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Volume 330

Grab a jacket, this week’s coolsh*t is going out out. We’re bringing you the return of post-Covid clubbing, tasty time-travelling, and the opportunity to turn your memes into money. Ker-ching.

Club Covid.

I don’t imagine I was the only one who was slightly sceptical when it was revealed that we would go from practically no social contact to nightclubs within just a few months. Maybe I’m an old cynic, but it was just hard to see how “get the hell away from me unless you’re wearing 17 masks” could become “I’ll have 3 jaegerbombs please mate” in such a short period of time. But lo and behold, that transition appears to be underway. And the scenes in Liverpool this week prove it. As part of a 2-day experiment, 3000 people attended ‘First Dance’ over the weekend in a maskless, non-distanced soiree that had just the faintest whiff of normality about it. It had it all: teenagers falling over from too much Echo Falls, young men looking shiftily at BBC cameras before conspicuously shuffling away, deafening music, and a few thousand sore heads the next day. Wow, is this really what we’ve been waiting to get back to? But it’s alright though, because it’s all in the name of science.

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Meme Moolah.

The currency of clout is evolving. In the past, if you happened to be lucky enough to be made into a meme, at worst you’d get rinsed by millions of people around the world, and at best you might get a 10-minute spot on The Ellen Show or Good Morning Britain (like those lads singing the sea shanty). Now, you can make a fortune. Zoe Roth, the girl from the original ‘disaster girl’ meme, is now 21 years old and has just reclaimed her famous face by selling it as an NFT to the tune of half a million bucks. Well, technically she sold it for 180 Ether – whatever the hell that is – but apparently that equates to about $500k. Either way, she’s laughing all the way to the bank. This does set an interesting precedent for our digital society though. We’d already reached a point where people will do basically anything for attention on the internet – just imagine what it’s gonna be like now you can get seriously paid for it. That Damn Daniel kid must be salivating right now.

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Lockdown Luxury Items.

After a year of rolling lockdowns, many people retained some modicum on sanity by virtue of life’s small comforts and pleasures – whether that be a good book or a pint of wine. Curtis Jehsta’s ‘Lifeline’ photographic series was intended to give a glimpse into what unified our collective experience, but also of those minor details that made each experience somewhat unique. So, naturally, Curtis rocked up on the doorsteps of the Great British public and asked to photograph them clutching their primary Covid creature comforts. The results are probably roughly in line with what you’d expect, but they do also highlight the different approaches taken by different people. For some, they spent the time improving themselves through fitness or honing a skill. Whereas for others a thick quilt and an exorbitantly large glass of beer clearly did the trick. I’m not judging either way. Although I bet those kids got sick of their dad walking around in his swimming trunks the whole time, no matter how comfortable they made him.

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Slimmer Wastelines.

If there’s one thing that I know young people are absolutely mental about, it’s compost. They can’t enough of the stuff. But it takes so long to make. And you usually need some sort of compost heap to store it in – something most Dalston natives in their early-twenties might not be fortunate enough to have. Pela, the company responsible for creating the world’s first compostable phone case, airpods case and fully biodegradable sunglasses, have stepped it up with their latest innovation. Introducing Lomi  a kitchen appliance that turns food scraps, boxes, cloth and bioplastics into dirt in just 24 hours. And it’ll do it right on your kitchen counter, next to the kettle. Because there’s nothing like waking up to the smell of freshly-ground coffee and recently biodegraded banana peels. Lomi claims to allow you to cut your carbon footprint in half by making odour-neutralised, mess-free compost that you can use to ‘feed your plants, toss in your garden, send to the green bin, put in the garbage, or hurl in the eyes of a climate change denier’. Waste not, want not.

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Posh Nosh.

There’s no better evidence of the extent of human evolution than the levels to which we now ponce around with our food. Considering that in the grand scheme of human existence we are a mere blip in breaking the convention of eating simply for survival, it’s impressive how far we’ve come so quickly. But this new restaurant in Valencia is really something else. Inspired by prohibition-era speakeasies, Voltereta Bienvenido a Manhattan is camouflaged as a record and book shop. Upon entry, diners are swept up in a fully immersive experience in which they are the ‘main character’ and can modify their own unique story in a three-dimensional time warp. Blimey, I only wanted a sandwich as well. Plus I’m not sure all those flashing lights would help you hold your hor d’oeuvres down. Tell you what, maybe it’s best to just stick to the Wetherspoons 3 dishes for £10 ‘tasting menu’. Now that is decadence.

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Culture for Profit.

What is culture? And what does it really mean? Well, it means an awful lot. Particularly to Next Gen audiences. Culture is how we differentiate ourselves, how we signal ourselves to others, and how others can attempt to define us. It’s identity.

A brand’s place in culture isn’t always clear. And opportunistic attention grabs can be spotted a mile off. We’ve taken a look at how the smart brands can profit from culture and tap into the huge potential rewards waiting for those who can capture the imagination of these Next Gen audiences.

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