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Volume 459

Climate, culture, and cult cinema. This week’s coolsh*t is bringing you a very dirty protest, some perverse verse, and a Universal union the world has been crying out for. All that, plus a tribute to our future robot overlords. All glory to dog.

Just Stop Soiling.

The progression from ‘global warming’ to ‘climate change’ to ‘climate crisis’ offers an interesting case study in the power of branding. The subject matter has remained essentially the same throughout that metamorphosis, and yet the stakes have been palpably raised purely by changing a few words. You’ve even now started hearing ‘climate catastrophe’ from time to time. What’s next? What’s worse than that? Climate apocalypse? Climate Mrs Brown’s Boys? We’re running out of road here, people.

But where there is crisis, there also lies content. And it is those divisive, emotionally-charged crises that often offer the most fertile creative territory. Channel 4 have exploited that territory to promote their ‘Change Climate’ season of programming… with skid marks. Carbon skid marks, to be precise. Lots of them, too. Proper big ones. On old men’s underpants. That’s certainly one way to make your point. Beats smashing up a painting, to be fair.

I’m sorry. I’ll start recycling. I’ll do whatever you say. Just please put your trousers back on.

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Fission For Compliments.

As we insouciantly sprauchle our way towards the nadir of society’s gradual deliquescence into an amorphous, post-truth, Chthonian morass, it becomes harder and harder to tell if memes are imitating life or if life has begun to imitate memes. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même. Confused? Alas, aren’t we all, friend.

Following what felt like an eternity of promo over the summer as the full forces of the military-industrial marketing departments of Universal and Warner Bros were thrown behind Oppenheimer and Barbie respectively, it was announced this week that a ‘Barbenheimer’ film is officially in the works.

The project has been taken on by famed B-movie filmmaker Charles Band, who has given a brief synopsis of the proposed picture. Barbenheimer will follow the story of scientist doll Dr. Bambi J. Barbenheimer, who leaves her perfect Dolltopia world for the real world. Upon discovering how dolls are inhumanely treated by children, Dr. Barbenheimer is overcome with a vengeful fury and decides to build a nuclear bomb to wipe them out.

Instant classic. Now I am become death, destroyer of cinema.

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Poetry in Motion.

T.S. Eliot once wrote:
Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.

Tim Key once wrote:
I bunged in a clove of garlic too,
I also chopped a fresh red chilli in.
I had a boner now.

Both beautiful in their own right. But Eliot never had the good sense to get any of his poems turned into Claymation. That’s 1-0 Key. Actually, it’s 3-0, because Bristol-based animator William Child has created animations for not one, not two, but three of Key’s poems. And each is more glorious than the last. As long as you think an elderly woman dunking her biccy into a piping hot mug of lamb mince is glorious. I sure know I do.

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AI Bully.

You probably know Spot by now. He’s Boston Dynamics’ most famous/infamous product, and that’s quite an achievement considering their entire modus operandi as a business is seemingly to invent tech that can make a mere caveman like you or I feel as if we’ve woken up in iRobot. But just as we’d become used to the idea of robot dogs strutting about the gaff, they’ve only gone and taught the thing to bloody speak. And he isn’t half posh.

Thanks to ChatGPT, Spot can now talk in multiple accents and personalities, including the ‘Fancy Butler’ persona seen in the video. Because apparently that’s still how Americans think most British people sound, when in reality it’s a lot more of this. Less James Blunt more rolling blunts. That bloke was genuinely a primary school teacher as well. MC Devvo that is, not James Blunt.

Putting that adorable little hat on Spot was a nice touch, though. Really takes the attention away from the serpentine snout hungry for human flesh.

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Oh, sure. So when an applied bioinformatics company mould their waste into complex designs it’s something to be celebrated. Yet when I do it apparently I’m making people uncomfortable and need to vacate the Euston station toilets immediately. I paid my 30p and I am entitled to do as I damn well please. Shame on you and your double standards, oh thou whited sepulchres.

This week bioMATTERS introduced the world to MYCO-ALGA, a sustainable interior tiling system crafted from 3D-printed mycelium and algae. The tiles are composed of living organisms and upcycled natural and organic waste, ensuring a 100% biodegradable end product.

Did you hear that, Channel 4? 100% biodegradable. That means you can park the traumatising videos and focus on continuing to provide high-quality, high-brow entertainment like Naked Attraction and Celebs Go Dating.

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Well, Well, Well.

It’s as gratifying as it rare when the internet makes a good guy famous, but that’s enough about Andrew Tate. For the sake of my career I’d like to make it abundantly clear that was a joke. No, we’re not talking about the soi-disant ‘Top G’ and bête noire of the internet, we’re talking about a very different kind of beast… Mr. Beast. Or ‘Monsieur Beast’, based on how inexplicably French that previous sentence became.

For his latest trick, the world’s biggest YouTuber built 100 wells across Africa which will provide clean drinking water to around half a million people. The video shows Beast and his loyal paladins bringing water to a hospital in Zimbabwe and a school in Kenya, as well as other sites in Uganda, Somalia and Cameroon.

Surely nobody could have an issue with this, right? Wrong! It took about 5 minutes before Mr. Beast started facing backlash from some critics on the internet who deem it morally dubious to turn such a serious issue into content. And presumably all those critics are doing far more to help impoverished people while they stew in their trollish juices sententiously typing away in their mother’s basements. Bore off, boreholes. And Monsieur Beast, you bore on.

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