The moral of the story is… How Aesop confronts empire, with Carlo Gébler on AEWCH 78!

30 Jul
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Friends,
How exciting to welcome fiction writer, memoirist, and Aesop scholar Carlo Gébler to AEWCH to discuss how Aesop’s fables present insight into fighting empire, how the powerful tell their stories, and more!
Carlo is a staple here in the Irish literary landscape. The son of famed Irish author Edna O’Brien and famed/infamous Irish author Ernest Gébler, Carlo was named after Karl Marx and has taught writing for years, including in prisons. He’s written nearly 30 books for adults and children plus plays in total. His latest book, Aesop’s Fables: The Cruelty of the Gods, which is beautifully (and intensely!) illustrated by Gavin Weston, retells 190 (!) of Aesop’s tales, adding humor and amplifying the brutality of each one.
But, as you’ll hear on the episode, Carlo isn’t just retelling these tales for entertainment (though they are extremely entertaining), he sees in them strategies for resistance and hints at how power works. And Carlo reads a few of Aesop’s fables, including “The Clever Lamb and the Wolf”, “The Frogs Who Demanded A King”, “The Flute Playing Wolf and the Dancing Kid”, and my favorite, “The Fox and the Farmer”.
Until next week,
XO
CH
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You are going to die. Now what? Me + Caitlin Doughty discuss death, sex, activism, and death & sex activism on AEWCH 77!

16 Jul
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Friends,
It’s time to talk about death and activism and death activism, and oh yeah, Marianne Williamson and stuff. There is no one better to discuss all this with that my good friend Caitlin Doughty. Caitlin is the host of the wildly popular youtube series, Ask A Mortician and her work has served as a foundation of the death positive movement, which is seeking to change our relationship to death in our culture.
She’s also the author of the death memoir, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory; as well as her book about death rites, From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death; and the forthcoming book about death for kids, Will The Cat Eat My Eyeballs: Big Questions fromTiny Mortals about Death.
When Caitlin and I spoke way back on AEWCH 8, we mostly discussed death in a theoretical way. This time, I bring to her the recent death of my friend, to work through some of the feelings and intensities I went through in mourning and gratitude.
We also spend a lot of time discussing being advocates and activists, and what challenges that brings. It’s a very personal episode and very different conversation than Caitlin’s used to having on a podcast!
On this ep:
  • what we’d like to do more of before we die
  • how to pre-mourn our own deaths by confronting our anxieties
  • HIV “bug chasing”
  • externalizing death drives vs turning them on yourself, and how that’s gendered
  • why we should destroy heterosexuality
  • the Dalia Lama and cultural conflict
  • the problems have a healthy relationship with death can bring
  • how a breakup gets a ton of conversations with friends, but a death tends to only get one
  • Pompei volcano sex deaths
  • why we need to acknowledge what sex positivity and feminism have brought to us
  • mediating social media exhaustion
  • the relief of others taking up the same causes you have
  • why I want to have more underground people on the show
  • the problem with only having one face for a given cause
  • what doing activism is for

SHOW NOTES are always free.

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WTF is money, anyway? And what is capitalism? Listen to me and economic historian Conor McCabe on the AEWCH 76!

9 Jul
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Like the show? Support it on Patreon! The show is funded by listeners like you, and your contribution is what keeps it going.
Friends,
What is money, anyway? And what is capitalism? And how are the two intertwined, and are they extricable? Conor MacCabe author of the excellent books, Money and Sins of the Father: Tracing the Decisions that Shaped the Irish Economy. Instead of staying with the obscuring language of economics, Conor and I go into what money and capitalism are from an experiential and historical standpoint. And we talk about the spiritual aspects of money as well, especially in how they’re related to time, the witch trials, and ideas of the future.
I’ve never had a conversation about money like this before, and I was so happy to. Conor is a great writer, a great thinker, and this conversation clarifies so many concepts.
I’m very excited to share AEWCH 76 with you.
In this episode:
  • How the language of economics is religiously constructed to keep people out
  • The invention of money as we know it now, and why the history we normally get fed is wrong
  • How credit is a social technology, and coin and cash were created to change its social relation
  • The problems with cashless cultures, and the war on credit unions
  • How banking rose as an aspect of imperialism
  • How the invention of capitalism relates to the witch trials
  • the problem with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies
  • what the inner experience of money is
  • what the fuck actually happens when you use money, anyway
  • what post-capitalist forms of money could look like, and why philosophical questions about money matter
  • how much money makes us happy
  • how capitalism is related to time and how those in turn relate to magic and new ageism
  • the importance of holding a big vision and doing the on-the-ground activism
  • why people with marginalized identities have amazing anti-capitalist strategies
Want to go deeper into the ideas and with the people mentioned on this episode?
SHOW NOTES, like all episodes, are always free for everyone.
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Conner Habib + Pete Holmes: Seeing the spiritual adventure!

