Here’s the latest from the crossroads of faith, media & culture: 09/20/23

The birds and the bees and absolutely anything else you can possibly think of. Having previously explained Democracy and Wokeness, the decidedly anti-Woke keepers of the satirical website The Babylon Bee are out with their third Guide book. Helpfully called The Babylon Bee Guide to Gender: The Comprehensive Handbook to Men, Women, and Millions of New Genders We Just Made Up!, the tome offers its farcical findings to a world that seems to be outpacing farce.  Kyle Mann is the cis-named Editor-in-Chief of The Babylon Bee.

JWK: Considering the topic of your book, I find it ironic that your name is Mann? Have you ever considered changing that?

Kyle Mann: We thought about a promotion where if we sold a certain number of copies of the book I would change my name to Wo-Mann and also change my gender accordingly. We’ll have to sell quite a few copies for me to do that.

JWK: Is this book appropriate for school libraries?

KM: It’s more appropriate than what’s in the school libraries right now. Something we were thinking about doing was submitting this to see if we could get it by. There are obviously jokes that are a little icky because of the subject matter. There’s always a balance trying to tell jokes about something and then getting a little bit too gross or whatever but we try to keep it fun and light. Certainly there are things in the school libraries now that are much worse than what’s in this book.

JWK: So, what are the findings of your book? How, for instance, can readers determine what genders they are?

KM: Yeah, we talk about the way to discover your gender. Ultimately what we conclude in our book is that gender is really just how you feel at any given moment. It has nothing to do with biology, science, facts (or) truth. It all has to do with your mood because really look at a lot of the genders that are out there and it’s just how somebody’s feeling at a given moment – and that is gender identity. So, you can change your gender at any moment. You can kind of have a quantum gender that that just flips back and forth depending on  your mood at a given second. Gender is really you wake up in the morning, you feel a certain way and decide what gender you are for that day – and then, if you want to change your mind by lunchtime, go ahead and change your mind by lunchtime.

JWK: How many genders are out there? Do you have a precise number on them?

KM: I think in the book we say 437 genders but we also change the number throughout the book because the number of genders is constantly fluctuating. We wrote the book and submitted it to press three or four months ago and the number of genders has rapidly increased since we sent this to press. So, it’s already out of date. We’re probably into the millions of genders by now.

JWK: So, there’s been gender inflation. Why do you think this book is important now?

KM: Gender is the hot topic. Gender is what everybody’s talking about. It’s because it’s being pushed so hard by the left. For some reason it is kind of the ultimate in identity politics when you get to gender. You know, they’ve been pushing identity politics for years through feminism, race and all of these different intersections of intersectionality. Gender is kind of the final box. Gender is so ingrained in us, in our basic biology of who we are, that now we’re at a point where we’re being asked to deny reality, to deny every chromosome and every cell in our body in order to accept the narrative being pushed by the Marxists on the left. To me, that is why gender is such a hot topic. It’s because there’s this fringe of the left that is trying to get us to deny what is in front of our eyes and what is in every cell of our bodies. So, this is a humorous way to kind of pushing back at that.

JWK: Why do you think that is? Why do they want to do that?

KM: I think, ultimately, the left is guided by no foundational principle. Conservatives at least pay lip service to this idea that we have traditions, values, objective truth and objective morality. The conservatives’ job is to be constantly bringing us back to something, bringing us to something that transcends the morality of our current moment. The guiding principle on the left is to always be progressing and always pushing further and further forward even if forward means driving right off of a cliff. So, once you’ve pushed so far in all these different areas, you get to gender which is denying who you are.

Ultimately, it comes down to subscribing to the philosophy of existentialism and that we define meaning and we define reality. This is just one more manifestation of that philosophy that has been pushed in pop culture and Disney movies for years – telling us to follow our hearts and be who we are and be ourselves. Now, we have this kind of Gnostic philosophy that you can know your secret gender that nobody else knows and only through your own mind can you unlock your secret identity. So, it is kind of the outworking of something that has been slowly infiltrating western civilization for the past hundred years.

JWK: It does seem kind of ironic that it’s not only allows but celebrated to decide to change your gender but if a person were to decide to change their skin color that would really flip people out.

KM: Yeah, unless your a Justin Trudeau, Ralph Northam, Jimmy Kimmel, Sarah Silverman or any of the other (members of the left) who have done blackface. But, you know, that’s true. There are deep, deep contradictions. I think we have a line in the book that (goes) “Be who you are. Change your gender – but race is immutable! You can’t change that!”

JWK: Right – and that’s literally skin deep – but your sex you can change.

KM: Right.

JWK: Why are they trying to confuse people about what sex they are. I mean you can have a man who may have some feminine traits and a woman who might be a tomboy but they still consider themselves to be a man and a woman. That’s self-acceptance – but this seems like the opposite. You’re not accepting who you are. You’re denying who you are.

KM: I think the left subscribes to this idea of intersectionality and that the most oppressed among us should reclaim their power. So, you’re always looking for whatever that most minute minority is in our culture – and, for them, it’s the transgender community…It’s like looking through this microscope to further and further levels until you get to the most oppressed minority you can possibly think of and then that becomes the group that they have to appease. That becomes the guiding force of the movement even though it is such a very small fraction of the left. It’s the Oppression Olympics in a way. You have to show who is the most oppressed. You can’t get any more oppressed than trans in their worldview. So, that becomes the thing that all of them are stumbling over themselves to push and promote.

