Art for Fresh Hell.
Jason Arias
The Baffler,  May 14

Fresh Hell

The best dispatches from our grim new reality

Jason Arias
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“The Best Social Program is a Job”

Evoking the great humanitarian legacy of Ronald Reagan, Arizona governor Doug Ducey announced on Thursday that Arizona would be joining the vanguard of Republican-led states terminating the distribution of the $300 supplemental unemployment benefits from the federal government. Well-intended at the start of the mass death event, the additional assistance that likely kept millions off the streets and guaranteed millions more continued access to basic necessities is “now having the wrong impact.” “Many businesses are struggling to fill vital positions, especially those in the restaurant and hospitality sectors,” Governor Ducey drooled. And so instead of, say, raising wages and/or recognizing that line cooks had the highest mortality rate of any occupation during the height of the pandemic, leading many to have reasonable fears about dying for a pittance, the governor has decided that, effective July 10, this “barrier to getting people back to work” will be no more. For those now redoubling their efforts to find work, it may not be too late to jumpstart your career with Cyber Ninja, the looney toons searching for traces of bamboo fiber on the nearly two million ballots cast in Arizona’s presidential election as part of a carnivalesque “recount” at the Arizona fairgrounds funded in large part by persons unknown. The embattled audit, set to end this past week but running terrifically behind schedule, will now be going on a one-week hiatus to make way for high school graduations

 

Keep Calm and Get the Fuck Out

Across the pond, the United Kingdom, recognizing that the mass death event and its fallout have vanished from the earth, is tripping over itself to restart the nation’s eviction machine and restore landlords to their rightful place in society as untrammeled parasites. A blanket eviction ban expired last September, and at the end of this month, a ban of bailiff-enforced evictions will also be lifted. Next month, eviction notice periods will be cut from six to four months, returning to one month by September’s end. Though this will almost certainly cause a spike in homelessness, leaders are unfazed: it is time to give “landlords access to justice.” To cope while saving the economy, finance experts have encouraged every British civilian to drink 124 pints of beer.

 

Dropping the Psaki Bomb

On Wednesday, Jezebel dragged a new figure from the mind-melting marinade of liberal fervor and bandied it about for our collective inspection and derision: the “Jen Psaki Superfan.” Indeed, while Biden has been busy resurrecting the phantom welfare queen and gushing over imperialist Israel’s “right to defend itself” against citizens of an open-air prison, many liberals have been more than happy to look the other way while whipping themselves into a lascivious froth over Jen “This is not kids in cages” Psaki. Pardon, we mean Jen SMART as hell and sexy AF” Psaki, who retains a sexy C.J. Cregg vibe” while dropping “Psaki Bombs.” She is, in the words of one superfan, literally one of the best destroyers of bullshit.” One devotee even reworked Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball” in tribute: “She came in like a Psaki bomb/yeah, she’s nothing like that robot blonde/or a Huckabee or dancing Sean/she handles questions, refreshingly.” Worse, as Jezebel reports, there is already at least one fanfic, which follows a closeted lesbian reporter for Fox News who is secretly in love with Psaki.

 

The Beautiful Story of a Quintessentially American Ethos

Meanwhile, the power sander of history continues burnishing the image of the nation’s forty-first president, George W. Bush. In a review of Out of Many, One: Portraits of America’s Immigrants, republican Jason Villalba finds the war criminal’s latest excretion of competent oil portraiture reflective of Bush’s “lifelong kindness to strangers”—like the thousands of women and children killed during his imperial misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. Mass murder and manifold crimes against humanity notwithstanding, this glorious collection is “an eloquent paean to the millions of Americans who have struggled and persevered to become citizens of this great country. With canvas, color, shape and emotion, Bush weaves the beautiful story of a quintessentially American ethos.” Get your copy now!

 

Bridge to Nowhere

Finally, in a scene we find representative of our sorry prospects as a civilization whistling through the valley of the shadow of death while waxing about the power of electric sport utility vehicles to turn the tide of ecocide, gale force winds knocked out the glass-paneled bottom of a suspension bridge in China this week, leaving one man to dangle above a ravine for over half an hour before emergency crews were able to reach him. Only in our case, no help is on the way.

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