So, I’m in search of political organizations to establish relationships with and collaborate with in the efforts to bring more about more global justice. Clean Water Action New Jersey was one organization I decided to interview with and see how we might work together. Maybe we will become allies in the future but as I was a little concerned with some of the organizations approaches both to its employees and in its political planning/lobbying priorities.
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.
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.
*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 🙂
*Happy independence day! In this vlog I suggest that grappling with being an American starts with grappling with notions of capitalism which led us where we are today as well as contemplating what kind of capitalism moving forward would be of the ethical sort. Or can there be no ethical form of capitalism? *
*Why does America mean to me what it means to me?
*Ideology & nationhood/countryhood?
*Is America in theory cosmopolitan as opposed to nationalistic/ethnocentric like certain Russian, Israeli, Palestinian tendencies?
*Thinking about America I think requires thinking about capitalism– I think it’s the most inherent part of being an American
-different TYPES of capitalism?
-slavery & genocide in the name of American Capitalism
-what does it mean to claim your own land? Who gets to claim land & why?
*Foundation of America versus other countries: example, UK, Candada….
*Is the theft of Native American land a manifestation of actual capitalist ideology or is it just in the name of capitalism?
*There is no appropriate contemplation about being an American without grappling with atrocities perpetrated against the Native Americans
* *Living in South Beach I conceptualized my sense of self as that of a “starving artist” but to understand how I reached that point requires understanding how I developed a sense of self as an artist, from my admiration for John Travolta and The Bee Gees to my fascination with Charles Bukowski & Allen Ginsberg*
*Early morning gaffes
*Move to South Beach was especially unique…it was an act of pure rebellion…something I was “not supposed to do”; my act of rejecting academia
*The people who inspired me philosophically during my pre-philosophy phase
*The importance of understanding the artistic side of myself as I came to conceptualize myself as “starving artist”
*Around 1996: Discovering acting & John Travolta/Grease/Saturday Night Fever
-Travolta seemed to have charisma, coolness, the characters he played seemed to “get the girls”… made me want to become a “movie star”: my first major “dream” in life which I fantasized about all day, every day, while at school
(do young people still say “whatevs?”)
*Sometime between 1997-1999: Discovering The Bee Gees–> deeply romantic, benevolent song lyrics which I studied and which got me into writing song lyrics
*Around 2002: J.D. Salinger (he seemed real & unpretentious) & Alanis Morrissette whose songs didn’t rhyme which inspired me to think “outside the box”
*& then on prom night I discovered Charles Bukowski: he seemed so free, open, easy to understand, reflective, real (& I wanted to be like him)
*& then there was Allen Ginsberg: the 1st poet I read who was an atheist like me, and who moved me (inadvertently) towards irrationalism, “trippy” stuff, “madness” as a sort of philosophical principle
*I thought Ginsberg, Kerouac, & the Beats were the geniuses of their time….Kerouac’s On the Road made me want to drop out of college and hitch hike America
*Some memories hurt to recall but still must be recalled anyway
*Nightmares of ex-girlfriend’s mother’s hatred for me
*Life & what we take from it as life continues…as we try to make ourselves better… & the memories that bask in us…
*Working at the liquor store I’d hear the song “Demons” by Imagine Dragons, which haunted me with bad memories of South Beach
*I started a lot of fights….how do I tell you about it without violating her privacy or mine? I was addicted to attention and compliments, I didn’t think I could help my negativity (and I didn’t try)so I was self negligent and maybe masochistic?
*I wanted my ex-gf to rebel against her parents the way I rebelled against mine….I hated almost anytime her parents/family was around and caused a bit of a scene once at how her parents could afford to eat at a nice restaurant
*That our relationship was going to end seemed hauntingly inevitable to me
*”Over My Head” by The Fray : another song that reminds me of South Beach and how I felt when I lived there
*I was closed to virtually all constructive criticism/useful suggestions people offered me
*I lacked the maturity to realize I should not have been in a romantic relationship at that time
*I thought myself a starving artist and wanted to be like Rimbaud & Baudelaire…two very depressing, pessimistic poets
“I managed to make every trace of human hope vanish from my mind…bad luck was my God”
*Some of the philosophical questions related to choosing where to live (proximity to those we love, aesthetics, spiritual refreshment, et cetera…)
*This move to Basking Ridge feels like a chance for a “clean slate…” ; a bombardment of newness (new town, new roads, new condo, new desk, new neighbors, new geography, new economy, new internet provider, et cetera…)
*A gaffe….contradicting myself about why three moves to FL in a row amounted in disaster for me…
*Another reason why I love Dostoevsky’s Notes From Underground
*My love for romantic love goes back to when I was about three and a half years old…by about 10/11 years old I grew obsessed with Grease and West Side Story— both of which impacted how I idealized “romantic love,” “love at first sight,” wanted to fall in love on the beach, processed contradictory examples of theoretical romantic love (how to explain my seemingly apolitical, otherwise Democrat by default father and my former, very Republican stepmother!?!)
