73) On Academia (part 2)

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-djmm7-bf61e2

…Although academia remains for me what death was for the Ophelia of Bob Dylan’s song “Desolation Row”: “quite romantic,” in hindsight, it occurs to me that treating academia as a field of holy and religious “Ivory Towers” first of all, in its dogma and myopia contradicts the truly “academic” spirit…

…When I failed to both receive funding from an MFA program and employment from a nearby university after graduating with my bachelor’s degree… I panicked, raced away from my dream, and grew convinced that academia would inevitably fizzle out from the global economy in the midst of such a rich world of cheaper information exchange across the internet’s digital media platforms…

…one beautiful, early September day, about two weeks ago now I think it was, I was walking in the development where my wife and I live, enjoying the refreshingly cool and breezy air. I thought about how much energy Ashley and I put into figuring out where we wanted to live (about 8 years!) We had a long list of potential places in and out of state and we researched the job and real estate markets in virtually every area of interest to us: places in Texas, California, Florida, New Hampshire, Illinois, Iowa, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, South Jersey, North Jersey, the Jersey Shore, et cetera…

72) On Academia (part 1)

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-au2hc-bf61bf

I call the university my temple, holy place, sanctuary, haven, oasis, paradise, Shangri-La, et cetera…

…It seeks (seeks!) an honesty whose nude body radiates bluntly with fitness, and beauty, exploring its sexuality, or dressing in clothes with a style of elegance that offends only offenders…

…Knowledge and critical thinking, in theory, preserved and advanced…

71) On time (part 2)

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-g3atm-be7870

*For Robert Musil who inspired me to get a little creative with subtitles *

A) Time Resides in the Upper-Class of my Hierarchy of Values

Time. I value it more than money. Which doesn’t say so much for money actually. Yes, money stands high as one the most powerful and unique resources and forms of energy and power a human can possess…not just because by flashing it around you can buy, attract products and people to you and thus appear powerful, because with it you can compel services, start and win a war, et cetera, but more abstractly what money represents is the act of enabling…beyond its quality as “capital” it is raw, pure resource which directed in this or that way leads to milestones in medicine, technology, the spreading and preservation of art and culture. Used to its full potential it’s like a genie in a magic lamp though you may be limited to more or less than three wishes. Similar to  Aladdin’s genie it cannot make someone fall in love with you. It can’t in itself kill someone or bring someone back to life, though it can try to buy the corrupted or merciful and gracious efforts to bring someone back to life. My point is that it is that time outdoes money and thus its meaning towers over money’s...

…B) Time and both experiential and corporeal mortality

I hate to bring mortality into this discussion. It is my least favorite subject…

 

C) Borrowing Heidegger’s title ‘Being and Time’

 

Sometimes I think of reading Martin Heidegger’s Being and Time simply because the title is so captivating (how wide and all encompassing it seems— mortality of the living and conscious, eternity of the universe?). It had been my recollection that nothing more than the book’s title ever grabbed my attention…thus far in my 33 year life, but as I flipped through Bertrand Russell’s The History of Western Philosophy to read up on Heraclitus and change I rediscovered an annotation I made who knows when that I thought Heraclitus was “Like Hiedegger” (yes, I capitalized my L and misspelt the man’s name). I do not remember in the least why I wrote this. 

 

…D) Why I think the ‘week’ is my favorite unit of time lately and how I loved my Saturdays

 

Over the past few years I sought out time management advice from professors and mentors. The only novel word of advice I received was to keep lists which I now do. Actually one professor complimented my basic approach, saying I appeared to have it covered and that when I finally graduated my to-do lists would simmer down. I appreciated it but it is now a year or so later and the subject still makes me feel as though I am slightly neurotic….

71) On the summer of 2019

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-ef35n-bd9ac4

The summer of 2019 is almost over now and the air, to my immense pleasure, throughout this last week has significantly cooled down…almost unseasonably so…

…Overlooking the sadness or nostalgia we sometimes feel in response to our awareness that life simply happens then ends, and that thus, experiences do not and cannot “happen again” (except within memory, the perception of its audio or visual record)… I enjoy the seasons changing. One aesthetic benefit of living in a “temperate” area as opposed to, say, a tropical one, or a desert, is that you get not just the changes of temperature and weather, but also, the visual changes—leaves turning yellow, brown, orange, red and then falling to the ground, eventually snow and ice, and then a burst of green and other flowery colors! Mental stimulation!

This outlook is relatively new for me…

…in a very panicked fury, I said to my mother: “fuck you!”

Before I proceed I must make emphatically clear my shame and regret about this. Of course, who among us have not said at one point or another to our parents some version of “I hate you!” or “fuck you!”—? Not that this coming of age and rites of passage thing justifies such a traditional adolescent vitriol and angst but I don’t imagine my own gracelessness here that I unfairly subjected my mother to was exceptionally unique or even personal. I imagine even the most polite teenager demonstrates a capacity for critical thought if he or she at some point contradicts his or her parents to his or her parents’ profound dismay. I understand though this always deeply upset my mother….

