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Volume 358

Why can’t we all just get along? In this week’s coolsh*t, we’ve got a war of words in the war of the worlds, pool-playing pooches, and some McMistakes. Plus we’ll give you an update on the latest blockchain beef.

Can You Feel It?

Where are we at on the Metaverse? Is it cool? Innovative? Or just kind of creepy? And if we think the latter, is that just because it’s being sold to us by an unblinking alien who desperately bangs on about wakeboarding and Sweet Baby Ray’s in a futile attempt to appear human? Whatever you may happen to think, it’s hard to not find it at least a little bit interesting. Last week we learned that Justin Bieber will be strapping on a Meta suit to perform a concert as an avatar, but if you’re not a screaming 13-year-old girl, this is far more interesting: Haptic Gloves that will allow you to actually ‘feel’ objects in the Metaverse. And if you’re wondering how you can feel something that isn’t really there – join the club. Not a clue. But we leave the details to the pointy-heads in lab coats. You can tell they’re proper nerds by the fact that they’ve attempted to sell it by saying: “Imagine working on a virtual 3D puzzle with a friend’s realistic 3D avatar”. A puzzle? Something nobody likes to do in real life? Actually, that is pretty cool, to be fair. Uh oh, is this how they get you? Am I Meta now?

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We don’t like to pick sides. Or at least we like to give everyone a fair shake. We’ve just reluctantly extolled the virtues of the Metaverse, and now we’re going to celebrate this Icelandic bunch of trolls absolutely tearing it a new one. Introducing the Icelandverse – the Icelandic Tourist Board’s latest pitch to lure prospective holidaymakers. And it all hinges on, get this, the idea that you could actually physically go somewhere in real life and, you know, touch things, and stuff. The film reveals the country’s completely immersive “open world environment”, where everything feels real, because it is real. They even dressed up the widest-eyed bloke they could find in the typical Zuckerberg get up, complete with the high-and-tight ‘Zuck-cut’, awkward fidgeting, and the smile that only a man with $125billion can hold all day. Done him dirty. All that ice is going to melt with burns this hot.

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Wacky Maccies.

A new phenomenon has been emerging over the last few weeks as customers have decided to band together in support groups to share their tales of woe at various eating establishments. ‘Wetherspoons Paltry Chip Count’ was one of the first, in which group members compare both the quality and quantity of the chips on their orders. Might sound a bit daft, but that group now has over 200,000 members. Personally, I shan’t be joining any such defamatory group, as I resent the insinuation that Wetherspoons food is anything other than outstanding. Especially if you’re in one of the posh Spoons’ with a pizza oven – if you know you know. A similar group has just sprung up, and they’ve got McDonalds in their crosshairs. IMcSegnet documents some of the most hilariously misaligned, misguided and straight-up messed up meals from Maccies. And considering McDonald’s’ are generally staffed by surly teenagers on minimum wage, there’s an awful lot of fodder. Here are a couple examples, but go have a scroll on the Instagram feed if you want to feel a mixture of repulsed and hungry. In fairness, I reckon I’d still absolutely demolish most of these in a sitting after a heavy night.

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Fleshed Out.

What are the defining features of artistic expression, in its most elemental form? One perhaps obvious suggestion: beauty. Now, they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but these particular works of art are enough to make you feel compelled to pour acid into that very eye with which you are beholding. This is the work of Matteo Ingrao, who is an artist of the uncomfortable, attempting to create fleshy, freaky works that induce dizziness, disgust, and discomfort. And I hope you’ll join me in commending his efforts, as I think he’s doing that pretty bloody well. It’s hard to un-see a tongue covered in teeth. But as truly nightmarish as these are, there’s something strangely captivating about them. No? Anyone? Just me? You won’t see these in the Tate any time soon.

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Paws Off.

The last couple coolsh*ts have included a story relating to Christmas, because – and I won’t say this again – it’s November now, so it might as well be Christmas, and I don’t want to hear any nonsense about starting the countdown too early. If it was up to me Chris Rea would start driving home for Christmas from about March. However, this week we’re going to mix things up by being even more premature, anticipating the new year. But I think we can get away with this because, well, puppies init. Precious ones, at that. Precious puppets pretending to partake in people pastimes. Each year, Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek creates a calendar featuring animals finding themselves in some unlikely situations. We’ve had llamas, guinea pigs, cats, and this year he’s gone for dogs. I’m not sure what kind of twisted mind decides to do an animal-themed calendar and goes for llamas before dogs – that man must like a challenge. Although he has called it ‘Doggystyle’. That’s crass, Dan – you’re better than that.

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Right-Click Rebellion.

It’s damn near impossible to spit at the moment without hitting a story about NFTs. And that’s partly because the people who are in on this blockchain bonanza love nothing more than to talk endlessly about how great it is, how clever they are, and why it’s the future. We get it, you’re better than us – now bore off. However, Nicodotgay has fired shots back at the blockchain boys by immortalizing the so-called ‘right-clicker mentality’ in a mosaic made up of 150,000 NFTs. The ‘Lazy Lions’ NFTs, to be precise. I don’t want to patronise you, but to catch you up on a couple bits of info that make sense of this: the ‘right-clickers’ are the anti-NFT-ers who undermine the value of the digital artworks by just simply saving images with a right click. Those on the inside think this is moronic, for the same reasons that going to the Louvre and taking a picture of the Mona Lisa doesn’t mean you own it. It’s pretty intense stuff. We thought 21st Century wars would be waged over oil, money, land, power, and data. But no, there’s a full-on culture war raging over who does or doesn’t own a picture of a digital lion with a fag in his mouth. The world has definitely got a bit weird.

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