Who are we when we use the internet? And who are we becoming? I talk with internet historian Joanne McNeil on AEWCH 115!

30 Jun


Against Everyone With Conner Habib · AEWCH 115: JOANNE MCNEIL or THE INNER EXPERIENCE OF THE INTERNET


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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 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 115 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

AEWCH115TitleCardFriends,
In my final episode (at least for now) in my mini-run of episodes on the challenges of tech, I thought I’d turn the lens a bit: What does tech feel like for us? What is the experience of it, particularly using the internet?
To answer this question in a deep and engaging way, I talk with author, cultural critic, and internet historian
Joanne McNeil.
Joanne’s book, Lurking: How a Person Became a User, is unlike any book on the internet that you’ve ever read. Why? Because it’s not a book of praise or even condemnation of social media founders, or a journey through start-up-dom. Instead, it’s an exploration of what it’s like for us to be on the internet. What were and are the contours of our experiences on Myspace, Hotbot, Friendster, Google, writing and reading blogs, and (ugh) Facebook? What kind of people do we become engaging with these “spaces?” And perhaps most challengingly, what’s good about them?
(NOTE: Joanne and I had some sound challenges in the episode, so you’ll notice a few quality discrepancies, but nothing terrible. Just a heads up that you’ll get the glitches. mid-ep.)

ON THIS EPISODE

  • Respecting the interactions on the internet
  • What the internet has done to memory
  • The way pop culture just before the internet hit got lost
  • The gay history of the internet
  • The shaping of love on the internet
  • What sort of relationships are forming in quarantine conditions?
  • The fulfillment of wandering and lurking on the internet
  • Craigslist’s lost potential
  • The asymmetricality of anonymous users and open users
  • How twitter acts like capitalism
  • The difference between caring about wrongs and being involved in the stories of them online
  • The three times I had twitter pile-ons
  • Why we need to get rid of facebook and not replace it
  • Where to go from here and all this mess

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Joanne, here’s her website, which has tons of links and a great HTML aesthetic. And here’s a great interview with her just after the release of Lurking.

• Have you seen Brainiac: Transmissions After Zero? Also, did you know that there’s a severely distorted sample of a Brainiac song in the AEWCH theme? Well, there you go.

• The Tech Won’t Save Us podcast featuring Joanne is here. And they have a patreon!

• I wrote a bit about my trip to Florida to meet Ron in my essay “Gay For Pay, Part 1

• Who else remembers the Pet Shop Boys’s 2002 song about falling in love via online text, “Email“?

• Here’s my old essay on hookup apps as pornography, “Facing The Torsos“.

• SESTA/FOSTA was passed years ago now, but I and other workers fought against it. Here’s a review of what it is.

• Yes, I was really into Unwound, and I still like them a lot!

• Yes, I’m changing my twitter in the next few days. We’ll all be okay, promise!

Melissa Gira Grant comes up a couple of times in the episode, so check out her writing via the twitter link and her website!

• Here’s Run Your Own Social by Darius Kazemi, and here’s Darius’s patreon.
Until next time, friends.
XO
Unwound

 

Abolish Silicon Valley! On fighting technocracy with Wendy Liu on AEWCH 114.

23 Jun


Against Everyone With Conner Habib · AEWCH 114: WENDY LIU or AGAINST TECHNOCRACY
LISTEN ABOVE OR ON: iTunesStitcherSoundcloud

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 114 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.
AEWCH114TitleCard

Friends,

 

Collectively, the world is waking up to the problems of big tech, and the challenges that lay ahead. But to understand what the problems are, and how to overcome them, we need guides, particularly guides who have been through the anti-life equation of tech themselves and somehow managed to not become deadened by it.

So I knew the best to talk to would be Wendy Liu, Bay Area software engineer and start up founder, and now the author of Abolish Silicon Valley, a practical memoir about awakening within and then challenging tech.

With a book title like that, Wendy’s stance on tech has obviously changed since the start of her career. Her public presence now focuses on revealing turn after turn of unsound ethics, structural inequality, the problems with data gathering, and even darker impulses in tech. To that end, Wendy and I talk about what’s happening now, how theory and activism can help with what’s coming, and lots more. This is a great episode, and I’m so happy to share it with you.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • Why tech workers can’t “change things from the inside”
  • How tech used to solve the problems of centralized “analog” forms of power, and what happened
  • The collective discontent with tech
  • The way identity politics issues in tech
  • The evil embedded in tech itself and how to spot it without becoming a luddite
  • Theory language vs coding language and how code completes the inner state for you
  • My goofy undergraduate hot-guys-on-geocities site
  • Why the pandemic regulations aren’t exactly new conditions
  • Repression and oppression as a tactic for tech
  • The pitfalls of tech socialism (and Wendy says, “Conner, don’t worry about that just yet!”)
  • The elimination of emotion
  • How (and how not) to resist the tech monster
  • The neoliberal tech erosion of Ireland

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Wendy, here’s her website. Here’s a great interview with her on the gay Marxist podcast, Twink Revolution.
• Want to learn more about Total Information Awareness? You should.
• Also on the you-should list, check out Doug Rushkoff if you haven’t yet. He’s one of the most brilliant thinkers I know.
• Although I’ve been doing a sort of mini-run of episodes on tech, the first one, really, was AEWCH 105 with apocalypse writer and tech critic Mark O’Connell. If you haven’t yet listen, go for it. And here’s the article on J.G. Ballard that Mark wrote, and which both Wendy and I loved.

