Timeout from politics can be refreshing | Staff Columnists


I took a timeout from all of the political talk last week.

I find that it calms the frazzled nerves and that I need to do it more often.

Starting on Sunday morning, I quickly zoomed past any social media posts of a political nature. There was no clicking on links to political opinion pieces.

And I certainly never, ever read the comments. That’s a rule I should follow 365 days a year.

I kept up with the national news thanks to the trusty newspapers, but for one week I almost successfully avoided reading about how whatever the current presidential administration did either is an act worthy of Mother Teresa or Hitler.

Unfortunately for me, the results of President Donald Trump’s health checkup that listed him at 6-foot-3 and 239 pounds spilled over to sports websites. Those figures would put him in the range of professional baseball player Albert Pujols.

I suspect that if I weren’t avoiding the political chit-chat, I would have found that many made a big deal about this. It is so un-American to lie about your weight.

As someone else who is 6-3 and 239 pounds, not all of us look exactly the same. I naturally look smaller since I was tired of tearing my shirts Hulk Hogan style whenever I accidentally flexed.

The political debate blackout was my own personal way to celebrate making it through the first year of the Trump’s divisive presidency.

Our country doesn’t seem to be getting any less divisive, which isn’t a surprise when the president successfully ran an “Us against Them” campaign.

But it can be depressing and tiring for those who don’t feel they quite fit in with either Us or Them. Some people may lean toward Them but feel that Us have valid viewpoints and are doing some good things. Or vice versa.

I think it would be better if we saw things in many shades of gray (except for 50).

That’s not going to happen, so I’ll continue to take a breather from the great controversy of the week … or the day … or the hour.

And there are plenty of other things to find out about during a politics blackout.

There was video of Fiona and Bibi the hippos playing in snow at the Cincinnati zoo. It was so cute that I issued a temporary peace treaty on my war on winter.

Due to the forecast, I suspect that ceasefire will end in ugly fashion over the next 24 hours.

But since I wasn’t repeatedly refreshing on any political message board debates, I had plenty of time to rush out and stock up on bread, milk, frozen pizzas and craft adult beverages.

That is also known as the standard weekly grocery shopping list from my college days.

I also had more time to keep up on the wacky news that only seems to come out of Florida.

This past week Florida gave us the man who called 911 twice within two hours to report that his wife was a black widow spider. Police reported the man appeared intoxicated. Not surprisingly, he is the author of “The Alcoholic’s Guide to Adventure.”

I don’t know what is more adventurous than getting drunk if you’re married to a black widow spider.

Maybe the latest “I really worry about our future” moment of teens biting into Tide laundry detergent pods. This is the rare case where I’d encourage teens to spend more time on their phones and less time in the real world.

Ralphie got to be a connoisseur of soap in “A Christmas Story.” We are past that season, so let’s avoid modernizing and remaking that scene.

As for my political news blackout, I’m sure it will come to an end soon. But it may quickly start back up again once I notice that political debates in social media are full of black widow spiders, not hippos playing in snow.

Dale Miller is a sports writer for the Independent. Once a week he wanders away from the sports department to offer his take on non-sports related topics. Email him at [email protected].

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