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Fresh Hell

The best dispatches from our grim new reality

The Fickle Pudding Fingers of Fate

The tolling of each hour in this fetid garbage patch of a country summons a new atrocity to slouch across the cable news chyrons. Bad news: it’s a growth industry, one flourishing at such an apocalyptic pace that a comprehensive tally may only be within god’s power, were he not dead. A shame, for you’d hear no complaint from us were god to send a crash of lightning down from the heavens to smite Florida governor Ron “Pudding Fingers” DeSantis, who, on Thursday, signed into law a six-week abortion ban, effectively banning the practice given how few women even realize they’re pregnant by then. This weekend, he’ll address the gun-toting mouthbreathers at the annual NRA convention in Indianapolis, which kicks off on the 104th day of this blighted year. In that time, as NPR reports, there have been 151 mass shootings in the United States, among them a shooting at a funeral in D.C. that left one dead and three injured; a shooting at a bank in Louisville that left five dead and eight injured; and a shooting at a school in Nashville that left six dead, including three nine-year-olds. Perhaps the preponderance of death is why, earlier this month, DeSantis eschewed trumpets and bombast when he signed into law legislation allowing Florida residents to carry concealed weapons without a permit.  


Hopped Up

Though a complete list of concessions available at the NRA’s “Indy 23” could not be acquired by the time of publication, one suspects that, if not on the convention floor proper, nearby bars would be serving up frosty cans of the new Ultra Right Beer—if only the “100 percent woke-free” waterbeer, with purported notes of liberal tears and despair, was already on the market. Unfortunately, the $19.99 six packs may never make it: the entire direct-to-consumer business model on which it is built appears to be illegal in the state where the beer’s being brewed. But the conservative beer-hounds hellbent on inoculating the nation against the “woke mind virus” may take pride in legal trouble: anything to save Americans from drinking beer “from a company that doesn’t even know which restroom to use.” (Corporations, though frequently affirmed as persons by the courts, do not ever, for the record, need to piss, even after knocking back a case of turbo-woke Bud Lights.)


To the Happy Tweens!

Elsewhere on the right: Missouri state senator Mike Moon has clarified that, though he supports marriage among the preteen set, said support does not extend to adults marrying children, which is bad, even though he voted against a bill in 2018 that would have prevented this bad thing from happening. “Do you know any kids who have been married at age twelve? I do. And guess what? They’re still married,” Moon fired back at a critic on the other side of the aisle. He gave more details to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Thursday, regaling the paper with the romance of a twelve-year-old boy and an eleven-year-old girl. When she became pregnant, “instead of running down to the abortion clinic,” their parents allowed them to get married. “There was no forcing in the situation,” he assured the paper. He went on: “If we don’t allow the parents to have some say, we’re actually as a state removing a fundamental right from the mom and dad. It’s a parents’ decision to make; it’s their right to make that choice.” Utterly loath though we may be to point out hypocrisy, this controversy arose after Moon introduced legislation to remove a parent’s right to make a medical decision about whether their children should receive gender-affirming care.


A Little Tongue

Children of any age—so goes mainstream thought, whether nominally liberal or conservative—are not capable of informed decision-making; their autonomy should be conceived of narrowly, if at all—unless, that is, the Dalai Lama kisses you on the lips and invites you to suck on his tongue. Wait, that’s also bad. On this point, CNN and Fox News agree.


Hit ’Em Where It Hirsts

Back in Florida, an unnamed sixty-six-year-old woman has committed an act of righteous terrorism against the work of Damien Hirst. Last month, the woman “lost control” of her 2018 Rolls-Royce and plowed it through the Palm Beach backyard of hedge fund manager and art collector Steve Tananbaum, knocking Hirst’s $3 million sculpture Sphinx (2017) off its pedestal before crashing through a fence and careening off the manse’s seawall. Regrettably, reports indicate the “piece of art” may be restored.


An Axel to Grind

And finally, another billionaire CEO of a tentacular corporation has come out in favor of climate collapse: “I am all for climate change,” Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner wrote in a 2017 email that’s been leaked to the press. Human civilization, in his attenuated view, has always been “more successful” in warmer periods. “We shouldn’t fight climate change but adjust to it.” Only a vaunted few may have the liquidity to avoid rising seas, but that’s not his fucking problem.