Transcribe your podcast

Bressay, good morning. Good morning, how are you doing? Good. No breezy, you recently became aware of a rumor about yourself and you've addressed it this week in your podcast. And I think some people were a bit taken aback when they heard initially. Let's just play a clip from it.


But one thing that you may not know about me is that for a number of years, I was dating the leader Tesuque and Prime Minister of Ireland, Leo Farragher. We had to keep our relationship secret. So secret, in fact. That we didn't even know about it. I may not be able to tell me over a glass of wine. You know, at first, if I can have a. That's right, I to me, Natalie, you need to lay off the D.A., I mean, never seriously, when did you find out about this rumor?


It's about 43 years ago now. Do that. And that became always the housemate that you said it to me. Did you hear that rumor? And I was like and he started saying that. And I like the two of us for about an hour to spread around the sitting room because it's such a great rumor. Like rumors sometimes going to be bad ones are, you know, potentially sinister ones. And then there's ones that are just a bit of crack.


Yeah, I heard it kind of was like, that's a good rumor. And I think that the whole idea around the Where's My Mind podcast is we kind of look at cultural kind of things rather than just it's all about the mind. It's like the parts of culture that are quite interesting sociologically and for me, Brummer and it's true f non truths and all these different things are such an important fixture of our society. But they're also becoming quite a big problem now as a that's that was a harmless one as a case study to kind of tell the story and for the social experiment on the podcast is far more difficult.


You know, we talk a bit more broadly about rumors in the second. Can I just ask you and that one, did you ever talk to the minister about this? Was he where this rumor.


No, no, no. I mean, I barely I've never met him briefly once for an interview. But I think it was just I just thought this was a great way to tell the story and that the funny part about it was was the reaction to it proved the entire point of the podcast that nobody generally looks at the verification of information are the source of information. And that was the entire idea. And to tell yourself, Brennan, to tell do something like this, you need to tell the story.


There has to be a hook. There has to be a way to bring the plane. So that was the kind of idea around it. And the rumor itself, like I mean, apparently everybody knew about it and were saying and it was just such a brilliant one. I just thought it was it was a great way to tell the story about how information, just truth has become so relevant in the modern world, the modern society.


Yeah. The thing is, though, you could have done this Streisand effect here as well, because I'd never heard the rumor. But no, I've heard it like you, not worried you were amplifying the rumors. Likely Israel.


Oh, you see, I didn't have a problem with the rumor, the rumor. You know, at the end of the day, it was a relatively harmless one. And I think the idea is to hold important point around the social experiment of when you put something out like that and the vast majority of people who who didn't get us hadn't even listened to the podcasts. And that's the issue. You see, if we can it's not just around rumor.


If we're going to continue to kind of process information this way in the modern world, we have to start verifying information and get source, and that's just not happening anymore. And that was the entire idea of the podcasts.


Did you ever I know you were going to put the rumor out there in this format? Did you know?


I don't think there was a great story that Brian Higgins is a good mate of mine is the CEO. The house was the CLP house for four years, and he was doing darkness into light and he was walking with me on the stage. You said the point a madam president. I am. How did you hear that rumor? And of course I did. Yes, I was just the fact that it was just like it was the way Brian kind of told me the story.


And I just thought it was a brilliant way. As I said to Scott, the podcast was podcasting is it's all about storytelling and it really is. It's not just about interviewing someone and getting information. You have to tell stories. Yeah.


And you have to up and. Yeah. And you point out that that that's a rumor that like it's harmless and often a bit of fun and everybody now knows it's not true and everything, but that you think I know that rumors can do terrible harm to people as well.


Of course, they can't I mean, like the thing about it is like how many of us have got like a WhatsApp group treads where some completely fabricated piece of information travels and then travels online and then it travels into an online news source. And then it's whether it's true or not, it's fact. And nobody wants to look at the source. It wants to verify that information. And this is really important stuff because young kids, I believe, digital literacy and media literacy, it's going to become a crucial part of democracy, of education.


And I look, for example, with systems, when you look at something, what for example, what happened to Maurice McCabe, Almaraz McCabe did was tell the truth. And he was a man of integrity. And he was punished for it through rumor and through fabrication of information. And when systems are doing that, we can hardly expect anybody else within society. And we need to be able to trust systems. We need to be able to trust our journalists.


