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Volume 305

Mo’ coolsh*ts, less problems. This week, we’re bringing you a Notorious Pepsi banger, arse art, and a very nice reason to go to Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan is Very Nice.

The New Borat film came out last week, which, amongst other things, put Kazakhstan in the spotlight in a way that they’re not really accustomed to. The Kazakh tourism board spotted an opportunity here, and have decided to embrace Borat’s catchphrase of ‘Very Nice!” as their official new slogan. The head of the tourism board claims that these two words encapsulate the enormous potential of their great nation in a ‘short, memorable way’. I mean, I suppose – but you have to wonder whether they’ve actually ever watched Borat? I haven’t seen it for a while, but I don’t remember Kazakhstan being painted in the most glorious light. Although they did decide to leave out all the incest, homophobia and anti-Semitism from the ads, and replaced them with tourists gleefully guzzling fermented horse milk – which I think is almost definitely a step up. And, to be fair, they do actually make Kazakhstan look pretty nice. Plus you’ve got to respect them for steering into the skid. That’s it, I’m booking the next flight to Astana. Very nice.

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Sweeping the Market.

As a massive Harry Potter fan and an avid unicyclist, I couldn’t believe my luck when I saw this. Brazilian designer Alessandro Russo Silveira is on the verge of making my dreams come true by combining my two greatest passions, and now all he needs is your money. So consider this a sales pitch. Do you often find that your mode of transportation isn’t quite magical enough? Then you need the… Real Flying Broom. Christ, he really put his thinking cap on to come up with the name. Should have gone with Broom-Broom Sticks. But I digress – the broomstick is made from carbon steel with electrostatic painting and is fitted with a saddle to prevent you getting sore while you soar. This magical contraption is then planted atop an electric unicycle, so all you have to do is lean forward on your broomstick and you’re off. Silveira and his wizard pals are currently looking for financial backing via a Kickstarter campaign – so what are you waiting for? Invest now, you filthy muggle.

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Arts Banger.

At the start of lockdown, way back in March, you might remember receiving a letter from Boris Johnson encouraging all of us to stay at home. Jonny Banger, founder of legendary bootlegger fashion brand Sports Banger, used this as an opportunity to let bored kids stuck at home flex their artistic muscle, challenging anyone under 16 to use the letter to design a poster. 7 months later, he’s now showcasing some of the best entries in an exhibition entitled ‘The Covid Letters: A Vital Update’ that will run at The Foundling Museum until January 2021. If you have a particular urge to see Donald Trump dressed in lacey lingerie – then first, seek professional help – but also, this may well be the exhibition for you. Other stand out submissions include Boris as a carrot, Trump and Johnson preparing to engage in what can only be described as Transatlantic love-making, and last but certainly not least, what appears to be the result of a young man who decided to forgo his troos, sit in some blue paint, and introduce Boris’ letter to the dark side of the moon.

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Notorious P.E.P.S.I.

Brands really roll the dice when it comes to choosing celebrities to endorse their products. And it doesn’t always go well. For every George Clooney sipping Nespresso, you also have a Blackburn Rovers 1st XI tucking into some delicious Venky’s chicken. Actually, I refuse to say a bad word about that advert, because I do genuinely think it’s brilliant. But you take my point, some collaborations feel a little bit forced. At the very pinnacle of endorsements though, you have this: The Notorious B.I.G. freestyling about how much he loves Pepsi. There’s probably a joke to be made there about how Biggie was the Pepsi to Tupac’s Coca-Cola, but I’m not going to make it. Pepsi, Cey Adams and DJ Enuff have just released a remaster of Biggie’s on-air freestyle from 1997 and animated it into this video to celebrate his long-overdue induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. And it’s an absolute banger. It’s not quite David Dunn and Grant Hanley tucking into spicy drumsticks, but it’s still pretty good.

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I come from a town where there wasn’t a great deal to do growing up. Consequently, a mainstay of my adolescence involved regularly sitting in McDonald’s for hours on end, usually to the utter horror of the people who worked there. And I’m sure lots of people can relate to that immeasurable feeling of elation you get when you roll out of a club steaming drunk and see those glorious golden arches ahead, to which you then fly towards like an arrow quivering with sun-intoxicated rapture. So McDonald’s has held a special place in my heart through various points of my life. The one constant throughout though: the ice cream machine is always pissing broken. This was always just one of life’s inevitable disappointments. Until now. After being let down one too many times, 24-year-old Rashiq Zahid invented an algorithm that that can tell you exactly which machines are and aren’t working, by reverse engineering Mcdonald’s’ internal API and placing orders at every restaurant in the US. Which I don’t entirely understand, but Zahid summed it up best himself with the following statement: “just call me your ice cream king.” Yes, Sire – long live the king.

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Realsh*t: D2C Special.

Is the high street dead? Did Covid kill it, or just finish it off? With shopping habits abruptly forced to change during the months of lockdown, are they ever likely to go back to ‘normal’?

We asked our SELFHOOD network how their relationships with D2C brands have changed over the last year, and where they think the future of retail is heading.

Real People, Real Time… Realsh*t.

Go To Selfhood Page.