Jason Arias
The Baffler,  June 8, 2018

Fresh Hell

The best dispatches from our grim new reality

Jason Arias
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“Unlock me to ride me, or I’ll call the police.”

This summer, take a joyride on a Lime-S electric scooter—the latest in Silicon Valley-surveilled leisure that threatens, in a sing song voice attended by alarms, to call the police if you don’t fork up the capital to ride. These garish lime-green agents of mobility have been popping up all over the country with little regard for government approval or cumbersome regulation, and while these whiny little scooters are sure as hell to make you look chic at nine dollars an hour, they are most definitely, to quote one Oakland city council member, “a threat to the people.”

 

The Pizza Party at the Threshold of Hell

In an effort to improve upon the has-been bag of pizza delivery pranks, a few sadistic rascals at the Fort Hamilton military base in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bay Ridge decided to call ICE on their pizza delivery guy. Pablo Villavicencio-Calderonhusband, father of two, and household breadwinner—was then carted to an immigration center in Manhattan before being transferred into ICE custody, where his removal from the country is all but certain. What a barrel of laughs!

 

Suicide rates, big increase! Very good for country! Great news!

According to a new report from the Center for Disease Control, suicide rates in this edenic land have shot up 30 percent since 1999. While the report blathers on about “financial troubles” and “substance abuse” as contributing to this unprecedented surge, it’s doubtful there’s any fundamental flaw anywhere in this consumerist blitz of exploitation we call home.

 

Attack of the Peacocks 

Meanwhile in British Columbia, roving bands of feral peacocks in one neighborhood have taken to attacking luxury cars after catching a glimpse of their own reflection in a sure-sign of the imminent animal uprising against conspicuous consumption.

 

To Live and Die in Tim Horton’s

Elsewhere in the heartless swampland of Canada, a seventy-four year old unemployed and homeless man was left to die in an outpost of the fast-casual eatery Tim Horton’s. The lifeless body of the cancer-afflicted man slumped at his regular table for several hours before anyone noticed. Apparently Canadians think “fast-food places take the place of the shelters that we don’t have,” quoth one longtime advocate for the lazy, unhoused masses. Thankfully, you’d never be allowed to die in such a public fashion in the United States, where we’re plowing full steam ahead to exterminate homeless encampments and insure every welfare tit suckler is working a menial job for menial pay if they want access to state assistance. If you’re going to curl up and abandon the workforce, you best damn well do it in private.

 

Best New Music

With school shootings on the upswing, some ingenious teachers-cum-songsters have devised a catchy little tune for when the bad man comes a’disrupting the school day

Lockdown. Lockdown.

Lock the door.

Shut the lights off.

Say no more.

Go behind the desk

And hide

Wait until it’s safe inside

Lockdown. Lockdown.

It’s all done.

Now it’s time to have some fun!

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