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You cross the Sullivans, welcome to The Blind Bye podcast, if you're a brand new listener to this podcast, maybe go back to some of the earlier episodes. And if you're a regular listener, stick around. You just boys and girls, I've had a bit of a strange week because I found out that my social media activity is being monitored by the Irish government, which is just feels a bit weird.
And I don't know if it's ethical or not. And the Department of Justice, the Irish Department of Justice has been monitoring. People on Twitter who have a sizable following, who have been critical of direct provision, which is direct provision, have spoken about it many times in this podcast, I've had people from direct provision speaking on this podcast. Direct provision is an incredibly inhumane and cruel system in Ireland where asylum seekers are essentially interned. They're kept in internment, a glorified prison.
It's I view it as an abuse of human rights and the Irish government has been criticized by foreign governments for direct provision. I don't like it. I think people who seek asylum should be treated with dignity and humanity. Instead, we have direct provision, which is. Internment, that is. It's for profit as well, which is something that turns my stomach. And there are private tax tax money pays to, in turn, people who are seeking asylum, and the money is then paid to private individuals and businesses who profit from human misery.
And so the Department of Justice are monitoring anyone with a sizable following who's speaking out about it negatively. Specifically, they're interested in anybody who's comparing direct provision to Ireland's Magdalene Laundries, which is something I've been saying for a long time. I, I do believe in Ireland. We had the scandal of the Magdalene Laundries, which brought the Catholic Church would imprison and in turn women who were believed to be quote unquote, fallen, and they were severely abused and it was kept behind high walls.
And this was all up until the 90s in Ireland, far from the 1950s onwards. No Magna Laundries have been around longer than that. I believe that direct provision is my generation's Magdalene Laundries. I think it's a horrendous system and I'd like it to end. And so the Department of Justice have been monitoring my online activity, filing it in reports who they then which they then present to the government and not just me. They've been doing it to asylum seekers, asylum seekers who are on Twitter, who are speaking about their experiences, speaking about the human rights abuses that they're experiencing.
They've been monitoring Hozier is another person that's been monitored and the right or case. So the Irish Independent managed to break this story under the Freedom of Information Act. And I just think it's weird. I think it's fucking strange. I wonder, is it a violation of my GDP? I mean. I'm saying this publicly, I'm saying it on Twitter for anybody to see, OK, it's on Twitter for anybody to see. I'm open and vocal about trying to raise awareness for direct provision because the government don't speak about it.
They don't want people to speak about it right now. At the height of the coronavirus situation, there's outbreaks in direct provision centres because people living in direct provision, in tand, in direct provision, they can't socially distance if several people to a room and you're getting clusters of covid-19 and it's a stain on the country. I believe in speaking about it, I believe in supporting an organization called Massee, which is a charity organization that tries to end direct provision and raise awareness to direct provision.
And this has gotten me of like a government fucking watch list are something. And it just feels creepy and strange and odd. And it's not going to stop me, I'm not going to I'm 100 percent within my rights, my fuckin taxes. Pay for the government to take those taxes and treat people in an inhumane fashion. So I don't want my taxes spent like that. I live in a democracy. I'm entitled to be critical of the government. I'm entitled to criticize the policy.
I'm entitled to use my platform to speak about it. And to be put on a list is weird as fuck.
It's weird as fuck, and I hope. I don't know someone fucking legal, someone keeps an eye on us. Because it's just it's it's what they do with that thing. What does that mean for me, you know? What does that mean in 10 years? The only good thing about it is they call me an artist. In the in the report, it mentions blindly referred to direct provision on this date blind by compared direct provision to Magdalene Laundries.
At least they referred to me as an artist because when my books are getting reviewed, they're not calling me an artist or calling me a novelty act. So thank you to the Department of Justice for at least acknowledging that I'm an artist. But yet that's been my week, it hasn't. I mean, I'm there with, like Christy Moore fuckin or Marian Keyes, a lot of journalists are on it. There's quite a lot of people. But. It's it's weird.
What else can I say about it?
It's weird and strange, and I don't know if it's right, maybe be a bit more honest about it of what makes me uncomfortable. It's the tone of the reports, it's it's what they're interested in. It's it's clearly like it's. The reports are almost like the cat's out of the bag. It's like the Department of Justice saying the cat is out of the bag. These people are speaking about things we don't want them to speak about. And the reports reveal.
A kind of a government insecurity about specifically what they don't want people saying about direct provision. So what seems to be a big trigger for them is when you compare direct provision to the Magdalene Laundries, which I 100 percent do. Absolutely, it is internment of innocent people, it's deliberate secrecy. I think the most shocking and. The most shocking shit about direct provision is going to come out in 10 years, right? I think it's happening now that we don't even know behind closed doors and high walls like Magna Laundries, I'm.
Magdalene Laundries were also exploited for profit Magdalene Laundries. They used to export the labor of the women in Magna Laundries to fucking the company that made Boccaro Games in the 90s. There was women making making these games. It's the same shit that I don't like about Magdalene Laundries is also what I don't like about direct provision. So the report seemed to have take issue with anyone, compare and direct provision to Magdalene Laundries. It also. Which I found strange it any time a person critiqued direct provision and related it back specifically to the government was also something that got flagged, which I did, because it's the government does oversee direct provision.
And Massey, which is a charity organization, as I mentioned. It accused Massey of of capitalizing on the attention that direct provision was receiving from people like myself and Marian Keyes, Christy Moore and Hozier, which I just don't like that language, capitalizing, capitalizing. The only people I see fucking capitalism are the government taking tax money to run direct provision centres for the direct profit of private individuals to they've they've managed to turn human misery into a product that can be milked for profit.
That that's the only people I see capitalizing on direct provision. I don't see Massey, which is a charity organization that wants to end direct provision, raise awareness for a direct provision. They're not capitalism. They're an organization that's set up to try and stop what they what they perceived as human rights abuses. So it's a. That's disappointing, I'm fucking disappointed. It doesn't feel. Like that doesn't feel like democratic freedom, right? It feels like real sneaky monitoring.
