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Fresh Hell

Art for Fresh Hell.
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Dream a Little Dream

It’s clear to all observers that the American Dream, that grim fantasy of cookie-cutter comfort, has come in for a beating in recent decades, in no small part due to the fact that housing prices have shot up over 260 percent since 1980, while the median wage increased only about 8 percent, turning the dream of owning a mass-manufactured residence to fill with gleaming appliances and resentment exactly that: a dream. But more and more indebted consumer-citizens of this crumbling empire are realizing they are not bound to the unattainable aspirations of their forebears. The American Dream is theirs to rewrite, should they so choose. Which is to say, the new American Dream is to get the fuck out of here—and high tail it to Europe.

 

Avon Calling!

But wannabe expatriates should remember that things aren’t all sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows on the other side of the Atlantic. Those endeavoring to improve their station in the United Kingdom are still forced to spin half a dozen plates to make ends meet, just like their American counterparts. Earlier this week, the University of East Anglia urged PhD students working in its Aries Doctoral Training Partnership to up their hustle: since it has clearly become “increasingly challenging” to make ends meet on a university-supplied stipend, students ought to consider selling Avon products, pet-sitting, and/or joining clinical trials to generate a few extra bucks. But, the university warned, students must remember not to do more than six hours of paid work a week, as doing so would prevent them from finishing their coursework on time.

 

Bonfire of the Blockchain

To Spain now, where, during a record-breaking heatwave, a “technology-driven” reforestation company that is known to have dabbled in “proprietary technology across the nature reforestation value chain” on Monday sparked what has become a forest fire spanning some thirty-five thousand acres, forcing the evacuation of some two thousand people. This is the second time in less than a month that the carbon offset company has instead pumped carbon into the atmosphere: in late June, Land Life sparked another inferno that wiped out nearly fifty acres

 

Pics or It Didn’t Happen

Meanwhile, back in these increasingly disunited states, the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol aired its midseason finale Thursday night, in which it was made cut crystal clear for the fortieth (?) time that, yes, former president Donald Trump intentionally, gleefully instigated hundreds of his followers to possibly maybe execute the sitting vice president and/or delay the certification of the 2020 election. The evidence—of which the committee promises to present more of in September (stay tuned!)—is damning, but nothing tangible is likely to come of all this middling prestige television. Many Americans are as distracted as Melania Trump was on the day of the riot: in a new interview with Fox the former first lady reports she was “unaware” of the attempted coup because she was terribly busy photographing a rug in the White House.

 

Condamned

To the corner of happy and healthy now, where Walgreens once found itself. Unfortunately, the pharmacy chain now finds itself somewhere on the road to religious zealotry, having announced that its employees are perfectly justified in refusing to sell condoms on religious grounds, as one cashier did earlier this month in Wisconsin, citing his “faith.” “Our policies are designed to ensure we meet the needs of our patients and customers while respecting the religious and moral beliefs of our team members,” a company spokesperson said. Money, it turns out, isn’t everything!

 

The Final Craft Project

According to the latest data, life expectancy in the United States, trending down for years, now sits below that of China, following several years of mass death aided and abetted by our shambolic health care “system.” The specter of death lurks closer than ever, which is why many forward-thinking consumers are making final arrangements for vacating this desolate plane now—and on the cheap. As the Wall Street Journal reports, DIY coffin kits are selling like hotcakes. As one couple reports of assembling their own caskets, “We just had so much fun.”

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