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

Fresh Hell

The best dispatches from our grim new reality

Jason Arias
w
o
r
d

f
a
c
t
o
r
y

KUWTKETU

Since 2007, the Keeping up with the Kardashians Extended Televisual Universe (KUWTKETU) has manufactured 387 episodes, six specials, and ten spinoffs amounting to nearly 263 hours of excessively bronzed, excessively contoured, excessively corrosive content—not including commercials or the untold hours of slop produced for and circulated on the various social media streams where the Kardashians hock magic weight-loss lollipops and mascara. Last September, we learned that the tentpole of this shit circus would be coming down at the end of this year, presumably concluding with Kim’s divorce from Kanye West and the convoluted separation of their considerable assets. But take no solace: the clan’s content mill churns on. Last week, they were into bras and bodysuits; this week, they’re wrapped up in antiquities smuggling rings. Indeed, federal authorities this week revealed that Kim’s name may have been used to illegally import the limestone fragment of an ancient Roman statue from the first or second century AD that was looted from Italy. Speaking on Kim’s behalf, publicists confirm that this is the “first time” Kim has learned of the existence of such a statue and that obviously it would clash with the alabaster sensory deprivation chamber in which she resides

 

Caitlyn for California

Meanwhile, Caitlyn Jenner announced her run for the governor of California with a surreal video in which she shoots down a helicopter with a rocket launcher. Pardon, the official campaign announcement, released several days later, features no such explosion, only relatable shots of Jenner’s massive walk-in closet and the sweeping views of her $8 million Malibu manse, over which she intoned that it was “career politicians and their policies” who have destroyed the “California dream” that she so thoroughly embodies as an Olympic gold medalist turned reality television star turned right-wing looney tune. On Wednesday, Jenner appeared on Fox News with Sean Hannity to flesh out her campaign platform: in addition to opposing transgender girls playing sports against other girls while nonetheless desiring to be a role model for transgender girls, Jenner desperately wants to stop rich Californians from fleeing to nearby Arizona. As she relates, she was at the private airport recently and was shocked to see the guy who owned the hangar across from hers was leaving! “Where are you going,” she asks. “I’m moving to Sedona, Arizona,” he says. “I can’t take it anymore. I can’t walk down the streets and see the homeless!” Surely, we can relate.

 

States of Emergency

It’s clear things are pretty damn bad on the West Coast. Earlier this month, as a surge in Covid-19 infections forced the state of Oregon to institute new lockdown measures, the mayor of Baker City declared a state of emergency—due to wokeness. Mayor Kerry McQuisten would like her city to become, as she explained to a neckbearded clown on Fox News, a “common sense sanctuary” where science is given the boot and people are given the freedom to get sick and die of their own volition. 

 

The Man in the White Castle

Across the country, in Florida, the atmosphere proved more festive this week. On Tuesday, the world’s largest White Castle opened in Orlando after over a decade of popular agitation to bring the chain to Central Florida, and cars lined up for hours for the privilege of receiving one of the first burgers, identical in every material way to every other burger produced at any of the chain’s other nearly four hundred outposts but distinguished by its aura of being . . . one of the first burgers sold at the largest freestanding White Castle on Earth. One man waited twelve hours before the doors opened. He slept in his car. 

 

Yaas, Queen

Elsewhere in the Sunshine State, a seventeen-year-old and her mother are facing multiple felony charges and up to sixteen years in jail after officials uncovered the mother’s elaborate scheme to rig the homecoming queen election in her daughter’s favor. You see, the mom, then an assistant principal at a nearby elementary school, hacked into the district’s internal system to cast hundreds of fraudulent votes for her daughter. The counterfeit queen will be tried as an adult.

 

Safe Driving

To Ohio now, where one state senator who has taken up a bill to penalize distracted drivers was caught this week attending a Zoom meeting of the Ohio Controlling Board while driving. Republican senator Andrew Brenner—who would like to bar drivers from writing, sending, or reading texts, viewing videos, and live streaming while driving—had tried to disguise his mid-meeting errand with a virtual background of his living room. But worry not, Senator Brenner was “wearing a seatbelt and paying attention to the road.” 

 

The Condors are Coming to Pick Your Bones

Lastly, we return to the great state of California, where a condo of condors decided over the weekend to post up on one woman’s deck, gossiping and making a goddamn mess. As of this writing, they remain. We stand in solidarity with their occupation.

You Might Also Enjoy

Must Love Bogs

Sami Emory

Conserving peatlands is a cheap climate change win. So why’s it such a hard sell?

word factory

Further Reading

Heads Up: We recently updated our privacy policy to clarify how and why we collect personal data. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand this policy.