And at the very least, and as well, as I tell you, the journalist who found out everything was Alan Kyne. Who is a brilliant journalist, and she's been doing fantastic work for a few years, but like, that's why we need to support journalism as well.
That's what good journalism is. Good journalism is when someone has the resources to know I'm no fan of the fucking independent, but and as a journalist, she was given the resources to go watch the government up to what can we get here from the Freedom of Information Act to monitor monitoring people on social media who are critical of direct provision. Holy shit, people need to find out about this. And that's what journalists do, because if you don't have properly funded journalists, then no one's looking at that and that she goes under the carpet.
This is embarrassing for the government. That's weird as fuck monitoring people's tweets and putting it into reports. Odd. And then you're going. Am I on a list now? Am I on a fucking list? Does the state now view me as a radical? Am I a troublemaker? Is my name going to be if I go to America? Is this information given to the Yanks and now the Yanks when I try and get into America, am I brought into that fucking room for my political beliefs are?
They're going well, the Irish government is interested in your tweets, talking about direct provision, we need to know about you because they can do that shit when you try and go into America. And it all feels wrong. I wonder, is it in accordance with my GDP rights around my personal data, I'm. Should they not fuckin ask you, you know, I know you put your tweets out in public, but we're about to put these into a government report here.
And can we have permission first? You can in your fuck is what I would have said. No, you can't. That's my data. That's mine. I intend this for that, for public tweets, but not for fucking government reports. So fair play to.
Good journalism finds that shit out, if that's if a journalist didn't take it upon themselves to search for this information on the freedom of information, I wouldn't know about it.
You wouldn't know about it. And we increasingly have an issue now in Ireland, too, where? Journalism is is being so poorly funded. And like journalisms taken a big hit, the Internet has as like many things, has really hit journalism over the years. Coronavirus has made a huge hit on journalism because there's not as much digital spend. So a lot of journalists have been laid off. And what what a trend I'm seeing emerging, which is worrying.
Is a lot of journalists, instead of holding power to account, which is what journalists should do, hold power to account, ask questions of power, like journalism is an essential part of democracy. Fucking essential journalists are the people who impartially keep the government in fucking check and make sure the government aren't doing anything underhanded and that journalists are the people to go. Is there transparency? Great. Give us a look at everything. And there's something there we don't like.
We feel a duty to tell everybody because we are journalists. Is that all right? That's a cornerstone of democracy and. There's Irish journalists now who are on. Twitter in particular, really licking the asses off our politicians, really saying things that don't challenge power at all, but instead echo government spin.
And the reason this trend is occurring within journalism is quite a lot of journalists are leaving journalism because their careers are under threat because they don't know whether they have a job leaving journalism and instead taking up positions as special advisers to the government because there's lots of money there and there's a guaranteed job. So you've got two camps, journalists. So you've got ones who are not challenging power. Sucking up to the government, repeating spin in the hope that they get noticed and the government goes that journalists there, they don't seem to critique us, they seem to instead of critiquing us, this journalist seems to repeat what we want people to believe.
Consider them for a job as a special adviser, will give them a pension as well. And that's happening that and that's really fucking worrying. I mean, right now in Ireland, there's been a bit of a spike, again, in coronavirus cases. A lot of these things, a lot of the spikes are as a result of the most. Marginalized people who are unable to socially distance people in direct provision centres and people working in like the meatpacking industry who are very low paid, often migrant workers who can't socially distance.
And this is a bit of a scandal. It's a bit of a scandal and it lies on the shoulders of the government. They don't really want people talking about it. So at the weekend there, there was a there was a bar in Dublin and someone threw a fucking party and the party got out of hand and people got drunk and nobody was social distancing. And it was atrocious, videos leaked, everyone was fucking mingling poor and drinks into each other's mouths, a hotbed for coronavirus, nobody approves of that.
I saw that and I said, what a fucking disappointment. All right. But as soon as I saw young people enjoying themselves but enjoying themselves recklessly in terms of a pandemic recklessly shouldn't have done it. Everyone who was participating in that is wrong and they shouldn't have done it. And I don't agree with it. But as soon as I saw it, I said, fuck.
Now I know what the government are going to do, they are going to seize upon this party. Speak about that. And then not speak about their own shortcomings with meat processing plants and with direct provision centres and with the clusters that are happening there now, they have their distraction because psychologically it works. You have young they are young, trendy people having fun and. We like to hear that, you know, most people like to hear that you see Fokin people, people in their 20s having a fucking laugh, dressing in cold clothes.
I'm in my 30s and there's a part of me that goes, you fucking pricks. I'd love to I'd love to be 22, wearing cool clothes, not giving a shit about not I hey no, I don't.
But I'm saying this is we as humans, we tend to. There's a part of us that doesn't like. Not doesn't like we're envious of you were envious of freedom. All right, we're envious of people who look cool, were envious of people who appear to be expressing freedoms like I'm from Fokin. I'm from Limerick, so. You see someone you see someone going down the street and. They are dressed in really trendy clothes are they've gotten their hair stylist is out there and they're drawing attention and they're expressing themselves.
And your first reaction is what a fucking prick. I bet they think they're great and we all do it like, what the fuck is that? Why if you see someone. Care like caring about fashion, look and good luck and look and desirable, drawing attention, expressing themselves. Our first reaction is what a fuckin prick like what the fuck is that? Because the person essentially. They're doing something good there, their freedom of expression, they love their clothes, they care about fashion, they're entitled to feel, feel and look confident.
This is something we should be celebrating. But, yes, all of us tend to have a knee jerk reaction of that fucking prick.
They think their class dating their great and. What is this it's it's because we're all a little bit insecure. And when someone does this. We envy their courage. We envy. Maybe I'd like to have the cool fucking genes or the cool haircut and the yields and the desirability, maybe I'd like that, but when I'm too old now, but even when I was fucking younger and I'd be deceased, people the same age as me expressing fashion are hairstyles, are confidence.
And I'd feel that person thinks they're great.
