Jason Arias
The Baffler,  December 13

Fresh Hell

The best dispatches from our grim new reality

Jason Arias
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New Doom, Faster Than the Old Doom 

In a shocking turn, we are barreling toward irrevocable climate apocalypse with ever greater speed and such efficiency that scientists have yet again been forced to move up the timetable for the collapse of the livable biosphere: new data indicates the ice of Greenland is melting seven times faster than it was in the 1990s, threatening to raise sea levels by an additional twenty-six inches by the end of the century and putting some 400 million people at risk of flooding. 

 

Water, Water Everywhere

Elsewhere on our doomed little marble, one state school in Queensland has run out of water—even as commercial bottling concerns continue merrily pumping water from nearby aquifers—forcing school officials to buy bottled water from the very same folks sucking up every last drinkable drop

 

House Hackers

Enterprising millennials are hacking their way to the bliss of home ownership and capitalist exploitation with this one simple trick: buying a house and renting out the extra rooms to debt-saddled precariats, thereby living a low- or no-rent lifestyle. Take, for instance, twenty-six-year old Craig Curelop of Colorado, who shares a six-bedroom house with two roommates and a revolving cast of Airbnb guests, raking in over $1,400 in profit every god damned month!  “You’re never going to be similar to your peers,” when you live life on the cheap, Curelop argues, “so you really shouldn’t listen to them.” For those inspired by Curelop’s journey to solvency in the wreckage of this shit economy and hoping to get in on the exploitation, CNN has a handy dandy step-by-step guide, replete with illustrations. 

 

Pay in Blood

Another fiscal life hack that might help you pool enough dollars to eke out a “living”: selling your plasma, which is now a leading export in the United States, worth more than all exported corn or soy products

 

Dating by Genes

One Harvard scientist is hard at work tinkering away in the coils of human DNA to make our sorry species immune to all viruses, free of genetic disease, and resistant to the effects of aging—despite the fact that a great many of us aren’t all too interested in indefinitely postponing the moment when we will shuffle off this mortal coil. But George Church’s greatest hope is to apply his ethically questionable gene editing to the realm of dating: he wants to to include serious genetic diseases as part of the criteria on a dating app by asking users to submit their DNA for whole genome sequencing.

 

Retirement Vanishes

As Japan’s population continues to age, with over a quarter of the country aged sixty-five or older, many elderly folks are turning to the wonders of science to delay retirement and prolong their exploitation under our glorious economic system: strength-increasing exoskeletons. Innophys, one company getting in on the fun, offers a backpack-esque suit that can, upon charging, help someone lift up to fifty-five pounds. As one Innophys boasts, their exoskeleton has been of great use to clients, including the patriarch of a family-owned pickling concern: “The father is in his seventies and was supposed to retire but is still working with our muscle suit.”

 

Evil: The TV Show

Netflix announced this week that they will be producing a television show about the streaming giant Spotify. We can’t help but wonder how they will incorporate all of the criticisms of the company so meticulously documented by our very own Liz Pelly. 

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Further Reading

 March 31

Deemed ”essential,” grocery store workers are fighting to be treated as such.

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