People get scammed every day. Don’t be one of them.

Courtesy of Flamankamp

I am 26 years old and I write for a living. Google knows this, and my targeted ads reflect it. They are forever recommending that I enlist my soul to massive content farms clearly hungry to suck me in, as if Google is some kind of twisted, unconscionable madame for scams of industry.

This is the most targeted ad I have ever received:

Remember your very first dumpster fire? First layoff? Ronald Reagan’s sixth consecutive term? Your very first bulletproof vest, and how nervous you were your First D̶a̶y̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶S̶c̶h̶o̶o̶l̶ Zoom Meetings Install? 2020’s going great. Things have always been this way.

There is absolutely no cause for alarm whatsoever (Image Credit: Axios)

It’s been a pretty uneventful year, 2020. Business as usual. Not much to report.

Things are looking great. Awesome, actually. Future prospects are looking excellent for humanity at large.

Very confident in great times to come, because this year has just been one delightful, easygoing thrill.

We are thriving like never before. One day, we will refer to these as the Good Old Days. Lines outside the store for soup, California burning, the nightly hum of police drones meandering in loops over your house. Some fireworks. Or were they regular explosions? You’ve run through flash grenades and swarms of rubber…

You guys have no idea what I’m going through right now: I am the molecule of COVID-19 that bravely chose to infect the president.

“Don’t be afraid of COVID ;)” — Me, tweeting from his account (Image Credit: Axios)

I got in a lot of trouble for this, you guys. It was a big risk. Everybody told me I shouldn’t do it. Hell, even I knew I shouldn’t do it.

When it comes to the battle of Coronaviri and our plight for world domination, taking out Donald Trump has absolutely no strategic benefit. The man helps us, a major ally. He even hosts superspreader events, forces you to go back to work at grungy 7–11s where we camp out all day, and frees us from the barrier of our enemy’s most successful tool, the mask.

Bad, but still better than the Republican Party

You know it’s bad when that’s my go-to.

Courtesy of Tease/Daily Beast

Welcome to Alice Minium, Incorporated. We know things are hard right now, but are you really satisfied with your car insurance? You’re already alone and we bought this ad space in advance, fuck it.

How to be funny when life is a buzzkill? Philosophers have pondered this since the earliest epochs of history, when life was mostly a buzzkill because of death, dying, tyrannical governments and stuff. Now it has actually been pretty sweet for a while, and we are just now realizing this. We crashed our Lamborghini and it’s actually not…

This Isn’t Satire I Swear to God She’ll Love It

(Republished from Weird Gift Guides that I somehow spend enough time online to justify as net product and write, but, seriously you guys? We should probably clock out.)

Courtesy of Philonomist

You already clicked on this article, so chances are likely that deep down you’re done with flowers and roses. You’re aching with a subliminal desire to give your mom a gift that matters, a gift as unique and special as she truly is to you.

Your mother is the most special woman in the world. But in our Muzaked landscape of fluorescent lights and mass-produced gift baskets assembled by metal hands that…

“We were quarantined on account of the Spanish Influenza and everyone is mad.” — Maurice, Telling It Like It Is Since 1918

(Courtesy of Sarah Rogers/Daily Beast)

From the 1918 Spanish flu to the polio pandemic, from Industrial London cholera outbreaks to Hong Kong’s isolation due to SARS — quarantine anxiety is not new. Since time immemorial, we’ve been faced with disease, and since time immemorial, we’ve been writing letters anyway.

Quarantine, self-isolation, and “lockdown” will drive you mad. Surviving this phenomenon is complicated, but it’s weirdly comforting to be reminded that your great-great-grandparents went through this too, hated it, and watched the world be ravaged by pandemics, all the while feeling a lot like you feel right now. …

Tl;dr: That’s for you to decide

(Courtesy of Axios Media)

The past four (god, is it four?) years in popular media have been defined by a tension between what is truth and what is untruth. It’s been written more than once (in fact, ad nauseam) that we live in a “post-truth” era. This has implications all its own (perhaps, most notably, as a reflection of how we process information in the age of digital media). …

“Cash if you die. Cash if you don’t.”

Image: NPR

I just want to sign up for a credit card. Just one. But my search for the least-terrible bank has become an educational exercise in honestly hilarious levels of corruption.

I hate the concept of credit cards (so, you’re rewarded for spending, and the whole point is to spend money you don’t have?), and I think they sound like a total capitalist scam. To be honest, they definitely are. But I am 26 years old, and I have been told repeatedly that I should probably be “building my credit.” Because I have zero credit right now. Not bad credit, just…

The Forgotten History of Kids and Tobacco Reform

Courtesy of Helen Green/Washington Post

On Tuesday, February 5, the Virginia House of Delegates passed legislation that could raise the minimum age to buy tobacco and vaping products from age 18 to 21. The bill, HB2748, would be the first change to legal smoking ages in 27 years. While the bill still awaits approval from Governor Northam, the 67–31 vote in favoring of raising the legal smoking age to 21 would have hugely impactful effects.

The law explicitly includes “tobacco product[s], nicotine vapor product[s], or alternative nicotine products[s],” with a clear emphasis to include vaporizers, e-liquids, and e-cigarette devices.

In addition to raising the legal…

And What It Tells Us About Cryptocurrency

Like everything cool, new technology is never real until it’s been ruined by capitalists.

Ridesharing. Electric scooters. Make-up. Literal kitchen knifes. You name it- if it’s remotely tied to dreams or power it has absolutely been exploited for profit by opportunistic scam artists who realize a product’s power over the human psyche is a way to make a quick buck. Cryptocurrency is no different.

Let’s go back. On January 17, 2018, millions of Americans watched sixty-year-old man Carlos Matos take to a Thailand stage and yell at them, really really loud. …

Alice Minium

May you live in interesting times.

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