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We need a new economy. We need new money. Let’s talk about it now. AEWCH 110 with John Bloom & Conor McCabe.

26 May

AEWCH 110: JOHN BLOOM & CONOR MCCABE or REINVENTING MONEY & ECONOMY
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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 in isolation, 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 books mentioned on this ep? Go to my list for AEWCH 110 on Bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.
AEWCH110TitleCard

Friends!

 

As we emerge from our global crisis, there is a tremendous opportunity to reinvent the economy. Why? Because it’s been plainly revealed to be sick and unable to be there for us. I wanted to address what we should do, what questions we should be asking, and where we should be turning our attention.

 

So I invited two of the most profound economic thinkers I know, John Bloom and Conor McCabe – partially just to put these two brilliant people in conversation with each other.

John is organizational leader of RSF Social Finance, which seeks to transform our relationship to money on individual, communal, and global levels. He’s the author of two books, Inhabiting Interdependence: Being in the Next Economy and The Genius of Money: Essays and Interviews Reimagining the Financial World. And he’s the General Secretary of the Anthroposophical Society of America. He’s also the only guest who’s ever said “Holy Toledo!” on my show.

 

Conor is an Irish economic historian and activist; and he appeared on AEWCH 76 to talk about what money was, anyway. Money and Sins of the Father: Tracing the Decisions that Shaped the Irish Economy .

 

Rather than talking about money as the root of all evil, we talk about money as a creative tool, a brilliant spiritual technology. Then we get a bit darker, of course, as the times demand.

 

And rather than luxuriating in thoughts of cryptocurrencies – which merely move us deeper into tech systems and don’t help us radically reevaluate our situation – we talk about economy in challenging ways and on many levels. We talk about it in spiritual ways, political ways, historical ways, and more; all with the aim of freeing it from its current tangle.

 

This is a deep conversation that is much needed, especially now. I’m not just happy to share it with you, I’m hopeful for what can grow out of it.

 

ON THIS EPISODE

  • How capitalism has commodified money
  • The different kinds of money (purchase, lending, gifting) and how they relate to different psychic states and types of time
  • How our changing senses of time and space in the crisis are changing our relationship to money
  • Economic activity from the head vs economic activity from the heart
  • Sex work as pre- or post-economy, and why that threatens capitalism
  • Taking the state and culture out of economics to purify it
  • Why we can’t actually pay anyone for their labor
  • The invention of insurance
  • “Capitalism expands by enclosure”
  • The dangers of universal basic income

SHOW NOTES

• For more on John, you can read some of his articles on the Anthroposophical Society’s website.

 

• The GoFundMe for Navajo& Hopi people is still going on, and you can still contribute. And here’s a little story on it.

 

• Here’s a good summary story of the Bewley’s closure in Dublin.

 

• It is perhaps not surprising that I can’t find a ton of articles on Bill Gross being crazy, but there are at least some articles on his stamp collection troubles.

 

• If you’d like to know more about the “spheres” I was talking about, you can start here.

 

• “Austerity is the gold standard,” is one of Conor’s many great quips.

 

Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) is becoming increasingly popular.
Interestingly, the initial structure of CSAs was developed by Rudolf Steiner. 

• Here’s that truly excellent interview with Chamath Palihapitiya saying we should let the airlines fail. It’s so great, I’ve watched it a hundred times.
Until next time, friends,
CH
Irish

Talking philosophy, music, and Deleuze with Stephen Malkmus on AEWCH 109.

12 May
AEWCH109TitleCard
LISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercastSoundcloud

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 in isolation, 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 books mention on this ep? Go to my list for AEWCH 109 at Bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • The clash between artists and philosophers
  • The problem with “fun” music
  • Why we sum up what a song is “about” from its lyrics
  • Characters in music and ideas as characters
  • How songs never end
  • Deleuze, Guattari, the power of Becoming, set free and turned into art
  • The way that most artists and political commentators are merely staying in pre-created logics
  • “Content” vs art
  • The Secret Histories of music and when it breaks through, and being possessive of the underground music that you like
  • Stephen’s role in the coming utopia
  • Bad corona art

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Stephen The documentary on his band Pavement, Slow Century.

