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Volume 414

Your Christmas coolsh*t is here, and it’s bearing gifts of frankin-nonsense, myrrh-der, and comedy gold courtesy of some presidential NFTs. We’ve also got a flying festive fruitcake, ex-mas advertising, and a jingle bellend getting pelted with eggs. Merry Christmas. See you on the other side.

Top Trumps.

We’re arguably a little late to the party, as it was announced around this time last week that Donald Trump would be dropping a collection of NFTs that quite literally nobody asked for. Unfortunately, that news broke slightly too late in the day to make it into last week’s coolsh*t, but the advantage of having allowed this story to marinate for a week is that we now have the benefit of all the additional context that has emerged over the last 7 days. Since their release the NFTs have absolutely tanked, with their floor price now down 70%. Between that and the January 6th Committee declaring that he should be charged with crimes related to the assault on the US Capitol, it’s been a rather turbulent week for the Donald. But don’t let any of that distract you from just quite how gloriously absurd some of these images are. If I don’t wake up to find an NFT of Donald Trump dressed as a cowboy under the tree come Christmas morning, I’ll start a riot that’ll make January 6th look like a tea party – and I don’t mean the Boston one. Plus they’re dirt cheap now, so there really is no excuse.

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Lana Del Rey took to her Instagram to tell the world that she had produced only one billboard to promote her upcoming album – and that it just so happens to be in her ex’s hometown. Despite being an advocate for large-scale creative pettiness, I didn’t initially think this was coolsh*t-worthy. But then it dawned on me that it’s actually a marketing masterstroke. The now-infamous legend behind this solitary billboard is in itself so much more shareable than any traditional promo campaign ever could have been. If she had scattered billboards all across the United States in typical fashion, I imagine news of this album may never have reached me. But due to the spiteful manner in which she has elected to erect just one, all the dirt sheets and gossip rags right the world over are now covering the story – thus also promoting the album. Pure devious genius. Or perhaps I’m reading far too much into this and it was just to be petty. Either way, it worked.

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Cruise Control.

I’m a simple man; I see Tom Cruise, I click. Whether he’s jumping on Oprah’s sofa, shouting at crew members for flouting Covid guidelines, or just grinning maniacally in the manner that only a person secure in the knowledge that their thetan self will one day ascend from this earthly plane can, there’s something incredibly engrossing about watching someone who is unquestionably out of their swede, but also, ostensibly at least, rather pleasant. This week, he’s gone full Tom Cruise by cutting a promo for Top Gun: Maverick’s streaming release while jumping out of a plane. And he was also able to use the time to alert his adoring fans, as well as any keen voyeurs of the insane, that he’s currently filming another Mission Impossible – with that original tweet alone having now reached 10 million viewers. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you kill two birds with one stone – which may well also be some sort of Scientologist sacrificial ritual.

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Forever Young.

Having just spoken about a movie star who seemingly doesn’t age thanks to an industrial-grade skincare routine and the occasional morsel of adrenochrome, Disney’s new aging AI tool doesn’t seem quite so significant. However, it does indicate that we may have entered an era of cinema in which actors can play quite literally any age. This sort of technology isn’t entirely new, having first been used in a major picture in Scorsese’s ‘The Irishman’, allowing the Goodfellas gang to get back together while (sort of) resembling their younger selves. But the technology back then wasn’t exactly seamless; almost anyone who saw the film wondered afterwards why it looked as if De Niro was frozen having a stroke for at least 1 of the 3 hours. But as is the way with much innovation these days, the tools available have swiftly become far more sophisticated, with Disney’s FRAN program now allowing editors to bypass the previously painstaking process and be able to age or de-age actors with just the click of a button. Magic. Can’t wait for Tom Cruise to get wind of this and insist on starring in a remake of 12 Angry Men in which he plays all the angry men.

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Bellend of the Year.

Without vital additional context, ending this year’s coolsh*t by talking about Donald Trump and Vladmir Putin could be slightly misinterpreted – but hear us out. Residents of the unfortunately-named village of ‘Bell End’ near Birmingham were surprised this week by a life-size (actually, I’m not sure he’s that tall) golden statue of Vladmir Putin with a phallus phor a phorhead erected atop a plinth proclaiming him the ‘Bellend of the Year’, along with some complementary rotten eggs to pelt him with. After immediately being picked up by near enough every news media outlet in the country, the stunt was claimed by YouTuber Max Fosh (who you may remember also ran against, and beat, Lawrence Fox in the London mayoral election a couple years ago). And with Putin having been named the inaugural winner of the ‘Bellend of the Year’ award, you can get your hands on a small piece of history, as Fosh is producing miniature versions of the statue to be sold, with 100% of proceeds going to the Red Cross. Come on, this would look fabulous on the mantel next to little Timmy’s lacrosse trophy and grandma’s ashes.

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Season's Beatings.

Now, I’m no Conor McGregor – when I punch pensioners in pubs, I don’t get caught – but I would imagine that having no legs might disadvantage you somewhat in a fight. But that lack of a lower half didn’t stop Zion Clark from making his MMA debut this week, defeating Eugene Murray (who has legs) by a unanimous 30-27 decision after smothering him with some dominant wrestling. A cynic might say that there’s no chance Mr. Clark’s manager would have allowed him to take on any opponent that he wasn’t almost certain he could beat, but it’s still incredibly impressive. Besides, all boxers and MMA fighters make their debuts against tomato cans, so don’t let the fact that his opponent was basically just some random bloke dragged in off the street distract you from what a colossal achievement this is. Saying that, it was a bit of a lose-lose for the opponent – hardly one to brag about if he had won. But it turns out, as a former All-American wrestler, Zion has been beating up able-bodied people his whole life. He certainly takes that “No Excuses” tattoo on his back awfully seriously. This is a fine way to make you feel rather ridiculous for moaning endlessly for the past 6 weeks about the tortures of tendonitis.

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