Apolitical Summer

Cillian Lyne explains why he definitely did not engage in politics this summer.

I did my best to avoid politics during the summer. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I wasn’t interested in the machinations of the world, it’s just that I found myself becoming too interested.

There is only so much of the culture clash between logic and nonsense that I can take before I get disheartened by the whole thing.

In the U.S., we have Trump, whose overt abnegation of reality is so ultimately depressing that the average CNN viewer is now an inch shorter. Investigations into the Presidency are finding more and more evidence of Russian collusion. He still denies it, of course.  In my eyes, it would be better if, like a Mission Impossible movie on a terrible budget, he ripped off his orange face to reveal a cold, pale, bald, and handsome Russian GRU operative who would remark without a smirk “and I almost got away with it too, if it weren’t for you meddling kids.”

Instead, he calls former staff members dogs, starts trade wars with his closest allies, and laughs at starving children. He didn’t do that last one, but I bet you didn’t even flinch. That’s how bad things have gotten.

Europe may be in a better state, but still has its issues. Swedish cars are being burnt out by youths and the far-right party, the Sweden Democrats, are claiming the crimes were perpetrated by immigrant groups. Yet, unsurprisingly, investigators have found co-ordinations within these attacks which don’t quite support the “dangerous, crazy immigrants” narrative.

This crinkles my tinfoil hat, considering an anti-immigrant moral-panic would be a useful and timely tool preluding the Swedish elections on September 9th.

Further right (politically, not geographically), we have Brexit.

The U.K is set to leave the E.U in March of 2019, but has there been enough planning done on how to keep the country afloat without its biggest trade partner? Not from where I’m standing. This information is common knowledge to the public, yet according to Sky News, 40% of people still think Brexit should still happen. This isn’t surprising when you consider that another recent poll by Sky News found that 60% of the British public thought that Boris Johnson comparing Burkas to post-boxes wasn’t racist.  

Jacob Reese-Moggs, chief of the “postbox-haters”, is still trying to get the Northern Irish Border issue dismissed by offering European trade concessions. In exchange, the whole thing will be quietly acknowledged with a firm shrug of the shoulders and a smug imperial smile. I don’t expect him to realise that he can’t ignore the North, especially when I’m certain he has to double check his phone to spell his last name. 

At home, I think we are in a better situation. We repealed the 8th Amendment, which is fantastic, but we still haven’t actually legislated to provide access abortion services. That’s coming soon – apparently.

Despite this success, we have a homelessness crisis which is being addressed in the same way a dedicated Mammy might apply a plaster to a stab wound.  Plans to fix the crisis can be kindly described as ineffective, but I don’t believe any government could do any better… or worse.

Rents are up, and soon only Tesla owners and Saudi oil barons will be capable of buying or renting within 500 km of Blanche. This is appropriate, as blanching is the only sane reaction when checking daft.ie,  only to find a cloak room and en-suite (to share) for a cool €7000 a week. Included is a free hosing-down every five days because the shower is being rented to a family of six from Ballygurteen.

Another housing bubble is just around the corner, so don’t forget to stock up on supplies for when it eventually pops and we all devolve, Mad Max style, into roving bandit gangs. Who knows, maybe Carlow might get some international recognition as the site of the world’s first Thunderdome.

As we slowly begin our journey to anarchy, across the world China has gone in the opposite direction. Xi Jingping has dropped the ‘democracy’ act at this point. China tracks its citizens internet browsing, including posts on social media, which is scary enough as it is. Yet in the latest display of authority, Chinese artist Dong Yaoqiong was involuntarily admitted to a psychiatric hospital after she filmed herself splashing ink on a picture of the President. Since then, her father has been refused visitation, and another artist Hua Yong has been confined to his home after he spoke out over the issue. With all of Donald Trump’s tweets, at least we can say he doesn’t turn people into “fake news”.

This is all happening alongside civil wars in Africa, genocide in Southeast Asia, corruption scandals, and a Papal visit. It’s been crazy.

So yeah, I did try to not focus on politics during the summer. I just wasn’t very good at it.