Visionary creator of the Gaia theory, James Lovelock on AEWCH 171.

23 Nov

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SUPPORT THIS PODCAST
Against Everyone With Conner Habib is free for everyone, but it only exists via of support of listeners. If you like this show, if it has meaning for you, support it by using Patreon! Thank you so, so much.

Buy Jim’s books and all the books mentioned on/related to this episode via my booklist for AEWCH 171 on bookshop.org! The site sources from independent bookstores in the US, not a big corporate shipping warehouse where the workers are treated like machines. Plus when you click through here to order, the show gets a small affiliate kickback!

Friends,

What an honor to finally meet scientific genius James Lovelock. I write “finally” because James has been a huge part of my life and education and way of thinking, though I’ve never met him. His major theoretical contribution, the Gaia theory, was co-developed with my main mentor, Lynn Margulis. In fact, you can view this as a companion episode to AEWCH 91 with Lynn Margulis (it’s the last recorded conversation with her before her death), who developed the Gaia theory with Jim. And I’ve released this episode to coincide with Lynn’s death, in 2011 – 10 years ago to the day, just one day before I’m releasing this episode with Jim.

So…what is Gaia?

Gaia is the work of the relational loops of push and pull between bacteria, other organisms, and the environment. The clouds, the atmospheric gasses, the pH and salinity of the ocean, and other Earth systems express the “dialogue” between the organisms and the Earth.  This dialogue is Gaia Theory.  Particularly relevant to these relational (often called “feedback”) loops are the smallest living beings, the bacteria.  In this dialogue, the information yielded from and received by the bacteria and environment is absolutely crucial to the existence of life on this planet. Remove the bacteria and everything dies. The world becomes a Mars or a Venus, overtaken by harshness or billowing clouds so thick that everything is obscured.

The theory was long-resisted especially by biologists, even though the science behind Gaia, particularly that found in Lovelock’s formulations, is complex and detailed, not guesswork.Lovelock named it after his friend – novelist William Golding’s – suggestion: Gaia. While many people – especially journalists, it seems, try to trace resistance to Gaia theory to its mystical and religious sounding name, the truth is, Gaia is just hard for people to understand because it requires interdisciplinary and systems thinking.

A bit on the difficulty below, but before that, let me not skip past the arrogance and laziness of a lot of people in the scientific community who just said it was just magical thinking – many without actually reading the research that Lovelock had done.

To counter this, Jim came up with an understandable and accessible metaphor in the form of a computer program called Daisyworld.  Daisyworld is not the “proof” of Gaia but a powerful model and metaphor: Lovelock and his colleague Andrew Watson devised the program to see if living and environmental factors could theoretically interact without intention.  This was a rebuff to the many criticisms that Gaia had to act through some sort of new age benevolence.In Daisyworld, there are black daisies, which absorb the sun’s heat, and white daisies, which reflect heat.  Both flowers grow and produce offspring, and both have the same thresholds for life and growth — they cannot grow at a low temperature and die at too high a temperature.  The black daisies, which absorb heat, grow faster in cooler conditions; since the heat accumulates in their petals. White daisies, which reflect the heat, need warmer conditions to produce more offspring and thrive. The sun that shines on Daisyworld is dynamic.  It grows in luminosity over millions of years. Here is Lynn Margulis, quoted at length to make clear the results:“Without any extraneous assumptions, without sex or evolution, without mystical presuppositions of planetary consciousness, the daisies of Daisyworld cool their world despite their warming sun. As the sun increases in luminosity, the black daisies grow, expanding their surface area, absorbing heat, and heating up their surroundings. As the black daisies heat up more of the surrounding land surface, the surface itself warms, permitting even more population growth.  The positive feedback continues until daisy growth has so heated the surroundings that white daisies began to crowd out the black ones.  Being less absorbent and more reflective, the white daisies begin to cool down the planet…Despite the ever-hotter sun, the planet maintains a long plateau of stable temperatures.”

Many additional factors have been added into subsequent Daisyworld models. Because people were still skeptical, “cheats” – factorss that could have thrown the model off – were introduced; and even with the cheats, Daisyworld has always displayed a deep relationship between species selection and planetary temperature regulation.After Daisyworld, much less the mountains of observable evidence gathered afterward, the environment could no longer be seen as a tyrant, lording over selection; it was now a co-evolving field.  And by implication all the organisms on the planet are connected by this vast system of regulation and dynamism. Gaian processes are real and observable (and sometimes referred to as “biogeochemistry”, a term more acceptable to mainstream science).

