Jason Arias
The Baffler,  September 21

Fresh Hell

The best dispatches from our grim new reality

Jason Arias
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Eat life by the bowlful

While the rest of us are yammering on about the shape of the presidential penis and the noxious pig poop lagoons of North Carolina, almost-billionaire Kylie Jenner is out to start a more urgent national conversation on breakfast cereal.

 

Health to the Future

Insurance company John Hancock, in a harbinger of the hellfuture to come, has announced they will now sell only “interactive [life insurance] policies that track fitness and health data through wearable devices and smartphones.” The program, dubbed Vitality, is a fun mismash of the Dunkin Donuts “Sip. Peel. Win” sweepstakes and pure, unadulterated surveillance: When you make healthy food purchases at your local big box or take a spin on your Total Gym XLS, you can enter to win Amazon gift cards and other prizes. You can also opt to permanently affix a health tracker to your wrist to let your pals at the insurance company keep track of your heart rate so they’ll know when you’re sneaking cigs (even though you told them you quit three years ago!). According to Vox,“there’s thus far no evidence” that you’ll be penalized by the company for your degenerate vices. For now, it’s all about rewarding good behavior! Quoth Brooks Tingle, John Hancock’s chief executive: “The longer people live, the more money we make.” It’s a win-win!

 

Alexa, nuke my Lean Cuisine Chicken Ranch Club Flatbread Melt!

In the quest to outfit every device and surface with surveillance capabilities so that you, consumer of the future, can instantly order Pam Nonstick Cooking Spray from anywhere in the house, Amazon has added a new tool to its panopticon. For a mere $60, you can have a wifi-connected microwave oven that will nuke a TV dinner for your sorry ass on demand!

 

These shoes are five hundred thirty fucking dollars. Let’s get ’em!

Just in time for the fall season, the fashion industry has excreted a crop of pre-distressed sneakers perfect for the wannabe ragamuffin hypebeast with access to vast reserves of capital. Might we recommend these Maison Margiela Colorblock Fusion Leather Trainers—which appear to have been adorned with with decorative duct tape and hot glue—for the modest sum of $1,645 (with free shipping). Or, perhaps, these fine Superstar Taped Sneakers from Golden Goose, with “crumply, hold-it-all-together tape details,” which you’ll be forced to find on eBay at a considerable markup because the $530 sneaks have sold out, honey.

 

Just Boycott It

Earlier this week, a Rhode Island city council voted to boycott the unpatriotic conglomerate Nike for using that radical communist and lawman-hating Colin Kaepernick to sell its shoes. According to town council president John Beauregard, Nike’s exploitation of Kaepernick’s political activism for commercial purposes only “perpetuates this lie that police are racist, that they are out to keep people of color down.” (Whereas, utilizing the labor of children or sweatshops is perfectly fine.) However, after a truly inexplicable backlash, the town council is expected to reverse the motion next week, loosening up the town’s purse to purchase improbably overpriced running shorts once more.

 

I am the octopus coo coo cachoo

A group of octopuses took a bath in MDMA for science and it turns out that drugs make the usually asocial octopods downright friendly.

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