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Fresh Hell

The best dispatches from our grim new reality

Straight Extinction

Once more, Pride month is upon us, drawing the likes of Burger King, Bank of America, and the Pinkertons into a short-lived orgy of superficial solidarity with LGBTQ individuals, who, despite these avowals of support from for-profit entities, are witnessing a hasty erosion of their rights across the country, trans individuals in particular. If it were up to congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, the entire month ought to be canceled—but not because it’s been de-kinked, banalized, and overrun by yassified banks and private militaries. No, Greene is worried that, unless something is done, hetereosexuals are going to go extinct in about “four or five” generations: “No one will be straight anymore. Everyone will be either gay or trans or non-conforming.” Has she perhaps been reading Mario Mieli’s Towards a Gay Communism? A bit of Guy Hocquenghem? 


Taped Up

The tempest of innovation churns ever onward, and this week the American public was presented with the patent-pending work of four engineering students at Johns Hopkins University: edible tape that keeps your burrito together.

Cuba has a vaccine for lung cancer. We have flavorless tape to hold burritos together.


Justice, Unserved

On Wednesday, the shitshow trial of the century came to its ignominious and utterly unsurprising conclusion, with a seven-person jury finding that “actor” Johnny Depp had been defamed by his ex-wife Amber Heard, awarding him more than $10 million in damages despite a veritable mountain of evidence breathlessly parsed by the media indicating that he was—in addition to being a tasteless, possibly sociopathic, narcissist—physically and emotionally abusive. Shortly thereafter, as cheers rang out from misogynists across our variously polluted content streams, the Twitter account of the Republicans on the House Committee on the Judiciary joined in to celebrate our perfectly functional “justice system,” in no way, whether accidental or intentional, designed to benefit abusive men, tweeting out a GIF of Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in the first Pirates of the Caribbean


Third Way to Hell

On the most recent episode of Bill Clinton’s podcast, Why Am I Telling You This?, the former president was joined by Tony Blair, former prime minister of the UK, to express their mutual concern about the threat progressives present to the “vital center” of politics, both in the United States and abroad. While our current predicament (the accelerating disintegration of democracy, etc., etc.) can be blamed in part on the Third Way fuckery both men have shilled for their entire political lives, the timing of their conversation is nevertheless curious. At the end of April, both men appeared at “Crypto Bahamas,” an “exclusive gathering of the leading investors and builders in the blockchain, digital assets and web3 space” co-organized by crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried, who has been spending heavily to defeat progressive candidates in primaries across the country. It’s almost as if these miserable creatures, loathsome impediments to bending the arc of history out of the shitter, are working together! Who would have thought!


Strangest Things

Once the world’s unchallenged leader of content-trash production, Netflix is now assailed on all sides by competitors: over the past ten weeks or so, according to a New York magazine tally, streaming platforms and cable networks unveiled more than fifty new and returning “high-profile” series, with more than two dozen projects premiering over a fifteen-day period at the end of April. Never before has there been so little worth watching. In response to the tightening competition, the company behind programming like Falling Inn Love and Is It Cake? indicated it will no longer greenlight expensive vanity projects like, uh, Martin Scorsese’s organized crime drama, The Irishman, which cost $175 million. That’s simply too much to spend on a critically acclaimed film nominated for ten Academy Awards. Spending something like $270 million on the bloated, CGI-choked fourth season of Stranger Things, however? Well that’s perfectly sound. It was essential that a show—one almost entirely made up of computer imagery—spend that much money so the Duffer Brothers could film in a real Lithuanian prison where Nazis murdered Jews during World War II and where you can now stay in a Stranger Things Airbnb!