Jason Arias
The Baffler,  August 10

Fresh Hell

The best dispatches from our grim new reality

Jason Arias
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The EPA, doing asbestos they can

Asbestos—that grand and useful silicate mineral banned in fifty-five nations, exposure to which may cause malignant mesothelioma, pleural disease, ovarian cancer, among other delightful maladies—may be set for a comeback as part of our government’s crusade to restore the United State’s to its former  greatness. The careful stewards of our shitswamp commons over at the Environmental Protection Agency have vowed to begin reviewing applications to allow asbestos back into the manufacturing of consumer goods for no apparent reason whatsoever, rolling back restrictions that date to the 1970s. Hell, maybe that steam pipe explosion and resulting asbestos plume that led to the days-long abandonment of Baffler HQ was really nothing to worry about!

 

Hook, line, and sneaker

The Norfolk Southern Railway police in Chicago devised a plot to lure disadvantaged youths into a life of crime. It’s pretty classic: they parked a truck packed to the gills with Christian Louboutin shoes and Nike Air Force 1 sneakers in an impoverished, predominantly black neighborhood, kicked back, and waited for the would-be thieves to carry off with the designer footwear. For their part, the Chicago Police proper claim to have merely assisted in the series of summertime stings. Come on, folks, credit where credit is deserved!

 

The Lemon-Cayenne Hint Kick™ Divine

Water—which “helps you generally feel well”—can offer more than mere hydration; it can also comprise “a disruptive omni-channel lifestyle brand,” according to flavored-water and “experiential water bar” outfit Hint.

 

All’s well in death and profit

Legal & General, the British multinational purveyor of life insurance, pensions, and investment management, broke out the bubbly this week upon concluding they may pull in an annual profit of more than $500 million. It turns out that life expectancy gains have markedly slowed in the United Kingdom, leading to a bigger-than-anticipated release of capital reserves set aside to pay out retirement income. As CEO Nigel Wilson joyously informed reporters, “People have been dying, sadly, a lot quicker than anybody expected, so we’ve got a substantial release coming.”

 

The Champagne, Murdered

But celebrating capitalists should consider themselves warned: climate change is coming for the bubbly.

 

Top Gun

While there may be more than enough firearms in the American crapscape for every man, woman, and child to own one (and still have 67 million to spare), there does seem to be a deficit of non-gun items that are shaped like guns. Thankfully, the fine folks at WineOvation have produced a wine bottle opener in the shape of a revolver. It comes in both silver and pink.

 

It’s the only way to live, in cars

A tale to melt your hard, hard heart: a criminally underpaid teacher in Alabama broke down into sobs of joy after receiving a practical sedan from two parents who were disheartened to learn the dedicated public servant spent hours on the bus each morning. It’s unlikely such sobs will reach the ears of Betsy DeVos as she unwinds in her 22,000-square-foot nautical-themed summer tomb.

 

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