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Volume 464

Game, set, match, coolsh*t. This week we’re bringing you a no love lost tennis temper tantrum, a colourful coronation, and some permanently regrettable decisions. Plus the secret to making your dog live forever and your sweatshirt die soon.

You Cannot Be Serious.

Neither John McEnroe nor Travis Scott are strangers to a bit of controversy. J-Mac used to get a bit lairy while playing tennis, and Travis… well, we don’t need to go into what he did. But it’s probably slightly worse than berating a line judge for a questionable call.

Given what we know about each of their track records, it should perhaps come as no surprise that the pair got into a bit of a spat over the naming of the soon-to-be-released Cactus Jack x Nike Mac Attack sneakers. And that previous sentence is what I would say if I were either a total moron or a 12-year-old (or a 12-year-old total moron). Because that’s the only person who would believe that this is for real and not entirely staged for promo…

…Or apparently not. Most of the NPCs on the internet seem to have fallen for it hook, baseline and stinker. And it’s worked an absolute treat. We’re even talking about it. Travis Scott sure does know how to generate headlines. Crushing it.

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Sinking Feeling.

Stop it. It’s not even remotely funny that the section about phasing out fossil fuels was just subtly removed from a draft deal at COP28 in the UAE as if nobody was going to notice. Not funny at all. Although, holding a climate conference in a petrostate then being annoyed at said petrostate for wanting to continue making money from fossil fuels is slightly reminding me of the fable about the scorpion and the frog. What did you expect?

Island nations in particular weren’t terribly pleased, accusing the draft of having been “watered down”, which is something they should understand all too well as rising sea levels are currently threatening to wipe many of these nations off the map. And because of the mysterious ways in which the coolsh*t multiverse works, it just so happens that we’ve this week also been provided with a very handy visual aid demonstrating exactly what that wiping off the map would look like.

A group of designers and creatives have redesigned the UN’s logo according to the organisation’s projections for sea level rise. Bahamas? See ya. Maldives? Fat chance. Amsterdam? Amsterdamned. Even Margate’s screwed. Now where will London’s hipsters flee to once they get enough cash to move out of their shared Hackney Wick studio spaces? For crying out loud, won’t somebody think of the hipsters!

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It’s All Peachy.

It seems like they’re just making up these end of year awards now. Everyone’s a winner these days. We’re turning the world into an overly supportive primary school sports day. Timmy doesn’t deserve a medal; he came last because he stuck his spoon in his ear and tried to eat his egg. We all saw it, let’s not kid ourselves.

Last week we shared the huge news that ‘rizz’ had been crowned Oxford Dictionary’s ‘Word of the Year’, and this week we’re bringing you Pantone’s freshly-anointed ‘Colour of the Year’. I know what you’re thinking: what right does an Italian cylindrical fruitcake have to be doling out awards in this manner? Nonetheless, this year’s winner is… ‘Peach Fuzz’.

The soft, “nurturing” pastel orange is said to inspire interaction and encourage people to reach out and touch, with Leatrice Eiseman, Pantone’s executive director, claiming that the hue “echoes our innate yearning for closeness and connection” and “offers a tactile embrace”. Good luck getting a tactile embrace if you don’t have any rizz. Turns out the two winners actually complement each other rather nicely.

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There’s no better way to commemorate a union than to ink a permanent reminder of it across your skin. Although I do slightly regret the ‘Bruce & Kris 4EVA’ tattoo I got done back in 2010. That’s aged like milk. In fact I’m pretty sure that would have got you banned off Twitter until Elon took over. But clearly Liverpool FC and Carlsberg didn’t learn from my mistake.

To announce a 10-year extension to their already record-breaking 30-year partnership, ’10 More Years. Inked’ stars the forearms, biceps, backs, arms, legs, chests and inner thighs of real Liverpool fans who were willing to be tattooed to mark the moment.

Why, you ask? All for the sake of a 32-second stop motion animation for Carlsberg’s socials. Christ. That’s commitment. Really does indicate the moral limits of consent. I have no doubt all these 57 people were entirely willing to be tatted, but someone really ought to have stepped in to save them from themselves.

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Eco Worriers.

There’s a recurring issue with human innovation which sees good ideas become problematic not due to the nature of the idea itself but due to the scale of its implementation. Plastic’s a great example. It was so incredibly useful and well-designed that we got a bit carried away and started making everything out of it until one video of a turtle with a straw up its nose made the world collectively decide enough was enough. But it’s particularly impressive that we’ve become so good at creating durable clothing that a garment’s capacity to decompose rather than exist in perpetuity on landfill sites has now become a selling point.

Champion have unveiled their new biodegradable ‘Eco Future’ tracksuit collection, which, much like a Gen Z environmentalist, is prone to breaking down. The items are crafted with CiCLO, a new technology designed to speed up the natural decomposition of the materials.

This feels like a solution to a very first-world problem. Or a smart way to prey upon the guilt-fuelled, eco-conscious moral righteousness of consumers to keep them coming back for more when their joggers suddenly evaporate on the Central line one morning. Absolutely devious.

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The Immortality Key.

We saw a version of this story a couple weeks ago and dismissed it as clickbait nonsense (ironically without actually clicking on it). But it won’t seem to go away, and now it’s started appearing in media outlets somewhat more reputable than LadBible and Instagram meme pages – so we’ll play ball. A ‘groundbreaking’ anti-aging drug for dogs has moved closer to FDA approval. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Loyal, the San Francisco biotech company behind the drug, claim their product may help slow down age-related processes for dogs that are 40 pounds or more by interacting with a hormone called IGF-1 that accelerates the aging process. Last week the drugmaker announced that LOY-001 has cleared early hurdles with the FDA, signalling that the data so far supports the drug’s potential efficacy. And when have the FDA ever rushed through approval for questionable medication in the past?

This does naturally raise some ethical concerns. Is it right for us to be playing God in this way? Or worse, playing Dog. My word, is God actually just a dyslexic Bichon Frisé? So many questions, so little time. But you’re out of your mind if you don’t think I’ll be making sure my dog gets enough Christmas turkey to tip him over that 40lb mark. Worth a shot, init.

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The Next Agenda: Learn To Time Travel

Is your brand guilty of going all in on a single cohort?

With culture, consumption and influence creating a multiverse of cross-gen interconnectivity, targeting a single demographic risks relegating your brand to the history books.

In Volume II of The Next Agenda, we debunk generationalism and decode the connection points that reach across the divide.

Join us as we explore ways to unlock the consumers you’re leaving behind.

Soho Works Dean Street Tuesday 23rd January. 8:30-10:00am

Reserve Your Place