It's because it makes me feel insecure. Reminds me of my fear to do that. It's why we had hipsters. That's why we hate trendy people. And it's fine. It's a normal human reaction so long as you don't run with it. You know, you're entitled. If if you see someone like that in a sense of begrudgingly comes up, it's OK for that to be a knee jerk reaction, so long as you challenge it, so long as you challenge it, you don't run with it.
And you go, hold on a second, I'm wrong. That person isn't harming re harming me that this is actually my problem. So fair play to them if they want to be fucking cool, fair play to them, just don't run with the feeling. So in relation to this party that happened at the weekend where people weren't respecting social distancing and it got really out of hand and the video was leaked and it was the biggest story in the fucking news over the weekend and how that would be spun.
The government wants to see this and they want us to say to ourselves. I'd love to be standing on a bar with a fuckin Mohawk, drinking whiskey out of the bottle. Look how cool he looks. What a fucking prick. You're going to kill my grandmother. Your coronavirus. I don't feel that way, obviously.
And this is this is a knee jerk reaction. And when this when this when that comes up in me, I challenge it. I go hold on a second. Blown by. That's you being insecure, projecting all your insecurities on an enemy and an innocent party, and you actually resent them for their youth and trendiness of which you no longer have access to because you're in your 30s carpenters and filmmakers of some parajuli and get interested in the color beige. That's what I do to myself, but.
It's storytelling, what what we often care about LEDs and governments understand this is the best story and. The best story is the spike in coronavirus is caused by young Yancoal, reckless, trendy people drinking and fucking each other. That's who's causing it, and then everyone can go, yeah, look at all them with their cold jeans fucking each other bastards. It's their fault. And. House party shouldn't be happening, people shouldn't a young people shouldn't be fucking gone mad, not respecting social distancing pass and then is it popline by a huge amount of the recent cases, are actually people under the age of 40.
Does that not mean that there are having house parties and fucking each other? Maybe some of them, maybe that's for some of the cases are coming from, but also young people are the ones on the front line. These are the people working in shops. These are the people with the most amount of interaction with the public because people who are older might have office jobs and are able to work from home. So there's that, too.
But that doesn't work as a narrative because that doesn't tie in with concepts such as sin and shame and abstinence and all this Catholic shit that comes up on us. No, no, no. They're all drinking and fucking each other. And that's going to kill my grandmother. In terms of the bigger issue, that that's not really the problem, the problem is the big problem. There's people living in direct provision who can't socially distance because there's nine of them to a fucking room and they're interned and we're seeing clusters and there's the poorest of the poor are working in meat processing plants are other industries.
And I don't know I don't know what the fuck's happening there, but clusters are happening in these situations and that lies upon the government. That's a scandal. But they don't want us to think about that or to talk about it.
So they go look at those people. There are 22 and they have cool hair and they're fucking each other on a bar. Whisky.
And then there you go, there's your big shiny coal thing they get pissed off about, and lo and behold, what happens today? Today, the government announced no restrictions because of spikes in coronavirus. What's the first thing the teacher talks about? The horrendous scenes at the weekend at that bar. No mention of direct provision, no mention of meat processing plants and or by the way, we've given the the police no powers in Ireland so they they can now enter your home without a warrant if they think that there's a house party going on which.
I just feel that's going to be abused, you know, but no mention of. Direct provision and fucking. Mais meat-packing industry, where we're seeing huge clusters, no mention of that, because there's a lovely tidy narrative about some young people who were extravagant gluttons and they were and they were wrong.
But it's just one incident. It's not systemic and it shifts eyes away from the responsibility of the people in power. And. How the fuck did I get into this spin, that's government spin. Controlling the narrative to control how we, the public behave and what you need is a journalist to go. No, no, no, hold on a second. You're annoyed about those young people drinking in the bar and not socially distancing? No, no, no, no.
That's just one little incident. All right. And that bar is going to shut down and we're going to make sure that doesn't happen again. And you're entitled to be angry about it. But however, it's a it's a distraction from something much bigger that's happening over here. And this much bigger thing is actually a scandal and the government is responsible. Same thing with folks in nursing homes. And good journalism goes, stop being distracted by this thing, that that sexy thing.
They are the mind that here's the bigger picture. Here's facts. Here's information. Here's the real thing that you should be angry about, because I'm holding the government to account. But if you have journalists instead going to know what I think, I'm going to get pissed off with young people in House parties state. And I'm going to write an opinion piece in the newspaper about this because I don't know if I'll have a job in this newspaper next year.
And I think the government are going to give me a job as a special adviser. So it's it's it's a toxic system and finding out that there's a fucking what a waste of resources.
Someone got paid taxes. To look to fuckin my tweets and Christie, more tweets and Marijan Keyes's tweets, the fuck is that? Grow up. And just regarding the importance of journalism, how do you support journalism directly?
All right. If you have a newspaper that you enjoy, subscribe to them literally take because are by the physical newspapers that that's the nice feeling of purchasing a newspaper and reading it. That's that's a good mindful experience. It'll take your eyes away from the phone. There's no harm in doing that. The old school where I just subscribe, if it's the newspaper that you like, if. This gives you the content that subscription is worth a hell of a lot more than just clicks, clicks and adds clicks and adds a shady way to support journalism.
I'm. Like the work that I did, like I'm not a fucking I'm not a journalist, but my recent BBC series was journalism. Now, what happened there is the BBC. Gave me huge resources for a year to me to come up with heartaches like I do with this podcast, but we employed a team of shit hard investigative journalists for a year to be paid properly and to do their job. And as a result of that BBC series that I made a blind on destroys the world.
We exposed some serious shit, we exposed the journalists, exposed some serious shit, and then I took that information, this rigorous information that they put hours of professional work into, and then I create an entertaining narrative or narrative around it to. Democratises to deliver it as entertainment so that it's consumed and engaging. That's my role. I'm not a journalist. I'm a storyteller. I will take the boring facts and data that a journalist will unearth. And then I go, what?
How can I turn this spin as well? I mean, spin is is what I do. That's my heart. Take a spin. The thing is, though. I try and keep my heart takes ethical, I don't punch down at my heart, takes my BBC series Blown By and Destroys is full of heartaches. But these heartaches are informed by journalism and they confront power. We did one episode about modern slavery, about the huge exploitation of migrant workers in the U.K. who are.
