I’m binging. I’m that type of guy – when I find something I like, I watch/eat/read/listen to it voraciously for days or weeks, frustrated that all other facets of my life are getting in the way of my consumption of my new favorite thing.
My current favorite is a podcast. I have listened to 14 episodes in the last eight days, not an easy task when you have two small children and multiple jobs.
It’s called After the sound, and the concept is simple. Listeners send WhatsApp voice notes to the podcast’s phone number, the messages are filtered by an editor, and then listened to and responded to in real time by the podcast host. No preparation, just real human reactions.
Of course it’s not just any human. Scottee is an artist, writer and director who creates work around class, queerness, fatness and being Irish (he was born in London to an Irish family and has deep ties to our island, which he calls ‘home’). other things.
Scottee is what some people would call bright. The entire podcast is unquestionably awake, feelings are respected, and people are accepted for how they present themselves in terms of sexuality, gender, and whatever you are.
That’s what people call awake, you know. Caring about people’s feelings and accepting them for who they are. These are the gist of what is so often spoken of with bitterness and contempt. Confusing, isn’t it?
Of course, if we were really woken up we wouldn’t use the term as it wasn’t meant for that use and was in fact completely hijacked. Deriving from African American colloquial English, the phrase has been widely used within the Black Lives Matter movement to refer to those who are mindful of racial prejudice and discrimination.
Today it’s mostly used in right-wing circles, where it’s a popular insult and generally brimming with sarcasm. In Ireland it is often accompanied by a small eye roll. Again, I find that confusing.
It seems to me that people waking up is just a sign of progress. Societies are constantly changing and evolving, and have been for as long as mankind has existed.
It used to be socially acceptable to be openly homophobic. Thankfully, that’s no longer true, although homophobia obviously still exists. I remember talking to friends about using the word “gay” as an insult and even the inappropriateness of casually using the word “faggot”.
Back then, the term, dripping with sarcasm, was “politically correct”. “Don’t be totally politically correct,” people would say, as if you were the funny police. I’m sure the first white people to tell family members that they weren’t comfortable with racist terminology also had a kind of “loose” response.
Current progress also revolves around listening to people when they say something is harming them and striving not to do evil.
It’s not about “not being able to say anything anymore,” it’s about getting used to a new way of saying things and being a little more thoughtful and considerate. That’s it. It’s easy. Where is the Problem? I ask. For real. How can anyone relate to this?
If we were in the pub and you said something I found hurtful and I explained to you that it upset me, you’d say, “I’m so sorry, I didn’t realize that,” and you wouldn’t yet say once . If so, you’re an asshole. Everyone would say you’re an asshole. The Whatsapp group would bounce the next day about what an asshole you were for knowingly and intentionally doing something hurtful.
Ignoring what people say about how to hurt them less is exactly the same. It’s not big and it’s not smart, and rolling your eyes at other people trying to hurt others says less about you than it does about them.
This week I recommended After the sound to a friend and described it as warm and compassionate, with a great community of listeners. “But it’s in a good mood,” I added, as if something couldn’t be friendly and welcoming and fun. Of course it can.
After the sound is a perfect example of this. Slagging is common, having ideas about yourself is unacceptable, and when you’re judged harshly when you submit your favorite sandwich fillings for judging and the combo doesn’t cut the mustard.
Not an episode goes by where Scottee doesn’t tell anyone to fuck off. Many other unspeakable words are also used when the situation calls for it. You will not be laughed at for what you are. Your genuine feelings are never written off or diminished. If you say something that could be said better, you will be told, but kindly told. It’s great fun and nobody gets hurt.
That’s what waking up is about. Do your best to hurt people less. It’s about wanting more people to feel safe and happy. It seems the only ones who might have a problem with that need not feel so safe and happy themselves. Maybe they could use a little kindness themselves.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/eye-rolling-and-insulting-people-for-being-woke-isnt-big-nor-is-it-very-clever-41488978.html Rolling your eyes and insulting people for waking up is neither big nor very smart