…My mother should write a book espousing her views on motherhood. It would make the world a better place…

…(On the matter of my connection to my feelings I should like to bring up that individuals occasionally offer in the bodies of their critiques that I may come across as detached from feelings. A few people mentioned to me that I come across to them as “pretentious,”  “condescending” or as though I were hiding, even if only inadvertently, my more “human” layers…

…Contrasting that awful burnout feeling and context with the peace and quiet, especially in Durham, New Hampshire and that surrounding area, which was significantly less built up and less populated than central New Jersey, and how that refreshing vibe was so accentuated by the snow…and not a fierce, blizzardy snow, but a calm, soft kissing kind of snow…

70) On anxiety (part 1: hastiness & impatience)

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-ajsup-bcdfb1

I’m beginning to understand some of my anxiety’s nuances beyond the constantly striking panic attacks, insomnia, night time alcohol abuse, and obsessive-compulsive thoughts of death that used to consume me. The more blatantly obvious symptoms now curbed, courtesy of Effexor, and a wife who devotes herself to conceptualizing and practicing a philosophy of what I believe it means to thrive (like seeing a doctor for a check up, “for starters”), certain other symptoms, previously overshadowed, now capture my attention—for example: impatience and hastiness…

69) The Skyscraper, Not the Cold, Bitter Wind

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-dd77u-bcdf9f

Mark Holland, he owned the hostel where I could no longer afford to lodge; with grace, he insisted I stay.

Mark treated my poems like hundred dollar bills; If I read them to him, and listened to his lectures on music, I could stay, and food was on him…

67) Obama

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-8jd3k-bcdf79

January, 2016: I see President Barack Obama crying.

Small splotches of white salt under his dark brown, snowy night eye seem dabbed on there by a paint brush; of course, it’s just the light reflecting off his evaporating tears.

The photo was taken by Jim Watson for AFP/Getty Images when President Obama was giving a speech on gun control.

November, 2008: I was 22. It was my second time voting for president.

I voted for Barack Obama.

Just the past month my father had died because his colon exploded…

66) Kavanaugh

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-2b594-bcdf5a

The fight for justice…hands stretching, muscles tearing, reaching for the sky- daunting, tempting to surrender, and submit, assuming futility, but people walked on the moon, made a vaccine for malaria, polio, and other diseases.

I contemplate my White Privilege, resenting every remnant of it, and scowl at America’s White Supremacist bigot bullies…oppressing…Native Americans, African Americans, Arabs, Jews, Women, the non-heterosexual, the poor, the vulnerable, the non-Christian, non-Caucasian and it disturbs me, makes me drink my whiskey with a little extra intensity…

I fear that nothing, not a single atrocity, would have moved Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s supporters in the Senate to oppose his confirmation…

65) Dream Catcher

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-hu4dg-bcdf4b

Fear of dying in my sleep…of dying in poverty, no career I climbed up to reflect on… just a plethora of aspirations and thoughts racing like a flock of thousands of birds headed south…while America’s democracy and rule of law corrode…gin and prayers fail to relax me…

But I am like my grandmother.

She used to listen to talk radio late at night as she fell asleep, sometimes not until three a.m.…

I watch the news on my laptop…

64) The 2018 Midterms

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-nimfp-bcdf39

This election feels like a spaceship heading for a black hole.

Please don’t explode…please don’t explode…please don’t explode, and shatter like the German democracy did in 1933…

Last Sunday night at 9 p.m.– the Sunday before the election–instead of “Headliners,” which is usually on at that time on MSNBC, there was special coverage discussing the “big day”– the anticipation, a spectacle like fireworks on New Years’ Eve…

63) Art

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-e8u86-bcdf22

Music plays on my Apple laptop…the back reads: “Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China.”

According to the “executive summary” for the China Labor Watch Website “workers making the iPhone” are exploited, paid just $1.85 per hour.

(Compare to my $11; compare to $7.25, America’s minimum wage).

The Guardian reports that the Foxcon Longhua factory in China, which manufactures iPhones,

has body catching nets to curtail its suicide epidemic.

Should I trash what the workers produced in protest, and boycott?…

62) On how I try way too hard

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-jzqzu-bcb1d8

*In pursuit of economic success, intellectual/artistic recognition, and mentoring, I have tried too hard which has been the cause of mistakes and failed relationships*

Do I want to be rich and famous with that house on the beach?  For most of my life I desired as much. That is perhaps not so unique. Though maybe people would sooner enjoy riches than fame per se. A lot of attention for awhile might seem attractive but long enduring fame? Misleading speculations about you in the media? I think Bob Dylan described it interestingly in his song “Idiot Wind“:…

…I do suppose one of the most embarrassing thoughts I lock inside myself is that I want to be a genius. Not the “know it all” kind. Nor the showy kind. Just as I cannot stand the flaunting of wealth, so I likewise cannot stand the flaunting of knowledge or intelligence. Flaunting in general I consider to be counter-productive, subjective, like very bad music–…

…In the last year I perhaps overdid it with three professors who I wanted to get closer to intellectually, who I wanted to be my mentors, who I wanted to “take me on”– they, my Jean-Luc Picards, and me their William Riker. They, my Schopenhauers. Me, their Nietzsches. They, my Verlaines. Me, their Rimbauds. (Without the sex and romance.) Have you ever seen the movie The Paper Chase? Ever fall in love intellectually, so to speak, with a professor, to a point that he or she is on such a pedestal that his or her approval is the mark of your intellectual success or failure, your brilliance or your incompetence?…

…From an immediate emotional point of view I wanted to call Dr. X a bitch. Just once…

Now with respect to my intellectual vanity of sorts, the fact is, my ego was crushed by these three professors and William Paterson University’s decision not to award me with a graduate assistantship despite my 3.98 gpa and I guess explicitly and blatantly expressed freakish obsession with the brilliance of some of their professors. 

(I am not ashamed of being freakishly obsessed with the brilliant work of brilliant people. These days I think there is not enough of this kind of appreciation going around…)

 

…There is a typo in the email I sent to the editor of the New York Times’ op/ed page, James Bennet. I sent him the email because…well…I envisioned two attractive scenarios: 1) his feedback on my essays (maybe he might even like them and share them with someone and maybe so would begin the tale of my increased readership and enough of my podcasts downloaded that advertisers would start paying me and I could finally convert this second gig into my full-time occupation; 2) Mr. Bennet thinks I could contribute something of value to the New York Times and puts my name forward for a writing job there.

