Tag Archives: Conner Habib

Back to the Future: Philosopher Srećko Horvat returns to AEWCH to talk with me about climate, capitalism, and reincarnation.

2 Mar

LISTEN HERE VIA SOUNDCLOUD OR ON Apple PodcastsSpotifyBreaker AnchorPatreon
This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. Do contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon!  Thank you so, so much.Want to buy the books mentioned on this ep? Srećko’s latest book is available here. To buy his other books, or books mentioned on/related to this episode, please go to my booklist for AEWCH 143 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too. (And once After the Apocalypse is available via bookshop.org, I’ll add it to the list!)

Friends,

A few conundrums:How do we deal with the fact that we keep envisioning a destructive future, yet so few of us are acting to stop it?

When we talk about systems that (like capitalism and patriarchy, for example) that are oppressing us, do we mean they’re…like…spiritual forces? Invisible vague laws of social nature? What?And how is being separated from so many people we love affecting our notion of space and relationship?

To answer these questions, and in what I hope becomes an annual tradition, I invited philosopher, author, and activist Srećko Horvat back on the show. You might remember out first conversation, about a year ago, was on AEWCH 107, just at the start of the global crisis in 2020. Well, obviously, things haven’t resolved themselves since then, and it’s because we haven’t taken steps bold and miraculous enough.Srećko is not a class reductionist nor an identity politics thinker, but instead, (like Michael Hardt on AEWCH 120) Srećko brings together strands of ,any different aspects of being human – philosophy, art, music, poetry, activism, economics, politics, and more – and tries to survey our current, future, and past predicaments. His new book After The Apocalypse brings his multi-layered perspective to the apocalypse, which, Srećko reminds us, has already happened:

People huddled in tents in their houses in freezing Texas evenings. Empty streets. Lines for groceries at Tesco, where the food is all wrapped in plastic. Borders closed. The threat of disease at every turn. Riots against murder by the authorities. This is what it feels like to be in an apocalypse.

So what about after? Can there be an after?

The answer is yes, but it will take a liberation of time and space and a reinvention of the political, economic, and cultural realms.So… let’s get to it.

PS: After the Apocalypse has a playlist, which I’ve replicated as much as I could on spotify. Here’s the playlist for the book.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • What we mean when we talk about capitalism doing things
  • The destruction and seizing of time
  • Why reincarnation matters
  • How to deal with knowing an end is approaching but still needing to live in the now
  • Does “climate change” help us take action? And how are climate change and failed communism related?
  • Why science can’t save us (and in fact can do a lot of harm)
  • The return of the power of the state, and the public health utopia
  • Silence as a commons
  • The need for mutual aid
  • What the world should have, but refused to learn, from the HIV crisis
  • How to liberate “problematic” thinkers
  • The importance of working with the dead
  • How do we use the tools we have without reinforcing the terrible structures the tools come from

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Srećko, here’s his lecture, “The Virus Mythologies,” where he breaks down the signs and signifiers And for a quick summary of his other work, you can read Subversion!. Here’s Srećko in conversation with Brian Eno about his book, Poetry From The Future. And here’s Srećko more recently (in January 2021) discussing the tangle of issues we’re in with his collaborator, Alfie Brown.

• I wrote about Wittgenstein’s quote – “When we think of the world’s future, we always mean the destination it will reach if it keeps going in the direction we can see it going in now; it does not occur to us that its path is not a straight line but a curve, constantly changing direction.” – and how it relates to the current crisis for The Irish Times.

• I talk with economics researcher and author Conor McCabe on AEWCH 76 about the entangled relationship between money and time (it’s one of my favorite episodes!). And I talked all about the way the vision of the Earth changed when we landed on the Moon waaaay back on AEWCH 5.

• Some of Günther Anders’s work is available online in translation here.

• Here’s a story on the the Tallaght wetlands. I can’t find the information on the murder investigation there, but I did read it shortly after the wetlands were destroyed. If you find an essay on it, send it along!

• I haven’t yet seen The Midnight Sky, but, okay, Clooney and sci fi. And here’s the trailer for the other movie Srećko mentioned, Space Sweepers.

• Here’s Walter Benjamin’s Theses On A Philosophy Of History. It’s, for me, one of the most influential theoretical works. From the essay: “The only writer of history with the gift of setting alight the sparks of hope in the past, is the one who is convinced of this: that not even the dead will be safe from the enemy, if he is victorious.”

