Tag Archives: politics

Rel@tionships: Writer and digital lit theorist Joanna Walsh on AEWCH 84

24 Sep
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AEWCH84TitleCardFriends,
We have so many inherited metaphors about love, relating, and intimacy, that even the thought of new narratives about them makes us uncomfortable. Well, good. Let’s be uncomfortable. To that end, I spoke with writer and literary & digital theorist Joanna Walsh, whose work explores the contours (and corners and failed uploads)( of love and intimacy, and relationships.
When I read Joanna’s book of stories Vertigo, a few years back, I knew I wanted to talk with her. Joanna’s fiction has an intense and even at times relentless quality of repetition, of observation. It’s the sort of fiction that gives you the sense that you are not just engaged with the efforts of a great writer, but a great thinker too. The conversation is, as usual, wide-ranging, but we stay close to the idea of how we relate to one another and why our old ideas of relating are not enough to describe our experiences.
Talking with Joanna is a dizzying experience because she is so brilliant, so learned, and able to articulate so many profound truths in clear, concise language. I’m honored to have gotten the chance to spend time with her. Three good places to start: her book of short stories, (which she reads from), her novel, Break.up: A Novel In Essays, and her book of pornographic fairy tales Grow A Pair.
We discuss
  • How intimacy is formed
  • How the I is composed by others
  • Tension in fairy tales
  • Why we have sex to masturbate
  • Theorists with bad ethics
  • Experimental writing as a way of relating
  • “Emotional logic problems”
  • Living in tension
  • The emotions women are “supposed” to feel in their assigned roles
  • The occult bodies and technological intervention
  • What the internet gives, what the internet takes away
  • Watching porn in clips instead of a whole movie
  • Who we are in our normal lives (and how that contains our creative and erotic life)
And in addition to the conversation, Joanna also reads her entrancing story, “Vagues”!

 

Breathing in the end of the world – Franco “Bifo” Berardi on Against Everyone With Conner Habib

17 Sep
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Friends,
I’m so happy to share my conversation with the radical philosopher, Franco “Bifo” Berardi.
I think it is not only a good conversation, but a truly productive one. My deepest hope is that it is helpful for you.
Bifo is one of the most important and creative thinkers of our time; I find many of Bifo’s thoughts in line with the occult philosophies of the Western esoteric traditions I’ve spent so long studying, and for me, that is so enlivening. That is to say, when two people or traditions come up with similar conclusions from totally different angles, we must (as Special Agent Dale Cooper says) pay strict attention.
Bifo is the author of many books, including what I view as his two most important books, Breathing: Chaos and Poetry and Heroes: Mass Murder and Suicide (which is a much easier read, and deeply informed my own thinking on the issue, which I discussed on AEWCH 11: SHOOT TO LIVE). He was the founder of Radio Alice, a radical broadcast station in Italy, as well as the anti-authoritarian activist group, Autonomia.
The discussion is wide ranging and, I think, extremely potent. It’s a commingling of occult, anarchist, socialist, and artistic ideas.
We discuss:
  • How rhythms dissolve political oppression
  • Capitalism as a dynamic of change, acceleration, and expansion that cannot understand limit
  • Why information and possibilities are not enough; we need the ability (“potency”) to transform them into reality
  • Why solidarity is dead and we are trapped in competition
  • Why poetry, sex, and magic matter now more than ever
  • The failure of communism, and why we need it anyway
  • Moving away from politics and towards therapy
  • How poetry is our doorway towards a new world
  • Why the “post-truth” world is an opportunity
  • Reincarnation: the only narrative that can remake the future
  • The shattering of the critical mind
  • Why (and how) we must accept all conspiracy theories
  • The spectating unconscious (and how it wishes for Trump)
  • Why everyone’s suffering belongs to everyone
  • What Trump’s victory gives to us
  • How sex work erodes work
  • Why no one should ever be paid for their labor

Lots of great SHOW NOTES here.

Until next time,

XO

DG

The moral of the story is… How Aesop confronts empire, with Carlo Gébler on AEWCH 78!

