Tag Archives: Against Everyone with Conner Habib

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

14 Apr

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Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon!

Thank you so, so much.


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

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

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

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

ON THIS EPISODE

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

SHOW NOTES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DG
 
• Sophie talks about abortion frankly and directly here.

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

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

24 Mar

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

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

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

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

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

On this episode

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

SHOW NOTES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

• “Breathe deep, seek peace.” – Dinotopia

Until next week, friends!
CH
CW

(How To Write) An Autobiography of Ideas – On AEWCH 100!

27 Feb
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Friends,
Here we are at AEWCH 100, and I’m so grateful. To celebrate, I’ve tried to focus on what the show is really about: ideas and connectivity. With that in mind, I’ve written my own Autobiography of Ideas, which I share here, and I also tell you how you can make your own!

The process is pretty simple:
1. Start listing out ideas that have moved you, and their creators.
One of the best ways of doing this is by thinkers or books or bands or movies. These can have had an emotional impact on you, or changed the way you thought about the world, or deepened your commitment to a cause. Whatever you want – just focus on the ideas and who brought them to you. Since a huge part of my life has been spent with my nose in a book, most what you’ll hear about today are people who have written books, but I didn’t by any means restrict myself, as you’ll see.
2. Then, start putting those in the age ranges you encountered them in.
I think 7 year chunks are good (ie 0-7, 8-14, 15-21, 22-28, etc.).

3. Look at the patterns you can find. Try to articulate what they are, and then look across your entire life. When it’s all grouped together, think about what was happening in that time period, and you can start to see the arrival of themes.

4. Name the chunks of time, if you want. They’re chapters in your Autobiography Of Ideas.

NOTE: The important thing is to lean towards the ideas here, not the events, the events will show up, and if you want, you can think of a different way to layer them in.

There are show notes for this episode, but they appear in the form of a list available to patrons at the $5 level and up. Click here for access to the list or sign up/boost your pledge now!
Thank you for listening. Love to you all. Here’s to 100 more!
CH
JM

“Reverb-ing all of human existence.” A conversation with author Maggie Nelson on AEWCH 95!

7 Jan
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This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. One thing to bring forward in 2020? Associative economics. Support the artists you like and let’s do as much as possible to cut out corporate sponsorship. Do contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon!  Thank you so, so much.

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Friends,
What a way to start the year, with author, teacher, and intellectual, Maggie Nelson. Maggie Nelson is the author of so many deep and potent books, including The Argonauts, about art and politics and the body, including her partner Harry Dodge’s experiences of gender and culture. She is also the author of two books about her aunt’s murder, The Red Parts: Autobiography of a Trial and Jane: A Murder, as well an incredible book about violence in art, The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning. She was awarded a MacArthur in 2016 and is one of the most important  intellectuals of our time (though perhaps she’d reject that label!). 
This is an extremely wide ranging episode, as I’d expect from a conversation with Maggie, whose books move in and out of hundreds of different thinkers and artists, translating her encounters with them into a new kind of light. I love her writing.
I’m so proud to share this conversation with you.
We talk about (among other things):
  • Passion as an affirmation against materialism
  • Escorting as permission for desire
  • Why frustrated desire might be worse than death
  • The value of losing your self
  • Why a shrug against danger matters
  • Thoreau, Emerson, and being a good artist or a bad prism
  • The shapes and lives of art
  • The uses of occult perspectives
  • The ruse of the anti-social
  • Wittgenstein and the music of the spheres
  • The uses, rituals, and boundaries of seeing violence 
  • Why porn literacy is dumb
  • Bodhisattva vows

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Maggie, you can read some of her poetry here. Here’s a video featuring panel of people (including Maggie) talking about Maggie’s book, The Argonauts. And here is a great conversation between Maggie and her friend (and AEWCH 44 co-guest with Kelly Link!) Jordy Rosenberg in Out Magazine.
• Maggie mentions her partner Harry’s forthcoming book, My Meteorite: Or, Without the Random There Can Be No New Thing. You can preorder it now, and it looks great.
• Maggie and I were both provoked and interested in Testo Junkie: Sex, Drugs, and Biopolitics in the Pharmacopornographic Era by Paul Preciado (a dream guest for the show!)
• My essay on having sex at rest areas, “Rest Stop Confidential” feels a bit outdated now, but it’s still good, I think.
• John O’Donohue’s book, Beauty: The Invisible Embrace, is one of the most beautiful books ever written.
EKS• Please look into the work of the amazing critical theorist, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick who Maggie studied with. A good place to start is Epistemology of the Closet or Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire.
• The Rudolf Steiner verse, which you can try reciting inwardly, too, to see how it feels:
More radiant than the Sun
Purer than the snow
Subtler than the ether
Is the Self
The spirit within my heart
I am that Self.
That Self am I.
• The Emerson quote is: “It is not words only that are emblematic; it is things which are emblematic. Every natural fact is a symbol of some spiritual fact.”
• Helen Keller’s mysticism informed her politics and her work in the world. You can read about in in her book Light In My Darkness.
• Maggie’s quote, “I think I give in the writing, mostly, but also as a teacher, and just by being. I don’t think of it as “giving back” per se. And mentoring doesn’t always mean holding someone’s hand. It’s often just by example… We can be for each other beacons of possibility. Often that’s the most important thing.” set me to thinking so much about being a beacon that I spoke about it at length on Rune Soup 195 with Gordon White. I also talk about speaking poetically on there, as well as on AEWCH 93, with Sara Maria Griffin.
• I haven’t yet read the book Maggie mentioned, The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study, by Stefano Harney and Frank Moten, but I am going to, now. It sounds so good.
• The dead spiritual teacher I prayed to for guidance after being exposed to violence on the guy’s phone, Daskalos, who I talk about at length with his student (a spiritual teacheDr in his own right), Daniel Joseph, on AEWCH 67.
Narrow Rooms by James Purdy is one of the most extraordinary novels I’ve ever read. Read it.
• A good quote on violence from Italian anarchist Errico Malatesta: “(Violence), by its very nature, to suffocate the best sentiments of man, and to develop all the antisocial qualities, ferocity, hatred, revenge, the spirit of domination and tyranny, contempt of the weak, servility towards the strong.”
• You can look at some of Tala Madani‘s work on the 303 Gallery website, including an excerpt of “The Audience” which Maggie talks about at some length.
• I loved talking with Franco “Bifo” Berardi on AEWCH 83 about the challenge of white noise.
• Maggie brings up the amazing British artist Sara Lucas. You can watch a conversation between the two of them here.
That’s it, folks, but it’s a lot, isn’t it?
Until next time!
XO
CH
TM

