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This Week in the New Normal #72

This Week in the New Normal #72

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. Climate Court-case changes tack

Three years ago we covered the story of six Portuguese teenagers, “climate activists” who were attempting to sue the governments of 33 nations (The EU, Turkey, Norway, Switzerland, Russia, the UK and Ukraine) for failing to meet recommended emissions targets.

The case was being heard by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg and was quite obviously a public relations stunt that never really went anywhere.

That was three years ago, and now it’s back in the headlines. What’s interesting is how things have changed. Firstly the number of defendants is down to 32 from 33, with Ukraine being stealthily removed from the list of climate baddies for fairly obvious reasons.

Secondly, there’s the change in messaging.

In 2020, when “trusting the science” was key, then 12-year-old André Oliveira told reporters:

what I’d like the most would be for European governments to immediately do what the scientists say is necessary to protect our future

Now, with climate change being rebranded a public health issue, he says this:

In Portugal this summer we experienced heatwaves which are getting worse and worse. Our ability to do anything, to live our lives, is becoming restricted. The climate crisis is affecting our physical health and our mental health; how could you not be scared?”

I don’t know who writes his material, but they have their finger on the pulse.

2. Where is the shoplifting crisis going?

Back in April (This Week in the New Normal #63) we covered the US’s supposed “looting crisis”, which saw social media videos of big brand stores being looted going “viral”. The solution presented was for stores like Target and CVS to start locking all their goods behind code-activated doors.

This is an ongoing campaign, across both sides of the Atlantic.

This week has seen a lot of coverage of the supposed “shoplifting crisis” in the UK. Papers like the Telegraph say shoplifters should be shot, and papers like the Guardian say it’s all the Tories’ fault. But both sides agree it’s a problem that requires and solution. The “Federation of Independent Retailers” is demanding aid from the government to “tackle” the situation.

Meanwhile, in the US, it’s being reported that the “shoplifting crisis” is “getting dangerous for workers”.

What could this mean in real terms?

New laws on CCTV cameras? Digital ID needed to make any purchase? Some new horrific legislation?

Watch this space.

3. Alien bodies presented to Mexican congress

Yes, seriously.

I’m getting tired of writing about UFOs, to be honest. That’s two weeks in a row they’ve featured in TWitNN.

Mirroring the US last month, Mexico’s congress held their own “UFO hearings” starting on September 13th.

As part of the hearing, Congress were presented with two desiccated “alien corpses” by UFO enthusiast Jaime Maussan.

If you want the details feel free to read about them in this piece from Reuters.

The newsworthy story here is not the bodies themselves – there’s always someone out there with a model or dead racoon or something claiming it’s a monster or an alien – it’s that they were presented in front of Congress and potentially taken seriously.

Anyway, here’s one of the totally 100% real, completely not fake dead aliens…

BONUS: Cringe of the week

Apple’s latest “Apple Watch” (I don’t know why it’s not iWatch, but that’s a different issue) promotion is…wonderful. It features Apple CEO Tim Cook selling the watch to “Mother Nature” (who is, naturally, a large black woman) by claiming it is “100% carbon neutral”.

Forget the messaging, forget any objections to built-in obsolescence, forget that “carbon neutral” is a meaningless scam…and just witness the pure cringe:

It’s not all bad…

For a good laugh, here’s an “expert” astrophysicist claiming a hole on the beach is a tiny asteroid impact, even though it’s actually just a hole dug by some guys:

In other (potentially) good news, the BBC is reporting that cash payments are increasing, despite the deluge of anti-cash propaganda (although that might be dying back, see this issue of TWitNN).


All told a pretty hectic week for the new normal crowd, and we didn’t even mention the Wall Street Journal praising the first “black female billionaire” or David Mitchell – the personification of a sweater with leather elbow patches – suddenly turning his fire on the cashless society.


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