YES/NO

Blik

Commitment-phobic? Check. Fancy a bit of that, a bit of this? Check. Move around a lot? Check. Require a taste for fine interior design? Check. How’s your wall looking these days? Ikea-beige? Then you may be interested in Blik and their self-adhesive surface graphics. Chose your own graphics and create a custom wall (and thus, room). Best of all, you’re able to peel them off with no damage to the walls when you leave, so your landlord need never know. It ain’t wallpaper if you call it Blik. www.whatisblik.com

Denihilism

When throwing around ideas in GUM meetings, we often disagree on what has been deemed in or out. Someone will bring up a movement or trend they think is in, only for someone else to declare that it’s been out, and so on all night long. But, of course, this is the realm of the red-topped, monosyllabic gawk-mags, where things can be arbitrarily in or out without any evidence of reason, fact, or sense. Liquid eyeliner: in! Phosphorus: out! External radicalism: in! It’s so hard to keep up with what is in and out that your best chance is to assume that what was once out is now in, and vice versa. Your most central beliefs, everything that you stand for, are out, and everything that you hate and despise is so in right now. Try it. It’s weirdly liberating. We’re calling it denihilism, and it is so totally out.

Fire

After a 10,000-year romance, it seems mankind has lost its taste for fire. Fireplaces are a quaint ornament in many Glasgow flats, now bricked up or used as a makeshift bookcase. Even Bonfire Night is no longer celebrated with bonfires, but rather with fireworks—fire dressed in lurid colours and forced to dance for our viewing pleasure. The only fire most city-folk get to gaze upon is the puny tealight at your local curry joint. The constant, stable light of a candle is like a slap in the face to its ancestor, the central hearth which gave our ancestors life and whose flickering roar formed the only nighttime entertainment in the days before Lost. No longer do we feast by a fireplace as big as a bus, as found in any self-respecting medieval castle. Now we panic at the merest spark in the grill, and neds are the only people allowed to start bonfires, usually in other people’s cars. Let’s reclaim fire. GUM doesn’t know exactly how, but as of now, we are definitely pro-fire.

Balloons

What? Are we, like, 5? Well, no, we just think that balloons are the ultimate survival tool. Never mind the Bank of England, balloons are the easiest way to control inflation. What’s more, you can use them to generate static electricity which will be oh so useful when the oil runs out.

George W. Bush

It is possible that George Bush was not the greatest president in the history of the USA. That’s a possibility. It is also possible that he has crippled his country with a hilariously massive national debt, led it into unwinnable wars fought with a combination of barefaced capitalism and insane colonialism, and made militant Puritanism the hottest philosophy of the day. But, you’ve got to admit, for us out here in Europe, it’s been fun. The most apt metaphor for the last eight years in America has been Major TJ ‘King’ Kong, riding a nuclear bomb dropped from a B-52 Stratofortress, waving his cowboy hat around his head, a-whoopin’ and a-hollerin’ to the end of the world. Here’s to four—no! Eight!—more years of that. And before you say that it’s banned in the American constitution, do you really think it’s the first unconstitutional thing W’s ever done? Motherfucker’s got the thing printed on his presidential toilet paper.

No:

Trendy Tasers

You know, it’s often hard to pass hundreds of potentially fatal volts through someone’s body if you’re worried about important stuff like colour co-ordination and fashion trends. Which is why we sure are glad the TaserC2 has been released. Not only is it handy enough to fit into your handbag, it comes in a range of styles and colours. Choose titanium if you want to feel like a sophisticated business woman shooting baddies on the streets of New York; pink for a coy, little-girl lost approach to street violence; and, of course, leopard print if you’re the sexy siren who’s not to be messed with. A novel—and stylish—approach to combating violence in society. Wait a sec… why did we put this in the No section?

Amy Winehouse

I don’t have a problem with her getting wrecked and doing stupid shit: if going out in the middle of the night and buying 300 ice pops is a sign of a life falling apart, then every single person reading this should just go and check themselves into rehab right now, because we’d all do exactly the same thing if we were as stupid rich as she is. No, my problem is: if she takes as much cocaine as she apparently does, how come she makes such boring music? Seriously, how is that even possible?

Wind

It ruins umbrellas, it gets cold through even the thickest coats, and it makes the rain go upwards and right into your nose. Everyone hates it.

Biofuel

Wholesale panic about ecological disaster means land that used to have food grown on it now fills petrol tanks. Add to that actual ecological disasters and the price of grain has started to rocket upwards. We can probably live without as many sandwiches, but what if the price of beer goes up?

Gadget Envy

The amalgamation of Christmas and generous parents has resulted in every other person carrying a piece of technology that Inspector Gadget would happily give his super-bendy extending legs for. Everywhere you look people are whipping out their iPhones (or cheaper, less cream-inducing alternatives) to conference call their mates on where to meet for lunch while texting 15 people simultaneously. The sheer technological splendour of such devices makes your phone look like Margaret Thatcher’s dirty pants. But we gadget-paupers can take heart in the fact that our phones probably won’t murder us in our beds or tell our flatmate it was us who ate the last chocolate mini-roll .There’s something seriously sinister about a device that can do so much and yet isn’t actually human. Get out of our heads, iPhone! We deny you! Ah, screw it, lend us £300.

Power Cows

What would happen if there came a new, unstoppable plague that basically wipes out humanity overnight? Some argue that packs of starved, ownerless dogs would rule the cities. Some think the next evolutionary step is for chimps to emerge from the jungle. But when you think about it, the real heirs to the throne are much less exciting. Centuries of selective cow breeding, and now “designer cow” cloning, is all well and good when under strict scientific supervision: the labcoats can select for size and quality of meat, while killing off the deranged bovines that inbreeding inevitably creates. But what happens when the scientists disappear and the Schwarzeneggerian Belgian Blue bulls start breeding with the Holstein cows that grow at a rate of 8 pounds per day? Humongous, fast-growing, disease-proof, dangerously psychotic, and perfectly lean, delicious Powercows, that’s what. The future is lame.

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