Veronica Cardoso––Anthroposophist, artist, teacher and coach––is currently specifically interested in working with heterosexual, middle-aged men going through a mid-life crisis. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Part 1 of this video can be found here: When Did Men Get Canceled?––PART 1
Okay, recording in progress. We got interrupted. We’re going to have a part two of this conversation, which I’m finding fascinating. Here we are again with Veronica Cardoso, and Thea Mason and me. So Veronica, we were talking about, why don’t you, why don’t you phrase what you’re seeing as the issue, first of all, and how we, how we address it and where we go from here.
We were there in the shell, in this hardened shell. We’re observing that society’s operating out of this shell, out of these hardened dead concepts of right and wrong and of real and unreal, of you versus me, and this lack of curiosity, this lack of interest in the other, this lack of interest and curiosity in the other. Because this hardening, this lack of curiosity, I have found that there’s been somehow in this hardening of ideas, a lack of fostering of an inner landscape, of a spiritual architecture that allows us to––even if the world’s moving fast and we’re getting all these attacks or all of this information––we have that space to slow down within us and take it back, and take a look at things as they’re happening and not be such in a flash and ready to go out, right? It’s like those little children that you can observe in the playground that are running with their chest fast-forward and their feet are almost left behind. Right? We want, we want to go in there in the middle. And there’s a big angst these days to be with oneself. So there’s an interesting phenomenon where I find myself when I come up against you. It’s a rubbing of the, as you said, how did you say it of this generation, that arrested development. Because as you, when you play games with the middle schoolers, one of the most important games is to wrestle, come against each other. And that’s very human, but we need to grow out of it.
Right. Fascinating. So this susceptibility and tendency toward identity politics, political identity, racial identity, sexual orientation identity, which is just one facet of anyone, right? So it’s like, why would we identify ourselves by just that one thing, when we’re so much more. But so then the need to make the other wrong and not just, not just even make them wrong, maybe not even quietly and internally being like “uh…,” But like being way out here and having to cancel them out, that is in essence wrestling with them so that we can discover who we are.
And it’s not wrestling with them with the centered quietness of objectivity. It’s a flailing, like you’re drowning in the sea and you’re looking for purchase. You’re looking for your lifeline rather than, “oh, I can float actually. I’m right where I am.”
Right. Well, because, I like this visual that you’re giving Veronica, which is, rather than where the goal is, to be inner centered, instead we’re out here and when we’re going up against someone else, we’re almost merging with their edge too. We’re like, we don’t know where we begin or end, and we’re kind of trying to maybe even draw something from their edge to, you know, to strengthen our edge. I don’t know, I’m not being articulate.
And also, when we’re living in a world where a lot of people don’t know where they are, I mean, and I’m on this journey and been working with this for a long time, you have people coming in to your center without knowing it. You are going into people’s center without knowing it. And we have a huge explosion of backlash when you realize you’ve been invaded, or you’ve invaded someone, because nobody is knowing how you meet them at your gate. Out of choice. And then we’re talking about the friction, like the finding in that way. Because yes, in the center, but you need to know how to be out here. So you should be able to be here. We want to be able to be here as adults, and here. So we know where the pathway is.
And then to maybe transition a little bit to what our original topic was going to be. So, you know, in simplistic terms, it’s a lot easier to find one’s center in the quiet of nature there, out of the madness and frenzy certainly of the urban life, the scheduled life, the American…
Yeah, right. Totally. Exactly. And so we were sharing before this, again, each one of us, we all to one degree or another fled California’s crazy. Certainly surrounding, and even more so when all this last year hit, and we each sought different places for different reasons. And, what I was observing to Thea a few days ago, and then with you guys a little bit was that it took a year…so I, I spent the last year in very remote Idaho near the Montana border. We had actually planned to leave the country, and listed our house two days before Newsom’s first shelter in place––and all of our plans changed. But we had planned to leave the country because we thought in that bubble of Marin, you know, of San Francisco Bay area, it was hard to conceive that it could be that different anywhere else in the country. I’m fortunate to have discovered by all these turns of events that there are some really cool places in much of the rest of the country outside California. But you know, I’m still processing the change that I’ve gone through, having been out of there. And one of the observations that I had made and had was that I didn’t know I was living with a kind of low level anxiety all the time back there, in all of my interactions with everyone in the world and in my community, that I couldn’t exactly trust people to be responsible for themselves and in possession of themselves.