JWK: Is it hard to write satire in 2023? Is it hard to stay ahead of what’s actually happening?

KM: Absolutely. I just posted on my Twitter – or my X (!) – account (about) an article we wrote in 2017 where parents were throwing a gender reveal party for their teenager. Then I just saw (that) somebody posted a Tik Tok of parents that were throwing a gender reveal party for their teenager. It’s so hard! We’re approaching the Satire Singularity where satire and real news are the same and you can’t stay ahead of the news. G.K. Chesterton wrote back in 1911 that satire had weakened in his age because “the world has become too absurd to be satirized.” He said that over 100 years ago and look where we are today.

JWK: Speaking about staying ahead of satire, what do you make of the presidential race? You have a former president who’s running while facing four indictments against an incumbent who is facing impeachment. Then you have the former vice present running against his former boss. It does seem like you couldn’t make up a satire that would be any wackier.

KM: At The Babylon Bee we always support whichever candidate is best for jokes. That’s our job at The Babylon Bee – just to laugh at the whole process. Yeah, it seems like were pushing further and further towards the lowest common denominator when it comes to our political candidates. We’re seeing that more and more intensely – (from) 2008, 2012, 2016, 2020 and now whatever you’re gonna see in 2024. We may end up having two 80-year-old men that are confused and clearly past their primes that are fighting it out to be our leader. We are approaching a very, very crazy presidential race that is just getting more and more polarized – but, hopefully, we can tell some really funny jokes about it.

JWK: That’s what I call looking for the silver lining. Also in the news as we speak, the Senate is doing away with dress code for Senators on the Senate floor. I would imagine you guys are doing something with that?

KM: We were talking about sending some Babylon Bee shirts to all the Senators with a note reminding them that they are now welcome to wear them to the chambers (to see) if anybody takes us up on it.

JWK: That’s funny. The Senate could end up looking like Let’s Make a Deal.

KM: Yeah.

JWK: What do you hope people take from this book? I know you have a serious point.

KM: Ultimately, when we’re writing comedy we foremost want to make people laugh. We want to make good comedy. You can’t write good comedy if you’re always trying to make a point. At the same time, you’re right, these are serious topics that we’re talking about so, ultimately, our worldview is gonna show through.

We just wanted to kind of show the contradictory nature of gender theory. We wanted to show the ridiculousness of it. You can read our book and, obviously, we’re being silly. We’re making up genders and saying you can be a Cocaine Bear gender…but, ultimately, you look at that and then you look at the real world and – You know what? – that is the logical conclusion of this movement.” These aren’t that ridiculous. If somebody did say they were a Cocaine Bear-sexual – because it’s just something you declare and identify as and there’s no objective reality associated with it or no biology associated with it-  you have no ground to stand on to say “Oh, you’re just being ridiculous.”

When we were researching this book I found there was a Google employee who during a talk at Google said that he or she identified as large ornate building. You can’t tell if that’s a joke from The Babylon Bee Guide to Gender or a real story – but it is real. It is something that actually happened. So, what is the difference between us saying  “Oh, it’s ridiculous that you can identify as that…and then there’s somebody that actually identifies as a large ornate building which is something that we’re supposed to take very seriously. The power of humor is that we can mock ideas and make them seem ridiculous – especially ideas that everybody takes very, very seriously.

JWK: It seems to me that humor has traditionally been used as a way to prick the pretensions of the power elite – but now it’s like the people in power have figured out a way to short circuit that by framing the mocking of those pretensions as some sort of hate speech.

KM: Well, that’s just so ridiculous. You know, we made fun of Rachel Levine who is one of the highest-ranked people in the federal government – and we were accused of punching down, of mocking those without any power, of mocking the less fortunate. What kind of ridiculous world is this where you have the left – who holds all the cultural power (and) has captured all of the institutions in Hollywood and entertainment, in colleges, in the government, in everything – and yet thinks that they’re the oppressed ones? We are still mocking the powerful as satirists today at The Babylon Bee. It’s just that the people who are in power think that they’re oppressed – and that’s hilarious.

JWK: So, what’s next for The Babylon Bee? Do you have any more guides on the drawing board?

KM: We have at least one more guide in the works. We have a fourth Babylon Bee Guide in the works. I can’t do an official announcement yet but it will be focused on the end of western civilization. So, be prepared for that.

JWK: We better read it fast.

KM: Yeah.

JWK: Last time we spoke I asked you about possible plans for a Babylon Bee movie or TV show. Has there been any movement along those lines?

KM: We’ve been working on some ideas in that direction. We should have some kind of public announcement soon, hopefully. So, that’s gonna be something really exciting.

JWK: Oh, I hope I get to talk with you about that. Anything you’d like to say as we wrap up?

KM: Just by ten copies of the book!

John W. Kennedy is a writer, producer and media development consultant specializing in television and movie projects that uphold positive timeless values, including trust in God.

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

More from Beliefnet and our partners
Close Ad