Taken by Surprise and Vanquished?
Women, in whom life abides and dwells more immediately, fruitfully and confidently, must indeed have become in essence more mature human beings, more human humans than men, who being light and lacking the weight of bodily fruit pulling him down below life’s surface, undervalues in his arrogance and rashness what he claims to love. Carried to term in pain and humiliation, this humanity of women will—once she has shed the conventions of the solely feminine through these changes in her external status—become evident, and those men who cannot feel this coming today will end up being taken by surprise and vanquished.—Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
Endless Election Canvassing
I don’t know how it is in the rest of the country, but Southern California seems to have gone into an endless election mode. Every day, I have to yell over the phone at political volunteers and people conducting so-called “surveys,” and I have to throw out almost half a pound of elaborate four-color mailers such as the one above.
Don’t get me wrong: I fully intend to vote. It is just that I consider myself impervious to advertisements, robocalls, and even person-to-person calls.
As the election approaches, I will check the recommendations of the Los Angeles Times, the L.A. Weekly, and the websites of several organizations whose endorsements I trust (I will not name them). It’s rather amusing that candidates for political office spend millions of dollars using the most obnoxious means to get my attention; and when I plan my voting, I check only sources that cost the candidate nothing. By so doing, in my own way, I nullify the effect of the Supreme Court’s infamous Citizens United ruling: Corporations and multimillionaires just can’t get me to listen to them.
On the morning of March 5, I will go to Stoner Playground in West L.A. to cast my vote, knowing that I have done my citizen’s duty.
One unfortunate aspect of all this is that I may stop answering my phone for the next week or so. There are two or three political calls for every social call. I’m getting very tired of slamming the phone down on these unwanted solicitations.