Tag Archives: politics

Who are we when we use the internet? And who are we becoming? I talk with internet historian Joanne McNeil on AEWCH 115!

30 Jun


Against Everyone With Conner Habib · AEWCH 115: JOANNE MCNEIL or THE INNER EXPERIENCE OF THE INTERNET


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Thank you for your support in this time, friends. This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. If the show is keeping you company and making you think or inspiring creativity, please give what you can.
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? Go to my booklist for AEWCH 115 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

AEWCH115TitleCardFriends,
In my final episode (at least for now) in my mini-run of episodes on the challenges of tech, I thought I’d turn the lens a bit: What does tech feel like for us? What is the experience of it, particularly using the internet?
To answer this question in a deep and engaging way, I talk with author, cultural critic, and internet historian
Joanne McNeil.
Joanne’s book, Lurking: How a Person Became a User, is unlike any book on the internet that you’ve ever read. Why? Because it’s not a book of praise or even condemnation of social media founders, or a journey through start-up-dom. Instead, it’s an exploration of what it’s like for us to be on the internet. What were and are the contours of our experiences on Myspace, Hotbot, Friendster, Google, writing and reading blogs, and (ugh) Facebook? What kind of people do we become engaging with these “spaces?” And perhaps most challengingly, what’s good about them?
(NOTE: Joanne and I had some sound challenges in the episode, so you’ll notice a few quality discrepancies, but nothing terrible. Just a heads up that you’ll get the glitches. mid-ep.)

ON THIS EPISODE

  • Respecting the interactions on the internet
  • What the internet has done to memory
  • The way pop culture just before the internet hit got lost
  • The gay history of the internet
  • The shaping of love on the internet
  • What sort of relationships are forming in quarantine conditions?
  • The fulfillment of wandering and lurking on the internet
  • Craigslist’s lost potential
  • The asymmetricality of anonymous users and open users
  • How twitter acts like capitalism
  • The difference between caring about wrongs and being involved in the stories of them online
  • The three times I had twitter pile-ons
  • Why we need to get rid of facebook and not replace it
  • Where to go from here and all this mess

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Joanne, here’s her website, which has tons of links and a great HTML aesthetic. And here’s a great interview with her just after the release of Lurking.

• Have you seen Brainiac: Transmissions After Zero? Also, did you know that there’s a severely distorted sample of a Brainiac song in the AEWCH theme? Well, there you go.

• The Tech Won’t Save Us podcast featuring Joanne is here. And they have a patreon!

• I wrote a bit about my trip to Florida to meet Ron in my essay “Gay For Pay, Part 1

• Who else remembers the Pet Shop Boys’s 2002 song about falling in love via online text, “Email“?

• Here’s my old essay on hookup apps as pornography, “Facing The Torsos“.

• SESTA/FOSTA was passed years ago now, but I and other workers fought against it. Here’s a review of what it is.

• Yes, I was really into Unwound, and I still like them a lot!

• Yes, I’m changing my twitter in the next few days. We’ll all be okay, promise!

Melissa Gira Grant comes up a couple of times in the episode, so check out her writing via the twitter link and her website!

• Here’s Run Your Own Social by Darius Kazemi, and here’s Darius’s patreon.
Until next time, friends.
XO
Unwound

 

Abolish Silicon Valley! On fighting technocracy with Wendy Liu on AEWCH 114.

23 Jun


Against Everyone With Conner Habib · AEWCH 114: WENDY LIU or AGAINST TECHNOCRACY
LISTEN ABOVE OR ON: iTunesStitcherSoundcloud

Thank you for your support in this time, friends. This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. If the show is keeping you company and making you think or inspiring creativity, please give what you can.

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? Go to my booklist for AEWCH 114 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.
AEWCH114TitleCard

Friends,

 

Collectively, the world is waking up to the problems of big tech, and the challenges that lay ahead. But to understand what the problems are, and how to overcome them, we need guides, particularly guides who have been through the anti-life equation of tech themselves and somehow managed to not become deadened by it.

