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Volume 462

Fossil fuels, the future of the planet, and… chocolate. This week’s coolsh*t is addressing the big issues. We’re bringing you a Christmas confectionary controversy, pernicious pension proselytising, and a short story of loss, loneliness and lager. Plus a particularly wholesome episode of the coolsh*t podcast.

Oat GOATs.

It’s funny how you can now extrapolate from very limited information about a person to fairly reliably predict the views they likely hold on all manner of ostensibly disparate and disconnected issues. Show me what milk someone drinks and I’ll tell you their vaccination status. Gold top screams unvaxxed. You don’t fuck with their milk, and you sure as shit aren’t going to fuck with their DNA – you got that, Bill Gates?

For whatever reason, milk has indeed ended up as a culture wars battleground. The oat flat white conjures up some clearly crystalised connotations, while sticking to cow juice has become a totem of lactose-tolerating traditionalism. And Oatly divide opinion more than most. Some believe them to be sanctimonious, self-servingly ersatz-anti-establishment bores, and others have fallen for their marketing. But with ads like these, who can blame them?

This week Oatly hacked their own murals with some forced perspective stunts to promote the brand’s launch in France while craftily circumventing the country’s laws prohibiting commercial walls showing products or logos. Udderly glorious. Is it an ad? Is it art? Is it good for you? Is it good for the planet? Shit knows. Just sit back and enjoy a nice fortifying glass of chaos.

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Bit Crude.

What Olivia Colman lacks in e’s in her surname she more than makes up for in talent. What is perhaps most impressive about her, though, is that despite all of her success, she doesn’t seem to have become an utterly detestable fame-hungry monster. But you know who isn’t quite so charming? Oblivia Coalmine.

This week Colman starred as her evil oil baron alter ego in a Richard Curtis ad highlighting the role pension funds play in fossil fuel projects. Well blow me over and call me Susan. I had no idea. And to be completely honest, I’m still a bit hazy on exactly what that means. But based on the latex, the ominous music and the sinister voiceover, I’m going to go out on a limb and say I reckon we’re meant to think it’s a bad thing.

As it goes, research from the campaign group found £88billion of UK pensions savers’ money goes to fossil fuel companies. Blimey, that’s a lot of Yeezys. Bloody bastards. It’s not like pension funds invest in fossil fuels because we still rely on them for the foreseeable future and they’re a fairly safe investment or anything. Defo the evil oil-drinking stuff.

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Art de Triomphe.

We’re staying in Paris for this next story. The buzz around the Napoleon release must have got to us. Good film, but it was a bit conquest-heavy and a trifle light on the bureaucratic reforms and administrative gatherings from which emanated the laws and institutions that hundreds of millions of people still live by today. Suppose that doesn’t sound quite so exciting.

This week Apple presented ‘I Remember You’, a two-day photography exhibition in Paris’ Salon Corderie featuring work intended to transform the ephemera of existence into timeless memories, shot exclusively on the iPhone 15 by photographers from all corners of the globe.

Just goes to show that you don’t need some big fancy camera to be a photographer these days. All you need is a £1000 smartphone and you’re golden. Just think how expensive it would be if it wasn’t for all that child labour in those cobalt mines. Phew.

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From a novel swine flu breaking out in the UK to whatever the hell is going on in China (or not going on, according to the CCP), it’s been quite the week for virality. But nothing has ripped through the population on social media quite so much as this DIY Christmas advert from a pub in Northern Ireland.

Charlie’s Bar in Enniskillen unveiled the ad on Friday and it has since racked up millions of views on X, a platform which this week Vice declared “Elon Musk Is Turning Into a Haven for Nazis”. Correction: a haven for Nazis and lovely little lonely Irishmen. And the video has gone down an absolute storm, having been widely lauded as the ‘best Christmas advert of the year’ by presumably charitable X users willing to overlook the plot-holes and frankly rather wooden performances.

Credit where credit’s due, though. And all created for peanuts, which is something pubs have loads of. Who needs an agency? No, seriously – giz a brief.

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High-Wasted Jeans.

More saving the planet? What’s got into us this week? That’s back-to-back-to-backtivism. Throw in a heart-warming Christmas advert about a lonely old man and this might be the most earnest, right-on, progressively-minded coolsh*t in years. We had to throw in that cobalt mining comment just to keep you on your toes.

This week some fast fashion brands got a visit from a zombie. Except it wasn’t a real zombie, it was an anti-consumerism artist, which is far scarier. Jeremy Hutchinson stormed into fashion HQs and high street shops dressed as an 8ft tall “zombie” made from huge piles of discarded clothes, in an effort to draw attention to the Brobdingnagian quantities of wastage in the fashion industry.

Eugh, bloody consumerism. These capitalist pigs make me sick to my self-righteous little tummy. Anyway, let’s get back to talking about adverts.

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Bounty Hunters.

The university system is said to be in the toilet. And if the previously fringe theories that have recently permeated the mainstream weren’t enough to reaffirm that point of view, the fact that the UK’s oldest and most famous debating society has decided to weigh up the pros and cons of a chocolate bar may be enough to tip even the most ardent defenders of higher education over the edge.

It was announced this week that the Oxford Union will be debating whether the Bounty belongs in the Celebrations tub. The world has gone nuts. Worse, it’s gone coconuts. But regardless of which house comes out victorious in the debate, the real winners will once again be Mars Wrigley.

In a sort of Streisand Effect reappropriated for promo, for the last few years Mars have been leveraging Bounty’s divisive nature and turning it into a positive. People feel very strong about the Bounty. Debates such as these embolden the bar’s detractors whilst galvanising the vocal minority who wish to defend it, all of which contributes to the buzz which will see that inevitable Celebrations tub winding up on your living room table this Christmas. Hook, line and stinker. We are but mere pawns.

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The Coolsh*t Podcast - Episode 64..

Talking carbon contretemps and phestive philanthropy.

Listen to the Podcast