• Bill Gates’s crazy plan to block the Sun is underway. Steiner’s warning (from 1913, I believe) is a bit complex if you don’t know the anthroposophical lexicon, but: “…the Ahrimanic beings strive to ensoul the living limestone with a kind of astral rain… If the Ahrimanic beings could realize their hopes the whole of humanity would gradually be dissolved into the earth…”

• I still can’t believe I got to speak with Fugazi/Minor Threat frontman and Dischord Records founder Ian MacKaye on AEWCH 119. Really.

• Oh, Snapcase, the hardcore dreamboats. Here’s probably their most famous song, “Caboose,” and here’s their spotify page.

• A short, smart, (and still somewhat objectionable) response to philosopher Giorgio Agamben’s take on the pandemic in the Irish Times.

• Here’s a little on the Human Interference Task Force.

Until next time (get it?)
XO
CH

Tarot as poetry, anatomy, anxiety. Rachel True and I talk about the cards on AEWCH 142!

23 Feb

LISTEN HERE VIA SOUNDCLOUD OR ON Apple PodcastsSpotifyBreaker AnchorPatreon

This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. Do contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon!  Thank you so, so much.Want to buy the books mentioned on this ep? To buy Rachel’s book and deck, or other books mentioned on & related to this episode, please go to my booklist for AEWCH 142 at bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

Friends,
The state of anxiety is always running, isn’t it? Here in Ireland, just as this is going up, there’s another Covid regulations briefing, and for a week now – as with every week before a briefing – the entire country has been filled with anxious speculation. And beyond the announcement itself, what about AFTER this set of regulations? What about this summer? Holidays? Haircuts? When will I be able to go to a concert? Will this ever end? Are we going to be trapped in neoliberal locked-in hell forever?Anxiety is a relationship to the future. And it’s one that’s felt in our bodies.In other words, anxiety is a form of fortune telling.
That means in a time of high anxiety, most people are ALREADY trying to tell the future. Why not use a system to help?I asked my friend, author, tarot reader, and actress Rachel True onto the show to talk about all this and more.
Many people of course know Rachel from her appearance in the 1996 cult film The Craft, about a coven of teen witches. But now that her book and tarot deck are out — True Heart Intuitive Tarot and Guidebook — she’s become increasingly know for her intense tarot readings and her potent intuition.This episode really goes through tarot on multiple levels – so it’s a great for whatever your level of interest and knowledge is.
We start by talking about tarot in culture. Tarot in politics. Tarot in black communities.Then we discuss what tarot is – so there’s a philosophical level there. How does it work? Rachel has an idea of tarot as a story, and I talk about the deck as a being and the cards as aspects of its anatomy.
Then we move deeper into the specific about her deck and her book. The deck is colorful, beautiful, and filled with people who aren’t just white alabaster figures. I’ve included some pictures of the cards we talk about down below here. She also reads a story from the book that comes with the deck – a book which has a personal story from Rachel’s life relating to each of the major arcana in the deck. And finally, we give some thoughts and tips on reading

ON THIS EPISODE

  • Why is tarot so visible now, again?
  • Tarot readers, psychics, astrologers as a class of workers
  • Anxiety as soothsaying
  • Rachel’s heritage and how that affected her spirituality
  • The folk and magic traditions in my house when I was a kid
  • Nietzsche’s role in Rachel’s tarot deck
  • Why neither Rachel not I use reversals when we read tarot
  • The story that unfolds in each tarot spread
  • Tarot as anatomy, tarot as poetry
  • That time Rachel became the Strength tarot card, complete with lion
  • What times to use which decks and other tips on reading
  • How does one choose images for their own decks at all? And how many symbols are too many?
  • The importance of (non-simplistic!) representation in tarot

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Rachel, support her patreon and get her live streamed readings! Here’s a short video of Rachel doing readings for Jezebel. And here’s a long interview with Rachel (in two parts!) with author Mat Auryn.

• Rachel fully designed her deck, and the illustrator she worked with was the incredible Stephanie Singleton.

• There’s a lot of overlap with the previous episode, AEWCH 141 with religion scholar Jason Josephson Storm on how we don’t need to “re-enchant” the world.

I remember Miss Cleo. Do you?

• Here’s more on Byron Katie and her life changing path, The Work.

• Do you know our friend Alec Mapa (maybe best known from his role on Ugly Betty)? Here’s his one-man show, Baby Daddy, about adopting a son with his partner. It’s very sweet and funny.

• Apparently the phrase, “I hate to write, but I love having written” is not a Dorothy Parker quote, but probably (so far as this author can find) a Frank Norris quote.

• Also, if your curiosity is piqued about the Juvenalia podcast featuring AEWCH 93 guest (and tarot reader!) Sarah Maria Griffin, please do listen and subscribe and also support their patreon!

