Jason Arias
The Baffler,  November 2

Fresh Hell

The best dispatches from our grim new reality

Jason Arias
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Hell, Reimagined

After decades of systematically slashing through cities to make way for parking lot vistas and bulk Fancy Feast on the cheap, Walmart has decided it’s time to cauterize these wounds by retrofitting their air-conditioned acres of bargains into simulacra of a thriving town square: “Green Space, Food, Beverage & Entertainment all in one location” ideal for “consumers of all ages to gather and share experiences.”

 

How to Be Dead and Still Make Millions! Click Here!

To make you feel better about barely making rent on your quaint hovel of a home, here is a list of the highest paid dead celebrities.

 

Strategies Against Unemployment

If you thought your résumé was an artfully arranged pile of lies and incompetence proving you to be woefully under qualified to be employed by anyone, you were right. Case in point: the résumé of this Chinese whiz kid, age five, highlighting the child’s “rich and varied experience and wide variety of hobbies,” including reading some ten thousand books and traveling the globe.

 

Fuck me gently with an AR-15

For the third time in a single calendar year, the beleaguered television series Heathers (a reboot of the eighties cult fave about the violent murder of multiple high school students by a bedroom-eyed loon and his wisecracking gal pal) was pulled from the air because of yet another mass shooting. The show was set to air in March, but then seventeen people were shot dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and it was rescheduled for July, only to be given the axe more after ten were killed at Santa Fe High School in Texas. Now it seems the teens of today may never get the chance to viddy egregious violence inflicted upon a fictional student body; they’ll have to settle for Facebook Live streams of the next school shooting instead.

 

Scoops Against Fascism

Unilever-owned ice cream concern Ben and Jerry’s has released sustenance for the coming insurrection: Pecan Resist, a limited batch of chocolate ice cream with white and dark fudge chunks, pecans, walnuts, and fudge-covered almonds. This confection has been known previously as “New York Super Fudge Chunk.” Ben and Jerry’s couldn’t even be bothered to come up with a new flavor for the resistance—just like the Democrats.

 

“But they’ve got a great company culture.” 

Pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co.—which netted north of $40 billion in revenue in 2017—has announced it will cease supplying rotavirus vaccines at a reduced price to impoverished children in West Africa, citing “supply constraints” and “packaging challenges that put greater stress on our already strained packaging capacity.” Instead, it will commence hocking the life-saving vaccine in China, where it’s anticipated to fetch ten times the market price. Let’s pop a bottle of $150,000 champagne to celebrate the coming windfall for shareholders!

 

Whitey Gets Whacked

In the rush to memorialize the famed mobster, murderer, and double-crosser Whitey Bulger—who was found dead in his cell at a maximum security prison in West Virginia this week—we mustn’t forget his star turn as an unsuspecting guinea pig for the CIA, forced to trip on massive doses of LSD for twelve to twenty-four hours at a time. He had a great time: “We experienced horrible periods of living nightmares and even blood coming out of the walls,” Bulger wrote of the psychedelic trips. “I felt like I was going insane.”

 

Spotted: Sole Sign of Beauty Left

In a solitary bright spot, the world’s most beautiful punk rock duck, a male Mandarin duck native to East Asia, has been spotted in Central Park.

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Further Reading

 November 14

The new "William Gass Reader" celebrates the great essayist and philosopher—but it's Gass's fictions that will stand the test of time.

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