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Volume 471

This week’s coolsh*t is going from Apple to Zarathustra with gadget goggles and philosophical fragrances. We’ll also take a look at some billionaires on steroids cooking up a scheme for the No-Hunger Games. Just read it and you’ll understand…

The Apple of Your Eye.

Well, here it is. The shiny new device promising to transform our lives beyond recognition. It would typically be wise to treat such a lofty claim with a modicum of scepticism, but this is Apple we’re dealing with. They’ve done it before. So you can sneer at your iPhone or MacBook screen all you like, they’ve got you right where they want you.

The Vision Pro officially launched this week, and it can be all yours for a piddly $3500. Yikes, that’s a lot of Yeezys. Might sound expensive now, but so did a grand for a phone once upon a time. Like we said, they’ve got you.

Aiming to blend digital content with the physical world, the headset is packed with more than 600 new spatial experiences that users navigate with their eyes, hands, and voice. It even comes with some native Adobe apps developed specifically for the device that are said to be a gamechanger for creatives. But you’re not going to use it for that, are you? You’re just gonna watch tele on it, aren’t you? We have access to technology that would have been considered magic not so long ago, and we’re using it to enhance our viewing of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City. This must be how Prometheus felt when he gave fire to humanity and they immediately started burning everything down.

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God is... Moist?

…And we have moistened him. A.P.C have gone all existential with their latest collection of beauty products – because nothing flogs shower gel quite like the principle of eternal return and its corollary capacity to affirm existence.

On the back of each product is a label bearing a quote from Friedrich Nietzsche’s Thus Spake Zarathustra: “I am a body through and through, nothing more: and the soul is just a word for something in the body.” Deep, maaan. And such corporeal frankness is even more striking when you consider that Nietzsche was absolutely riddled with syphilis, which is also just a word for something in the body.

I was unaware of the existence of the Nietzsche niche in the realm of beauty but am very much in favour of it. You had me at Zarathustra. But with A.P.C being a French brand, of all the available existentialists Sartre probably would have made more sense. Although I’m pretty sure he didn’t shower, to be fair. And nobody wants a body lotion that smells of hand-rolled cigarettes, cosmic dread and a phenomenologically incomplete ontology of being. Pee-ew.

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The Ozemplympics.

One of the dangers of being a contrarian is that you can end up espousing some pretty disagreeable notions. Every turn in the conversation, every switch of posture, opens up an estate of verbal avenues and myriad side-turnings and cul-de-sacs each more appalling than the last – and there are no signposts except your own sincerity and good taste, both of which are often in short supply. As such, it’s always a nerve-jangling experience to receive a text with a link to an article saying, “wasn’t this your idea?”. Fortunately, this is one that I stand behind.

A bunch of anarcho-libertarian tech billionaires fronted by Peter Thiel have banded together to fund a drug-fuelled super Olympics in which all the competitors are on steroids. The idea has attracted its fair share of criticism, but don’t tell me you wouldn’t want to watch that. What part of a pulsating behemoth juiced to the gills throwing a discus into the stratosphere doesn’t sound appealing to you?

The Enhanced Games also claims to seek to end discrimination against “brave” and oppressed steroid users. It’s about damn time. Don’t you want to be inclusive? Exactly. So get hench, get weird, and get the gold. This is what we deserve.

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Stop Playing Around.

The act of play is said to be one of the primary activities that gave rise to our development of a moral sense and ability to form effective communities. Granted, that was said by a certain persona non grata psychologist who’s about to lose their clinical licence in Canada – but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Probably. And this isn’t just the case for humans. When rats play-fight, the stronger rat will allow the weaker rat to win 30% of the time so that it will continue to play. Rat-on-rat tit-for-tat: that’s game theory 101. I should know, I failed a university module in it 7 years ago.

With play being such a foundational fundamental of cooperative interaction, someone had the bright idea to begin construction of a ‘city of play’. I’ll give you 3 guesses where it is… No, it’s not Milton Keynes.

If you didn’t say Saudi Arabia, you clearly haven’t been paying attention. In the latest attempt to drag the nation kicking and screaming into the future like a dissenting journalist, Crown Prince MBS has enlisted Droga5 to give a glimpse of how ‘Qiddiya City’ may shape up. They haven’t given much away, but I can already tell I’m going to like it. And it’s no dafter than founding a nation based on the ‘pursuit of happiness’. Whose bright idea was that?

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It's About Time.

The Toyota Land Cruiser is the official unofficial vehicle of any self-respecting radical insurgency worth its bazookas. If you remove the slightly murky moral connotations of such an accolade, that is quite the endorsement. Because if you’re going to terrorise semi-nomadic cattle herders in the Sahel, you don’t want to be doing so in a car that’s going to break down on you every 10 minutes. There’s a reason you’ve never seen a militia rolling up to a village in an Alfa Romeo.

I think the point I’m trying to make is that the Land Cruiser is nothing if not reliable. And it isn’t Toyota’s fault if that particular product benefit happens to appeal to some unsavoury characters – even if they, as well as the Japanese government, receive huge economic benefits while arguably enabling the proliferation of aggravated conflicts in certain regions. Hang on, that wasn’t the point either.

We got side-tracked again. That’s enough half-considered, half-baked geopolitical half-truths for one week. The most reliable car in the world has partnered with the most reliable watch in the world, as this week Casio unveiled a G-SHOCK x Land Cruiser collab. We probably should have just led with that. Don’t let all that other stuff distract you from what a lovely timepiece this is.

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Block Party.

It was a toss-up for the final slot in this week’s coolsh*t between Pharrel’s biopic and the world’s first robot rockstar. The fact we’ve eschewed Kurt CobAIn feels like personal growth. If even we, who normally gobble this shit up, have grown weary of robots, then perhaps there really is nothing left to say about them. The existence of robots is now so unremarkable that it has become a bit boring, which is in itself pretty remarkable.

Like we said, Pharrell announced his upcoming biopic this week. Sure, who cares, right? But hang on. It’ll be made entirely with animated LEGO bricks. Because of course it will be. That is just so a thing he would do. The bloke’s an absolute marketing machine. He’s even used the announcement to cross-promote his Louis Vuitton collection in LEGO form. Some very wealthy man-baby somewhere is losing his shit right now.

His business acumen combined with the fact that he seemingly doesn’t age is incontrovertible evidence that Pharrell has made some sort of wicked deal with the devil. If we were in Salem between February 1692 and May 1693 he would have been tried for witchcraft by now. Or maybe he’s just been using that existential exfoliation stuff. Probably should have thought of that before we pushed him into that ravine. Oh well.

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