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Volume 306

It’s been a long, weird week. Take a break from the election overload and the lockdown 2.0 doldrums with some coolsh*t. This week, we’ve got air-bound udders, eau de 2020, and Kanye West doing some Kanye West sh*t.

Smells Like 2020.

2020 has been a bit of a sh*tter, that much is clear. But over the last few weeks I’ve grown dead sick of hearing everyone constantly banging on about how bad it’s been. With fewer people going outside, it seems that complaining about 2020 has seamlessly slotted in to replace complaining about the weather as our go-to, quintessentially British, platitudinous conversational gambit. Well, I’ve had enough. Sure, it hasn’t been the best year, but think about some of the positives. Actually, I don’t want to just think about those positives; I want to smell them. As luck would have it, Flaming Crap are commemorating this year with a new candle that they feel encapsulates 2020. With aromas of banana bread, hand sanitizer, DIY, and wood musks, the limited edition ‘2020 Scent’ could provide a nostalgic glow to your traditional Christmas séance this year. But that’s not all. As a nod to 2020’s favourite tiger fanatic, Joe Exotic, there’s also some budget aftershave mixed in. I’m not sure that aftershave would have been my first guess for the scent of a meth-head who spends all day in the hot sun wrestling with tigers before retiring to his bedroom with his 3 husbands, but I guess perhaps that particular smell wouldn’t be quite so pleasant when you’re having a relaxing bubble bath.

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Das Doppelgänger Destinations.

As I reluctantly booked off my final remaining days of holiday leave yesterday, I’ve come to accept that a foreign trip probably isn’t on the cards this year. But it has been the year of the staycation. I myself have so far booked time off to go to: a Premier Inn in Sevenoaks, a field in Sussex, and a lake about 20 minutes from my house. God this year really has been shit. But with that said, as many people have come to realise, local holidays aren’t actually that bad. Just so long as you can get blind drunk and make a massive fire. German Rail have sought to show Germans that there are perfectly good holidays on their doorsteps with their new campaign, ‘Around the World in Germany’. They developed a lookalike algorithm to identify German locations that resembled iconic international landmarks, and displayed them side by side along with a price comparison. And to be fair, some of them are pretty spot on. Which is great news for Germans, but is kind of rubbing salt in the wounds for everyone else. My main take away from this was “all these places look nice, I’d love to go to some of them, but I can’t…”. Damn you, Deutsche Bahn – you’re the Wurst.

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Semi-Skied Milk.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a 3,500 cubic-meter udder-shaped hot air balloon. This week, Viennese artist Barbara Anna Husar took to the skies in her aptly named ‘FLYING UDDER’ social sculpture. And no, it’s not just a balloon with udders, you philistine. It’s meant to represent the changing values of the 21st Century. The udder is a metaphor for nourishment, feminism, sustainability and balance. Durh, obviously. Someone needs to tell Oatly. Sorry, that wasn’t a very good joke, but I couldn’t think of any udders. Too cheesy? Ok, I’m done now – I won’t milk it. Ooo, how dairy? I can do this all day.

Blinking Mental.

There was a story in last week’s coolsh*t that was mildly critical of the impact that the plush toys manufactured for Disney films have on the environment. Clearly Mickey and co haven’t taken it too well, as this week they’ve responded by inventing a terrifying, skinless, life-like robot who looks hell-bent on either finding Sarah Connor or destroying the world, whichever comes first. The model is a pre-cursor to a major upgrade on Disney’s current fleet of animatronic figures, which have been employed extensively in Disney’s theme parks for many years. Ah yeah, because nothing says ‘happiest place on Earth’ and brings joy to children like a skinless, blinking, emotionless freak staring straight into your soul. I hear they have good pretzels though.

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Gone Off The Whales.

When I first glanced at this story I thought it was some kind of cool outdoor sculpture. And as a testament to how impressive it looks, even then I thought it was coolsh*t worthy – but now that it turns out it’s actually real, it’s even better. I do now feel slightly embarrassed that I looked at it and went “oh yeah that is good art” as if I have a clue what I’m talking about. And I’m still not convinced this isn’t a hoax, so there’s a strong chance that I’ll be embarrassed again at some point. But for the sake of simplicity, let’s just accept it as true. A train in Rotterdam was saved from a surely fatal crash when it smashed through the station barriers but was prevented from plummeting 30ft to the ground thanks to landing perfectly on a sculpture of a whale’s tail. Can you understand my scepticism now? But no, apparently this is completely real and the driver somehow managed to escape unharmed. You couldn’t make this up. To add to what was already a bizarre event, the sculpture, which has stood for 20 years, is called ‘Saved by the Whale’s Tail’. Hmm, something definitely smells fishy to me.

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It was Halloween last week, so let’s finish this week’s coolsh*t with something truly terrifying. What gifts are you hoping for this Christmas? Some books? A new pairs of slippers, perhaps? Maybe even a festive fromage hamper? All good choices. How about a realistic hologram of a dead loved one? What do you mean “that’s weird”? Grow up. Well anyway, that’s exactly what Kim Kardashian-West received from Kanye for her 40th birthday last week. At the crescendo of a party that probably didn’t cost very much at all, Robert Kardashian appeared as if from thin air and had a little sing and dance before pronouncing how proud he was(/is?) of his daughter. I genuinely can’t decide if this is heart-warming or bone-chilling. The highlight of the speech was Kanye using this as an opportunity to stroke his own ego by getting his wife’s dead father to congratulate her on marrying the “most, most, most, most, most genius man in the whole world.” Tight move. It’s just a terrible shame that only 60,761 people agreed with that statement when it counted on Tuesday. Don’t worry though, we’ll get ‘em next time #KANYE2024.

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