Public Comment

67 EpisodesProduced by publiccommentWebsite

Open-ended essays by Sean O'Connor blending memoir, politics, and culture

About the Host

Sean O'Connor

Sean O'Connor


Hi! I'm Sean O'Connor, the creator of the Public Comment Podcast. One of my chief values, which motivates the podcast, is my love for personal essays. Inspired by the timeless essays of Michel de Montaigne, my goal is to share my thoughts with you as they come to me, embracing a balance of spontaneous self expression like Jackson Pollack, jam-band and jazz musicians, improv actors and comedians, the Beat poets, and stream of consciousness authors, and direction with the anchors of my mind mapping outlines of introspection, research, and analysis: raw honesty of the moment but not arbitrary-- like a fusion of Rachel Maddow, Howard Stern, Marcel Proust and Virginia Wolf. My favorite ways to take a breather include long walks and drives, deep conversations with friends, family, and new acquaintances in person and online, and some serious television binging.

episodes iconAll Episodes

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

August 16th, 2019


*What am I forgetting to think about, distracted and preoccupied with that damn blockade of financial concerns and anxiety? How many of us ask …

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

August 9th, 2019


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 …

#59) On the Bee Gees

August 2nd, 2019


"Yesterday there was nothing in my life worth living for/ you were there when I was born/ the very strength to carry on/ a miracle as come..." (The Bee Gees; Miracles Happen, 1997); can you relate to so deeply romantic …

#58) On the complexity of reconciling imperfection with principles

August 1st, 2019


Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard inspired me! As my winner of last night's Democratic primary debate for cracking open Senator Kamala Harris' …

#57) On healthcare policy

July 31st, 2019


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 …

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

July 30th, 2019


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 …

#56) On thought

July 29th, 2019


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 …

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

July 26th, 2019


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 …

#54) On the Mueller testimony

July 25th, 2019


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 …

#53) On important political events

July 24th, 2019


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 …

#52) On why I podcast about myself

July 23rd, 2019


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 …

#51) On why I am so verbose

July 22nd, 2019


These many contextually loaded "thoughts" I 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 …

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

July 19th, 2019


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))"

#49) On what's after postmodernism: holistic pragmatic clarification of concepts

July 18th, 2019


Contradictions, obfuscations, and lack of clarity have not only seized so much of academia (as my friend Heather Lockheart brilliantly discusses in …

#48) On competition

July 17th, 2019


Competition is an inevitable part of life. Even at the most metaphysical and psychological level, this piece of perception and that piece are …

#47) On cynicism, meaning and purpose

July 16th, 2019


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 …

#46) On the psychology of starting your own business and more

July 15th, 2019


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 …

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

July 13th, 2019


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 …

#44) On trying to "loosen up," "sufficient freedom" and other things

July 12th, 2019


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 …

#43) On verbal communication

July 11th, 2019


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 …

#42) On my grandparents

July 10th, 2019


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 …

#41) On ethics and political activism (part 2)

July 9th, 2019


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 …

#39) On money and value

July 8th, 2019


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 …

#38) On what it means to be an American

July 8th, 2019


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 …

#37) On moving some place better (part 10) (early influential artists)

July 8th, 2019


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 …

#36) On moving some place better (part 9) (nightmarish thoughts and feelings-South Beach, FL))

July 8th, 2019


Two songs that describe quite well my nightmarish thoughts and feelings of South Beach: "Demons" by Imagine Dragons and "Over my Head" by The Fray-- explained.


