Jason Arias
The Baffler,  November 8

Fresh Hell

The best dispatches from our grim new reality

Jason Arias
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Immortal Rebel Without a Cause

Sex icon James Dean, whose corpse, buried sixty-four years ago, has long since been reduced to bone and clinging clumps of rotten flesh, has been cast in a forthcoming and most assuredly pappy film about the great lengths one man goes to save his beloved pup at the end of the Vietnam War—or, rather, the production company Magic City Films is capitalizing on their ownership of Dean’s likeness by inserting a computer-generated animation of his devilishly good looks into a shit film. As Magic City chairman and chief executive notes of the shameless resurrection-cum-cash grab, “Immortality is the only true success.”  

 

Shades of Uncool 

Iconic songstress Lana Del Rey—who normally spends time between writing critically acclaimed songs “talking shit” at Starbucks—took a moment this week come out against furries, calling them “gross.

 

Mission Impossible

For millennials hoping to partake in a leisurely retirement while the livable biosphere collapses, the math has been done, the figures figured, and the charts charted: you should be putting exactly half of your paycheck toward the golden years you may very well not live to see

 

How to Not Succeed in Business Despite Really Trying

But, thankfully, we live in a nation where, if you’re one of the millions toiling away in a low-wage job, all you have to do is lie down and lick your boss’s boots while attempting to pull yourself up by your own fraying bootstraps, which a new study shows will likely do absolutely nothing to improve your chances of getting ahead in the world. Just marvel at these figures drawn from actually lived life in this great nation of opportunity: workers who pull down $10 to $15 an hour have a 52 percent chance of earning exactly the same shit pay when they switch jobs. For those earning $19 to $24 an hour, there’s a 46 percent chance that a job transition would result in even lower pay!

 

Important Men, Talking and Talking and Talking 

Meanwhile, important men with important thoughts continue dithering on about how we might prevent, or at least abate, the total self-inflicted destruction of the planet—if the looming collapse of the biosphere is in fact a thing. Take, for instance, Mr. David Mastio, who noted on Twitter this week that while he remains “skeptical” of the “climate change consensus,” “if this was a real emergency, the scientists would be in favor of mobilizing the power of capitalism, not government control.” Thankfully, this total fucking loon isn’t in any position of authority or anything: he’s only the deputy opinion page editor at USA Today (which, for the record, we realized was a flaming diaper fire of a newspaper over twenty years ago).

 

Grand Theft Taxes

Rockstar North, the UK-based studio behind the simulated barbarism of Grand Theft Auto V—one of the best-selling video games of all time—has paid no corporate taxes in over a decade, despite funneling many billions in revenue to its parent company Take-Two Interactive. In fact, the company managed to claim some $53 million in tax relief after the likes of GTA V—set entirely in a fictionalized California and having absolutely nothing to do with British culture—were confirmed by the British Film Institute as offering a “significant contribution to British culture.” 

 

Same Phone, Who Dis?

Debra Achatz recently received a cryptic text message from her husband of fifty years that read “Dakota”—despite the fact that he died in June. Achatz is but one of countless Americans who found themselves perplexed by seemingly random text messages from friends and family that were lighting up their inboxes—the result of a “glitch” that fired off more than a hundred thousand previously undelivered text messages in yet another clear sign that cell phones were a bad, bad idea and should be abandoned, lest humanity be allowed to continue tweeting. 

 

The $1.50 Question

In the market for a flock of hens? One New Zealand man is desperate to unload a whole gaggle of them after he accidentally won an auction that netted him one thousand chickens for a mere $1.50

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