Jason Arias
The Baffler,  October 18

Fresh Hell

The best dispatches from our grim new reality

Jason Arias
w
o
r
d

f
a
c
t
o
r
y

Inbox Downtime: Bad for Your Health

The science is in: declining to be harassed by your email inbox twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, three-hundred-sixty-five days a year may, in fact, be detrimental to your health. Or at least that’s what some highly dubious research recently shat out by the University of Sussex indicates, because, you see, while enjoying your life may be well and fine, leaving your inbox untended even for a few hours might stall your progress on an endless list of work goals, causing stress. According to one of the researchers, people just need to deal with email in a way that “suits their personality”—and, well, if you’re prone to enjoy your time off, you are deficient. 

 

This Week on The Supreme Court

While eagerly pumping season seventy-nine of Keeping Up With The Kardashians directly into your brain stem, Comcast is also hard at work battling the draconian shackles of the Civil Rights Act of 1866—which appears to be hindering the conglomerate’s God-given right to refuse to carry any cable channels they damn well please. (But there’s so much else to look forward to on this season of the Supreme Court, which could very well further eviscerate the rights of LGBTQ people, overturn Roe v. Wade, and codify sundry depravities in the law of the land! Don’t touch that dial!) 

 

The Quantum Mechanics of Happiness, Abundance, and Destroying the Public Education System from the Inside

Coming through on his promise to advance alternative education methods, President Trump has nominated George Mentz to the Commission on Presidential Scholars. Mr. Mentz, of Colorado Springs, is a renowned “global education pioneer” and prolific author of titles like: The Illuminati Handbook: The Path of Illumination and Ascension; The Illuminati Secret Laws of Money: The Life Changing Magic and Habits of Spiritual Mastery; The Secrets of Manifesting: Summary & Guide to The Law of Attraction & Success; and Quantum Bliss: The Quantum Mechanics of Happiness, Abundance, and Health

 

The Discreet Charm of the Non-Working Billionaire

In response to the growing consensus among Americans that billionaires are a parasitic class of brain-diseased scum who should be vanquished from the earth, preferably by guillotine, the New York Times Style section is just urging rich people to stop working, to run off and enjoy their ill-gotten gains on their private islands so the rest of us can enjoy the apocalypse they engineered in peace. 

 

Killing It!

To commemorate having paid off $102,000 in student loans, Mandy Velez, twenty-seven, staged a photoshoot in a graveyard. “It is with immense pleasure that I announce the death of my student loans. On August 2, 2019, after six years, I finally killed them,” she wrote on Facebook. Sallie Mae executives, too, celebrated in August—at a posh resort in Maui after a record year of wrecking the lives of 374,000 borrowers, who took out some $5 billion in loans from the company, a mere drop in the bucket of the $1.6 trillion student debt crisis. 

 

Music by Bezos

Amazon is getting into the music festival business, paying washed-up, derivative music acts like Beck and Foo Fighters, along with genuinely good artists like Sophie and Thundercat, to help launder the image of the globe-spanning behemoth. Across two days in Las Vegas, the festival will include one million square feet of games and activities, a “post-apocalyptic dodgeball stadium,” a “mega-sized ball pit with over 200,000 balls” and a light show involving “500 Intel drones programmed and flown by a female-led team in a tribute to women’s contributions to advancements in technology.” Meanwhile, workers inside Amazon factories are having so much fun they’re dying

 

There Will Be Blood 

Elsewhere, the omens are getting increasingly clear that we are a doomed people, and the end of days are nigh: an Iowa family’s basement flooded with animal blood this week. 

You Might Also Enjoy

Crashing the Body Party

Niela Orr

Raised in the 1990s, I have a soft spot for the exercise tape aesthetic: upbeat motivational speech, house music, and B-movie production values all mashed together.

word factory

Baffler Newsletter

New email subscribers receive a free copy of our current issue.

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.