Jason Arias
The Baffler,  February 2, 2018

Fresh Hell

The best dispatches from our grim new reality

Jason Arias
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From Tween to Tycoon and You Can, Too!

Dream big and learn fast coos Teen Bo$$, the latest in required reading for tweens and teens baptized in the entrepreneurial waters of the free market and ready to build a personal brand. Brought into the world last summer and targeting the slice of Generation Z that dreams of careers as “influencers,” this glossy canker of a quarterly churns out tips for Making Money Online Right Now, profiles on eleven-year-old CEOs in the slime business, and insights from minor YouTube celebrities (“Summer is a good time to build followers because everyone is out of school!” gushes Nathan Triska). As sorry as we are to say it, this is a legitimate, totally real vision of the future produced by your friends at Bauer Media Group.

 

Fuck off to never never-land.

This overhyped ode to the “horny utopia” of yesteryear Williamsburg’s Union Pool just goes to show that anyone living in New York does not actually live in New York; they live on Twitter. If they actually lived there, this story would be an unremarkable description of any bar. Instead, we’ve got 2,500 words of aging hipsters waxing nostalgic for the days when hooking up without the aid of an app in a simulation of a dive bar counted as a “New York rite of passage.”

 

Tiffany’s and tents. Neiman Marcus and needles. Macy’s and mental illness.”

The hoteliers of San Francisco and their swarm of well-to-do clientele are at their wits end, reports the San Francisco Chronicle, over the scoundrels and miscreants laying siege to their fair, fair city. Unfortunately, the lowlifes under fire are not the Bright Young Things of Silicon Valley but the homeless piling up by the thousands. The problem’s become so unsightly that one out of towner huffed, “I love your city, I love your restaurants, but I’ll never come back.” The ruffled feathers of so many tourists has hotel owners pressing local officials to do something about all these unwashed bodies besmirching the postcard vision of the city because “The brand of San Francisco is what’s at risk.”

 

Stop trying to make mansions happen.

One hypothetical solution for the homeless: put ‘em up in a limestone mansion on the Upper East Side. After all, it seems they’ve gone out of style in New York, as not everyone wants a living space spread across seven floors.” Some hulking behemoths have lingered on the market for years without a buyer, with one quaint abode wallpapered in Hermès leather and sporting a Zen rock garden forced to slash its asking price from $84.5 million to “a more modest $79.5 million.” Hell, who even needs a mansion when you can have Serenbe, one of many planned “wellness communities” launching a full-scale assault on the McMansions of this fine nation?

 

If you ain’t got no money, take yo’ broke ass to the morgue.

Lady Luck paid a visit to one New York man earlier this year when he won $1 million on a scratcher. The newly minted millionaire, flush with almost enough cash to buy a normal one-bedroom Manhattan apartment (!), had modest plans for his jackpot: a new truck and retirement. Which is not to say he didn’t lust after luxury goods: self-employed and without insurance for most of his life, he also had dreams of visiting a doctor. After splurging on a visit, he learned he had stage four cancer. He died twenty-three days after his big win. What a heartwarming tale of our highly functioning American way of life!

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