yeah, I’ve re-read them a few times, but the last one … erm, no. I can skip around and re-read certain sections, but that’s as far as I can go.