Like many readers, I am quite a fan of the Babylon Bee, which is a satirical site. Yes, our intelligent readers likely already know it is satire, but Snopes and Facebook have been confused about that in the past, so, again, the Babylon Bee is satire.
Anyway, hardly a day goes by when the Bee does not give me a good laugh or two as friends share this or that “news” story from them. But when I heard that they were coming out with a book length Guide to Wokeness, I wondered how well their style would translate to a long format. We can all think of excellent humor writers and comedians who excelled in short formats but flopped in books or movies. Maintaining humor beyond a few pages or a few minutes is no easy task.
In the case of The Babylon Bee Guide to Wokeness, my skepticism was unfounded. Just about every page had me laughing . . . hard. In fact, I alerted friends I was in danger of dying laughing just in case I had a joyous demise.
The subtitle How to Take Your Wokeness to the Next Level by Canceling Friends, Breaking Windows, and Burning It All to the Ground tips off the book’s approach. It purports to be a guide by the woke on how to become woke. In so doing, it time and again comes very close to or even repeats what the woke crowd actually advocates – which makes the humor that much more effective and increases the chances that the dullards at Snopes, Facebook and elsewhere will be fooled again.
A few highlights. The opening of the chapter on race is too on target:
Race is a social construct created by white people to excuse their oppression of black and brown bodies. It’s also the most important thing about you.
On “brainwashing the next generation,” er, education:
Sadly most parents of small children aren’t woke and don’t look kindly on teachers turning their innocent kids into violent revolutionaries who will someday throw them into the gulag. This, of course, is due to their white fragility and lack of intelligence.
Of special note is the chapter, “How to Make Sure Your Church is as Woke as Jesus.” The title and opening illustration alone had me falling off my chair. The first section of the chapter boldly reinterprets Scripture to demonstrate Jesus was woke. I found this especially relevant:
When Lazarus died, Jesus raised him from the dead so he could vote Democrat:
Jesus performed this miracle a few times, raising hordes of people from the dead and leading them straight over to the voting booth so they could cast their vote for a Democratic candidate. Democrats are following in His footsteps and are still performing this miracle today.
The chapter is slightly revisionist in reinterpreting and retranslating scripture. For example, here is 1 Samuel 16:7, “updated to reflect correct thinking”:
Man looks upon the outward appearance, and so does God because He’s not colorblind.
And under “How to Guide Your Church on its Woke Journey” this advice hits close to home:
Go through the entire Bible and find every use of the word “justice.” Then simply insert the woke buzzwords such as “social” in there. . . . Social justice pretty much means the opposite of boring old regular justice, but most of the people in church don’t know that.
I hope the Bee expands this chapter into a book and soon.
I do have two criticisms of this “guide”. The humor often gets dark. Given that that real life woke rhetoric often descends to vilification to the point of being eliminationist and given that wokeness has a strong totalitarian streak, dark humor is appropriate, but the book sometimes seems to use it too frequently and easily. Secondly, it may be even better if the styles of humor were more diverse and inclusive. I would have enjoyed the use of more dry and subtle humor at times, but then I’m Anglican.
But these are the criticisms of a fan. What the Babylon Bee attempts to do in their Guide to Wokeness is stunning and brave, and they pull it off very well. Some friends, family and perhaps enemies can expect it as a gift from me this Christmas.
I will add that, in a way, it really is a guide to wokeness. As effective satire, it treads on the edge of the truth and often right on it. It could serve as an entertaining primer to wokeness for those able to distinguish satire.
In other words, it’s not for Snopes.