(c) – Stock.Adobe.com

La La Land

March 26, 2023

When I turned 60, I had my second colonoscopy. My first was at 50. I have tried to adhere to recommendations about this procedure. No problems have ever been identified. The one at 60 provided me a full-color picture of part of the process. I’m not including it here.

Or my wife’s observation about my perfection. What I DO want to mention is a conversation I had just ahead of the actual procedure.

They were going over what to expect. I was going to be anesthetized to ‘La La Land’. I would be awake but unaware. That was not my experience. I was totally out of it. I awoke with no memory other than the diet and flushing required the day before.

What brought this to mind is a recent news story. Some time ago, in the Forest Press, I wrote an article about a news story announcing changes to the M&M characters. I have long enjoyed these characters and my article back then included a link to some of the truly great commercials featuring them over the last many years. (M&M Characters Evolving, New Look for M&Ms)

I still enjoy them and when I find, at reasonable prices, M&M dispensers, which have become popular collector items, I buy them. I have several in my ‘treasure’ room. I have two characters dancing in front of a Wurlitzer Juke Box. I have others playing baseball, driving a pickup truck, sitting in a theater, as the statue of liberty, riding a roller coaster, etc. I don’t use them to dispense M&Ms. They are things I value. Not because they are intrinsically valuable, but because I like them.

In my original article (Titled WOKE from February of 2022), I admit to being WOKE in the following words:

“I did a little research. Merriam-Webster defines ‘woke’ as:

“aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice),“.

Hmmmm! There are other ways to present it, but all explanations I found seem to say essentially the same thing. Somehow woke just doesn’t sound as bad as some pundits, politicians, and talking-head personalities present it. What is the opposite of ‘woke’? Willful ignorance of important facts and issues? Is that better? I hope I’m woke. Ever more so.”

Lately Mars Candy has decided to retire the M&M candies as ‘spokespeople’. There has apparently been an outrage from Tucker Carlson and others about changes last year. I do read some news articles by Fox, though Tucker Carlson is not part of the news team there. He comments; He cultivates and stokes anger and ‘woke’ seems to him to be akin to clenching a live rattlesnake in your teeth. I don’t watch any such commentators. On Fox. On CNN. On NewsMax. On MSNBC. On TYT. I’m not looking to have my opinions nipped, tucked, stoked, or seasoned to distaste, for or against, by people paid to comment. Right or left. I read a broad selection of news from many different sources.

I’m not trying to nudge anyone toward or away from Tucker Carlson (or any ‘talking head’) or their messages. I will say, as Fox News said in defending him in a libel case (successfully) that:

According to Judge Vyskocil, “Fox persuasively argues… that given Mr. Carlson’s reputation, any reasonable viewer arrives with an appropriate amount of skepticism about the statements he makes.” (emphasis added by egb) She doesn’t stop there, writing that “[w]hether the Court frames Mr. Carlson’s statements as exaggeration, non-literal commentary, or simply bloviating for his audience, the conclusion remains the same—the statements are not actionable.”

This kind of defense has appeared somewhat frequently in the last couple of years as people making outrageous claims defend them by saying that no reasonable person would believe them. In defense in court:

(Atlanta) – Kraken lawyer Sidney Powell admitted in a filing in federal court that “no reasonable person would conclude that [her] statements were truly statements of fact.” (emphasis added by egb) Powell made the filing in response to a defamation suit from Dominion Voting Systems in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Rudy Giulani made a similar “No reasonable person would…” defense of statements he made to January 6 capitol rioters that seemed outrageous.

The context of these defenses is not really the point here. It is the fallback position when outrageous statements threaten legal consequences. “No reasonable person would have taken what I said seriously…”

Whether you believe the things that Tucker Carlson or others say or not, you should at least consider that everything that comes out of the mouth of an icon is not a pearl. Or true. By their own admission. But it has an effect.

Is it really an outrage that the green M&M wears sneakers now instead of high heels? Tucker Carlson is leading a charge to call out this ‘Woke-ness’. Mars Candy has, at least for now, bowed to this political storm. I am sad to see it. I have long enjoyed these little characters. I am nursing at least a faint hope that this whole thing is a Mars Candy publicity stunt.

It seems the opposite of Woke is La La Land. I hope that reasonable people will view this most recent noise with a healthy amount of skepticism.

One of my favorite columnists is Rex Huppke of USA Today. He did a great column on ‘woke’, including the following observation:

“The bottom line is DeSantis and other Quixotic clodhoppers in the perma-fabulist world of the Republican Party have made “woke” a ubiquitous slur, attacking everyone from leaders of The Walt Disney Co. to teachers to M&Ms. Why? Apparently because the “wokies” are trying to destroy America by engaging in radical behavior like “promoting understanding,” “thinking about others” and “making the world a slightly less awful place for people who historically haven’t had much say in how things work.”

On this basis, I want to be WOKE. I won’t criticize anyone choosing ‘La La Land (awake but unaware)’. If anyone chooses to criticize my choice, I would only advocate they make sure to know what being WOKE really means.

P.S. Good news! The M&M characters are Baaaaack!

Note: For about a half-hour of pure happiness, check out the M&M Commercials.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Subscribe to our newsletter

White Cane Coffee presents Coffee & a Conversation

Don't Miss