Alas, I learned when applying for the Creative Writing MFA program at the University of New Hampshire that espousing one’s attraction to an apparent ethos is not to be confused with ultimately defeating the competition for this or that role within their community and demonstrating how you align as specifically as possible with what they are looking for.] 

how much does someone want to be unraveled by a person who is self marketing to them? Part of me worries that taking the time to try and establish some kind of connection might be viewed as a flamboyant act of bullshit. I imagine the recipient of the email wanting to say “you know and I know you just want something from me. So what do you want and let me see to what degree it seems like it may or may not accord with my values, interests et cetera…”

 

 

 

 

61) Striving to create diplomatic art and media in a dog-eat-dog world

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-wixvf-bbcd50

*What am I forgetting to think about, distracted and preoccupied with that damn blockade of financial concerns and anxiety? How many of us ask ourselves this question or… how many others could we ask this question for as they too are bogged down by things which compassionate folks would like to see them not bogged down by

*…And beyond the economic anxiety and poverty there are other things which hijack the mind’s potential or rob a life…  the emotions of serious illness, being damned by some kind of “bad luck”– medical malpractice, just a bad reaction to a medication at the wrong time (such as was the cause of my father’s own untimely death), getting struck by lightning, figuratively or literally…shot by a bigot, victim of a space shuttle explosion or terrorist attack…. Things which haunt me to consider…when I was younger I felt morally obligated to envision tragedies of all kinds befalling me if only to “hold the hands” of the less fortunate in my own way and share the misery with them. 

But to fixate on this dogmatically is masochistic and raises no one up…brings no wisdom or improvement or real hope to anyone.    

So I seek understanding for knowledge’s sake…

*…I find myself more attracted to “the media” industry now than academia but it is strange. Like a divorce.

*…Although the trouble of people feeling they must kiss ass is just a social problem in general, not industry specific. That is one thing believe it or not I refuse to do. I find it degrading. I find ass-kissing and being told what to say or think without any invitation for discussion to be utterly degrading.

*…All of this can be VERY expensive business, I realize. You know…independent media…starting up your own business, living on your own terms, making art, saying what you really think (some people experience hurt feelings very easily. I feel bad about it but it’s also not fair for their hurt feelings to get priority over honesty. I believe the right course of action is thus diplomacy, which I give my all to as a writer and activist though I sometimes fail. I remember when I applied for a political organization and asked questions about their policy positions. I didn’t mean to poke holes in their lifework or disrespect their souls but if they will not be open to discussion then they too are poking holes…to some degree it actually is a “dog eat dog” world.

*….how many people do you know who are or seem or say they are tired or busy? 

I haven’t taken a tally but I have heard people describe themselves as tired and /or busy almost, I think, as often I’ve heard people ask the question “how are you?” which, if not followed by “tired” or “busy” is followed by that word “good” which…maybe you are a little suspicious of or maybe you know full well you are telling a so called “white lie” as to not tell the story of all that’s frustrating you. (In fact, this is all so common place that it is brought up in friendlier conversation often itself!)

*… About these somewhat and “sort of” seemingly chaotic thoughts (to borrow Dylan’s description “sort of”  once more! And perhaps not for the last time!)…the sense of chaos and confusion is not…so far as I can tell…fundamentally epistemological. (Epistemology tends towards the cut and dry for me: if you’re acquainted with me you know my mantra of objectivity, empiricism, non-contradiction, law of identity, pragmatic clarification…) Rather, it’s a struggle to accept a degree of imperfection…

*...What exactly is the definition of media? 

And why (emphasis here on the WHY) can I be confident that this definition, more so than all others, is THE definition? 

Can that which we call “art,” just to give you an example of what happens in my mind as I contemplate definitions, count as part of that broader notion of “media?”

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Gun violence: linked to mental illness, lack of ethics, both, or neither?

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-gdx3u-bafe6f

With the heightened tension on the right and the left with respect to the gun violence crisis in America the President is quick to blame mental illness, while many experts and critics on the left warn that mental health is not the fundamental problem and cause. But if we do not refer to the disturbances within the mind that lead up to an act of mass violence as part of a “mental illness,” how are we supposed to characterize it? Mere unethical behavior? But not all breaches of ethics are the same. Is there any connection between severe lack of ethics and mental illness? What standards do we refer to reach such a conclusion? To the degree which we might associate gun violence with unethical behavior one question raised is whether or not the perpetrator of violence fully “knows” what he or she is doing is absolutely “unethical.”

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#58) On the complexity of reconciling imperfection with principles

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-jw7wv-b9f472

Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard inspired me! As my winner of last night’s Democratic primary debate for cracking open Senator Kamala Harris’ complex and arguably quite troubling record of hypocrisy and injustice I cannot help but wonder: to what degree to we grant anyone– whether it is Sen. Harris in her run for president, or even just ourselves– the leeway of humanness and the inevitability of imperfection? When is a mistake one where we say “oh, everyone makes mistakes” and move on, and when is a mistake so troubling as to bring about a major response of consequence such as disqualification of the office of the U.S. presidency? 

So in this episode I will take a look at Sen. Harris’ record in the context of questioning adherence to principle in the midst of complexity. Specifically, I examine her healthcare proposal, and her record as the Attorney General of California. One media organization that proves time and time again to be a great source as I contemplate these kinds of questions is VOX. There are two articles from them today that were exceptionally useful. 

