Trump and his enablers, his wealthy allies and appointees, his party power grabbers and network loyalists made a devil’s bargain with a pathogen. The virus has hit home with them. Here’s why they still won’t submit to reality.

Lu Hanessian

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Photo by Tabrez Syed on Unsplash

Back in 6th century BC, hubris was a crime.

Hubris originates in ancient and classical Greek ‘shame’ culture. Hubris was considered an excessive pride. A presumptive disregard of “divinely fixed limits…in an ordered cosmos”.

What’s happening now inside this disordered cosmos in which we find ourselves is something more than hubris. What’s driving Trump and his entourage, his political allies and donors, and his personal propaganda television network to bulldoze American life, trash norms and rules, amplify disinformation, and incite violence? …


In the middle of a deadly pandemic, devastating recession, and long overdue national reckoning on racial injustice, we are witnessing a coordinated effort to undermine First Amendment freedoms, voting rights, and our national postal service. But, can anything surprise us anymore?

Lu Hanessian, MSc

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Photo by Jonathan Simcoe on Unsplash

The “October Surprise”, a term coined by Reagan campaign manager William Casey, forever stamped our last national election with not one, but three consequential shockers. …


Armed paramilitary troops invading cities and suburbs. Tear gas attacks on peaceful protesters. Grabbing civilians off the street and into unmarked vans. We’ve turned a dangerous corner. Testing, testing...

Lu Hanessian, MSc

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Photo by Panos Sakalakis on Unsplash

It’s old news by now. This president and his administration have waged war on this country. Ask doctors and nurses who call their hospitals battle zones. Ask emergency workers who are suffering from PTSD. Ask the families of health care workers who have died in action, who treat COVID patients every day. …


In the middle of the biggest viral pandemic in a century, a global revolution sparking the largest antiracist movement of our lifetimes, worldwide protests against institutionalized racism and police brutality — and democracy on a cliff — we must fuel up for fight ahead. Here are 12 tips.

Lu Hanessian, MSc

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Photo by Cooper Baumgartner on Unsplash

Thomas Merton wrote that, in order to disarm the violence in the world, we must first disarm the violence in ourselves.

In the middle of the biggest viral pandemic in a century, a global revolution sparking the largest antiracist movement of our lifetimes, worldwide protests against police brutality on Black communities — and democracy on a cliff — we must fuel up for fight ahead.

Here are 12 tips for the road.

1. FB, IG, Twitter are not news sources.

It’s called social media. Recognize that it’s like being at a giant gathering where billions of people are talking over each other at high decibel, nobody trusts anyone, you’re unsure if you’re interacting with humans or bots, and yet you convince yourself you can’t leave because you “want to stay informed”. Know this truth: Disinformation is open game now. And it’s not benign. Social media, writ large, has become a high stakes arena where life and death issues play out in insidious ways. Fatigue and information overload make it hard to distinguish news from noise, what’s real from what’s willfully fabricated. Learn to discern. “Being plugged into media 24/7 is a fast track to mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion. Discern what is news and what is noise. What is historical and what is hysterical. What is traumatizing and what is merely uncomfortable.” …


George Floyd’s murder has birthed a global revolution. A national uprising. An historic turning point. His dying words have become our anthemic call to action.

Lu Hanessian, MSc

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Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

We are living a pandemic apocalypse. The Greek word ‘apokálupsis’ literally means uncovering, revelation, disclosure.

When empty streets deserted for months in a lockdown are suddenly filled with masked protestors gathering in the middle of a viral pandemic that has claimed the lives of more than 100,000 people, something is being uncovered.

When #wearedonedying is trending, the NFL admits it was “wrong”, and behemoth corporations and city mayors suddenly denounce racism with solidarity statements and the reallocation of hundreds of millions of dollars to Black community causes, defense funds, business, education, community, and the street in front of the White House is newly emblazoned with BLACK LIVES MATTER in yellow block letters — in a matter of hours and days — something is being revealed. …


When a tweet taunt and a mass death toll are both Breaking News, then, news flash: The media is normalizing nightmares. Americans have got to wake up.

Lu Hanessian, MSc

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Photo by Tina Rataj-Berard on Unsplash

Back in the day, a story would merit “special report” status and warrant interruption of regularly scheduled programming.

When was that day?

Before 24/7 wall-to-wall news networks. Before teleprompters and IFB (interruptible foldback) ear devices. Before cult of personality and opinion television. Back in that day, anchors were handed a news bulletin. …


There’s a profound intelligence pulsing through our body’s systems. Are you blocking access to it or harnessing it for optimal wellbeing?

Lu Hanessian, MSc.

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Photo by Belinda Fewings on Unsplash

We misunderstand our bodies.

We overestimate them. We put them through hell. Deprive them of rest and sleep. Stuff them. Starve them. Push them to ridiculous extremes. Ignore their basic needs. Neglect aches. Keep them stuck in lousy patterns. Drain the tank. Deplete their resources. And expect them to keep performing.

And, we underestimate them. We live without awareness of the phenomena of what’s happening inside us. How our brains detect danger. How our organs react to our emotions. How our cells listen to our thoughts. How glands release hormones when we’re angry. How synapses transit chemicals when we’re in love. Depressed. Anxious. How the way we breathe affects how we feel. …


In our pre-pandemic lives, we thought we could outsmart uncertainty and unpredictability. Now, in an anxious holding pattern, we have no roadmap. To look ahead, we must look within. Here’s how.

Lu Hanessian, MSc

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Photo by Dunamis Church on Unsplash

Chance favors the prepared mind. — Louis Pasteur

There’s a reason humans hate unpredictability. We’re wired for threat.

And not just any, but all whiffs of threat. Real or imagined. Threat that jeopardizes our health, relationships, money, dreams, stability. Risks our reputation or livelihoods. Thwarts our autonomy. Our plans. Our dignity. (We often conflate all of these.)

In a blink, we become hypervigilant. What’s going to happen? Our anticipatory dread about what might occur— in an hour or years from now — has ignited a private firestorm of worry. We stare headlong into the fog. Zero visibility. …


The past is no place to park yourself for a lifetime. Why you look backwards. Where you get stuck. And how to pack your baggage to be and live here now.

Lu Hanessian, MSc

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Smart UNSPLASH

There’s ‘been there, done that’.

And there’s… ‘been there, stayed there’. Bought real estate there.

Maybe it’s an old relationship (unforgiven). A past conversation (interrupted). A former job (quit, fired), missed opportunity (that ship sailed), betrayal (still fresh), or bitter disappointment (still bitter).

It’s an old house. You know it well. Every nook. All the dustballs and cobwebs in your mind. You rarely leave those cramped, familiar quarters. …


Here’s how he does it. Why it matters. And how the press can stop it — before it’s too late.

Lu Hanessian, MSc

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Kayla Velasquez UNSPLASH

When I first became a television anchor in my twenties, and walked into the hallowed news room to meet the director, it felt a bit like Oz. He made sure I knew the unofficial rule of broadcast news: If it bleeds, it leads.

A chill ran down my spine. The curtain was pulled back. Turned out the wizard was a lab rat pushing levers.

We’re wired for fear. People slow down to look at car crashes on the highway. Threat keeps us vigilant. Conflict keeps us hooked. Certain kinds of stories grab viewers and ratings. These are gripping stories of beating impossible odds. Shocking stories of outrage and injustice. Outlandish stories of greed and deception. Stories of good guys and bad guys. Corruption and redemption. …

About

Lu Hanessian, MSc

Stress resilience researcher educator, journalist, former NBC network anchor/Discovery Health Channel. Brain. Media. Health. Culture. Education. Parenting.

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