Ten Rules for Your Visit to the Politics-Free Zone

Ten Rules for Your Visit to the Politics-Free Zone

“I hope it will be a politics-free zone.” 

Sean Spicer on being cast on Dancing with the Stars

Welcome to the politics-free zone! This zone is a five-foot square in a remote location off the coast of California. Or maybe Florida. It could be Maine. Honestly, it’s hard to find and it’s something of a moving target. Still, welcome one and all. Now that you’re here, you’ll need to abide by our rules. Failure to follow these rules will get your ass kicked out of the politics-free zone quicker than you can say “Yankee Doodle,” which is a thing you definitely cannot say here.

  1. No talking about politics. Duh!
  2. No overt displays of religion, even if it’s just to mention that you had your pastor or priest or rabbi over for dinner last weekend. We don’t want to know if you keep kosher or halal. We don’t want to know that you collect crystals or read auras. If you must pray, do so silently and keep your eyes open. We don’t allow kneeling or clasped hands or the uttering of the word ‘amen’.
  3. No talking about race. You’ll be issued special glasses that make everyone appear to be a vibrant shade of purple, which is scientifically proven to be the most non-political of all the colors. Please don’t take them off.
  4. No science. There was a time when we could allow some science (see race glasses above), but those times are long gone and we’re all happier for it. Leave your empirical evidence at the door, please. 
  5. No discussions of class. In the politics-free zone, we don’t care if you grew up in a two-room shack or a penthouse. So please don’t tell us charming stories about the struggles of your parents or your grandparents, because it’s too much information and we will either pass judgment or start trying to fix things, both of which are wildly political actions.
  6. No books. No reading of any kind. We’ve noticed that people who read tend to think a lot and care about people who aren’t even a little bit like themselves. It’s weird. Empathy is political. We want no part of it.
  7. No movies or television shows or podcasts. Media is so chock-full of politics that we’ve decided to ban it all together. For years we allowed certain seemingly benign options like “Prairie Home Companion,” the Today Show segment “Where in the World is Matt Lauer,” and reruns of the children’s show “Arthur,” but we were burned when even these charming diversions took an ugly turn to the political.
  8. No music. This pains us, but all music seems to be political. “Here Comes the Bride” was composed by a Nazi, apparently. And that cute little Taylor Swift? She seems like the all-American girl next door, but we’ve learned that she’s radical AF. So, no music and that includes humming and whistling. If you’re a person who hums or whistles mindlessly, you are not welcome here.
  9. No sex. If you have to ask why, you aren’t evolved enough to enter the politics-free zone.
  10. Dance! Not with a partner, of course. Partnered dancing is strictly off limits, but dance all by yourself. Dance until your feet hurt. Dance until your back aches. Dance like no one is watching, because no one is. No one is watching, talking, listening, connecting, or engaging with you in any way. So cha-cha, twirl, plié and jeté, pop and lock, shuffle-step-ball-change, and don’t forget your jazz hands. Dance like the world is going straight to hell. (Fun fact: the world is going straight to hell!) But this is a politics-free zone. You are totally, completely, and wildly free to dance. Alone. 

Enjoy.

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Tiffany Quay Tyson

THE PAST IS NEVER is the winner of the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize, the Mississippi Arts and Letters Award for Fiction, and the Mississippi Author Award for Adult Fiction (selected by the Mississippi Library Association). The novel is shortlisted for the prestigious Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction. This southern gothic novel steeped in local lore was selected as an "Okra Pick" by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance. Tyson's debut novel THREE RIVERS was a finalist for both the Colorado Book Award for Literary Fiction and the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Fiction. She was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi and now lives, writes, and teaches in Denver, Colorado.
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