Because of this, Gaia theory is an intense examination of natural selection, since Gaia’s processes of regulation are the “natural selectors.”  The push and pull of the biota (the total sum of all organisms) and the inorganic — their weaving and separations, their gestures of relationship — set the framework of regulation.  There is no need to be vague about “fitness” and just what the environment “selects” with Gaia in the picture. Gaia’s processes of regulations are what is at play here.We should resist funneling this into a “purpose” in a new age way – whether it’s the scientistic new age of neo-Darwinists misunderstanding Gaia as a living organism. Or the standard new age (think the Gaia network) line that Gaia is a “goddess” trying to contain Gaia’s complexity in a simple and inadequate metaphor.

Lynn Margulis expressed her solution to the error once by saying, “Gaia is not merely an organism.”

Gaia is beyond stale conception. It is more magnificent and active than we can imagine. Gaia is object and process. Gaia houses geosystems and the beings – people – who thought up the organizing principles behind those geosystems. It houses volcanos and every book, every word on volcanos ever written, and at the same time is those volcanos.  It is where our greatest loves live, and where every human heartbeat has ever rhythmically pulsed.

And if Gaia is conscious, it possesses a consciousness of a different magnitude, probably of a different order all together. People like Richard Dawkins and Jerry Coyne are just ill-equipped to understand complexity like that because it not only doesn’t fit in with their linear and reductive understanding of life, it also exposes their understanding as false.So: We are part of Gaia, and Gaia lives through us. This also has huge implications for “climate change” which Jim has been writing about now for years. If we are part of Gaia, that means our decision-making and our thought processes are also part of it. Which ultimately in a way means that morality – the way we approach Gaia – is a selection pressure.Morality is not shaped by evolution so much as it shapes it now.

But just to be clear Jim’s picture of climate change is much more complex even than the one we’re constantly presented with with charts and graphs and a dose of guilt constantly. Jim does lay the blame on humans in a way, but sometimes in surprising ways – it’s not just industrialism that has caused all of the problems before us, but our very exhalations are a massive part of climate change. Furthermore, there are factors beyond our control – the sun heating up contributes, as well as other geosystems.

Rather than feel guilty and helpless, we should recognize ourselves as part of Gaian processes. And where he goes from there in his latest book, Novacene: The Coming Age of Hyperintelligence, is controversial and also moving: computer-beings are evolving into life as a result of our actions. And rather than being here to destroy us, these computer-beings will help Gaian homeorhesis along as well, since it will be in their best interest to regulate the climate along Gaian lines.It’s a challenging but ultimately positive view of technology that dismissed the reductiveness of “singularity” thinking and also anti-tech sentiment. It’s one that echoes statements made by occultist Rudolf Steiner – who I talk about with Jim on the episode (including Steiner’s influence on Rachel Carson, who used one of Jim’s inventions) – about a hundred years ago, around the time of Jim’s birth. Yes, he’s 102 now!

What an honor to speak with Jim after years of being influenced by his work.

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Jim, there’s a whole lot on his website. And you can read his excellent memoir, Homage to Gaia. And one of my favorite books on Gaia is from MIT Press: From Gaia to Selfish Genes. And here’s a site devoted to Daisyworld. The Economist article on Gaia that Jim mentions is behind a paywall, but worth checking into.

• For a bit on Moore’s law (and why Jim says it no longer applies) wikipedia is probably the easiest intro.

• “If a lion could speak, we could not understand him.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

• I talk about code and alienation on AEWCH 144 with religious studies and UFO scholar Diana Walsh Pasulka.

• Evolutionary biologist Ford Doolittle was once a fierce opponent of the Gaia theory and has recently relented.

Until next time, friends,
CH

PRE-ORDER my debut novel HAWK MOUNTAIN today!

