Art for Fresh Hell.
Jason Arias
The Baffler,  September 18

Fresh Hell

The best dispatches from our grim new reality

Jason Arias
w
o
r
d

f
a
c
t
o
r
y

Aussies on a Plane

Nostalgic for the luxuries of air travel (long lines, body cavity searches, screaming infants, inflight magazines hocking inflatable saunas, etc.), more than a hundred Australians coughed up hundreds of dollars to be one of the lucky passengers on a rare commercial flight that will depart Sydney and arrive, several hours later, in Sydney, having taken a leisurely and entirely pointless jaunt around the continent. Those onboard, who paid as much as $3,787 for a single seat in the business class, will be dazzled, ab-so-lutely fucking dazzled, by sweeping views of the Great Barrier Reef, Byron Bay, and Sydney Harbor during this seven-hour “joy flight” that may or may not add to their frequent flier miles. For those hoping to snag a last minute seat aboard this “fantastic” trip to nowhere, you’re out of luck: every last seat sold out in under ten minutes on Thursday. “People clearly miss travel and the experience of flying,” a deranged spokesperson from the airline gushed. 


Estée in the Sky

Even in the outer reaches of our atmosphere, the deformations wrought by human avarice persist. NASA astronauts aboard The International Space Station—host to some of the more worthwhile experiments undertaken by our sorry species—will soon embark on a new and exciting journey to the craven depths of commercialization. Later this month, astronauts will film a commercial for a new gravity-defying “Advanced Night Repair” skincare serum from Estée Lauder


To the Flames

Back on terra firma, the massive Southern California wildfire sparked by yet another gender reveal party gone horribly awry has now claimed the life of a firefighter, the twenty-sixth person to die in the clutch of wildfires that have ravaged the state this year. Regrettably—but unsurprisingly—this is neither the first gender reveal party to spark a wildfire, nor is it the first time the batshit dedication to prematurely announcing the gender of one’s forthcoming spawn has resulted in death


Real Talk with a Certified Young Person

Hoping to one up Bill de Blasio’s inspiring partnership with Billy Idol for an anti car-idling initiative earlier this year, Governor Cuomo conscripted the unnervingly ageless Paul Rudd to appear in an altogether too-long public service announcement—pardon, some “real talk” with the “fam”—about the importance of wearing face masks to prevent unnecessary death (masks being, in Rudd’s words, “beast”). Perhaps this ungodly creation will come up in Governor Cuomo’s book about how his unrelenting self-absorption and cruelty made it possible for over thirty-two thousand people to die. 


You, Too, Can be a Corporate Shill!

This week in corporate hiring, a former BuzzFeed editor announced he’ll be jettisoning his fifteen-year career of public service as a journalist to lend a hand in Facebook’s final assault on democracy, its grand plan of mutilating the minds of every last human being on earth with an internet connection. Elsewhere, General Keith Alexander, head of the NSA during the Snowden leaks, will be joining the board of directors at Amazon, where he’ll bring some much-needed surveillance know-how to the company that probably already listens to every stupid utterance that escapes your mouth, scanning for keywords that will help it more effectively fill your life with worthless trash.


Daddy Trump

Americans were shocked this week to learn that not every single homosexual in the country possesses an undying love of Queen Nancy “Clapback” Pelosi, that many of them, in fact, have every intention of voting for Trump this fall. Fully 45 percent of them, according to one recent survey. For those confused how queer people could come to embrace the Republican party and its malignant tumor of a leader, a party which stood by without a care in the world while hundreds of thousands of people died of AIDS, could consider themselves “conservative” by any stretch of the imagination, why, one only need to look to the noxious writings of Andrew Sullivan. Or perhaps to the fact that many homosexuals are extremely white and extremely rich and really could use another tax break to help finish the renovation on their Fire Island manse. 


Sweet, Sweeter, Sweetest Dreams

Are you being kept up at night by thoughts of mass death, fascism, wildfires enveloping hundreds of thousands of acres, sending plumes of toxic smoke as far as Europe? Has your insurmountable debt, unemployment, and/or looming eviction turned you into a raving insomniac? Well then, do your pals at PepsiCo have just the thing: a new beverage to help you sleep called Driftwell, available this December. “Given everything that’s going on,” executives note, now is the perfect time to launch a product in this “nascent category” of beverages to numb the pain of everyday life and obliterate your consciousness. Clearly, they forgot about the wonders of gin, vodka, tequila, bourbon, et al. 

You Might Also Enjoy

Further Reading

Heads Up: We recently updated our privacy policy to clarify how and why we collect personal data. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand this policy.