• Adorno is a great philosopher, and I talk about him at length on AEWCH 89 with Brian O’Connor. But he sure had a lot of problems with art. And there’s a conspiracy theory/meme (maybe it’s just a joke?) about Adorno being the driving force behind The Beatles.

• My one foray into music writing was a conversation with my friend Chris Leo, who has been in a number of great bands, but here we specifically talk about The Van Pelt.

The Fall, which was basically their frontman, Mark E. Smith, remains one of the greatest bands of all time, and has had a huge influence on both Stephen as a musician and me as a thinker.

• One of my favorite episodes of my show is AEWCH 45 with Ben Chasny of Six Organs Of Admittance. We talk about the occult power of music.

• Stephen’s friend who died is an incredible musician – David Berman of Silver Jews.
They Might Be Giants dialasong brightened up many days for me.

• Here’s a live video of Nina Persson singing her excellent song, “Clip Your Wings” but I’m telling you, you just can’t get it unless you see her.

• Here’s Stephen in the infamous conversation with the infamous Ian Svenonious(who is also a fav musician of mine).

• César Aira is an incredible author, and the best novel of his to start with is The Miracle Cures Of Dr. Aira.

D&G• Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari (pictured) take center stage in this episode. There’s so much to explore with their work, but the best place to start, I think, is the biography by Francois Dosse. In this episode, I draw on concepts in Anti-Oedipus, its sequel, Thousand Plateaus, and What Is Philosophy? , as well as Deleuze’s Difference And Repetition.
Jodorowsky’s Dune is one of the greatest and most truly magical movies ever made.

• “Face the Truth” does sound like “Sex War” by Lungfish! Sort of.
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• And, as promised, here’s a photo of Lungfish’s Dan Higgs.

• Here’s the trailer for Green Room. It’s a good action/horror movie.

• I talk quite a bit about the fantasies of apocalypse on AEWCH 105 with Mark O’Connell.

William Craddock‘s book is unfortunately not on Bookshop.org, but here’s his wiki, and you can look him and his work up from there.

• Walter Benjamin’s work is more important than ever. I was so happy to hear that Stephen was a fan, too. He mentions a work I haven’t read, the massive (and so exciting to me, even though I haven’t read it yet), The Arcades Project.
Until next time, friends
CH
AEWCH109TitleCard2

How to turn a global crisis into a utopia. AEWCH108

28 Apr

Against Everyone With Conner Habib · AEWCH 108: FROM GLOBAL CRISIS TO UTOPIA


L
ISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercastSoundcloud

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 in isolation, 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 books mention on this ep? Go to my list for AEWCH 108 on Bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

AEWCH108TitleCardFriends,

This is a comprehensive over of our situation and what we need to do.

Bringing together political observation, philosophy, psychoanalysis, and occultism, I take apart the current crisis – a political and socioeconomic crisis that a virus emerged into – and how we can move from this into utopia.

First, I survey the situation. Then our lockdown. And then I move into the importance of breathing; why in the center of this all, is breathing. Not just physical breathing, but the intentional creation of rhythms.

After moving onto whether or not it’s okay to do nothing, I talk about what we’re afraid of. The visions of fear; both fears of what might happening and fear of what is already happening.

That fear is a cue for action. But what kind of action? At the end of the episode, I move towards a vision of utopia, and suggest how we can get there.

Let’s do this.
– This episode arose, mainly, from my nightly “sermon” series, NobodiesTogether. Each night, I talk about an aspect of this crisis, with the aim of getting us all to be more engaged, rather than being passive spectators. I present my perspective for 20-30 minutes, and then move to Q&A. We’ve also had many special guests join us, including Mona Eltahawy, Alex Vitale, Mary Helen Hensley, Jeb Havens, and Una Mullaly. If you’d like to join us each night (except Tuesday), get access by joining my patreon at any level.

SHOW NOTES

•The lead-up conversations to this episode include
• Finally, it was also inspired by my friend Una Mullally, and her wise words on her podcast, United Ireland, on which she talked about utopia in Dublin.

