This Week in the New Normal #19

Our successor to This Week in the Guardian, This Week in the New Normal is our weekly chart of the progress of autocracy, authoritarianism and economic restructuring around the world.

1: “Covid made my penis smaller”

An anonymous US man has come forward to claim his bout with Covid made his penis smaller…and the mainstream media are apparently reporting this with a seemingly straight face.

“Codi dick”, as they are calling it, is “amongst the rarer complications of long covid”, which I’m sure everyone will be relieved to hear.

The anonymous American claims his penis was “above average” before he got Covid, but is now “decidedly below average”.

A modern-day tragedy or a genius piece of trolling? You be the judge.

2. She’s baaaccckkkk (maybe)

It’s happening, guys. The big comeback, the thrilling sequel to the smash-hit original: Clinton 2024.

It’s been in the wind since the humiliating spectacle of Clinton appearing on television reading the victory speech she would have given if she’d been elected in 2016, but now it’s got some more solid confirmation.

Five days ago, the Wall Street Journal headlined “Hillary Clinton’s 2024 Election Comeback”, going on to add “Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have become unpopular. It may be time for a change candidate.”.

The idea that Hillary Clinton of all people could ever be called a “change candidate” is literally laugh-out-loud funny. But, if the campaign is really clicking into action, we can expect a lot more where that came from.

Now, you likely have some questions. Questions like “What?!”, “Huh?” or “Why on Earth would they do that?” It’s possible some of you are just chuckling in bemusement. Whatever your chosen reaction, I concur. This is a move of such breathtaking hubris that…I just don’t know.

On a scale of 1 to even, I just can’t.

No wonder Hollywood is only producing remakes and sequels, we’re stuck in a cultural time loop.

Let’s just hope Clinton 2024 is as fun to watch as the 2016 original.

3. Covid tests, a cure for loneliness

On Friday, the New York Times ran the headline:

Lonely? Get in Line. A Covid Test Line.

I hadn’t previously heard this, but apparently New Yorkers habitually have to stand in sub-zero temperatures for hours at a time waiting to get Covid tests. Somewhat ironically, or even deliberately, the long exposure to the cold is probably far more dangerous to their health than testing positive for Covid, whatever that means.

Anyway, the article is all about how standing around in the cold for literally 6+ hours, to get tested for Covid is actually a good thing because people have sing-alongs and meet new friends.

What’s doubly hilarious about the sheer desperation behind the story is how tiny these forced moments of solidarity are. Usually, these puff pieces are like “couple meets in Covid line, 6 months later they are married and won the lottery”, or maybe “adopted man finds birth-parents in Covid line, donates kidney to dying father”.

Nothing like that here, no. Just a series of anecdotes of the wait being not that bad.

One lady met a guy and dated him for a couple of months. Some other guy goes with his workmates and it’s alright. Someone else heard a funny joke once. Some people sang a song from Dreamgirls.

That’s it, that’s the feel-good stories of the Covid test line.

“Remember to stand in the freezing cold for hours, because it might be not quite as unpleasant as it sounds.”

Ace PR work.

BONUS: Hellhole of the week…again

Yeah…it’s still Australia, and not just because of their treatment of Novak Djokovic, but because of this latest move in the game of fascist one-upmanship being played by all the state premiers:

That’s Mark McGowan, Premier of Western Australia, announcing unvaccinated people are barred from zoos, cinemas, theatres, gyms, sports stadiums, shopping malls, restaurants, bars, clubs, museums, art galleries and cafes. They are, essentially, banned from life.

It looks like Canada won’t be far behind, with government advisor bioethicists telling unvaccinated Canadians they shouldn’t “be allowed to circulate freely”.


A briefer than usual TWitNN (because one section got too long, and became an article in its own right), so to make up, have some bonus bonuses…

Bonus II: Desperate headline of the week

It seems strange to have week featuring headlines claiming covid tests are great because you make new friends, or that covid makes your penis smaller, and NOT give either the desperate headline of the week award…but it’s been a weird week.

This week’s most desperate piece of propaganda is, without a doubt:

Face masks make people look more attractive

This statement, based on a “scientific” study done at Cardiff University, is doing the rounds all over the press. The “experiment”, such as it was, involved asking 43 (yes, just 43) women if pictures of men looked more attractive with or without masks.

Now, you likely don’t need me to point out how absurd this is…but I’m gonna.

If you asked people: “would you rather watch Boris Johnson jump up and down on a trampoline in slow motion completely naked, OR whilst wearing a gorilla costume?”

The (hopefully) inevitable answer does NOT mean gorilla costumes make you more attractive.

BONUs III: Child Abuse of the Week

What the hell, let’s do three, like I said it’s been a very weird week.

Presenting this upsetting video of a German woman (mother? nurse?) swabbing a young boy’s nose, with no further comment:

…OK, some further comment. This woman is a terrible person, the little chap being traumatised and having his trust abused is awful, and the idea this has happened to millions of children all over the world for NOTHING is almost too terrible to think about.

It’s not all bad…

More huge protests this week, this time coming from Sydney, Australia:

In other good news, the US Supreme Court has blocked Biden’s planned vaccine mandate for large employers, the decision stating that the President did not have the authority to issue such an order and that it was not supported by any existing legislation.

Also, Mexico has officially dropped all Covid-related restrictions on entry to the country. No tests, no vaccines required.


All told a pretty hectic week for the new normal crowd, and we didn’t even mention the inevitable Deltacron or the return of the Covid sniffer dogs.

…I still can’t believe I’m going to have to tag a post on OffGuardian “small penis”.

There’s a lot of change in the air, a lot of agendas in the works, if you see a headline, article, post or interview you think is a sign of the times, post it in the comments, email us or share it on social media and we will add it to the next edition.


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