Tag Archives: Ireland

Irish fairies in Irish culture, economics, and politics: It’s AEWCH 187 with anthropologist Dennis Gaffin!

17 May

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Friends,
Since 2019, I’ve lived in Ireland. It’s a country being pulled away from Catholic traditionalism and towards humanistic tech neoliberalism. But the spiritual Celtic landscape has never gone away, either. Here, the supernatural, paranormal, mystical, and occult still hold their strange and potent sway. But where they were once “contained” by religion or traditional belief structures, now they don’t reside in the same place in Irish experience or psyche. Where does magic “go” when it’s displaced? So here’s my series on the spiritual realm of Ireland, which will be looking at Ireland’s spiritual landscape specifically, and how that gives us a picture of the spirit and modernity in general. The first in the series was AEWCH 186 with Dr. Andrew Sneddon on Irish witchcraft and belief.

But let’s be honest, when we think of magic in Ireland, the first place our mind goes is faeries. So I asked anthropologist Dennis Gaffin to join me. Dennis is a researcher and  author of several books, including In Place: Spatial and Social Order in a Faeroe Islands Community, and his recent novel on theosophy, The Divinity Inquiry. But it’s his work Running with the Fairies: Towards a Transpersonal Anthropology of Religion that we focus on the most.

I’m so excited to share this episode with you, friends.

SHOW NOTES

WHAT BOOK YOU SHOULD READ?
With so few books of anthropological scholarship on fairies in Ireland – ones that don’t merely dismiss the phenomena out of hand – Dennis’s book is a standout. So your best bet is to go way back to anthropologist Walter Evans-Wentz’s kind of sort of classic book, The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries. Evans-Wentz’s big book is a favorite of academics, lay scholars, and para researchers because of its rigor, and shows up in the strangest places.

WHAT OTHER AEWCH EPISODE YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO?
A great episode, I think, that pulls apart belief and disbelief, magic and where it hides in plain sight, is AEWCH 141 with religious scholar Jason Josephson-Storm. (BTW, I really, really love that episode!)

WHAT SHOULD YOU LOOK INTO FURTHER?
Here are three articles on fairies and fairy faith in Ireland to send you down this path. First, when a Teachta Dála (or TD, a member of Irish government) blamed fairies on poor road conditions. Second, a massive road project ro-routed to preserve a fairy bush. Third, a statue of a fairy banned from public display because it was considered offensive.

MORE ON DENNIS
To be honest, info on Dennis is pretty hard to find! But here’s a good long review of Running with the Fairies . And here’s an issue of The Irish Theosophist featuring some writings on fairies. I didn’t know about the publication (from the 19th century) until I read Dennis’s work.

Until next time, friends!
CH

Irish witches & Irish witch trials – The first AEWCH episode in a series on magic in Ireland!

3 May

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Friends,

Since 2019, I’ve lived in Ireland. It’s a country being pulled away from Catholic traditionalism and towards humanistic tech neoliberalism. But the spiritual Celtic landscape has never gone away, either. Here, the supernatural, paranormal, mystical, and occult still hold their strange and potent sway. But where they were once “contained” by religion or traditional belief structures, now they don’t reside in the same place in Irish experience or psyche. Where does magic “go” when it’s displaced? Welcome to my series on the spiritual realm of Ireland, which will be looking at Ireland’s spiritual landscape specifically, and how that gives us a picture of the spirit and modernity in general.

To kick the series off, I invited Irish witchcraft scholar, Andrew Sneddon onto the show. Andrew is the author of Witchcraft and Magic in Ireland, as well as Possessed by the Devil: The Real History of the Islandmagee Witches and Ireland’s Only Mass Witchcraft Trial, and Witchcraft and Whigs: The Life of Bishop Francis Hutchinson (1660-1739) . His new book, Representing Magic in Modern Ireland: Belief, History, and Culture (which is free online if you’re reading these show notes before May 10 2022) covers the Irish witch trials and how they appear in literature and other art. We talk about witches of course, but also cunningfolk and belief, ghosts and the political appropriation of magic.

