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A New Normal

Filed under: General — Downunder @ 11:13 am Wed 21st February 2024

A New Normal : This phrase crept into our language as far back as the beginning of 2020:

This is our new normal. That’s the message from nanotechnologist Dr Michelle Dickinson after New Zealand increased its alert level in response to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.

“nanotechnologist” I don’t recall that at the time but I did notice the phrase in Ardern’s language shortly after and it continued through the pandemic period until one day I noticed with some deliberate emphasis, Ardern added, welcome.

“Welcome to your new normal.”

At that point and I suspect many people, like me, said, “Hey, what.”

There was a sound of permanence about something we weren’t even sure of, along with confusion about who said what, even from the ‘Podium of Truth’.

Claim: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said her country doesn’t have an issue with the “rage of older white men” because “we’ve never allowed Rupert Murdoch to set up a media outlet here.”
Rated by AP News: False.
The quote is fabricated. There is no record of Ardern making such comments, and a spokesperson for her office confirmed she did not.

We are now realising that “A New Normal” was never explicitly defined, more that it became a subjective guess as to what it meant at any given time.

It became at times a battleground about what will be dictated as normal – I don’t think that’s over yet – but for New Zealand, there was a substantial, “Oh no you won’t!” that sent a prime minister packing.
Then there have been major changes, such as a country now without an oil refinery – a change of circumstances, that hasn’t visibly created a new normal in, or, impacted the daily lives of so many people whose lives have been dramatically affected in other ways, mandates in particular.

Where is this evolution of a new normal up to?

A media perspective. It’s a daily struggle to keep up with the pace of change and the actual change in technology, structure and the development of media let alone the news itself, if you are still interested, that is, many aren’t, they have shut the world out for their own peace of mind.

More recently major global disruption has done two things. First, this has significantly increased the amount of information available and secondly, this has allowed us to join a lot of dots and have a few ‘UhHa Moments’ … is that what is or has been going on.

Our mainstream media couldn’t publish enough in a day to keep up with the international news. It occurs to me we are in a similar situation to the US at the start of WW1. America saw a sanitised version of the news and later with George Creal a, this is what you need to know, selective version of world events as the war tumbled out of control into, The Great War.

The country has enough on its domestic plate to occupy us but that’s also directly linked to what’s rapidly changing overseas but which we are not seeing in our delivered news. If you look elsewhere, it is there to be found, in the internet age as long as we have the internet, that is.

“We are in the midst of a strategic competition to shape the future of the international order.” U.S. Admiral Paparo.”

This new normal is expanding itself to not only what is our new normal but what could our new normal be.

It is becoming apparent that in many parts of the world decisions are being made without any discernable outcome from their collective effect.

If we step away from trying to define “A New Normal” we have a new reality. The greater majority of our population was born after 1939, the year WW2 started and anyone born that year would be turning 85 this year.

Throughout our lifetime we have seen the portrayal of WW3 as a dramatic nuclear apocalypse, rather than one of conventional military warfare which is expanding into the drone wars: no where to run, no where to hide while there’s a drone in the sky.

In that respect that age of men is over. We’ve been superceded by the age of technology unless you’re playing the computer game driving the real life weapon.

This last week has reached epic proportions of declarations of WW3. Britain officially announced it earlier this year which might seem a little surreal if you aren’t seeing the collective statements from the world’s various leaders, military, civilian, or otherwise.

The global news that you may not see has implications. Take France for example, where Macron has just announced social welfare cuts to fund the war in Ukraine.

Then this is announced from his new prime minister Gabrielle Attal. (Their republic has a different process of appointment for a prime minister, it is effectively Deputy President)

What exactly this means is anyone’s guess as to France’s relationship with the EU, for the EU itself, for other countries in the EU and how France does business with other countries outside the EU and existing trade agreements – sovereignty really is the big if.

That’s one example of the extent of the global uncertainty. It exists in real time, and is a much bigger debate than anyone’s opinion on Ukraine, or Julian Assange’s extradition proceedings which are underway in the High Court of London.

Some of us have a sense of the uncertainty while others are still talking about how the last covid booster they got didn’t hurt their arm; that is the reality of how far apart our common sense is, how disproportionate our narrative is to what is or might be happening.

There is a simmering response to the uncertainty in discussions around NZ Health and NZ Transport for example where past and future directions may be in limbo based on international rules rather than sovereign rules.

What is also now an uncertainty is the new age of men in this country. It won’t be a younger audience reading this – they are too busy making sense of the mess.

For older men we have our memories and contributions to the country to look back on.

For younger men, this must be a time of real confusion and uncertainty about what their future holds, what their role might be, and how they should respond now.

I have noticed a bit of that rage of older white men recently, and fair enough, it’s not uncalled for but alongside that I think we need to see a narrative now that is more focused on young men than feminist ideals.


  1. From the post, and I think an important event.

    “country now without an oil refinery”

    I actually worked there, for a short period of time.
    An old employer contacted me, needing enough people for a job.
    Flights and accommodation, with good pay I couldn’t say no.
    It’s a hard to forget memory, working at the top of the towers.
    Heights are not my thing, but the view was great.