2 Jul

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Friends,
Who better to go on a spiritual adventure with on the podcast than my pal Pete Holmes! There are lots of places you might know Pete from; his stand-up, his spirituality-meets-comedy podcast You Made It Weird, his HBO show Crashing, or his new book, Comedy Sex God. Pete and I have been wanting to record another show since our epic conversation on Petes podcast, and it’s a great and wide-ranging discussion but for me, the big news is that we do a short but totally accessible spiritual experiment to unravel the weirdness of the universe just through paying attention to our own experiences.
We also discuss
  • what toxic masculinity means if no one really has a definition of masculinity
  • identity and certainty
  • whether or not lucid dreaming is good for us
  • just how much free will do we have, anyway?
  • what Louis CK represents to people, especially in his “comeback” set, and why it’s important to think about those representations
  • contending with evil
  • what happens when we investigate our sight
  • death as a project we all engage in
  • the fear of God and how God unfolds through us

For extensive show notes, click here.

XO
CH

 

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QUEER NON-BINARY SEX REVOLUTION NOW! It’s Andrea Lawlor on AEWCH!

18 Jun
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Pay for your podcast is the new “pay for your porn.” Your Patreon contribution goes a long way to supporting not just to the podcast, but to my writing, lectures, activism, and other work as well. Support the queer creators you love! If you find something of value on my show, give back and support the many hours of free podcast content and other public output that I offer every month for the price of a latte or Guinness or lunch or cover charge for a painfully clean gay bar.
Pay for the podcasts you love by signing up for my Patreon today. 
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Friends,
Just when I felt like I was getting bored with queer culture, I was thrown back into it and out of my blinkered, jaded bullshit by the queer radical author, Andrea Lawlor and their novel of full frontal sexual liberation, Paul Takes The Form Of A Mortal Girl! It’s a novel about a shapeshifting postpunk anarchist, and is, I believe, more like me than any other novel. In some ways, this is the most sexual episode I’ve ever done, because we center sex the whole time. I cannot recommend Andrea’s novel enough. It captures a time, but more importantly, captures a style of spirit and a current of queerness that is so vital for the world’s anatomy today.
We talk
  • desire and detachment
  • my crush on a frat boy singing “Rich Girl” by Hall & Oates
  • centering sex in our politics and literature
  • how “sex = death” has been replaced by “sex = harm” (and how that marks progress and stagnancy)
  • sex as a teacher
  • where our limits as readers are or should be, and how hyper-literalness harms our experience
  • how sex and transformation relate to fairy tales
  • is trans a universal condition?
  • how sexual liberation allows us to be full human beings
  • indie rock and zine culture as queer expression
  • how queerness brings intensity, relief, and brilliance into living

SHOW NOTES are HERE.

XO
CH

  • JR

The Occult Significance Of Ulysses

16 Jun
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If you’d like my recorded online course, Reading Ulysses With Conner Habib, it’s just $20 for six videos, further reading, and more. Email me at againsteveryonewithconnerhabib @ gmail.com
Happy Bloomsday, everyone! Here’s an Against Saturdays episode on a Sunday!
All about why people who are into the occult and magic should read Joyce’s Ulysses. Actually, why everyone should read it.
XO CH
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WHY DO I HAVE A PODCAST ANYWAY? or WHY YOUR DESIRES MATTER, a short actual blog post.

13 Jun

CH

Someone asked me today what makes me think my voice should be public. 

Why should I have a podcast? What makes me important?

Here’s why.

One good question to ask people to confront capitalism is: What would you like your day to look like? 

Instead of being stuck in the never ending current of work-or-die, what would you be doing? 

What do you enjoy thinking about? Spending your time on?

Think on this.

As for me, I essentially love three things: Books, fucking, and conversation.

Doing those things are what I want to spend my time on, what I want my days to look like.

So I decided to make those three things my life.

But simply taking care of yourself or wistfully envisioning fun shit is not enough.

When you respond, to actually resist the superstructures that run and destroy our lives, you have to strive to make your envisioned day one that’s available for others as well.

In other words, in imagining what you would like your day to look like, you are also pinpointing how the material conditions of your life must change to have it.

And then you can apply that to others’ lives as well. You are generating focus for activism and struggle.

If you have on the ground activism with no dream of vision, you’ll only replace problems with slightly different, just-as-bad problems.

If you have the dream with no struggle, you’ll be the dog in that meme with the burning house saying it’s fine.

And your neighbors will be burning too.

So I read and write and share it publicly. I fuck publicly. I have conversations publicly.

I’d be doing all these things on my own anyway, but the public aspect is about helping push culture towards a place where those things are easier for everyone.

I don’t have a sense of whether or not my presence in the public and what I do is justified because I’m some so-smart-dude who deserves, like all so-smart-dudes, to have a podcast. 

I do it because it’s an extension of my politics.

At the heart of public presence should be a determined set of ethics and morals, and they should be individual and personal ethics and morals, deeply felt, and turned outward as an act of compassion.

XO
CH