Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ performative outrage

June 16, 2021 • 9:15 am

Apparently the Jesus and Mo website issues are fixed, and one can access the latest strip, called “outrage”, without trouble.  It conveys what seems to be true: many instances of woke behavior represent not genuine attempts to fix society, but a way to call attention to oneself by being outraged, either feigned or for real. And, as usual, the boys show their own hypocrisy in the last panel.

The strip came with a link:

Today an essay appeared on the website of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, which prompted this J&M.

The essay describes how the author was attacked on social media by a woman friend for saying “a trans woman is a trans woman”, although he “fully support(s) the rights of trans people and all marginalized people.” Given the woman’s behavior described in Adichie’s longish essay, it’s clear that her public attack was an act of performative outrage.

13 thoughts on “Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ performative outrage

  1. Adichie actually describes two women who both did more or less the same thing. Parts one and two of the essay refer to different people.

    Also you have a typo

    although he “fully support(s) the rights of trans people and all marginalized people.”

    “he” should be “she”.

  2. This particular entry reminds me of some comics I drew back in high school. They revolved around Jesus Christ and Satan (who, at least in the Mormon theology I was raised with, are siblings) playing shoddy music together for open mic nights at coffee shops and such.

    I wish I still had those old spiral notebooks. The comics didn’t feature J&M’s delightful social commentary, but I’m still curious as to whether or not my nearly twenty-year-older brain would find them amusing. Sixteen-year-old me thought they were the bees knees.

  3. This linked essay by Adichie is great writing throughout. I could quote many passages from it, but I think the closing sentences say it all: “The assumption of good faith is dead. What matters is not goodness but the appearance of goodness. We are no longer human beings. We are now angels jostling to out-angel one another. God help us. It is obscene.” I must read more by Adichie…

    1. Totally agree. So beautifully written a real master of their craft and gripped me from the first sentence

  4. Adichie writes,

    The assumption of good faith is dead. What matters is not goodness but the appearance of goodness. We are no longer human beings. We are now angels jostling to out-angel one another. God help us. It is obscene.

    Given the experience she describes in her essay, she has a point.

    1. D’oh – although I thought I had read the previous comments I see that StephenB quoted the exact same passage at #3 above – sincere apologies.

  5. I’ll try again. I thought this description of the Woke/Elect was also apposite:

    People who ask you to ‘educate’ yourself while not having actually read any books themselves, while not being able to intelligently defend their own ideological positions, because by ‘educate,’ they actually mean ‘parrot what I say, flatten all nuance, wish away complexity.’

    1. To be fair to a lot of the people who say that, they are usually talking about lived experience and the denial which comes from a position of privilege. “Educate yourself” isn’t an appeal to any book or any ideology, but an appeal to listen to those marginalised voices that have been historically and culturally ignored. So in that sense, there’s no contradiction since all they are asking you to do is listen to groups they themselves are listening to.

      The difficulty, I think, is that they aren’t advocating for a particular solution, but a removal of a perceived barrier to a solution. It’s not so much an ideology but a meta-ideology, where they are simply trying to get more kinds of voices as part of the cultural conversation. Once all those marginalised voices are part of the conversation, then the conversation will be more fruitful. Or so it is argued.

  6. Why does experience have to be “lived”?
    That pisses me off. It sounds stupid and juvenile, self indulgent.
    So that’s that then.
    I have spoken.
    D.A.
    NYC

    1. It doesn’t*have* to be, but it’s hard to argue against experience being a great teacher, or that a part of our cognition is the relation of our experiences to narratives and ideals.

      Take an example – being poor. One can read up on all kinds of psychology and sociology about the effects of poverty, but actually being poor and dealing with the issues gives an appreciation of the problem that no theory can adequately convey. It would be presumptuous to think that someone who lives in those conditions wouldn’t have something worthwhile to say from what it’s like to live in it.

      This isn’t the same as saying in order to solve poverty, one needs to have lived experience of being poor, but it is in effect arguing that without that experience the effects of poverty, those trying to solve the problem may be blind to some of those problems because they aren’t looking for them. The whole point of “just listen” is about trying to make sure that some of those understandings that can come from lived experience are being addressed.

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