The development of my self expression in general and this podcast more specifically would not be possible without the brilliant guidance of some key incredible people. I would like to thank the following people:
Dr. Leonard Winogora, a mentor of mine, my former professor and boss, for encouraging me through my political campaigns, suggesting that I apply for a job at Mercer County Community College’s Testing and Learning Center, helping me with my graduate school applications, anxiety over my concerns regarding career, his feedback on numerous creative writing manuscripts, helping me realize my interest in thinking “outside the box,” bringing the New York Times, The Washington Post, Rachel Maddow, and Charles Sanders Peirce to my life, and talking me through countless philosophical and political questions I have.
Dr. Patrick Noonan, another mentor and former boss, for all his guidance as I contemplated attending graduate school, for his insights on social justice, offering me so many words of encouragement, for always making time to talk with me despite being so busy, and for being such a welcoming neighbor.
Charles Haas, my current boss at the Mercer County Community College Learning and Testing Center, for going out of his way on more occasions than I can recall to give me so much advice, for giving me an opportunity to serve as tutor and for his incredible sense of humor.
John Kashmere, my coworker, my older “work-brother,” my marketing consultant, my friend, for his constant willingness to offer me guidance, for playing my Devil’s advocate, and for always believing in me and my potential.
Mark Lewis, my coworker, friend, and another marketing consultant, for helping me devise a new logline, offering me his thoughts on my creative and intellectual projects, his generous patience with me as I try to comprehend his math and physics lessons, his candor, his guidance in my political thinking, his political activism fellowship, and for inspiring me to delve deeper into my philosophical thinking.
Bernard Foyuth, my coworker and friend, for his willingness to talk about poetry, literature and philosophy for several hours at a time, for revolutionizing my views on aesthetics, for encouraging me to experiment with my various approaches to self expression and supporting those experiments, from my notions of the verse essay to the Public Comment podcast.
Matthew Snope, my friend and worker, for reminding me my bank account does not equate my value, for encouraging me when I felt terribly close to cynicism (telling me specifically not to quit!), for his brilliant philosophical insights and conversation .
Heather Lockheart, my friend and former co-worker, for telling I should podcast, for sharing with me her brilliant thesis on some of the trouble with postmodernism and for all her advise.
David McDermott, my friend and one of my earliest supporters, for reading, watching and listening to even my least popular and most confused efforts, his constant encouragement, and his honest feedback,
Montinez Stills, my friend and former co-worker, the first official Public Comment Podcast sponsor, and a co-producer, for believing in me and helping make Public Comment possible.
My mother, Amy Hanselmann, for loving me even when I was a “rebel without a cause,” encouraging me to value education when I just wouldn’t hear it, for letting me rent movies almost every weekend when I was a kid and teenager, instilling in me a sense of conscience and work ethic, talking me through my political anxiety and angst, helping me find a balance between being intellectual and relatable and for more than I can wrap my mind around.
My stepfather, John Hanselmann, for teaching me what it means to be a gentleman, for encouraging my artistic and intellectual projects and offering me his constructive criticism, for his patience with me during my darker days, for introducing me to the Bee Gees, and for teaching me the concept of cleanliness.
My wife, Ashley O’Connor, who, above all things, gives me a reason to believe in a God, who walked the streets of New York City and Los Angeles with me when I was just a cocky, young guy trying to sell a bad self-published book nobody wanted (“the love that she gave to you back when you didn’t own a beautiful thing” as Jason Isbell puts it), who urged me to get treated for anxiety, insomnia and my poor vision, who encouraged me to quit drinking, who teaches me the meaning of virtue, character and decency, who stood by me when I was the only other person at a town council meeting and was shunned by the entire town council for daring to ask them questions, who has been a sounding board for me even when I had the craziest and sloppiest ideas, who has been, for 11 years now, my partner in a joint pursuit in living “the good life” and who has been incredibly patient with me as I produce the Public Comment podcast in our walk-in closet.