This Christmas in the New Normal

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. MASKS 2: The maskening

They’re baaaaccckkk, the absurdly named “tripledemic” has brought out the experts to warn us of three circulating diseases – Covid, flu and RSV.

Or, as this situation would have been known throughout all of human history prior to 2020 “flu season”.

Naturally, all those who persisted with masks because it made them feel special are currently over the moon, soon to be joined by those who stopped wearing them as soon as they were in the minority, but secretly miss plastering their virtue all over their faces.

It’s been a while since we had to talk about masks, so here’s a reminder, for those who may have forgotten: Masks do not work.

They are bad for you, bad for your children and bad for the planet.

And the powers that be forcing you to wear one of them is purely an exercise in control.

2. Christmas Heart Attacks

In a bumper year for hastily-explained heart attacks, not even Christmas is escaping blame.

The “experts” are back, warning that 10pm on Christmas Day is the worst time for heart attacks all year, and the week between Christmas and New Year is the worst heart attack week all year.

Either that or taking antioxidant supplements or going to the gym…or seeing Avatar 2.

3. unvaccinated teenager denied kidney transplant

An unvaccinated teenager from North Carolina has been denied a kidney transplant by Duke hospital unless she gets a Covid19 “vaccine”.

Chrissy and Lee Hicks – parents of Yulia Hicks – told Fox News:

We’ve been up front the entire time we’ve been seen at Duke, for the last two years, that we were not comfortable with the vaccine — with the COVID-19 vaccine. And so they knew all along that we were not comfortable with this […] And that’s when they [the doctors and hospital officials] decided or told us that this was going to be a highly recommended-slash-requirement for her to get a vaccine before she would get the transplant.”

The hospital commented:

“Eligibility for organ transplant is a complex medical determination informed by many health factors to ensure the best outcomes. These determinations are made in consultation with families and medical professionals and follow the latest medical evidence and regulatory guidelines that all transplant centers must follow.”

No Christmas surprises here. We all knew this was coming.

BONUS: “No sh*t” moment of the week

New twitter CEO -and apparent free-speech paladin – Elon Musk recently revealed to the media that is a “ridiculous number of psy-ops” on the platform.

To which we can only say, “Yeah, we know.”

It’s patently obvious to anyone who spent anything over 4 minutes on the site. But the revelation of the obvious-yet-unspoken is ever the tool of establishment figures attempting to win credit within the alternative.

It’s not all bad…

For our moments of Christmas cheer this year we turn to the ever-pithy Bob Moran’s take on a holiday classic:

And we were sent this video this morning on Twitter, which is really lovely:

And our very own Catte’s essay on the (oft-neglected) historical context of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is as relevant now as when it was written.

OffG Recommends

For those stuck with choice-paralysis over the sheer amount of potential Christmas entertainment, we at OffG have come up with some slightly less well-known holiday fare.

2004’s Noel, and ensemble drama covering half-a-dozen Christmas stories across New York City, is a touching and neglected entry in the Christmas movie catalogue.

For anyone with little kids, the BBC’s animated adaptation of Beatrix Potter’s The Tailor of Gloucester is a beautiful delight. While Arthur Christmas is a treat for the whole family.

If you’re in the mood for some dark comedy, both the Christmas specials of the UK’s Peep Show and the US’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia artfully combine hilarity with moments of genuine human emotion.


All told a pretty hectic week for the new normal crowd, and we didn’t even mention the Guardian’s Covid Christmas guide or this pure, unrefined cringe:

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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