Tag Archives: books

Why we need the dark imagination. Me + Sarah Maria Griffin on AEWCH 93

10 Dec
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AEWCH93TitleCardFriends,
Let’s enter the mystery together: You, me, and dark science fiction writer Sarah Maria Griffin. Let’s talk about violence and evil and owls. Let’s think about David Lynch’s uncanny power, and how magic works, how horror works. Let’s approach the paranormal, the dreadful, the uncommon.
Sarah is the author of multiple books, most recently the excellent novel, Other Words For Smoke, about a brother and sister encounter the sinister and strange forces in their aunt’s house. The book just won the Eason Teen/Young Adult Book of the Year 2019 here in Ireland. Her previous novel, Spare And Found Parts chronicles a post-apocalyptic world with a hopeful girl at its center, trying to move humanity forward while her machine heart ticks away.
Sarah and I had a profound and potent conversation, and after we finished the episode, we continued to talk about the entire world, and love, and fortune. And then all the lights on my block switched off. Now that’s a powerful connection!
This is one of my favorite episodes of AEWCH ever. As Sarah says at the end, we “move immediately past…small talk.” Couldn’t ask for anything more.
So excited to share it with you!
We discuss:
  • Magic, the paranormal and why they’re so troubling for people
  • Twin Peaks as evil and threat and occult power
  • Horror is No-One-Believes-You, Fantasy is We-All-Knew-This-Was-Real-Even-Though-You’re-Just-Learning-About-It
  • Why investigating mystery can fuck you up
  • Not-knowing as an act of compassion
  • Sarah’s leap in style and vulnerability in writing
  • Following desire and characters
  • The unendingness of Hell
  • Why questions are always appropriate tools
  • The tarot as anatomy (and why it gives us unsolicited dick pics sometimes)
  • What a world of caring about subjectivity looks like (and why Freud got that right)
  • Why there is no metric for violation or resilience
  • Fiction as a generator of compassion and empathy
  • The importance of speaking poetically
SHOW NOTES
• For more on Sarah, read her entertaining and thoughtful one-year memoir, Not Lost: A Story About Leaving Home. Here are here contributions to the legendary Irish lit magazine, The Stinging Fly. And here’s Sarah talking about empathy.
TP• I’m sure you’ve all seen Twin Peaks, but have you seen the newest season? It’s utterly terrifying and completely challenging. It is a true act of occult intensity. The episode we talk a lot about it Part 8. 
• Sarah mentions the eclectic and wonder-filled story collection Her Body And Other Parties by the great Carmen Maria Machado. She also gives a shout out to Leslie Jamison’s poignant collection of essays, The Empathy Exams.
James Tate was a Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning poet. He was an infrequent but happy friend of mine, as well. He died in 2015.
• If you’re American, you’ve probably heard of the spooky immersive theater experience, Sleep No More. If not, check it out.
• I really love the episode I did with experimental punk musician and author Tim Kinsella – AEWCH 43. He’s a hero of mine, and I feel blessed to have had the conversation. I posted a playlist on spotify of Tim’s music to go along with that episodes. It demonstrates his breadth and strangeness and inventiveness as an artist.
KD• A couple of first lines come quick on each other’s heels. First, I mention the first line of Sarah’s novel, Spare And Found Parts: “Just under the surface of the waves where the ocean met the land, a hand without a body reached for someone to grab it.” And then I mention the chilling first line of Kathryn Davis’s novel, Hell. “Something is wrong in the house.”
• Want to read Alejandro Jodorowsky on the tarot? Read his book on it, co-authored with Marianne Costa.
• I mention, briefly, a man who was harassing Sarah and other women in Ireland, and how she was compassionate in her response. For a quick summary of what happened, here’s an article in the Irish Times about it.
• There’s a great book by anthroposophist and inkling Owen Barfield on the move away from poetics and towards flat literalism. It’s titled Poetic Diction: A Study In Meaning.
Until next time,
XO
CH
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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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Zachary Schomburg vs The Refrigerator General: AGAINST EVERYONE with CONNER HABIB attacks poetry

4 Sep

 

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AGAINST EVERYONE… is fully funded by listener/viewer support. Please do contribute via Patreon so I can keep making great episodes. Thank you.

Friends,

On the 40th (!!!) episode of Against Everyone with Conner Habib, I met with poet Zachary Schomburg in an old bakery* in Portland to talk all about poetry.

Zach’s poetry is profound, frightening, eerie, and absurd. His book Scary, No Scary, which he reads a bit from on this episode, is a masterpiece, and a great bridge into poetry if you’ve never really gotten into it.

In this episode, we talk about:

Not-knowing and writing; the identity of a writer; what style is; ghosts, deer, and hummingbirds; the way certain words arouse us and why; how poetry is like a computer trying to come to life; poetry and Lacanian psychoanalysis; the index as your analyst; how writing is violence; light and death; how the poem on the page is not the poem; recreating reality, and more. 

Zach also reads poems from Hear Oars, and Scary, No Scary.

Show notes for the show are now available to the general public again, so go to my patreon to get them!

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AGAINST EVERYONE with CONNER HABIB EPISODE 1 – Against Everyone OR The Vision Is Always A Fact

6 Jun

Hello everyone and here we go!