OB

• I’ve learned a lot from Owen Barfield (pictured) about language, consciousness, and art.

 

• J.G. Ballard’s Myths Of The Near Future isn’t available, but you can get his collected stories (or selected stories) via this episode’s booklist link.

 

• The economics, political, and cultural sphere stuff, is social threefolding, developed by Rudolf Steiner.

 

• Here’s a little rundown on the death of honeybees from 5G radiation. It’s on a honeybee-centered website, but you can find the data corroborated by other entomologists and tech workers.

 

• Here’s the trailer for Sorry To Bother You.

 

• Learn more about Wilhelm Reich’s occult tech on AEWCH 59 or other forms of occult tech via AEWCH 112 with Peter Berbegal or AEWCH 113 with Duncan Laurie.
Until next time,
X0101010101010 (JK!)
CH
ALE

Magic technology, technological art, and dials to the spirit world. Duncan Laurie on AEWCH!

17 Jun

AEWCH 113: DUNCAN LAURIE or THE UN-SCIENCE OF RADIONICS

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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 the books mentioned on this ep? Go to my booklist for AEWCH 113 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.
AEWCH113TitleCard

Friends,
I’m becoming increasingly wary and interested in the deepening commitment to tech in our world, particularly as we go through this global crisis together. I want to push on our capacity to imagine tech in different ways, to create a new relationship to tech in our lives, and to better prepare us for the challenges ahead.

 

So I decided to dig up my 2011 conversation with sculptor and tech-magic practitioner, Duncan Laurie. Duncan is the author of the profound book (seriously, everyone should read it!), The Secret Art: A Brief History of Radionic Technology for the Creative Individual.

R2I first heard of Duncan’s work with radionics via his segment on the late, great Disinformation series. In that clip, he talks plainly about two strange technologies I’d never heard of. First, radionics, which we primarily discuss on this episode. Second, bio-sensor sonic connection to plants and stones.

 

I talk at length about what radionics is at the top of the episode, so I won’t repeat it here, but the intersection of art, magic, science, and philosophy in radionics opens up completely new pathways for us.

 

Like AEWCH 91 with Lynn Margulis and AEWCH 97 Diana Young-Peak, this was part of a podcast project I started and abandoned in the early 2010s. I would love to have Duncan back on the show again now that I actually have a show, especially since he’s done plenty of work since 2011, obviously. But for now, bear with the less-than-ideal audio/discussion style/my younger voice. It’s pretty good, considering!

 

ON THIS EPISODE

  • How Duncan became attuned to the energies of growth and decomposition
  • “The first step where you get beyond the dimension of just materialism and the mechanistic viewpoint of life and suddenly just walk into a world where a different set of parameters is at work.”
  • What happens when we see beyond all materialism, and what radionics’s part is in that
  • How materialism degrades art and how art erodes materialism
  • The disconnect between validating radionics via science versus its use
  • Where Duncan sees using magical technology goes
  • The problem with seeking proof
  • Writer’s block as an analogy for not using magic
  • How desire connects us to art and to healing
  • Taking time out from what is known to look into the unknown

SHOW NOTES

• Duncan created an entire album – Induction Furnace – out of sounds from bio-sensors (the first album of its kind, I believe), and it’s a bizarre and wonderful listen. There are other musical bio-sensor works there, too, including a plant responding via bio-sensor to Bob Dylan’s “Cocaine”. Here’s an (unfortunately low-quality) video of Duncan getting rocks and plants to respond to each other with sound. Here’s a talk from Duncan at the TSAGregg Museum. Also, here’s a picture from his book, which, again, please get and read.

• Here’s a video by two modern radionics practitioners; they break it down in simple terms, although a little materialistically – “systems” “operating” etc. I do like their term for the radionics machine as a “high tech magical wand.”

 

• I wrote an essay about radionics, using them, and also sex (of course) years ago fro Vice.

 

• Here’s an essay on the founder of radionics, Albert Abrams, by one of his students, Eric Perkins.

 

• The author Upton Sinclair was interested in radionics and other weird science, and he wrote about it in his book Mental Radio.

 

• Duncan mentions that he’s a practitioner of Sura Shabd yoga. Here’s a very plain language explanation of it by Master Sirio Ji. The volume is low, so turn it all the way up.

