Jason Arias
The Baffler,  July 27

Fresh Hell

The best dispatches from our grim new reality

Jason Arias
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Advertising is the pits

The human carcass: a holy temple-cum-billboard—at least that’s the enlightened philosophy propping up an innovative ad agency in Japan, the Wakindo Ad Company, which pays young women to paste advertisements in their armpits. With hourly rates starting at $89.55, this casual commodification of self can transform a subway commute into a veritable fount of cash.

 

Lies, damned lies, and corn puff products

Facebook, loathe to abet the collapse of democracy by playing willful host to the cancer of fake news, will comply with a court order to remove 3,412 links and 20,244 posts alleging that PepsiCo-manufactured corn puff product Kurkure is made of plastic. While the “new age” snack is identified in India with “fun and lovable human quirks,” it’s been plagued for years by conspiracy theorist wackadoos, and PepsiCo has had enough. They recently obtained an interim order from a court in India for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube to block any and all references to this festering sore of an untruth. See, Facebook does care and will surely get around to doing something about the disinformation spewed on their platform by Fox News, white nationalists, and other “fine people.”

 

In vogue and under surveillance

Renowned house of fashion Tommy Hilfiger has finally embraced the joys of surveillance tech with their new line of smart chip-embedded vestments that dispense reward points for competing in challenges like “wear your new $89 sweater everyday!” and “collect Hilfiger-branded heart icons by exploring your gentrified hellscape of a city!” Once the wayward sartorialist racks up enough points, they can be exchanged for more Hilfiger-branded merchandise.

 

2 Fast 2 Expensive 

In the fetid swamp of a nation where GoFundMe has essentially become the nation’s foremost health care provider, it should no longer come as a surprise that people die when they can’t afford the luxuries of ambulance travel. That’s what happened to a treasured new mom in Florida when medics charged with transporting her to the hospital fell into a logical, very reasonable chit chat about who’d foot the $600 bill for the ambulance ride to the hospital three blocks away. 

 

“Hmmmm I don’t know that.”

In a shocking, just shocking turn, Alexa, while exceptionally well-informed about the net worth of Jeff Bezos, knows jack shit about the inhumane conditions suffered by the wage slaves of Amazon. Over at Ad Age, Alexa gets grilled and then sexually harassed because journalism.

 

In the Twitter presence of the gods 

In a solitary spot of good news: the world has finally discovered that Baffler contributing editor, best-selling author, and founder of the Economic Hardship Reporting Project Barbara Ehrenreich is killing the Twitter game.

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