Art for Fresh Hell.
Jason Arias
The Baffler,  July 23

Fresh Hell

The best dispatches from our grim new reality

Jason Arias
w
o
r
d

f
a
c
t
o
r
y

Medaling in Folly

The year is 2021 and the 2020 Olympics are now officially, heedlessly, dismally underway in Tokyo, having kicked off on Friday with the “Parade of Nations” in a stadium that the city of Tokyo, currently under a state of emergency due to the ongoing pandemic, built for $1.4 billion with the express purpose of filling it with sixty-eight thousand people for this one televised event. Those sixty-eight thousand spectators were not there—indeed, the stadium was nearly empty—and because, again, of the whole pandemic thing, not one single solitary spectator will be on hand during any of the three hundred-plus sporting events over seventeen consecutive days that will cost $15 billion to host. Let us pour precisely six beers out for this spectacle of human folly, one for each of the six Polish swimmers who had to go back home after Poland realized they’d somehow accidentally sent too many swimmers all the way to Tokyo

 

Switched On 

It’s been a big week for the phallus: Jeff Bezos blasted off to almost-kinda-space on Tuesday in a cock-rocket paid for by “every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer.” And also the world now has a lamp shaped like an uncircumcised penis. To turn this lamp on, one simply takes it by the shaft, yanks down, and—voilà—let there be glorious LED light! According to the artist, however, who variously called it the “phallamp” and “lampenis” during its development, the “main idea” of this $4,800 phosphorescent pecker is “not in the similarity with the penis . . . it is about love, light, and life.” It is, in other words, “the most meaningful and optimistic lamp ever.” 

 

Boofing to the Top

While we’re on the subject of dicks, let us briefly turn our attention to Brett Kavanaugh, who, as we might all recall, whined his boofing ass all the way to the Supreme Court despite being credibly accused of sexual assault. On Thursday, the FBI let it slip that during its 2018 investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh, they received four thousand five hundred tips, the vast majority of which they ignored, passing the rest on to the office of White House counsel Don McGahn, who almost certainly did nothing with them, lest any of these tips further tarnish the reputation of the beer-guzzling manbaby and endanger his lifetime appointment to the highest court in these nominally United States.

 

Death by Gender

To California now, where a couple is facing manslaughter charges after the gender reveal party they held last September sparked a wildfire that killed a firefighter, injured two others, and burned more than twenty-two thousand acres across San Bernardino and Riverside counties over Labor Day weekend. This is not to be confused with the gender reveal explosion that ignited a wildfire that would go on to burn nearly fifty thousand acres in southern Arizona. That was in 2017. Once again, we would like to take this opportunity to remind our readers that there remain nonlethal, though likewise deranged, methods of announcing the gender of your ill-advised spawn, including but not limited to cutting into pink or blue cakes, popping balloons filled with confetti, or—apparently—mixing up a batch of edible glitter cocktails, because who doesn’t love shitting glitter? 

 

Inside a Terribly Underwhelming $169,000,000 New York City Penthouse NEVER BEFORE SEEN!

In real estate news, the penthouse on the ninety-sixth floor of 432 Park Avenue in Manhattan hit the market on Monday with the perfectly reasonable asking price of $169 million, earning it the status of the city’s most expensive listing. This never before-lived-in opportunity to launder and/or stash millions of dollars masquerading as a series of rooms for humans to live in will almost certainly never be lived in, but, please, join us on a tour of its six bedrooms and eight baths, its stunning great room and sublime, marble-choked eat-in kitchen, all with mind-numbingly bland views of the smog blanketing the surrounding boroughs. Reader, we believe you will be profoundly underwhelmed: this alleged “home” is not nice! This, this is what super rich people are trampling the rest of us for? Fireplaces that look like they’re from the clearance section at Home Depot? But wait, there’s more! The inevitably LLC-masked oligarch who ends up forking over more than twenty grand a square-foot (in addition to the $24,012 in monthly common charges and $14,811 in monthly taxes) will also receive a boatload of Hermes pillows and framed art pillaged from a dentist’s waiting room just for the hell of it.

 

$$ for Drinkz 

And finally, it has come to our attention that—at long, long last—there is now—thank god—an interspecies money transfer service. It used to be that there were no digital platforms for the poor pangolin or Patagonian mockingbird to post thirst traps, let alone efficiently split the cost of a bottle of biodynamic orange wine at Lucien. But now, things have changed: with Linneaus, we can bring the benefits of cash-money capitalism to other species just in time for last call on planet earth. “Many of these species suffer because they have no independent financial means to change their value,” the site notes. “The only value they have is that of their processed body parts. By making rare life forms worth many times more alive than dead, Linnaeus can make a positive difference in many ecosystems at a difficult time.” Indeed, times are difficult—you might say they’re “very very extremely bad,” possibly “beyond hope.” Though only available for wild animals and trees, Linnaeus soon hopes to begin extending digital cash to plants, pollinating insects, and microbial colonies.

You Might Also Enjoy

The Global Garage

Will Meyer

“There is no other country on Earth that thinks the same way that we do, like Israel does.

word factory

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.