SHOW NOTES

WHAT BOOK YOU SHOULD READ?
Two books on the conflation (and consequences) of withchcraft and fairies in Ireland are about Bridget Cleary – a woman burned to death by her husband in 1895 after he suspected her of being a changeling. First is The Burning of Bridget Cleary by Angela Bourke, and second is The Cooper’s Wife Is Missing by Joan Hoff and Marian Yates.

WHAT OTHER AEWCH EPISODE YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO?
The obvious choice in AEWCH 98 with Thomas Waters on the victims of witchcraft and the witchcraft of victims. Thomas is a scholar of witchcraft in the UK (and thankfully also examines the way beliefs in the UK permeated the places it colonized) and there are plenty of parallels here, especially in how magic “hides” by moving its use into new cultural corners and contours.

WHAT SHOULD YOU LOOK INTO FURTHER?
Since we’re kicking off the series, it’s best to refer you first to the site of the The National Folklore Collection here in Ireland. It’s a huge site with tons of different directions and magical rabbit holes to go down.

MORE ON ANDREW
Here’s Andrew’s site and CV at Ulster University, where he teaches. Here’s Andrew talking at the event “The Land Remembers: Place as a Keeper of Story.” And here’s a longer talk from Andrew on the Islandmagee witchcraft trials. Andrew is also a cofounder (with Victoria McCollum) of The Witches of Islandmagee Project which presents the story of the Islandmagee witches and witch trials in multiple formats (game, graphic novel, video, etc).

Until next time, friends,

CH

Esoteric Christianity as the path of freedom and non-materialism: AEWCH 182 featuring Lisa Romero

18 Mar

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Friends, In the midst of 2022, so many of us are seeking peace and meaning. So here’s my series on one meaning-rich tradition and religious stream: Christianity.

But this will be a different sort of Christianity: occult and esoteric Christianity. Some of it might look familiar. Some might seem absolutely bizarre. All of it, I hope will stir a feeling of warmth and depth of meaning for you, whether you feel any affinity with Christianity or the occult. The first episode in the series was AEWCH 181, featuring Rev. Patrick Kennedy from the Christian Community – a religious tradition informed by occultism.

So… how is esoteric Christianity used? Or put differently, how does it work into and through our being and then act on the world? How can we form a new picture of reality out of it and proceed into thinking, feeling, and willing a new one into being?

To discuss this, I spent some time in rural Ireland with spiritual teacher and writer Lisa Romero. Lisa last appeared on the show three years ago on AEWCH 68 to discuss the occult picture of sex and sexuality. It was a profound conversation for me, but it barely approaches this one in terms of depth and breadth. We talk about Christianity at work in us, around us, and in the world. We discuss why esoteric symbols are used (why, for instance, is a star shape important and not just arbitrary?). And we discuss so much more.

Lisa the author of multiple books, all filled with spiritual exercises, including A Bridge to Spirit: Understanding Conscious Self-Development and Consciousness-Altering Substances and Spirit-led Community: Healing the Impact of Technology .

This is one of my very favorite episodes, I’m so happy to share it with you.

SHOW NOTES

WHAT BOOK YOU SHOULD READ? If you’d like to spend some time with one of the great Christian mystics, a good place to start is The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila.

WHAT OTHER AEWCH EPISODE YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO? For another look at forgiveness and understanding, a great episode is AEWCH 162 with Dr. Gwen Adshead, who works with violent offenders and seeks to greet them with compassion. It’s a powerful episode and Gwen’s work is so utterly moving to me.

WHAT SHOULD YOU LOOK INTO FURTHER? Lisa mentions St. John of the Cross, and there’s a great series of episodes about him on the podcast Turning To The Mystics. There’s so much there and so many episodes, so I suggest you start with this one.

MORE ON LISA Lisa co-runs the EduCareDo initiative, which offers anthroposophy-based distance learning, and she also offers her own courses and pathwork: The Inner Work Path , which stems from her own esoteric research. The book the exercise comes from is The Inner Work Path: A Foundation for Meditative Practice in the Light of Anthroposophy. And here’s a great interview with her on AEWCH 181 guest Patrick Kennedy’s podcast (in this case his co-host Jonah Evans is interviewer), The Light In Everything.

