This and That

The word “woke”, as an adjective which was first used in the 1940s, has resurfaced in recent years as a concept that symbolizes awareness of social issues and movement.

In 2015, searches for “woke” on Google surged. The term increasingly came to be identified with members of the millennial generation (25-40 years old).

In May 2016, “woke” was identified as being among ten words teenagers should know.

The first time many people heard “woke” was likely during the birth of the Black Lives Matter movement.

According to Merriam-Webster, “woke” is described as being aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues – especially issues of racial and social issues.

“Woke” was officially added into the Oxford English Dictionary as an adjective in June 2017. The dictionary defines it as “originally: well-informed, up to date. Now chiefly: alert to racial or social discrimination and injustice”.

The Urban Dictionary, published its original definition two years prior to the official dictionary, defining it by saying “being woke means being aware… knowing what’s going on in the community (related to racism and social injustice)”.

In other words, it means to be awake to sensitive social issues, such as racism.

Once upon a time, “woke” simply meant the past participle of “wake”. While that has rapidly changed in recent years, the modern definition of the word isn’t that new in the US.

In 1962 the New York Times published an article of “phrases and words you might hear today in Harlem”, in which “woke” was included.

Ten years later in 1972, a character in the Barry Beckham play Garvey Lives! says he’ll “stay woke” via the work of pan-Africanist, Marcus Garvey, with the line, “I been sleeping all my life. And now that Mr. Garvey done woke me up, I’m gon’ stay woke. And I’m gon’ help him wake up other black folk”.

In 2012, when an unarmed teenager Trayvon was shot dead in Florida by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, the term was used headily to raise awareness of the movement.

In January 2021, the actor Lawrence Fox re-ignited an argument over the use of the term, after he branded an audience member who labelled him a “white privileged male” for saying he was “bored” of racism accusations.

He subsequently accused subscribers to woke views of being “racist”, telling Julie Hartley-Brewer’s radio show, “The wokists are fundamentally racist. Identity politics is extremely racist.”

In 2020, wildfire smoke accounted for roughly half of all the air pollution in the Western United States, which means that there was as much toxic smog coming from wildfires as there was coming from all human activity combined. [NYT 8/28/2022]

The average published price of tuition, fees, room, and board for the 2021-2022 academic year was about $52,000 for a four-year, private nonprofit college, according to the College Board. [NYT 8/28/2022]

The American Medical Association says the United States faces a projected shortage of between 37,800 and 124,000 physicians within 12 years. [MinnPost Daily 8/29/22]

The following were created by Gerry Kauvar…

Son In Law Like Father-in-Law

Here are a few choice quotes from a recent interview with Jared Kushner:

“My generation could be the first generation to live forever.” (In Infamy?)

Responding to a question about whether the election was stolen, Jared said: “I think that there’s different words. I think there’s a whole bunch of different approaches that different people have taken, and different theories.”

When asked whether his father-in-law lost the election, Jared replied: “I think there’s a lot of issues that I think if litigated differently may have had different insights into them.”

Says a lot about a guy who attended Harvard and NYU. Whether he was educated at either institution remains a question.

RNC Cognitive Test for Presidential Candidates

  • What is the difference between a rhino and a RINO?
  • Is “donor” a contributor to a PAC or the name of one of Santa’s reindeer?
  • What is a PAC?
  • True or False: A mulligan is an Irish Stew and a hair style.
  • Is Pussers the name of a rum or a vulgar term for a woman?
  • Is the correct spelling “elefant” or “elephant”? Are you sure?
  • Is an “Iron Triangle” a musical instrument?
  • True or False: A gimmie is a term in both golf and fund-raising.
  • Why is a good lie welcome in golf but not in public discourse?
  • Explain why below par is good in golf but not in describing your health.
  • What word is out of place? fact, fiction, friction, faction, fraction. Explain your answer.
  • How come the word landslide is okay in politics but not in California? Or is it okay if it happens in California too?
  • Name the wars during which Fort Sumter and Fort McHenry were memorialized in song.
  • Why is it okay for a tweet to go viral but not okay for a pathogen?
  • What if any is the difference between “abortion” and “abomination?

Oh Henry

He led the nation like a potentate,
And often in a deranged state.
He dressed to hide his burgeoning weight,
And was nasty to his mate.
Any dissent made him rant and rail,
His temper made his associates pale.
This isn’t about Trump — in faith,
It’s all about Henry the Eighth.
If you believe this little tale,
I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn for sale.