Tag Archives: activism

Free Palestine: AEWCH 19 – Conner and Ben Ehrenreich

19 Jan

PODCAST VERSION: iTunesStitcherSoundcloud 

Friends,

I drove into the California dessert to talk with one of my heroes, Ben Ehrenreich. Ben is a writer and a public intellectual whose book The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine is, I think, required reading. It’s a moving portrait of Ben’s time living in Palestine, constantly under brutal siege by the Israeli government and military. Instead of crafting political talking points (although those arise naturally from the book), Ben shares the stories of the people he meets, lives with, and becomes friends with in Palestine. It’s a beautiful, compelling, and powerful book about hope and its absence and what both give to the human spirit.
Ben is also the author of two novels (Ether, and The Suitors), as well as many short stories, articles (a favorite of mine which comes up in the show is “Predator or Prey?“) and works or criticism. You can find many of them linked to on his website.
IN THIS EPISODE
  • Ben is a real public intellectual. Where did all the other ones go?: 1:20
  • Writing characters and minds in fiction vs trying to bring living people to readers in journalism: 4:30
  • On the problem of wrongly convicted sex offenders and the structure of our penal/punitive system: 10:55
  • How do you learn to be more than an expert, more than a memoirist and actually write toward truth?: 16:50
  • The spiritual act of finding the liars who reveal the truth: 19:00
  • Scrutinizing objectivity as a tool of power: 24:00
  • The descent into literalness, why justice narratives fail to approach art, and the attempt to control meaning: 29:10
  • “In countries…where people are less educated than Americans are…people often have a far more sophisticated sense of how to interpret and read media.” 32:10
  • “Facts” as stand-ins for moral blindness about Israel and Palestine: 33:20
  • How Ben came to live in Palestine and to learn about the protests in Nabih Saleh: 39:10
  • Don’t dehumanize people by erasing struggle or by amplifying it till it drowns out life itself: 44:35
  • The arrest of Ahed Tamimi – a Palestinian child who stood up to Israeli soldiers: 48:50
  • The webbing of military and police and legal camaraderie in Israel, and why Palestinians can’t hope to be treated fairly: 53:50
  • Throwing stones against occupiers with machine guns and military vehicles is not violence: 59:40
  • The ever-present fabric of violence woven by the Israeli government into Palestinian lives: 1:02:20
  • The international investment in the Israeli government’s perpetual brutalization of Palestinians: 1:04:50
  • The rise of the right wing in Israel: 1:13:05
  • What is the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement?: 1:15:05

If this show holds meaning for you, please support it!

Show notes, including links to info on Palestine, stories and books to read, and more are all on my patreon too.

Ahed

Ahed Tamimi

THE RUSSIANS (are not) COMING! AEWCH 18: Conner + Robbie Martin!

12 Jan
PODCAST VERSION: iTunesStitcherSoundcloud 
Friends,
The time has come to talk about our current political climate and the people who led us here, leaving a trail of dead in their wake. And no, I don’t mean anything as clumsily blunt as “Republicans!” And I also don’t mean anything as complicatedly conspiratorial, no matter what threads of truth are there, as “The Deep State!” Instead, it’s time to look at the very identifiable causes of our disastrous government/foreign policy/sociopolitical moment, the neocons and neoliberal running the show behind all the figureheads.
Here to clear it up with me — particularly to clear up this Russiagate bullshit — is Robbie Martin. Robbie is a documentary filmmaker, host of Media Roots Radio (along with his sister Abby Martin, a previous guest on AEWCH), and a musician. 
One of the best way of taking apart these panics and myths and misdirections is by looking their lineages and its historical contexts.  Robbie’s amazing documentary, A Very Heavy Agenda, is available for purchase and to stream. WATCH THIS MOVIE. It is detailed, complex, insightful, and well done. Robbie shines light on the mesmerizing and horrifying networks of neocon/neoliberal individuals and actions throughout recent history, but never ventures into conspiracy (though if you’re into conspiracies, the sheer amount of information here will give you a lot to keep you occupied). It’s a college semster’s-worth of info and narrative on US policy since Reagan, and it’s way more fun to watch than sitting in class.
There are lots of names upfront, but we go through each figure and talk about who they are, so just bear with it until we get to
IN THIS EP
  • The difference between neocons and neoliberals. If there is any: 1:30
  • It’s impossible to be “mugged by reality” unless you’re already an asshole: 2:55
  • Who are the Kagans and how have they remained such a staple in politics for so long?: 6:45
  • The roots of Russiagate in neocon/neoliberal war strategies: 16:00
  • Nazis in the Ukraine making that US $$$: 19:00
  • Who is Bill Kristol? & the long line of hating Russia leads right up to the neocon/neolib-founded propaganda tank, Alliance For Securing Democracy : 28:40
  • In which I lose my shit reading AFSD’s idiotic statement: 34:10
  • All that’s changed since the Iraq War is the rhetoric: 35:05
  • Useful idiots. Like Michael Ian Black and Jena Friedman.: 43:20
  • What does it mean that Russian Television (RT) has to register as a “foreign agent” and why is that massively messed up?: 45:10
  • When Obama wasn’t a coward, but everyone called him a coward. When Trump was not a Putin plant, but everyone called him a Putin plant.: 54:50
  • Vice Magazine as propagandists that watch me and jerk off.:  57:10
  • Everyone loves gay people when they’re dead.: 1:06:00
  • The new way emerges from the maze of enjoyments and expertise: 1:08:35