Kamala Harris’s Medicare-for-all plan, explained

Kamala Harris’s controversial record on criminal justice, explained

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#57) On healthcare policy

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-zqhcj-b9cec3

Health insurance: should there be a “public option” or Medicare For All?” This was a major question addressed in the 7/30/19 Democratic primary debate. It’s not about left or right says Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, as candidates debated healthcare and more but I say it absolutely is about left or right! So what of this healthcare policy question? Fair points raised on both sides: if we move to socialized medicine, what happens to the healthcare industry, and in particular the private insurance companies and the insurance workers? On the other hand, how does that fit into whether or not some people simply deserve better health insurance just because they were the lucky ones? There’s a crucial metaphysical way of contemplating this which delves into how we determine what a person’s value might/could ever even theoretically be.  

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#57) On social & digital media (part 2)

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-v5n86-b9b190

Pieces of media, for me, just like words and thought, are like units of gold, or precious metals and stones as I contemplate what seems to be, not only an “information age” we’re living in, but a “media age” as social and digital media, especially on the internet, impact our lives and international culture. So much, just in my short 33 years thus far, in the world of media, and my experiences with media, has changed, from my fixation on VHS cassettes to CD’s to books, to digital files and websites. It amazes me how these various forms of media have opened me up to so much, from listening on CD’s to song lyrics of the Bee Gees to the streaming audio files of Ayn Rand essays and lectures, from reading Bukowksi books in print to fixating on website experiences. 

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#56) On thought

Thought & talking comprise my “why” for this podcast series. Speaking to thought more specifically, three things which I find especially amazing about it: 1) how it directs our actions; 2) how it constructs our notions of meaning; 3) how it enables us to communicate/ how we communicate it. I believe art (which I define as contemplations and dreams) enables some of the most in depth glimpses into a person’s thoughts, how they think, and the focuses of their thoughts. In my case I like to identify and record contemplations and with as much clarity as I can, which is not only an aesthetic idea but encompasses my system of philosophical thought. I believe art tends to be an expression of one’s philosophy. I believe that art also stands beside journalism and history as in helping ourselves and posterity gain a fuller sense of understanding the human experience. 

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#55 On moving some place better (part 12: the starving artist phase– South Beach, FL)

The idea of the “starving artist” is one, which during the first part of my time in South Beach, I revered and practically worshiped. It’s one thing to tell you about my “aesthetics” specifically, but quite another to tell you about how I conceptualized what an “artist” is, how I evolved in the sense of identifying myself as an artist, and the story behind that evolution.

This story begins with my father who was a photographer and a painter who possessed extreme (maybe excessive?) fascination with female sexuality, nudity, and pornography, and who exposed me to the imagery of female sexuality before I was even a teenager. It was through my father that I was also exposed to and influenced by the works of Picasso and Van Gogh. As far as my own interests were concerned, by the time I was 9 or 10, I discovered the world of television, movie acting, and John Travolta. In fact, Travolta became my hero and idol. I became a sort of expert on his career and he is one of the earliest direct influences in my attempts to conceptualize art, as well as career, and to have a career as an artist. 

Even before I developed a conscious love for movies and acting I was, it seemed, inherently creative. I would pretend my life was a series of television shows. I would determine theme songs of these “TV shows” and when nobody else was around, I would ever pretend to give interviews about them or explain what had happened “previously on…” whichever imaginary show, or what would happen in the next “episode.”

Through studying the works of Travolta (along with Tom Hanks and other actors) I grew exposed not merely to film acting performances and a notion of career, but also I became a kind of autodidact of film in general, specifically film dialogue and the themes in movies, such as race relations, the Holocaust, American history, love, art, et cetera. 

The girlfriend I had while living in South Beach, was, herself, an aspiring filmmaker with a profound passion for film. By the time I was living in South Beach I was more interested in poetry than film but the notions of art and film that propelled my artistic inclinations as such were so deeply embedded within me that despite other problematic aspects of our relationship, our shared love for film became a foundation for our romance. 

(TO BE CONTINUED…) 

***PUBLIC COMMENT is a podcast presented in the form of extemporaneous personal essays about a political, philosophical and artistic millennial as he tries to wrap his mind around the complexities of the human experience.****

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On the Mueller testimony

News organizations widely reported that the Mueller testimony failed to capture much of the country. As to why, exactly, I think it is more complex than some may think. Beyond claims of apathy, cynicism, or Mueller’s failure to “perform” as some would have liked, there is the rather important consideration that many of us have to work and experience varying degrees of economic anxiety and other day-to-day pressures that make wrapping our minds around the upsetting drama in Washington something much easier said than done. While I was able to listen on my drive to the tutoring center, I did still have to “work” on things beyond the production of Public Comment, and when I didn’t, I still had my own marketing, branding, and aesthetic contemplations to improve Public Comment in mind. So, while I am concerned that too many people are apathetic, to be fair, I don’t know how much has more to do with juggling life than general apathy. As for the main stream media, I was saddened by those who placed so much emphasis on Mueller seeming not “as sharp” as he used to be as I wondered if in so doing they may have overlooked a number of other possible, contextual factors, such as possible anxiety over the high stakes of his testimony, and/or what he knows, but can’t tell us, but perhaps wishes he could tell us? Whatever you make of Mueller’s testimony, I hope enough Americans come to care so that as a nation we can get our act together and start taking care of our troubled government. 

***PUBLIC COMMENT is a podcast presented in the form of extemporaneous personal essays about a political and philosophical millennial as he tries to wrap his mind around the complexities of the human experience.****

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On important political events (Episode 55)

What does it mean to be aware of a political event? We all have so much to pay attention to in life so how then do we determine just how much attention to pay to politics? As I wrap my mind around this question it shapes my understanding of the aesthetics of the personal journal podcast genre, for what is an account of life without an awareness and understanding of and personal connection to consequential political happenings? In this context then, I examine the relationship between introspection and political awareness and how my interest in political awareness evolves from first hearing of President Clinton as a kid, through 9/11 as a teenager, and in the age of Trump as a man in his early 30’s. What are we, as Americans, beyond the punditry and commentaries, to make of today’s Mueller testimony to congress? 

