I am sometimes asked who I listen to, read, watch, and such. I guess this is because I am not a television addict like a lot of people these days and so who I am can’t be quickly summed up by what I watch. So, in answer to this question, and because I really like these people, I thought I would give you some of my “people you should know.”
Lauri Anderson – A multi-media performance artist, musician, singer, and all around interesting person. I first became aware of probably more than a decade ago when she performed at the Spoleto Festival here in Charleston. I am not sure now what the name of the performance was, but most of it is on her Strange Angels CD. A couple of years ago she came back to the festival and did her performance of Moby Dick. There were some people who did appreciate it or didn’t “get” it, but my wife and I loved it. And now, this Spring, she is returning to Charleston again to perform her new show Homeland. I cannot wait!
Forrest Church – A theologian, author, father, and minister at All Souls Unitarian Church in New York. Unfortunately I have never gotten to hear him speak, but I own most of his books. His most recent work, So Help Me God: The Founding Fathers and the First Great Battle Over Church and State is an especially important piece in this time when a lot of America is debating the role of religion within government. Many of his earlier works are more personal and aimed and inner comfort and guidance. A great author and a good role model.
Jimmy Buffett – Most people will already know this singer, songwriter, and author. If not – shame on you! I am not sure how much an “influence” I can say he has been, but if you look at the CDs in my collection, the shirts in my closet, and the stickers on my car, then that has to say something. I have met him a couple of times and he really does seem to be a good guy – but also a workaholic.
Mitch Carnell, Jr. – My dad. Yes, it may seem a bit hackneyed to list my dad, but he really has been important. He helped to give me my love of writing (and unfortunately fine pens) and my open minded social attitudes. He may not always agree with me, but he has alway – even as a kid – supported my right to think my own thoughts. Additionally he used to tell me a lot about things like customer service when I was too young to even understand what he was talking about. And, as director of the Charleston Speech and Hearing Center and deacon of the church and PTA president and …., he taught me a lot about giving back to the community. So, as sad as it may be to admit, a lot of what I am and do today is due to him.
So, there you have a least a few influences. All totaled they are an odd and motley group. I would love to hear your opinions on these people and who might have influenced you. Lets hear it! I doubt that anyone out there is 100% self-made.