A headline today: “Trump Gets Convention Bump.”  Does that mean that some people watched the convention and thought, ”Oh, I wasn’t going to vote for him, but now I think I will.”?  And now, with some luck, we will see what we have always seen: a drop popularity of the candidate as the convention recedes into the past. Does that mean then that some people, maybe some of the same people, will think, “I don’t think I will vote for him now.”?  If so, did they forget why they were going to vote for Trump?  Did they get new information?  Did their values change?  I haven’t a clue. I know why I vote the way I do.  I place a high value on social justice, international peace, rational, limited, and fact-based involvement of the government in the economy, international affairs, and social issues.  I vote for candidates who appear to have similar values and ideas.  I have some hot-button issues: the danger posed by nuclear weapons, education, climate change, separation of church and state, and inclusiveness.  I vote for candidates who are compassionate about the poor, the disabled, women, children, the unemployed, GLBT folk, and the incarcerated.  And it helps that the candidate is not a crook, an idiot, or a nutcase. Given those values and agendas, which I have held for as long as I can remember, I have always voted Democratic. The Democratic Party hasn’t changed much since I started voting and I don’t expect that it will, which means that I know who I am going to vote for in 2036, if I am still above ground.  I will be voting Democratic.  I would vote for Donald Duck if he were the Democratic candidate in 2036 because, if the past is a predictor of the future, I am sure that he will be a superior candidate compared to anything the Republicans are likely to serve up.  So I don’t get how some people can change their minds and votes based on what they see on TV in the course of a couple days.  But then, I don’t get a lot of what happens these days.

Maybe it's my depression.  I never know.

I took a greater hit to my self-confidence last week than I have taken in a long time.  I entered two images in the Minnetonka Center for the Arts juried members' show.  Anybody who is a member of MCA is permitted to submit up to three works,  Juried means that MCA contracted with two people who are qualified to curate the show.  I have been flat in my creativity for the last half year so I reviewed what I have done for about the last two years.  Pretty much my only criteria was what I liked.  I picked two images that were unusual for me: both semi-abstract.  I didn't think that what I think of as my best work - candid portraits of girls - would be within the realm of acceptable to the judges, not because they are weird in anyway, but because they are personal.  They aren't arty in anyway other than they are good portraits.  A couple such images can be seen on this site.  Maybe I should have picked a couple portraits.

The judges rejected both of my images.  All by itself that would have been obnoxious, but what really sucked was that everybody else in my class who submitted images for the exhibit was accepted, and in many cases multiple images were accepted.  What's more, one hundred and thirty-nine images were accepted.  That means that my pictures were not even considered among the top one hundred and thirty-nine submissions.  They must have really sucked.  My teacher Carl says that the judges aren't commenting on me as a photographer and he is right but my emotions don't feel it that way.  Of course they were rejecting me.  Sure, they drew on their own experience and training and had only a bunch of images in front of them, but here is the fact I am responding to: Everybody but me was admitted to the inner circle at MCA.  I was told to take my stupid pictures and go home.

My disappointment was severe enough that I considered quitting photography.  It will be humiliating to return to class, where I am now the dunce.  And I will not show my rejected images to the winners.  To avoid looking like a petulant child, I will probably go to the exhibit, which Carl is likely to ask us to do as a class.  Going will be painful and I will have to relive the humiliation that I am beginning to shake.  Carl says examine what happened, learn, rinse, repeat.  I will, but not because I want to or because I am a mature adult serious about my craft and certainly not without mortification.  I can tell I am beginning to get my feet under me again because my pain, anxiety, and embarrassment are receding and my anger is ascending.  Of course, being angry is as ridiculous as feeling insulted, but at least anger is defensive of myself.  That's probably the worst part of this whole experience: there is no defense against this rejection.  It's so amorphous.  The judges simply said that they weren't interested in my presence in the show.

I am going to have to simply wait until my illusions to recover.