Tag Archives: activism

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

16 Sep

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

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

ON THIS EPISODE

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

SHOW NOTES

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

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

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

• Remember when Homeland Security raided the escorting hub rentboy?

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

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

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

Until next time friends,

XO
CH

Joe & Sam Gage

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
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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.
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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

Breathing in the end of the world – Franco “Bifo” Berardi on Against Everyone With Conner Habib

17 Sep

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Friends,
I’m so happy to share my conversation with the radical philosopher, Franco “Bifo” Berardi.
I think it is not only a good conversation, but a truly productive one. My deepest hope is that it is helpful for you.
Bifo is one of the most important and creative thinkers of our time; I find many of Bifo’s thoughts in line with the occult philosophies of the Western esoteric traditions I’ve spent so long studying, and for me, that is so enlivening. That is to say, when two people or traditions come up with similar conclusions from totally different angles, we must (as Special Agent Dale Cooper says) pay strict attention.
Bifo is the author of many books, including what I view as his two most important books, Breathing: Chaos and Poetry and Heroes: Mass Murder and Suicide (which is a much easier read, and deeply informed my own thinking on the issue, which I discussed on AEWCH 11: SHOOT TO LIVE). He was the founder of Radio Alice, a radical broadcast station in Italy, as well as the anti-authoritarian activist group, Autonomia.
The discussion is wide ranging and, I think, extremely potent. It’s a commingling of occult, anarchist, socialist, and artistic ideas.
We discuss:
  • How rhythms dissolve political oppression
  • Capitalism as a dynamic of change, acceleration, and expansion that cannot understand limit
  • Why information and possibilities are not enough; we need the ability (“potency”) to transform them into reality
  • Why solidarity is dead and we are trapped in competition
  • Why poetry, sex, and magic matter now more than ever
  • The failure of communism, and why we need it anyway
  • Moving away from politics and towards therapy
  • How poetry is our doorway towards a new world
  • Why the “post-truth” world is an opportunity
  • Reincarnation: the only narrative that can remake the future
  • The shattering of the critical mind
  • Why (and how) we must accept all conspiracy theories
  • The spectating unconscious (and how it wishes for Trump)
  • Why everyone’s suffering belongs to everyone
  • What Trump’s victory gives to us
  • How sex work erodes work
  • Why no one should ever be paid for their labor

Lots of great SHOW NOTES here.

Until next time,

XO

DG

Is God powerful? Is He lonely? I talk theology & loneliness with Padraig Ó Tuama on AEWCH 81!

20 Aug

 

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Friends,
We talk so much about the occult on this show – about angels and esoteric philosophies, about magic and materialism – but I don’t get a chance to talk about God often. Which is why I invited writer, theologian, and peace maker Padraig Ó Tuama onto the show.
Padraig is the author of several books, including In the Shelter: Finding Welcome In The Here And Now and Sorry For Your Troubles . He also served as the leader of Ireland’s peace and reconciliation committee, the Corrymeela Community, for seven years, which resulted in the book Daily Prayer with the Corrymeela Community.
That time, and his huge body of experience dealing with deep divisions and aggressive oppositions, serves as the foundation of much of our talk, which circles around conflicts and how God, power, and powerlessness mediates them.
This is an episode unlike any other, and I’m so happy to share it with you.
We talk:
  • Whether or not we should pray to God or ourselves
  • The good and boring versions of Superman
  • Seeking, wielding, and letting go of power
  • The economy of victimhood
  • How to resolve conflict with fascists (potential and otherwise)
  • Keeping an eye on who’s exploiting every conflict
  • Brexit and the British Border (Padraig’s better name for the “Irish Border)
  • Taking an interest in what people value in every situation, and the erosion of that interest
  • Loneliness and confidence
And Padraig also reads his beautiful poem “Day of the Dead”.
STKR

A socialism of the heart: Billy Bragg on Against Everyone With Conner Habib!