19 Nov

Friends, my debut novel of murder, desire, and high tension, Hawk Mountain, is out from W.W. Norton in the US and Penguin/Doubleday in Ireland and the UK next July, but if you pre-order it now, you get it delivered straight to your door the day it comes out (or maybe even earlier, since Amazon sometimes surprises you with early delivery!). I can’t wait to share this novel with the world. I’ll be posting some videos, podcasts, and interviews about the book and writing it in the days to come. But be one of the first people to read the book by clicking one of the following links and ordering it!

Indie bookstore-supported bookshop.org
From Amazon

Here’s the description:

An English teacher is gaslit by his charismatic high school bully in this tense story of deception, manipulation, and murder.

Single father Todd is relaxing at the beach with his son, Anthony, when he catches sight of a man approaching from the water’s edge. As the man draws closer, Todd recognizes him as Jack, who bullied Todd relentlessly in their teenage years, but now seems overjoyed to have “run into” his old friend. Jack suggests a meal to catch up. And can he spend the night?
What follows is a fast-paced story of obsession and cunning. As Jack invades Todd’s life, pain and intimidation from the past unearth knife-edge suspense in the present. Set in a small town on the New England coast, Conner Habib’s debut introduces characters trapped in isolation by the expansive woods and the encroaching ocean, their violence an expression of repressed desire and the damage it can inflict. Both gruesome and tender, Hawk Mountain offers a compelling look at how love and hate are indissoluble, intertwined until the last breath.

Can’t wait for you to read it, friends!
XO
CH

Nothing is off the table. We can turn this world into a utopia now. A LIVE episode of AEWCH, talking utopia at the National Concert Hall with Una Mullally & Andrea Horan.

17 Nov

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SUPPORT THIS PODCAST!
Against Everyone With Conner Habib is free for everyone, but it only exists via of support of listeners. If you like this show, if it has meaning for you, support it by using Patreon! Thank you so, so much.

FRIENDS:

Here’s a live episode of AEWCH, featuring one of my main collaborators, Una Mullally (AEWCH 151 & AEWCH 87) plus one of her main collaborators, Andrea Horan, who co-hosts their podcast, United Ireland.

In October, Una and I were asked to curate a series of events at the National Concert Hall in Dublin. Naturally, we decided to link the events thematically around out main concern: UTOPIA.

In this live event, Una, Andrea, and I discussed Utopia with a live audience, and then got them to dream up utopia as well. The audience appears on this episode, expressing what they’ve dreamt up. It’s a messy and wonderful moment: Dream big, dream now, dream together with strangers. I’m so happy with how the evening turned out.

To that end, when you listen to this episode, please do the exercises we suggest (and the supplements to the exercise) as best you can.

No real show notes here, but plenty of references to Rudolf Steiner & social threefolding, Grant Morrison, Jacques Lacan, magic, self help, and of course, utopia.

For more on Una visit her column in The Irish Times.

And here’s her episode of United Ireland about imagining utopia in Dublin.

For more on Andrea, here’s her TEDxTalk.

Love.
CH

Archaeology against the state! It’s AEWCH 169 featuring David Wengrow!

9 Nov

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SUPPORT THIS PODCAST!
Against Everyone With Conner Habib is free for all, but it only exists via of support of listeners. If you like this show, if it has meaning for you, support it by using Patreon! Thank you so, so much.

Buy David’s books and all the books mentioned on/related to this episode via my booklist for AEWCH 169 on bookshop.org! The site sources from independent bookstores in the US, not a big corporate shipping warehouse where the workers are treated like machines. Plus when you click through here to order, the show gets a small affiliate kickback!

Friends,

It’s obvious to so many of us that the world needs radical visions of the future for us to thrive. But we’re held back by our dismissal of radicalness, of visions, and even of the imagination. This holding back comes partly from our misinterpretation and misappropriation of history. It’s not just the future that needs radical visions, it’s the past. To discuss how to remake the past by encountering and challenging the real, I invited archaeologist and author David Wengrow on the show. David is co-author (with about anthropologist, the late great David Graeber, who appeared on AEWCH 99) of the new and incendiary book, The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity. The book is already causing a tremendous stir, as it pits anthropology and archaeology – of course paired with solid scholarly work – against the state as we know it.I’m so excited to share this episode with you.

SHOW NOTES

• For more on David, here’s his site (with plenty of articles) at University College London. You can also read some of his other works, including The Origins of Monsters: Image and Cognition in the First Age of Mechanical Reproduction. And here’s a video of he and David Graeber speaking to students during a strike at UCL.

