Art for Fresh Hell.
Jason Arias
The Baffler,  March 20, 2020

Fresh Hell

The best dispatches from our grim new reality

Jason Arias
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RuPaul’s Frack Race 

Multimillionaire drag queen extraordinaire RuPaul not only works the runway, he works the ranch—a sprawling sixty-thousand acre property in Wyoming that he owns with his hunky beau Georges LeBar, on which the fab duo do all the usual ranch-like things, like leasing mineral rights to oil companies. You heard that right, hunty, RuPaul may very well be lending his signature dash of glamor to the air-spoiling, earth-murdering act of fracking. Sashay away to mass extinction! 

 

Ignorance is Bliss

While the rest of the world went to pieces this week over the reality of the coronavirus—which, in all likelihood, will result in the death of millions and inaugurate an economic depression of untold severity—the contestants on Germany’s Big Brother persisted in blithe ignorance of it all, engaging in horned-up hijinks and soaking in the germ-infested waters of the house’s hot tub without a care in the world. That is, until the show’s producers decided to break the news about the pandemic on Tuesday, painting in broad strokes the various social-distancing measures put in place but leaving out all the gruesome details about death tolls, inundated hospitals, how things will almost certainly only get worse, etc. “Please calm down. Everything’s okay,” the host of the show assured the cast from behind a glass protective barrier

 

CLICK HERE! TO SEE! RICH AND FAMOUS PEOPLE! WHO HAVE THE VIRUS!

Actor-idiot Jared Leto was also late to our new reality of breathless panic: “Wow. 12 days ago I began a silent meditation in the desert. We were totally isolated. No phone, no communication etc. . . . Walked out yesterday into a very different world. One that’s been changed forever. Mind blowing—to say the least.” Mr. Leto may retain a clean bill of health, but in the event you are, for some reason, curious about how the rest of Hollywood is faring in these end of days, Vulture has proven we are a helpless species by compiling a comprehensive list of all the celebrities who have (a) successfully weaponized their fame to get tested for the virus and (b) tested positive—including the world-renowned actress who voiced the character of Honeymaren in the classic film Frozen 2

 

Imagine We Ate The Rich 

Thankfully, wealthy famous people without the virus have been extraordinarily helpful in this dark time, offering up a grating rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine” to soothe the millions of freshly unemployed Americans. 

 

Haul out the Holly

Does that completely empty and impotent gesture not quite do it for you? Consider hanging up Christmas lights, as many Americans across the country are inexplicably doing, perhaps to remind themselves of that tender-hearted time of year when everyone spends thousands of dollars buying shit-gifts for people they kind of tolerate!

 

The Discreet Weaknesses of the Bourgeoisie 

As for the regular super-rich people who’ve fled the diseased swamp that is Manhattan for the Hamptons, even they won’t be safe from the virus! The great vulnerability for the affluent, the Financial Times points out, is that they still rely on the working poor. As one expert noted, “Wealthy people aren’t just going to isolate themselves and do their own laundry and dishes.” 

 

The Price is Right

Something good might come out of the coronavirus-induced panic in the stock market after all: analysts are urging one extremely large conglomerate (Apple) to gobble up another extremely large conglomerate (Disney) due to the latter’s depressed stock prices, a would-be union which would almost certainly “eliminate redundancies” and commence a glorious epoch of homogeneous content-trash for all! 

 

A Lie of One’s Own

In a shocking turn absolutely no one saw coming, the dream of a feminist Shangri-La of saturnalia and solidarity as embodied in the extremely expensive and exclusive environs of the co-working space The Wing has been smothered in powder pink crushed velvet. Which is to say it’s been revealed for what it was all along: an extremely expensive and exclusive co-working space hocking extremely expensive salads under the guise of a threadbare, Insta-ready feminism.

 

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