***PUBLIC COMMENT is a personal journal podcast about a political and philosophical millennial in search of ever greater clarity and honesty who shares with you his contemplative thoughts as he tries to wrap his mind around the complexities of the human experience.****

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On why I podcast about myself (Episode 54)

In this episode:

I don’t view myself as better, more important, or more interesting than anyone else. And because each of us is so uniquely complex, I think the art of sharing one’s self and the art of getting to know others is good for deepening a sense of community, especially in a culture where it’s so easy to slip into viewing ourselves and one another as mere social media entities or sales pitches. 

PUBLIC COMMENT is a podcast featuring a millennial who speaks to you about politics, philosophy and self as he explores his love for thought. 

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On why I am so verbose

These many contextually loaded “thoughts” I have….like my favorite writers– Montaigne (the genius philosopher and personal essayist– how he is able to combine the two amazes and inspires me… to combine them but via podcast…spoken word….extemporaneous ((but more on other aspects of aesthetics another time…)) Dostoevsky, Musil & Proust: oh, his 20+line sentences…)))– these thoughts, which one cannot even empirically seem to find and which nonetheless move us to speak, write, act, et cetera….in the days of Montaigne, one would call it a very active “imagination.” I just want to be transparent, direct, up front, straight-forward about them with you, and that it happens to be (is a genetic thing, or a deeply held, maybe in some aspects, subconsciously intellectual thing?) that this is how I happen to express myself with as much honesty as I can. That’s what this episode is about. 

*” I used to talk to myself quite a bit and what I would do is I would pretend that I was being interviewed. Some long, long, in-depth interview about my success. I’d pretend it was many years later and I would talk and I would sort of go on and explain my thoughts on things and that was just something I did. It was just a weird habit. I don’t really do that anymore. Not positive when I stopped doing it but… I used to… for example, pretend I was being asked questions about my poetry or ask questions about whatever it was I was writing or philosophers I was interested in, or those kinds of things… and it was… I mean I would feel weird about it.

“I would think there must be something wrong with me but it didn’t stop me from doing it and there are different motivations for it at different times …I was really young…a kid or teenager. What really started all that though was combination of… it was very influenced by TV… as a kid as I think many of us millennials probably…we had TV Before the Internet was really a thing… TV was like our big…was the big mental consumption of our youth… probably pre-Internet youth. I imagine that the Z. Generation… younger people… younger than millennials probably take in more computer stuff and they’re probably a bit different psychologically just from that context alone but I digress… but the thing is. ..I like to digress which I take from Montaigne… but I’ll talk about that later. You probably wondering where it was going with his yes today. I’m talking about my own verbosity… (4:20-6:40)

* “I cannot say in one sentence what I want you to know and I don’t mean that out of pretentiousness or arrogance…. some people are just tall or just short. Some people don’t say so much …” (12:00)

* “I have a definition of “thoughts” that doesn’t quite go with the definitions that dictionaries provide” (37:00)

*”I tend to have a very active brain. That is a reason why I suffered pretty severely from insomnia and need to be on both Effexor and Lunesta… it helps me put my thoughts at a better pace… one reason why it was not a good idea for me to smoke pot. One of the things that would happen actually is either smoking pot would induce racing thoughts unlike I ever experienced before or smoking pot would create such a sort of pause in my pace of thinking that it was actually shocking… literally shocking!” (56:00)

*”Sex is a very fascinating topic. I will talk about that in the future …thoughts on sexuality… particularly the idea of… you know… like the question of how private should we be about sex… and then there’s the whole phenomenon of you know exhibitionism, voyeurism, swinging… these kinds of approaches to human sexuality that are perhaps not so widely endorsed by people and is there a reason for it. I don’t… I’m not gonna get in to it now except to say that I try to have a viewpoint of liberality with respect to how people express themselves sexually… as long as they’re not hurting, abusing anybody. That’s besides the point… self expression… but see… that’s the whole point… is that I like like to say these are things that I think about…  (1:15:09)

***Produced by: Ashley O’Connor and Montaniz Stills!

  Thank you again for visiting the Public Comment, a multimedia website that embraces social democracy and a holistic pragmatic clarification of concepts and seeks to promote a universal dialogue about politics and philosophy among intellectuals, politicos, artists, and humanists– the critical, creative, and introspective thinkers;  a dialogue I hope you’ll join in the comments below.

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On marketing (part 3: marketing education should be required in schools)

“this is about  people understanding that they’re going to be finding their way into an economy”

Listen to the podcast

This is part 3 of a series of podcasts on marketing which includes a review on how I’ve developed my thoughts on marketing thus far (see podcasts: “On marketing ((part 1))” & “On marketing ((part 2))”  for more on that), my argument for providing marketing education early, comments on my own lack of marketing education, the the blessing and curse of how a need for teaching myself how to market and put that into practice (oh so slowly) has required me to spend most of my free time researching and applying marketing concepts.  

