Jason Arias
The Baffler,  January 12

Fresh Hell

The best dispatches from our grim new reality

Jason Arias


Oprah Winfrey 4 Prez.

Proving that the United States has learned almost nothing from electing a garbage bag full of shit and Filet-o-Fish  to its highest office, calls for talk show queen Oprah to seek the White House in 2020 started trending on Twitter before she’d even finished her speech at the Golden Globes. Over at the Guardian, Nicole Aschoff soberly reminds everyone that Oprah actually kind of sucks. While she may whip her adoring fans into an inspirational froth, urging them to “live their best life,” Oprah’s coos are “appealing precisely because her stories hide the role of political, economic, and social structures.” Turn inward, atomized consumer, and find the strength to adjust yourself to the modern hellscape of neoliberalism.


The Nuts and Bolts of Colonics.

Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow’s New Age propaganda outfit, has some deeply considered, not-at-all batshit advice for personal rejuvenation in the New Year: buy a $135 coffee enema. Yes, this device–called the Implant-O-Rama and actually consisting of nothing but a glass bottle and some silicon tubing–allows you to cleanse your colon with Fairtrade, organic coffee! Wow!


“U mad, bro?”

Over at The Awl, Kieran Dahl wades through the muck, mire, and hypermasculinity of the Misc. thread on Bodybuilders.com and scrounges up, for the great annals of digital ethnography, a smattering of interesting specimens and superlative-laced dick and bicep measuring contests.


Free Beer and Eternal Life.

Things are shit in Hungary, too, but that’s not stopping the MKKP, or the Hungarian Two-tailed Dog Party, from readying its 2018 political platform: free beer and eternal life. Known for billboards proclaiming the absurd (“Did you know — 70 weasels can easily block an average-sized drain?”), the MKKP is one of many creative flames sustained in the face of an encroaching conservative tide.


Go home and cook dinner, forever.

Magazines are large; they contain multitudes. In the latest issue of the suddenly-beleaguered Harper’s, Fenton Johnson lambasts the assimilationist bent of the gay movement, calling the rejiggering of its primary concerns from flipping over the table to politely requesting a seat at it “precisely analogous to gentrification—the creative outliers do the heavy lifting, and when a certain level of safety has been achieved, the assimilationists move in, raise prices, and force out the agents of change.” To hell with burning it all down, I want my god given right to buy sweatshop-woven cashmere and top-of-the-line immersion blenders! At one point, Johnson poses the question, “can someone be gay without being queer?” Erin Sheely, writing in n+1 in 2016 on gay zine icon Boyd McDonald, put it best: “‘Straightness’ does not just signify vanilla sexual interests but an alliance with the ruling elite, and a willingness to throw outsiders under the bus.”

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Further Reading

 June 11

He’s not a spook; he’s a dupe, and over decades of in-person interactions with the most powerful figures in both Russia and the U.S., he never seems to figure this out.

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