Tag Archives: Mark O’Connell

Why (horror) fiction matters with Caitlin Doughty and Mark O’Connell on the latest Against Everyone With Conner Habib!

2 Aug

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Friends,
So happy to share an extended contemplation about fiction and this podcast, and then one of my very favorite book tour events with you: a live conversation about horror, transhumanism, and Hawk Mountain in Dublin with your fav death expert Caitlin Doughty and nonfiction writer/cultural critic Mark O’Connell.

It was a sold out event and one of my favorite on the tour, which will continue in the UK in September. (I’ll also post one of the other tour dates as exclusive content for patreon patrons only.)

SHOW NOTES

WHAT BOOK YOU SHOULD READ?
One of the greatest horror novels – which, like Hawk Mountain is also not really a horror novel – is Disgrace by JM Coetzee. Don’t read anything about it, just get it and read it. It’s incredible.4

WHAT OTHER AEWCH EPISODE YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO?
I talked about the horrors of technologies – as well as its occult promise and beauty – with anthroposophist writer Andrew Linnell on AEWCH 183.

MORE ON CAITLIN AND MARK
If you follow the links to their respective AEWCH episodes you’ll find lots there -here’s Caitlin Doughty on AEWCH 174 and Mark O’Connell on AEWCH 105.

More soon, friends,
CH

EVENTS: Three (very different!) Dublin HAWK MOUNTAIN happenings! With special guests Caitlin Doughty, Sarah Maria Griffin, Una Mullally, and Mark O’Connell

25 Jul

Hey there friends,
Wanted to let you know that there are three Hawk Mountain events coming up in Dublin, and each one is very different.

1. A book launch at the legendary Hodges Figgis with my friend Una Mullally on WEDNESDAY, JULY 27 This is a reading in the standard sense. I read the book, I answer a few questions, we hang out, we drink wine! To go to this FREE event, email ldermody@penguinrenadomhouse.ie and say you’re coming by! (you can cut and paste/ use this text – just include your name: Hi I’m excited to attend the Conner Habib event on the 27th. Thanks!)

2. I’ll be talking horror and darkness in fiction with author, podcaster, and tarot reader Sarah Maria Griffin, on FRIDAY, AUGUST 5 at  Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI). Here’s the link! The event is FREE and will be awesome.

3. My event on THURSDAY, JULY 28 with Caitlin Doughty and Mark O’Connell is SOLD OUT! But go to one of the other two with the also awesome AEWCH guests here!

Apocalypse now, then, and later, too. I talk with end of the world author, Mark O’Connell on AEWCH!

7 Apr

 

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Friends,

 

Obviously this is the end of the world. Or one of them, anyway. It’s our end of the world, at least, so let’s talk about it before the next one comes along. I needed an apocalyptic thinker to talk about. No, not Jor-El, rather someone who’s examined our apocalyptic fantasies and desires and has thought them through. So, I asked the thoughtful, funny, and insightful Mark O’Connell, onto AEWCH.

 

Mark is the author of the timely book, Notes from an Apocalypse: A Personal Journey to the End of the World and Back and, very much relatedly, of To Be a Machine: Adventures Among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers, and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death. They’re both books about how people relate to death, featuring Mark’s conversations with them: doomsday preppers and transhumanists. They’re books told in a Jon Ronson-esque tone, but with a little more theory behind them.

Mark lives less than two kilometers away, but we had to find each other remotely. So, sorry about the sound being different. It’s still good. But our lives are mediated by machinery of all sorts now in pronounced ways. Is the singularity near, or did it already happen, and was it extremely normal and somewhat boring? Anyway, this is a great episode, and I’m so happy to share it with you.

Let’s begin to think about this particular End.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • Why we have fantasies about the end
  • How to keep the sublime and strangeness when we get back from quarantine
  • Is mindfulness preferable? Is it a form of anxiety?
  • The continuity between consciousness, nature, and machines
  • How all apocalypses are not equally apocalyptic
  • Being passive spectators of the pandemic while thinking we’re active participants
  • Why our pandemic anxieties predated the pandemic
  • How and why to organize in quarantine
  • Transhumanists as preppers with money
  • Why doomsday prepping doesn’t work
  • How apocalyptic thinking is embedded in tech culture

SHOW NOTES

• For more of Mark, go to his website, and check out his excellent essay on the relevance of JG Ballard. And here’s a great interview with Mark on Utopian Horizons. Also, I highly recommend reading his books back to back. If you want some help with that, you can get To Be A Machine on Audible.

 

The World Without Us is a fine enough book for facts. The analysis isn’t so great though. Here’s Slavoj Žižek’s critique, in his essay, “Ecology as a New Opium for the Masses“.

 

Screen Shot 2020-04-07 at 2.24.33 PM• Here’s a bit on Freud and the oceanic feeling.

 

• There’s a solo episode about the problem of the concept of nature, AEWCH 82, “Destroy Nature Before It Destroys Us”.

 

• I do love Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia. Do watch it.

 

• Read Gordon White‘s heartfelt essay, “A Better World Is No Longer Optional

 

• Here’s “America Is A Sham” by Dan Kois, an essay about how much of American life is bullshit and this pandemic is revealing that.

 

• Here’s my appearance on The Higherside Chats.

 

• I love Peter Bebergal‘s book, Strange Frequencies: The Extraordinary Story of the Technological Quest for the Supernatural, which features the story about the golem and the rabbi.

 

• Now is a great time to listen to AEWCH 67 featuring spiritual teacher and christian esotericist Daniel Joseph. And I still can’t believe that I had Billy Bragg on the show! Here he is on AEWCH 79.

Until next time, friends!
CH