[OPINION] 9 things the rest of Parliament can do to deal with Zuma
The only way out is to fight. With President Jacob Zuma, it’s always “back to the drawing board”, but after that? Where do we go, after we go back to the drawing board, and there is nothing left to plan?
I know it’s the worst possible position to take. It’s not very “oppositional”, it’s unconventional, and no one wants to admit that maybe, just maybe, curling up into the foetal position and having a good old weep is the best way to go. But you know what, that’s okay.
I was totally surprised to learn that the art of doing nothing is a legitimate self-love process. To me, it always kind of seemed like self-deprecating hate if anything.
After all, we live in a society where giving up is the ultimate sign of being a human piece of crap who just takes up space. Apparently, it’s kind of the opposite.
If you type the term into a Google search, there are several books and methodologies that are called just that, and the crux of all of them is basically: to do nothing, is to be kind to yourself.
Upon some further reading, I learned that Italians are masters at this. They even have a well-known phrase for the concept: La dolce far niente, which means, the sweetness of doing nothing.
But let’s face it. We’re not Italian. We do love a bit of self-loathing and contempt. We must be passive aggressive in our doing nothingness and drinking a glass of expensive wine, or treating ourselves to a slow-brewed coffee made out of cat pee is just not enough. Let us relax into our rage, just this one time.
So, here is an alternate list of unhealthy and completely useless coping mechanisms you can fall back on. Because sometimes doing nothing, is doing something.
1 Get a roll of single ply toilet paper and cry. The toilet paper should not cost more that R3. If it does, you’re doing it wrong. This exercise is only effective if the tissue is so paper thin that you become so angry at it, you are forced to cry tears of rage and disappointment some more.
2 Make a duvet tent and crawl into it. But make sure that it is so useless that it keeps collapsing and you have to constantly uppercut the covers. Then, give up, get angry and scream into the pillow. Or punch it.
3 Definitely punch a cake. My sister swears by this. Buy an averagely priced cake, but not cheap, and take it to a secluded place and beat the living daylights out of it. The cake can’t be cheap, because once it is beaten and disgusting, you have to feel guilt about the fact that you probably should have eaten it or given it away instead.
4 Spray Doom in your own eyes. For control. Blind yourself by your own hand from the mess of the world.
5 Drunk text all your exes. Find a comfortable couch, make sure you have enough data – don’t worry about the fact that #datamustfall and proceed to pen essays worthy of drunk texts.
6 Make a massive bowl of warm, comforting oats. Only eat it when it’s cold because you were too busy doing nothing in between.
7 Use your Facebook posts to tell everyone you’re fine, and not mad and “whatever”. Do not type out long, academic or philosophical rants on the state of the nation. Do not offer advice or solutions. (This one especially applies to white liberals).
8 Get bored and aimless, with feeling! Try a DIY course in sensory deprivation. Wear a blindfold and earplugs, turn off the lights, and walk into things for about an hour. You can cry after if you want.
9 Say no to everything. Or do not respond at all. I do find that saying no to everything when you have the courage to do so is particularly therapeutic, and passive aggressive.
And there you have it. Nine effective ways to do nothing, while doing… something.
Haji Mohamed Dawjee is employed by Code For Africa at the head office in Cape Town as programme manager for impactAFRICA - the continent's largest fund for digital-driven data storytelling. She is a regular commentator on gender equality, sexuality, culture, race relations and feminism as well as ethics in the South African media environment.