Stephen Fahey: The eye of the political storm

None of us can escape the political storm. It’s on every TV, in every newspaper, at every dinner table. It is a screaming voice in our heads, and very few of us ever fully silence it. When we were small children, most of us were unaware of politics. But now that we are older the political world has forced itself into ever part of our lives. We can’t even use the bathroom in peace now without some notification on our phones interrupting our private time.

However, there is a secret weapon against the politics storm. It’s a very simple concept, but it takes some practice. Knowing that politics needs us to pay attention to it makes it easier to ignore. The tactics of political power is negative, „or else”, so ignoring it for even one day per week can be stressful. But knowing that you can easily catch up on what you missed on the next day makes it much easier to ignore for just a short time.

Don’t worry if you don’t make it through the first day without sneaking a peek at your emails. It’s a nasty little habit that will take time to change. And don’t feel bad if you spend extra time catching up on your news the following day. But do take note of how different you feel after you’ve taken a step back for a moment. You won’t be up to running a marathon, or you probably won’t, at least, and you might feel guilty, abandoned or anxious. But remember, that is how the political machine is designed to make you feel.

We are bombarded with information at all times and most of it is negative, or at least leads to us feeling negatively. But that is only because negativity is what makes us pay attention, and it is what keeps us come back for more.

On week two, try to get through one day without checking your political updates at all. Then, when you get up the next day, try to wait until after lunch to delve back into your news addiction. The following week, try to wait until after dinner. On week three try to take two days off.

As you spend more and more time outside of the greasy world of so-called news, you will start to notice real-world phenomena, such as strange flying creatures, called ‚birds’, and odd, leafy things sticking up out of the ground, called ‚plants’. You will also magically have more of what we call ‚time’, with which you can live what we call a ‚life’.

When you return to the ‚news’ you will also notice the funnier side of politics: Candidates and Ministers and Governors and the like, all play the same game. But some of them play it very well. And others, not so much. They prostitute themselves to be liked by the public. But unlike prostitutes, politicians do not provide all that they promise, nor are politicians as honest of prostitutes. In fact, politicians are, with few exceptions, how Hollywood sees prostitutes, while prostitutes are seen as Hollywood sees politicians. Oh, the irony.

Practice this skill. It gets easier and more enjoyable to spend time away from the torrent of political ‚news’ that we are smothered with on a minute-by-minute basis. Catch your headlines and get out. They want you to spend all day in there, trolling through unimportant talk about what a celebrity wore to dinner last night, and who they ate that dinner with, and who used to be married to the person they had dinner with in the aforementioned good, or not so good, garment.

If anything, find a prostitute and talk to them instead. They’ll be more honest, and they’ll tell you much better, more dramatic, more exciting and more socially relevant stories than any politician, even the good ones (politicians) who care about the public and work in its best interests. Remember, one day at a time. It won’t hurt, much, and it’ll feel better the more you do it. You can do it!

Stephen Fahey

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