How to be human in an anti-human era. It’s Doug Rushkoff on AEWCH!

22 Sep

LISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercast  • Soundcloud
Friends, does this show have value to you?
If so, I ask that you support it on Patreon! The show is funded exclusively by listeners like you, and your contribution is vital and deeply appreciated!
Want to buy the books mentioned on this ep?
Go to my booklist for AEWCH 125 on bookshop.org! It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

Friends,
Fascists, intense weather, immigration panics, global health crises, authoritarian governments, ideological divisions, conspiracies, fake news and fake experts and fake press conferences, the singularities, the doomsdayers, the white power psychopaths.
What do we do?
I draw inspiration from my long time pal and this episode’s guest: media analyst, prolific author and the Team Human podcast host, Doug Rushkoff!
What do we come up with?
Well, that being human is the most radical and subversive strategy in an anti-human era.
And what does it mean to be human? Finding the others, of course. But also seeing the others, and seeing the other in yourself. This might sound like a simple answer, but getting there is complex. Also? It’s exciting and bizarre and intense.
In case you’ve been missing out all this time, Doug is the author of a whole shelf of books; my favorite of which are his latest, Team Human, a manifesto based on his podcast; and Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now.
Doug is always one (or five) steps ahead of everyone else. I’m so happy to have had this conversation with him, and to share it with you. It’s warm and full of laughter and connection.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • What is the anti-human agenda, and what does it mean to be human?
  • Why Malcolm Gladwell, Steven Pinker, and Richard Dawkins are, uh, a problem, and emergence is stupid.
  • “Systems theory is spirituality for misogynists.”
  • Why localism still matters
  • How (and why?) to organize with oppositional people
  • The particular failure of straight people in dealing with coronavirus
  • Drawing on a commonwealth to meet with each other
  • Whether or not conservative conspiracy theorists are Very Online or not
  • Why being bullied helps us in later life
  • How to do judo with QAnon
  • The benefit of becoming an outsider to every group you’re in

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Doug, visit his website; and for a sampling of his podcast and its range, I recommend the episodes with Richard Metzger, James Lovelock, and Astra Taylor. All the intro monologues to Doug’s show are available as medium.com articles, too, which you can find here. Since so many episodes of my show focus on anti-work politics and postwork worlds, you may also enjoy Doug’s 2011 article, “Are Jobs Obsolete?” You can also find (most of!) his books available via the bookshop.org link!

• In some ways, this episode is a follow up to the run I did on the challenges of technology: AEWCH 112 on occult tech with Peter Bebergal, AEWCH 113 on the mysterious magical technology of radionics with Duncan Laurie, AEWCH 114 on how to abolish Silicon Valley with Wendy Liu, and AEWCH 115 on the inner experience of the internet with Joanne McNeill. (And the forerunner – on AEWCH 105, talking apocalypse and AI with Mark O’Connell.)

• Okay, I keep sharing eps of my show in the show notes, but I talk a lot about the idea of creating a heart for the machine being with Scott Elliot Hicks on AEWCH 122.

• Doug gives a soft shout out to EF Schumacher and his “small is beautiful” ideology. I’m on board. Check out the Schumacher Center for New Economics, they do good stuff.

The Social Dilemma is out. Haven’t seen it, but I guess I will, keeping in mind that they ripped off Doug.

• Doug brings up democracy and it ties into his conversation with Astra Taylor, who writes about politics and philosophy and collaborated with David Graeber.

• I talk about the wage labor relationship and sex work with my friend Dr. Heather Berg in the article “The Problem with Sex Work Is Work“\

• Tony Norman has written a short article on the crossover between Q and antisemitism.

• Here’s the Grant Morrison’s amazing presentation on sigils, magic, and how we’re all time-larvae. (And yeah that’s a picture of him when he was a young lad with a mop of hair.)

• In spite of my joke about Richard Metzger being a liberal, it’s difficult to overstate how influential his work has been on me, as well as attending the Disinformation conference at the Omega Institute in 2005 (NOT 2003, Conner!). Here’s Richard’s blog, Dangerous Minds. And here’s Doug’s talk at the conference (and links to the other talks except Paul Laffoley’s for some reason). And Lynn Margulis becoming my mentor was the other mindblowing event around that time.

Byron Katie is still very important to me, for her ability to separate thinking from feeling and also her lived experience of the Tao. She’s incredible. Plus, she wears cool lady scarves.