#35) On moving some place better (part 8: early views on romantic love)

July 8th, 2019


The evolution of my earliest views on romantic love which were based mostly on determinism, mysticism, and intuition. The complexity of my time in …

#34) On moving some place better (part 7)

July 8th, 2019


Anxiety, self loathing & depression mixed with nihilism & determinism made for an exceptionally awful time living in South Beach, Miami. It …

#33) (b) On the second 2020 Democratic primary debate (part 2 of 2)

July 8th, 2019


Why I think CA Rep. Eric Swalwell & Former VP Joe Biden are the most concerning candidates, why MSNBC's approach to moderating debates concerns me, why I was most impressed by NY Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Andrew …

#33) (a) On the second 2020 Democratic primary debate (part 1 of 2)

July 8th, 2019

2 nights of political debates: very intellectually stimulating & culturally special (brings us all together). These debates have led me to …

#32 (b) On the first democratic primary debate (part 2 of 2)

July 8th, 2019


What I loved about Senators Elizabeth Warren, & Amy Klobuchar, & Representative Tim Ryan.


Listen to the Public Comment Podcast on Radio Public 

#32) On the first 2020 Democratic primary debate (part 1)

July 8th, 2019

My broader political perspective/philosophy: the ethics of compassion & the political philosophy of social democracy; My concerns with Julian …

#31) On moving some place better (part 6)

July 8th, 2019

Longest I’ve gone without shaving in a long time—> reminds me of bad times: my “f*** the system” phase, when I thought I was remaking my default …

#30) On moving some place better (part 5)

July 8th, 2019

Here I am in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, vlogging from my very own official PUBLIC COMMENT VLOGGING STUDIO (A spacious walk-in closet...

(From the June 25 Public Comment Vlog)


#29) On moving some place better (part 4)

July 8th, 2019

2 days until we move to Basking Ridge, NJ– almost all I can think about. This move is a striking contrast to my move to Fort Myers/Estero, FL back in 2005, which led to deepened mental illness, obsession with marijuana, …

#28) On moving some place better (part 3)

July 8th, 2019

The developing complexity of my psychology, my determinism, my nihilism, and my marijuana obsession, as I transfer from Kean University to Florida …

#27) On moving some place better (part 2)

July 8th, 2019

From my childhood obsession with the Caribbean Sea while living in Robbinsville, NJ to my frustration with urban Kean University in Union/Elizabeth NJ in 2004-2005.

(From the June 19 Public Comment Vlog)

*For more from …

#26) On moving some place better (part 1)

July 8th, 2019

Why I’m so thrilled my wife & I are moving from East Windsor, NJ to Basking Ridge, NJ

[From the June 17 Public Comment Vlog]

***for more from Public Comment visit

Listen to the Public …

#25) On Ayn Rand, Senator Kamala Harris, and a few other people

July 8th, 2019


For the first time in… I actually don’t know how many years—maybe as many as half a decade (?)– I’m taking a look at Ayn Rand’s diaries.


Since my artistic interest here developed into keeping a video diary, and since …

#24) On certain aspects of socializing

July 8th, 2019


With the internet age and such, even though the internet is becoming shall we say, more colonized and even though there are power structures to …

#23) On the Mueller statement, diaries, & niches

July 8th, 2019

That the president, even if he or she in theory indeed committed a crime, is essentially above the law, and, from Mueller’s point of view, should …

#22) On the war in Afghanistan, on marketing (part 2: ethical marketing)

July 8th, 2019


Children killed in war. And not just that day. But the day before and throughout the week. Such a thing should not be. I am not a Utopian but…in a …

#21) On the people beyond the sales pitches

July 8th, 2019


As global/international society sophisticates and deepens its connection through communication technologies and improved alliances I think we ought …

#20) On the opposite of a tweet and a woman president

July 8th, 2019


 I pledged to vote for a female candidate in the 2020 Democratic Party Presidential Primary and this generated a lot of discussion and debate on Facebook so I want to delve into this deeper.

(from the May 25, 2019 Public …

#19) On sexism against women

July 8th, 2019


94 % of my audience is male. Why? In this video I explore sexism, how my father treated some women, and I explain my pledge to vote for a women candidate in the 2020 Democratic Party Presidential Primary Election.

(from …

#18) On my atheism phase

July 8th, 2019


When faced with your sense of mortality or your contemplations on the subject of life in a general way…you know…that very wide angled panoramic view …

#17) A better world? Who's gonna care?