John Moriarty‘s books are not widely available in the US, but you can still order them from The Lilliput Press. They are well worth the money and the wait.

• For more on touch (and the other senses) and their spiritual value, read Albert Soesman’s Our Twelve Senses.

• Here’s my essay in The Irish Times on how the global crisis has affected our experiences of time and space.

• Here’s Walter Benjamin’s beautiful essay, “Theses On The Philosophy Of History.”

• For Franco “Bifo” Berardi’s most global-crisis-relevant books check out Breathing: Poetry and Chaos and The Second Coming.

• The author of the sleep pamphlet is Walther Buhler, whose work is difficult to find in the US.

• The Slavoj Žižek quote, “‘The function of ideology is not to offer us a point of escape from our reality but to offer us the social reality itself as an escape,” comes from his book, The Sublime Object of Ideology.

• Grant Morrison gives a great account of how fiction becomes reality in his book, Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us about Being Human.

• I still can’t believe I had Billy Bragg on the show. Do listen to that episode, and his music, for some wisdom. And read his short book, The Three Dimensions Of Freedom.

• An incredible book for evaluating the lead up to this moment is Babel by Zygmunt Bauman and Ezio Mauro.
Until next time, friends.
CH
seals

Why we need a new concept of time & space to create political change. Listen to me & Srećko Horvat on AEWCH 107!

21 Apr

AGAINST EVERYONE WITH CONNER HABIB 107: SREĆKO HORVAT or DEMYTHOLOGIZING (AND RE-MYTHOLOGIZING) THE CRISIS

LISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercastSoundcloudPatreon

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 in isolation, 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 books mention on this ep? Go to my list for AEWCH 107 on Bookshop.org. It will help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

AEWCH107TitleCard

Friends,

We’re surrounded by terms that sound new, but that aren’t new. “Social distancing.” “The new normal.” And actions that seem new but are not new. Elevated police presence. Government overreach. Pandemic.

But these are old narratives that have been changed slightly to seem new. They’re mythic. So I invited one of the most important thinkers of our time to sort through what is new, what is old, and what is needed in our moment.

Srećko Horvat is an author, political organizer, and philosopher. Of his many profound and politically potent books, my favorite (and the one you should start with) is Poetry From The Future: Why a Global Liberation Movement Is Our Civilisations Last Chance. It’s a hopeful but evenhanded book about the possibility of interconnected movements in a world where neoliberal capitalism has won
.
He’s one of the cofounders of the Democracy In Europe Movement 2025, or DiEM2025 – a broad-based coalition of thinkers, rebels, and political theorists committed to creating a true leftist alternative in European politics, particularly in response to the disintegration of the EU.

Srećko is also currently giving live mini lectures, Q&As through the DiEM25 channel, and hosting conversations with luminaries as diverse as Noam Chomsky, Slavoj Žižek, and Seinfeld co-creator Larry Charles. (And on the 24th, he’ll be speaking with Franco Bifo Berardi!)

I’m so excited to share this conversation with you. It’s one that combines the political, the spiritual, and the philosophical, with activism. It identifies and creates new directions for us to move in during this crisis, and after.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • How and why we were dreaming about the global pandemic before it happened, and how we assisted it in happening
  • Why the esoteric, the occult, and border science matter now; and how the right seizes on them because the left is ignorant
  • the “libidinal” economy and why the left needs to take it up instead of opting for class reductionism
  • Why a leftist project needs to include a reappraisal of time and space (and why it matters now more than ever)
  • The fundamental fantasies of the left, the right, and the center
  • The generation of political will through meditation, poetry, reading, creating, gardening, and more
  • Why people are turning to plants in the global crisis
  • The possibility of money losing value over time
  • How to think about the value of laziness
  • The difference between mythic art and occult art
  • Why we should and should not applaud healthcare workers
  • The importance of using your own language
  • The necessity of new and strange directions for our activism
  • Meeting the stranger and loving the Other (and dating the Other, too)
  • Why lust matters, and how it’s connected to love

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Srećko, here’s his lecture, “The Virus Mythologies,” where he breaks down the signs and signifiers And for a quick summary of his other work, you can read Subversion!. Here’s Srećko in conversation with Brian Eno about his book, Poetry From The Future.