So I knew the best to talk to would be Wendy Liu, Bay Area software engineer and start up founder, and now the author of Abolish Silicon Valley, a practical memoir about awakening within and then challenging tech.

With a book title like that, Wendy’s stance on tech has obviously changed since the start of her career. Her public presence now focuses on revealing turn after turn of unsound ethics, structural inequality, the problems with data gathering, and even darker impulses in tech. To that end, Wendy and I talk about what’s happening now, how theory and activism can help with what’s coming, and lots more. This is a great episode, and I’m so happy to share it with you.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • Why tech workers can’t “change things from the inside”
  • How tech used to solve the problems of centralized “analog” forms of power, and what happened
  • The collective discontent with tech
  • The way identity politics issues in tech
  • The evil embedded in tech itself and how to spot it without becoming a luddite
  • Theory language vs coding language and how code completes the inner state for you
  • My goofy undergraduate hot-guys-on-geocities site
  • Why the pandemic regulations aren’t exactly new conditions
  • Repression and oppression as a tactic for tech
  • The pitfalls of tech socialism (and Wendy says, “Conner, don’t worry about that just yet!”)
  • The elimination of emotion
  • How (and how not) to resist the tech monster
  • The neoliberal tech erosion of Ireland

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Wendy, here’s her website. Here’s a great interview with her on the gay Marxist podcast, Twink Revolution.
• Want to learn more about Total Information Awareness? You should.
• Also on the you-should list, check out Doug Rushkoff if you haven’t yet. He’s one of the most brilliant thinkers I know.
• Although I’ve been doing a sort of mini-run of episodes on tech, the first one, really, was AEWCH 105 with apocalypse writer and tech critic Mark O’Connell. If you haven’t yet listen, go for it. And here’s the article on J.G. Ballard that Mark wrote, and which both Wendy and I loved.

OB

• I’ve learned a lot from Owen Barfield (pictured) about language, consciousness, and art.

 

• J.G. Ballard’s Myths Of The Near Future isn’t available, but you can get his collected stories (or selected stories) via this episode’s booklist link.

 

• The economics, political, and cultural sphere stuff, is social threefolding, developed by Rudolf Steiner.

 

• Here’s a little rundown on the death of honeybees from 5G radiation. It’s on a honeybee-centered website, but you can find the data corroborated by other entomologists and tech workers.

 

• Here’s the trailer for Sorry To Bother You.

 

• Learn more about Wilhelm Reich’s occult tech on AEWCH 59 or other forms of occult tech via AEWCH 112 with Peter Berbegal or AEWCH 113 with Duncan Laurie.
Until next time,
X0101010101010 (JK!)
CH
ALE

AGAINST EVERYONE WITH CONNER HABIB 111: GLOBAL SOLIDARITY WITH PROTESTORS

2 Jun

 

Against Everyone With Conner Habib · AEWCH 111: GLOBAL SOLIDARITY WITH PROTESTORS

Screen Shot 2020-06-02 at 5.04.38 PM

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Thank you for your support in this time, friends.

This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. If the show is keeping you company in isolation, please give what you can.

Contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon! Thank you so, so much.

Friends,

We must form a global solidarity movement in support of protestors. Please listen and do what you can to overcome the obstacles in thinking, feeling, and behaving, that I talk about in this episode.

Love.

CH

SHOW NOTES
AEWCH 15 with Mark Bray on antifa
AEWCH 29 with Alex Vitale on the end of policing
AEWCH 83 with Franco Bifo Berardi on theory and action

 

We need a new economy. We need new money. Let’s talk about it now. AEWCH 110 with John Bloom & Conor McCabe.

26 May

AEWCH 110: JOHN BLOOM & CONOR MCCABE or REINVENTING MONEY & ECONOMY
LISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercastSoundcloudPatreon

Thank you for your support in this time, friends. This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. If the show is keeping you company in isolation, please give what you can. Contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon! Thank you so, so much.

