This Week in the New Regular # 67

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 financial restructuring all over the world.

1. We call heatwaves now

It’s July, which indicates it’s getting pretty hot in the Mediterranean.

Sorry, “getting pretty hot” is old-fashioned talk. What I indicate is “record temperature levels seen as Spain braces for heatwave Cerberus”.

Yes, we name heatwaves now. I was absolutely positive they ‘d never done it prior to … but I was wrong. They named 2 others, both in 2015.

I’m unsure just what triggered this modification in policy, however it’s not difficult to imagine the internal memos about “revealing people how major environment modification is”, or whatever.

Oh, and in case you were questioning those “record temperature levels”, they produced them by stealthily changing the way they report temperature.

Requirement meteorological temperature levels are determined in the air, two metres above water level. But this week the media have actually been parroting a European Area Agency report that counted on land temperatures tape-recorded by satellites.

Land surface temperatures are usually significantly hotter than air temperatures, as anyone who’s ever walked barefoot across a beach, patio area or cement roadway might inform you.

I won’t bother describing why they did this, we all understand.

2. 15 minute cites and 13 areas

Regardless of being a ridiculous conspiracy theory that doesn’t actually imply anything, the 15-minute city program continues to spread around the world. This week it was reported that 15-minute cities would be excellent since they would fight the “epidemic of lonelieness”,

Meanwhile Deep Cove, BC– a district of Vancouver– joining the charge: Throughout

the Atlantic, in the UK, it was announced that Liverpool is being divided into 13 communities… for purely administrative functions, you understand.

That’s not an action towards 15 minute cities at all. Promise.

3. Barbenheimer

This week saw the release of 2 “huge” films– Greta Gerwig’s Barbie and Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer.

It likewise saw a bizarre viral marketing campaign aiming to link the 2 films as if they are sides of a coin, #barbenheimer.

There have actually been research studies done revealing which US mentions or EU nations are Barbie or Oppenheimer.

Again we remain in a “choose a side” territory, and the sides are divisive, violent gender politics or war-crime apologia (or nuclear near-miss predictive shows if you’re feeling specifically paranoid).


Marketing, obviously. However it likewise feels like a social experiment. Like another part of a collective on-going project to minimize whatever in life to a series of personality-defining either-or choices.

Are you a Barbie or an Oppenheimer, they ask, without referral to the reality you can clearly see both or– more notably– you can choose to watch neither.

Most nauseating of all is this tweet from UK PM Rishi Sunak …

To be clear, his family didn’t decide to go and watch Barbie. He’s the Prime Minister of the UK, if he wished to enjoy a movie they do a private screening in a secure location, they do not pop down to the IMAX.

If he actually went, it was chosen by his handler. The scene was set, waves of security guards are simply out of view. The picture was likely taken by a professional photographer with lights rigged up. The casual jeans and sweatshirt combination was workshopped to be relatable without being sloppy. More costly jeans were attempted and rejected for appearance too elitist, they trialed a hole in the knee or scuffs, however chose versus it.

There was conversation of which movie theater chain they go to, what phones/snacks/merchandise the family are holding. There was discussion in some conference room or zoom chat over whether Sunak must attract the intellectual middle class with Oppenheimer or the working class with family-friendly Barbie.

The studio likely made some periphrastic payment for this service, and Sunak’s PR department likes it because it sells him as a real individual … when he’s not.

Even the actions– varying from “the nation’s on fire and he’s seeing a movie” to “whatever you state about our political arguments, he’s still a good married man”— are also predicted and even stage-managed.

Nothing about it is real, not one single element of it.

And so couple of individuals are all set to engage with that. They simply want to speak about Labour vs Tory, Russia vs NATO or Barbie vs Oppenheimer.

REWARD: Quiet-part-loud of the week

US Vice President Kamala Harris with a significant Freudian slip today, claiming they wish to lower population …

… when she obviously implied to say “pollution”.

It’s not all bad …

Cartoonist Bob Moran– a heroic voice during lockdown and the “pandemic” in general– is doing a one-man program, Art-Pocalypse, in London later on this year.

Oh, and I discovered this poem today– When I Heard the Learn ‘d Astronomer, by Walt Whitman– it is gorgeous, and truthful. And we need all the beauty and fact we can get:

When I heard the find out ‘d astronomer,
When the evidence, the figures, were ranged in columns prior to me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and determine them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How quickly unaccountable I became worn out and sick,
Till increasing and gliding out I wander ‘d off by myself,
In the mystical wet night-air, and from time to time,
Look ‘d up in perfect silence at the stars.


All informed a pretty hectic week for the brand-new normal crowd, and we didn’t even discuss the newest round of bizarre JFK smears or the brand-new factory draining cricket flour in Italy.

There’s a great deal of change in the air, a great deal of agendas in the works, if you see a headline, article, post or interview you think suggests the times, post it in the remarks, email us or share it on social networks and we will include it to the next edition.


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