    It’s an important part of history, the government was thinking big.
    We had fossil fuels, but we didn’t have energy independence.
    We were importing refined product, at the whim of other nations.
    And after closing it down, we are in the same position.
    The ships could simply stop coming, and we run out of petrol.

    I have watched some nations, what happens when they do big things.
    It’s hard for me to see the bad, when often great things are made.
    Private enterprise won’t invest, but the government can.
    Think of the original investment, the big sum of think big.
    The economic activity of the refinery, was huge in comparison.
    The business may have struggled, but I paid income tax like many others.
    By a long way, the government got its money back.

    What’s better, making things or getting rid of things.
    If you don’t want petrol, you must think big with electricity.
    If the ships stop coming, do you hope your car is electric.
    I don’t see what problem was solved, we still use as much petrol.
    Was getting rid of the refinery, just political and not rational.
    There was no new think big, to have energy independence.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Sat 24th February 2024 @ 10:11 am

  2. The post wasn’t intended to centre on the oil refinery – that was to show how the decision about an oil refinery did less damage than an idea like mandates.

    Remembering that mandates were a decision where Thailand for example in the same month of September 2021 made the opposite decision to NZ.

    The NZ refinery existed before “Think Big” which was a response to the 1970s oil shocks and energy security.

    You’ve missed the news though on the current think big which was why Ardern was at Blackrock.

    It’s a dodgy deal cooked up by the Chinese to sell solar power and electric cars.

    The current continuation of this is Luxon talking about building many new dams as the Blackrock deal requires a Multi Billion dollar investment from government before 2030.

    The reason you don’t see this is because you get a propaganda narrative rather than a newsfeed about what’s going on.

    This post will give you a general catch-up on what’s going on.

    Comment by Down Under — Sat 24th February 2024 @ 11:37 am

  3. You make very good observations, about the world.
    WW2 seems not relevant, it is so long ago it’s a history subject.
    But what a mess that got made, look at events after the war.
    We fought for Poland, but Poland didn’t get freedom at the time.
    Nations still argue about borders, WW2 never really ended.

    The young NZ men of today, are not being drafted to go to war.
    They don’t see death is close, that war can start at any moment.
    They give guns to groups of men, and send them towards the enemy.
    The young male thinks he has freedom, war easily takes that away.

    As for tactics for WW3, I suspect you better dig.
    It’s the only way to hide, if the enemy controls the sky.
    If the drone can’t see you, the satellite is watching you.
    But if you hide in tunnels, the enemy can’t find you.
    If you are the defender, tunnels are a great idea.

    Drones could control the sky, planes become useless.
    AI missiles always hit, even tanks become useless.
    Shipping spotted from space, it can’t hide from the missile.
    A powerful weapon today, is really useless tomorrow.

    Maybe humans could try talking, fighting seems pointless.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Sat 24th February 2024 @ 12:37 pm

  4. There have been a few news articles recently about the urgent need to dig bunkers.

    Comment by Downunder — Sat 24th February 2024 @ 2:03 pm

  5. I’m sure the term is older, there is lots of new normal events.
    TV was invented, and it became normal to watch TV.
    The toilet was invented, now it’s normal to have one.
    We looked at human rights, now it’s normal that anyone can vote.
    People were dying, now it’s normal for cars to have seatbelts.
    For near eternity there was no internet, now it’s a new normal.

    There is before and after, for all human advancement.
    A new law or new thing, new science or new culture.
    To say there is a new normal, means you can’t go backwards.
    Something happened, and you can’t change what happened.
    If a new normal has happened, then what changed.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Tue 27th February 2024 @ 5:26 pm

  6. Imagine living life, where nothing ever changes.
    One day a person invented a spear, next thing that’s normal.
    But that’s all the excitement over, hundreds of millennia go by.
    Maybe the spears inventor, proclaimed a new age of mankind.
    Most of human experience, involved no new normal at all.

    Yet here we are in the present, change is constantly happening.
    The horse and cart was normal, for thousands of years.
    Just 100 years ago, that was still normal nearly everywhere.
    But those are things, humans go further with new normals.
    Just with the vote of yes, politicians with laws make new normals.

    Whatever the new normal is, it can literally be forced on you.
    That’s true for government, but things can have the same effect.
    The spear is a huge problem, if you were the people without them.
    Banking changes and you can’t avoid it, things are done a new way.
    What is the horse and cart of today, that tomorrow will be gone.

    Maybe in 100 years time, can you still see real money existing.
    That will be a new normal, when a government does that.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Thu 7th March 2024 @ 7:40 pm

  7. We are losing freedom daily, how long before it’s everything.
    Your phone is turned off, but the AI is listening to everything.
    You leave your home, and every street has cameras.
    Your car will be on the web, reporting position and speed.

    It’s like we become a surveillance state, and everyone is fine with it.
    We are not marching in the street, demanding our freedom back.
    Soon the police will scan your face, to confirm your identity.
    The AI using his body camera, will say who you are.

    Do we ignore life’s changes, because criminals should worry.
    The changes look good, because it’s easy to solve crime.
    We give away all our privacy, thinking we get safer.
    A new normal may be no privacy, government sees everything.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Sun 17th March 2024 @ 6:52 pm

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