We need to be able to trust our state. You know, and the reality is when those when those foundations of trust start breaking down, it becomes very hard to keep. And we can see that in misinformation, though. And and it's just getting fundamentally worse because there is so many different ways for us to process and get information. And that's all we were trying to do with the podcasts, like the only people who got a best put out by yet, where people who didn't listen to us, they didn't listen, go and listen to.


And that's the most important part of the point. I think Brandan, is without context in this modern world, we're going to struggle and context is everything. So how we receive information and take it, I think we all know that with a personal responsibility to start seeing where it's coming from without just spreading a WhatsApp group thread that somebody decides to throw in randomly on a Web Monday morning, understand that they have real consequences with with certain people.


And I think I think president a lot of people think if the people are well known, people who are in the public eye that usher look, they can take it and people feel they can say what they want about them. Like, have you found it in the public eye that people like that, that there have been other rumors about you during the years and stuff? I mean, at the end of the day, like that, is sincerity part of your job when you're working in the public eye in any way you're going to have to said about you that aren't true, you know, things said about you that are true.


And I think the reality is me and you and both. If everything we did in our teenage years was actually put out there and you wouldn't have a career because we've all made huge mistakes, we've all messed up. And the reality is that the thing about it is where the information is to spread around there as it's been weaponized in a way that is in some cases is destroying people's careers and their livelihoods. And a lot of these people have families and they need to support them.


So and that's not just the reality is it's not just people in the world of gay rumor and idle gossip is just part of the fabric of our society. And that was the point of the podcast. And I think we need to now we need to now take personal responsibility because it's not going to change. But if you see something in a society where you see it online and your friends are saying, ask, where did you get that information? How did you get it?


Have you verified it was the context of this or else we're just going to continue to tear each other apart online? And that's probably an idealistic view of my own I'd like to see us get. But I do think digital and media literacy training and schools will help young people especially understand how how information source. And right now, for example, in journalism, we've realized how important good journalism is, an art in the last few months, how crucial it is to a functioning democracy, how absolutely important it is for society.


And we need to value journalism in a real, real, tangible way. And I think we shouldn't we should call out anyone who doesn't source information or doesn't verify information or doesn't have evidence that information. I think that's really important because I want to trust the journalism. I think journalism, as I say, it's such a crucial part of democracy.


It's interesting what you said there about that. If if everything you did in your teenage years was out there, you wouldn't have a career. And Lacroix's to me, I'm not I'm not I'm not excluding myself from it.


Like nobody is perfect. But is there is there an increasing thing now that anybody who's in the public eye are sticks their head above the parapet? If they don't have an absolutely clean sheet, that they can be taken out at any time?


Of course there is, and I absolutely 100 percent will stay, and in my heart, I've done things I'm not proud of. I've done things that everybody has for human beings. And at the end of the day, human beings, we're we're imperfect. We live in an imperfect world and we're punished for imperfection. And it doesn't matter who you are or what you are. A threat of misinformation affects everybody. It affects our shopkeeper down here in malingerer.


I am affects me, affects anybody, and it affects politics. You know, we saw what happened with misinformation and bad information on the night, you know, what happens. And right now, the most crucial thing we can do is to make sure we have a communication in place. This communication has never been more important than it is now, and we need to find a way to trust it. And that, to me, is essentially the story I was trying to tell in a bit of a phone way in the podcast.


And of course, you had people then going, you're just like, why are you promoting this? Because because it's a podcast. Because that's what you do. But I had a lot of fun making this, but I also brought up a lot of stuff for me and made me realize that I don't want to talk to just the idea that there is this that information is has been weaponized around. Like what what really came out for me is the fact that I start to look at politics.


And I was going to do the entire podcast on politics and how state has used rumor to, but I thought that was almost too dark and I wanted to keep the kind of fun element of it. But that is a reality. You know, when we look at, as I said, the master cave situation, you know, that man is truth. And he was punished for truth and for punishing people for truth. We're going down a bad path.


And I think that is kind of ultimately what I was trying to tell in the podcast. And I hope it works. And for those of you who are still listening, God, what is he talking about? Listen to the podcast. It's it's called Rumor Has It, whereas my mind rumor has it kind of explains it as best as I could. And at the end of the day, Brandon, these are just opinions. You know, we're not standing here.


We have this all figured out. I don't. But it's certainly part of society that I worry about. I worry about young people.