Until next time, pals,
CH

Why being able to think about a cat means we can change the world: consciousness, psychoanalysis, and spirituality on AEWCH 139 with Michael Lipson!

26 Jan

LISTEN HERE VIA SOUNDCLOUD OR ON Apple PodcastsSpotifyOvercast This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. Do contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon!  Thank you so, so much.

Want to buy the books mentioned on this ep? For Michael’s books you should order directly from Steiner Books, for the other books mentioned on or related to this episode, please go to my booklist for AEWCH 139 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

Friends,
I sometimes think about the concept of world change, of political and economic change is getting ahead of ourselves. Why? Because we haven’t even begun to consider ourselves, consider what it means to be human, what thought is, what thinking is, and what consciousness is.
If we can’t hold a single thought, how can we create new structures for us to live in and dissolve the old?And it’s not helpful that everyone, from capitalists to communists to anarchists, generally think that questions of consciousness are fine to leap past and into creating theoretical abstractions to change the world.
Everything – everything – is tethered to the experience of thought and thinking.Don’t think so? Well, where did that thought come from? Have a theory about how thinking and thought is not the groundswell of existence? Well, where did that come from? Even the thought that consciousness is an illusion comes from thinking, of course. So there’s no way to get outside of thinking.
My idea has been: let’s start building from that, let’s get into the experience of consciousness and let our political, economic, and cultural work come from there.
I wanted to talk about this, and I wanted to talk about it early in this new year of incredible opportunity and trouble. So I asked therapist and author Michael Lipson on the show. Michael is the author of Stairway of Surprise: Six Steps to a Creative Life and Group Meditation. For nearly a decade, he worked with children with HIV and AIDS in New York City. Now he has his own practice and runs group meditation meetings each week via michaellipson.org.
We discuss so much on this episode, and I’m so excited to share it with you.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • The way belief in materialism destroys freedom
  • Why solipsism is correct, but unrefined
  • Our everyday knowledge as an obstacle to seeing things as they are
  • Dissolving materialism is a spiritual path
  • That time I saw the pizza-being (Um, what?) – but don’t take my word for it!
  • The difference between spiritual substance and spiritual state
  • How to redeem the spiritual over Zoom
  • Why absorption matters
  • How psychoanalysis without spirituality necessitates law, and how its focus on childhood is a description of karma
  • The importance of contained nothingness
  • Certainties, bad and good
  • Creativity as the antidote to angry certainty
  • Psychotherapy in motion (literally)
  • Despair as a sign for hopefulness

SHOW NOTES

• Most of Michael’s work can be found on his website, including his short series of essays/meditation prompts on Simone Weil. And here’s Michael in conversation with author Allison Burnett is here.• The Nature Institute in New York state is where I managed to finally, permanently, alter my thinking from object-thinking to metamorphic-thinking.

The Work of Byron Katie changed my life, too.

• Emily Dickinson wrote, “A letter always feels to me like immortality because it is the mind alone without corporeal friend. Indebted in our talk to attitude and accent, there seems a spectral power in thought that walks alone.” Here’s more on her letters.

• One of my first conversations at the top of the global crisis – and consequently, one of the first I did remotely – was with writer and theorist Mark O’Connell on AEWCH 105 about apocalypse, of course.

• A bit on Śūnyatā, or emptiness, in Buddhism.

• You can learn more about David Spangler’s work of incarnational spirituality and work with elemental beings via his organization, The Lorian Association.

• I talk about the problem of certainty in 2021 on AEWCH 136 and about nothingness on AEWCH 116 with Are Thoressen.

• “Who pours out like a spring, knowing knows him: and leads him delighted through the bright creation, that often ends with the start, and begins with the end.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

• Here’s Rudolf Steiner’s quote on faithfulness:“Let your loyalty to another human being come about in this way:  there will be moments — quickly passing by — when he will seem to you filled and illumined by the true, primal image of his spirit.
Then can come, yes, will come, long stretches of time when your fellow-being seems clouded, even darkened.  But learn at these times to say to yourself:  The spirit will strengthen me; I will remember the true, unchanging image that I once saw.  Nothing at all — neither deception nor disguise — can take it away from me.Struggle again and again for the true picture that you saw.  The struggle itself is your faithfulness.
And in those efforts to be faithful and to trust, a human being will come close to another as if with an angel’s power of protection.” (by the way, I had Duncan Trussell read this waaaay back on AEWCH 16!)

• Want another podcast to listen to? I love the The Fundamentalist Podcast, featuring Peter Rollins and Elliot Morgan from AEWCH 135!

Until next time, friends,
X
C

There are ghosts.

