Art for Fresh Hell.
Jason Arias
The Baffler,  July 31

Fresh Hell

The best dispatches from our grim new reality

Jason Arias
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Suburban Lifestyle Dream

Democrats tripped over themselves this week to announce that, in lieu of providing the substantive assistance of which they are entirely capable, perhaps maybe what’s best for the tens of millions of families who will be evicted in the coming weeks and months is that (a) after being unhoused in the midst of the pandemic, their legal representation is subsidized or in some cases free, and (b) harm to their credit score is limited to cases in which the landlord wins a final judgement against the tenant but would in any case only negatively impact their ability to receive subsequent apartments and loans for a year, by which point the economy will almost certainly be sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows again. Meanwhile, President Trump happily informed everyone that he would be protecting the “Suburban Lifestyle Dream” at all costs—by which he meant banishing lower-income housing from the soulless, tangled streets of suburbia once and for all. But take heart: Forbes has declared this very moment, this shining, glorious turning point that could see forty million people forced from their homes and into the streets, to be the dawning of a new Great American Housing Boom.

 

Demon Semen

Elsewhere in the disintegrating cerebral wasteland of the president’s putrid belfry, the Daily Beast reports, we might find the ravings of Dr. Stella Immanuel, who is absolutely convinced that masks are less than useless and that hydroxychloroquine is the secret to warding off the dread specter of Covid-19. But that’s not all Dr. Immanuel believes. She’s also certain that scientists are hard at work on a vaccine to inoculate people against the word of God and that the government is run by “reptilians” and extraterrestrials. By far her most exciting work, however, is in the field of hellion copulation. Gynecological problems such as endometriosis and cysts are, as it turns out, actually caused by nocturnal intercourse with demons. You can tell if you’ve become entangled with a satanic sex partner if you have sex dreams about celebrities, stop getting along with your spouse, or lose money. However, you could just be having sex with a human witch and not a demon. “There are those that are called astral sex,” Dr. Immanuel notes. “That means this person is not really a demon being or a nephilim. It’s just a human being that’s a witch, and they astral project and sleep with people.” Simple!

 

Hail to the Non-Chief 

Catherine Roome is the Chief Executive Officer of Technical Safety BC no more. The Canadian businesswoman, a stickler for inclusive language,” has informed her 450 employees that from here on out, she will merely be the Lead Executive Officer, as it has come to her attention that the title “chief” “represents something deeply meaningful to many Indigenous peoples” and its usage in the vicious pecking orders of legalized plunder is “disrespectful” to the reconciliation process. Ms. Roome hopes this empty symbolic gesture that in no way challenges the dispossession, genocide, and avarice on which the system is built will “serve as a step” in the right direction. 

 

I Dream of Class War

The science is in: not only are extremely rich people having a bang-up time accumulating more and more wealth during the mass death event, they’re also sleeping super well

 

The Future Landscape of Music Today

As class war from above stops pretending to be anything but, Spotify CEO and sentient thumb-man Daniel Ek decided to let loose in a recent interview, decrying criticisms that Spotify pays most artists like shit as a “narrative fallacy” believed by users and not an incontrovertible statement of reality. The “future landscape” of music is here, according to Elk, and it’s high fucking time musicians either get with the program or resign themselves to impoverished irrelevancy. To the dustbin of history will go musicians deluded into thinking they can or should be able to get by wasting years laboring to perfect a single album. “The artists today that are making it realize that it’s about creating a continuous engagement with their fans,” Elk demands. “It is about putting the work in, about the storytelling around the album, and about keeping a continuous dialogue with your fans.”

 

In the Labyrinth 

Now that it is overwhelmingly clear our hapless caravan of humanity is driven almost entirely by unrepentant greed and stupidity, many have turned to erecting baroque underground bunkers in which to ride out the end of days watching reruns of Modern Family. Others would apparently prefer to get helplessly lost in a labyrinth. In both cases, the business of manifesting consumers’ paranoid desires is booming. Lars Howlett, one of the country’s preeminent labyrinth makers, simply cannot keep up with the demand from spastic rich people to construct mazes of all shapes and sizes in their backyards. “The labyrinth is a sure path for uncertain times,” he advises. “It brings order out of a sense of chaos.” Mr. Howlett’s services start at $600 and go up to $25,000 for more elaborate mazes in which to outrun the flesh-eating minotaur of your mind.

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