Really, really being exploited in industries such as building and fruit picking, I'm. Being for forced and coerced into. Into sex work that they don't want to do. And that's all possible because a team of journalists who are funded properly to do that work and they did that job, gave it to me, and then I turned it into entertainment so that the viewer can engage and understand it and consolidate the information emotionally so that it makes an impact and you care about it and want to see a change.
So that's that's my little rant, which I think I'm entitled to that fucking rant, if I'm now being monitored by the government, I think I'm entitled to that rant. And you know what? Let let's all get on a government watch list. Let's all learn about direct provision and speak about it online and. Find out about Massie MASC charity and what the work that they're doing, follow him online, consider donating to him, educate yourself. Don't don't allow.
A human rights abuses to happen in the country just don't don't allow it. Don't allow it and get yourself put on a list because you are expressing your rights as a citizen to say this is not how I'd like my country. I don't like this in my country. I don't like this. I want people to be treated with humanity and dignity and respect and the same do the same for Irish travelers, do the same for people living in emergency accommodation.
That's another that's another system. I haven't seen any government reports on me speaking about that. But direct provision and emergency accommodation, they're both their horns of the same toxic bowl. And emergency accommodation is where homeless people are put into a perpetual situation of. Living in hotel rooms and someone's profiting from it rather than providing them with home, it comes from the same ideological framework that would barter an idea like direct provision. It's hand a problem over to the over to private interests so that instead of solving it, it becomes a source of perpetual profit.
And human misery is the is the product that's fucked up.
So before I continue with the podcast, let's have our little ocarina, because we haven't had the Macarena on this podcast in a good few weeks because I've kind of gotten sick of the sound of it and because of my livestream and I have all these new instruments.
So this week I've got a quite a pleasant little bell and I'm going to play this bell and when I play at a digital advert would be inserted. So you don't get shocked by a digital advert. Here's the bell.
The bell pass. Oh, that's lovely and sweet, isn't it? Beautiful. That was the bell paused for an advert. So support for this podcast comes from you, the listener, via the Patreon page. Right. So the shtick is.
Usually what I say, look, it's a lot of work making this podcast, so by becoming a patron, you're paying me for the work that I'm doing. I'm also because of coronavirus, I can't do any gigs, so I have no fucking gig. So this podcast is my sole source of income now. So if you give me the price of a pint or a cup of coffee once a month, that pays my way. That pays for this podcast to be made and allows me to do it as a full time job.
So you're paying me for the work that I'm doing. What it also does is it gives me full editorial control. I. I'm able to talk about things like direct provision. And things like emergency accommodation, unfiltered without worry. To the point that it gets me put on a fucking government list.
And I'm not I'm not worried if I was if I was if I was employed by a large newspaper or if I was employed by a radio station and my tweets were getting me monitored by the government.
I think I'd be worried for my job because my employers would say. You're entitled to say what you want online, but this advertiser has a problem with this person, has a problem with us, are we are somehow involved with this government agency. We don't want to piss them off and the politics of it will get involved. I don't have any of that. I don't give a fuck. And even if I don't know. Is this going to affect now, like, oh, I have difficulty getting advertisers on this podcast and I've said this from the start, mainly because I speak about mental health, but also because I'm outspoken on politics.
A lot of brands just don't want to be.
They don't want to be adjacent to someone who's rattling cages are too outspoken, so they just they look past my podcast, but it doesn't really matter because the podcast is supported by the listener. So if if someone comes along and wants to advertise ground, they're in the minority fair play to him. Thank you for the support. But if they don't fuck them, the patriot exists. The listener you pay for this podcast to be made. And on top of it, if you can't afford to give me the price of a pint or a cup of coffee once a month, that's fine.
You can listen for free and then someone else who can afford it is paying for you. So it's a lovely egalitarian model that keeps everybody happy. Also, patrons come and go.
So I have to mention it each week. I got to have my pick.
My patron shelled out time because if I don't, people just won't subscribe. So every week I got to go remind you, if you're not a patron, please become a patron. And if you already are. Thank you so much for your continued support. Once a month, I pick out one patron at random. I send you a drawing, a handmade drawing in the fucking post. That's a custom drawer and it's like a lottery and art lottery and also support the podcast by leaving a review.
If you're on iTunes, it's not even on iTunes anymore. If it's on the Apple podcast app, leave or have you read the podcast that makes a difference. Tell a friend about it. Tell one friend about this podcast, especially if you're living outside of Ireland. Get him to listen to it and share it online. All these things get air support. The podcast AM. I'm also on Twitch three times a week now. Loads of you have been coming over from the podcast to my twitch stream.
Twitch that TV forward, slash the blind by podcast. I'm Livestream and guaranteed three times a week Wednesday, Thursday, Friday at half eight where I'm making music and playing video games and you can come and chat with me. You can talk with me. I'm on for a couple of hours. It's great for can crack. The best thing to come out of the coronavirus for me is discovering live streaming because I'm really loving it as an outlet and sometimes I'm on at the weekends.
But it's good fun to watch that TV Fiberglas to blame by podcast. Right, come along to that. So. As you can tell, because we're 35 minutes into the podcast, I don't usually like. Do a mad topical podcast like that, I don't usually it's rare.
That's because what I want is I like it when I have no listeners and I can say to them, go back to any old podcast I like that you can pick any podcast episode you want.
And it doesn't matter that it was recorded two years ago. That's the stuff that I'm talking about, isn't incredibly relevant to the now, but every so often I will. And I think yet this week I needed to do it, but sometimes as well with this podcast, especially with social distancing.
And me, me, not really, I'm like, I'm not seeing a lot of people and I haven't seen a lot of people since March and really keep it to myself. Sometimes venting on this podcast and speaking to. About what's bothering me or what's on my mind is it's very cathartic for me. It is I mean, it's just me alone in my studio talking to my sock, but I know that you're listening and it just it feels nice for me to get things off my chest and to express them and for you to hear it.