19 Jan

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This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. Do contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon!  Thank you so, so much.Want to buy the books mentioned on this ep? For Edward’s books, and other books mentioned on or related to this episode, please go to my booklist for AEWCH 138 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

Friends,
Why are we drawn to ghosts but frightened of them? Why do we feel compelled to take them seriously on some level, but on the other hand dismiss them? And why do some places just feel haunted?

In a time of the dead, in a time when dying is so present for so many, what new attitudes towards death and its spectres will arise?

I had a great time traversing this spooky territory with Edward Parnell, author of the haunted and excellent nonfiction travelogue-meets-literary-criticism-meets-memoir Ghostland: In Search of a Haunted Country, and the gothic novel The Listeners.

To give you a little indication of his style, I asked Edward to start the episode with a very brief reading from Ghostland, then we’re into the conversation.And I start with two ghost stories of my own to indicate different ways that ghosts can lead us down strange and mysterious paths both as individuals and culturally.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • What is the aesthetic of the ghost story?
  • The way the Satanic panic severed the connection to ghost stories in the US vs in the UK.
  • How the transparency of history creates the resonance of ghosts.
  • New horror stories reflecting the way spirituality permeates culture.
  • The many ways which we dismiss the existence of ghosts.
  • The presence of fairies in Ireland vs the ghost of ghosts in the UK.
  • The middle class resistance to ghosts.
  • Imperialism vs ghosts.
  • Why do we turn away from grief?
  • The creeping fear of UK short ghost/weird fiction.

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Ed, go to his website (where you can find, among other things, his essay on the fear of falling). And here he is talking about Stephen King’s Pet Semetary on The Constant Reader Podcast. And here’s a short interview with him on the Folk Horror Revival website.

• The PSA announcement “Lonely Water” is…no joke…pretty scary! You can watch it here. And here’s the main figure in it. Watch out kids, if you don’t drown, you’ll live in fear of drowning your entire life.

• Here’s a great list of all the “video nasties” Edward mentioned, including The Driller Killer.• There’s a great book on what was going on in philosophy around the same time as many of the writers mentioned in Ghostland, by Wolfram Eilenberger entitled Time of the Magicians: Wittgenstein, Benjamin, Cassirer, Heidegger, and the Decade That Reinvented Philosophy.

“Babes in the Woods” by Mary Black is kind of an eerie song!

• We mention Roger Clarke’s thesis about class and ghosts, which you can find in longer form in his book, Ghosts: A Natural History.

• Would you like to learn more about the bone crypt at Holy Trinity Church? Why of course you would.• For another AEWCH episode about changing attitudes towards the spiritual, check out AEWCH 98 with Thomas Waters on which we talk all about witchcraft (it’s one of my favorites).

• Finally, check out Ed’s photo of the rocking horse in author Lucy Boston‘s house. Why are rocking horses this scary? 

Why self help matters in 2021. I talk with self help scholar and teacher Mitch Horowitz on AEWCH 137!

12 Jan

LISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercastSouncloud 

This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. Do contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon!  Thank you so, so much.

Want to buy the books mentioned on this ep? For Mitch’s books, and other books mentioned on or related to this episode, please go to my booklist for AEWCH 137 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

Friends,

As 2021 begins, we’re faced with a simple question which you might not have thought of, and it’s a simple question…what do you want? What do you want the world to look like?

While everyone else is stuck in the crazed call out of news items and resistance to what they’re afraid of, what do we actually want to aim for?

My friend Gordon White has observed that “optimism is a spell,” and I agree. 

And?

I think we need to extend that further — envisioning the world as you want draws optimism into the personal world. It gives you the impetus and even the tools and substances to build with. In that vein, it’s also important to think about how you want your year to go.

It’s an impertinent question, almost, isn’t it? With some pagan-horned douchebag on the Capitol steps and the lockdowns and the conflicts, you might think: How dare you want to improve your life this year!

But how can you be effective if you don’t center your vision and center your desires? And how will you even know what you’re against and what you’re not against if you don’t put your desires first?

To flesh out all of this, I asked my friend Mitch Horowitz, new age/occult/self help scholar & writer, back onto the show. I talked to Mitch waaay back on AEWCH 30, and I was so nervous: he was one of the first guests I had on who I didn’t already know well. We had a great time, even if the episode is mostly just me talking. This conversation goes much deeper – and it’s because both Mitch and I have become more and more involved in the ideas we’re passionate about and the experiences we’ve had since then, and it’s really great.

We end up discussing why self help matters now more than ever; what Mitch’s cosmology is; and (at length) leftist attacks on new age, spirituality, and occultism: bad faith arguments that ultimately reveal a leftist desire to lose the battle.