• I start off with a nod to the eruption of Mount Tamboura – to learn more about that catastrophic time, read The Year Without Summer: 1816 and the Volcano That Darkened the World and Changed History by William Klingman.

• I deeply appreciate Slavoj Žižek’s book, about the values of religion, The Puppet and the Dwarf: The Perverse Core of Christianity.
• Unfortunately, I cannot recommend Eric Kurlander’s book, Hitler’s Monsters, which is filled with misinformation and (willful?) misinterpretation. The main issue is that Kurlander, like many “historians” of the occult, although Kurlander certainly knows exoteric history, he does not understand the occult. That said, I can recommend a better book on the same subject, Hitler: The Occult Messiah, by Gerald Suster. Suster’s book also has some mistakes, but he at least takes the occult seriously as something other than just religious mind-control and stupidity. That said, it’s a very difficult book to get! At the very least, read them both.

• If you’d like to hear more about psychologist and border science inventor Wilhelm Reich, and his challenging relationship with the left, check out AEWCH 59, where I talk with Reich scholar James Strick. And if you do want to hear about me talking Wilhelm Reich, here you go.

Here’s a bit on Subcomadante Galeono (known to many as Subcomadante Marcos, but who changed his name to honor the dead) and the Zapatistas.

• Marx uses the vampire metaphor a few times in his work, but none more famously than, ““Capital is dead labor, which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labor, and lives the more, the more labor it sucks.” (In Capital)

• Here’s Walter Benjamin’s Theses On A Philosophy Of History. It’s, for me, one of the most influential theoretical works. From the essay: “The only writer of history with the gift of setting alight the sparks of hope in the past, is the one who is convinced of this: that not even the dead will be safe from the enemy, if he is victorious.”

• And Srećko mentions Carlo Rovelli, whose work I have yet to read. But I think I’ll start with the one he suggests, The Order Of Time.

• To hear more about the problem with doomsday preppers, check out AEWCH 105 with Mark O’Connell.

Barthes-216x300• So much about the theorist Roland Barthes on this show. Including, here, How to Live Together: Novelistic Simulations of Some Everyday Spaces. Also, his classic, Mythologies. His book Sade/Loyola/Fourier is difficult to find, but here’s my essay on Fourier, and you can find excerpts of his book in A Barthes Reader (which was edited by Susan Sontag!).

• Here’s Michel Foucault’s essay, “Of Other Spaces: Utopias and Heterotopias.”

• The prayer of Saint Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace, Where there is hatred, let me sow love; Where there is injury, pardon; Where there is doubt, faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where there is darkness, light; Where there is sadness, joy;  O Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek To be consoled as to console; To be understood as to understand; To be loved as to love.  

For it is in giving that we receive; It is in pardoning that we are pardoned; And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.

See you in the future, friends.
CH
WB

My novel, Hawk Mountain, out in 2021 from W.W. Norton in the US, and Penguin/Doubleday in Ireland and the UK.

17 Apr

Friends, some good news.
My (very dark) novel, Hawk Mountain, will be published by W.W. Norton in the US and Penguin/Doubleday in Ireland and the UK in summer of 2021.
I can barely believe it.
My whole life I’ve wanted to be a novelist.
I’m beaming, friends.
Hi.
Can’t wait to share my book with you.

HM

The Publishers Market entry

Why “stay the f*ck at home” is not enough. I talk with family abolitionist Sophie Lewis on AEWCH 106!

14 Apr

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ISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercastSoundcloud

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 in isolation, please give what you can.
Contribute to my mission by supporting
Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon!

Thank you so, so much.


AEWCH106TitleCard
Friends,
We need to talk about the regulations and messages of “stay the fuck at home;” of quarantines and police powers; of medicine and our bodies; and we need to do it now.

So I asked the brilliant Sophie Lewis -family abolitionist, and author of the challenging and fascinating book about the politics of gestation, Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism Against Family – to talk about all this and more.