It feels cathartic.
So I want to talk about. Waking up first thing in the morning. Like, literally your eyes open and there's always that millisecond of cam. And then you feel like shit. You feel frightened. Are you feeling insecure? I just feel shit about being awake. I want to talk about that and I want to talk about accepting that feeling. Acknowledging this and why it's OK, especially now. I suppose a few things. A few little things that I meditate on that I.
Like I mentioned earlier, right when I was talking about how, you know, we as people can see someone who's trendy or cool or whatever, and we have this knee jerk reaction, which is a negative knee jerk reaction. Leg negative, knee jerk reactions are fine so long as you bring him into your awareness and you challenge him in the moment. That's one of the core tenets of my mental health regime. It's Jean-Robert that is that's called recognizing your innate fallibility.
View someone who's cool or someone who has a class car or whatever, and I my initial reaction is, is a feeling of envy, right? That's my innate fallibility as a human being. I'm a human being and human beings aren't perfect. And you're a human being. And you and I are imperfect. Right. And we are fallible, which means that we make mistakes. We fuck up. And we do things and think things that are wrong are, should I say, wrong or bad?
We do and think we do things and think things, think things in particular that are misinformed and unhelpful. That's better than saying wrong or bad. If I look at another person. Am I? Look at their coolness are there are youth, are their ability to express themselves and be free? My initial reaction is one of envy, then that's unhelpful. I call that an unhelpful knee jerk reaction.
It's. It's unhelpful to me, it's unhelpful to the other person. And that's my fallibility as a human being. That's my innate fallibility, but once I recognize that innate fallibility. Then I challenged the feeling of envy or jealousy, and then I just don't run with this, I take it in the moment and I say, hold on a second, that person is entitled to be free or to to be colder than I am and me being envious or jealous of them all and all it does is it if you run with this, imagine you run with that.
Imagine you're out in the pub and you see someone being a cold out and then you go, oh, what a fucking prick. And then before, you know, you have a few drinks and you're making shitty comments to them or you're gossiping about them to your friend, like think of the harm that causes. Right. Number one, if if you. Express envy or jealousy? Towards another person, your. You yourself were upset because it's not fun to feel like that you yourself are then upset you're not living in the here and now, it's not possible to be envious or jealous of another person without then reflecting on what you perceive to be your own shortcomings if someone's got cooler pants than you do.
There's no way to look at their cool trousers without disparagingly. Talking shit about your own trousers, which then lowers yourself a sense of self-esteem. If you. Entertain the. Knee jerk emotion of jealousy, if you enter, entertain jealousy or envy and allow it to influence your behavior to the point that you're trying to punish the object of your envy if you're trying to punish and it doesn't have to be, this person is cool. It can be this person has a better job than me.
I think that their job is better than me. I think that this person is more physically attractive than me. I think this person is better talking to people than me. I, I think when this person opens their mouth, people pay attention to them more than they pay attention to me. These are all valid reactions of a fallible human being that we all experience as social animals. On the day to day I write What you don't want is that.
That reaction consuming you to the point this is. Influences your behavior and motivations because then they'll be on helpful behavior and motivations. So if you try and harm that person that you're jealous of by talking shit about them to someone else. And engage in in gossip. You know, you are now. That's destructive. Your Harryman. The relationship that you have with the person you want to gossip with, you risk it going back to as soon as you engage in gossip is passive aggressive, right?
So if you engage in gossip with someone. Essentially, what you do is even if the person engages in gossip with you, you know, you for in that person's estimation, you become less trustworthy, you become a person in their eyes who has less integrity. And. That then has impacts in trusting relationships, you know? I mean, if you then want help from that person, at some point they might be reluctant because they go, why would I hate that person?
They're they're always gossiping and bitching about someone else. And they seem to be jealous all the time. So they're unhelpful, destructive emotions. But it's OK to have them initially because you're a fallible human being. Another thing with fallibility. If you engage with jealousy and run with jealousy or envy. It will end up in a feeling of guilt and shame in about a week's time. Because. You're behaving in ways that you know are wrong. To be envious of another person.
To run with that envy to the point that. To try and sabotage them or take them down in the eyes of somebody else. You know, that that's destructive behavior and. You want to get away with it in the moment and then a week later. You feel this guilt or a sense of shame, are you you feel lacking and worked when you're looking for that part yourself to get self-worth, to motivate yourself. It's not there. So I think what I want to do, what I'm trying to get at is.
The reason I'm speaking about envy and jealousy is. Because I think that's relevant to this topic this week, it's a collective feeling when we when we're blaming coronavirus on house parties. And things like that really on a psychosocial level of what we're doing is it's envy, where envying freedom and youth and things like that, that that's why it's a hot button thing that people love. It's sexy. That's why people love to focus on that. Because it's N.V.. It's envy at a time where we're supposed to be abstaining.
It's an envy of freedom. It's also. Projection. We're projecting what we're judging people for, their gluttony will say when we're supposed to be abstaining and projecting our own gluttony on them, maybe so things like envy and jealousy, very common.
And ultimately the root of them is a feeling of insecurity. Now. We are all insecure. There is no such thing as a person who isn't insecure because. We're social animals, and we also are living under capitalism and consumerism, we live in a society that asks us at all times to evaluate and read ourselves against other people. Now, if you are consistently rating your in your value against another person, whether it be their job, their appearance, whatever the fuck, then you're going to be insecure.
It's as simple as that because human beings are too complex to be rating if you rate yourself on somebody else. It's it's always unattainable. Whatever they have gone for themselves, that's their uniqueness and you can't have that, you can only be the best version of you, but if you're evaluating yourself based on someone else, it's consistently unattainable and therefore consistent disappointment and a consistent blow to your self-esteem. But. All of us are insecure. I'm insecure. But what I try and do is.
I don't I don't allow insecurity to define. My lived experience, my lived existence, so even though I am insecure, even though I have self-doubt.
