Jason Arias
The Baffler,  November 1

Fresh Hell

The best dispatches from our grim new reality

Jason Arias
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Two Gender Reveals and a Funeral 

Once again, we turn with weary eyes and heavy hearts to the latest string of blunders born of our nation’s unwavering commitment to proclaiming the gender of our offspring for all of Instagram before the sorry sack has taken their first breath: last Saturday in Iowa, a woman took her last breath after being struck by debris from a jerry-rigged gender reveal explosion. The police declined to release the woman’s name—or the gender of the forthcoming child. The following afternoon (and less than an hour’s drive northwest), the blast from another gender reveal—this one from a commercially available kit—reportedly shattered a neighbor’s windows and could be felt from over two miles away

 

Trick or Treat 

While receiving minimal coverage, protests against the sundry depravities of neoliberalism continue to accelerate in Chile—but, oh look, our silly president with his sweaty ball-sack neck put a candy bar on top of a costumed child’s head! Click here to watch, says the Boston Globe. Lol!

 

There’s No Home for You Here

Meanwhile, the United States, land of the free home of the blah blah blah it’s all bullshit, did not admit a single refugee in the month of October, but, hey, certainly other countries can pick up our slack for the the reported 25 million refugees worldwide

 

Blessed Are Those Who Pay No Taxes

Kanye West, wandering through the valley of the shadow of the press to proclaim the good word of his new album, Jesus is King, doled out a holy dollop of tax advice to his followers: walk with the Lord and Yeezy, too, shall be financially rewarded with a sick-ass payout. It was, after all, West’s recent conversion to Christianity that netted him a $68 million tax return—and not, say, a recent Trump-touted tax cut that exclusively benefited the immorally wealthy at the expense of everyone else. As West calmly explained, God is using me to show off.” 

 

To Hell with Health 

As Facebook gussies up for its starring role in the noxious swamp of misinformation that will be the 2020 election by rolling out the white-supremacist-infected Facebook News feature and assuring politicians that they can totally, 100 percent lie about basically whatever they want in paid political ads on the platform, the merry band of pranksters running this shitshow declined to allow a New York medical provider to publish ads intended to raise awareness of HIV-prevention through PrEP. See, reducing the rates of HIV transmission is too political

 

Shine On!

The marketing gurus behind such beloved bourgeois millennial brands as Everlane and Sweetgreen, are turning their attention to solving the problem of “millennial burnout” with the very same thing that causes it in the first place: capitalism! According to the firm’s founder, Emmett Shine, Pattern is urging more brands to pivot “to having their marketing language talk about the role of the attention economy and workism and the endless amounts of human capital and personal optimization”—even if said brands’ profit margins depend on the entrenchment of such conditions!

 

How to Succeed in Scamming 

Another day, another bit-rate, unregulated online university of scams caught selling a degree that not one person in the real world has ever heard of and will most certainly not translate to employment in the program’s ostensible field. But, hey, overpriced university degrees sold with little to no hopes of gainful employment are pretty much standard now.

First I Look at the Purse

A New Jersey woman, intent on receiving justice, has filed suit against the Alpine Country Club after one of their butterfingered waiters pour red wine all over her, her husband, and, more to the point, her Hermès handbag, which very well could be worth more than the annual wages of several such doltish waiters. Mrs. Maryana Beyder tried complaining about the cataclysm to both the club and the insurance company before she was forced to bring this matter before the eyes of the law, but they both refused to believe—in an act of clear discrimination against the wealthy—that she could have spent so much fucking money on a purse. 

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Further Reading

 October 29

The Factory by Hiroko Oyamada, translated by David Boyd. New Directions, 119 pages. It’s not quite clear if the. . .

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