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Fresh Hell

The best dispatches from our grim new reality

Who Loves the Sun?

Ah, the sun. Spherical majesty, chariot of Helios, sister to the moon. It warms the faces of children, coaxes buds from the earth, and makes golden gods of the jogger, the beachgoer, the unbridled nudist. But what has it done for us lately? The lambent plasmoid at the center of our solar system’s days of freeloading may soon be over: the European Union is looking into the prospect of blocking out the sun and re-engineering the atmosphere as a remarkably short-sighted solution to global warming and climate change. Sure, why ask us to change our lifestyles when you can simply alter the incandescent gas that blights us? Look, the end of the world is coming; at this point, it’s just a question of settling on the dystopia of choice. Will apes be our masters, will our flesh become food for albino morlocks, or are we looking at a Mad Max scenario, roving the desert in search of some sanctuary from our Immortan overlords? Choose and perish.


Truant Lies

Horny Mormons have thrown the Salt Lake City legal infrastructure into chaos once again: a federal judge in Utah ruled that Skyridge High School did not violate a family’s religious freedom by relaxing attendance for a week at the end of the school year—sanctioned hooky that the family’s teen son used to have sex with his girlfriend in the parking lot, in flagrant disregard of their deeply held Latter-day Saints beliefs. This is the kind of frivolous lawsuit one expects for SLC, where it is illegal to throw rocks, modify the weather, or “cause a catastrophe.” Yeah, keep the catastrophes in godless Kansas City and stay off the grass, out of the parking lot, and stop trying to rob the Great Salt Lake of its buoyancy.


I’m with Cupid

It’s not love that is in the air but hazardous smoke from Canadian wildfires, just one of many disappointments afflicting the dating life of miscreants this week: In Indiana, a mugger took $100 from a woman at gunpoint, forced her to add him on Facebook, and began sending her flirtatious messages like, “Damn, you was too pretty to rob,” before a SWAT team arrested the lovelorn desperado. A new book by former Trump staffer Miles Taylor dishes the unwelcome if grimly unsurprising fantasies the ex-president shared about his daughter Ivanka. Youtube creator Colleen Ballinger has denied allegations that she groomed her fans over the course of five years—through song, while accompanying herself on ukulele. Now that the routine public spectacle of public apology has gone twee, one can only anticipate that scandal-ridden politicians will make their mea culpas on theremin, juiced-up sports stars on melodica, influencers outed for backing unsavory causes on keytar.


Slum As You Are

France has razed 275 slums in their territory of Mazotte off the coast of Africa since the beginning of the year and the interior minister has promised to “break the record for deportations” after expelling twenty-five thousand migrants from the islands in 2022. Condemned by human rights groups, the terror the state has exerted on its poor as part of its “Wuambushu” initiative to combat crime and immigration is surely not the only answer to economic jeopardy. Just look at Australia, where top financiers are pinning their hopes on the upcoming Taylor Swift tour to breathe new life into its flagging economy. Travel costs and spending (including luxurious VIP bundles) are apparently just what down under needs to put shrimps back on the barbie, the vegemite back on the toast, and keep the knives knives.  



Wild horses couldn’t drag me away, but they seem fine with being airlifted, as a helicopter in central Italy kindly rescued a horse stuck in a hole by tethering ropes around it and levitating it to safety. And if this news story sounds sedate, you haven’t heard of the scandalized baker in Dorset who was sacked after his three-hundred-year-old establishment was lambasted for making holey bread and won more than £15,000 after complaining to a court that baking is an art, not a science, and sometimes a hole is the mark of quality. And finally, the peaceful community of Piqua, Ohio, has been riven by controversy after the city asked one Mary Simmons to take town the ten-foot werewolf statue she left up after Halloween and has been dressing seasonally—including in red, white, and blue for the Fourth of July—ever since. “I’m not asking for a lot,” says Simmons, “just let me have my werewolf.” Hopefully, this defiant lycanthrope will survive the jackbooted thugs of Ohio, though, on the other hand, werewolves are nothing to take lightly. Even a man who is pure at heart and says his prayers by night may become a wolf-man when the wolfsbane blooms and the moon is full and bright.