Until next time, be more human than ever,

XO
CH

Leslie Marmon Silko

My first scene (er, podcast) with Ty Mitchell! AEWCH 124

16 Sep

LISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercast  • Soundcloud

Friends, does this show have value to you?
If so, I ask that you support it on Patreon! The show is funded exclusively by listeners like you, and your contribution is vital and deeply appreciated!Want to buy the books mentioned on this ep? Go to my booklist for AEWCH 124 on bookshop.org! It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

Friends,
It’s been a long time since I made a porn scene for public consumption that I got paid for and so much about production has changed since then. I was used to doing studio scenes for Raging Stallion and Hot House and Falcon and Joe Gage, but now things have shifted over to an Only Fans performer-produced model.
And while I’m so happy that workers have partially seized the means of production, so to speak, I’m not so sure I want to, uh, seize them myself.
I’m focusing on other things, and I’m also expressing myself in ways that are a bit more interesting to me.
But the fact remains that it is the most widespread and available medium for performers and viewers now. Because I stopped my just over 7 year porn career before these platforms existed, and because the world is changed, there are so many new challenges and enthusiams and tactics navigated by performers now.
So I asked adult performer and writer Ty Mitchell onto the show. Ty is a brilliant performer and an articulate and thoughtful writer. His scenes give you the sense of an immediate quality of performance, and his essays, including the now classic “Boy Problems,” about navigating age and power differentials in gay experience, have given so many of us so much to think about.
This is a long episode and for good reason: there’s SO much to talk about when it comes to sex, especially in our moment.Ty has emerged as one of the most thoughtful voices on gay sex & culture; and I’m so glad he has because we need people that can take this movement, and conversations that come out of it forward.
This will give you a glimpse of where he’s going and the fact that he’s so articulate that many will join hands and follow him there.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • The guilt and doubt that follows pleasure
  • The mystification of porn production
  • The exploitative practices of self-produced scenes
  • The intensities of power differentials in sex
  • The reasons why women and gay men have trouble seeing eye to eye
  • The constitutive elements of homophobia
  • How should we view incest arousal?
  • Working class men in adult scenes
  • Joe Gage’s directing style vs other directors, and why the aesthetics matter
  • The expressiveness in performed sex
  • The benefits and perils of repetitive sex
  • The “mystery date” aspect of escorting
  • Queer freedom through blundering
  • The difficulties of rejecting and being rejected

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Ty, including his adult work, here’s his (SFW) account on twitter. Here’s his excellent essay on gay sex during the global crisis, and his essay on cruising basements, both for his column at MEL Magazine.

• I’ve talked about sex directly on the show many times, including about consent with Katherine Angel on AEWCH 101, about the good of adult work with Missy Martinez on AEWCH 38 and the not-so-good with Johnny Hazzard on AEWCH 88. About sex addiction and the problem of sex & culture on AEWCH 56. And with Whores of Yore historian Kate Lister on AEWCH 102 among others!

• I talked on a panel with other performers about consent in porn years ago.• Stoya’s disclosure that James Deen assaulted her was an intense but necessary event for the adult industry (and all involved, of course). It was also a forerunner of the #MeToo movement.

• Remember when Homeland Security raided the escorting hub rentboy?

• We talk a lot about Joe Gage on this episode. If you don’t know him, he’s a revolutionary director, and you should check into his work, whether you watch gay porn or not. Here’s a thorough interview with him in BUTT Magazine. Also, you can watch me watching one of my own Joe Gage scenes (from After the Heist which I had three scenes in and which became Joe’s best selling film ever for Dragon Video) with a straight guy from Buzzfeed. It’s funny, gotta say.

• Probably the best-known thing I’ve written so far is “What I Want To Know Is Why You Hate Porn Stars,” about the challenges of navigating a relationship while making porn and how that relates to anti-porn sentiment in culture.

• I talk about the intensity of desire and repetition with Maggie Nelson (still can’t believe I had that conversation!) on AEWCH 95.

Until next time friends,

XO
CH

Joe & Sam Gage

Dreaming of post-work utopias with Kathi Weeks on AEWCH 123!

9 Sep

LISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercast  • Soundcloud
Friends,
Does this show have value to you? If so, I ask that you support it on Patreon! The show is funded exclusively by listeners like you, and your contribution is vital and deeply appreciated!
Want to buy the books mentioned on this ep? Go to my booklist for AEWCH 123 on bookshop.org! It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

Friends,
As so many people face unemployment and uncertainty, many are also asking: how did it get to be this bad?
Instead of only scrambling for jobs – which many no doubt have to do in this time anyway – can we also take the time to reflect on the role of work and its function in our lives? How did we get entrenched in this insidious wage-labor relationship, where we are servants to that most repulsive of phrases, “making a living.” We have a living, we have lives, how dare tis relationship between wages and labor overlay itself onto life and pretend it is life?
To talk about all of this, I invited political theorist, feminist, author, and philosopher Kathi Weeks onto the show. Kathi is the author of two short but profound books: The Problem with Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics, and Postwork Imaginaries and Constituting Feminist Subjects. The former elucidates the entire anti-work ethos from a Marxist feminist perspective, and uses a tactic to dismantle the crazed attachment we have to a “work ethic”: utopia. What if we employed utopia as a tactic against work to open new ways forward. And the latter shows how we can find solidarity and generate new tactics that we learn from our differing standpoints.
This is a great anti-work, pro-utopia episode, friends.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • The way a “sick day” enforces an identity
  • The problem of “just do what you love”
  • The problem with (sex work is) work
  • Making sure we critique work without dragging everything into class reductionism
  • How post-work politics come from work
  • The uses of utopia (and where Kathi and I limit our ideas of utopia)
  • Why the demand to know the future is counterrevolutionary
  • Living in a time of critique without proposition
  • The promise and pitfalls of universal basic income (UBI)

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Kathi, here’s her great essay, “Down with Love,” on how our views of love inform our views of work; here’s Kathi’s spirited defense of universal basic income as a PDF; and you can watch her on a panel with AEWCH 120 guest Michael Hardt, Peter Frase, and Charles Mudede here.

