Jason Arias
The Baffler,  January 19, 2018

Fresh Hell

The best dispatches from our grim new reality

Jason Arias
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Now Entering: The Comfort ZoneTM

Is the integrity of your spiritual being under assault in this frightful epoch of data mining and climate degradation? Do you wish you could attain, if only for a fleeting moment, a sense of mindfulness in the midst of this unending horror show? Then, gee, do we have the program for you: The Comfort Zone, a six-part series of guided meditations on duality and sporks, the creamy matter of the soul, and the zen of steamall brought to you by your friendly corpulent corporate overlords at Kentucky Fried Chicken and intended to direct you, mindful consumer, to purchase spiritual harmony by way of a chicken pot pie. Because nothing says living your best life like 185 percent of your daily value of saturated fat in one portable meal! This is not the first bout of meme-fuckery from KFC, and it sure as chicken-tender-loving hell won’t be the last.

 

Gucci gang, Gucci gang, Gucci gang

The police in Rotterdam, Netherlands, are about to test out a truly novel approach to reducing crime: targeting the conspicuously well-dressed. They’ll seek out young men who appear unlikely to have been able to afford the full retail price on the Gucci jackets, Rolexes, and other gaudy trappings of wealth in which they sport about town. “We’re going to undress them on the street,” intones the city’s chief of police. Inexplicably, the police seem to have given no consideration to those with a sharp eye for bargains.

 

New Music Friday 

With obscene and sudden wealth comes great responsibility, and one Silicon Valley skeezeball has taken it upon himself to inject some culture into the Bitcoin surge. Arya Bahmanyar used to be a commercial real estate agent, but now he’s the rapper and party personality CoinDaddy. With a flair for fake mink coats and gold-heeled shoes, Mr. CoinDaddywhen not “drivin’ Lamborghinis with the suicide doorsis here to tell you ‘bout ‘dat crypto life. It’s a world in which, as the Times so handily points out, “Everyone is Getting Hilariously Rich and You’re Not.”

 

“It’s part of our work life”

With workplace suicide on the rise, the Wall Street Journal dutifully considers possible side effects of this growing heap of expended human capital. For one, it “can prompt ripples of anger and guilt across an organization, potentially damaging productivity.” Think, for instance, of all the precious, precious hours wasted in the swamp of human emotion by employees at Amazon’s Seattle HQ when a colleague waltzed off a building at the company’s Seattle headquarters after being but on a performance improvement plan. The bastard even had the gall to half-ass the tumble, surviving and subsequently wasting even more of the Jeff Bezos’ time and money.

 

The Internet is Not Awl-Right

At the end of the month, one of the net’s best resources for defiantly offbeat writing will shrivel up and turn to dust. Running the gamut from McRib sandwiches to rich people things to Breville Die-Cast 2-Slice Smart Toasters to negroni season, The Awl’s blogroll served as a bright spot amidst the rapidly homogenizing media landscape, and while the tributes have been abundant, nothing will replace the Awl-shaped hole in our cold, cold hearts. Is there going to be a wake? We’ll bring beer.

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Further Reading

 November 29

An former Guardian editor lays out a vision of the global media crisis that is largely detached from actual politics.

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