So that I didn’t really trust wholly what they were saying to me, not because I thought they were lying, but because I didn’t think they were even fully aware of what they were saying to me, what they were committing to, what they promised to do, whatever it was, right? Minor or major things. Living where I was living this last year, where people––I mean, Veronica, you were talking about this, right? Like the difference between people who live where their survival depends on their word, right? Their honor, their relationships, their true relationships with their neighbors, the reliability…
A real network.
Their reliability to their neighbors and on their neighbors, all of that.
And to their surroundings.
Absolutely. To the earth, their true investment in the land, in their trees, in how well they maintain the shrubbery around the house, whatever. The snow, the snow and everything. So it’s like, I woke up just a few weeks ago realizing this, like, “oh my gosh, I got accustomed to not second guessing people too much, really taking them at their word,” which shouldn’t be so remarkable, but it was living there in that area of California that we lived.
Well, and also part of that is the suing culture, like, you know, they have signs at playgrounds that say “no running” because they don’t want…
The litigious culture. Yes.
Well, because when you have money, right? That goes hand in hand with moneyed areas. Litigiousness. That’s one thing for sure that hat’s a go-to. If somebody wrongs you, you sue them, or if you simply perceive you are wronged, you sue them. Not to mention a culture, a state, that has every single protection in place for every person so that they really don’t have to be responsible for themselves if they are wronged. If they are wronged, here’s this measure, this measure, this measure, this measure that they can take to file their grievance. And, you know, obviously there are balances in protections of citizens. But when you give them everything so that they don’t have to even think twice about being responsible really for themselves, that doesn’t set them up very well. That doesn’t help them develop a kind of core, you know, of integrity.
I mean, you know, like I’m going all over the place, I guess, but I’m just thinking about how, when I first was working there, I remember one employee, I don’t even think they showed up. Like they just, all of a sudden didn’t show up for a certain time they were supposed to be there. And it was because they had a therapy appointment and, you know, and I’m getting on them for not having shown up. And they don’t even realize that they were irresponsible, but especially because it was a therapy appointment, that’s supposed to be excused.
Well, I think as we travel with that, bringing it a little bit back to this picture of the inner landscape, that’s where that core lies. And so if there’s not the incentive, in a way, in your world out here to know where that center is, or that core is––and then the shell is hard––how do you even get there? How do you even find, or what’s the point, how do we get drawn into finding that core center to be self-responsible and to have the ability to be objective and have engagement with another that’s true and good.
(Interruption) Can you go back Veronica to what your thoughts and theory is about World War One, the beginning of the cancellation of a heterosexual male, as archetype, at least?
Well, I’m ust going to start with, there’s a great book called “The Boy Crisis.” And, he speaks, they both speak (two writers) but I’m going to connect it to something that happened back then with the book, because men, because of war they’re out of the home, they’re out of the father, they’re pushed out of a leading holding. And it’s not that the women don’t hold and don’t lead, but there’s two very different energies. The mom is introducing and drawing us into the world, right? The mom can, can bring in a storm and clear out the waters. The dad can as well. Or the father can as well bring down the storm, but the father energy brings it differently. The father energy gives temper like an on and off switch. And I remember my father with this word that it’s “enough.”
And my mother and I would be in this dance, “but yes, but no, but you said, but I said…” The mother gives us a lot of our social. Right? But my father would be annoyed at us bickering at each other at the dinner table. And he would just say the word, “Enough.”And that was enough, for both of us. It was, as you say, right, it’s this, it was the entering of the Pope. Zip it. And it wasn’t like, “shut up. You can’t say anything.” You’re not going anywhere. So it’s enough. And take a hold of yourself again. And there’s so many different things that we learned from the father and we learned from the mother.