Until next time, friends, Love. CH

On my favorite Irish mystic, John Moriarty. AEWCH 173: Republic of Birds.

14 Dec

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SUPPORT THIS PODCAST
Against Everyone With Conner Habib is free for everyone, but it only exists via of support of listeners. If you like this show, if it has meaning for you, support it by using Patreon! Thank you so, so much.To buy all of John’s books, go to Lilliput Press, who deliver all over the world. Or you can buy them via my booklist for AEWCH 173 from bookshop.org. A lot of them are on. backorder, but if you order them, they’ll get to you! And I get a small kickback when you order from there.

Friends,

I’m so proud to share with you a comprehensive introduction and exploration of Irish mystic philosopher John Moriarty‘s work. The episode is a recording of the event I curated at the National Concert Hall, Republic of Birds (part of the same event series I curated that AEWCH 170 – on utopia with Una Mullally and Andrea Horan – was part of: Utopia at the National Concert Hall).

The episode starts with me reading the chapter “Shaman” from John’s incredible book, Invoking Ireland. Then three guests speak:

First, human rights lawyer and activist Simone George. – whose incredible 2018 TED Talk with her partner Mark Pollock is a testament to the depths of love and grief. Simone offers up how John helped her through the trials of the time and in communicating with and moving through with Mark’s paralysis. It’s a profound meditation on the body and freedom and care.

Then Mary McGillicuddy – who offers the best intro to John I’ve ever heard – of course she does, she’s the author of John Moriarty: Not the Whole Story – it’s an amazing meditation on John’s work. One of my favorite moments is when she weaves in John’s idea of the “Diamond Dimension” and “silver branch perception”:

“No matter how evil,” John wrote, “in no matter how many lifetimes I might have been, I continue at the core of my soul to be as pure as a drop of water on a lotus leaf…at the core of his being the devil is still an angel…”

Finally, Dónal Ó Céilleachair co-director (with Julius Ziz) of Dreamtime Revisted, which you can rent streaming here, and founder of Anú Pictures. Donal’s offering gets cut off by the recording, but we managed to get at least one of his keen perspectives in, and it’s a good one.

Until next time, friends,
CH

Nothing is off the table. We can turn this world into a utopia now. A LIVE episode of AEWCH, talking utopia at the National Concert Hall with Una Mullally & Andrea Horan.

17 Nov

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SUPPORT THIS PODCAST!
Against Everyone With Conner Habib is free for everyone, but it only exists via of support of listeners. If you like this show, if it has meaning for you, support it by using Patreon! Thank you so, so much.

FRIENDS:

Here’s a live episode of AEWCH, featuring one of my main collaborators, Una Mullally (AEWCH 151 & AEWCH 87) plus one of her main collaborators, Andrea Horan, who co-hosts their podcast, United Ireland.

In October, Una and I were asked to curate a series of events at the National Concert Hall in Dublin. Naturally, we decided to link the events thematically around out main concern: UTOPIA.

In this live event, Una, Andrea, and I discussed Utopia with a live audience, and then got them to dream up utopia as well. The audience appears on this episode, expressing what they’ve dreamt up. It’s a messy and wonderful moment: Dream big, dream now, dream together with strangers. I’m so happy with how the evening turned out.

To that end, when you listen to this episode, please do the exercises we suggest (and the supplements to the exercise) as best you can.

No real show notes here, but plenty of references to Rudolf Steiner & social threefolding, Grant Morrison, Jacques Lacan, magic, self help, and of course, utopia.

For more on Una visit her column in The Irish Times.

And here’s her episode of United Ireland about imagining utopia in Dublin.

For more on Andrea, here’s her TEDxTalk.

Love.
CH

Join me + Una Mullally, Gang of Youths, Saint Sister and more at UTOPIA- in person or streaming from the National Concert Hall in Dublin OCTOBER 20-24!

