This Week in the New Normal #61

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. You will go nowhere and be happy

The age of “cheap flights” is over, Bloomberg reported this week. They go on to say that the cost of flying to Europe from the UK has already increased by over 30%, and that’s not just a temporary bounce thanks to the “pandemic”.

Tellingly, the article does not in any way consider this a bad thing – indeed, it goes out of its way to celebrate the passing of the age of “absurdly cheap” air travel.

This is all due to climate change, apparently, since airlines have to “decarbonise” they are being “forced” to increase their prices. Under European rules, airlines have to pay for their carbon emissions, and the price per unit is set to increase a lot over the next couple of years. Meaning air travel in Europe – and potentially the rest of the world – is going to keep getting more and more expensive.

This is all part of the Great Reset, clearly. The thinking behind lockdowns, and the Covid narrative in general, was about making our world smaller – physically AND conceptually – boxing people in and keeping them separate. Lowering people’s expectations of freedom and standard of living, whilst at the same time telling them it’s all for the greater good.

Oddly, the cost of flying in the US is also increasing rapidly, but for (allegedly) totally different reasons. It’s weird how much that happens recently.

2. New York’s Mayor declares war on meat and dairy

NYC Mayor Ernie Adams gave a speech this week signalling intent to crack down on the city’s food-related carbon emissions, specifically highlighting meat and diary:

“Food is the third-biggest source of cities’ emissions right after buildings and transportation. But all food is not created equal. The vast majority of food that is contributing to our emission crises lies in meat and dairy products,”

We’re all familiar with this campaign at this point, there’s no need for me to point out the fact meat and dairy are no worse for the planet than any other food production, or how much energy is going into convincing people to eat bugs.

BONUS: Creepy propaganda of the week

Presented without comment, is the USAID Sesame Street-style puppet show designed to indoctrinate Iraqi children encourage Iraqi children to get along…

No, today isn’t Shakespeare’s birthday

The “good news” this week is replaced with a tiny history lesson. April 23rd is St George’s day, and is also said to be William Shakespeare’s birthday. It’s not, or at least nobody knows if it is or not.

According to parish records the man born William Shakspere in Stratford in 1564 was baptised on April 26th, so somewhere along the line they just sort of guessed he was born a few days earlier…and purely accidentally placed England’s greatest writer’s birthday on our patron Saint’s Day.

Of course, the questions regarding Shakespeare’s identity go deeper than just his birthday, here I’m referring to the “authorship question”, the theory which suggests the wool merchant/actor from Stratford was not the same man/men/person who wrote the plays.

I won’t get into it all here, but there’s a wealth of evidence that makes the question at least debatable, and either way it’s a fascinating subject.

In fact, this week’s “good news” takes the form of a viewing recommendation for a Sunday afternoon.

If you’re in the mood for a documentary, there is Last Will and Testament (2012). A very interesting presentation of all the evidence, alongside testimony from the famous faces who doubt the “official story”.

It’s very much a program of two halves, with the first (much stronger) half presenting the evidence against William Shakspere, and the second half falling into speculation. It’s much stronger to simply ask the question rather than force the answer, but it’s still a great watch.

For a fictional take on the same subject, there is Roland Emmerich’s Anonymous (2015), a fictionalised history of the subject which supposes that Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford was the real hidden author. It’s ahistorical, but well made and well acted, and a lot of fun.

Enjoy your Sunday viewing.


All told a pretty hectic week for the new normal crowd, and we didn’t even mention Macdonald’s first entirely automated restaurant or the UK’s “national emergency alert” test.

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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