“what have I talked about earlier on so that you can follow in essence the chain of my thinking on this topic here…” (05:21)   

“theoretically one could argue the very first tidbit of marketing conceptualization that ever was brought to my attention was when I was in preschool… it’s called “Learning Steps Academy” I think or “Learning Steps Preschool.” It was near Cream Ridge, New Jersey, Upper Freehold, if I’m not mistaken. I was like two, three, maybe four during those years back then in 89,’ 90,’ 91,’ around a time period and I remember they taught us this particular song… it goes like this:                         

I am special

I am special

yes I am

yes I am

I am very special

I am very special

yes I am

yes I am 

…there’s a lot of things you could take from teaching very young children that kind of song… a lot of interpretations. You could have a lot of assumptions… you might wonder if one had in the notion of telling two three and four-year-olds to memorize that song it may have something to do though with concept of self-esteem and importance of self-esteem… “(22:41) 

“Unless you’re someone with a predisposed passion for marketing unless you’re someone with parents or friends or family people around you specifically educated in or interested in or involved in some aspect of business or marketing that means that the odds are that’s something that’s just not going to be quite as much a part of your consciousness so some people are getting the knowledge that will enable them to present themselves in really effective ways to make a lot of money and other people are deprived of that… but for a plethora of reasons. There’s not just one but this is a concerning thing this is a obvious, this is an obvious and major slice of the economic inequality conversation and I would think even if you’re a libertarian I would think that you would believe this should be required in education” (31:16- 32:24)

 “it’s not until I am like fifteen when I go to a summer camp called ‘Tomato Patch’ performing arts camp camp for actors singers dancers and visual artists only then in that and at master’s class for actors did I start to learn about the concept of industry specifically the acting industry and how to become an actor not just in the sense of the craft and the aesthetics and the art but in practice so I want to give a shout out to Mr. Daniel Spalluto– a great actor a great acting teacher…now he’s a friend of mine but he taught me back in the day at this Actor’s Master’s class and he was all about the industry and understanding how head shots work and understand what it means to get an agent and understanding what it means to be part of a union… this is about  people understanding that they’re going to be finding their way into an economy”  (33:50- 34:58) 

 “I took a journalism class and was able to participate in the College VOICE: the student newspaper for Mercer County Community College and professor Holly Katherine Johnson, she was always very industry minded and always letting us know this is how you want to conceptualize a resume… it’s nice to talk about in journalism in theory but this is how journalism works in practice in terms of how newspapers actually run or websites actually run or magazines actually run ,etc…” (43:24-43:55) 

“I never knew how much time it would be important for me to spend on my marketing endeavors” (47:08)  

“So it’s interesting because I was hoping that I would have been spending a lot more time reading my philosophy books and reading articles and politics and listening to politics podcasts and things in that realm but it turns out all of that time is now being spent learning about marketing practicing marketing and being involved in social media and reading about all these things and I’m not saying this is actually a bad thing …actually I think it’s serendipitous because I think it also turns out that this is a good field for advances in philosophical thinking (51:23- 52:02)

For more from Public Comment check out the website: https://publiccomment.blog/

Subscribe to and/or download the Public Comment Podcast at Podbean, RadioPublic ,   Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play Music 

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Thank you again for visiting the Public Comment podcast– a podcast that embraces social democracy and a holistic pragmatic clarification of concepts. As a political activist and philosopher, my goal here on Public Comment is to contribute to a universal dialogue among intellectuals, politicos, artists, and humanists– the critical, creative, and introspective thinkers– on political and philosophical matters– a dialogue I hope you’ll join in the comments below.

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-3ajir-b871a7

On what’s after postmodernism: holistic pragmatic clarification of concepts

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OR WATCH THE VIDEO

Contradictions, obfuscations, and lack of clarity have not only seized so much of academia (as my friend Heather Lockheart brilliantly discusses in her thesis on the topic) but also it has led to the emboldening of blatant racism from President Trump and his supporters, along with a wider embrace of immorality in general. Trump’s TV lawyer Rudolph Giuliani has gone so far as arguing that “truth is not truth.” Where did this postmodern way of thinking come from? Can we blame Nietzsche? Although postmodernism clearly leads to problematic modes of thought, does it raise any valid points? Is there anything “after” or “beyond” postmodernism? I say “yes!” and that includes some iteration of a holistic pragmatic clarification of concepts. 

PRODUCED BY ASHLEY O’CONNOR AND MONTANIZ STILLS

Thank you again for visiting the Public Comment website which I created back in 2012. After 7 years of  experimentation and uncertainty about the identity and direction the website should take on, I established, in June of 2019, an official focuses on politics and philosophy and launched the podcast. As a political activist and philosopher, my goal here on Public Comment is to contribute to a universal dialogue of critical, creative, and introspective thought on politics and philosophy– a dialogue I hope you’ll join in the comments below.

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-q8w9q-b8529c

On competition

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OR WATCH THE VIDEO

Competition is an inevitable part of life. Even at the most metaphysical and psychological level, this piece of perception and that piece are competing for our integrated and perceptual focus and perspective. If you look out the window you inevitably choose where your eyes will focus, and some aspects of the scenery will lose out to other aspects in scope or magnification. There may be some ways to curb the anxiety inducing aspects of inevitable competition, or even get rid of competition in certain parts of our lives altogether, thanks to niche marketing and hyper-personalization. But to what degree should we get rid of competition? To what degree (if any at all?) do the postmodern aspects of niche marketing and hyper-personalization destroy opportunities for universal experience and community? 

Thank you again for visiting the Public Comment website which I created back in 2012. After 7 years of  experimentation and uncertainty about the identity and direction the website should take on, I established, in June of 2019, an official focuses on politics and philosophy and launched the podcast. As a political activist and philosopher, my goal here on Public Comment is to contribute to a universal dialogue of critical, creative, and introspective thought on politics and philosophy– a dialogue I hope you’ll join in the comments below.

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-fw56z-b82f3d

On cynicism, meaning and purpose

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OR WATCH THE VIDEO

A successful individual said I might want to consider quitting in my podcast endeavor because nobody will care unless I make up lies to get your attention. A student tells me a professor insisted that this student write an essay arguing that art is pointless because artists don’t tend to make money and because art doesn’t cure diseases. These kinds of things perhaps make it tempting to feel cynical about human nature and life. But should one really surrender to cynicism and nihilism or is there more to this world than obsession with money and power? 

