Tag Archives: Ireland

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

9 Feb

AGAINST EVERYONE WITH CONNER HABIB 140: BLINDBOY BOATCLUB
or ABSURD UNCONSCIOUS CANNIBAL PROCESS

LISTEN HERE VIA SOUNDCLOUD OR ON Apple PodcastsSpotifyBreakerAnchor 

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

LISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercastSoundcloud • Patreon

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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Like the show? Support it on Patreon! The show is funded exclusively by listeners like you, and your contribution is vital and deeply appreciated!

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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

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

8 Oct

LISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercast  • Soundcloud

Like the show? Support it on Patreon! The show is funded exclusively by listeners like you, and your contribution is vital and deeply appreciated!

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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Is God powerful? Is He lonely? I talk theology & loneliness with Padraig Ó Tuama on AEWCH 81!

20 Aug

 

LISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercast  • Soundcloud

SHOW NOTES ON Patreon

Like the show? Support it on Patreon! The show is funded exclusively by listeners like you, and your contribution is vital and deeply appreciated!

AEWCH81TitleCard
Friends,
We talk so much about the occult on this show – about angels and esoteric philosophies, about magic and materialism – but I don’t get a chance to talk about God often. Which is why I invited writer, theologian, and peace maker Padraig Ó Tuama onto the show.
Padraig is the author of several books, including In the Shelter: Finding Welcome In The Here And Now and Sorry For Your Troubles . He also served as the leader of Ireland’s peace and reconciliation committee, the Corrymeela Community, for seven years, which resulted in the book Daily Prayer with the Corrymeela Community.
That time, and his huge body of experience dealing with deep divisions and aggressive oppositions, serves as the foundation of much of our talk, which circles around conflicts and how God, power, and powerlessness mediates them.
This is an episode unlike any other, and I’m so happy to share it with you.
We talk:
  • Whether or not we should pray to God or ourselves
  • The good and boring versions of Superman
  • Seeking, wielding, and letting go of power
  • The economy of victimhood
  • How to resolve conflict with fascists (potential and otherwise)
  • Keeping an eye on who’s exploiting every conflict
  • Brexit and the British Border (Padraig’s better name for the “Irish Border)
  • Taking an interest in what people value in every situation, and the erosion of that interest
  • Loneliness and confidence
And Padraig also reads his beautiful poem “Day of the Dead”.
STKR

Conner Habib on the Blindboy Podcast: Recorded live at Vicar Street in Dublin and available now!

24 Apr

BBPLISTEN ON: iTunesPlayer FMSpotifyBlindboy’s site

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SUPPOT MY PATREON

Friends,

In lieu of an episode of Against Everyone With Conner Habib this week, I’m posting my appearance on The Blindboy Podcast! We recorded at a sold out live show at Vicar Street on March 4, and it was amazing. It was my first Irish media appearance since moving here, and I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to Irish audiences.

And it’s a great introduction to both me and the range of my efforts, as well as Blindboy’s (who’s a great author, and part of the Dada-esque band/political prank group The Rubberbandits.)

We discuss

  • What the occult is
  • Paranormal experiences, including my dead mom
  • How I got my porn name
  • Why sex workers want decriminalization, not legalization, and Sex Workers Alliance Ireland
  • What a post work world looks like
  • Why adult performers (like Bill Bailey) deserve mainstream recognition and memorials when they die
  • Consent in porn

I wish Blindboy would’ve put in the audience questions! But don’t worry, we’ll do something together again sometime soon.

So excited to share this with you folks. New AEWCH ep up next week!

XO
CH

CH+BB

Conner Habib meets The Queen of Ireland, Panti Bliss! (AEWCH 63)

19 Mar

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PATRONS GET ACCESS TO THE FULL YOUTUBE VERSION HERE
Friends,
So excited to share my conversation with legendary drag performer and Queen of Ireland, Rory O’Neill, AKA Panti Bliss! Panti isn’t only a queen, but also an HIV activist, an author, a brilliant mind, AND an absolutely instrumental figure in LGBT rights on the world stage (but especially in Ireland). Panti’s came to world prominence after giving a stirring and profound speech about oppression at the The Abbey Theatre in Dublin, which received praise from Madonna, RuPaul, Stephen Fry and more.
Panti and I talk about what makes gay disruptive to power structures, the way sex is tied in to individuality, why Panti isn’t pro-marriage and why all marriage equalities are not created equal, why gay Drag Race culture doesn’t offer a good alternative to “masc 4 masc” gay culture, why Panti and I don’t want to run for office, why defining your terms – whether it’s drag, gay, power, gender, whatever – is a radical act, how resistance can make us lose intimacy, how to integrate the gay and porn self into the rest of your sense of identity, why gay bashing is a distorted longing for touch, and the ways we frame childhood sexual abuse.
Hand onto your wig.
Here we go, folks.
XO
CH
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