• Here’s David Graeber’s essay, “Turning Modes of Production Inside Out“.

• I talk at length about the inner experiences of money on AEWCH 76 with economic researcher Conor McCabe, and on AEWCH 110 when Conor returned and we were joined by anthroposophical economist, John Bloom. And I discuss “dewitchers” with witchcraft scholar Thomas Waters on AEWCH 98.

Until next time!
CH

Happy Halloween from legendary horror author Ramsey Campbell and me on AEWCH 168!

27 Oct

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FRIENDS:Do you find this podcast meaningful? Support it! This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. Do contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon! Thank you so, so much.

Buy Ramsey’s books and all the books mentioned on/related to this episode via my booklist for AEWCH 168 on bookshop.org! The site sources from independent bookstores in the US, not a big corporate shipping warehouse where the workers are treated like machines. Plus when you click through here to order, the show gets a small affiliate kickback!

Friends,

Happy Halloween. I don’t really need to introduce legendary horror author Ramsey Campbell, but I will just say it was an honor to have him on the show. Very few people have done as much as Ramsey to deepen horror narratives, and very few have shown – with dozens of books penned – such a commitment to the genre.

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Ramsey, go to his website. Some books not available on bookshop.org, but that are Ramsey Campbell essentials include The Darkest Part of the Woods, The Doll Who Ate Its Mother, The Searching Dead, his excellent story collection Strange Things and Stranger Places, and my favorite, The Face That Must Die. Also, here’s Ramsey’s essay collection (which includes the essay we mention on the episode, “Granted by Granta”), Certainly. Here’s another good (short) interview with Ramsey.

• Early on, Ramsey mentions the 1944 1953 sci fi/horror movie The Lady and the Monster and a later incarnation of a similar theme in Donovan’s Brain.

• Here’s that scene from War of the Worlds where the priest gets disintegrated.

• Other horror-themed episodes of AEWCH include:

  • AEWCH 166 with Phil Ford and JF Martel of Weird Studies.
  • AEWCH 158 with Paul Tremblay
  • AEWCH 93 with Sara Maria Griffin (and also, I was on Sara’s podcast, Juvenalia, talking about Clive Barker)
  • AEWCH 61 with mystery and horror author Sara Gran
  • AEWCH 58 on horror films with screenwriter (of The Invitation and Destroyer, among other things) Phil Hay
  • AEWCH 40 about horror and poetry with Zachary Schomburg
  • AEWCH 44 on the vampire as a theory with Kelly Link and Jordy Rosenberg
  • AEWCH 23 on postmodern horror with Brian Evenson

• Here’s HP Lovecraft’s “vampire” story, “The Shunned House” (I also think that “The Picture in the House” is a sort of vampire story!)

T.E.D. Klein’s list of 25 most popular horror themes is in The Book of Lists: Horror

• “I’d rather have an enigma than an explanation…they last longer.” – Ramsey Campbell

• Have you seen Last Year in Marienbad yet?

• The calm moments in David Lynch films are the half smile on the government agent’s face thing I mention brought to you by Jon Ronson, who I spoke with on AEWCH 163.

• Here’s a bit on when horror comics were banned in Britain by the communist party, or if you want to really go deeper into the story, read Martin Barker’s A Haunt of Fears: The Strange History of the British Horror Comics Campaign.

• Watch the trailer for Dario Argento’s horror classic, Deep Red + Roy Ward Baker’s Quartemass and the Pit + And watch Fritz Lang’s Cloak and Dagger.

Until next time, friends,
CH 

Everything you’ve always wanted to know about Lacanian analysis * (* but didn’t know you were afraid to ask) It’s AEWCH 167 with Peter Rollins!

19 Oct

LISTEN HERE VIA SOUNDCLOUD OR ONApple PodcastsSpotifyBreaker Anchor

FRIENDS: Do you find this podcast meaningful? Support it! This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. Do contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon! Thank you so, so much.

Buy Peter’s books and all the books mentioned on/related to this episode via my booklist for AEWCH 167 on bookshop.org! The site sources from independent bookstores in the US, not a big corporate shipping warehouse where the workers are treated like machines. Plus when you click through here to order, the show gets a small affiliate kickback! 

