Art for Fresh Hell.
Jason Arias
The Baffler,  October 2

Fresh Hell

The best dispatches from our grim new reality

Jason Arias
w
o
r
d

f
a
c
t
o
r
y

Skincare Activism

With precious few weeks until the election, our septuagenarian presidential candidates, having thus far blown only $7.2 billion on their respective campaigns, are championing any gimmick to siphon more cash from the beggared populace and further choke the airwaves with their ham-fisted appeals. Hence Biden’s reported seal of approval for Biden Beauty, an upstart passion project of anonymous “industry players” that has made available for purchase a blue makeup sponge as “durable, rugged, and dependable” as the man who helped construct the carceral state that now entraps millions, the man who voted to invade Iraq for kicks, the very same man who, in 2005, voted to make it harder for indebted Americans to file for bankruptcy, the man who etc., etc. You know, Uncle Joe, the namby-pamby gent with the blood-filled eyes and slick aviator shades! Get his look! “From the beginning of time to now, all people have participated in beautifying as an act of defiance,” said a Biden Beauty spokesperson, and now you, too, can definitely “beat your face” and help “beat Trump” by spending $20.20 on a globular piece of foam! All proceeds will go straight to more commercials! As one would do with the candidate himself, just dampen your Biden Beat with water, squeeze out the excess, and get to blending.” 

 

Love Hertz

Perhaps the Biden Beat makeup sponge can help the campaign diminish the effects of its latest misstep: tapping erstwhile Facebook executive Jessica Hertz for its transition team. At Facebook, whose CEO was just subpoenaed by the Senate, Hertz worked tirelessly to help the right-wing propaganda factory defeat, skirt, or otherwise ignore government regulations. On Team Biden, Hertz will—strangely enough—be responsible for helping the campaign avoid “conflicts of interest” and other ethical issues in addition to overseeing a team responsible for “enforcement, oversight, and compliance” of an almost certainly sterling “ethics plan” that will in no way be deferential the urgent project of protecting the wealth and property of our nation’s great and deeply patriotic rich people. 

 

The Most Magical Place on Earth

Disney, which only just restored senior executive salaries to pre-pandemic levels, has announced it will lay off twenty-eight thousand workers, primarily at its two theme parks in the United States. The conglomerate—which earned $184 billion in revenue from 2017 through 2019 and outright owns or otherwise holds a considerable stake in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Muppets, Pixar, 21st Century Fox, FX, Hulu, ABC, Lucasfilm, ESPN, A&E, Lifetime, the History Channel, and National Geographic—has fallen on hard times and so really has no other choice other than to lay off tens of thousands during a mass death event!

 

Bread is Bread is Bread is Bread

Meanwhile, the beleaguered bread of Subway, which only six years ago ceased to contain a bleaching agent commonly used in yoga mats and shoe soles, has been dealt another blow: Ireland’s Supreme Court has declared that it is not, legally speaking, real bread

 

The Dead Don’t Die

Over two years ago, seventeen-year-old Joaquin Oliver was gunned down outside of his creative writing class at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Now, Oliver has been resurrected via deepfake technology to star in a commercial calling for gun safety legislation. “Yo, it’s me—it’s Guac,” the undead teenager announces. “I’ve been gone for two years and nothing’s changed, bro.” He, a computer animated simulation of a dead teenager, then encourages viewers to “vote for people not getting shot, bro.” This thoughtfully macabre campaign is the work of the nonprofit Change the Red and the advertising firm McCann Health, a subsidiary of McCann Worldgroup, which has thus far been unsuccessful in its earlier bid to furnish the world with love and get it to sing in perfect harmony

You Might Also Enjoy

Further Reading

Heads Up: We recently updated our privacy policy to clarify how and why we collect personal data. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand this policy.