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Fresh Hell

The best dispatches from our grim new reality

Fantastic Beasts

As Russia’s war against Ukraine barrels heedlessly, disastrously onward, the international community has come together to make one point exceedingly clear: if Russia’s going to fuck with the selectively applied “rules-based order,” we will respond in kind by . . . banning Russian cats from competitions put on by the International Cat Federation, also known as the “United Nations of Cat Federations.” We will also prevent the Russian people from viewing top-shelf cultural exports from the United States such as the third reboot of the Batman franchise this century, The Batman, as well as Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, the third installment in a franchise spun off from Harry Potter. Stateside, Americans will no longer be able to stream the 1997 animated classic Anastasia on Disney+, lest they come to sympathize with Russians who, in the film, are voiced by Americans like Putin-loving Kelsey Grammer. Oh, wait, sorry, we got that wrong: the removal of the classic 1997 animated film Anastasia from Disney+ “has nothing to to do with the current crisis involving Ukraine and Russia,” Disney reports. “It’s a preexisting contract from when Disney purchased 20th Century Fox [for $71.3 billion] and it’s moving to Starz for a limited period. This would have happened regardless.”


Non-Fungible Charity

Additionally, crypto-freaks the world over have come together to support the Ukrainian resistance. In recent days, more than $52 million worth of cryptocurrency has been donated to the Ukrainian government, including this Shibelon NFT, from a collection based on the mythology in which the alien who invented Bitcoin also granted genius powers to monkey-torturing, Hilter-memeing Elon Musk


From Russia with Lust

Critics at The New Yorker have declared Russia’s invasion of Ukraine the world’s “first TikTok war”—due, no doubt, in part to the unsettling number of TikTokers who, following the viral success of IAmLegallyHype, have taken to producing Vox-grade “explainers” of the crisis—but what if we told you that this is actually, above all, the first Tinder war? Indeed, Russian soldiers appear to be furiously swiping right on Ukrainian ladies—in the midst of, among other things, trying to produce a sequel to Chernobyl by starting fires at the nation’s largest nuclear power plant. Because nothing, and we mean nothing, says “I’m hot for you” like radiation.


Star Wars for Your Wallet

To Florida now, where the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser immersive hotel experience at Disney World has officially opened its airlocks to Disney-addled adults and their unfortunate offspring willing to fork over in upwards of $5,000 to spend two nights in a windowless bunker that reviews invariably describe as cramped and claustrophobic. Thankfully, you’ll spend most of your time gallivanting about the property, engaging in “special missions,” including an “excursion” to the planet “Batuu,” as well as lightsaber training and “clandestine rendezvous” with underpaid actors who absolutely imagined their lives would turn out differently. At dinner, you’ll throw back $23 cocktails while serenaded by an alien pop star. Click here to book your flight from reality into the necrotic embrace of corporatized fantasy.


Refund the Police

The president stumbled through his State of the Union address on Tuesday evening and was met at every botched turn with the violent applause of the fervidly do-nothing nationalists we’ve imprudently elected to do little more than clap, clap, clap their wrinkled little hands. Biden received perhaps the biggest round of bipartisan applause when he announced: “We should all agree: The answer is not to defund the police. It’s to fund the police. Fund them. Fund them.” Yes! Thank god the fearless Democrats took one long look at the largest mass movement in American history against police violence and decided the one thing they must do to avert catastrophic defeat in the midterms is to send more money to the police!


Bear Down

Meanwhile, further to the right, Republicans gathered en masse and unmasked last weekend in Orlando for the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, where Candace Owens, on a panel entitled “Pupil Propoganda [sic],” suggested Republicans might recover their élan vital and reclaim America as the land of untrammeled stupidity if, taking a cue from bears, they, uh . . . something about male bears eating their own cubs in order to regain sexual access to female bears? There’s a take away in there, and it has to do with the school boards. And our children. Please, God, save them from their parents.