Sophie and I have intersecting influences; Donna Haraway was a huge provocateur for Sophie, and my mentor, Lynn Margulis, was a huge provocateur for Donna. What these influences have led to: a question about what the individual is, how we’re all connected, where our boundaries are.

This is an intense and wide-ranging conversation. I’m so happy to share it with you.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • Why being with our families is an intolerable proposition
  • How the right has seized resistance to the state in our time
  • How the left couldn’t be less prepared for this pandemic and why
  • The way the condemnation of magic and the non-critical acceptance of science has made us impotent in the face of the current events
  • Whether or not astrology is eugenic, even though tarot is great
  • How leftists can interrogate science now
  • What Sophie learned from her silence meditation retreat (and how being greeted with silence can affect change)
  • Why Sylvia Federici and political economy takes on witchcraft (and sex work) need to be critiqued (and, uh, I kind of go off)
  • Why individual self-care is a “pestilence.”
  • The lessons of hospice care
  • The value of strangers and strangerhood
  • Why the classical elements and magic matter to leftist theory
  • What if we didn’t reach for the tools of fear and fascism in duress?

SHOW NOTES

• For more Sophie, go to her website. There you can find her essay, “Momrades against Motherhood, Mothering against the World.” And we should all read Sophie’s great, brief essay, “The Virus and the Home” where she states, “A quarantine is, in effect, an abuser’s dream…” And here’s her essay exploring the problems with Donna Haraway’s Staying With The Trouble. Sophie is also a member of the Out Of the Woods Collective who you may want to look into. Finally, here’s a good discussion between Sophie and Joanna Biggs.

• As a supplement to Sophie’s essay read Des Fitzgerald‘s excellent short essay, “Stay The Fuck At Home,” and Natasha Lennard‘s essay, “Domestic Violence Is on the Rise With Coronavirus Lockdown. The Responses Are Missing the Point.”

• Assad Haider, who critiques the tensions between identity politics and class politics was on the show way back on AEWCH 26.

• And if you do want to hear about me talking Wilhelm Reich, here you go.

• Someone once asked Mahatma Gandhi what he thought of Western civilization. “I think it would be a good idea,” he said. At least that’s how the story goes.

• If you’re unfamiliar with Sylvia Federici‘s work, it’s useful to some, even if it deserves (serious and thorough) critique. Here’s Daniel Denvir interviewing her on The Dig. I’ve found Federici’s work mostly uninspiring and overrated; her essays about witchcraft and magic go something like: “Capitalism disempowered witches, but I don’t believe those people ever had power in the first place.” But as you can hear from Sophie’s take, Federici has been a huge figure for many leftists, and a sort of backdoor for some leftists into witchcraft (though mostly in an aesthetic sense). Some of my critique comes out on AEWCH 98 with Thomas Waters.

• Would you like to read (or re-read) “A Cyborg Manifesto” by Donna Haraway? Also, I enjoyed, though did not fully agree with her book, Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature. And here’s Donna’s update on the book that Sophie found wanting.

• Check out Elizabeth Wilson’s excellent book, Psychosomatic: Feminism and the Neurological Body . And though I haven’t read her book Gut Feminism yet, I am excited to.

• Alyssa Battistoni’s essay about political organizing and disorganizing is “Spadework.” And here’s an interview with Alyssa – “Living Together Shouldn’t Put Us at War With One Another or With the Earth.” And for work by Sophie’s partner, Vicky Osterweil, go here.

• Here’s Douglas Crimp’s (pictured below) essay “
How To Have Promiscuity In An Epidemic” and many of his other essays are collected in Melancholia and Moralism: Essays on AIDS and Queer Politics.

DG
 
• Sophie talks about abortion frankly and directly here.

Sophie mentions, briefly, Ann Boyer. I have yet to read her book, The Undying: Pain, vulnerability, mortality, medicine, art, time, dreams, data, exhaustion, cancer, and care, but I’m excited to.
Until next time, friends,
CH

Apocalypse now, then, and later, too. I talk with end of the world author, Mark O’Connell on AEWCH!