So proud to share this, the first AEWCH guest episode of 2021, with you to set the tone for the year.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • The need to be right as original sin.
  • “We say we want to be listened to, but actually we want to be obeyed.”
  • How can focus on improving our personal lives in such a crazy polarized time?
  • Developing new habits right the fuck now.
  • The spiritual value of cleaning.
  • Why pleasure and happiness matters in discovering your spiritual and social quest.
  • Is it okay to have personal desires in the face of spiritual necessity?
  • “Lord, make me chaste—but not yet.” – Augustine
  • Was the Buddha wrong?
  • Get away from cruel people. And don’t be one!
  • Deleting facebook (WHY HAVE YOU NOT DONE THIS).
  • That time Steve Bannon called Mitch.
  • Leftist hit jobs on occultism.
  • Asking yourself: I/We/Cosmos.
  • What’s Mitch’s cosmology, anyway?

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Mitch, support his patreon. He gets posts so much stuff for his patrons, including his 10 Day Miracle Challenge. And visit the bookshop.org list; he’s edited and introduced countless books, but I’ve included the ones that he’s authored and the ones in which his voice is most prominent. 

• I was so excited to talk with anti-work feminist Kathi Weeks on AEWCH 123. What an honor!

• Such a shame that Franz Bardon’s major works aren’t as readily available as they used to be. That said, you can learn about this important, lesser-known occultist here.

The New Life Foundation is dedicated to the work of Vernon Howard, and there’s plenty on their site about him.

• Byron Katie’s system, The Work, has been instrumental in making me a better person.

• “There can be no doubt that the follower of anthroposophy is by definition an opponent of National Socialism, or at the very least, must remain an outsider to National Socialism.” – Heinrich Himmler

• Here’s a little article on Annie Besant and Gandhi.

• And here’ s Hitler: The Occult Messiah, by Gerald Suster. Suster’s book has some mistakes, but he at least takes the occult seriously as something other than just religious mind-control and stupidity. That said, it’s a very difficult book to get! 

• ON THE OTHER HAND, here’s Shane Burley’s detailing of the opposite of all this…what happens when a rightwing movement hijacks new age/self help tropes.

Camphill communities are some of the most beautiful and loving organizations for people with disabilities and the elderly. If you don’t know much about them, check them out.

Until next time, friends: Do what you want!
CH

Looking back to 2020, ahead to 2021.

9 Jan

Well, friends,

What an incredible and intense year 2020 was. I’m grateful for it and my circumstances in many ways, but I’m also looking forward to this year and what it will bring.

I’m sure for many of you, your thoughts and feelings are running wild, even as your actions are still mostly constrained to the home. But fears of political unrest, excitement (and dread!) about vaccines, about continuing conflicts over masks, about the environment, about neoliberal governments and fascist governments, about resources, about your job, and more, are all showing up. So what to do?

I’m trying my best to see into all of this and offer some grounding and love and assistance in navigating the year that’s unfolding.

To that end, I’ve compiled a spotify playlist of my most notable recent podcast appearances. To access the playlist, just click here or search for “Conner Habib guides for 2021” on your spotify app.

The conversations include the latest episode of my own podcast, which is spookily entitled “The Year of the Revelation of the Blood” (don’t worry, it’s good spooky!) in which I discuss the coming year from an esoteric Christian perspective.

But the playlist also includes:

• My appearance on internationally-renowned fitness and health professional Paul Chek’s podcast, Living 4D, where I talk about sexuality and God.

• My conversation and audience Q&A with Gordon White on Rune Soup (there’s also video available here) about the challenges of changing from a materialistic to a spiritual worldview in 2021 and why that is absolutely needed.

• My discussion about the war on sex and dissolving old world views with media analyst Doug Rushkoff on his consistently excellent podcast, Team Human.

My long chat with Duncan Trussell – in which I lead him through a bunch of spiritual exercises, and he calls me a “living psychedelic substance” – about the ongoing changes in human consciousness.

Want to be in conversation with me and other patreon patrons about this year, how to achieve your goals amidst the order (AKA “chaos”) and to discuss how to make it a great year instead of an oh-shit-how-am-I-going-to-manage one? Join us for the Against Everyone Salon on the new year.
Sign up for or boost your pledge to the Against Everyone Salon tier, which is $10/month. To do that, go here, and support at the $10 level or higher.

Anyway, dear friends, it’s going to be a great year for all you who can stay steady and get your sea legs for the journey across this year long oceanic gulf of what came before and what will be in the future!

LOVE

CH

2020: The Year In Death – with Caitlin Doughty and Conner Habib

8 Dec

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This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. Do contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon!  Thank you so, so much.

