Art for Fresh Hell.
Jason Arias
The Baffler,  November 12

Fresh Hell

The best dispatches from our grim new reality

Jason Arias
w
o
r
d

f
a
c
t
o
r
y

My Big Fat Getty Wedding

As nominally the most powerful woman in the nation that is singularly responsible for cumulatively pumping more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than any other, Nancy Pelosi recognizes the moral responsibility of the United States to, after decades of deferrals and non-binding assurances, finally do something about the climate crisis. That’s why, hours after she secured the passage of President Biden’s trillion-dollar love letter to freeways, Pelosi hopped on a plane back to California so that she could officiate the wedding of oil heiress Ivy Love Getty—an “extraordinarily intimate and personal” ceremony for seven hundred, according to Vogue. In an interpretive twist on the poor person’s “city hall wedding,” the entirety of San Francisco’s city hall was rented out for the nuptials. Afterwards, guests retired to the Getty Mansion for the reception—which, at points, “felt like a typical family wedding at home,” except for the fact that the home in question held a “museum-quality collection of European antiques, Venetian paintings, French textiles, and Russian chandeliers.” Pelosi likely didn’t stick around to party because she had to prepare for her big press conference the following Tuesday at COP26 on advancing gender equality on a dying planet, during which a reporter pressed Pelosi on how massively increasing the annual defense budget to $768 billion squares with her claims of “historic” leadership on climate change when the Pentagon is a bigger polluter than 140 countries combined. Every national security advisor, Pelosi responded, recognizes that the climate change they are exacerbating is a big, bad problem! That’s why they need all that money! To fix things! 

 

Put Your Mind at Ease in the Navy!

Speaking of the defense establishment’s contribution to our collective immiseration, the U.S. Navy has named one of its new ships after the gay rights leader Harvey Milk, who served in the Navy during the Korean War but was dishonorably discharged over suspicions about his sexuality. Milk went on to serve as the first openly gay elected official in California but was assassinated just one year later by the former San Francisco city supervisor Dan White. The decision to christen the ship—the sole purpose of which will be to refuel other, larger ships—after Milk represents a symbolic milestone for the military” in its ongoing mission to make the administration of imperialist horror and the acceleration of climate collapse as superficially inclusive as possible. 

 

Tax Breaks at 20,000 Feet

Construction is reportedly nearing completion on Jeff Bezos’s $500 million sailing superyacht, but while traveling by sea may possess a briny glamor, there’s never been a better time to fly private. As one private jet charter points out, owners of private aircraft are now—thanks to the 2017 Trump tax cut—able to claim 100 percent bonus depreciation on their jet within the first year of purchase. Additional expenses, such as fuel, maintenance, and management costs, are also considered tax-deductible if the aircraft is used for “business purposes” at least 50 percent of the time. It’s almost as if the government is paying extremely rich people to do extremely cruel things to the environment!

 

Crypto 101

Meanwhile, back on terra firma, New York City mayor-elect Eric Adams, in addition to requesting his first three paychecks be rendered in Bitcoin, wants schools to start teaching kids about cryptocurrency and its attendant technology because, honestly, fuck literature, the arts, et al. If the prepubescent aren’t trading Dogecoin in the schoolyard, how the hell is New York City ever supposed to beat Miami, currently a central hub for crypto jobs and about three years away from being fully underwater?

 

From Buff to Snuff

Certainly, technology is an unqualified good, enabling, for instance, over two hundred students in a fitness class to watch their instructor be shot dead over Zoom earlier this week. Only thanks to high-speed internet can a snuff film be broadcast live across the globe!

 

Eat Like the Stars

While our elected officials fawn over oil heiresses and blather on about the enlightening power of cryptocurrency, it may seem as though we’ve no choice but to continue going to our stupid little jobs, stupid day in and stupid day out, racking up credit card debt and poisoning our bodies while the world disintegrates. But wait, what’s that? Mariah Carey has partnered with McDonald’s for a limited-edition “Mariah Menu”? Thee multi-platinum, multi-millionaire Mariah Carey loves going to McDonalds? And she gets a cheeseburger with extra pickles? And now we can too? What an abundance of consumer-grade beef and joy to imbibe in these end of times!

You Might Also Enjoy

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.