• For more on postwork and anti-work action/theory, well, I’ve talked a whole lot about it on the show, and from many different angles: including talking about idleness AEWCH 89 with philosopher Brian O’Connor, a solo episode – AEWCH 85 – Abolish Work,” AEWCH 83 with Franco Bifo Berardi, AEWCH 69 with Sovereign Syre and Dr. Heather Berg, and briefly on AEWCH 99 with the late and great David Graeber.

• For some reason, Miya Tokumistu’s book, Do What You Love and Other Lies About Success And Happiness is not on bookshop.org, so I’ve linked to it here for you. And here’s her article, “The United States of Work.”

• For more on lines of flight, check out the work of Felix Guattari (pictured below), particularly the book entitles, aptly for your purposes – Lines of Flight.

• Here’s a short essay on the Wages for Housework campaign in the Nation. And Sylvia Federici’s great (but also for me challenging) quote is, “We want to call work what is work so that eventually we might rediscover what is love.”

• For more on problems with the family, check out AEWCH106 with Sophie Lewis!

• Here’s my essay on anti-work/sex work with Heather Berg, “The Problem with Sex Work is Work.” And here’s my introductory essay to utopianist Charles Fourier.

• I love Kathi’s quote here – “The utopian practice is…a practice of expanding time.”

• A great Wittgenstein quote about the future: “When we think of the world’s future, we always mean the destination it will reach if it keeps going in the direction we can see it going in now; it does not occur to us that its path is not a straight line but a curve, constantly changing direction.”

• For more on prison abolition, you can’t do much better than following Mariame Kaba on twitter and checking into the resources she shares.

Until next time, friends, don’t work too hard!

XO
CH

Postmodern philosophy as a spiritual path? I talk with occultist, philosopher, and writer Scott Elliot Hicks on how to transform thinking.

1 Sep

LISTEN HERE OR ON: iTunesSpotifyOvercast  • Soundcloud

Friends, does this show have value to you? If so, I ask that you support it on Patreon! The show is funded exclusively by listeners like you, and your contribution is vital and deeply appreciated!

Want to buy the books mentioned on this ep? Go to my booklist for AEWCH 122 on Bookshop.org! It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

Friends,
Is it enough to just think new thoughts to change the world? Is it a matter of having the right knowledge, the right perspective, the right information? The answer may seem unfortunate given the urgency of our times: Absolutely not.
What we need instead is to actually change our thinking. That’s a completely different task, and one that’s much more difficult. But it’s also much more gratifying and powerful and transformative. I knew that I’d have to talk to someone about this on the show, and I knew that one of the most capable and thinking-filled people to talk about this with was Scott Eliiot Hicks.
Scott is one of a small group of teachers worldwide who have used Rudolf Steiner’s book The Philosophy of Freedom (also known as Intuitive Thinking As A Spiritual Path) as it was intended – that is, as a living guide through occult development.What happens on this path is that you start to get in touch with not just your thoughts, but the actual direction, flow, and livingness of thinking.
Scott’s books are dense and dizzying and totally worth the journey. They include The Resurrection of Thinking: Steiner’s Anthroposophy & the Postmodernism of Badiou, Deleuze, Derrida & Levinas (available through bookshop.org – you can see how this title would appeal to me!), and two books only available via Amazon, Earthly, Transcendental, & Spiritual Logic: From Husserl’s Phenomenology to Steiner’s Anthroposophy and his novel The Shattering Light of Stars.
We go deep on this episode, and I’m so excited to share it with you.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • Why thought is not enough and we must change thinking
  • Being stuck in a “spiritual eggshell” or “shell hell” after death
  • The unappealing-ness of doing spiritual work and why we can/should overcome it
  • Why do some spiritual events and encounters show up for some people out of nowhere?
  • The darker spirits we’re all full of
  • Why clairvoyance is often just a disguise for materialism
  • How to see what objects really are if they’re not material
  • Why you should forgive yourself when you move out of your spiritual developments
  • Why spiritual experiences are difficult to hold in memory
  • Language as boom tube – and how a new language arises when you are spoken by the spiritual world
  • Sex as an occult encounter and why sex is so “dark”
  • Why love cannot exist without the antichrist
  • The need for forming constellations of spiritual seekers
  • The coming struggles with AI

SHOW NOTES
• For more on Scott, visit his excellent website, which features many blog entires to alternately wade through and dive into the deep end of the spiritual development of thinking. His site also links to his excellent series of short videos on YouTube.

• I talked a bit about the difference between thinking and thought way back on AEWCH 20 with rogue anthropologist David Shorter. And I discuss anthroposophy directly on AEWCH 116 with Are Thoresen and AEWCH 68 with Lisa Romero.• For more on the spiritual double, check out the booklist for this episode.