The United States Psychotronics Association is pretty fascinating, and offers a lot of great new and strange directions.

 

• Duncan mentions the SE-5, a “radionics computer” which you can look into here.

 

• Here’s a link to a rare interview in The Sun with Cleve Backster, who put biosensors on plants. Unfortunately it’s with neo-primitivist transphobe and anti-sex worker activist, Derrick Jensen. But Backster is the focus.

 

Until next time, friends,
CH
O

Why we need occult technology now. I talk with Peter Bebergal on AEWCH 112.

7 Jun

Against Everyone With Conner Habib · AEWCH 112: PETER BEBERGAL or OCCULT TECHNOLOGY


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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 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 booklist for AEWCH 112 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.
AEWCH112TitleCard

Friends,

As the coming technological innovations face us and threaten us, can we reconsider what technology is, what role it has in our lives, and how we can encounter (as well as build it) spiritually? What is the morality of technology; not just the morality of building new technologies, but the I asked writer and theologian Peter Bebergal to talk about just that.

Peter is the author of the entrancing book, Strange Frequencies: The Extraordinary Story of the Technological Quest for the Supernatural as well as two other books and an upcoming anthology about the inspirations for Dungeons & Dragons. His work always confronts and investigates the connections between the spiritual, the artistic, and the seemingly everyday.

I am experiencing all of these topics with a sense of increasing urgency, so I’m so happy to be able to share this conversation with you.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • That time I saw a skeleton walking down the road
  • Why repeatability in science is dehumanizing and how to liberate ourselves from it
  • Why we need to understand technology as enchanted
  • Mapmaking through the enchanted
  • The uses and problems of seeing information, not individuals, in medicine
  • When (and why) ayahuasca doesn’t work
  • Magic for frivolous uses versus magic that we need
  • How spiritualism dissolved our fear of hell
  • There are no unaltered states of consciousness
  • Why religions are not the same and how art reveals this
  • How to use magic to hack technology
  • The failures of wonder
  • Using technology to mediate the presence of dangerous spirits

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Peter, here’s a great episode of Other Side podcast with him, and here’s a conversation between he and Jeffrey Kripal. And here’s his website, which is outdated, but has links to tons of articles he’s written.

• I talk about some of the issues of morality and technology on AEWCH 105 with Mark O’Connell.

• I do love Thomas Nagel’s book, Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False, whether or not it made me want to send Thomas an email and be like, “Just read occult stuff!”

• Want to read up on the Keely machine?

• I have yet to read Umberto Eco’s classic novel, Foucault’s Pendulum. But I’ll get to it soon enough.

• “As long as humans can misuse technology, we will never be slaves to it.” – Erkki Kurenniemi

• Peter talks about Gareth Branwyn, a trailblazer in the maker movement.

MAM• Anyone else remember Mazes & Monsters? I actually never saw the film (with Tom Hanks) but I did read the novel.

• Here’s a summary of the work of philosopher and theologian, Rudolf Otto.

• “One way of torturing the dead, one way of failing to show them love, is to participate in spiritualist seances. For this forces them to manifest in a particular language. The dead person is expected to speak a particular language, for even with table-rapping the signs have to refer to a particular language. What is done to the dead by forcing them to express themselves in a particular language might very well be compared with pinching someone living in the flesh with red-hot tongs. So painful for the dead are spiritualist seances which expect them to express themselves in a particular language. For in their normal life the dead are striving to free themselves from the differentiations between languages.” – Rudolf Steiner

• A great, easy-to-read explanation of the Galileo stuff I mention is in Saving the Appearances: A Study in Idolatry by Owen Barfield.

The Cottingley fairies are a lovely and beautiful hoax (although there is a little bit of CFcontention over one of the images, all these years later).

• Here’s Peter channeling Arthur Machen for an interview.

• If you haven’t read James Merrill’s channeled, beautiful book of poetry, The Changing Light At Sandover, you really should.

My Friend Dahmer is, in my opinion, a far superior graphic novel than film. So get it and read it.

• Here’s “Errormancy” by Kim Cascone.

Thanks friends, I’ll contact you again through your devices soon!
CH

PB

AGAINST EVERYONE WITH CONNER HABIB 111: GLOBAL SOLIDARITY WITH PROTESTORS

2 Jun

 

Against Everyone With Conner Habib · AEWCH 111: GLOBAL SOLIDARITY WITH PROTESTORS

Screen Shot 2020-06-02 at 5.04.38 PM

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST VERSION: iTunesStitcherSoundcloud

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.

Friends,

We must form a global solidarity movement in support of protestors. Please listen and do what you can to overcome the obstacles in thinking, feeling, and behaving, that I talk about in this episode.

Love.

CH

SHOW NOTES
AEWCH 15 with Mark Bray on antifa
AEWCH 29 with Alex Vitale on the end of policing
AEWCH 83 with Franco Bifo Berardi on theory and action

 

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
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 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.
L
• 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
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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