Well, it’s why men are great leaders of organizations. Right? And in my opinion, more suited to that top dog position. Not that women aren’t leaders in their own way, but men are more naturally in their element in that capacity of just laying down the line. Agreed. Though, I would say a little bit of my question is just, I’m curious why World War I in particular? Thea had said when we were off camera, something about the mechanization? Because the war has been going on for time immemorial, as far as we understand. So why World War I?
I don’t know. And I’m just going to throw out that the mechanization changed the quality of fighting, frankly. I mean, one, it was more atrocious and there were so many deaths and the enormity of it. Two, there’s more distance now between you and your foe, right? I don’t know, I’m just throwing ideas out because I don’t know.
Well that’s the big question right now, right? Like where did that cancellation begin? And maybe someone will comment and say, you guys are completely out of it. It was in 1590. I don’t know.
It occurs to me, I mean, it’s the industrialization. You know, in the same way that the Amish––I never really understood, I don’t know much about the Amish, but I remember learning not long ago that the reason they don’t drive automobiles is in order to ensure that the husband and father can’t work far from the home. So, you know, when we were an agrarian society, and we’re there on our farms, our ranches our land, the father was there. But with industrialization, that takes the father outside the home to go to work. Which also is interesting too, leads me to speculate that this whole––and I don’t even like to call it COVID nonsense, because COVID didn’t cause all of this, lock downs and everything, people did, the governments and all that.
But so all of those lockdowns caused many men to be working from home, back at home with their families all the time. So I wonder what’s going to result from that too. Huh? Maybe something good. Maybe a lot of good stuff can come out of that mess.
So, yeah. So I thought maybe you were also saying just on the scale of the war, the first world war, which resulted in untold deaths, well not untold, but just so many more deaths of men, fatherless children, fatherless families. For that entire generation.
And then where the woman was placed––and that is the single mom. And it’s not that I financially have had to be a single mom, I’ve I’ve had the financial support of the fathers, yet I’ve lived in the home by myself, with my children. And that every day, and that everyday holding and that everyday routine and they everyday conversation and all the habits and everything one has to produce by oneself. And not only the habits and the education and the forming and the this, but now I need to be mother and now I need to be father. So there’s a breaking in me as well. There’s a type of bipolarity that needs to be managed within myself to reproduce something artificially. So I mean, just this word, mechanization, even in those inner systems, we have been mechanized to reproduce artificial things that, for that––in those archetypes, in those ancient archetypes that we know by instinct that are so important––when there’s a lack of it, we’re still reproducing them in so many ways.
So in the reproduction of the father system within my mother, it’s an appreciation, a saying yes to how important the two roles and the father is. I mean so many things to talk about with the father and the man. But where do we as educators, how can we support now the new generation of boys that are coming as a canceled individual? And I’m going to say the unpopular––so one of my other worries in society right now is these young babies, even, the babies of white, heterosexual males that are coming into this world right now, and they are coming into a world of being canceled already. And I can hear the shouting already of many people listening to me. And I’m going to respond to that screaming that I can hear with this little story. I have a friend that, randomly because of genetics, she’s a white woman and the husband randomly by genetics, he’s a white man. Beautiful people, farmers, marketers, beautiful people. And she lives in LA and she works the Santa Monica market. So she’s in it. And they just had a baby. By genetics, a white baby, a boy baby. And he’s super cute. And one of the comments that she was sharing with me that she receives constantly is, “Oh, another one of those.”
Oh, oh my God!
“One of those, white hetero males. You had one of those?” So, and these are people that love her, and these are people that see her in the market. And these are people that they think because they’re in a good movement, that is something appropriate to say, or even funny. So it is, it is a real thing for me to––and I’m not popular at any table when I talk about this––
You’re just in the wrong state.
Wrong table. Let’s turn those tables.
Exactly, some tables. I’m very popular, but most tables, many tables, I rub the wrong corner. So what are we as teachers, as mothers, as fathers, as society, what are we doing to prepare men to be men and men to be healthy men and in a way, save masculinity because it’s under attack.
And therefore save our world.