Want to buy the books mentioned on this ep? For Caitlin’s books, and other books mentioned on or related to this episode, please go to my booklist for AEWCH 134 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

Friends, what a year!

Primarily, I view 2020 as filled with thoughts about death, with considerations of uncertainty and contradictions.And to talk about all of this, I invited my friend, host of Ask A Mortician, author and death activist Caitlin Doughty on the show.Caitlin is one of my closest collaborators.

We’ve done live events together, she’s been on AEWCH two times before (AEWCH 77, and AEWCH 8), we talked before AEWCH existed, and I’ve been on her web series, Ask A Mortician. She’s also author of three amazing books about death around the world, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory , Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?: And Other Questions about Dead Bodies, and (my favorite) From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death.

I wanted us to look into this year with as much equanimity as we could muster.

Have you noticed how hard things have been to navigate, not because of a virus per se, but because of a collapse of knowledge? Not only has information changes from day to day this year, but we’re subject to speculative news items presented as facts, questions about the virus are over-amplified scaring the shit out of everyone, case numbers and deaths are presented together creating a sense that every case number is a potential death or that every death is separate from the case numbers, we get lines like the flatten the curve lines that look like palmistry and that do and do not accurately predict futures. Add to that the many theories, the many politicizations, the many fears and anxieties, the many suppressions of information, the many debates.

It’s intense.

This episode goes a ways to help with all that, I think. I hope it grounds you and stirs up compassion for your neighbors, even the ones you wish weren’t your neighbors.

Let’s get through this together (for real!).

ON THIS EPISODE

  • How death positivity could change our view on handling a pandemic
  • The hero narrative in a time of crisis
  • Doing structural work instead of offering critique or sinking into your own anxiety
  • Why we need propositions, not critiques
  • When government officials are hypocritical with regulations, and how to think about that
  • How the crisis has amplified everyone’s worst attributes
  • Why knowledge can’t save us
  • Looking at all our values and striving for coherence
  • What we learned from the AIDS epidemic that applies now
  • Combatting the “if you got sick it’s your fault” mindset without losing sight of how to take care of yourself and others
  • The connectivity of suffering and how that’s going to amplify in the future
  • Why spiritualism and other spiritual beliefs and rituals grow during and after major world events
  • What will happen when we un-repress
  • Why it’s impossible to have the information, much less the answers about our current situation…and what to do about that

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Caitlin, watch her amazing web series, Ask A Mortician, including this great episode on spiritualism. Here’s her website. And support her work via her patreon! Also, make sure you watch her episode of The Midnight Gospel, my buddy Duncan Trussell‘s animated Netflix series!

• Most of the stories about Hart Island have been corrected at this point to reflect the island’s long history of burial – but you might remember images like this one.

• I talked about mutual aid on AEWCH 131 with Dean Spade, critiques vs propositions on AEWCH 123 with Kathi Weeks, and how truly being human is the best antidote to the problems of our world with Doug Rushkoff on AEWCH 125.

RTÉ’s retirement party scandal and Gavin Newsom’s French Laundry party were…fun new stories (insert facepalm emoji or whatever).• I would love if you listened to my latest appearance on the Duncan Trussell Family Hour.

• A great book on spiritualism (and occultism) and how it relates to feminist and other progressive movements is Magia Sexualis by Hugh Urban. Though I’m not sure why it’s so fucking expensive.

• Want to read a great Irish novel about a bunch of corpses talking to each other in a graveyard? Why yes you do, pal.

• My thoughts on how the masturbation scare hoax affected culture are in an essay I wrote years ago for Vice. But you can learn way more about it by reading Thomas W. Laqueur’s excellent book, Solitary Sex: A Cultural History of Masturbation.

• Here’s the (horrible) video of family members being separated at a funeral.

• If you want a quick breakdown of mRNA vaccines, here’s an article from the European Commission’s research magazine, Horizon.

• I wrote about the time I had to walk away from a cancer diagnosis in my essay, “When You’re Sick You’ll Wait for the Answer, But None Will Come“.

Until next time friends – live and embrace death!
XO
CH

The paranormal is real. Reality is paranormal. Paranormal investigator John E.L. Tenney on AEWCH!

