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Volume 355

You’ve got to be in it to win it. But how lucky are you feeling? In this week’s coolsh*t, we’ve got exclusive offers for Burger King blouses, ersatz artwork, and an infamous one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album. May the odds be ever in your favour.

Lucky Dip.

Do you feel lucky, punk? Fun fact: Clint Eastwood never actually said that. And Darth Vader doesn’t say, “Luke, I am your father”. But why let the truth get in the way of a good quote? Google The Mandela Effect if you’ve got nothing better to do. Pedantic tangents aside, the sentiment of that first misquotation is certainly applicable to this story, as MSCHF are back with another stunt, selling 1,000 original Andy Warhol’s for $250 a pop. But there’s a twist: 999 of them are fake. Now aptly operating under the moniker ‘Museum of Forgeries’, you may remember MSCHF from their brief run-in with the law when they co-created Lil Nas X’s controversial blood-infused Satan sneakers. In the latest illustration of their impish sense of fun, the New York-based studio purchased an original 1954 Warhol pen drawing and used digital technology and a robotic arm to recreate his strokes, plus a technique that involves heat, light and humidity to artificially age the knock-offs. But surely that won’t work, right? Wrong. They’ve already flipped the full 1000 for 12x profit. It’s a bit like Robin Hood – except robbing from the rich, robbing from the poor, robbing from anyone in between, and lining their own pockets. Respect.

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Close Shave.

I’ve potentially got mixed feelings about this. Kai, a Japanese knife manufacturer, has announced the release of the world’s first paper razor. Ok, so far so inoffensive. The product was created with eco-friendliness in mind, reducing the use of plastic compared with regular razors by 98%. That also sounds alright. So, what’s my problem? Well, the main drawback with paper replacements is that, to put it bluntly, they don’t shitting work. Or at least they work for about 30 seconds before resembling the structural integrity of the bottom of a chip-bearing, vinegar-soaked bit of old newspaper. I won’t name names, but we know who I’m talking about. However, Kai proclaim to be different. They’ve created the Paper Razor with milk cartoons in mind, referencing their water-resistant characteristics, allowing the razor to be used even if wet or under hot water (up to 40ºC). Actually, now you mention it, that sounds like a really good, obvious idea. Can someone let Maccies know so we can enjoy a milkshake without being in a race against straw-based disintegration. Ooh, turns out I did name names. Shots fired.

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Wu-Tang Forever.

If you’re unfamiliar with this story, allow me to give you a very brief run-through. In the early 2010s, the Wu-Tang Clan recorded a secret album entitled ‘Once Upon a Time in Shaolin’. It included features from the entire Clan, some Barcelona players, the Red Woman from Game of Thrones, and Cher. The album was released in 2014 – except it kind of wasn’t. Only one double-sided CD was made and was then stored in a secured vault at the Royal Mansour Hotel in Marrakech, before being auctioned in 2015 and bought for $2million by none other than Martin Shkreli – AKA ‘Pharma Bro’, AKA one of the original internet Bond villains. Shkreli refused to play the album publicly and constantly threatened to destroy it, right up until his arrest for fraud in 2018 when the album was seized by the US government. Now, a consortium of crypto-nerds has just purchased the album for $4million – solid profit for the government, by the way. And they even claim to plan to release the album more publicly – at least to the extent that they’re legally able to. This sounds like good news, but the bloke in charge of the operation unironically uses the self-appointed title of ‘Chief Pleasing Officer’, so I’m a bit worried Shkreli’s about to look like the lesser of two evils.

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Marbs to Mars.

Generally, sincere talk of holidaying on neighbouring planets has mainly been left to Elon Musk and people on internet forums. But now, an official US government agency (with an admittedly slightly dodgy origin story) has decided to join in on the fun. NASA just released this video imagining the future potential of human space travel. And they’ve concerned themselves with much more important issues than, say, discovering extra-terrestrial life or tapping into the secrets of the universe – pfft, boring – instead, they’re imagining which planets might replace Benidorm as your go-to family holiday destination. And doesn’t it look marvellous? 10 seconds in, there’s a kid pointing in awe to a rocket taking off from Mars and saying, “Dad, look!”. Which, in fairness, sounds a lot more wholesome than that same child pointing at a couple sunburnt, middle-aged blokes and saying, “Dad, why are those men fighting over a kebab?”.

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Drip for Dripping.

Nothing will ruin your day quite like getting food on a fresh white tee. Well, actually, loads of things would be way worse than that – but it’s still pretty annoying. You’re left thinking, “that really didn’t need to happen”, and to compile matters, you have to spend the rest of the day literally wearing the mark of your eternal shame, condemned to the judgement of others just because you couldn’t successfully wrangle 100% of your Bolognese into your mouth. Burger King have partnered with fashion designer Katie Eary to create a stylish solution. Because it doesn’t matter if you spill sauce on a shirt if that shirt already looks like it’s covered in sauce. That’s big brain thinking. Kind of like how all the carpets in Wetherspoons are supposedly chosen according to their ability to conceal vomit. BK are giving away 100 of the limited-edition shirts through their app, so get involved if you want to enjoy a stress-free whopper.

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the re-up: Activism.

SELFHOOD have been talking to their Collective about activism lately. Check out some of the top-line learnings in the latest edition of the re-up.

If you hadn’t heard, it’s cool to care these days. The Next Gen have said adios to the apathy of previous generations. Old-school counter-cultural mantras of “turn on, tune in, drop out” don’t carry the weight they used to. The Next Gen demand change, but they’re willing to engage with ‘the system’ to get it. A brand’s place in this sphere is tricky. And, if they get it wrong, potentially humiliating. However, those that are able to offer genuine support to the causes that the Next Gen care about are tapping into an incredibly deep-rooted, long-lasting support in return. So don’t be afraid. But just get it right.