Interested in Lacan? Sign up for my patreon at the $10 level or higher to join me + other patrons for a live discussion on Lacanian analysis on October 30th!

Friends,

The core of AEWCH is the spiritualization of the material. That is, I want to present a truly non-materialist way of viewing the world, where spirituality is seen as the wellspring of existence, and informs how we talk about ourselves, politics, economy, art, and more. But to that end, I’m not just inspired by spiritual thinkers. Instead, I draw on the work of humanistic philosophers, dialectical materialists, political theorists, atheists, and more.

One of the thinkers I’ve learned the most from is French psychoanalyst and philosopher Jacques Lacan (1901- 1981). I think Lacan’s work has tremendous potential to be leveraged as a spiritual project (despite most Lacanian’s protestations!), particularly in its formulation of its three clinical diagnoses: Neurosis, Perversion, and Psychosis. That’s it. Just three. And they can all be used in radical ways to affect culture/politics/economy. But Lacan is notoriously hard to understand. So I invited my friend, theologian and philosopher Peter Rollins, back on the show to break down Lacanian psychoanalysis in an understandable and clear way.

Peter is the most AEWCH of AEWCH guests, with this being his fifth appearance on the show – we also talked on AEWCH 14, AEWCH 55, and AEWCH 70 (with Todd McGowan), and AEWCH 135 (with Elliot Morgan).

That’s because Peter is one of my most important provocateurs; we agree on so much and so little all at once. For me, talking with Peter is electrifying, fun, and friendly.Of course, Peter and I are friends so we wander out into the jargon-y weeds from time to time, but we always pull it back! This is as good a place as any to get your Lacanian start.

SHOW NOTES

• Support Peter’s patreon here. He gives tons of content to patrons. And listen to his great religion & psychoanalysis podcast (with Elliot Morgan), The Fundamentalists; some recommended episodes are “Success,”  “Socialism,” “Fascism,” and “New Normal.” But you can really just start anywhere.

• One of the best resources on Lacan is nosubject.com, which is basically a wiki for all things psychoanalysis, particularly Lacanian psychoanalysis.

• For a look at how standard psychotherapy diagnoses models differ from psychoanalytic ones, here an article using depression as the example: “The Failings of Depression: A Review of Lacanian Psychoanalytic Critiques

• Some other psychoanalysis-oriented episodes of the show not featuring Peter include AEWCH 162 with Dr. Gwen Adshead, AEWCH 101 with Katherine Angel, and AEWCH 47 with Todd McGowan.

Until next time, friends,
XO
CH

Join me + Una Mullally, Gang of Youths, Saint Sister and more at UTOPIA- in person or streaming from the National Concert Hall in Dublin OCTOBER 20-24!

14 Oct

BUY TICKETS NOW 

Friends,

In the midst of the loneliness and fear of 2020, Una Mullally (AEWCH 87 & 151) and I noticed something profound: people were helping each other. They were looking out for each other. We both had the same thought at the same time: if we could wash our hands, and stand far apart, and buy groceries for our neighbors, and live each day with concern in our hearts for one another, we could make a better world, too.

And it didn’t have to be complicated, we’d just need the right starting point. And that starting point was and is:

What do you want?

Instead of asking questions of what’s practical, what came before, or what’s expected next, we thought, why not really ask what people are imagining.

So we started a project just for people living in Ireland in the summer of 2020: Utopia Ireland. We asked people what their idea was for a better Ireland they’d think a better Ireland looked like. We got well over a thousand answers in just a few months with almost no marketing.

What we found was that people in Ireland are ready for something: not “new” not “old” but something connected.

When the National Concert Hall contacted Una and said they were curating new series of events that would take place just at the turning point of the pandemic, we knew that this was a way for us to ask the question again.

What did we want? In this case, what did we want from cultural and music events?

We wanted events that had a sense of risk, a sense of uncertainty, and a sense of vision.

We wanted a concert – Murmuration – that drew from the culture of buskers in Irish cities and from the unpredictability of nature. At the concert — which features Gang of Youths frontman Dave Le’Aupepe (AEWCH 31), Gemma Doherty from Saint Sister, Irish folk star Daoirí Farrell, and more — each musician “passes off” the stage to the next musician, sharing the space and working with the musical director Ben Castle. The show will be dangerous in the best sense of the word. Instead of a polished production, it will move like the light of birds it’s named after.