6 Aug

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Like the show? Support it on Patreon! The show is funded exclusively by listeners like you, and your contribution is vital and deeply appreciated! Also, SHOW NOTES are always free for everyone.
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Friends,
What an amazing conversation with music legend, political rock star, and one of my heroes, Billy Bragg.
Billy really needs no introduction, but in case you’ve missed his decades-spanning career in music, I’ve made a long spotify playlist of some of my favorite Billy Bragg songs for you here. Billy’s music has always held a special place in my heart and my activism, and his new book, The Three Dimensions of Freedom which focuses on his thoughtful versions of liberty, equality, and accountability, has only amplified my admiration for him. It’s a great book that you can read in a couple hours, and will enliven your sense of history and motivate you. Go get it.
We talk about
  • why the language of Marxism no longer works, and why we need a language of compassion
  • how to tend to individualism ethically, and how to have agency
  • how the alt-right and atheist bros and Brexit all arise from a sense of meaninglessness
  • how Billy’s model relates to the traditional tripartite motto of Liberty! Equality! Fraternity! and why he replaced “fraternity” with “accountability”
  • how holding some asshole accountable on twitter relates to accountability for political leaders
  • why Morrissey is a dick (not in the episode, but at Billy’s shows, he’s been calling Boris Johnson “Borrissey”)
  • the problem with “freedom of speech”
  • why concerns about no-platforming are ridiculous
  • why Flat Earthers have a point (not really, but sort of!)
  • gay slaps in the face (listen for Billy’s gasp, it’s great)
  • shifting fields of culture and what is acceptable and unacceptable
  • how one of his albums was deeply personal for me and wove into a time of abuse
BBPromo
(Also, isn’t Billy a total Daddy now?)
XO
CH

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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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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Want to know 5 MUST-HAVES FOR A MORAL POLITICAL COMPASS? Listen to AEWCH 65 with Abby Martin & Mike Prysner!

2 Apr

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Friends,
Before I met with radical political journalists Abby Martin and Mike Prysner, I kept thinking, how is it that they seem to have the right approach every time? So I decided to investigate just how it was they had an ethical and moral approach to politics.
We identify 5 points, which come up organically (If you just want to skip past the rest, go to 1:01:30.), and we reevaluate them the end. We also talk about how to develop these faculties These 5 points are:
1. Have a big container.
2. Find your lines in the sand, and beyond that, seek organizability.
3. Ask if a worthwhile narrative is being presented.
4. Do the dual work of individual and collective action at once.
5. Hold those you empower more responsible for their actions.
We also talk confronting Chelsea Clinton (Leen DWEIK, not “Naweek”, DUH Conner!), solidarity, how identity politics are exploited by power, why Bernie Sanders matters even if he’s not a hero, why grassroots struggle is what should win out rather than a Presidential candidate, thinking about what you want to bring forward in political situation, what we’re responsible for when we vote. I call myself out, what’s changed and what hasn’t since Trump, why materialism can’t guide us towards ethics, relating to the Other without falling into the imperialist trap of saying all people are the same, why politically-minded people should read novels, and more.
The Empire Files now has a Patreon, after being basically shut down by US sanctions. So support the show! which you should support.
SHOW NOTES are always available to everyone.
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The State of Sexuality 2019: Dr. Chris Donaghue returns to AEWCH to set us, um, not straight.

15 Jan

 

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Friends!

My friend the sexologist, author, and radio show host Dr. Chris Donaghue is back on AEWCH as part of my “The State Of” series of AEWCH in January! At the opening of 2019, I’m reviewing the state of something in 2019: what’s on the scene now and what to look for in the coming year! I couldn’t think of anyone better to discuss the State Of Sexuality 2019 than Dr. Chris Donaghue! The episode comes right on the heels of the release of Chris’s new book Rebel Love: Break the Rules, Destroy Toxic Habits, and Have the Best Sex of Your Life which is the first good self help book on relationships to come out in…ever?

We talk about how academic jargon keeps people out of meaningful discussions, whether or not sexuality is political, the fourth wave of feminism and foursomes, looking back on sexual experiences with curiosity, how our identities intersect with our sexualities, how to talk about the political content of adult scenes without condemning the desires for it, desire shaming, why sex is everywhere and safe, why sex and porn addiction don’t exist, the benefits and problems of “body positivity”, the problems with “enthusiastic consent,” how to heal sexual assault and end it culturally, and more!

SHOW NOTES are here.

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