When I’m woke...

Horace Camp | Published:

Guernsey might appear to be a great place to live, but the Woke Folk know the apocalyptic reality that the island is actually drowning in injustice, inequality and hopelessness... or perhaps they’re just drunk? Horace Camp tries, and fails, to get to grips with wokeness...

Is Horace Camp’s Guernsey merely a figment of his imagination? (24603236)

LONG Bank Holiday weekend when the weather is glorious is a perfect opportunity to indulge in a vigorous and exhilarating session of shark jumping.

I forget, though, that I’m not as young as I was and I now find myself slumped in my armchair determined to take it a bit easier for a day or two.

As a firm supporter of lifetime learning, I’ve decided to make good use of this down time to learn something new. To make it more of an intellectual challenge, I’ve chosen a subject of which I know absolutely nothing and is way outside of my comfort zone.

I’ve decided to learn how to be ‘woke’.

For those who are unfamiliar with the subject, and I suspect many of my readers will be, I will give a brief summary of wokeness. The Urban Dictionary defines woke as: ‘A word currently used to describe “consciousness” and being aware of the truth behind things “the man” doesn’t want you to know i.e. classism, racism, and any other social injustices. The term comes from a genuine place but is becoming overused. People mainly use it to sound like deep thinkers when they are really just following a trend.’

I’m hoping that if I can master the basics of woke I will at last be able to recognise the injustice, inequality and hopelessness that abounds in our island and which I am currently unable to see. In my current sleeping state I falsely get the impression that this is a great place to live.

Once I am a Woke Master I will be able to smell the pollution in our air, stop imagining that I can see and hear myriad birds singing and come to accept that shoeless street urchins really do beg for food on the streets of Town.

I’m not certain exactly how I was fooled into my current belief that I am lucky to live in such a great place and privileged to call it my home. But once I’m woke the true desolation and apocalyptic reality will be revealed to me.


I do worry that once the scales have fallen from my eyes I will be unable to live with the realisation that my Guernsey is a figment of my imagination. But I suppose I can emigrate to the UK, which already has the rights and privileges denied to me and has a climate change strategy in place, plus a very generous overseas aid budget.

Of course getting to the UK will be difficult when I’m woke because surely I will have to forgo any form of travel which uses fossil fuels? Will I have to learn to swim?

On the other hand I get the impression that most of the woken who live here have no problem with fossil fuel use as long as it’s not in a car. Perhaps when I am woke I will understand this seeming enigma?

I hope my new enlightened state will enable me to understand why the runway needs be lengthened. Possibly I will even be able to comprehend the true meaning of empathy, which has long eluded me. Then perhaps I will not dismiss the whining of my former finance colleagues who claim they aren’t doing well developing their businesses because the runway is too short as a ‘poor workman blaming his tools’.


Hey, when I’m woke I may even start using gender neutral pronouns.

When I’m woke I will retweet States press releases with comments like ‘great work’, ‘you make me proud’ and ‘surely our overseas aid budget is far too small’.

Best States Ever. Until the next one, which will be even better.

When I’m woke I will have no problem with over-generous public sector pension provision. Nor will I even question why £200m. on IT upgrades is not worthy of as much debate as bonfires or the tank wall.

Of course, the new Horace will never, ever ask a ‘what if’ question again. And the new Horace will instantly shout down anyone who expresses a non-woke opinion. The new Horace may even understand why a local artisan is banned by Twitter for reasonable comments on what is effectively a taboo subject. Although I would have to be very woke indeed to understand that one.

I have a feeling that my current view of the Woke Folk is similar to how I saw my colleagues at the works Christmas do after four hours of a free bar. When we all arrived in our best bibs and tucker, we were all sober and I had no problem interacting. After four hours of this teetotaller sipping water and my colleagues throwing back vast quantities of alcohol, I may as well have been trying to communicate with aliens. That’s space aliens, not foreigners.

What started out as great conversations descended into incomprehensible gibberish – them, not me. But strangely they could communicate with each other at a much-reduced intellectual level, although much more emotionally charged. I could have chosen to descend into the group state with them by just deadening most of my brain with alcohol but the habits of a lifetime prevented me from taking that easy option.

Thinking about it, I’m starting to wonder if being woke is like being drunk.

Having been neither woke nor drunk, I can only approach this from an intellectual standpoint. I have never wanted to be drunk. I quite like being me as I am sober. Do I want to dull my brain and stop questioning and examining everything I see? Do I want to suppress my individuality to be a part of the crowd?

Hell no!

I’ve decided not to learn how to be woke.

This old dog is quite prepared to learn new tricks, but rolling over to get his tummy tickled is not one of them. I will not apologise for the British Empire, I don’t believe the world owes anyone a living, I will stick to the gender pronouns I was taught at school and I will continue to be provocative in debate.

And don’t ever mention mindfulness to me.


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