Even though if I'm not careful, I can find myself being envious of other people because I keep it in check, because I practice self-awareness and mindfulness around it, and I recognize the emotion when it immediately comes up. And I put it in check by by evaluating it against rational reality, then I get to live. I live my life with confidence, right? So I even I am I am a fallible, insecure human being, but I live my life day to day as a confident person.
Now, if I start entertaining jealousy, envy, things like that, if I start evaluating myself, worked against other people, then in a week's time I won't be living the life of a person who's confident. I believe in the life of a person who's insecure and wacko's with insecurity. What goes with the lived experience of being insecure? I mean, Jesus, like I go on and off, so I've been like.
Coronavirus has been a bit of a serious challenge, so I've had more instances of insecurity recently than I would when Coronavirus wasn't around because stress, environmental stress can bring these things on.
But when I'm feelin insecure. How does it express it in myself over the long term? The most destructive if I do. If I do three weeks. Of waking up in the morning and not feeling happy with who I am as a person. If I wake up every morning like that rating and evaluate in my life against other people saying to myself, you could be doing better, you made mistakes. And you should be here and you're not like, that's a big one for me, but coronavirus like.
I was going to do loads of tours this year. Loads of things with my career that I thought were going to happen. I have now not happened because of. No, that's not my fucking fault. It's outside of my control. But I now have to be mindful. I wake up in the morning and say to myself, there was supposed to be another sold out Australian tour and it's not happening and it's not my fault. There's a pandemic, but my fallible, irrational brain.
Is going to recognize that, so if I'm not careful, I'm waking up in the morning feeling like shit, feeling like a failure. And if I entertained that that initial feeling when I wake up in the morning of I am failing, I am falling behind, then I look at my thought process and I start to catastrophe's and I say, I feel like a failure. Fuck it. Maybe this is the end. Maybe I am a failure. Maybe when coronavirus lifts, no one's going to come to my gigs.
And that's the end of my career. I know I'm spiraling into. An irrational thought process. With no evidence. Crystal ball, imagine myself in a year's time with no career, not knowing what to do based on what? Waking up in the morning with a little feeling of insecurity and now it's spiraling out of control. Now, if I entertain this by two p.m., I'm now starting to experience in something that feels a little bit like depression. Now by 3:00 p.m..
The work that I'm supposed to be doing, whether it be by streaming or research in this podcast or thinking about my next book, I now don't feel the confidence that I need to achieve goals. And if I let that go longer and longer. Into maybe a week or two, and if I live my life with a feeling of insecurity, lack of self-worth, anxiety about my future, all of these things together, if I live my life like that after about three weeks.
I now lose the confidence to make very simple decisions, something, and I mean as simple as I feel like going to the gym, should I go? And instead of there being this strong voice that steps up and says, yeah, fuck it, of course you should go to the gym because later on you're going to feel fucking great and you're like the gym. So come on, let's go. That's my healthy brain. But if I've entertained insecurity for a while.
My brain is like, I don't know, should you go to the gym? The couch seems a bit nicer, doesn't this? And I now don't have this the confidence to go? No.
Why would you why would you stay on the couch if you stay on the couch? You're going to feel like shit later. So go to the gym now because you're going to feel good later and you develop a hunger and you get to have a lovely dinner and make your dinner. And all these confident decisions are now gone out the window. Because I'm living a life, I'm entertaining so many insecure thoughts that simple choices in my day now have conflict because I I've drifted from my internal locus of evaluation.
I've drifted from the strong internal voice. Which is the strong internal voice, I am better than I am, better than nobody and nobody else is better than me because human beings are too complex to evaluate. Right. And I am a fallible human being and I make mistakes and. And I'm flexible with my day and I don't entertain these thoughts of. Fuck it. What in my career be like in a year's time? Because instead, what I say to myself is life is uncertain.
And why would I possibly bother my whole. Given myself anxiety over something as uncertain as a year's time when in my life or in your life, have you ever correctly predicted what was going to happen in a year's time? Life isn't like that. It's fluid. You have to react to it in a flexible fashion as you go along. What else happens if I'm entertaining? Feelings of insecurity or if you are doing this, what is your experience like now when you open up social media?
A good social media experience for me is I open up Twitter or Instagram or Facebook, and if my mental health is in a good place and I feel and my self-esteem is high and like I said, high self-esteem isn't feeling better, better than other people. High self-esteem is your worth is coming from inside you. Your work does not derived from comparing yourself to other people. Whether that be that person is better than me are. I feel better than them.
Feeling superior to people is just as toxic as feeling jealous. If you look at someone and you're envious and you go, what they have is better than what I have and I would love to have what they have. And now I feel like shit that's toxic also. Contemptuously looking at someone and going, look at that fucking piece of shit, I'm doing so much better than them, that's also toxic. But if I am feeling confident that my self-esteem is high and I'm going through Twitter, what I tend to notice are really interesting articles.
Pictures of cute animals, stuff that's interesting ideas based stuff. If I'm feeling fuckin insecure. What am I noticed on Twitter? Bad news, disasters, catastrophe. I'm looking at someone tweeting about their book just got published. And instead of going fucking great for them, I'm going to fuck that person's book published. I wonder when mine's going to get published or whatever, do you know what I mean, after? For you, maybe it could be if it's appearance based, you see someone else put a photo on the lower class or they've got a lovely new bathroom or something like that, and then you're feeling like shit looking at your own life.
So now your social media experience is it's it's. It's like a lens if you're feeling insecure and you're entertaining, feelings of insecurity is the lens that you look at social media and everything around you will be filtered through that. But if you're feeling confident and your self-esteem is high and you're accepting your fallibility as a human being and you're not evaluate yourself against other people, then your lens now goes to rational. When you see someone and they have a nice bathroom, you're kind of going, fuck it, isn't that lovely for them?
Or if you see someone and they've got a new job or a new car, you go Fairplay. The name is not great and you don't give a fuck. You don't care. You don't look at their life and try and evaluate it to your own because you go, who gives a shit? This is what I'm doing right now. I'm happy with my bathroom. Maybe I'd like a better bathroom someday, but right now I've got this bathroom and it's fine.
