Art for Fresh Hell.
Jason Arias
The Baffler,  August 7

Fresh Hell

The best dispatches from our grim new reality

Jason Arias
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Death, Chilled

As the death toll from the pandemic surpassed four thousand in the glorious state of Arizona and medical examiners began storing corpses in rented coolers, Governor Doug Ducey arrived at the White House to be feted by the president for the “incredible job,” the “fantastic job” he’s done abandoning his constituents to agonizing death and releasing public service announcements with parachuting hot dogs.  

 

24 Hour Party People

While many astute commentators have recognized that it is, in fact, no longer a party in the U.S.A., the hopelessly famous denizens of Los Angeles refuse to let a little mass death get in the way of a big-time bash—and July was a god damn blowout. Take, for instance, one epic party in a Mulholland Drive manse that descended into chaos and gunfire, leaving one dead and five wounded. This party is not to be confused with the orgy of TikTok influencers that raged all night at another mansion in mid-July, as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the state surpassed four hundred thousand. Nor should it be confused with the super cool night of braggadocio at YouTube star Jake Paul’s Calabasas mansion earlier in the month, during which young men, many of them similarly famous for no reason, swung from heavy machinery, allegedly for a “music video.” All may not be well for Mr. Paul, avowedly “not the type of person who’s gonna sit around and not live my life,” as the FBI raided his house earlier this week and uncovered, among other things, multiple firearms, as part of an undisclosed investigation. The mayor of Los Angeles, in a totally uncool move, has threatened to cut water and power to the dens of callous indifference and hedonism that persist in having a super fun time. 

 

Sisterhood of the Private Equity Genes

Private equity firm the Blackstone Group has announced they will be purchasing Ancestry.com for $4.7 billion. Certainly, the world’s largest landlord, beloved for destroying the livelihood of millions, controlling the largest genealogy website, with over 6 billion records in the United States alone, is a fine and good thing and no cause for alarm! 

 

Dorm Living is the Life for Me!

As students across the country prepare to return to school in one way or another this fall, the for-profit property management company that operates the dorms on the campus of the public Georgia State University has expressed concern that the university’s plan to limit capacity in the dorms (to prevent death) will negatively impact their bottom line. As Corvias Property Management notes, plans to fill the dorms to only 75 percent capacity (to prevent death) would cause the company to lose $3.1 million and place the dorms in default. In fact, this move to limit capacity (to prevent death) is in direct violation of the university’s contract with Corvia, which all but guarantees revenue streams regardless of human cost, and, if enacted, will be challenged in court. Nearly four thousand people are dead from the coronavirus in Georgia. 

 

The Apartment

Wealthy New Yorkers who chose not to flee to their second homes are struggling to cope with work-life balance and their miserable families in their palatial apartments as the pandemic wears on. To relieve the pressure and preserve some degree of decorum, many have taken to renting second apartments to serve as offices. Others are renting apartments by the hour. This delightful innovation—self-care, if you will—comes amidst news that some four hundred thousand families in the city could be pushed onto the streets  if an eviction moratorium is allowed to expire later this month. 

 

Permanent Vacationers 

In other rich people news, airlines are working overtime to convince people with disposable income that it’s a perfectly fine idea to seal yourself into an airtight vessel with other humans for hours on end. A cut above the rest, Emirates Airlines has begun offering a generous new travel insurance at no additional charge. If one contracts Covid-19 during a flight, not only will the airline cover your medical expenses and quarantine costs, they will also, in the event you die because you were so god-damned determined to go on vacation, cover your funeral costs—up to $1,765

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