14 Oct

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Friends,

In the midst of the loneliness and fear of 2020, Una Mullally (AEWCH 87 & 151) and I noticed something profound: people were helping each other. They were looking out for each other. We both had the same thought at the same time: if we could wash our hands, and stand far apart, and buy groceries for our neighbors, and live each day with concern in our hearts for one another, we could make a better world, too.

And it didn’t have to be complicated, we’d just need the right starting point. And that starting point was and is:

What do you want?

Instead of asking questions of what’s practical, what came before, or what’s expected next, we thought, why not really ask what people are imagining.

So we started a project just for people living in Ireland in the summer of 2020: Utopia Ireland. We asked people what their idea was for a better Ireland they’d think a better Ireland looked like. We got well over a thousand answers in just a few months with almost no marketing.

What we found was that people in Ireland are ready for something: not “new” not “old” but something connected.

When the National Concert Hall contacted Una and said they were curating new series of events that would take place just at the turning point of the pandemic, we knew that this was a way for us to ask the question again.

What did we want? In this case, what did we want from cultural and music events?

We wanted events that had a sense of risk, a sense of uncertainty, and a sense of vision.

We wanted a concert – Murmuration – that drew from the culture of buskers in Irish cities and from the unpredictability of nature. At the concert — which features Gang of Youths frontman Dave Le’Aupepe (AEWCH 31), Gemma Doherty from Saint Sister, Irish folk star Daoirí Farrell, and more — each musician “passes off” the stage to the next musician, sharing the space and working with the musical director Ben Castle. The show will be dangerous in the best sense of the word. Instead of a polished production, it will move like the light of birds it’s named after.

We wanted a celebration of one of the most profound visionaries in Irish history, John Moriarty. John’s work is praised by Irish writers and celebrities. But he’s still largely unknown. He wrote about Ireland that was in touch with its eternal landscape, ancient mythology, and artistic present, all at once.

We wanted to present a merging of our podcasts, Against Everyone with Conner Habib and United Ireland to talk about utopia – and social threefolding – with each other and with the audience.

We wanted a room where sound was immersive, penetrating, and healing. A “sound bath” run by DJs and sound artists that passes the vibration through you as you enter; messing you up in the best way possible.

We wanted the unrehearsed, un-contained energy of rap music, with the spirit of a battle and freestyle. Music and lyrics that are craved from the air in the room by Irelands’ most innovative hi[p hop artists: Rebel Phoenix, Strange Boy, DJ Replay, Dyramid, and more.

We wanted something that felt involving. We learned in the pandemic that we saved each other. That participation, not spectating in the world is what got us through. So Utopia is a series of events that brings every audience member into a space of vision, anticipation, contemplation, creativity, and movement.

Anyway, COME TO IT AND LET’S MIX OUR UTOPIAN MOLECULES.

XO
CH

Absurd. Unconscious. Dangerous. Blindboy on Against Everyone With Conner Habib 140!

9 Feb

AGAINST EVERYONE WITH CONNER HABIB 140: BLINDBOY BOATCLUB
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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 Blindboy’s books you should order from Amazon. His two short story collections, Boulevard Wrenand The Gospel According To Blindboy as well as the book on Irish-English, A Dictionary of Hiberno English(by Terrence Dolan), which he helped re-release, are all a little bit of a pain to get from bookshop.org in the US, so I am unfortunately directing you to Amazon for them. Still, get them. Get them. For the other books mentioned on or related to this episode, please go to my booklist for AEWCH 140 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

Friends,

Jacques Lacan once said something like, the only difference between “normal” people and paranoid schizophrenic people is that the latter has their frantic-Charlie-Day-bulletin-board on the surface. We all draw lines between seemingly disparate points, and our connections are ultimately meaningless. It’s just that you can see that process in the paranoid schizophrenic person.

Well, I don’t know that I agree that the points, the pathways, or the reason we select either are meaningless, but I do like this metaphor. Still, my question is why do you draw the lines you draw? Why are they different from the ones I draw?

I asked my pal Blindboy Boatclub – member of The Rubberbandits and host of The Blindboy Podcast (and also one of the most productively absurd people I’ve ever met) – to join me to talk about all of this. 