All right. I can still fucking take a shower. One of the most toxic ones that I found. Especially when I was younger, when I would be living. Maybe months at a time, feeling desperately insecure, feeling really insecure, not having a high sense of self worth feeling that everybody is better than me. Social interactions. When you feel insecure. You approach situations where you meet other people. Like a dog with its tail between its legs, if you get me and this isn't conscious, this is unconscious.
So when you meet somebody, you know, in a social situation and you're battling with insecurity, if you're waking up in the morning not feeling good enough.
Your entire dynamic and approach to other human beings is one of apology, so you almost feel like apologizing for your own existence when you speak to somebody and.
You you end up like. You're not having an authentic conversation, what you're doing is trying to impress that person. All right, either by listing out. Achievements or maybe even lying, lying straight up, fucking lying about how well you're doing with something are lying about what you have coming down down the line, talking out of your fucking ass. And then afterwards, when they leave, you're saying, why the fuck? Why did I lie to that person about this thing that I'm doing?
Because that's not true at all. Now they're gone and there's a fucking lie and shit when it doesn't. If it doesn't happen, then I look like a liar.
And then you're beating yourself up for the rest of the day because you just told us a silly lie for no reason, not like a malicious, hurtful lie, but an untruth about yourself, which makes you appear to be doing better than you're already doing. And now you've created this awful situation where.
You've got intense shame and embarrassment now because you just told a lie and it's not true. And what if they find out that one is particularly common in in in my industry of entertainment with musicians, folk and comedians, writers, whatever. That's a really if if an artist is entertained and feelings of insecurity for a long time. When they meet someone, they feel they have to let that person know that they're doing really, really well and they might tell it like.
A conversation about a gig that's that that may happen all of a sudden turns into a gig, that's definitely going to happen. And then what happens, you meet the person in three weeks and all you've done is think about, fuck it, I told this person, know that I was going to do this big gig there, but it was actually bullshit. All it was was based on an email and now you're obsessing about the next time you meet them.
So now you have to lie to them again and you have to say, oh, yeah, that gig, that gig that I was talking about. Yes, some shit happened there, man. I think the promoter promoter wasn't right.
Yeah. Yeah. And now you're telling lies and you're feeling like shit over that. So what do we do about this? I mean, I know that those things I'm saying there are related, but what do we do with this so that it doesn't get to that to those depths and.
I just have a feeling in the water. Because coronavirus has thrown such such huge uncertainty on Panesar. A lot of us think, listen, it's fucking August 2020, right? In January 2020, if I decide what will you be doing in August 2020, you had a very different perception, right, about holidays that were going to happen, about your career were now thrown into a sense of uncertainty.
There's a minority of people listening right now who are where they thought they would be in August 2020. So we've all been thrown into uncertainty. We're all a year has been taken office. For those of us with ambitions, people are fucking Jesus, the people people are doing their leave and start this year. Everyone has had a year, Rob, Davos, and we're not where we thought we would be, and even though it's not our fault and there's a pandemic.
I'm guessing, look, if I'm if I'm getting feelings of if I'm self flagellating over this, I would wager that you probably are as well, because I am a bit self flagellating, even though it's so I know it's irrational. Why would I possibly feel a sense of shame that I didn't get to do my tour of Canada, my tour of Australia? Why would I possibly feel shame or failure?
Around that because of a fucking pandemic, because it's it's irrational, it's fucking irrational. I have goals and plans and motivations, and it feels as if I didn't achieve them, even though it's because of a fucking pandemic and I have to be mindful around that. And you probably do as well because your plans and your goals in your career is not where you thought it was going to be right now, either because of a fucking pandemic.
But it's also OK, that's my fallibility. That's my fallibility right there. To wake up in the morning feeling insecure and feeling like a failed. Even though I haven't fucking felt there's a pandemic, it is my fallibility to have the knee jerk reaction of failure in the same way it's my fallibility to see. Someone being cool and young and enjoying themselves and to have a knee jerk reaction of jealousy or envy, that's my innate fallibility. And I have to catch that as early as possible when I wake up in the morning, when I when my eyes open in the morning and the first feeling that I experience is failure.
I can't allow myself to take that to 11 o'clock in the morning. I can't do it. Because by six o'clock that afternoon, it will have spiraled into something a lot more toxic. So what do I do? Firstly, I become aware of how I'm evaluate myself. So the big red flag is envy of other people. That's a big red flag for feelings of insecurity or feelings of failure. Why why am I giving a fuck about what someone else is doing or what are positives that someone else has gone on in their lives, why am I looking at another person now and their successes now feel like pain to me?
Why would another person, a completely separate human being with a whole different career and a whole different life, why would a positive in their life? Feel like a shortcoming in mine. And the simple answer is, that's all right, I know my insecurity and my unchecked feeling of failure is now causing me to evaluate myself externally. I now no longer have an internal locus of evaluation. I'm moving towards an external locus of evaluation. The locus with which I evaluate my self worth is now dependent on other people, what they are doing and what they think of me.
And I know that's step one. In May, slipping back into bad mental health, so what do I do? I exercise self compassion. I compassionately say to myself. It's OK to feel insecure, it's OK if my initial reaction. To not having gigs or to not being touring. It's OK for me to experience that as failure. Even though it's irrational, it's OK for that to be the first reaction, because I am fundamentally I as a human animal, I'm not rational.
Rationality is what you learn. I'm irrational. I have drives, so I accept my fallibility and I say that's grand now that you've recognized and accepted your fallibility. Why are. And from self compassion, you then you move on to external compassion, so if you catch yourself in the moment with something like jealousy or envy.
Catch it in the moment and really work instead on feeling very happy for that other person and whatever it is that you coveted. So if it's them, wait.
The garden looks nice. Ah, they've got a new fucking class haircut, whatever it is. Catch the feeling whereby you're coveting what they have and instead. Feel happy for them. Feel really happy for them. And if that person is close enough to you, right. To genuinely reach out. And then and then say to them, fucking fair play on that are. That your haircut is lovely and do it from a place of genuineness, make a genuine connection with the person genuine, put the risk out there to confidently pay someone a compliment if they're close enough to you that you can do it and that there then will that stop that cycle of jealousy right there?
