Documentarians avoid tackling Cancel Culture for understandable reasons.
Say the wrong thing on screen, or have the wrong social media message in your digital past, and suddenly you’re the next Cancel Culture victim.
Even the 2019 docudrama “No Safe Spaces,” a brilliant expose of how woke thinking conquered the college landscape, is partially out of date thanks to Cancel Culture’s exponential rise.
Director Travis D. Brown isn’t afraid to cover Cancel Culture. He’s the driving force behind “The Woke Reformation,” a new YouTube (and Locals.com) based series examining this cultural blowtorch.
Episode 1, “Origins of Woke Ideology Part I,” describes how the movement can be traced to both Marxism (no surprise) and Post-Modernism. The argument is … persuasive, to say the least.
The series’ animation, pleasantly crude and puckish, helps sell some of the thornier concepts. Humor bubbles up even in the darkest passages, like when a real Tweet by Brown (and its response) graces the screen. The crush of real-world articles, their headlines as farcical as a Babylon Bee satire, speak volumes.
Being woke, we learn, is to be awakened to a reality others have yet to grasp. Or so the acolytes insist.
“The rest of us are at best still asleep, or at worst willfully ignorant and refusing to wake up,” says narrator Helen Pluckrose, who co-wrote the book “Cynical Theories” upon which part of the series is based.
The second episode, to debut July 2, opens with a quote from Thomas Sowell — “There are few things more dishonorable than misleading the young.” The animation is replaced by chilling video clips of Social Justice Warriors screaming horrible things at white people and striking cult-like poses.
The cult comparisons are raw and unavoidable.
Black Lives Matter, both the group and its messaging, flash across the screen in unflattering ways. It’s just one way the docuseries will trigger its intended targets. The time is now to do just that.
“This new woke religion has spread into every corner of society,” we’re told, and would anyone disagree given how Hollywood, academia, the U.S. military and even professional sports have all gone woke, to varying degrees?
The docuseries may be a YouTube-based project, but it’s a handsome production that could appear on a movie screen without any sense of displacement.
It’s hard not to wish “The Woke Reformation” had more to say, and share. The first two episodes combined check in at a modest 12 minutes in total. Perhaps there’s a feature-length film to be made from the smaller components.
For now, it’s available on a massive platform, where its warnings are needed the most. Here’s hoping YouTube censors don’t realize how much the series implicates its own policies and pull the plug on the project.
NOTE: Anyone subscribed to the Locals.com page for “The Woke Reformation” are able to watch new episodes prior to their YouTube debut.