You might remember Blindboy from my appearance on his show back in March 0f 2019 (and I talk about it in the intro to this ep), when we talked about the occult, ghosts, sex work, and more. This is a continuation of that conversation, and it leads us into weird territory.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • Versatile Irish words like “craic,” “ride,” and “horny,”  why we have boners in America, and why we can say cunt in Ireland
  • Drawing lines between seemingly disparate topics
  • Why showing the process in art reveals its livingness
  • “The only thing of which one can be guilty is of having given ground relative to one’s desire.’
  • The connection between themes in our art and healing images in the world; and why birdflight is healing
  • Each problem has a virtue 
  • Autonomous shadows and cartoon duck landlords
  • Anxiety, depression, and the recreation of time in the global crisis
  • Why the Irish never think in rectangles

SHOW NOTES

• For more Blindboy, support his Patreon.
His two short story collections, Boulevard Wrenand The Gospel According To Blindboy as well as the book on Irish-English, A Dictionary of Hiberno English(by Terrence Dolan), which he helped re-release, are all a little bit of a pain to get from bookshop.org, so I am unfortunately directing you to amazon for them. Still, get them. Get them.
One of my favorite Rubberbandits videos is when they go to an aviary. And one of my favorite Rubberbandits songs is “Spastic Hawk.”
Finally, here’s Blindboy talking about mental health.

• Here’s the great Blindboy Podcast Chicken fillet rolls episode. 

• Here’s Jon Ronson’s story about his son saying the worst swear word ever.

• Duncan Trussell and I talked about the oblivion in the signal on his show here.

• Want to learn about the mind parasite of the fungal cordyceps? Yeah, of course you do.

• Here’s a good example of one of Blindboy’s drawings (which you can find in his books).

AEWCH 40 with poet Zachary Schomburg is one of my favorite episodes of the show!

My Irish Times essay about the changing nature of time and space is here. And here’s the Wittgenstein quote from it: “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,”

Melancholiais my favorite Lars von Trier movie (maybe the only one I truly like?) and it’s a great comment on the power of depression.

• Here’s a long and thoughtful essay on Witold Gombrowicz.

• Here’s one of the first things I ever published, “Emit Time.” Just deciding that one of your first essays ever written would be a new ontology of time, nbd, Conner.

Explaining Irish wedding drinking to an American doctor, by Irish comedian Jarlath Regan.

Until next time ye gas cunts,
CH

The folks stories, medicine, and spirits, of Irish Travellers. Traveller author and activist Oein DeBhairduin on AEWCH!

2 Nov

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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? Oein’s amazing book, Why The Moon Travels is only available in the US via the publisher, but I strongly suggest you get it. It’s wonderful. Here’s a link.
For the rest of the books mentioned and some related to what we discuss, please go to my booklist for AEWCH 130 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

Friends,

I wrestled over whether or not to post an episode about the election tomorrow, but one of the things I kept thinking about was: when we contract our view of the world into political forces and events, what and who get neglected?

In 2004 when George W. Bush won a second term, my friend called me, frantic. I told her to go outside, look at the trees. What were they doing? She told me they were still and swaying with the wind. And the birds? Moving from branch to branch. And the sky? A calm came over her.

What dimension were those beings in that they could stand still, that they could live without the same sort of fear so many were in? Perhaps you could argue that it was merely that they hadn’t the capacity to fear. But then, what did they have the capacity for, and what could we learn from it?We have to remember that the world is big and waiting for us to listen. Or, in the words of Yeats:

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

So this time of this year I was thinking about what we neglect in narrowed vision of the world. And that leads to the question of who are the human beings who are forgotten. And finally, as an interweaving of the two: who is forgotten who can give us a different sense of connection to what is forgotten?

A lot of you probably have never even heard about Irish Travellers, an indigenous minority here in Ireland. But they have their own language, traditions, and culture. As the name Travellers implies movement and a nomadic aspect of life plays a part in all that.