 

Want to buy books mentioned on this ep? Go to my list for AEWCH 110 on Bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.
AEWCH110TitleCard

Friends!

 

As we emerge from our global crisis, there is a tremendous opportunity to reinvent the economy. Why? Because it’s been plainly revealed to be sick and unable to be there for us. I wanted to address what we should do, what questions we should be asking, and where we should be turning our attention.

 

So I invited two of the most profound economic thinkers I know, John Bloom and Conor McCabe – partially just to put these two brilliant people in conversation with each other.

John is organizational leader of RSF Social Finance, which seeks to transform our relationship to money on individual, communal, and global levels. He’s the author of two books, Inhabiting Interdependence: Being in the Next Economy and The Genius of Money: Essays and Interviews Reimagining the Financial World. And he’s the General Secretary of the Anthroposophical Society of America. He’s also the only guest who’s ever said “Holy Toledo!” on my show.

 

Conor is an Irish economic historian and activist; and he appeared on AEWCH 76 to talk about what money was, anyway. Money and Sins of the Father: Tracing the Decisions that Shaped the Irish Economy .

 

Rather than talking about money as the root of all evil, we talk about money as a creative tool, a brilliant spiritual technology. Then we get a bit darker, of course, as the times demand.

 

And rather than luxuriating in thoughts of cryptocurrencies – which merely move us deeper into tech systems and don’t help us radically reevaluate our situation – we talk about economy in challenging ways and on many levels. We talk about it in spiritual ways, political ways, historical ways, and more; all with the aim of freeing it from its current tangle.

 

This is a deep conversation that is much needed, especially now. I’m not just happy to share it with you, I’m hopeful for what can grow out of it.

 

ON THIS EPISODE

  • How capitalism has commodified money
  • The different kinds of money (purchase, lending, gifting) and how they relate to different psychic states and types of time
  • How our changing senses of time and space in the crisis are changing our relationship to money
  • Economic activity from the head vs economic activity from the heart
  • Sex work as pre- or post-economy, and why that threatens capitalism
  • Taking the state and culture out of economics to purify it
  • Why we can’t actually pay anyone for their labor
  • The invention of insurance
  • “Capitalism expands by enclosure”
  • The dangers of universal basic income

SHOW NOTES

• For more on John, you can read some of his articles on the Anthroposophical Society’s website.

 

• The GoFundMe for Navajo& Hopi people is still going on, and you can still contribute. And here’s a little story on it.

 

• Here’s a good summary story of the Bewley’s closure in Dublin.

 

• It is perhaps not surprising that I can’t find a ton of articles on Bill Gross being crazy, but there are at least some articles on his stamp collection troubles.

 

• If you’d like to know more about the “spheres” I was talking about, you can start here.

 

• “Austerity is the gold standard,” is one of Conor’s many great quips.

 

Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) is becoming increasingly popular.
Interestingly, the initial structure of CSAs was developed by Rudolf Steiner. 

• Here’s that truly excellent interview with Chamath Palihapitiya saying we should let the airlines fail. It’s so great, I’ve watched it a hundred times.
Until next time, friends,
CH
Irish

How to turn a global crisis into a utopia. AEWCH108

28 Apr

Against Everyone With Conner Habib · AEWCH 108: FROM GLOBAL CRISIS TO UTOPIA


L
ISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercastSoundcloud

Thank you for your support in this time, friends. This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. If the show is keeping you company in isolation, please give what you can. Contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon! Thank you so, so much.

Want to buy books mention on this ep? Go to my list for AEWCH 108 on Bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

AEWCH108TitleCardFriends,

This is a comprehensive over of our situation and what we need to do.

Bringing together political observation, philosophy, psychoanalysis, and occultism, I take apart the current crisis – a political and socioeconomic crisis that a virus emerged into – and how we can move from this into utopia.

