The satire business is tough when you’re competing with reality.
Yesterday, Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon tweeted a list of 70 “fulfilled prophecies,” comparing satire articles his site published to real news stories occurring on later dates.
A selection of these satirical headlines is nearly indistinguishable from their real counterparts. If you didn’t know the source, it genuinely would be difficult to tell which one is true. Other “prophecies” are more of a stretch, or just slightly off, such as the August 2021 headline “Biden Administration Deploys Elite Squad of TikTok Influencers to Stop Taliban.” Turns out, the administration ended up using those top TikTok stars a little differently: briefing them on the war in Ukraine in March 2022. Innocent mistake. Nevertheless, the side-by-side comparison of satire and fact is hilarious — if not a little frightening.
With glorious foresight, the site predicted Marvel’s 2021 announcement that the new Captain America would be a gay activist a full five years earlier with the story, “Captain America Rebooted as Feminist, Atheist, Transgender Hydra Agent.” It also predicted Black Lives Matter’s February 2021 nomination for a Nobel Peace Prize with an article in August 2020.
Perhaps the most unbelievable “prophecy” is from the satire story “California School System to Feature Mandatory 2nd Grade Field Trips to Gay Bars,” which was written in June 2019 and fulfilled when a Broward County, Florida, school actually took elementary schoolers to a gay bar on a field trip in October 2021.
A close runner-up is the headline “Progressive Church Announces New Drag Queen Bible Story Hour,” which became reality on Dec.17, 2021, just six months after publication, when a Lutheran church in Chicago hosted a “drag queen prayer time” for children. The preacher who led the event was also “the first drag queen certified as a candidate for ordination in the United Methodist Church,” the Washington Examiner reported when the story broke.
The site also anticipated a December 2021 story published in USA Today asking the question, “Is Math Racist?” A Babylon Bee headline from back in 2017 reads, “‘2 + 2 = 4,’ Insists Closed-Minded Bigot.”
The claim that math is bigoted is now more common than any reasonable person should be comfortable with. Not listed on Dillon’s spreadsheet are the actual math curricula that repeat the claim that math has often been “Eurocentric” and requires an “anti-racist” approach, such as this one proposed, then later removed, from Ontario’s Grade 9 curriculum in Canada.
Have these guys tapped into a secret vault of power capable of unlocking the future?
I suspect the website just has a keen understanding of the ideological underpinnings of our culture. Drawing absurd ideas out to their logical conclusion will bring you to absurd places. In a world that denies the basics of biological reality, anything is possible. Keep pumping out preposterous scenarios that stretch contemporary beliefs just beyond their currently accepted limits, and you’re bound to strike gold before long.