• I love Scott’s expression of language creating “positive voids” like boom tubes in DC Comics.

• In spite of giving him a hard time on this ep, I like Jacques Lacan quite a bit, and discuss his work and psychoanalysis in general with Todd McGowan on AEWCH 47.

Yeshayahu Ben-Aharon‘s work comes up a lot on this episode. I suggest you look into his work, which centers around what he calls “cognitive yoga.”

Until next time, my friends,
XO
CH

Mona Eltahawy returns to AEWCH to say: FUCK THE PATRIARCHY!

18 Aug

LISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercast  • Soundcloud

Friends, does this show have value to you? If so, I ask that you support it on Patreon! The show is funded exclusively by listeners like you, and your contribution is vital and deeply appreciated!Want to buy the books mentioned on this ep? Go to my booklist for AEWCH 121 at bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too. 

Friends,
The tremendous anarchist feminist writer, Mona Eltahawy, returns to Against Everyone With Conner Habib to talk with me about masks, bodily autonomy, poetry, and more.
Mona’s latest book, The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls, is a tour through international feminist resistance, and it is powerful. Her first book, Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution is a total eye-opener.
Her first appearance on AEWCH 50, was the turning point for the show and for me personally; we deepened the conversation on the show permanently – we walked without small talk right into the un-illuminated contours of sex and feminism and patriarchy and autonomy and assault.
This episode is no different.
It is filled with intensities and new discussions on freedom and its nuances and challenges. Are bodies private and if so, how do we make them private without supporting concepts of private property? Should we organize with conservatives? When should we wear masks and when should we take them off? What do we do if sexual assault is subjective, not objective?
One thing I made sure to include was the fierce love of art Mona and I both read poems to each other; Mona chose June Jordan’s excellent “Poem About My Rights” – which she reads so passionately and beautifully! And I chose CP Cavafy’s lonesome “Walls”.
This is an intense episode, and it begins and ends with the direct message: FUCK THE PATRIARCHY

ON THIS EPISODE

  • Are masks a sort of veiling?
  • Can we organize with enemies?
  • What are many different kinds power that oppress us that make organizing a choice between a rock and hard place?
  • The marginalized and vulnerable people forgotten on all levels.
  • Why poetry matters now.
  • Inventing the power that our freedom requires.
  • Karma as a political perspective.
  • Why equality is not enough.
  • The walls we build around our own lives and the ways we self-stigmatize.
  • Are bodies private or public? And what would it mean if we said, “my body doesn’t belong to you, and yours does not belong to you?”
  • The trifecta of misogyny: state, street, home.
  • “If your community is ready for you, you’re already too late.”
  • Why I haven’t posted nude photos for a long time.

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Mona: Mona has a patreon and she posts so much writing and so many videos on there. If you like her work, please do support her support her Patreon! Mona has also given a hugely popular TEDTalk about being a Muslim feminist , and here’s Mona’s famous essay, “Why Do They Hate Us?

• Here’s information on Barnes vs Glen Theater Inc., the Supreme Court case that said the state of Indiana could enforce g-strings and pasties because if they didn’t, the world would fall apart.

• I talked about the commonwealth of desire and bodies and property on AEWCH 120 with political philosopher Michael Hardt. And I wrote about some of it in my essay about utopianist Charles Fourier. I also talk about it with Sophie Lewis on AEWCH 106.

Shulamith Firestone is a daring and important thinker, and has influenced many of my guests.

• Hilma af Klint is such an incredible painter (see some of her works below) and was influenced by Rudolf Steiner (click here and use the translate option if you don’t speak German for more about af Klint’s esoteric life).

• Here’s what is probably my most popular essay, about how an ex-boyfriend couldn’t deal with me being a sex worker, and how that mirrored culture’s problems with porn: “What I Want To Know Is Why You Hate Porn Stars.”

• I talked about the ethics of consent at length with UK feminist writer Laurie Penny on AEWCH 64.

• If you want a briefing on the despicable smearing of Alex Morse via the degradation of sexual assault, here you go.

• Everyone should read Gayle Rubin’s writing, especially, “Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality“.

• If you missed AEWCH 39 with Lebanese novelist Rabih Alameddine, well, um, don’t! It’s great!

XO
CH

Assembling against empire. Political theorist and philosopher Michael Hardt on AEWCH!

11 Aug

LISTEN HERE OR ON
iTunesSpotifyOvercast  • YouTubeSoundcloud

Friends, does this show have value to you?
If so, support it on Patreon!
The show is funded exclusively by listeners like you, and your contribution is vital and deeply appreciated!
Want to buy the books mentioned on this ep? Go to my booklist for AEWCH 120 at bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too. 

Friends,

Back in 2000, philosophers, political theorists, and activists Michael Hardt & Antonio Negri’s book Empire came out to fanfare, shock, and intense responses. It named the nexus of power currents and nodes across the planet that formed the net of neoliberalism. It couldn’t just be described as a problem of states or corporations anymore, it was empire. That meant new ways of understanding were needed, and new ways of resisting and creating.

The follow ups fleshed out different aspects of their arguments, only strengthening them: Multitude, Commonwealth, and, most recently, Assembly.