1 Dec

LISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercast Soundcloud
This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. Do contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon!  Thank you so, so much.
Want to buy the books mentioned on this ep? For the books mentioned and some related to what we discuss, please go to my booklist for AEWCH 133 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

Friends,

How to start this episode with paranormal researcher and author John E.L. Tenney?
He’s been working in the field of unexplained phenomenon for decades now, he’s the author of multiple books, has appeared on just about every paranormal/ghosthunting show, and gives lectures around the world on high and low strangeness. Well, I detail our crazy first meeting at the top of the episode, so you’ll hear it there.But also, I just want to say here, that something we learn from John, and why he is the perfect guest for this show is: When you see an “abnormal” thing that betrays the paranormal reality we live in, instead of trying to compartmentalize, think about what that aberration might mean for reality. And at the same time, work to make your personality ready for interpreting it.
The thing about John is that through him, you experience a different quality of life, a different way of living. His example reminds you how strange the normal world is. How if we just take life on its own terms, we find ourselves surrounded by a whirl of intensity – bizarre, alive, exciting, and frightening in the best way possible.So excited to share this with you, friends.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • The usefulness of a failed paranormal investigation
  • Why documentaries about me and John would be boring
  • Why are people afraid of ghosts, and should they be?
  • Are ghosts erotic? Do we see them with the Svadhishthana or Muladhara chakras?
  • The way people talk about paranormal stuff at conventions now vs how they used to decades ago.
  • Does tech capture images/sounds of ghosts? If so, are they more powerful than our sense? Than physics?
  • Why making yourself ready to see ghosts matters.
  • Trump as an atheist President.
  • Why Flat-Earthers are right, and why Richard Dawkins is wrong about…well, most stuff.
  • Breaking away from myths and cycles + why I hate Star Wars and Lord of the Rings (no I am not sorry).
  • Why Moses had to turn his head from God.
  • The tension between being a trusted shaman at the end of the lane and witch who gets burned by villagers.

SHOW NOTES

• For more on John, visit his great website, Weird Lectures. John’s got a lot of books out (and you can find most of them on the bookshop.org page above), but the best look into his way of seeing paranormal investigation is Theoretical Weirdo. Here’s John talking to literally the most normal person in the world on Fox News.

• The paranormal investigators who introduced me to Tenney were the brilliant Dana & Greg Newkirk, who I talked with about haunted objects on AEWCH 46.

• I mentioned the occult technology radionics – and I did a whole episode about it back on AEWCH 113, featuring an old conversation I had with radionics pioneer Duncan Laurie. I’ve included the image below so you see some radionics devices.

• Would you like to mess yourself up considering space and time (and how it may or may not relate to ghosts, for that matter)? Well, read quasi-fascist (dang) occultist Massimo Scaligero’s The Secrets of Space and Time.

• Here’s John’s short essay on doomsday and desire.

Take Shelter is an incredible film, and if you haven’t seen it, you really should.

Norman Davidson‘s quote is:

“If you want to have any idea about the connection between astronomy, that is, the heavenly body themselves, and astrology, that is the influences on the human being, then you must understand that, in reality, the earth is still and flat, and the sun and the heavens circle the earth…”

• I’m trying to find some good collections of Isaac Asimov essays, but can’t! If you know a widely-available one, please post in comments below!

• I talk a bit more about the connection between The Great God Pan and our moment of “pan demons/pandemic” on the latest Duncan Trussell Family Hour. And I had a great time talking about the guy who coined fractalnoia, Doug Rushkoff, on AEWCH 125. And there’s so much about the value of dewitchers in our culture on AEWCH 98 with Thomas Waters.

Until next time, friends, keep your world happily haunted.
XO
CH

Conner on The Duncan Trussell Family Hour – my best podcast appearance ever?

29 Nov

Friends,
I’m on the latest Duncan Trussell Family Hour, and I’m not being hyperbolic when I say: I think this might be my best podcast appearance ever?
There are a few reasons why.

1. Duncan asks me what is actually going on here, and I say that the pandemic and election are surface concerns. What’s happening is…well, three things. You should listen.

2. I flesh out some concepts I’ve talked about on recent AEWCH episodes: the end of “I own my body,” the trickiness of navigating vaccines, the way tech infiltrates our consciousness, and more.

3. We do occult experiments together.

4. Duncan and I just jive right. I’ve done DTFH six times now, and this is the best. We hit it. This is our stride.

Anyway, listen above or wherever you get your podcasts. And please share. I’m very happy to have this get to people.

XO
CH

We need mutual now, and tomorrow, too. So I talked to mutual aid, anarchist, trans activist Dean Spade on AEWCH!

10 Nov

LISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercast Soundcloud

This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. Do contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon!  Thank you very much, friend.