Hi! Thank you for visiting Public Comment and welcome!

I’m Sean O’Connor, a political activist, philosopher, writer, vlogger and podcaster. My goal here on Public Comment is to contribute to a universal dialogue of critical, creative, and introspective thought on politics and philosophy.

Thank you so much for taking the time to consider my contribution to the public discussion on politics and the occasional tangent. I am extremely grateful and flattered and hope you are able to find some of the information on this blog valuable.

Please feel free to share with me any feedback you want to give, positive or negative. I do not shy away from criticism. I want to be a good writer and to do that I will always need your help to keep me accountable, clear, reasonable, and diplomatic. Speaking of diplomacy, that’s my only caveat when it comes to criticism. I don’t have patience for insults or anti-intellectual attacks on character, et cetera. I like to foster a polite and diplomatic civil discourse.

Thank you again.

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-y2555-b80fef

On the psychology of starting your own business and more

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or watch the video

It’s awkward talking about one’s efforts to create a money making project. It’s something which not only impacts your own psychology but also the psychologies of those you love. Do they fear what would happen if in your chasing your own dreams, to no fault of your own, you fail? How do you approach or contemplate the question of getting those you love excited about your work? And what about their work? How do we strive towards appreciating one another’s work more and better? Also, I had this crazy dream that I conversed with former mayor of NY, Rudolph Giuliani. Does that mean anything? What is the definition of philosophy? Lost in a thought, I forget to follow up on it.  

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-tu49s-b7ee0e

Hi! Thank you for visiting Public Comment and welcome!

I’m Sean O’Connor, a political activist, philosopher, writer, vlogger and podcaster. My goal here on Public Comment is to contribute to a universal dialogue of critical, creative, and introspective thought on politics and philosophy.

Thank you so much for taking the time to consider my contribution to the public discussion on politics and the occasional tangent. I am extremely grateful and flattered and hope you are able to find some of the information on this blog valuable.

Please feel free to share with me any feedback you want to give, positive or negative. I do not shy away from criticism. I want to be a good writer and to do that I will always need your help to keep me accountable, clear, reasonable, and diplomatic. Speaking of diplomacy, that’s my only caveat when it comes to criticism. I don’t have patience for insults or anti-intellectual attacks on character, et cetera. I like to foster a polite and diplomatic civil discourse.

Thank you again.

On moving some place better (part 11- the role of my hippie phase)

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OR WATCH THE VIDEO

The so-called “hippie movement” or “counter-culture revolution” of the 1960’s utterly fascinated me back in 2004 as I began my Freshmen year of college. The poets and artists of this rebellious generation– I thought of them as the ones the universities should be teaching but weren’t and were thus depriving their students. Among these artists were: Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Paul Simon, John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison and Arthur Rimbaud. Unlike my parents, other close family members, religious leaders, or people I was close to, these seemingly revolutionary artists and a certain ethos they seemed to share became my sense of guidance. Through them I sought metaphysical, aesthetic development and self identity. One could not properly understand who and why I ended up in South Beach without first understanding the influences who shaped the mind which led me to be there. 

Hi! Thank you for visiting Public Comment and welcome!

I’m Sean O’Connor, a political activist, philosopher, writer, vlogger and podcaster. My goal here on Public Comment is to contribute to a universal dialogue of critical, creative, and introspective thought on politics and philosophy.

Thank you so much for taking the time to consider my contribution to the public discussion on politics and the occasional tangent. I am extremely grateful and flattered and hope you are able to find some of the information on this blog valuable.

Please feel free to share with me any feedback you want to give, positive or negative. I do not shy away from criticism. I want to be a good writer and to do that I will always need your help to keep me accountable, clear, reasonable, and diplomatic. Speaking of diplomacy, that’s my only caveat when it comes to criticism. I don’t have patience for insults or anti-intellectual attacks on character, et cetera. I like to foster a polite and diplomatic civil discourse.

Thank you again.

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-5d674-b7beab

On trying to “loosen up,” “sufficient freedom” and other things

***Listen here or download at: Podbean , Google Play Music, Tune In, Stitcher

or watch the video

I am trying to “loosen up” in a way that is honestly “me” or “true to myself.” I am contemplating the ethics of compassion, and the right to “sufficient” freedom in response to the blowback and imperfections of “pure freedom.” This applies as much to basic notions of fair access to necessary resources like water as much as I believe it applies to reasonable immigration policy and treating all people in Earth like human beings, as opposed to treating undocumented immigrants like animals or second class citizens as President Trump horrifyingly does. I discuss these and more.

***SPECIAL THANKS TO The rhdpgx podcast FOR SPONSORING THE PUBLIC COMMENT PODCAST :-p !!!

On verbal communication

While I still love to write and to read great writing I believe that the art of writing and the variety of mediums in which one can write make up pieces of the wider concept of verbal communication in general. And central to verbal communication, I believe, is clarity of thought and not necessarily revised thought so much as honest thought which is why, as I develop my sense of self a verbal communicator, I identify as much with Michel de Montaigne as I do with Howard Stern as they are both honest and free flowing in their verbal communications. That aesthetic principle of honest free-flow is one I strive to practice. 

Also in this episode I explain why I might have been wrong to claim Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of NY is the best candidate for president thus far.