I remember having arguments about Empire with Marxists who thought the books were “too ontological” and that they discouraged activism because they seemed to indicate that resistance movements would just show up and save the day on their own. And yet it all seemed absolutely correct to me, in the diagnosis of the problem, and, in later books, how to solve it. And it in no way expressed a shallow reliance on spontaneous formation of movements. “Belief in spontaneity is a political position” they wrote – there’s so much happening, a congregation of factors. What we need to do is see what’s happening and enter into the gaps and the space between the known, to reclaim and realign the direction we’re going in. And these books do a lot to peer into what we weren’t seeing and to gather up everything that comes into focus: from Marx to Deleuze, the patterns of birds in flight to Star Trek, John Locke to identity politics.

These books are massive undertakings that deeply unearth and express the situation we are in today. You have got to read these books, but especially Assembly which navigate the tension between leader-led and leaderless movements, as well as how these movements arise.

So it’s with great excitement that I bring you my conversation with Michael Hardt, whose work has been influential on me and many others for decades.. This is a deep but also wide-ranging discussion.Enjoy it, friends. And after you’re done listening, think about how to prepare for the next resistance movement before it arises.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • Identities as property
  • Differences between capitalist, communist, and socialist ideas of property
  • Why giving up private property doesn’t mean sharing your toothbrushes and pillowcases
  • The body as private property
  • Why fears of anarchism are merely extensions of private property laws
  • The commonwealth of knowledge available to all of us
  • Why private property will not protect us
  • Whether or not our suffering belongs to us
  • The buttonhole and button of desire
  • Wedding rings as BDSM gear
  • “The way Deleuze reads Nietzsche is the way Marx read capitalist society.”
  • Affirmation as a political move
  • The difference between mythic art and occult art
  • The magical activity in the space between megalithic stones
  • The lack is simply where we can’t see what’s there

SHOW NOTES

• Buy all of Michael’s books. Really. You’ll never see the world the same way after you’re done. For more on Michael And here’s a good interview with him on The Dig. Here’s an incomplete but nice little 4 minute intro to Empire. Finally, here’s a free digital copy of Declaration, a sort of anti-manifesto manifesto written by Michael and Toni.

• Here’s “The Same Old Song” by Russell Means. The actual quote is, “Being is a spiritual proposition. Gaining is a material act.” Means’s essay is not actually an essay, for, as he states at the outset, “The only possible opening for a statement of this kind is that I detest writing. The process itself epitomizes the European concept of ‘legitimate’ thinking; what is written has an importance that is denied the spoken.” The essay is also found in the book Marxism and the Native Americans.

• I talked about identities as nationalisms way back on AEWCH 7 (a solo episode: “Selfie Politics”), and I was pleasantly surprised to see the topic addressed in Michael’s work after the fact. It’s something that’s happened many times when reading his and Toni’s work: the happy shock of recognition. I also talked about the topic with Asad Haider on AEWCH 26 with Asad Haider, via his excellent book, Mistaken Identity.

I wrote an essay about utopianist Charles Fourier, and I think this it serves as a great introduction to his work.

Cal by Bernard MacLaverty is a great, slim novel. And it’s a good movie too (although I am told by Irish friends that it’s a bit too THIS IS AN IRISH MOVIE for their taste).

• The Irish activist who was diagnosed with colorectal cancer was my friend and AEWCH 87 guest, Una Mullally.

• I love Wittgenstein whether or not I disagree with him on this or that point. I believe what Michael was referring to was “Other people cannot be said to learn of my sensation only from my behavior, – for I cannot be said to learn of them. I have them. The truth is: it makes sense to say about other people that they doubt whether I am in pain; but not to say it about myself.”

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick (pictured) is a wonderful writer and thinker and her work is needed now more than ever.

• Also interesting, Alexandra Kollentai. You can listen to Sophie Lewis and I discuss some of the concepts that relate to Kollentai’s work on AEWCH 106.

Michael’s book on Deleuze is pretty heavy philosophy, but I do love it. If you’ve got any foundation to start with, I think it’s a great book. And here’s Deleuze’s beautiful quote: “To affirm is to unburden: not to load life with the weight of higher values, but to create new values which are those of life, which make life light and active.”

• I spoke at length about nothingness and its power in a directly occult way with Are Thoresen on AEWCH 116. And on AEWCH 85, I discuss Frithjof Bergmann’s work against work.

• “Filling out the passage from multiplicity to multitude remains for us the critical project,” Michael and Toni write.

• If you haven’t yet listened to AEWCH 91 – which is the last recorded interview with Lynn Margulis before her death – you should really give it a listen.

Until next time, friends,
XO
CH

Ian MacKaye on Against Everyone with Conner Habib

4 Aug

LISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercast  • Soundcloud

Friends, does this show have value to you? If so, I ask that you support it on Patreon! The show is funded exclusively by listeners like you, and your contribution is vital and deeply appreciated! Want to buy the books mentioned on this ep? Go to my booklist for AEWCH 119 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too. 