As always show notes with links to further reading and more are on my patreon. You can support the show and keep it going strong by becoming a patreon patron for as little as $1.00/month, AND you get cool stuff!

Love!

CH

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Antifa is coming for you. To hang out at your place, I mean. Conner in conversation with historian, author, and activist Mark Bray!

1 Dec
Listen on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud
Excited to welcome the amazing historian, activist, and author of Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook, Mark Bray to Against Everyone! You’ve probably encountered the anti-fascists “antifa” movement in some way or another since the now-iconic video of neo-Nazi organizer Richard Spencer getting punched in the face on camera. Since then, anti-fascists activists have been completely misrepresented in media and misunderstood by the non-activist public, derided by the right (like when Donald Trump ejaculated the word Antifa! on stage) as well as by liberals. Mark puts the antifa action and organization in the context of history, illuminating how it’s not just a bunch of angry college kids, but a rich and thought-out set of tactics and web of movements throughout history.
IN THIS EPISODE
  • Why people who are against antifascist action often believe in the Myth of Progress: 1:50
  • Why the impossibility of utopia can combat the fantasy of progress: 6:45
  • How to implement one the ground activism while retaining the vision. And why: 12:10
  • The people who whine “THAT’S NOT GOING TO ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING”: 13:35
  • Is the general engagement with a state traumatic?: 17:00
  • Netflix and chill? Nah, Hitler or chill, bro.: 19:40
  • Recognizing all violences without dismissing differences between them: 21:00
  • The problem with “talk it out with the enemy” is that most people who say it don’t believe it: 23:20
  • The racist kids Conner grew up with, the Nazi organizers who exploited them, and what to do with the various levels of racism and fascism: 26:20
  • The little bird and the forest fire: 31:40
  • “If I can’t stand by the bar and drink while I watch people dance to it, it’s not my revolution.”: 36:00
  • Where’s the line between fascism and other oppressive structures of power?: 37:20
  • Who deserves engagement and who deserves dismissal and derision: Anti-sex worker and anti-porn activists use fascist rhetoric – And why you shouldn’t engage with them: 42:25
  • Why “no platform” is a worthwhile tactic and why it’s so misunderstood: 49:50
  • Charlie Hebdo and why free speech matters, but not the “support our troops” version of free speech: 52:30
  • Can fascism be eliminated?: 1:03:00

Please support the show if you enjoy it and learn from it. I can’t do this without you, and I love doing it. Pledge as little as a dollar per month on my Patreon.

And as always, you can find the show notes for the episode with links to books and resources to go deeper on my patreon.

AF

Conner Habib abducts Felix Biederman from the Chapo Traphouse.