The first episode of my brand new web series, Against Everyone with Conner Habib, is now up! Against Everyone with Conner Habib is a show about ideas, and how the most profound ideas emerge from thinking in multiple disciplines at once. My series brings serious, deep, and intense concepts to you in accessible, interesting, and usable ways. Each month there are at least two episodes. One (like the first episode) is a mini-lecture from me, and another is me in conversation with a great thinker/rebel/artist/weirdo of our time.

EPISODE 1: AGAINST EVERYONE or THE VISION IS ALWAYS A FACT

In Episode 1, I talk about:

  • How pleasure and political resistance meet
  • A long-forgotten thinker who can enrich our perspective of the present day
  • What having sex on the sidewalk has to do with activism
  • Your miserable friend and why they’re so miserable
  • Superman vs bombs
  • Planets having sex with one another

and so much more!

Please sign up for my Patreon to support the show.

With your contribution, you can get

  • a downloadable audio version of the show
  • bonus episodes only available to patrons
  • membership in the monthly Conner Habib Book Club
  • personalized video postcards
  • chat sessions with me

and more!

You can also find the show notes there. Please also share with your friends, family, animal companions, and preferred objects. Use the hashtag #AEWCH when you do.

Love!

CH

 

 

What Is the Occult? WATCH THE TRAILER: – My new online course on 3/12!

21 Feb

My new online course is coming! What Is the Occult? is an exploration of all that weird shit from 80s movies and Buffy and the creepy section at the library your parents told you to stay away from. It’s a look at why the occult is more important than ever, even if you’re a total atheist. How can the occult amplify your understanding of politics, science, art, and more?

The course is on 3/12 and only $15.00 for a standard ticket (with other ticket levels available)! If you can’t attend the day of, don’t worry! Your ticket gets you exclusive 90-day access to a recording of the whole thing! Watch the trailer and sign up!

More on the course:

It’s easy enough to talk about the occult. You know: wands, cauldrons, tarot cards, naked women in the woods and robed men in English libraries. It’s also not hard to point out the occult in history and politics; whether it’s the infamous UK magus Aleister Crowley, Ronald and Nancy Reagan’s interest in psychics and astrology, or the Salem witch trials.

But what is the occult? Is it a philosophy? A practice? A reservoir of power? Mumbo jumbo anti-science and delusion?

And why should you care, anyway?

In this live interactive course and Q&A, writer, teacher, and activist Conner Habib will conjure up a definition that outlines just how radical, exciting, and useful the occult is, especially in our dynamic and intense moment in history.

– How the occult can and does figure into your everyday life, even if you’re not a practitioner (or a believer!).

– Why the occult is so stigmatized in our culture, and how to puruse it without shame anyway.

– Differing philosophies of the occult across disciplines and practitioners.

– How the occult relates to politics, economics, and science.

– Whether or not this is all just a bunch of hocus-pocus bunk.

and much more!

Conner will guide you through the complex, fascinating, and sometimes just plain weird world of the occult in this live, online course. It’s for the beginner and the adept alike.

Register here, you sexy warlocks.

The Little Death and the Big One, Too: Me + Death Expert Caitlin Doughty

19 Jan

mecLife starts with sex and ends with death, and the middle is basically just lots of thoughts about both. These are fundamental aspects of being human, yet serious considerations of either are too often left out of our politics, our revolutions, and even our most passionate efforts to recreate our world.

So, okay, I invited my friend, the death expert Caitlin Doughty, over to talk. Caitlin is a trailblazer in the death positive movement, a mortician, and author of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes & Other Lessons from the Crematory.

First we filmed a quick, fun video for her channel – Our 3 tips for how to have a better relationship with death and with sex in 2017.

But Caitlin and I wanted to keep going. So we had this longer and more in-depth discussion, which you can watch below. We talked about how we can use sex and death in our politics and activism, how to conceive of your own death, sexually radical thinkers like sex magician Paschal Beverly Randolph and utopianist Charles Fourier,some guy named Donald Trump, Darwin’s Worms, and more.

This video is part of my yearlong effort to radiate a sense action, excitement, and creativity in the world we live in now. This month, it culminates in my online course, Radical Undoing: Decolonize Your Mind with Sex, Science, the Occult, and Philosophy, which you can sign up for here!

Follow Caitlin on twitter, and buy her book. And also, expect more from us together in the future!

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“Tower of Power: A Poem for Donald Trump” by Martin Pousson

13 Jan

martins-armsMy friend Martin Pousson is an amazing writer. Author of, among other things, the profoundly strange and disturbing magical memoir Black Sheep Boy (Rare Bird Books, 2016).

Plus, look at Martin’s arms.

Also, Martin’s an amazing poet, and when he gives readings of fiction, memoir, or poetry, it’s always performative in the best possible way.

When I heard he’d written a, um, rather graphic poem about Donald Trump, how could I resist? I had to have him come over to and  read it so we could share it with you. It’s part of my push in 2017 to show all the irreverent ways we can resist, create, and radiate power to one another, which culminates this month in my online course, Radical Undoing: Decolonize Your Mind with Sex, Science, the Occult, and Philosophy, which you should sign up for so we can do this work together.

The poem originally appears here in the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Follow Martin on twitter, and buy his latest book, Black Sheep Boy, here.