Jason Arias
The Baffler,  March 22

Fresh Hell

The best dispatches from our grim new reality

Jason Arias
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Serving Time and Feelin’ Fine

Valiantly fighting against the radical left’s campaign to convert prisons into swank socialist resorts, Republican state lawmaker Richard Pickett of Maine voted last week against a measure that would guarantee incarcerated women access to free menstrual hygiene products, arguing that the vast, profit-generating apparatus of the so-called correctional system “was never meant to be a country club.”

 

The Naming Game

Leaving college saddled in debt is not the inevitable result of a system that treats education as a fun sandbox for the invisible hand to do its bidding in, it’s a choice. Take, for instance, enterprising British teen Beau Jessup, who’s raking in hundreds of thousands and funding her way through university by christening Chinese babies with culturally appropriate English names.

 

Knives Out

America, land of the super rich, home of endless innovation, needs to take a breather from its recent billionaire-bashing bender and realize that billionaires are not parasitic rentiers wrecking the commonwealth for a quick buck; they are “making our lives better”—or so argues one blowhard of the billionaire-subsidized Cato Institute.

 

Kickstarting the Union

A contingent of Kickstarter employees under the name Kickstarter United announced their intention to unionize this week, which has sent senior staffers at the crowdfunding site—where users have raised funds for such essential wonders as edible cups, the world’s largest jock strap, and the OstrichPillow—into a tizzy. They circulated a subsequently leaked all-staff memo urging the rabble rousers to seek out a dialogue with management before “resorting to something as extreme as a union,” because workers at the company already have it pretty good and so probably don’t even, like, need a union! “Unions are historically intended to protect vulnerable members of society, and we feel the demographics of this union undermine this important function,” the memo laments. “We’re concerned with the misappropriation of unions for use by privileged workers.”

 

SPRING TREND ALERT

The latest innovation to combat a rising tide of violence against the homeless in lieu of any structural reform to the disease of capitalism also happens to double as a chic fashion accessory. Introducing the stab-proof coat-cum-sleeping bag, developed and distributed free of charge by Red Dragon of Wales. (Unfortunately, it seems the authenticity-seeking fashion zombies of the United States may miss out on this singular appropriation opportunity; they’ve already crowned books as the hottest accessory of the year.)

 

Lifestyles of the Rich and Extremely Irritating

Over at The Cut, somebody let New York Times bestselling author Jessica Knoll talk for an excessively long time about her brave ascent up the socioeconomic ladder and how totally awesome having a big pile of cash is, making it clear to all how exceedingly obnoxious it is when any rich person—regardless of their gender—is allowed to be themselves. Highlights include the tip that a $320-an-hour therapist just runs circles around any old fly-by-night therapist covered by insurance, and that you can never be rich enough. “To me, rich enough is not a number,” she argues. “It’s a lifestyle.”

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