I hadn’t known anything about Travellers until I moved here in 2019. But I have to say it’s dismaying how few people in Ireland know much about Travellers. So as I was trying to learn more about Travellers, I turned to twitter, of course. It’s still good for that if you use it that way. And many people recommended Oein DeBhairduin’s new book of Irish Travellers folk tales, Why The Moon Travels, with illustrations by Leanne McDnoagh.

Oein is an author, herbalist and Travellers’ rights activist. In his book, there are stories about spirits, animals, giants, plants, and medicine. It’s a great book, and it’s my hope that this is a great episode as an introduction to non-Travellers about the multi-layered lives and experiences of Travellers, beyond just their struggles under ignorant or deliberately racist and imperialist legislation here in Ireland.

As a great bonus, Oein reads two of the tales in the book he reads “The Birth of the Rivers” and “Airmid’s Voice.” I’m so happy to share this with you.

Remember, the world is big, and there are many friends you haven’t yet met.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • Are myths and folktales merely just-so stories?
  • Are stories alive? If so, what are they, anyway?
  • The way Christianity (specifically Catholicism) intersects with Travellers stories.
  • The way the landscape comes to life when you start relating to its beings by name
  • Getting in touch with city spirits
  • The way that spirit wants to involve us in its action
  • On not believing in fairies (but not wanting to piss off the fairies)
  • Challenges Irish Travellers face under deliberately racist or otherwise ignorant legislation

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Oein, here’s an interview with him about his developing spirituality. And here’s a good interview with him (done by Irish mythological writer Deirdre Sullivan) just after Why The Moon Travels came out. And here’s a link to the Parish of the Travelling People, which Oein is involved in. Also, buy his book!

• For more on Irish Travellers in general, here’s the Irish Travellers Movement website. And here’s the Travellers’ organization, Pavee Point. Here’s a great article, “A Brief History of the Insitutionalisation of Discrimination Against Irish Travellers” by Dr. Sindy Joyce.

Karl Kroeber‘s wonderful Native American Storytelling: A Reader of Myths and Legends isn’t available on bookshop.org except as an extremely pricey hardback, so I’m posting it here in a link via amazon. And here’s a photo of Karl.

• I talked about the “positive void” of language and its relationship to occult practice, with Scott Elliot Hicks on AEWCH 122.

• Actually the story about the witch at Lough Derg is a story about a sorcerer at Lough Gur, Conner.

• Here’s an essay about the Lough Derg pilgrimage by Manchán Magan.• Here’s the road (or one of them anyway) that got moved to accommodate the fairy bush. And here are stories of the “hungry grass.”

• The “Twelve Doors to the Soul” are all places where you could strike to kill someone because an opening wound would create a sort of door through which the soul would leave. They are: Top of the head, hollow of the occiput, the temple, Adam’s apple, suprasternal fossa, the armpit, the breast bone, the navel, the bend of the elbow, the bend of the legs, the bulge of the groin, the sole of the foot.

• Here’s the actual Paracelsus quote: ““…all our nourishment becomes ourselves; we eat ourselves into being… For every bite we take contains in itself all our organs, all that is included in the whole man, all of which he is constituted… We do not eat bone, blood vessels, ligaments, and seldom brain, heart, and entrails, nor fat, therefore bone does not make bone, nor brain make brain, but every bite contains all these. Bread is blood, but who sees it?”

• “All the things that people say they hate about Travellers are things they say they love about culture.” – Oein

Until next time friends,
XO
CH

Irish Travellers in 1950s Ireland. Photo by Tony Whelan

Do nothing and feel good about it! Philosopher of idleness Brian O’Connor on AEWCH!

