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Fresh Hell

The best dispatches from our grim new reality

Riders on the Storm

Text messages between conservative activist Virginia Thomas and Donald Trump’s former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, obtained through Congress’s investigation into the January 6 Capitol riot, reveal that the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas—who has previously acknowledged attending the “Stop the Steal” rally—repeatedly urged Meadows to pursue overturning the 2020 election and prevent “Biden and the Left” from committing “the greatest Heist of our History.” That wasn’t all the messages made clear: dear old Ginni also seems to have drunk copiously from the fountain of Q, repeating conspiratorial fantasies about the “Biden crime family & ballot fraud co-conspirators” being held on “barges off GITMO to face military tribunals for sedition.” But don’t worry! As Ginni has sworn in the past, there’s no conflict of interest here, no siree; she rarely discusses cases with her husband.


Rest in 6 Piece Chicken McNuggets

Speaking of Gitmo—the only McDonald’s on America’s preeminent torture colony flew its golden-arch flag at half-mast on Thursday in honor of the former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who died earlier this week at the age of eighty-four. Albright would no doubt have been touched by this confluence of commerce and imperial violence, as a woman who once serenely responded that the deaths of half a million Iraqi children due to U.S. sanctions were “worth the price” and spent her post-government career consulting for such charitable entities as Pfizer, Amazon, Lyft, and Merck.


It’s Okay to Say (Your Dog is) Gay

To Albemarle, North Carolina now, where a five-year-old mutt formerly known as Fezco has found new owners after his first set of pawrents dumped him at the Stanly County Animal Shelter following a humping incident with another male dog, fearing he might be gay. Adopters Steve and John Nichols, partners of thirty years, told a local news station that “We’ve been subject to that kind of bigotry and ignorance throughout our lives together, and we couldn’t always do anything about it. We looked at each other and said, ‘We can do something about this.’” They’ve since renamed Fezco “Oscar,” as in Wilde.


Now We’re Cooking with Gas

Seizing on the Churchillian notion that one should “never let a good crisis go to waste,” an Applebee’s franchise executive in Kansas recently found the indisputable upside of spiking gas prices: no more tight labor market. In a leaked email with the subject line “Why gas increase is good for hiring,” Wayne Pankratz theorized to his colleagues in the fast casual eatery chain that the price of gas would “increase application flow,” thus allowing franchises to lower their average wage. And that’s not all: the exorbitant cost of filling up a tank might also enable Applebee’s to wring more and more hours out of their current employees, many of whom already “live paycheck to paycheck” and will be taking a hit to their disposable income. Always look on the bright side of life!



Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon—please, call him D-Sol—is taking his side hustle as an “electronic dance DJ” to the next level: he’s set to perform at this year’s Lollapalooza fest in Chicago alongside such luminaries as Zookëper and Bucky Cheds. You may remember Solomon from his role as a supporting act at summer 2020’s controversial Chainsmokers concert, held in the Hamptons mid-pandemic and condemned by a not-yet-disgraced Andrew Cuomo for its “egregious social-distancing violations.” But don’t get it twisted: D-Sol has only the most altruistic of intentions. He always donates his DJ profits to charity, magnanimously opting not to supplement the $35 million in total compensation he raked in last year.


Stop Being Poor

For all those unfortunate wretches making less than $300,000/year, Bloomberg has some choice advice about how to tighten your belt amid the aforementioned increase in gas prices and overall inflation. First, no more buying extra cars. Next, have you considered eating more lentils and beans? And finally, for the love of god, if Sparky has the good sense to come down with dog lymphoma, save yourself $10,000 worth of pet chemotherapy and let him shuffle off this mortal coil in peace.