I have come late to the party. Only just discovered WOKE. My children and friends say I have been away with the fairies since Tod died – maybe they are right. Maybe it is time to start connecting again.
Just done a quick poll with friends and kids – yes they all knew WOKE I am embarrassed. Apparently WOKE has been around for a long while – first came into circulation in the 1800s when it simply meant the state of not being asleep. In the 1960’s it was used in the context of the Civil rights Movement. In 2017 the OED added the definition of woke to its dictionary but statistics from Google shows that searches for “woke meaning” have been increasing since January this year. OK so I am not that much behind then – just 6 months.
I like this word. It means what it says, ‘being awake’. Awake to what is happening around us. The dictionary definition is ‘aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice).’ But like everything it is open to abuse and has become a generic insult commonly used by the right to attack the left.
It recently hit the headlines when the actor Laurence Fox famously said on Question Time that he was no longer dating “woke” women. His loss. I imagine ‘woke’ women wouldn’t want anything to do with him either.
I do feel a little ignorant admitting to you all that I must have been asleep to this word. But at least I now know and can use it with confidence.
I wasn’t always so ill-informed I remember being savvy enough to escape the clutches of the Moonies in San Francisco.
I arrived in the City aged just 21 alone and having driven from the East coast in a Driveway Car. These are new cars produced on the east coast that need delivering to clients on the west coast. You had 4 to 5 days delivery time and $50 dollars petrol money. Petrol was very cheap back then in America.
Standing in the bus station wondering where I could find a room I was approached by a girl, about my age. She offered me a flower saying how pretty I was. I have always been a sucker for a bit of flattery. We got talking and before long I was sitting in an amazing converted synagogue with a bunch of chilled out people.
I found a letter I had written to my mother
Dear Mum – you will never guess where I am – in a synagogue (mum was religious) with some really lovely people. I feel so happy and comfortable. I have never met such beautiful people. They keep telling me how special I am and how thankful they all are that they have met me. That it must have been my God that had sent me to them in the Synagogue. But they said they aren’t into religion. They are just a kind of student group trying to make the world a better place. The food is delicious. How lucky that I found them as I had nowhere to stay and they have said that I can stay as long as I want.
But I didn’t stay after a week I suddenly started to feel uncomfortable and realised that all was not as it seemed. When everyone was asleep, I left in the middle of the night. But I can see just how easy it would be to be lured into this environment. But they got the wrong girl I was not susceptible. Despite my letter to Mum. Just taken in for a few days. They can spot a vulnerable girl — and it is nearly always a girl – the ones that are lonely and empty inside even if they look perfect on the outside. They offer them acceptance love – a ready made family. But I didn’t need a family – just a bed for a few nights.
Lucky escape. Who knows I could have been married off in one of those mass Moonie Wedding ceremonies?
What a day for a Rock Festival. 50th Year Glasto anniversary.
Just imagine if there was no COVID19– it’s easy if you try. Imagine all the sunshine without the wellies. Shame. I am lucky that I do remember it in its early days just a few shoddy tents, load of hippies in flip flops, a pound to get in after you had written yes really written a letter to Mr Eavis to get a tent spot at Worthy Farm.
See I am just an old hippy at heart but one that is now Wokeified.
“Let’s be careful out there”