coronavirus cringe that's not funny!

Explaining the Babylon Bee, one bad tweet at a time

Fig. 1: Reading the Babylon Bee; Fig. 2: Reading The Onion

If you have to explain a joke, it either means it’s gone over the head of your audience, or — more likely — that it’s just not a very good joke to begin with.

And so when I ran across the @ContextBee on Twitter, an account devoted to explaining the jokes in The Babylon Bee, the right-wing parody news site that’s possibly the world’s worst Onion copycat, I assumed it was taking the piss out of the Bee and its relentlessly unfunny posts, which are understandable only if you’re someone who gets most of their news through Facebook posts from your assorted MAGA relatives.

But it turns out that the @ContextBee isn’t kidding; the person behind it is apparently some sort of Babylon Bee superfan who thinks the Bee is 1) endlessly hilarious yet also 2) a humor site that needs to have all of its jokes explained.

It’s tough to decide which are the least funny, the Bee’s original posts or the weirdly earnest explanations.

Er, that should be “alluding,” not “eluding” though to be fair there are a lot of things that elude the @ContextBee. Like a basic understanding of humor.

Sometimes the alleged humor in a Babylon Bee post eludes even the @ContextBee.

Here the @ContextBee explains the only part of a Babylon Bee joke that doesn’t need an explanation.

I’m pretty sure everyone knows that; but not everyone knows about the bizarre conspiracy theory accusing Bill Gates of inserting tiny computer chips into the vaccines that is the basic premise of the Babylon Bee’s “joke.” .

In these posts the @ContextBee replies with the equivalent of a dittohead’s “ditto.”

And in this one the @ContextBee simply highlights the Babylon Bee’s transphobia; both the OP and the #ContextBee’s explanation basically assume that it’s inherently funny that Caitlyn Jenner is trans. Or, indeed, that anyone is.

This post and the explanation basically take it as a given that Hunter Biden’s substance abuse problems are hilarious.

But my favorite has to be this one:

There’s really not much of a joke here, in the traditional sense; if you read the Babylon Bee post itself, which reads like something written by someone who’s just had a large rock smashed against their head, it mostly seems like an excuse to publicly fantasize about shooting mask-wearing libs. As if there weren’t enough of that already going around.

If you really need some fake news to get you through your day, stick to The Onion.

H/T — I borrowed the graphic for this post from Why you should have a cat on Twitter.

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Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
1 year ago

@GSS: Thanks!¹
¹A lot!

epitome of incomrepehensibility

@Buttercup Q. Skullpants – ah ha, ninja’d. And your comment made me laugh 🙂

Anonymous (formerly sbh)

Diane: I think you’re confusing the passive with the progressive.
Buttercup Q. Skullpants: Great pounding and milking.

1 year ago

@Anonymous (formerly sbh) aren’t fortune cookie created circa 1950 ? :p

They do look like the kind of thing already outdated as soon as created tho. Like the average conservative, who was already an old wanker when born.

Anonymous (formerly sbh)

@Ohlmann Maybe so. But I remember hearing somebody telling the joke about opening a fortune cookie and getting the message “Help! I am being held prisoner in a fortune cookie factory” circa 1958 and being told it was an old joke then. Stan Freberg referenced that joke on his radio show about then also with a clear implication that it was not new. There seemed to be a lot of references to Chinese (or sometimes Japanese) artifacts containing fortunes inside them during that time, which is why that seems old and unfunny to me. It’s been over sixty years and I was maybe seven or eight at the time so I could be wrong, or maybe confusing things, but that’s what I remember.

1 year ago

The fortune cookie as it presently exists dates to ~1900 in San Francisco. Prior to that, a slightly different confection with the fortune placed in the outside pinched portion was popular in Kyoto and surrounding regions in Japan. The association with Chinese restaurants dates to shortly after WWII, when anti-Japanese prejudice led many Japanese restaurateurs to claim to be Chinese and learn a few Chinese recipes. They figured (correctly) that whites would never know the difference. This is also why maneki neko are so common in American Chinese restaurants.

Demon Queen Sera
Demon Queen Sera
1 year ago

I will never forget the Bees attempt at “Satirizing” the debate on orcs and racism in DND where they just straight up compaired black people to the orcs in Lord of the Rings being evil, kinda proving the point that maybe the stereotypes of fantasy races has some racist parts

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