****Special thanks to 

Bernard Foyeth,

Matthew Snopenhauer

@monkeymarv 

and 

CabinLoon

@cabinloon for inspiring some of my thoughts 

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-ijthz-b78a0b

On my grandparents

Yesterday I joined my family on a boat in the Atlantic Ocean near Atlantic City spreading my grandparents’ ashes into the water, celebrating their lives. This inspired me to take some time and reflect with you on how both my grandparents had such a positive impact on my life, planting in my mind the seeds of philosophical and political thought, teaching me to fight for my dream even if people life at me in the midst of my pursuit, and to seek out “the Good Life.” 

***Produced by: Ashley O’Connor and Montaniz Stills!

Thank you again for visiting the Public Comment, a multimedia website that embraces social democracy and a holistic pragmatic clarification of concepts and seeks to promote a universal dialogue about politics and philosophy among intellectuals, politicos, artists, and humanists– the critical, creative, and introspective thinkers;  a dialogue I hope you’ll join in the comments below.

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-r2hsv-b76297

On ethics and political activism (part 2)

How can we even begin to think about ethics and political activism until we think about the complexities behind it all, starting with whether or not there is such a thing as ethics to begin with. Even if one reaches the conclusion that it is in fact important in life to be politically aware/informed, how does one go about that in an effective way when faced with so many day to day challenges? In my opinion, one thing that helps is thinking in terms of prioritizing at which point it seems to me, the twin issues facing us today, in America, are bringing president Trump to justice (and removing him from office) and finding a way to make quality healthcare available to all. 

***Produced by: Ashley O’Connor and Montaniz Stills!

Thank you again for visiting the Public Comment, a multimedia website that embraces social democracy and a holistic pragmatic clarification of concepts and seeks to promote a universal dialogue about politics and philosophy among intellectuals, politicos, artists, and humanists– the critical, creative, and introspective thinkers;  a dialogue I hope you’ll join in the comments below.

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-we2n5-b748ea

On Ethics and Political Activism (Part 1)

Politics is on my mind at an ever more intense level these last few days but so are the ethical reasonings behind my desire to be constructive in my efforts as a political activist. For example: how can we expect our society to be rich in its ethical thinking (and thus in its political thinking) when we don’t even require basic philosophy and ethics to be taught in our high schools?  

***Produced by: Ashley O’Connor and Montaniz Stills!

Thank you again for visiting the Public Comment, a multimedia website that embraces social democracy and a holistic pragmatic clarification of concepts and seeks to promote a universal dialogue about politics and philosophy among intellectuals, politicos, artists, and humanists– the critical, creative, and introspective thinkers;  a dialogue I hope you’ll join in the comments below.

On Mediums of Self Expression (The second Public Comment pilot)

What is the right way to express one’s self?  I felt, for far too long in life, conflicted by this question. The “Public Comment” experiment had gone through several different iterations: vlog, video diary vlog, political commentary show, podcast…what was I actually doing!?! And why? What should I really be doing? And why?

The more research I did, and the more thinking I did, the case for focusing on a making Public Comment a podcast grew stronger and stronger. From the perspective of pure logic it seemed to follow that my thought could reach more people if they didn’t have to “sit and watch” me for an hour; if instead they could listen, whether driving or just “chilling” on the couch.

Up to this point though, I was fixated and the vlogging idea. (I remain in love with the talking-head vlog, however think the most effective approach to the medium is to keep them under 15 minutes or so, and think they work great as part of a wider, supplementary multi-media approach, along with the website, essays, et cetera). I was so inspired by Proust, Musil, Dostoevsky, Montaigne, Joyce, Whitman, and all the great artists who dared to share their consciousnesses without concern for their verbosity, how time consuming their works were, et cetera, and how intimate a glimpse we have of their souls, that as far as I was concerned, I was simply exploring and capturing the soul. Thus, Public Comment had been mostly developed as a vlog it no longer seemed logical to me. Frustrated with how tangled my aesthetic and multimedia thinking was, I decided to experiment with a second “pilot” launch, but this time, I was consciously intending to create a podcast, and develop the series from here on out as a podcast.

On money & value (Vlog #53)

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or watch the video

It’s embarrassing to discuss my struggles with money. For me at least, it’s harder to talk about money than sex, religion, or politics because it forces me to address my deep insecurity regarding how I might be perceived based on my “economic status.” Maybe some think I’m audacious for trying to make a living as a vlogger but I’ve got to stand up for my desire because I want to live in the kind of world where people can make money fulfilling their dreams.

***THE NOTES***

*Only death & illness are harder for me to discuss

*I’m not “good at” money & I fight with my self-esteem when contemplating my financial life

*What it means to love one’s job

*Free talking…upfront….sharing thoughts

*The temptation to envy those who earn more money

*My financial difficulties are, to a tremendous degree, my fault…I take responsibility for it

*I like being upfront about things that matter to me

*If there are people out there getting paid for things they want to get paid for then why shouldn’t I try to get paid for what I want to get paid for?

*Talking about money makes me so nervous I trip over my words

*Remember when we had to pay much more for video content?

*You must stand up for your values

*To me vlogging is art (& so is talking)

*Being an “outside-the-box” person

*One reason why I love politics is because moving policy forward can move humanity forward ethically

*Would you overlook your ethics if someone offered you the money to do so? (figurative prostitution, “Selling your soul to the Devil,”)

*Sometimes I get overwhelmed with this feeling that everyone wants my money

*I don’t want to be a f**** up when it comes to money

*I fear how many can corrupt relationships

*I’d like more time to read, watch vlogs, socialize on social media, be a philanthropist…

*Opening up about this is so embarassing

*I hate complaining that my work doesn’t get properly compensated but don’t so many of us feel that way sometimes?

*I tell myself that if I like my vlog then maybe someone else will too

***IF YOU APPRECIATED THIS VLOG PLEASE CLICK “LIKE,” SHARE, & SUBSCRIBE 🙂