Want tobuy the books mentioned on this ep? For the books mentioned and some related to what we discuss, please go to my booklist for AEWCH 131 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

Friends,
I used to say, when people asked me what my best political tactics were: that they were like the moment in a Bugs Bunny cartoon when Bugs Bunny is chased down a dead end alley and finds himself against a brick wall.
What does he do?
He pulls out a piece of chalk and draws a door and then walks through it. In other words, it’s not a compromise or a pleading with the apparent conditions, or begging his abuser not to harm him. He realizes he has the tools to walk away and out of the situation he’s in.It’s not a perfect metaphor of course, but this is what mutual aid offers, the tools to achieve the impossible.
And now is a moment of mutual aid. People helping each other. People forming community groups to tend to each other’s urgent needs. Networks that help the shut in and elderly get food. Ride shares. Local market pop ups. Checking in on your neighbors. Rent strikes. Protests against the murder of black people. Solidarity groups.
That is what I wanted my politics to be – a complete contrast to the luxuriant parties inspired by phony savior governments. I knew I needed to talk about mutual aid, and I knew that Dean Spade was the person to talk to.
Dean Spade is the author of the new book, Mutual Aid: Building Solidarity During This Crisis (And the Next). He’s the founder of the founder of Sylvia Rivera Law Project which works to help create conditions to help people thrive while self-determining their gender identity and expression, and his other book Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics, and the Limits of the Law, which identifies the many ways in which rights struggles that look to permission from the state and law fall short. He’s also a professor at Seattle University School of Law.
We go deep into why mutual aid matters, what it means, why we need it right now, and how to start mutual aid projects with people who are difficult to organize with. You know, those people you find political objectionable but who live nearby and aren’t going to simply disappear!If you want a quick primer on mutual aid, check out the short animate film Dean made with Ciro Carillo, “Shit’s Totally Fucked! What Can We Do?: A Mutual Aid Explainer.” Even just that 8 minute long video is inspiring!
The conversation goes into many surprising and challenging places, like, should leftists critique drug companies? Do we own our bodies? Why are US politics so dependent on keeping people anxious? Why does the left always seem so miserable and can we bring joy and pleasure back into organizing? How is mutual aid a form of practicing utopia? What are we talking abut when we say freedom and does that have a spiritual component?
I’m so happy to share this (great!) conversation with you.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • How to organize with people who have completely different world views
  • The reason we need pleasure as a call to activism
  • The difference between displaying happiness and happiness itself
  • What is freedom, and how do we know it when it’s happening?
  • Can we become free with materialism in place?
  • What are the limits of mutual aid?
  • How Democrats (*ahem* Kamala) exploit LGBT, black and non-black PoC suffering to recuperate power where it’s lost
  • The stunted emotional development that is part and parcel of American politics
  • Why we need to develop morality
  • Why tautologies like “love is love” “sex work is work” and “trans women are women” are helpful but often end up hitting a wall
  • The power of sex and the construction of masculinity
  • The ways people are signaling I LOVE SCIENCE and why the left has no lens for it

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Dean, check out his website, which has tons of great stuff on it, including this excellent lecture, “When We Win We Lose” and his documentary about the ways Israel tires to cover up some of its crimes against Palestinians by exploiting LGBT rights: Pinkwashing Exposed. If Mutual Aid is sold out on bookshop.org, you can get the ebook directly from Verso.
• A lot of my other conversations come up on this episode. Including AEWCH 120 with political theorist Michael Hardt, AEWCH 15 with antifascist Mark Bray, and about the problems with identity politics on AEWCH 26 with Asad Haider. Also, I talked about the problems with fighting to let trans people in the military with trans author and activist Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore on AEWCH 57.
• Want an intro to wild utopian thinker Charles Fourier? Here’s my easy to read essay on his work.
• Mutual aid is a term that probably predates Peter Kropotkin – late 19th/early 20th century anarchist – but he’s a good start. His book Mutual Aid can be found in this collection of his work.

• I haven’t yet read organizer and philosopher Cynthia Kaufman‘s Ideas for Action: Relevant Theory for Radical Change, but it looks awesome. Let me know if you read it before I do!
• You can hear David Graeber and I talk about supernatural politics (though not so much the bit I bring up on this episode) on AEWCH 99.
• I’m not familiar with Jem Bendell’s work about environmental concerns, but it had an affect on Dean, so here’s a link to his paper, “Deep Adaptation.
• Here’s a round up (and thankful repudiation) of the stupid “gay bars are sites of violation” articles that came out when gay men were clambering to be part of the #MeToo movement.
• I wrote about the origins of masturbation shame way back when I thought Vice was cool (phew!).
• If you’re worried about the virus, here’s that WIRED article about why surfaces are safe.
• The Jane Ward book Dean mentions is Not Gay: Sex Between Straight White Men and gosh, I’ve just got to read it.
• The organization I was Vice President of for two years is The Adult Performer Advocacy Committee. It’s still around and just saw some tweets from them today about mutual aid, of all things!
Until next time friends, take care of each other!
CH