7 Apr

 

LISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercastSoundcloud

 

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 in isolation, please give what you can. Contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon!  Thank you so, so much.

AEWCH105TitleCard

Friends,

 

Obviously this is the end of the world. Or one of them, anyway. It’s our end of the world, at least, so let’s talk about it before the next one comes along. I needed an apocalyptic thinker to talk about. No, not Jor-El, rather someone who’s examined our apocalyptic fantasies and desires and has thought them through. So, I asked the thoughtful, funny, and insightful Mark O’Connell, onto AEWCH.

 

Mark is the author of the timely book, Notes from an Apocalypse: A Personal Journey to the End of the World and Back and, very much relatedly, of To Be a Machine: Adventures Among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers, and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death. They’re both books about how people relate to death, featuring Mark’s conversations with them: doomsday preppers and transhumanists. They’re books told in a Jon Ronson-esque tone, but with a little more theory behind them.

Mark lives less than two kilometers away, but we had to find each other remotely. So, sorry about the sound being different. It’s still good. But our lives are mediated by machinery of all sorts now in pronounced ways. Is the singularity near, or did it already happen, and was it extremely normal and somewhat boring? Anyway, this is a great episode, and I’m so happy to share it with you.

Let’s begin to think about this particular End.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • Why we have fantasies about the end
  • How to keep the sublime and strangeness when we get back from quarantine
  • Is mindfulness preferable? Is it a form of anxiety?
  • The continuity between consciousness, nature, and machines
  • How all apocalypses are not equally apocalyptic
  • Being passive spectators of the pandemic while thinking we’re active participants
  • Why our pandemic anxieties predated the pandemic
  • How and why to organize in quarantine
  • Transhumanists as preppers with money
  • Why doomsday prepping doesn’t work
  • How apocalyptic thinking is embedded in tech culture

SHOW NOTES

• For more of Mark, go to his website, and check out his excellent essay on the relevance of JG Ballard. And here’s a great interview with Mark on Utopian Horizons. Also, I highly recommend reading his books back to back. If you want some help with that, you can get To Be A Machine on Audible.

 

The World Without Us is a fine enough book for facts. The analysis isn’t so great though. Here’s Slavoj Žižek’s critique, in his essay, “Ecology as a New Opium for the Masses“.

 

Screen Shot 2020-04-07 at 2.24.33 PM• Here’s a bit on Freud and the oceanic feeling.

 

• There’s a solo episode about the problem of the concept of nature, AEWCH 82, “Destroy Nature Before It Destroys Us”.

 

• I do love Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia. Do watch it.

 

• Read Gordon White‘s heartfelt essay, “A Better World Is No Longer Optional

 

• Here’s “America Is A Sham” by Dan Kois, an essay about how much of American life is bullshit and this pandemic is revealing that.

 

• Here’s my appearance on The Higherside Chats.

 

• I love Peter Bebergal‘s book, Strange Frequencies: The Extraordinary Story of the Technological Quest for the Supernatural, which features the story about the golem and the rabbi.

 

• Now is a great time to listen to AEWCH 67 featuring spiritual teacher and christian esotericist Daniel Joseph. And I still can’t believe that I had Billy Bragg on the show! Here he is on AEWCH 79.

Until next time, friends!
CH

 

Time, space, and our pandemic.

5 Apr

shelfHi friends,

Thought I’d link you to my essay on how the pandemic has changed our experience of time and space, and what that offers us. “The air is filled with birdsong now. It was always there, we just couldn’t hear it.” appeared n The Irish Times Magazine print edition, and is also now online. Here’s an excerpt:

“Suddenly apart, together. We’ve gone indoors, we’ve changed the dimensions of our lives, we’ve slowed down the weeks and agitated the days. It isn’t only the economy or the work day that’s changed since the virus: space feels different, time feels different.

Time inside and time outside aren’t lined up. Time might drag on indoors, and yet the landscape and news beyond the threshold could change, the way it does in winter, when you look out the window to discover the ground covered in white, the snow still coming down, surprising us in the quiet.