“Light Table” by Tala Madani

WHAT TO LEAVE BEHIND as we move into 2020.

31 Dec
LISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercastSoundcloud
This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. One thing to bring forward in 2020? Associative economics. Support the artists you like and let’s do as much as possible to cut out corporate sponsorship. Do contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon!  Thank you so, so much.
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Friends,
Let’s close out the year.
Let’s get rid of the political gestures that have overstayed our welcome.
Once, they used to serve us, now, they’re rotting in us, damaging our souls.
On this episode of AEWCH I talk about what we need to leave behind in the 2010s so that we can bring the good forward.
I view this episode of one of three where I talk about the importance of how we orient ourselves towards 2020.
The third of which is my upcoming appearance on Gordon White‘s amazing magic podcast, Rune Soup.
This episode began as a series of tweets, which you can find here.
Thanks for listening.
Looking forward!
CH

Witches, Fairies, Violence, Ireland: Fiction Writer Kevin Barry on AEWCH 86!

8 Oct

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Friends,

What an honor to talk to one of the greatest living fiction writers, Kevin Barry. And to talk with him not about “how do you get your ideas?” or “what’s your writing practice like”? But instead about witches, healers, fairies, violence,  the radical history of Ireland, and more.

Kevin’s latest novel, The Night Boat To Tangier , was longlisted for the Booker Prize. His novel before that, Beatlbone follows John Lennon on a mystical vision quest to find an island off the Irish coast. It’s a novel so strange and moving that you wouldn’t have to even like The Beatles to be caught up in its weird web.

Also, Kevin reads his absolutely brutal story, “A Cruelty” in his excellent, sinister Christian Bale-esque reading voice.

Apologies – the episode gets cut off just as we start discussing Twin Peaks. But we only spoke for about five more minutes after that. And besides, I’ll have Kevin back on. This is a great conversation and I absolutely want to continue it.

We talk:

  • Kevin’s superstitions
  • Animism and fiction
  • Irish writers and writers of the American South
  • how accents change fiction
  • How we add to the landscape as we walk through it
  • Kevin’s encounters with
  • Writing and dreams
  • The fairies and The Pixies
  • When Kevin was healed by witchcraft before playing video games
  • The non-linearity of time
  • Primal scream therapy in Ireland
  • Evil’s home in art

SHOW NOTES

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

6 Aug
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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

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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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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The Queer Esoteric Power of Poetry! It’s D.A. Powell on AEWCH 73!

11 Jun

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AGAINST EVERYONE WITH CONNER HABIB 73: D.A. POWELL or THE QUEER ESOTERIC POWER OF POETRY

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Friends,

So excited to share what is one of my very favorite episodes of AEWCH with you, discussing poetry, the esoteric, the strange, and the occult with poet D.A. Powell (AKA Doug)!

Doug is the author of multiple books of poetry, and is best know for his Repast trilogy, including the books Tea, Lunch, and Cocktails, which have all be described as potent AIDS-era poetry. But what makes Doug such a profound thinker and poet (aside from his incredible poetry, of course!), is that he refuses to have his poems reduced to political polemic, even as they evince politics. Instead, Doug’s poems and Doug himself insist on the myriad of meanings each poem presents, and in that way, transmutes poetry into an alchemical act.

In addition to talking, Doug reads many of his poems, starting with the excellent “The Kiwi Comes To Gridley, CA” which is in his (also excellent) collection, Useless Landscape: A Guide For Boys. He also reads “Why We Have No Future,” “Mass For Pentecost: Canitcle for Birds & Waters”, “[strange flower in my hands. porphory shell. clipped wool.]”, “Don’t Touch My Junk”, and “Slut”.

We talk about

  • how poetry can’t be reduced to its contents or our current political situation
  • why plants are tops (really!)
  • those plaintive sighs at poetry readings
  • how the political overtakes and consumes all other meanings
  • loving and hating what you write
  • why poetry is not metaphor
  • how poems destroy the focus on a single point and expand the cosmos
  • how are relates to the Holy Ghost and the angels
  • the problem with the lack in psychoanalysis
  • how to hex people and cure people with words
  • what rhymes are
  • The secret poetry of the 1960s Batman and Robin TV series
  • Christ’s foreskin (really!)
  • poem-ography

XO

CH

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