From Paper Newspaper to Internet: The news makes me just as bad.

When I was in my 20s, I established a routine of following the news daily. I couldn’t stand TV anymore, I lived in a boardinghouse for nuns on Cardoso de Almeida and, before going to the spot to wait for the tenebrous “Butantã-USP”, I would cross the street and buy Folha – the newspaper that most left-wing people they trusted in those times… With this routine around 7 am, a time not consistent with my biotype, I even ran over a Volkswagen Beetle. Yes, I ran over and I wasn’t run over. The driver almost died of a heart attack. Underdog. I survived.

It was harder to survive the news. After not long, the news started to hurt me and, every day, it hurt me more. I felt angrier every day. So I decided not to read the newspaper anymore and became an “alienated” person. I decided not to read news that got old in 24 hours anymore and started to read only books and scientific articles. This period of my “alienation”, as incredible as it may seem, did me a lot of good… because I dedicated myself even more to my studies and fell in love with the subjects of Social Fundamentals, I was doing FAU. I plunged into the issues that surfaced superficially in the news, and every left-wing formation I had received at Colégio Anglo in Campinas found, then, a super ultra fertile ground in my solitary life at FAU. I became a very leftist being. Radical.

Open parentheses.

And what does it mean to be on the left? According to Deleuze, being on the left is a matter of perception. The being that is NOT on the left starts with his address, then the neighborhood, the city, and so on. On the other hand, the perception of being on the left starts with the contour, the world, then the continent, and so on, until arriving at its own address. To be on the left is to believe that the problems of the third world are closer to us than the problems of our own neighborhood. To be on the left is to be/become a minority – not a majority. Most assume: male, adult, male, citizen. Most are nobody, it’s an empty pattern. The minority is everybody. To be on the left is to be everybody.

In practice, being on the left is to defend the rights of the LGBT group, defend the Bolsa Família, defend the zero tariff, defend the quota for blacks, defend the right of women to abortion, defend the non-reduction of the criminal age, defend the rights of the Indians, defending the rights of domestic workers, defending the arrival of Cuban doctors and much more.

Close parentheses.

Now, 20 years later and with the news in my face, whether I like it or not, I find myself in the same situation again. Angry. Angry. And worse, more aggressive. I know I’m not alone. I have a friend who decided to radicalize and is now just bullshit on Facebook/Twitter. He said it worked. Another, in a private message outburst, said he was feeling the same… Another deactivated Facebook more than a month ago. As I’m known for being 8 or 80, my learning is to find the middle way. Difficult thing. But the time has come to face this problem, which is here to stay because, on the internet, we don’t choose the first sentence that appears on the screen and it can either come from a colleague on the left and be a pleasure (for me) or come from a Totally right-wing childhood friend and piss me off deeply. It is noteworthy that this friend must be as angry with me as I am with him. Fact. Okay. What to do?

Sit down and breathe. Zazen. I went back to Zen. Meditate Sitting. I’m entering the third day… and it’s already worked. I need to breathe. Breathing so as not to internalize the world’s ills because they weaken me and, if I’m weak, I can’t make any difference. Breathe so as not to irritate me with the right thought because it won’t disappear. Breathing to select what I’m going to give the face to hit. Breathe so as not to comment on a post that I don’t agree with and not reply on twits of the same suit. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe Sitting. Zazen. Zazen every day. ZAZEN

Written by Feitosa-Santana

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