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Fresh Hell

The best dispatches from our grim new reality
Art for Fresh Hell.
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All Wonderwall and No Play

Over the interminably long holiday weekend, as millions of well-intentioned Americans willingly entrapped themselves with the torturous deep-state conspiracy theories of relatives variously drunk on tryptophan and Facebook, sixty-one hapless Brits found themselves snowed in at a Yorkshire pub, where they were subjected to the stylings of Noasis, an Oasis cover band, for three nights. Forced to sleep on makeshift beds on the bar’s floor, the captives endeavored to make the best of things, arranging for a quiz night, movie screenings, karaoke, and a buffet. And while at least one deranged detainee alleged that they didn’t even “want to leave” when the snowstorm let up Monday morning, neuroscientists and other cognitive health experts all agree: prolonged exposure to “Wonderwall” can incite violent auditory and visual hallucinations in addition to permanent brain damage.


Money Pit

While most of us remain firmly ensnared in the fiscal depravities of corporeal existence—cost-benefit analyzing the necessities of survival, rubbing pennies together for pleasure, making the minimum payments on our credit cards—we’re missing out entirely on the boom times plaguing the metaverse. Indeed, as the Wall Street Journal reports, forget about the real estate market in New York or Austin; the real action is happening in worlds like Sandbox and Dencentraland, where investors are racing to buy up fake land and fake homes in the expectation more and more people will spend real money to rent these fake homes on fake land and buy NFT craft beer in fake breweries that exist by virtue of electricity-guzzling servers stored in an air-conditioned warehouse in some desert. Just last week in the Sandbox, someone spent a record $650,000 to buy a fake megayacht outfitted with fake helipads and a fake hot tub, among other fake amenities. That sale comes only weeks after someone else spent $2.43 million to acquire a parcel of fake land in Decentraland, far and above the average price for an honest-to-god apartment in Manhattan or San Francisco. At this rate, the metaverse will experience its first implosion of mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations by, say, Easter.


God Save the Clintons

To the world of pseudo-philanthropy now, where the Clinton Foundation has reported that donations have plunged nearly 75 percent from the organization’s peak, which just so happened to coincide with Hillary Clinton’s doomed presidential campaign, when it brought in a record $62.9 million. Certainly the dramatic drop-off is mere coincidence, an accident of fate in no way related to the fact that those who once shoveled money into the foundation’s coffers no longer find it in their interest to do so now that Hillary Clinton, instead of running the United States, is busy authoring checkout-aisle fantasias where pantsuited secretaries of state save democracy from a cabal of grim-faced potentates and their minions.

 

Unethically Sourced

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, took yet another bold step toward eradicating cruelty toward animals or whatever this week with the unveiling of Urban Outraged, a “store” that purports to sell clothing made of human skin. The carnal designs include the Juliet Skirt, “meticulously tailored from the best of Juliet,” and the Sofie Dress, made from the skin of a “timeless beauty, captured in the prime of her life” who was “lured away from her home” and forced to walk twenty miles, whereupon “cruel farmers rubbed tobacco and chili pepper in her eyes” before she was violently murdered and turned into an ugly dress. Or perhaps the Dan Pants might be of interest: “No two have the same bruises, scars, or residual blood left over from the several days of torture that it took to produce these unique garments.” To whom this bleak piece of cannibal theater is meant to convince in the year 2021 is entirely unclear. And yet, by God, here it is.

 

Kitty Kitty

But worry not, there’s plenty of evidence that humans, on the whole, are actually quite kind to animals—perhaps too kind. Take, for instance, the woman who was found breastfeeding her hairless cat on a flight from Syracuse to Atlanta earlier this week.

 

The Ol’ Bait and Switch

Meanwhile, corporations have alighted upon an elegant solution to the “worker shortage” crisis. Step one: promise a competitive wage in advertisements. Step two: when offering the job to an applicant, reveal the truth: “That nice sign out front you saw? The one offering $16 an hour? That isn’t real! You’ll actually be making $10 an hour! Congratulations!” Reports are rolling in from across the country indicating everyone from Staples to Petco to McDonald’s have apprised themselves of this delightful bait-and-switch! And thanks to the ingenuity of this simple trick, among other sundry deceptions, non-finance companies are now reporting the widest profit margins since 1950! America is back, baby!