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Fresh Hell

The best dispatches from our grim new reality

Terminal Decline: The Musical 

On Thursday, Democrats marked the one-year anniversary of the failed coup attempt at the U.S. Capitol with solemn pomp, circumstance—and a performance by the cast of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. This grim display from a party haplessly fumbling toward cataclysmic defeat in the midterms and beyond is part of a perversely musical turn among party elites, who, having declined to advance any substantive legislation, have in recent weeks subjected the American people to a ghastly rendition of “We Need a Little Christmas” from a caroling troupe of masked nurses as well as a bleak ditty from the a cappella group Pentatonix boosting the booster shot.

A Raise for Thee, Not for Me

Meanwhile, things are looking better than ever for the corporate handmaidens of civic and ecological degradation. Apple is worth more than the GDP of the second most populous country on earth, Jeff Bezos is building a mixed-use business park in low-earth orbit, and Starbucks is selling so many $6 oat milk lattes they can splurge on retaining the biggest union-busting firm in the country. The Dow Jones has never been better! Corporate profits are breaking records! In October, Google posted its fifth consecutive quarter of record profit—nearly $19 billion—only to announce two months later that it would give a hard pass to offering broad salary adjustments to compensate for rising inflation. Instead, it would offer four of its top executives substantive raises, bringing their annual salaries to $1 million each, which does not include an annual bonus of up to $2 million.

It’s the Little Things

It’s important that each and every one of us does our part to prevent the utter collapse of the livable biosphere within our lifetimes. Even the smallest actions can make a real and measurable difference in stalling, if not reversing, the worst effects of a global climate crisis commenced and continually accelerated by large corporations and the unfathomably wealthy. For example: turn the lights off when you leave a room. Consider buying a selection of stainless steel straws to store, unused, in the back of your silverware drawer. Buy a toothbrush made of recycled yogurt cups. Walk, don’t drive, to the big box store where you buy food wrapped in excessive amounts of plastic. Little changes in our lives make it possible for major airline companies like Lufthansa Group to fly nearly eighteen thousand entirely empty flights—purely to avoid losing take-off and landing slots.

Conflict Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend

Diamonds may be forever, but as Bloomberg reports, synthetic diamonds grown in a lab just aren’t quite generating the same emotional response as the ones extracted from the earth by child slaves.

Pooting All the Way to the Bank

In order to afford the real deal in this economy, you’ve got to learn to hustle. For inspiration, we look to the likes of former 90 Day Fiance star Stephanie Matto. She had been making a killing farting into jars and then selling them on the internet for $1,000 each, but when her high-fiber diet landed her in the hospital, she wasn’t sure what to do next. She simply couldn’t go on farting into jars and selling them at the rate she was, or else she might end up dead. So she pivoted—to selling fart jar NFTs. “These NFTs are just as beautiful, unique, and rare as my actual poots! You can practically smell how delightful they are through the screen,” Matto reports. “Just use your imagination!”

21 Perfectly Reasonable Tips

For those unlikely to make it in the ascendant NFT fart jar economy, this Harvard-trained economist has twenty-one perfectly reasonable tips and tricks for getting your financial house in order in this blighted new year. We present a curated selection: 

1. Don’t borrow money for college—loans are “far too risky” and “expensive.”

2. Own your own home—it’s one of the easiest ways to shelter your hard-earned money from local, state, and federal asset-income taxation.

3. If you own your own home, pay off the mortgage immediately, tomorrow if you can.

4. Work a job that everyone hates: “People with unpleasant, nerve-racking, insecure, disturbing or financially risky jobs get paid more.” It’s just how the world works! Get used to it!