Jason Arias
The Baffler,  April 19, 2019

Fresh Hell

The best dispatches from our grim new reality

Jason Arias
w
o
r
d

f
a
c
t
o
r
y

2019: A Space Billboard Odyssey

Last weekend, it was reported that PepsiCo would be using an “orbital billboard” to transmit a message of righteous support for the world’s most unfairly maligned group—Russian Gamers—from the celestial heights of the night sky . . . in a bid to sell them an energy drink called “Adrenaline Rush.” Alas, the caffeine-and-monopotassium-phosphate-fueled gamer uprising will have to wait; this “exploratory test” of the advertising technology was apparently a “one-time event.”

 

Keep Your Shirt On

Worried that your preppy lifestyle isn’t doing enough to stem the tide of climate apocalypse inching inexorably toward us in the face of congressional intransigence and the fossil fuel industry’s death drive? Worry no longer! Ralph Lauren has just announced a new version of its “iconic” polo shirt made entirely from plastic bottles—because nothing goes with a pair of pressed khakis like the serene knowledge that you’re making a difference.

 

Money to Burn

This week, former humanities majors the world over who studied abroad in Paris that one time posted in horror as the Notre Dame cathedral burned for several hours, while Islamophobic conspiracy theorists rushed to proclaim it an act of terrorism, aided and abetted by the malignant negligence of platforms like YouTube. Lucky for histrionic tweeters and deluded racists alike, a handful of France’s preeminent billionaires have already pitched in 650 million euros for the cathedral’s restoration, a move sure to please the thousands of Yellow Vests continuing to protest the country’s brutal austerity regime.

 

Pics or It Didn’t Happen

A subset of millennial thrill-seekers are increasingly dying as they lived: doing it for the ‘gram. From the mountains of Taiwan to the Grand Canyon, a new report finds that 259 people died between 2011 and 2017 in pursuit of the perfect selfie—or the possibility of a lucrative #sponcon deal.

 

Maybe Every Pig That Dies Someday Comes Back

A Yale University Research team has spent the last six years experimenting on hundreds of pig heads to see if might be possible to revive a dead brain enough to study its cells in action. Bad news for the doomsday preppers who’ve stockpiled with only a humanoid zombie apocalypse in mind: it worked! But take comfort for the time being—they thoughtfully made sure to pump the pigs full of immobilizing anti-seizure drugs first.

You Might Also Enjoy

Stammer Time

Barry Yeoman

The lights dimmed in the hotel ballroom. Several hundred people, including myself, waited for the surprise announcement.

salvos

Baffler Newsletter

New email subscribers receive a free copy of our current issue.

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.