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Fresh Hell

The best dispatches from our grim new reality

Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash

After the fanatical persecution of Oliver Cromwell, the great famine of 1845, and Margaret Thatcher’s horrific treatment of the Sinn Féin martyrs, Ireland has finally won a reprieve: the archdioces of Philidelphia, Trenton, and Wilmington have issued allowances for observers of St. Patrick’s Day to gorge themselves on corned beef and moisten their gullets with Guinness, despite the holiday’s coinciding with the fasting period of Lent. Too long consigned to the high camp of Darby O’Gill and the Little People, U2, and Riverdance, at last the sacred rite of patriotic excess on behalf of the famously snake-adverse patron saint of the island nation has been granted a little dignity by no less an authority than the Catholic Church, which has offered revelers an act of contrition of their choice in exchange for a wee nip and a wee nap. So instead of fasting, consider eating an entire bowl of Lucky Charms and not just the marshmallows, telling three-leaf clovers they shouldn’t feel inferior, or raising a glass to the memory of Shane MacGowan, who is somehow still alive. The pipes, the pipes, are calling, but what they have to say is under sacramental seal.  


The More You Toot

According to startup-monitoring site Crunchbase, farts are the next big thing. Oslo-based company N2 Applied have received more than $50 million in funding for tech that promises farmers the power to make their own fertilizer out of air, electricity, and slurry; Tasmania’s FutureFeed is growing seaweed to cut down on livestock methane emissions; and CHONEX, of Alabama, is developing something called StrongSoil out of fly larvae weaned on chicken manure, which is literally science’s most ungodly affront to nature to date. Venture capitalists have been betting on the butthole since at least 2021, when Bill Gates-backed company Rumin8 first vowed to do their part to reduce greenhouse gasses through more equitable pooting. Despite man’s penchant for waste, it seems cows are largely to blame, accounting for 4 percent of the world’s most noxious bodily discharge, though cattle only stand to gain from the ongoing advances in PoopTech. In the words of Martin Luther, a happy fart never comes from a miserable ass.


The Sandwiches of Eastwick

The Wall Street Journal reports that a government health survey has come out against sandwiches, labeling them a “heart bomb” that contain obscene amounts of sodium, sugar, and saturated fat, a dire warning that sadly came to late to save the four dogs who perished while competing in a French cross country race due to poisoned meatballs, an act of villainy that will echo along the crimes of Jared Fogle and the Hamburglar as crimes against sandwichcraft. Sadly, the ongoing battle against heart disease in fast food has claimed the Dunkaccino, as Dunkin’ Donuts has stopped selling the beverage, a victory for campaigners for reduced caffeine intake and a slap in the face for the advocates of creamy goodness. 


Il Douche

Quitting is what life’s all about, but the chairman of an Italian state-owned software company went out with a fizzle on Tuesday when he quoted fascist dictator Benito Mussolini in an internal memo that read: “Well, I declare here before you, and before all the Italian government, that I assume, (I alone!), the (political! moral! historical!) responsibility . . . for everything that has happened,” after a 1925 speech in which Mussolini owned the murder of political opponent Giacomo Matteotti. The embarrassing citation of the Nazi ally is just the latest of a long string of corporate appropriations of the twentieth’s centuries greatest monsters, after Peloton’s ill-advised “Heil Fitler,” Nike’s “Just Duce It,” and Jiffy Lube’s “If It Doesn’t Say Stalin, It’s Just Not the Purge of 1.2 Million Innocents.” 


Witless For the Prosecution

The gross miscarriage of justice that has proliferated in American courts following the death of the honorable Judge Wapner continued this week: attorneys for Boeing sought to avoid financial responsibility for the pain suffered by victims of the crashed Ethiopian Airline 737 MAX by arguing that their ends came so suddenly that they would not have suffered; a federal judge in San Diego handcuffed and humiliated a thirteen-year-old girl in a deeply misguided attempt at a teachable moment; and a Virginia judge cited an antiquated slavery law from 1849 in ruling that embryos of the unborn can be considered property. Such eyesores in the impartial gaze of Lady Justice are just the latest pleas to be unheard by a public desperate for moral guidance in these crooked times, but he who defends himself against remorselessness has a fool for a suppliant.