27 Oct
Hello friends!
So awesome to be joined on AEWCH by Felix Biederman; writer, speaker, and founder of leftist podcast phenomenon, Chapo Traphouse.
Listen to the PODCAST version via iTunes or Stitcher or watch by clicking on our goofy faces above. (And please Subscribe to whatever option you choose!)
Chapo Traphouse, in case you don’t know, is a podcast which boasts the biggest Patreon on Patreon. It’s one of a handful of newer and successful leftist news outlets that is changing the contours of our public discussion and political landscape. And it’s really funny. The Chapo team talks about neoliberal and neoconservative punditry, stupidity, and cruelty. The talk about activism and social progress. They also do on-the-ground work, like door-to-door canvassing, meeting with international socialist groups to build bridges between movements, and donating money (most recently $10,000 to the Victim Rights Law Center) to causes.
In this ep:
  • The loneliness of thinking bigger about politics: 2:15
  • The way media ensnares our imaginations in incremental change: 6:15
  • Why we need to be suspicious of “progressives,” including Kamala Harris: 7:25
  • The on-the-ground marginal change is urgent, but will lead us down the wrong path if we don’t dream, bigger.: 11:15
  • Stop using the language of your enemies.: 12:50
  • Dragging the leaders down and raising the people up: 15:20
  • Felix loves Downfall and it shows the weaknesses of iconic maniacs:16:35
  • Distinctions in evil.: 18:35
  • The Nazis Conner grew up with and, like the NAZI Nazis that Conner grew up with.: 21:15
  • Why we need to be more forgiving of idiots: 23:15
  • When do people deserve public scorn, when should we just ignore them, and when should we forgive them?: 27:20
  • How fear of being “reactionary” is kind of white bro capitalist bullshit in the attention economy, bro.: 32:30
  • What healthy detachment is and why it’s needed for leftists: 38:40
  • Mindfulness as a way to exploit workers.: 40:30
  • “Love what you do” is a trap, but we should love what we do. So now what? 43:55
  • The suspicion of pleasure is capitalist exploitation, too.: 45:45
  • Our era is not the first dumb era. 49:35
  • Felix and I talk adult movies. IN A POLITICAL WAY.: 53:40
  • Children are teeny tiny monsters. 58:45
  • So Felix, why do people hate you and Chapo so much?: 1:01:20
  • The public discussion is crucial to what our actions can achieve.: 1:11:55
If you enjoy the show, please do support it!
Thank you!
CH

Conner + Dr. Chris Donaghue talking sex and culture

13 Oct
Welcome to Episode 10 of Against Everyone with Conner Habib
I can’t believe I’ve gotten this far without talking at length about sex yet. Well, that changed, of course, when I invited one of my closet colleagues over: sexologist, author, and co-host (with Amber Rose) of Loveline, Dr. Chris Donaghue!
Chris is one of my closest colleagues (as in, we share the same approaches to thinking about sex), and he’s constantly reinvigorating my interest in a subject that I’ve been studying and working with for over a decade.
IN THIS EP
  • When you talk about sex, you’re condemned by pop culture and bureaucracy (this goes on for quite awhile, because there’s example after example): 2:25
  • This condemnation is happening for everyone, it just rises to the surface when you enter the public sphere 9:55
  • Hypersexualization meets sexphobia to create a frustration culture: 10:30
  • Sex shame in the self help section: 13:55
  • Your own sexual liberation is a lifelong project 15:45
  • The surprising places sex negativity springs up 16:35
  • New age fundamentalism masquerading as healthy sexuality 18:20
  • Dismantling “balance” and going for excess to be healthy and fully realized: 19:45
  • “Balance” is just another name for monogamy: 21:35
  • Sex IS the teacher: 23:00
  • To learn about sex, seek some discomfort: 28:45
  • How monogamous partners often police and trap each other: 30:50
  • Wittgenstein explains pornography 33:55
  • My favorite adult scene to watch: 38:30
  • Why bisexuality does and does not exist: 40:10
  • Are new terms for sexual identity politics valuable?: 43:10
  • Conner feels fat, and that makes him a top: 47:55
  • Individuality vs Individualism: 1:01:10

The show notes, including three books Chris recommends, are here on my patreon!

If you enjoy the show, please do support it!
Thank you!