‘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,’ wrote the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Now that our visions of the future have gone crooked, we can sympathise with him. He lived for time on the curve of Killary Harbour, and probably could not have predicted that we’d one day treat lines and curves, to chart and flatten, as the fortune tellers of the world. Like the creases on our palms, we stare into them to understand what’s next. Old ways of knowing the world overlap aesthetically with new ones. We say, ‘It’s in our hands.'”

Would you like to read the entire article? Well, here you go.

XO
CH

memag

The kind of death we want to read about: Conner & crime writer Liz Nugent on the latest AEWCH

31 Mar

L
ISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercastSoundcloud • Patreon

This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. If the show is keeping you company in isolation, please give what you can. Contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon!  Thank you so, so much.

AEWCH104TitleCardFriends,

The last podcast I recorded in person before the worldwide coronavirus pandemic began was still about death. But it’s a sort of death we like to engage with – death in crime and mystery narratives. Interestingly, these sorts of deaths, and our vantage point on them, has become more valuable than ever; because it gives us an opportunity to think about death without the attachment of panic and fear.

And what a great person to talk to about death with: international best-selling crime writer, Liz Nugent!

Liz is the author of four crime novels. I read Lying In Wait, first. It’s a tense and tragic thriller. It evokes Patricia Highsmith and the films of Rainer Werner Fassbinder, but with a gesture and style all its own. Then I consumed the other three as quickly as I could; I wanted to inhale them, including her latest, Our Little Cruelties.

That book was released just as the pandemic began. And in fact, today (March 31), was set to be her book release party. Since her party was canceled, I hope this serves as a smaller, audio celebration. If you need the company of a page-turned in this moment, you’d be hard pressed to find a better set of novels than Liz’s for that.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • How much we’re supposed to care about death
  • How Liz is about to meet a murderer and see if they have souls or not
  • Dreams of murder and being murdered
  • Jeffrey Dahmer and unhappy childhoods
  • The way we think of bad guys, and who gets away with what
  • Our early thoughts on coronavirus (they hold up okay!)
  • How Liz’s writing is and is not like Patricia Highsmith
  • The tendency to attached tragedy and foreboding to joy and pleasure
  • Career dysmorphia
  • The difficulties of bodies, living and dead
  • What characters are and how we relate to them as writes
  • The uses of shattered narratives
  • Why, when we read novels, we want horrible characters to succeed

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Liz: Read her books! Start with Lying In Wait and move on to Skin Deep, which is interspersed with brilliant stories of Irish island mythology. The best way to get Our Little Cruelties in the US right now is on audiobook (until it’s out in November as a book with the alternate title, Little Cruelties). You can also get Lying In Wait and Unraveling Oliver on audiobook, too! Also, go to Liz’s website. And here’s Liz talking about disabilities on the Rósín Meets… podcast.

• The other mystery writer I’ve had on the show is Sara Gran, who appeared on AEWCH 61. It serves as a good companion to this show; two incredible authors with two completely different approaches to genre.

• I read and appreciated My Friend Dahmer, a graphic novel by one of Jeffrey Dahmer’s childhood friends, Derf Backderf. (The movie is okay too, but the graphic novel is far superior.)

• Who doesn’t love Alice Munroe? My favorite by her, if you need a place to start, is The Love Of A Good Woman.

• Liz mentions The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner. I haven’t yet read it, or her debut novel, The Flamethrowers, but I will! They both look great. And I mention From A Low And Quiet Sea, by Donal Ryan, which I have read, and enjoyed very much!

Martha by Rainer Werner Fassbinder is one of the cruelest movies ever made, but it’sMartha also excellent. Watch it. Watch all his movies.

• And read Cal by Bernard MacLaverty, it’s such a wonderful and dark and rich book, even though it’s very short.

• Here’s the intense Nina Simone concert Liz mentioned, which inspired Our Little Cruelties. Wow.

• And here’s AEWCH 86 with the amazing Irish writer, Kevin Barry.

• Okay, I’m being a little unfair about Pay It Forward. If you need a heartening read, read it!

