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Volume 279

ET didn’t go home. In this week’s coolsh*t, James brings you confirmation that Aliens walk among us, memories of a pre-pandemic social world, and a celebration of one of the strangest athletes of all time.

The Great British Bookcase Off.

You can tell a lot about a person by their shoes. But you can tell an awful lot more by their bookcase. At long last somebody has muted the news and focussed on what is truly important – the bookcases behind people that they choose to present to the world in video calls, and what that choice says about them as a person. The Twitter page ‘Bookcase Credibility’ was set up to review and compare bookcases, and the reviews are thoughtful, provocative, and – hell, I’ll say it – poetic. The Brian Cox one is a particular highlight. Now that I spend half my life on Zoom, this naturally made me wonder what my background says about me. Well, if you look behind me you’ll see no books, but you will see: an Everton calendar, a framed needlepoint my Nan made, and a load of football trophies (pretty much all just for participation) perched atop a decaying wardrobe. Maybe it’s time to redecorate.

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Pop Punk Vs Aliens.

The Pentagon have finally acquiesced under pressure from the Blink 182 guitarist to declassify their secret videos of UFOs. As I typed that last sentence, I couldn’t help but think to myself: 2020 has definitely gone a bit weird. If, like me, you’re a tinfoil hat-wearing Alex Jones superfan who has been subscribed to the Joe Rogan Experience for several years now, you’ll know that these videos aren’t anything new – they’ve actually been in circulation since 2007. But what is new is that this is the first time The Pentagon have confirmed that the footage is indeed real and that it was captured by the US Navy. They also seem to have discovered the Thesaurus app, as a ‘UFO’ is now apparently known as an ‘Unexplained Aerial Phenomena’ – ah, that’s much clearer, thanks. Ordinarily this would be a pretty big deal to people, but with everything else going on in the world, nobody really cares that the US Government are posting previously discredited footage of Glemflarb and his Martian mates flying about in their spaceship. *Adjusts tinfoil hat* How fortuitous.

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Are You Still Reading?

The recent It’s Nice That weekly creative briefs have, aptly, focussed on taking something sh*tty and putting a humorous spin on it. This week, Lily Kong issued the challenge, “Create an illustration of an unfortunate event in daily life. But make it funny”, and these are the top 5 submissions. Nothing against the other 4, but it was Steven Fritters’ entry that really struck a chord with me. There is nothing more disheartening and upsetting than getting that condescending ‘Are you still watching?’ message pop up from Netflix while mid-binge. Yes, yes I am still watching – and unfortunately I have no carrots to feed that high horse of yours, Netflix. Maybe I’m overly sensitive, but if you read between the lines, what this is really saying is, “It’s been 5 hours you lazy git, do you really have nothing better to do?”. Actually, they probably have a point. 

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Dennis Weirdman.

This last week, I’ve been smashing through that new docuseries on Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. But being little more than a dwarf myself, I’ve never been that interested in basketball. But I am interested in nutters though. And my main takeaway from ‘The Last Dance’ is that Dennis Rodman was, and very much still is, a bona fide lunatic. And I’m all for it. Imagine my delight therefore when I stumbled across this article celebrating some of his greatest/weirdest moments over the years. To name a few: coming out as bisexual and marrying himself, using his size 17 feet to boot a courtside photographer for no apparent reason, and partnering Hulk Hogan in a tag-team wrestling match. And the bizarre cherry on this sundae of insanity: he’s best mates with Kim Jong-un. You couldn’t make this up. Although it’s a shame that it’s not with Kim himself, the picture of this 6ft9 goliath handing a copy of Donald Trump’s ‘The Art of the Deal’ to the North Korean Sports Minister is both baffling and brilliant – and it is the exact type of diplomacy the world needs. I tip my tinfoil hat to you, Ambassador Rodman – keep up the great work.

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Pre-pandemic Photography.

A lot of sensible people have developed a condition that has come to be known as ‘corona goggles’ in recent weeks. This is essentially when just the mere sight of 2 people standing in close proximity to each other is frightening enough to give you a hernia. This collection of photos definitely produced that visceral reaction of panic in me – but don’t worry, because they were all taken at least a few months ago. With the ongoing dearth of human photography that wasn’t captured through a window, Dazed asked their community of photographers to submit the moments of freedom that they miss most from a pre-pandemic world. Not much needs to be said about them, but it’s funny how these images of clubbing, people skating together, people playing basketball etc. would have held very little significance when they were taken, but now act as a poignant throwback to what feels like a distant past world. But it’s not all doom and gloom: that past isn’t that distant and nor will the future be. So in the meantime, buckle up and watch another 5 hours of Netflix.

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realsh*t: Atlanta special - EP 5

Is your government making the right calls? Is your community? In this week’s realsh*t, we went to the other side of the pond for an Atlanta Special, to ask some of the stateside contingent of our SELFHOOD network what it’s like when leaders want to re-open the community for all the wrong reasons. If you missed it, check it out here.

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