CH

Against Everyone with Conner Habib: Episode 3 – Work and Die or Be the Future Blob

16 Jul
Episode 3 of Against Everyone with Conner Habib is up!
It’s me starting a conversation about a post-work world with you. Hopefully, it will inspire an inner conversation, and maybe even a conversation between you and your friends and/or you and your everyday life. I don’t talk that much about what exactly we should imagine, because we’ll all have different visions. But I do talk about pathways to imagining post-work in the first place.Which is why I’d love to hear back from you about a post-work world, particularly any solutions or directions or visions.
Watch/listen/comment. Thanks!

In Episode 3, I Talk About

  • How having a job is deadening and deadly.
  • Why work is state-supported blackmail.
  • How work has fundamentally changed and changed us into computers.
  • Why we’re not automating work anytime soon.
  • Why both Marxist and capitalist models are challenged by wanting to be versus needing to gain.
  • Why labor isn’t the best sphere to locate political struggle in.
  • Seeking employment as infantilization.
For the show notes, with links to the books, stats, and thinkers, I mentioned, click here.
And if the show makes you think, inspires you, or starts conversation, please do consider supporting my work via my Patreon page. Thank you!
Love,
CH
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Good Chaos

14 Jul
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Caitlin Doughty, Yours Truly, Gordon White

My event in LA with Gordon White, Chaotic Good: Why We Need the Occult Now (More Than Ever), was a big success on many levels.
It sold out, so that was a pretty great marker of its success, financially. But also, it was a marker of the necessity of and longing for occult-related events.
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La société du spectacle

Beyond those basic levels, it was intense. The audience members were all just…vibing. There were powerful occultists there (Poke Runyon sat in the front row, jeez), and beginners, and skeptics (including our amazing moderator, Caitlin Doughty), and political folks and artists. Everyone was just listening, taking it all in, and during the Q&A expressing their own version or whatever resonated. It was a spell against loneliness if nothing else. Whatever happened content-wise, I knew that we’d done a good thing together in just being with each other, in gathering all these weirdos who have imaginations that are big enough to take on reality itself.

Byron Katie says “We talk to figure out what we want to say.” I agree. And sometimes, we even say what we want to say and want what we want. When I give public talks, sometimes ideas come from me that I didn’t know were there. What I want to say just appears.

And the work of refining a thought so that others can hear it and understand it is an act of agility, so I find myself (especially in Q&A) turning to my heart as I speak. What will I say that is understandable here? What will connect these people – who are giving me the honor of their silence and the negative space of their hearing – to this idea and to me?

It makes me a better person to speak publicly and answer questions, because I have to imagine what other people are like, what they feel, and what they think. Even though I’m speaking, we’re inhabiting each other.

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“I drink of my sisters and I ask for the ability to not hate those who hate me. Especially racist pieces of bleach-blonde shit like Laura Lizzie.”

Rachel True (from The Craft!) gave tarot readings, and tarot, beyond its more obvious powers, commands a listening-to. When you get a reading, you listen in a different way. The tarot has a conversation with your thoughts, and your embedded-ness in time.

Of course, the conversations after I got off the stage had their own lives too. One-on-one conversation is one of our most powerful tools. I always say conversation and sex are the same order of being: They are free; they can go in any direction; they may be happy or unhappy or exciting or boring; whatever the outcome, it doesn’t mean you won’t engage again with the same person; they’re different from person to person, and more. Chaotic good.

It reminds me of Rudolf Steiner’s stirring comment that “Conversation is the new Eucharist.” Body and blood and sacrament.

Sit with that, if you want. Let it ring out in you. Remember when you speak to another person, you’re encountering a completely unique nexus of universal forces.

Gordon talks about a bit of this on the new episode of Rune Soup, which you can/shouldlisten to here.

If you couldn’t attend the event not to worry, the entire thing is being transcribed into an ebook with new intros by Gordon and I.

Hopefully the book will be not only interesting, but make you feel like you’re at the event, in conversation.

A big part of my conversation now is happening through my Patreon page, which is linked to my new web series. Please do sign up on Patreon to support my work and livelihood, and to interact with me. Thank you, new pioneers.

Love,

CH

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