We wanted a celebration of one of the most profound visionaries in Irish history, John Moriarty. John’s work is praised by Irish writers and celebrities. But he’s still largely unknown. He wrote about Ireland that was in touch with its eternal landscape, ancient mythology, and artistic present, all at once.

We wanted to present a merging of our podcasts, Against Everyone with Conner Habib and United Ireland to talk about utopia – and social threefolding – with each other and with the audience.

We wanted a room where sound was immersive, penetrating, and healing. A “sound bath” run by DJs and sound artists that passes the vibration through you as you enter; messing you up in the best way possible.

We wanted the unrehearsed, un-contained energy of rap music, with the spirit of a battle and freestyle. Music and lyrics that are craved from the air in the room by Irelands’ most innovative hi[p hop artists: Rebel Phoenix, Strange Boy, DJ Replay, Dyramid, and more.

We wanted something that felt involving. We learned in the pandemic that we saved each other. That participation, not spectating in the world is what got us through. So Utopia is a series of events that brings every audience member into a space of vision, anticipation, contemplation, creativity, and movement.

Anyway, COME TO IT AND LET’S MIX OUR UTOPIAN MOLECULES.

XO
CH

The weird foundations of everything. WEIRD STUDIES PODCAST meets AGAINST EVERYONE WITH CONNER HABIB on AEWCH 166!

6 Oct

LISTEN HERE VIA SOUNDCLOUDOR ON Apple PodcastsSpotifyBreaker Anchor

FRIENDS: Do you find this podcast meaningful? Support it! This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. Do contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon! Thank you so, so much.

Buy the books mentioned on/related to this episode via my booklist for AEWCH 166 on bookshop.org! The site sources from independent bookstores in the US, not a big corporate shipping warehouse where the workers are treated like machines. Plus when you click through here to order, the show gets a small affiliate kickback!

 Friends,

One thing that’s come up many times on AEWCH is my dislike for the phony “radical” statement that “everything is political.” It’s enlightening I suppose, to people who have no political conscience or consciousness, of course. Yes, there’s a political dimension to the everyday, to entertainment, to design if we seek it out.

But the statement also relegates us to being subjects of the political sphere. As David Wengrow and AEWCH 99 guest David Graeber (RIP) point out in their latest book,The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity, it’s not a coincidence that the word for politics shares its roots with the word for “police” and “politeness.” These are words of subjection and subjugation and submission. They are words of the polis, the location where governmental and religious decisions were/are made, a seat of authority.If everything is political, everything is extending, in a very real sense, from our subjugation to the political – it’s an infecting being, and one that does not deserve to determine the ground of being.

Maybe we can say something a little more definitive and truer and more interesting: that everything is weird. And that everything is weird defies the political. Why? Because if things are weird – and they are weird – then they can’t be contained just by politics. They are baffling, intense, unknowable, imaginative, uncanny. The weird is a question that gives us an individual vantage point. Everything unfurls from the infinite, from the plenipotentiary.

I talked about this a bit on AEWCH 148 with anthropologist Stuart MacLean; the way the imagination and what we call the real meet and inform each other. Go listen to it if you haven’t, but also consider the fundamental weirdness of reality. Everything, everything, is weird, especially the everyday, since it denies its weirdness. Just take a second: The space between things and the space between the atoms that make up things. The way literature works. The fact that different cultures experience things differently. Not being able to see your own face. And on and on.So this is where Weird Studies and its hosts, Phil Ford and JF Martel , come in. Each week Phil and JF explore the reality of the weird and weird reality. It could be the way Glenn Gould thinks or plays the piano, it could be the movies of John Carpenter, or the I Ching. Or it could be the episode we just did together: I was just on Weird Studies talking about Joy Williams’s bizarre novel, Breaking And Entering.

Phil and JF show us that the weird is everywhere, and may even be the groundswell of being.

I’m so excited to share this episode with you.

SHOW NOTES

• For more on the guys, go to Phil’s website and JF’s website. We talk a bit about Weird Studies 67, which features the documentary Hellier, featuring AEWCH 46 guests, the paranormal investigators Greg & Dana Newkirk, and here’s their episode on the work of John Carpenter. Be sure to support their patreon.