July 8th, 2019

 To what can I attribute the confusion over the decades plaguing me with respect to matters of career?

So many things happen to interest me.

In the …

#16) On finding my dream job because YOLO

July 8th, 2019


What do you want to be when you grow up?

This question, and my variety of answers through the years (I’m 33 years old now…does that count as “grown …

#15) On globalism & a cosmopolitan, secular 1 state solution for Israel & Palestine

July 8th, 2019


So, yesterday the New York Times reported that the Trump administration announced they’re going to hold an “economic workshop” in Bahrain hoping that …

#14) On a Republican Impeaching Trump (?) & Free Will

July 8th, 2019


Republican Congressman Justin Amash, and Fox New’s Chris Wallace criticize Trump . My Theory on free will.

[(From the May 19, 2019 Public Comment Vlog]  



#13) On social & digital media

July 8th, 2019


This vlogging/podcasting endeavor is the most interesting and exciting endeavor I ever undertook even despite the intimidating complexities of social and digital media. I don’t know what the most suitable and efficient …

#12) On Definitions and my gratitude

July 8th, 2019


Misspeaking: I do it too much.

A few days ago I claimed to disapprove of how philosophy tends to be taught in the universities. I regret making this comment. I lack sufficient research to make this claim. Why did I say …

#11) On marketing (part 1: anxiety), free thought (part 2)

July 8th, 2019


When it comes to self marketing (as opposed to political marketing, or marketing for an employer), anxiety and a complicated array of thoughts, at …

#10) On Technology, Interests and Friendship

July 8th, 2019


So since I can’t afford the best equipment just yet, and since I lack any kind of support staff some of the technological aspects of my presentation, …

#9) On failure, free thought and time

July 8th, 2019


Between my failed attempt turn my self-published book, my three failed runs for political office, and my failed pursuit of a teaching assistantship …

#8) On graduating college

July 8th, 2019


The philosopher and writer Michel de Montaigne– whose work I had the opportunity to study in college– continues to influence and inspire me. I revere …

#7) Navigating Through Information Overload

July 8th, 2019


How can we gain a sense of the world, of life, living it to the fullest, appreciating all that’s “out there” with such a bombardment and deluge of …

#6) Extemporaneous Talking & Guns

July 8th, 2019


***There are significantly more homicides per 100,000 people in the U.S. than in the U.K. Moreover, you are more likely to get stabbed to death in California or in Texas than you are in the U.K. In the UK there were 285 …

#5) In Search of Independence

July 8th, 2019


If you’ve heard Bob Dylan’s song “It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)” then perhaps you will understand? Here’s the sense of conflict: this deep …

#4) Balance, Globalism, & Economic Anxiety

July 8th, 2019

Greetings! In today’s video blog I look beyond politics (though not quite away from it… [can I ever, really?])… to speak with you as honestly and …

#3) Contempt of Congress

July 8th, 2019

*Did Attorney General William Barr break the law? If so, what do we do about it? 

         *The Mueller Report & the infamous Trump Tower meeting & Trump et. al. just can’t seem to remember 

         *The problem …

#40) On Ethics and Political Activism (Part 1)

July 8th, 2019


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 …

#1) "A dull aching pain"-- Impeaching Trump; Bernie or Biden (from Sean O'Connor's Public Comment vlog 1)

July 8th, 2019


Having recently graduated college and feeling out of sorts in my search for the right "job" moving forward, with politics heavy on my mind all the …

#2) 2020 Democratic Primary Candidates I Have My Eyes On & More… (From April 28, 2019; Sean O'Connor's Public Comment Vlog #2)

July 8th, 2019


In this episode I discuss the implications of persisting gun violence, my concerns with oversimplification of calling one’s self a “socialist” or a …

INTRODUCTION: On Mediums of Self Expression

July 6th, 2019


What is the right way to express one's self? 

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