Art for Fresh Hell.
Jason Arias
The Baffler,  July 24

Fresh Hell

The best dispatches from our grim new reality

Jason Arias
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American History X’ed Out

As the fine and good members of congress dither on the tedious question of just how little money ought to be thrown to the unemployed during a mass death event in which an estimated 20 percent of American households with children are going without enough food and some 23 twenty-three million families are staring down eviction by fall, Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas understands the urgent necessity of taking the long view and looking past the immediate crisis to consider new, better ways of educating the diehard white nationalists of tomorrow. That’s why he’s introduced the Saving American History Act of 2020, a bill to liberate history classes across the land from the rather irksome and not all that important fact that the wealth of the United States was hoarded through the enslavement of Black people. In effect, this valiant piece of legislation would prohibit the use of federal funds to teach the New York Times’ 1619 Project in schools and render schools that persisted in teaching it ineligible for federal grants. This is necessary because, according to Senator Cotton, the 1619 Project “denies the noble principles of freedom and equality on which our nation was founded,” in that it reveals in considerable detail how the “freedom and equality on which our nation was founded” was total horseshit. 

 

Dazed and Incarcerated

As for the current state of our nation’s decrepit, cash-starved school-to-prison pipeline, busy preparing to beam an “education” to students over the internet or expose them to risk of death in the fall, things remain bleak. Take the case of one fifteen-year-old Black girl in Michigan, who has been incarcerated since mid-May for failing to complete her online schoolwork during the pandemic. Just this week, a judge decided to deny her release and will only reconsider over a month from now, in September. 

 

Field of Dreams

As live sports resume across the country, sports teams and broadcasters are scrambling to make it appear as though everything is fine and fun and normal; that nearly one hundred fifty thousand people aren’t dead; and that resuming live sports is a public service, a courageous and patriotic thing and not at all a craven cash grab that might very well kill a player or two or ten. While some stadiums may sit eerily empty during games to limit the chance of death, the tech wizards at Fox Sports will be filling major league baseball stadiums with thousands upon thousands of virtual fans sporting team colors starting this weekend

 

Bitch Better Have My Money

Meanwhile, in Canada, which many people claim to be a “much better” place, the federal government has been distressed to discover that countless impoverished individuals erroneously qualified for that sweet $2,000 a month stimulus check and has announced that these thieving rapscallions will need to pay all that money back in full. They really should have known better: from the get go, the government had established hefty fines, jail time, and even a snitch line to deter people from inappropriately accessing funds to enable the continuation of their lives. 

 

Earthlings: Great Film, Everyone Go See It 

Earlier this week in Ukraine, animal rights activist Maksym Kryvosh, armed to the teeth with grenades, took thirteen people hostage and promptly informed police of his simple demand: he would release them only once President Volodymyr Zelenskiy agreed to recommend the 2005 documentary Earthlings, narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, to his 42 million constituents. Zelenskiy relented and posted on Facebook about the documentary: “The film Earthlings from 2005. Everyone should watch it.” Satisfied that Joaquin’s voice would soon counsel millions about the horrors of animal exploitation, the man surrendered. Zelenskiy promptly deleted his coerced film recommendation and replaced it with a note thanking police. Ukrainian interior minister, perhaps a fan of Joaquin’s oeuvre and animal rights, told reporters: “The film . . .  is a good one.”

 

The Chipmunks Strike Back

Not all critters need Mr. Kryvosh’s boosterism: hordes of plump chipmunks are terrorizing the monied suburbanites of New England

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