30 Jul
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Friends,
How exciting to welcome fiction writer, memoirist, and Aesop scholar Carlo Gébler to AEWCH to discuss how Aesop’s fables present insight into fighting empire, how the powerful tell their stories, and more!
Carlo is a staple here in the Irish literary landscape. The son of famed Irish author Edna O’Brien and famed/infamous Irish author Ernest Gébler, Carlo was named after Karl Marx and has taught writing for years, including in prisons. He’s written nearly 30 books for adults and children plus plays in total. His latest book, Aesop’s Fables: The Cruelty of the Gods, which is beautifully (and intensely!) illustrated by Gavin Weston, retells 190 (!) of Aesop’s tales, adding humor and amplifying the brutality of each one.
But, as you’ll hear on the episode, Carlo isn’t just retelling these tales for entertainment (though they are extremely entertaining), he sees in them strategies for resistance and hints at how power works. And Carlo reads a few of Aesop’s fables, including “The Clever Lamb and the Wolf”, “The Frogs Who Demanded A King”, “The Flute Playing Wolf and the Dancing Kid”, and my favorite, “The Fox and the Farmer”.
Until next week,
XO
CH
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WHY DO I HAVE A PODCAST ANYWAY? or WHY YOUR DESIRES MATTER, a short actual blog post.

13 Jun

CH

Someone asked me today what makes me think my voice should be public. 

Why should I have a podcast? What makes me important?

Here’s why.

One good question to ask people to confront capitalism is: What would you like your day to look like? 

Instead of being stuck in the never ending current of work-or-die, what would you be doing? 

What do you enjoy thinking about? Spending your time on?

Think on this.

As for me, I essentially love three things: Books, fucking, and conversation.

Doing those things are what I want to spend my time on, what I want my days to look like.

So I decided to make those three things my life.

But simply taking care of yourself or wistfully envisioning fun shit is not enough.

When you respond, to actually resist the superstructures that run and destroy our lives, you have to strive to make your envisioned day one that’s available for others as well.

In other words, in imagining what you would like your day to look like, you are also pinpointing how the material conditions of your life must change to have it.

And then you can apply that to others’ lives as well. You are generating focus for activism and struggle.

If you have on the ground activism with no dream of vision, you’ll only replace problems with slightly different, just-as-bad problems.

If you have the dream with no struggle, you’ll be the dog in that meme with the burning house saying it’s fine.

And your neighbors will be burning too.

So I read and write and share it publicly. I fuck publicly. I have conversations publicly.

I’d be doing all these things on my own anyway, but the public aspect is about helping push culture towards a place where those things are easier for everyone.

I don’t have a sense of whether or not my presence in the public and what I do is justified because I’m some so-smart-dude who deserves, like all so-smart-dudes, to have a podcast. 

I do it because it’s an extension of my politics.

At the heart of public presence should be a determined set of ethics and morals, and they should be individual and personal ethics and morals, deeply felt, and turned outward as an act of compassion.

XO
CH

Let’s imagine utopia together! You, me, and Duncan Trussell commune on AEWCH 66!

9 Apr
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PATRONS GET ACCESS TO THE FULL YOUTUBE VERSION HERE

CHDT

Friends,
So excited to welcome back Duncan Trussell! If you’re not acquainted with Duncan, he’s a comedian, mystic, and host of the wildly popular and eclectic podcast, The Duncan Trussell Family Hour! And it’s a great episode, as we strive to think through how to get to utopia!
But it’s not just a conversation around utopia; Duncan and I get very practical tips for it, including talking to the dead, forgiving debts, shifting world events with our thoughts, communing with color and geometry, and more.
We also discuss:
  • The pride and pitfalls of feeling unique.
  • Whether or not our creative efforts are ours.
  • When and when not to be possessed and whether or not Daniel Day Lewis was.
  • The death of everything but you and me.
  • The difference between supernature and subnature.
  • How we are addresses for spirits to meet at.
  • Why Duncan is a sock-swinging maniac.
  • Economy as the opposite of the Sun.
  • Collective entanglement.
  • RuPaul and guardian angels.
  • Duncan’s privilege and increasing awareness of it.
  • How to deal with the fact that you’re thriving when others are suffering.
  • Undoing the karma of the world.
Want to talk about utopia with me and a community of dynamic AEWCH listeners? Sign up for my patreon at the $10 level and join the Against Everyone Salon in May, where we’ll be talking about Utopia (click here for details)!
And for show notes, click here!

