The village of Rothenstein is home to the Billionaire bunker. / Thomas Agsten
The Baffler,  June 16, 2015

Daily Bafflements

The village of Rothenstein is home to the Billionaire bunker. / Thomas Agsten


• Today in Billionaires: one architect has figured that when the zombie underclasses revolt, luxury apocalypse shelters will be a must. His five-star bunker is equipped to withstand nuclear blasts with “self-contained water, power, climate, ventilation, air filtration and communication systems,” as well as boredom, with pools, wine cellars, bakeries, and its own television station. Eeriest of all, the complex houses “an area dedicated to preserving a variety of zoological species and coveted artifacts in the event of a major disaster.” (Thanks very much, Elite Daily.)

• It is Bloomsday, the day that commemorates James Joyce’s wife Nora Barnacle first coming “sauntering” into his life, and on which he chose to set Ulysses. Little Atoms has a video of the first ever Bloomsday, featuring Flann O’Brien (I think) peeing against a drystone wall. It’s also the anniversary of the introduction of the New Deal recovery programmes but no such footage of FDR is forthcoming.

• Greece’s broadcaster ERT is back on the airwaves, after two years of radio silence. Troika austerity measures in June 2013 saw 2,600 employees laid off, and, when ERT continued broadcasting across the internet, riot police stormed their HQ live on air.

• As The Economist notes, it’s hard to shake a stick these days without hitting an expensive collectible, which gives us ample opportunity to remind you of Rhonda Lieberman’s salvo, from Baffler no. 24, in which she argued that “the cult of wealth cheers as art launders the antisocial spoils of exploitation into status symbols, entrée to classy social circles, and even the solemn mantle of philanthropy.”


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Further Reading

 October 11

The clowns are not only fundamental to our social institutions; they're literally in charge of them.

 October 10

A masterful narrative of the Greek debt crisis, Varoufakis's Adults in the Room makes a case for the revival of a humane internationalism.