5 Nov

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Friends,
Surely self-improvement is not a bad thing, right? Surely we should be doing as much as we can to make ourselves self-actualized beings and get shit done and follow the 7 habits of the 12 secrets of the 4 agreements of highly effective badass people with the secret to living the happiness project of our lives.
Wellllllll…maybe not. 
On this episode of AEWCH, I talk author and philosopher Brian O’Connor about idleness, and how – as Brian says in this episode, not having shitty jobs is not enough. Instead, wanting to be and do better might just be part of the capitalist trap we’re all stuck in. Brian is the author of the excellent and short book Idleness: A Philosophical Essay, a skewering of philosophical arguments against idleness. It’s not a how to be idle book, since that would be pro-self help! Instead, it’s just a good dissolving of all the reasons why we shouldn’t be just kind of lazing around enjoying life.
Since Brian is also a scholar of the great critical theorist Theodor Adorno, we talk a lot about him, too. To supplement our discussion, you should check out Brian’s very very good intro to Adorno called, well, Adorno. Adorno is a key to this discussion about idleness, because he identifies that even in a world without the same wage-labor relationship we have now, we’d still be working our asses off and trapped in the same arrangement we have now.
This episode was a huge challenge to my normal way of thinking, since I am all about self improvement. But it was a friendly challenge, and a powerful one. I learned a lot. Which I guess, um, means I improved.
In this episode:
  • Brian’s struggle with being idle
  • Why Kant got idleness wrong and right
  • Psychoanalysis and ending the perpetual cycle of productivity
  • That time I pissed off my friend when all I wanted to do was compliment her on being so chill
  • Why we lionize our own pain and struggle
  • Whether or not boredom is productive
  • How the military exploits idleness to kill people
  • How mental work and physical labor mirror mental illness and physical pain
  • How Bugs Bunny cartoons should inform our politics
  • Why good jobs are not enough
  • How sex workers can see how their jobs erode work
  • Why everything small thing deserves attention, but that doesn’t mean it’s all good. Also, why object oriented ontology sucks.
  • I nervously present Brian with my theory of phenomenology and occult critical response. But he was very very nice about it.
  • Why libertarians get individualism wrong
PS: Sorry for the breathing into the mic! I think I had Brian’s mic turned up a little too high. Anyway, just imagine him relaxing.
Want to check out the books we talk about and more? Go to the SHOW NOTES.
AH

 

Our hearts vs The neoliberal capitalist tech imperialist nightmare. Una Mullally on AEWCH 87!

23 Oct

AEWCH87 Title CardFriends,
In a nearly double-length and incredibly wide-ranging, I talk with journalist, editor, activist, and podcaster Una Mullally about the erosion of old structures and the possibility of new ones. Not just the government, but the environment, our relational structures, our spiritual structures, and more.
We talk at length on how neoliberalism and tech imperialism is eating the soul of Dublin, but our talk is by no means Ireland-specific. What we’re discussing at the core is how we fight against the consuming algorithms of neoliberalism and capitalism with our hearts and humanity. The reason we talk for so long isn’t merely because she’s Irish! It’s because we keep going deeper and deeper.
I was so excited to have this conversation with one of Ireland’s great minds.
Una is one of Ireland’s best known journalists, and one of the most incisive. She’s also the co-creator of the great podcast United Ireland, which chronicles the current landscape and history of Ireland, county by county. I can’t recommend a more accessible intro to this place I love so much.
On top of being an extremely prolific author, Una is also an activist, and much of that activism features in her work, including the book Repeal the 8th, which Una edited – an anthology work by women resisting misogynist abortion laws in Ireland (which features an essay by AEWCH 72 guest Sinead Gleeson!) Plus she’s written (briefly) about leprechauns, so how could I not be excited to speak with her?
Also on this episode:
  • When and why Una left the Catholic church
  • The tech gentrification of Dublin and everywhere
  • The cruelty of ugliness
  • Why Irish meter maids are the best
  • The ways neoliberals pretend to be the drivers of progress
  • Equality vs freedom
  • The uses and dangers of nationalism
  • The feeling of Ireland, and Irish people laughing at me for moving here
  • The mystic pulse of the Irish land
  • Why we need to fight oppression and heal trauma simultaneously
  • The zombification of party politics
  • Why relationship is the most important part of activism
  • Why facts no longer matter
  • How self indulgent emotional performativity holds back change
  • Giving conflict over to the angels
  • The problems with Extinction Rebellion

Want to go deeper? Look at the SHOW NOTES!

XO

CH