And you worry as well that that women are more often the victim of this kind of thing, don't you? It is like I mean, I've I've a lot of the work done on the podcast at but it for like you, you see especially that you look something like Meghan Markle. What's happened to her? You know, that at the end of the day is, is it's it's a cocktail of horrible things. It's racism. It's not misogyny. It is absolute evil, what they're what they're doing to that lady and and those type of things.


Like I like if you, for example, I don't know any other man has been treated that way online in that kind of way, that she hasn't done anything wrong except trying to be sound, which is essentially what you know, she's very socially conscious. She's she cares a lot about our society. She cares about young people. And what really is terrifying is you look back to Prince Diana, Princess Diana, and you kind of go, my God, why do we keep making the same mistakes all the time?


Why do we allow people to do this to people? And and, you know, I spoke to Jameela Jamil, who was in the podcast the week before, who also has been kind of direct hit with this stuff where she works with an activism and she's sort of been written about her is just torrent. And, you know, and that's the kind of reality of doing the podcast. I have to read a lot of research, a lot, and you start to see things and it worries me slightly.


But also the key to this is education. You know, these things won't change. These these parks, these cogs of society I don't think will change. But what will change is we can teach people to navigate them and understand them. And that that, to me, is all I'm trying to do with the podcast.


OK, now, speaking of of young people and kids and their their mental health and minding them and all that kind of thing. You have another Mindfulness for Children book coming out this week. I know this is your this is your third one. You were an anxious kid yourself, weren't you? Yeah, it was a warrior of a child like I mean, I think being a worrying child is probably quite a common thing with a lot of children, especially right now.


God, like the like the fact this is having on children is pretty gargantuan. I think when I was a child, I was worried. I was the kind of guy who would, you know, go and stay in my house and then bring my moment like eight o'clock, 12 o'clock at night saying I'm sick, come and get me kind of thing and just kind of normal stuff. But when I got to a 13, I kind of got a little bit more chronic and more serious.


And the thing about the kids books was when I was studying, I got very interested in how kids are processing the world and how they're seeing the world and whether they're able for all the stuff that's going on. And I always believe mindfulness for me. You see the children, our own car blocks, they're blank canvases. They don't they don't have that cynicism we might have as adults about, listen, this this is good. This is a really great way to kind of settle you.


And they're just sponges. They love it. So the great students. And that's why I'm quite passionate about working with children on mindfulness and the work that I do. I'm helping them navigate and express emotion and feel emotion and then communicate that to their parents are the guardians, because the ability to communicate emotion and express it, it's such a crucial part of our emotional wellbeing and World Mental Health Day, you know, being able to tell that story is so important and be able to teach kids to do it at that age is a superpower that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.


Yeah, this book is about anger, which is funny. Like we we can't what do we do with kids in anger?


Like we kind of tell them it's a bad thing to be angry, really, don't we? I'd maybe encourage them to control it or whatever, but maybe that's not the answer, is it?


No, I think that is from from day one. I suppose me and you would have been told that negative and difficult emotions should be kind of dismissed from our lives, as if we shouldn't experience them or as normal as positive emotions. And we also have created this kind of wellness industry that says we should only value positivity. But the reality is negativity, negative and difficult emotions are as much part of our human condition as being happy. And they tell us a lot about ourselves.


And I think that is the one thing even my own journey or my mental health, I used to run from them and to learn to get to know them and understand them and hold them to account becomes really important. And anger, for example, is an emotion we all experience and a lot of us are experiencing at the moment because this is such a difficult, uncertain time. It's terrifying people. And sometimes our reaction to fear and anxiety is anger.


And we start directing that anger maybe at the wrong people are we react in ways that we don't particularly like about ourselves. I don't know if you've done it. And what I'm trying to do is to create that pause that Victor Frankl called between stimulus and response. There's space. And in that space is your ability to choose and in that choice is growth. And that to me is important. But anger, if you can just stop for a second when you feel that fire coming and take a few breath and actually try to figure out where you're going with it.


Simple as that. OK, Bressay, thanks a million for talking to me this morning.


And where can people find the podcasts and podcasts on Spotify and other Kids podcast coming out all next week as well on our podcast platforms every day? Next week, it's a simple meditation and mindfulness techniques for kids that they can use on their parents. It's called My Presence Mindful Moments for Kids.


Cool. And the book is called A Skill, and that's coming out now. I know. And the great little simple techniques and we certainly use them in our house. OK, we are going to take a pause now. Thanks a million and we'll take a break.


Brendan O'Connor on our TV Radio One.