And it gives you then a little bit of a boost in self-esteem because you're accepting your own fallibility and you're staring down your own insecurity. Now, what do you do then? If you have a feeling of insecurity and this is causing you to worry and spiral and try and predict your own future if the feeling of insecurity is causing you to think. Jesus, if it's bad now, I'm fucked in a year and then you're having these visions of no longer having a job are whatever the fuck it is.
What you have to do in that city, you have to really you have to accept. And not that you have to tolerate the feeling of uncertainty. You have to accept that nothing is certain. Certainty doesn't exist. There's no such thing as certainty. There's only one certainty death. That's the only certainty we have. We are going to die. Everyone you love is going to die. There's the only certainty I have other than that, there's no certainty coronavirus.
You wouldn't if I can predict the coronavirus last year. So you tolerate uncertainty, you say to yourself, life is fucking uncertain what the love of God am I doing, trying to think about what's going to where I'm going to be next year? Why would I possibly do that? And when has that ever worked for me? And when have I ever gotten it right? Never. Life throws curve balls all the time, so you tolerate that uncertainty and you accept that.
What's what's irrational is is trying to attach yourself to certainty, there's no such thing as certainty. Another one is. Learn to tolerate short term discomfort. If you wake up in the morning and. You have a feeling of sadness or feeling of insecurity or a feeling of what we tolerate, that short term discomfort when the feeling of insecurity and worry goes into fantasy territory, fantasizing about your own destruction, fantasizing about your own failure. That's actually a resistance, you're resisting that uncomfortable feeling by making it 10 times worse, but accept and tolerate.
This morning, I don't feel great. You check it, you know, this morning, I feel insecure. This isn't pleasant. I'm going to go downstairs and eat my overnight oats, you know what I'm not going to do? I'm not going to sit in bed worried. And then immediately before I even get up, take out my phone and scroll through some shit, I make myself feel worse, you say. Oh, that's a shit feeling, I'm going to tolerate that no less, but I'm going to physically act on something I'm still going to get to do my day.
I'm still going to go downstairs and eat my overnight oats, and I'm going to resist the temptation to immediately open social media. Ah, I might go for a run. The thing is that the healthy things that I do in the morning, such as eat my overnight oats, going for exercise, these healthy, life affirming things that I do if I have feelings of insecurity or lack of self-worth. I don't want to do them, I don't want to do them what I want what I want to do instead is to vegetative, vegetative, lie back in bed and scroll through my fucking phone.
Searching for some type of immediate dopamine hit, but it just makes me feel worse, and then I've done it for an hour now, it's 10:00, 11:00 in the morning, and I feel sluggish. And I don't want to go for a walk and run and I don't want to eat my overnight or so. I just want to wait till lunchtime and all these things that give me little bits of meaning in my day. I've now chosen not to do them and I'm sucked into a fucking negative cycle.
So you tolerate and accept. Discomfort, the discomfort of waking up and not feeling great. As well as tolerating uncertainty and accepting that life is uncertain. Understand that life is also unfair. Sometimes life is unfair. Pain is inevitable, disappointment is inevitable. These are parts of being alive, tolerate and accept life is unfair. So if you're feeling insecure because of an external event, something didn't go your way. That's the unfairness of human existence and recognize that Norriss allow it to exist in the room, but don't let it define your fucking behavior.
Even if you're wake up and you're having a shit day. Put the effort 14. To pursue an interest are a routine. That's consistent with your sense of values. OK. Do the exercise, make the food, whatever the fuck it is that gives you your personal sense of meaning. Act on it, do it, even if you feel like shit. To give in to the shit Felin is to not do those things, and then that spirals into this loop, a feedback loop of negativity.
Passo. The interest, which is consistent with your personal values and gives you a sense of meaning, you know what it is, I can't tell you what that is. And it doesn't have to be a big thing. It's as simple as. Eating the breakfast you want to eat at the time that you want it to be, so look, those are just some little things. I'm. Mainly anything to do with my mental health podcast rates, I mainly speak about my direct experience, what works for me, because that's the ethical thing to do and it's also cathartic for me.
But I think it's it's helpful for you then as well, if you're listening to it, if you can relate it to to your own life.
And I reckon I reckon I'm on the nail. With some of that, we are all disappointed, we're all worried, we've all had months taken from us. And I reckon there's some I reckon so many are going through what I'm going through, where we've managed to blame ourselves in some way and then experience a sense of failure when you shouldn't. So I just want to I just want to fucking name its name and talk about it to help myself. And and if it helps you in any way, then as well class, I'll be back next week.
Don't know what I'm going to talk about. Everything's going to be grand. It man, rubber dog, rubber cat animals every time, coddler, fucking cat, I can't report my cats are feral wildcats. I can feed them food, I can keep that they'll keep a foot away from me, I can see the little bit of love in their eyes every so often when they stare, I can't fucking rob them. Not allowed rob the cats. So that that for me then is difficult to.
I don't want to be gone fucking. Rubbing my neighbor's dog, you know, it's not the same, I don't have a connection, but I have two feral cats that I do have a connection with, but they're just I didn't get them. When you have to get a cat, when they're a kitten, I can't touch them. And they're meowing, which is an interesting development, you know, the meow at me, but I don't think I'm ever going to rub those cats, so that's a little bit tough for me, to be honest.
I'd love to give them a local. But if you're fortunate enough to have a cat that you can cuddle, that's another lovely exercise in compassion to make yourself feel better. And humility. Humility lets a lot of. This shit, it's waras humility. Animals are greater, given as a feeling of humidity reminds us that we are just animals, too, and we're not defined by our achievements are our material belongings. We are fucking dust to dust animals and coddle an animal rubber dog, rubber cat, look into their eyes, you know, and you feel a lovely sense of humility.
You're at one. You're just you're just a fucking tree. Your leaf nature doesn't give a fuck about you, you know what I mean? Warm food. All right. God bless. I'll talk to you next week. And hopefully the government will still be monitoring. Made the comments.