• If you haven’t yet watched Twin Peaks Season 3 (or Heaven forbid Twin Peaks at all), watch it. • JF mentions the Secret History of Western Esotericism Podcast, which you can find here.

• Here’s the video for Bjork’s “hyperballad

• I don’t know too much about occult/magic writer Ramsey Dukes‘s work, but the guys have definitely gotten me interested.

• Here’s AEWCH 79 with Billy Bragg, all about a “socialism of the heart,” and AEWCH 162 about forgiving violent offenders with Dr. Gwen Adshead. And I talk about the nature of evil on AEWCH 165.

• “The hope is that (art) saves us in reality by damming us in art.” – JF Martel

• “The feelings excited by improper art are kinetic, desire or loathing. Desire urges us to possess, to go to something; loathing urges us to abandon, to go from something. These are kinetic emotions. The arts which excite them, pornographical or didactic, are therefore improper arts. The esthetic emotion (I use the general term) is therefore static. The mind is arrested and raised above desire and loathing.”from A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Until next time friends, stay weird.
CH

An essential question: What is evil? I try to answer from an esoteric Christian perspective on AEWCH 165.

28 Sep

AGAINST EVERYONE WITH CONNER HABIB 165: WHAT IS EVIL?

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Do you find this podcast meaningful? Support it!
This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. Do contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon! Thank you so, so much.

To celebrate Michaelmas, I talk about what evil is…and isn’t. I also talk about how to overcome is, and why evil will increasingly become part of our lives, on this companion episode to last year’s Michelmas episode, AEWCH 126.

Love,
CH

On whales, water, and transformation with writer Philip Hoare on AEWCH 164!

22 Sep

LISTEN HERE VIA SOUNDCLOUD OR ON Apple PodcastsSpotifyBreaker Anchor

FRIENDS: Do you find this podcast meaningful? Support it! This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. Do contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon! Thank you so, so much.

Buy the books mentioned on/related to this episode via my booklist for AEWCH 164 on bookshop.org! Bookshop.org sources from independent bookstores in the US, not a big corporate shipping warehouse where the workers are treated like machines. Plus when you click through here to order, the show gets a small affiliate kickback!

Friends,

I’m so happy I got to talk about animals at length on the show, given their importance in my life. And one of the best people to have a conversation about animals with is undoubtably Philip Hoare , an interdisciplinary writer and artist, whose books include his moving and almost unclassifiable memoir/nature writing/philosophy book, Risingtidefallingstar: In Search of the Soul of the Sea, his recent book about the evolution of art and how we think of animal, Albert and the Whale: Albrecht Dürer and How Art Imagines Our World, and what is probably his most famous book, The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Sea , which weaves together beautiful passages on cetaceans and images of whales in popular culture, particularly in the work of Herman Melville.

This was a beautiful and moving discussion for me, I hope it will be for you, too.

X
C

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Phil, visit his website. Here’s a short video of director John Waters praising Phil’s book, The Sea Inside. He curated (along with artist Angela Cockayne) The Moby Dick Big Read – where actors (including Tilda Swinton!) and other artists read Moby Dick chapter by chapter. And here’s Philip’s short film about poet Wilfred Owen, I Was A Dark Star Always.

• I wrote about the new rhythms of lockdown – including the new rhythms that the animals are experiencing – for the Irish Times.

• And AEWCH 155 is all about extinction, from an occult perspective.

The Natural History Museum in Dublin (AKA “the dead zoo”) is a great and morbid and wonderful place.

• Here’s a short article with a nice little video about Dublin’s Forty Foot – where you jump off the rocks into the green-blue water. And below is a photo of Irish writer Brendan Behan getting out of that same water.

• Here’s a bit on selkies – seal fairies that shed their skin to walk around in human form.

• I’ve been working on utopia with my friend Una Mullally, who appeared on AEWCH 151 and AEWCH 87.

• I’m still so taken by Phil’s statement in this interview: “I could list all those things (that hurt me most about the way we treat the ocean) here but I’d rather anyone reading this went out to their nearest water and prayed.”

Until next time, friends,
CH

PS: Here’s Phil looking through a whale’s eye.