These days, the words of the prophets are written in whimsical chalk on the hoardings of hipster latte-mongers: “The end is nigh. Coffee helps.” In the days running up to the inauguration of Donald Trump, I saw this sort of message everywhere, and as panic-signals go, it’s oddly palliative. The idea that the Western world might soon be a smoking crater or a stinking swamp does, in fact, make me a little more relaxed about the prospect of spending five dollars on a hot drink. Fuck it. The planet, as we keep telling each other, is on fire. Might as well have a nice latte while we wait for the flames to slobber up our ankles. When you consider that some desperate barista boiled the entire philosophy of post-Fordist public relations down to its acrid essence, it would be ungrateful not to. What have you got to lose? Five dollars and your pride, in the short term, but what will those be worth next year? Next week? Have you looked at the Dow Jones lately? Have you turned on the news? On second thoughts, best not—just drink your coffee and calm down. Look, they’ve drawn a little mushroom cloud in the milk foam. It’s quite beautiful, when you think about it.
The Slow Confiscation of Everything