It all started predictably enough: Trump has been inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States. Like many others, I watched the ceremony broadcast with interest and listened to his speech, setting out the priorities of his presidency. I've been tuning in to the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 every morning and going to bed having listened to the latest news on Trump's new laws and ideas. I cannot tell you how many times I've been checking my Facebook and Twitter in-between. I listened to the podcasts discussing the Women's March and I marvelled at the solidarity shown by liberal men and women all over the world. I also wondered why these same Londoners didn't march in protest against the government of Poland which had intended to tighten abortion laws (taking away the choice from women) in the fellow European Union country. Pretty quickly, I felt satiated. It doesn't take long to feel bloated on chips and beer. The next morning I craved something else but instead I was getting the same old thing: chips and beer, chips and beer. As Trump was relishing the media attention, I was beginning to feel sick like that guy in a documentary who was eating nothing but McDonald's every day.
This TV lurgy is very familiar to me. For years now I have been watching my friends and family in Russia being fed a media diet which consisted primarily of Schadenfreude. The Russians are being preached that the European civilisation is in crisis and that America has got kicked in the backside by its beloved democracy. No money is being spared on the state-owned media, including the famous RT channel. The daily doom show is colourful and persuasive. Its audience is completely hooked. The Russians are thinking: "Things aren't so bad at home by comparison, we'll pull through one way or another."
And now I am watching the same scenario unravelling here in Britain. We are being fed the same formula. Trump is delighted to bring back torture and ban asylum seekers from Muslim countries; he talks about introducing a tariff on Mexican imports and stops giving money to pro-choice NGOs. Mrs. May looks like Mother Theresa by comparison. The media is squeaking with delight - every bit of Trumpomania is priceless. How can ordinary news from Haringey or Hull compare? It's as if he is some sort of fairy tale monster we ought to be frightening our children with. I can see it happening: "Poppy, eat up your soup, otherwise Mr. Trump will come and get you!" He is ubiqutous, after all, with his Twitter posts reaching far and wide. And so we are sitting on our sofas sharing another "can you believe he said that" post or going on a march with a poster which says "Free Melania!" because that's what's going to change things, like that nasty borderline sexist man from work is suddenly going to vote for LibDems rather than the UKIP at the next elections.
Of course I am pleased that so many went out to protest against the patriarchy and like anyone I am outraged by Trump's tweets and initiatives. I also understand that Brits are infatuated with the US (sadly, the same cannot be said about Continental Europe). I'm just not at all sure that this obsession with Trump is helpful to you, me or the world at large. What if instead of talking about his red ties, you could go through your wardrobe and donate some clothes to Suited & Booted, a London-based charity which helps disadvantaged, jobless people look professional at job interviews? What if instead of spending hours on social media we explained to our children what feminism actually means so that when our daughters grow up, nothing holds them back and our sons naturally share parental responsibilities? What if instead of slaving for the nasty man at work, you touched up your CV and applied for a new job?
The reason I am dreaming of Melbourne is because this weekend it's where the truly legendary athletes - Venus and Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer - are playing in the finals at the Grand Slam tennis tournament, Australia Open. These incredible players have been delighting us with their victories for at least a decade. They have been inspiring us with their tenaciousness, hard work and resilience. I wish I was in Melbourne right now to supercharge myself with their energy and positivity. Alas, a home screen will have to do. And after the tennis I'll do something useful or have a cup of tea because anything is better than giving in to the Trumpomania.