This Week in the New Normal #39

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. manufactured Food crisis rolls ever on

Russia and Ukraine, aided by Turkey, have apparently come to an agreement on grain exports that will see some Ukrainian wheat able to sail off around the world again.

Obviously, this is good news, especially after weeks of hearing that Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian grain shipments was pretty much the only reason people were going hungry.

This means the food crisis is over, right?


This is not enough to end the food crisis, the press are saying so.

In the UK it’s now the heat’s fault – with hot weather allegedly to blame for a sudden spike in the price of potatoes and the papers tell stories of crops combusting in the fields.

Elsewhere around the world, they pursue policies deliberately designed to make the situation worse.

In the EU, the proposed rationing of energy – again blamed on Russia’s “special operation” – will have the inevitable impact of increasing the costs of producing and transporting food.

In Canada, Justin Trudeau’s government is moving ahead with plans to “reduce nitrous oxide emissions” by limiting how much fertiliser farmers are allowed to use. The farmers claim – logically – that this will mean they have to reduce the amount of food they produce.

Considering the world is already facing shortages of fertiliser, shortages of food, and a cost of living crisis it’s hard to see this policy as anything but deliberately sadistic.

But don’t worry, because there is a solution. If we just embrace GM crops and give up our “obsession with organics” then we call all eat again.

Speaking of food…

2. The New York Times…promoting cannibalism?

…yeah. No further explanation needed, amirite?

Seriously, the New York Times actually published an article yesterday with this headline:

When I saw it on twitter I had to instantly check if it was real. I assumed it was photoshop at play. It was not.

OK, it is only a culture section piece about books and TV shows…but still, it’s weird. It’s very weird.

For one thing, the premise is flawed. They ask why cannibalism is so “fashionable”, and cite a half-dozen examples from the last 5 years. But is that that many? From all the books and TVs shows produced all over the world?

It feels more like they are trying to make it fashionable by suggesting it already is.

Secondly, they only list works where the cannibal is the protagonist, ignoring the most mainstream example Hannibal (based on Thomas Harris’ novels). Is that because Hannibal is a villain, and therefore counter to the preferred narrative?

It just has the feel of a “let’s just gently float the idea and see what people say” kinda piece. Like that academic who said we should put medicine in the water to make people docile to fight climate change.

Sometimes it just feels like there is an assault on every taboo and every moral limit, for its own sake.

I don’t like to use the word “Satanic”…but the modern world really does send me groping for synonyms.

3. NASA’s fake photograph

An apparent photo of Antarctica, allegedly taken from space, was doing the rounds on social media this week…until NASA (via MSM “fact-checkers”) admitted the photo was fake.

Sorry, not “fake”, but a “computer-generated image based on data from satellites”.

What’s interesting about that is they only did it because people were questioning the climate change narrative based on the extent of the ice cap.

Naturally, if the photo supported the global warming narrative nobody would ever have said it was fake, and anyone alleging it was would be branded a “conspiracy theorist”.

But global warming is not the point, the point isn’t even that the image was “fake”. Rather, the point is the fluid nature of the official “reality”.

The image was presented as “real” right up until it became narratively inconvenient, at which point it instantly became “fake”.

And we, the watching public, have no idea which is the actual truth, and more importantly neither do most of the people selling the official line.

BONUS: Self-contradictory propaganda of the week

Guardian journalist, anti-farming campaigner and all round nutcase George Monbiot won the Orwell Prize for journalism last week.

The write-up in the Guardian says he won it for his dedication to “often neglected environmental issues”.

An odd turn of phrase, because it’s hard to see how a man with a column in a national newspaper, making documentaries for major TV channels, giving interviews on primetime news programmes and with whom virtually every newspaper, politician, university, celebrity and major corporation agrees could ever be said to have a neglected point of view.

Especially when he literally just won the biggest journalism prize in the country for doing all those things.

But the mythical idea that climate change is some kind of radical fringe agenda, no matter how vast the powers pushing it are, is a big part of the narrative. Convincing people they’re part of a brave minority, even as they have entire weight of the establishment behind them.

It’s not all bad…

Technically from last week, but reports coming out of Japan suggest the central bank may be abandoning their Central Bank Digital Currency plans before they even started. Feasibility studies apparently found resistance to the idea among the public in a country which still relies on cash payments more so than many of its Western counterparts.

Meanwhile, farmers protests that originated in the Netherlands continue to spread through Germany and Poland, following Spain and Italy last week.

And after a couple of weeks’ break, we’re back to posting Neil Oliver’s monologues again, this time taking on “the anti-human agenda”:

Also, someone sent us this vaccine pitch meeting from Moonbase Commander:

Enjoy your Sunday everyone.


All told a pretty hectic week for the new normal crowd, and we didn’t even mention the BBC’s latest “eat ze bugs” propaganda or Chinese authorities literally breaking-and-entering to find “covid contacts” and disinfect apartments.

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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