Friends,

What a wonderful honor to have legendary musician, Fugazi/The Evens/Coriky frontman, archivist, and founder of Dischord Records, Ian MacKaye on AEWCH.

It’s difficult to introduce Ian or to overstate his impact on many people’s lives, especially many artists’ lives. So instead of just describing him, I’ve included a spotify playlist of some of my favorite songs from Ian here. Ian’s music, and his steadfast political engagement have been instrumental in my life, my ethics, and, my creative life. I’m so happy to have had this conversation, and to share it with you. It was a strengthening and enlivening conversation with me, and I hope it is for you too.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • Finding the sense of joy in life itself as the terribleness of the world appears to encroach
  • The (mis)uses of anger
  • The value of listening to an Order of nuns in Alaska
  • Balancing how much you enter into society and how
  • The importance of everyday sounds and sights
  • Square sounds versus round sounds and the flip book effect of digital media
  • The benefits of landlines
  • The tyranny of options and the importance of limits
  • The moment fear enters an activity
  • Punk as folk music and shows as folk activity

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Ian, here’s a great interview with him and his recording process in the (also great) Tape Op Magazine. And here’s an interview with him in 2015 from Huck Magazine. There’s an entire archive of Fugazi shows available on the Dischord Records site. Jem Cohen’s film about Fugazi, Instrument, is by far one of the best documentaries of music and creativity ever made. You can link to it here, but also consider buying it if you’d like to support Jem’s work. There’s also a great book about Keep Your Eyes Open: The Fugazi Photographs of Glen E. Friedman that’s available on the booklist above. Finally, Ian just had a new record come out with his latest band, Coriky. It’s excellent. I’ve included some of the songs on the playlist above, but do consider buying it (especially on vinyl!).

• Have you seen The Thin Red Line? It’s such a beautiful film. Take some time and watch it.• Here’s that great quote from Tape Op: “The thing I am most interested in is the higher version of music. The one that was around before the recording industry. That deep, connective form that takes over, not one, but two senses – you hear it, but also feel it. It touches us emotionally or spiritually.”

• I think I got my science right on the waves! I’m not totally sure. But, without a value judgment here, it’s also what some of the people worried about 5G say – the length and sheer number of the microwaves creates, uh, all sorts of issues.

• Rites Of Spring is a great band. Here’s their song, “Drink Deep.

• I talk a bit about sex work and the uses of detachment on AEWCH 44 with Kelly Link & Jordy Rosenberg, AEWCH 69 with Heather Berg & Sovereign Syre, and also AEWCH 88 with Johnny Hazzard.

Until next time,
XO
CH

The magicke of landscapes, the landscapes of magicke. AEWCH 118 featuring Phil Legard!

28 Jul

LISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercast  • Soundcloud

Friends, does this show have value to you? If so, I ask that you support it on Patreon! The show is funded exclusively by listeners like you, and your contribution is vital and deeply appreciated! Want to buy the books mentioned ont his ep? Go to my booklist for AEWCH 118 on bookshop.org.* It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too. *(Unfortunately Phil’s book is not available on bookshop.org, but you can buy it directly from Scarlet Imprint)

Friends,
In a time of confinement, how do we magically evoke landscapes in us? And how do we create maps for ethical approaches to magical landscapes? for that exploration, I’m so excited to welcome Phil Legard to the show. I was first introduced to Phil’s massive body of musical and scholarly magical work via Ben Chasny (who appeared on AEWCH 45 and who Phil has worked with). Phil has a massive amount of musical work available, including his musical projects Hawthonn, Xenis Emputae Traveling Band, and Sulis Noctis -you can listen to all of them and support him by paying for your music on the Larkfall bandcamp page.Recently, Phil has published the effort of years of transcribing and working with the 16th century grimoire-ic book of magic in process An Excellente Book Of The Arte Of Magicke, by imperialist demon-summoner Humphrey Gilbert and his scryer (lover?) John Davis. It’s now available from Scarlet Imprint, featuring essays by Phil and commentary by Alexander Cummins. We talk about the book at length on the episode, as well as the dubious character of its authors. And we talk about Phil’s concerns about magic and politics. This is a long and deep episode.Two other things: 1. There’s a fun synchronicity in this episode that I left in just to show how things like this happen. 2. The episode ends with “Hesperian Garden: Threshold I” one of Phil’s forays into speculative music and the work of angelic magician, John Dee.

ON THIS EPISODE, WE DISCUSS

  • The importance of helping leftist politics and magic find each other
  • The change in spiritual responsibility when you start communicating magic versus when you keep it to yourself
  • The anti-capitalist function of time and space in art
  • Tree people, rock people, and the personhood of everything
  • How people add to landscapes and spirits add to people and landscapes add to spirits
  • The spiritual bodies of our houses and of music
  • Vowels as spiritual beings, consonants as megaliths
  • Becoming-psychotic
  • Google Glass as an anti-magic technology
  • The pitfalls and wonders of speculative music
  • The intersections of magic and imperialism
  • The temptations of summoning demons
  • Why people fuck themselves up doing white magic, too
  • Doing magic in academia

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Phil, visit his excellente blog and website. It has some pretty incredible essays on sound, landscapes, and magic. Here’s a link to Phil’s paper, “Materia Magica Nova: Towards a Critical Magic” which we open the show with a discussion about. And here’s The Well Head, which is Phil’s project with his wife Layla Legard (called Hawthonn) which turns you into a well. Seriously. Finally, here’s free access to Phil’s beautiful book, on psychegeography Psychogeographia Ruralis.

