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Fresh Hell

The best dispatches from our grim new reality

Shilling Me Softly

Celebrities: they’re just like us, finagling a 1990s career in radio-friendly hip hop into a second vocation meeting shady Chinese operatives at the Four Seasons to negotiate the release of American captives, only to be targeted by the FBI and linked to a complex scheme of extralegal communiques and financial wheelings and dealings that connect international espionage to Leonardo DiCaprio and Kim Kardashian. Bloomberg has reported that Pras Michél, formerly of the Fugees, took a clandestine meeting with Sun Lijun, China’s vice minister of public security, in order to suggest the release of a pregnant American citizen held under an exit ban as collateral for the U.S. government’s exportation of a real estate tycoon dwelling in New York under a temporary visa because he’d publicly offered to reveal the identities of top Communist Party officials. As you’d expect from your standard airport spy thriller, the story doesn’t get less crazy from there; we even learn that Michél, who now faces federal prison, became ensconced in his second career as a stand-in for Trump administration cronies after befriending the globe-trotting Malaysian grifter who financed The Wolf of Wall Street. Particularly clutch is Michél’s thought that “they can’t kill me in the Four Seasons.” Technically, they can. To everything, turn, turn, turn.


Bad Vibrations

First they came for the Posh Silicone Bounding Bunny, and I said nothing, for I was not a sex toy. One of the architects behind the neo-Nazi propaganda group Terrorgram—who have explicitly encouraged and venerated shooters that target mosques, synagogues, and LGBTQ clubs—has been unmasked by anonymous antifascist researchers as Dallas Erin Humber, a thirty-three-year-old dildo salesperson based in Sacramento. HuffPost has additionally shared a selection of the drawings Humber exhibited on DeviantArt, including a Sailor Moon-looking rendition of Dr. Josef Mengele beaming in a blood-soaked lab coat outside the gates of a concentration camp. These horrifying calls to violence from a self-pleasure professional are an insult to the very institution of masturbation. Playing with yourself is supposed to be fun, but there’s a big difference between the she-bop and jerking off the egos of hate criminals.


Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkey

Meal kit delivery company HelloFresh has announced that it has severed ties with a Thai-based manufacturer of coconut milk after PETA uncovered abusive use of monkey labor: the exploited simians are forced to harvest coconuts while being chained and whipped. Around 80 percent of the coconut milk carried in American stores is produced in Thailand, meaning that time is ripe for the monkey unions to step in. Monkey see, monkey do, monkey seize the means of production and bring the market in dairy alternatives to its knees.


Serval the Servants

Wild animals high out of their minds on woolies, woo-woo, and white rock—that is, cocaine—continue to trend in early 2023, as an illegal African serval was captured after being spotted wandering around Ohio and found to have somehow ingested a small amount of big bloke, Batman, or Beyonce. The big cat has been rehomed at the Cincinnati zoo, where it is recovering both from a broken leg sustained in its capture and the side effects of indulging in a little white fe-line fever.


Girls Just Want to Have Fungus

The old adage “if the river was whiskey” accrued a new biome this month, as the New York Times reported that an ethanol-fueled fungus stemming from Jack Daniel’s warehouses in Lincoln County, Tennessee, has crept from big boozy barrels and engulfed neighboring trees—as well as birdhouses, road signs, and patio furniture—in a black pestilence. Residents facing the infestation of their wedding venues and country retreats have sued, citing the recent expansion of distillery storehouses and improper oversight of the effects of the rampaging scourge. Spokespersons for Jack Daniel’s have cited the financial rewards for the community in their defense, proving that, when it comes to the despoliation of the environment and widespread health risk in pursuit of filthy lucre, you don’t know Jack.