This Week in the New Normal #85

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. Michael Gove’s Definition of Extremism

UK Michael Gove MP made the news this week when he formally announced the UK government’s official definition of “extremism”, which goes as follows:

The promotion or advancement of an ideology based on violence, hatred or intolerance, that aims to:

1. negate or destroy the fundamental rights and freedoms of others; or

2. undermine, overturn or replace the UK’s system of liberal parliamentary democracy and democratic rights; or

3. intentionally create a permissive environment for others to achieve the results in (1) or (2).

As we near the third anniversary of the UK’s first lockdown, we should note the major irony here: Under the above terms, the current government is the most “extreme” organisation in the country.

If that all sounds jolly dystopian, wait ’til you hear the name of the new unit set up to monitor signs of potential extremism – “The Counter-Extremism Centre of Excellence”.


2. Moderna Stock On the Up (again)

The first “cancer vaccines” are potentially just around the corner, which is good news…for Moderna’s stockholders at least.

The mRNA “vaccine” manufacturer’s stock jumped almost 9% earlier this week when they announced a new mid-stage trial of their melanoma vaccine.

First announced in December, the alleged “cancer vaccine” had the immediate effect of distracting from slumping Covid “vaccine” sales…which was very convenient. The first human trial is being held in the UK by the always-trustworthy Imperial College, London.

The Moderna boys better get their skates on though, because as it stands their “cancer vaccine” is looking to be the third to hit the market, behind Pfizer and GSK.

CNBC noted earlier this week that Pfizer was “betting big on cancer drugs to turn business around after Covid decline”.

Isn’t that always the way? You wait decades for a cancer vaccine and then three come along at once.

3. Ants, they’re what’s for dinner

The edible insect world is a tough game, no sooner are crickets the big name in the industry than they a whisked off stage right by a ballsy up-and-comer: Edible ants.

Apparently, chowing down on our little formic friends is going to be all the rage soon:

In the quest for sustainable and innovative food sources, insects have emerged as a promising addition, with edible ants spotlighting the culinary scene for their unique flavors and nutritional value.

While the thought of incorporating insects into the menu might evoke a sense of hesitation, researchers have discovered that ants, a common sight at picnics, could actually enhance our dishes with their distinct taste profiles.

A recent study unveiled at the American Chemical Society (ACS) Spring 2024 meeting, held both virtually and in-person from March 17-21, introduces us to the diverse aroma profiles of four edible ant species.

Yes, the four species of edible ants have “diverse aroma profiles”, and are a sustainable food choice that is “good for your health and good for the Earth”.

Researchers will be presenting their findings later today at the opening of the spring meeting of the American Chemical Society, and I can’t wait.

BONUS: Stopped clock of the week

I just wanted to share Tucker Carlson talking about post-modern architecture…

Now, I trust Tucker Carlson about as far as I could comfortably spit a rat…but when you’re right you’re right.

It’s not all bad…

OffG is having a big revamp this week, our first in the five years since we moved servers in 2019, and one we hope will not just aesthetically improve the site, but increase usability and readability. Look for another announcement closer to the time.

Also, spring is almost here…

The sun is shining for the first time, and my cat is having his first nap in the garden of the year. These are the things that matter.


All told a pretty hectic week for the new normal crowd, and we didn’t even mention the Canadian Supreme Court replacing the word “woman” with the phrase “person with a vagina” or how average IQs dropping is actually a good thing.

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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