Want to know 5 MUST-HAVES FOR A MORAL POLITICAL COMPASS? Listen to AEWCH 65 with Abby Martin & Mike Prysner!

2 Apr
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Friends,
Before I met with radical political journalists Abby Martin and Mike Prysner, I kept thinking, how is it that they seem to have the right approach every time? So I decided to investigate just how it was they had an ethical and moral approach to politics.
We identify 5 points, which come up organically (If you just want to skip past the rest, go to 1:01:30.), and we reevaluate them the end. We also talk about how to develop these faculties These 5 points are:
1. Have a big container.
2. Find your lines in the sand, and beyond that, seek organizability.
3. Ask if a worthwhile narrative is being presented.
4. Do the dual work of individual and collective action at once.
5. Hold those you empower more responsible for their actions.
We also talk confronting Chelsea Clinton (Leen DWEIK, not “Naweek”, DUH Conner!), solidarity, how identity politics are exploited by power, why Bernie Sanders matters even if he’s not a hero, why grassroots struggle is what should win out rather than a Presidential candidate, thinking about what you want to bring forward in political situation, what we’re responsible for when we vote. I call myself out, what’s changed and what hasn’t since Trump, why materialism can’t guide us towards ethics, relating to the Other without falling into the imperialist trap of saying all people are the same, why politically-minded people should read novels, and more.
The Empire Files now has a Patreon, after being basically shut down by US sanctions. So support the show! which you should support.
SHOW NOTES are always available to everyone.
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CONSENT IS NOT ENOUGH: I talk with feminist icon, Laurie Penny on AEWCH 64!

27 Mar
We need to do better in our conversations about consent. And I don’t just mean because we don’t know how to respect consent, I mean because our conversation about it is hopelessly simplistic, ahistorical, and underdeveloped. I’ll be exploring this topic in more depth on the show.
And, well, who better to speak with first than feminist author and icon (yes, the word is apt), Laurie Penny! Laurie is the author of multiple books and countless (okay, maybe not countless, but a lot) of essays. Many of those essays can be found in Bitch Doctrine: Essays for Dissenting Adults , and many of her ideas are presented at length in Unspeakable Things: Sex, Lies, and Revolution. She’s also just finished writing a book on consent and season one of the Joss Whedon HBO series, The Nevers. For more Laurie, support her Patreon and get tons of cool stuff.
Laurie and I discuss:
  • the basics of consent and why it’s dual work
  • what sex work can tell us about consent
  • how desire plays itself out in politics
  • the James Deen sexual assaults
  • how women have to deal with the fall out of sexual assaults
  • what happens when your friend (or partner!) is a sexual assaulter
  • why almost every instance of abuse is also a gaslighting
  • whether or not Freud ignored abuse or went a long way to support survivors
  • why we need to support survivors speaking up and also be thoughtful about their sexual politics at the same time
  • the difference between consent as “rules” and an ethics of consent
  • Emma Goldman
  • How millennials are naming the problem.
  • The supernatural premise and politics of Laurie’s show with Joss Whedon, The Nevers.
Here are the SHOW NOTES for the episode.
Sorry for the disparity in volume between Laurie and I; she’s just a little quieter than me, and the equipment I have does best when both people speak at the same volume level. That said, I want to get new mics, and your contribution will go directly to that.
LIKE THIS EPISODE OF AEWCH? Check out AEWCH 50 with MONA ELTAHAWY and AEWCH 24 with ERIN GLORIA RYAN.

CHLP