*My superficial, mystical, irrational notion of romantic love
*Prior to the girlfriend I had at Florida Gulf Coast University/South Beach I never really had a “serious” relationship
*I didn’t tend to appreciate girls for who they were, mostly just how they made me -FEEL-… even the first girl I ever spent almost all my time with (though we did manage to connect in certain respects…example: both artistic…)
-I am not convinced we should just outright abolish private health insurance here and now but we must work towards equal quality for all– “universal” in some sense, which Gillibrand & Buttigieg appear to understand but Biden did not.
2 UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME
-I’ve been contemplating this for months thanks to the persistence of my friend Montaniz Stills and determined that so long as SOME people get government subsidies in one form or another (Green energy, Lockheed Martin, big Pharma, small business loans, National Endowment for the Arts, et cetera…) it would only be fair if everyone got a little money…if the government invested in PEOPLE which would be a real UNIVERSAL approach to combating poverty, as opposed to a “special interest pandering” only approach.
-That said…I don’t know why it must be $1,000 specifically but just a little bit of money can bring a person a long way…I know from personal experience
3 CONCERNS ABOUT PANDERING
-This leads to certain oppressed minorities being overlooked. Example: Native Americans. This is why I beef with the ageist pandering of CA Rep. Eric Swalwell who kept saying “Pass the torch” to younger people. This disturbed me and was disrespectful.
I think Rep. Swalwell is the worst of the candidates running for president among the Democrats.
-to be fair to him though, I respect how ambitious and successful he is for a young man his age, and, in fact, I was ageist against Pete Buttigieg for seeming too young/inexperienced, which Sen. Bernie Sanders helped me realize.
*Another candidate who concerned me was former VP Joe Biden. I am sorry for previously questioning whether or not he may be senile though. But it does seem as though he has failed learn from the 2016 elections. It seems he is still very attached to Obamacare as opposed to universal healthcare. Also he was very defensive about criticisms for his mistaken vote on the war in Iraq, then praising how the Obama administration ultimately withdrew from Iraq, despite the fact that this led to a huge mess in which ISIS took over. He seems not to have learned from this and wants to repeat this mistake in Afghanistan.
*Biden was also very defensive towards Sen. Harris’ criticisms of his past record on integration of school districts.
*AGAIN, REGARDING MSNBC’S UNFAIR TREATMENT OF YANG:
-His idea on universal income really is worth more discussion. What could be more lucrative than really investing in people? Imagine also investing in people who were taught how to be a good consumer and how to think philosophically starting in middle school! Even some Libertarians support a Universal basic income. )
-So check out yang2020.com
*I was especially impressed by NY Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. I think she really understands the key ethical issue we are dealing with: the problem is GREED, NOT CAPITALISM, which VT Sen. Bernie Sanders does not quite seem to understand.
*Gillibrand is my favorite candidate for president thus far. I like that she wants publicly funded elections (she brought up how this would empower teenage protesters against the NRA…and why was Biden kissing up to the NRA by the way?), less private prisons, and called for competition in healthcare insurance industry between private & public.
*Pete Buttigieg also impressed me, which surprised me considering my ageist bias. He was, like Gillibrand, right on about private-public competition in healthcare, called out hypocrisy within many of the Religious Right, and realizes it’s important to ensure that people who did not go to college still live well. He also made a valuable point about investing in rural America.
*As for Sen. Bernie Sanders: I think he could win because he is right on about the need for revolutionary thinking, has a charismatic approach to rhetoric, though he doesn’t explain himself so well sometimes and also sometimes fails to answer questions he is asked. Is he even a real socialist?