Well, I want to say what I had said off camera with you, Anne, briefly, is that that picture of canceling the hetero male with industrialization to a certain degree has allowed us to be in this place of lack of self responsibility. Of, “it’s out here” rather than. “Enough!” Just in terms of one of the ingredients lacking. And I don’t think we need to clarify, we’re not talking about being a toxic male. Really, that’s a wounded male. But you know, to be masculine, to be able to step into and to draw upon the archetype of masculinity so that females that want to feel feminine can, also.
Because we want to.
We want to!
Even those of us who have, like Veronica was saying, we’ve been, we were raised to be
Yeah. Right, right. And, and, you know, I’m 50 years old and I’m still working on recognizing how good it feels when my husband takes something over that I don’t even have to think about. You know, I’m a professional woman. I’ve worked in the world successfully and have navigated all of the worldly, administrative, financial tasks in the world. So I’m, I can be good at it. I don’t particularly love doing it. And, you know, and it’s nice to just relinquish certain things so that I can focus on other things that also need attending, especially as a homeschooling mother. Or just mother. So, yeah. So, okay. So this has been long, and we totally went a different direction than we planned, but it’s been great.
We’re just talking about the weather.
You’re just still hanging on to that one, huh? We’ll see about that title.
Speaking about the weather, in trying to just close with the other topic, but within the topic in itself, my strongest experience of being outside of LA is––outside of LA because my partner was in LA and I was in San Diego, so it was LA and San Diego for me––but outside of that jab, a, a constant jab, a constant, “oh, are you Mexican? Or are you native American?” And it’s truly being in a place where the weather is very real because it’s not artificial. It’s not held by a city. It’s not held by liability. It’s not held by the dad, by Uncle Sam. It’s just us in a home with neighbors, with a micro-community in a way. And all the survival and all these things have to have a play. But I, as a mover, as a seeker, as a migrating being––I don’t know why I have that impulse, I’ve just had it––the further I’ve gone from my hometown, the less I have time to do biographical work with my neighbors. And those come. Slowly. But because we can’t talk about the drama of auntie Vanessa and whatever, we end up talking about the weather. And how much it rained or how much it didn’t rain, or, what is the season in comparison to last year? And what I’ve noticed is that through speaking about our perception of the weather, we end up using it as an analogy of how we are feeling. And talking about the weather, which is so funny in sophisticated cities, it’s always used as like, “oh, I feel so superficial. We talked, like, about the weather.” My experience of talking about the weather has been such a connecting moment. ‘Cause we’re connecting. Because it’s not about your political stance or my political stance or this and that or whatever. It’s like, “you have ideas. Guess what? Me too.” And we can share one thing. The weather.
And it’s because we can, we can be curious about each other, but as well, we can be curious together. And these are two beautiful geometries, right? The line. And the triangle. Where we’re like, “Oh, how are you? Good. How are you? Good.”
“How are you?”
“And how are you both?”
And objectively speak about something that connects. And that is for me, beyond. We need to find connectiveness and things to practice it. Is it weather? Is it the carpentry is it sports, whatever is. But we’re so insisting, and I say, the society is so insisting in finding the place of disconnect, where the activity should be the contrary.
What connects us. Yeah. We strengthen what connects us.
Oh, “you’re a toxic male.” If that’s the case.
Well I’m a toxic female!
Me too! I think I am even a toxic male as well. I mean, I’m such a macho asshole.
Totally, totally. Absolutely. I love that. Yeah. Well you really, you really went to bat for her on that one,Veronica. We’ll consider using that as the title. But no, I totally get that. I love that. And you know, in the same way that, this entire cancel culture, identity politics culture also focuses on our differences rather than our similarities. And similarities doesn’t mean we have to be the same, but more similar perspective, similar…I mean our humanity, right? We’re all human beings, right? And that’s what I had observed too, and maybe this is part of it, but when we’re not perceiving through a lens of sexism, racism, whatever ism, then we can simply be human beings. And when human beings are regarding each other as human beings and treating each other as human beings, the result is humanity.
All right. Well till next time, this was so fun. I do wish I was up there with you. Actually I wish you guys were here.
Maybe we’ll make that happen somehow.
We will. All right. Let’s say goodbye to the audience.