The Week’s Most Appalling, Squalling, and Stonewalling Headlines
TRIGGERED BY SHAKESPEARE
England’s prestigious Cambridge University lost a little bit more of its luster by issuing a preemptive “trigger warning” to students of English literature who might make the mistake of reading Shakespeare and having an emotional meltdown as a result.
The specific caution was issued to undergrads prior to a lecture about Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus and The Comedy of Errors due to the fact that the discussion would include “potentially distressing topics” such as “discussions of sexual violence” and “sexual assault.”
Both plays are over 400 years old and were apparently written in an age when people weren’t nearly so touchy.
What’s next—a blanket ban on the works of Charles Dickens because his name includes the word “dick” and thus might frighten rape victims?
IS ONE FAMILY BEHIND AMERICA’S OPIOID CRISIS?
A new article in Esquire focuses on the publicity-averse Sackler family, who’ve raked in billions peddling the opioid OxyContin since unleashing it on a pain-addled—and now drug-addled—American public 21 years ago.
The Sackler dynasty has an estimated net worth of $14 billion, much of it thought to have been reaped from sales of “hillbilly heroin.” According to the article, the Sacklers were able to foist the drug upon the American public by citing dubious research from the 1980s—which was later disavowed by its author—claiming that long-term opioid abuse presented a less than 1% chance of addiction. They also have repeatedly claimed that since the drug is time-released, it presents scant temptation to addicts who desire an immediate rush. However, one merely needs to crush the pill and snort it to experience its effects in one quick blast.
Since OxyContin’s launch, an estimated 200,000 Americans “have died from overdoses of OxyContin and other prescription painkillers.”
OxyContin is far more expensive than street heroin and is thought to be a primary factor in a rise of heroin addiction and overdoses, particularly in rural America. One could make a case that nearly a quarter-million Americans have been “Sacklered” while the family dynasty rakes in cash while standing on their corpses.
FASHION TIPS FOR RIOTERS
The website Crimethinc—a flashy and well-designed guide to destroying property, whether public or private—recently published “The Femme’s Guide to Riot Fashion,” which in a glib, hip tone encourages women—and male “femmes”—on how to look “fabulous” while you’re causing mayhem in the streets and fighting the imaginary bugaboos of institutional racism and capitalist oppression:
With the current surge in political activism over the last year, femmes all over the world have been wondering: How can I participate in the revolution, and look hotter than a Molotov cocktail while doing it? Look no further: we’ve got you covered better than a balaclava!…There are several important considerations to keep in mind when assembling the perfect outfit for insurrection, including hair, makeup, mask, and which articles of black clothing will be both comfortable and fabulous…remember: always anti-fascist, never anti-fashion!
Next up: “How to Use Ramen Noodle Spice Packets As Makeup in County Jail.”
INSANE ARTISTS FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE
Contrary to expectations, the AIDS crisis hasn’t yet killed all of the world’s performance artists.
In an article titled “The Powerful Reason Why This Artist Has Been Saving His Urine For The Last 200 Days,” the Huffington Post spotlights a chick who thinks she’s a dude and calls herself “Cassils” on her powerfully stupid 200-day journey in collecting all her urine in protest on Donald Trump’s tranny-toilet ban. Even though she’s a girl, Cassils is a 2017 Guggenheim Fellow rather than a Guggenheim Lass because it’s important for insanely wealthy private foundations to reward mental illness. According to Cassils:
This was really re-inscribing an oppression. You know, first of all there’s the act of saving your piss and holding your piss really replicates the experience one feels when they’re cognizant of what their body needs to do to empty their bladder, be it in a public space or a private space and all of the anxiety that comes along with this….It seems insane that I have to make a cube of piss for people to get this idea.
You could make an Indian Ocean-sized “cube of piss,” and we still wouldn’t get the idea. But we agree that it’s insane.
A Slovenian artist with a face resembling boiled cabbage has been awarded top prize for “hybrid art” at the Prix Ars Electronica for breastfeeding a pug and fertilizing her egg with a dog cell.
According to the beast in question, whose name is Maja Smrekar, she decided to breastfeed a pug as a result of the “observation of zeitgeist through the so called thanatopolitical dimension of contemporary biopolitical practices.”
According to a statement by the jury who awarded the prize:
Exposing her body to hormone roller-coasters of false pregnancy and organizing the lab infrastructure to execute the complicated biotech protocol in order to create a poetic masterpiece evoking the challenges of posthumanistic dilemma. K-9_topology is a true hybrid artwork with a profound bio-political message and is certain to bring a lot of discussion to the audience from both the art and science sides.
Here’s what we will bring to the discussion: Bitch be cray-cray.
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