• When I was photographed for the photo below, I thought I was fat and disgusting (seriously!). Body dysmorphia is an intense thing, folks.

• Liz got guidance on
Our Little Cruelties from writer and fashion social editor, Bethany Rutter.

• Watch Anthony Jeselnik’s comedy specials: he refers to them as horror. I think he’s right!

Until next week, friends!
XO
CH

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Conner Habib & Gordon White talking spirits in a pandemic on the latest AEWCH!

24 Mar

LISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercastSoundcloud

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Friends,
In the absolute rush of the news cycle, you may feel claustrophobic, scared, anxious. And you may be forgetting about Alejandro Jodorowksy’s wise words about magic: “Magic in Thought: EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE.”

So now is a time for possibility, not limits. To that end, I invited one of the most expansive and perceptive thinkers I know, author, magician, and Rune Soup host, Gordon White, on to the show. Gordon’s voice is essential in this time, not only because he is a systems thinker, but because he is a systems thinker who considers the non-physical dimension. Gordon and I discuss the potential of this moment, as well as its dangers.

We also talk about the spiritual currents in, informing, and causing some of the events in our moment. And we turn our attention to a potent question for our time: What are spirits?

As Gordon puts it in a non-Godfather voice, coronavirus offers an opportunity for a better world, and the difficulties ahead make it the “opportunity one you can’t refuse.”

Let’s take it up, friends. Let’s start here.
Speaking of the non-physical dimension, this episode is the first one I’ve recorded remotely. It made me feel uncomfortable, but I think we pulled it off!

On this episode

  • What the actual fuck is actually is happening here now
  • The importance of the ground beneath your feet and what’s immediately outside your door
  • Why we need to stop fearing death
  • Why the black death is the pandemic comparison we need
  • Choosing desire in this moment
  • The difference between public conversations and social media conversations
  • The connection between medicine and materialism
  • Angels, and “Be not afraid” as your mantra.
  • How the panic was always here, anyway
  • Why we need to create a new, better, world and simultaneously resist evil
  • What spirts are, anyway – breath? Rivers? Consciousness?
  • Whether or not Gordon and I see spirits
  • Human beings as addresses for spirits
  • Getting in touch with the feeling of “holy”
  • Ghost ships near Malaysia
  • Why the spirit world is not behind a veil
  • On the other hand, why there is a spirit that is a veil

SHOW NOTES

• For Gordon’s 2020 astrology video with Austin Coppick, go here. And for my 2020 episode of Rune Soup with Gordon, go here.

• Gordon is very interested in Armstrong economics. They’re dirty, but very interesting, and, I think, present profound conclusions and a profound picture.

• Rudolf Steiner’s book, The Mission of the Archangel Michael, the Revelation of the Secrets of Man’s Being is good reading for this moment. You can also find an audio version here.

• Interested in the art of Andrew Wyeth? It’s beautiful.

The Shock Doctrine is a book and term from Naomi Klein.

• Here are the twitter TOS changes, which seem to be backed-off from and have a sort of watery enforcement.

• Here’s a bit on Neville Godard’s First Principle, “Be still and know that I am God.”

• The Žižek quote is, “The function of ideology is not to offer us a point of escape from our reality but to offer us the social reality itself as an escape.”

• Here’s a bit on my dear dead friend Jake.

• The Walter Benjamin quote: ” The same threat hangs over both: that of becoming a tool of the ruling classes. In every era the attempt must be made anew to wrest tradition away from a conformism that is about to overpower it. The Messiah comes not only as the redeemer, he comes as the subduer of Antichrist.”

• Want to hear more about and with Lynn Margulis? Here’s the last conversation recorded before her death. It’s with me, on AEWCH 91.

• The book Gordon mentions that influenced Gary Lachman, is The Master And His Emmissary, by Iain McGilchrist.

• “There exists nothing other than the spiritual world. What we call the sensory world is the evil in the spiritual world, and what we call evil is only a necessary moment in our eternal development.” – Kafka

• “Breathe deep, seek peace.” – Dinotopia

Until next week, friends!
CH
CW