• I talked about spiritual politics with Michael Brooks on AEWCH 117, and also hierarchies in spirituality and politics with David Graeber on AEWCH 99.

• Below is an image of Mên-an-Tol, the sacred stone site that sparked profound change in Phil’s life and art.

• Phil has done lots of work exploring “speculative music” and his articles and sources on it all link here.

• Phil mentions the artist/musician Ian Johnstone, and later, he mentions composer Fred Lerdahl. I’m only mildly familiar with both, but I’ll be looking deep into their work now.

• Here’s a short article on psychogeography (and for more, check the booklist linked above).

• Phil has written a great brief essay on Joseph Hauer, “Josef Hauer’s Eternal, Atonal Universe“.

• Want to learn more about the literary group the OULIPO? Here’s a good intro. And thanks to Phil, I’m now learning about Ramón Lulle and his mystical divinatory wheels.

• I discuss the etheric body between the stones on AEWCH 116 with Are Thoresen.

The Game Of Saturn by Peter Mark Adams is another great Scarlet Imprint book, mainly available through their site, and covers the Sola-Buscas tarot deck.

• I talked with the problems of Sylvia Fedrici on AEWCH 99 with witchcraft scholar Thomas Waters.

Johann Gottfried von Herder is pretty fascinating, and relatively forgotten.

Cunning-Folk and Familiar Spirits: Shamanistic Visionary Traditions in Early Modern British Witchcraft and Magic is well-worth checking out.

• Remember the first oracle from The Neverending Story? Anyway, be careful.

Until next time, friendes,
CH

RIP Michael Brooks. Here’s our conversation about the need for spirituality, warmth, and meaning in leftist politics.

21 Jul


LISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercast  • Soundcloud 

Like the show? Support it on Patreon! The show is funded exclusively by listeners like you, and your contribution is vital and deeply appreciated!

Friends,
I generally post a new episode of the show every week, but yesterday, my pal and AEWCH guest, Michael Brooks died. He was 37.

So I wanted to make space again for this conversation, where Michael expresses so beautifully the need for spirituality, meaning, and warmth in leftist discourse.

I’ve posted the old show notes below (and the old intro after that). The only other thing to add is that, since we recorded, Michael’s book, Against The Web: A Cosmopolitan Answer To The New Right, was published. You can find it here.

Friends, be loving to one another and yourselves.

XO
CH

SHOW NOTES

• For more Michael, support his patreon, and check him out on The Majority Report, you can listen to him in conversation with Thaddeus Russell (who appeared on AEWCH 21) here, and you can get his book, The Buddha’s Playbook (co-authored with Josh Summers) here. 

• Marx’s full  quote, which is quite clearly rallying against religion as happiness:

“The foundation of irreligious criticism is: Man makes religion, religion does not make man. Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again. But man is no abstract being squatting outside the world. Man is the world of man – state, society. This state and this society produce religion, which is an inverted consciousness of the world, because they are an inverted world. Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopaedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d’honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification. It is the fantastic realization of the human essence since the human essence has not acquired any true reality. The struggle against religion is, therefore, indirectly the struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is religion.

Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.

The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.”

• The other Arab we were hanging out with is Dr. Drew Mikhael (pictured) who is great, of course.

• In case you wanted to know where I stand on the Marianne Williamson and AIDS thing, here’s a thread on twitter, but I also think Mitch Horowitz and I do a good job taking apart some of this on AEWCH 30.

• Here’s “Marianne Williamson: Warren And Sanders Changed My Mind About Medicare For All During Debate

A great (not For Dummies) book on systems is The Hidden Connections: A Science for Sustainable Living by Fritjof Capra.

• Some information on Social Threefolding here. Or you can read Social Threefolding: Rebalancing Culture, Politics and Economics: An Introductory Reader by Rudolf Steiner

• Todd McGowan’s book on psychoanalysis and capitalism is Capitalism and Desire: The Psychic Cost of Free Markets. Todd’s been on the show twice, first on AEWCH 47, and then with Peter Rollins on AEWCH 70!

Until next time, 

XO
CH

Original intro notes below:
Friends, 

The day after Jeffrey Epstein “killed himself,” I sat down to talk* with leftist media figure Michael Brooks in a building in Belfast named after one of Epstein’s co-conspirators. Coincidence?

I’m happy to think this meeting was fated, actually; since I appeared on Michael’s great politics show – The Michael Brooks Show –  to talk about new age politics (as of this post, you have to be a patron to listen to it, but he will be unlocking it soon, I think!), we’ve been wanting to talk more. We’re both interested in the left and spirituality, we both have an interest in Marianne Williamson’s place on the stage, we both support Bernie Sanders with strong reservations, and we’ve both been formed by our time living in Western Massachusetts.  As you can hear, we ended way too abruptly and wanted to go on and on, but Michael was about to take a tour of Belfast, so you’ll have to wait for the next installment of our conversation, which I’m sure is coming sometime soon!

Before you think this is only a bromance show, I should tell you we, of course, go deep into the topics at hand. Including:

  • How spirituality shows us what messes we are
  • The attempt of the left to banish spirituality
  • Why attacking Marianne Williamson ends up being an attack on many working class people
  • The left’s failure  to distinguish between sincerely held beliefs and 
  • How new atheism is connected to alt-right-ism.
  • Is universal healthcare a spiritual question?
  • Capitalism as a symptom of materialism
  • Socialism as a creator of mental space
  • economics, rights, and culture (and how each tries to dominate the other)

Demonology & Nothingness – A deep occult discussion with Are Thoresen on AEWCH 116!

7 Jul


Against Everyone With Conner Habib · AGAINST EVERYONE WITH CONNER HABIB 116: ARE THORESEN or DEMONOLOGY & NOTHINGNESS


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ISTEN ABOVE OR ON: iTunes Stitcher Soundcloud
Thank you for your support in this time, friends. This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. If the show is keeping you company and making you think or inspiring creativity, please give what you can. Contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon!
Thank you so, so much.
Want to buy the books mentioned on this ep? Go to my booklist for AEWCH 116 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

AEWCH116TitleCardFriends, How does evil – created by culture and our own deeds – affect us?

You’ve heard me discuss spiritual topics on the show before, but I don’t think I’ve ever pulled you all into the deep end with me like this, nor steered the conversation towards the topic of, well, demons. And not the metaphorical kind. Demons as actual entities – as well as why we need to talk about spiritual beings as beings – and how they affect our health and our lives.

My guest, Are Thoresen is a a Christian occultist, author, veterinarian, and acupuncturist who lives in Norway. His writing details (sometimes in the same book) his decades-long career in healing as well as his own spiritual experiences, encounters, and events.

He’s the author of many books, including Spiritual Translocation: The Behaviour of Pathological Entities in Illness and Healing and the Relationship Between Human Beings and Animals, and Demons and Healing: The Reality of the Demonic Threat and the Doppelgänger in the Light of Anthroposophy, both which we talk about at great length here.

Unlike other episodes, I let myself get lost a bit in this one, because Are and I have some overlapping spiritual experiences, and I don’t want to halt the conversational pathwork to explain everything. To that end, I give some guidance with the terms we use (elementals, Lucifer/Ahriman, etc) at the top of the show.
We start off with evil and we end with the Nothingness of the Christ. In between, there are dinosaurs, translocating demons, sick pets, a planet made of bad deeds, and more. This is a wide-ranging episode that has its own life. If it knocks you over, that’s okay. Hit those fifteen-seconds-back buttons and listen through again.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • The lure of evil when we talk about it, and the protection of the heart healing
  • Why Are considers the fact that he had coronavirus a blessing
  • How negative feelings and thoughts echo up into the cosmos
  • The 8th Sphere
  • The Northern Way, Southern Way, and Middle Way of initiation
  • The time I heard the devil in my backyard
  • Why pets get sick when their owners are sick
  • Why podcasting is just a little bit evil
  • When Are time traveled and saw dinosaurs
  • The problems with magical activism

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Are, here’s his website, as well as a great skeptical (and far less skeptical by the end) interview with him on the Adventures Through The Mind podcast. I’m also linking here to his Temple Lodge Publishing page and to two of his books via amazon, because some of his books are not available or are on backorder on bookshop.org.

• The essay about my ex-boyfriend beating me up is, “If you ever did write anything about me, I’d want it to be about love.”

• If you’d like to know more about Daskalos and his conception of elementals, I talk about them on AEWCH 67 with Daniel Joseph.

• The story of Parzival (or Parsifal) is known as a depiction of occult initiation. Here’s the most exoteric version of it: Wikipedia!

• The friend who said, “you’re not evil, you’re racist!” was Gordon White, of course.

• Here’s an interview with Judith Von Halle in The Southern Cross Review (whose editor once called me an “anthro-degenerate” but it’s a good interview, nevertheless!). The profound insights on the Pool Of Bethesda I mention appears in Illness and Healing: And the Mystery Language of the Gospels.

The Fifth Gospel lecture cycle by Steiner is one of the most complicated and intense, and one that Steiner himself said others would have great difficulty understanding.

• Mentioned briefly: For more on occultist Peter Duenov, (pictured here) click for a PDcomprehensive review.

• My essay about the lymphoma diagnosis, as well as my thoughts on treatment, and my mother’s death from bone cancer, is entitled, “When You’re Sick You’ll Wait For The Answer But None Will Come“.

• A great psychoanalysis book on the emanation of everything from nothing (in this case, sex) is What is Sex? by Alenka Zupančič.

• “Everything that violates free will is black magic.” – Are

Thank you for listening, friends.

Note: No episode next week. But I imagine it will take everyone some time to digest this one!
XO,
CH
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