First, I survey the situation. Then our lockdown. And then I move into the importance of breathing; why in the center of this all, is breathing. Not just physical breathing, but the intentional creation of rhythms.

After moving onto whether or not it’s okay to do nothing, I talk about what we’re afraid of. The visions of fear; both fears of what might happening and fear of what is already happening.

That fear is a cue for action. But what kind of action? At the end of the episode, I move towards a vision of utopia, and suggest how we can get there.

Let’s do this.
– This episode arose, mainly, from my nightly “sermon” series, NobodiesTogether. Each night, I talk about an aspect of this crisis, with the aim of getting us all to be more engaged, rather than being passive spectators. I present my perspective for 20-30 minutes, and then move to Q&A. We’ve also had many special guests join us, including Mona Eltahawy, Alex Vitale, Mary Helen Hensley, Jeb Havens, and Una Mullaly. If you’d like to join us each night (except Tuesday), get access by joining my patreon at any level.

SHOW NOTES

•The lead-up conversations to this episode include
• Finally, it was also inspired by my friend Una Mullally, and her wise words on her podcast, United Ireland, on which she talked about utopia in Dublin.

John Moriarty‘s books are not widely available in the US, but you can still order them from The Lilliput Press. They are well worth the money and the wait.

• For more on touch (and the other senses) and their spiritual value, read Albert Soesman’s Our Twelve Senses.

• Here’s my essay in The Irish Times on how the global crisis has affected our experiences of time and space.

• Here’s Walter Benjamin’s beautiful essay, “Theses On The Philosophy Of History.”

• For Franco “Bifo” Berardi’s most global-crisis-relevant books check out Breathing: Poetry and Chaos and The Second Coming.

• The author of the sleep pamphlet is Walther Buhler, whose work is difficult to find in the US.

• The Slavoj Žižek quote, “‘The function of ideology is not to offer us a point of escape from our reality but to offer us the social reality itself as an escape,” comes from his book, The Sublime Object of Ideology.

• Grant Morrison gives a great account of how fiction becomes reality in his book, Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us about Being Human.

• I still can’t believe I had Billy Bragg on the show. Do listen to that episode, and his music, for some wisdom. And read his short book, The Three Dimensions Of Freedom.

• An incredible book for evaluating the lead up to this moment is Babel by Zygmunt Bauman and Ezio Mauro.
Until next time, friends.
CH
seals

Why we need a new concept of time & space to create political change. Listen to me & Srećko Horvat on AEWCH 107!

21 Apr

AGAINST EVERYONE WITH CONNER HABIB 107: SREĆKO HORVAT or DEMYTHOLOGIZING (AND RE-MYTHOLOGIZING) THE CRISIS

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Thank you for your support in this time, friends. This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. If the show is keeping you company in isolation, please give what you can. Contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon!
Thank you so, so much.

Want to buy books mention on this ep? Go to my list for AEWCH 107 on Bookshop.org. It will help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

AEWCH107TitleCard

Friends,

We’re surrounded by terms that sound new, but that aren’t new. “Social distancing.” “The new normal.” And actions that seem new but are not new. Elevated police presence. Government overreach. Pandemic.

But these are old narratives that have been changed slightly to seem new. They’re mythic. So I invited one of the most important thinkers of our time to sort through what is new, what is old, and what is needed in our moment.

Srećko Horvat is an author, political organizer, and philosopher. Of his many profound and politically potent books, my favorite (and the one you should start with) is Poetry From The Future: Why a Global Liberation Movement Is Our Civilisations Last Chance. It’s a hopeful but evenhanded book about the possibility of interconnected movements in a world where neoliberal capitalism has won
.
He’s one of the cofounders of the Democracy In Europe Movement 2025, or DiEM2025 – a broad-based coalition of thinkers, rebels, and political theorists committed to creating a true leftist alternative in European politics, particularly in response to the disintegration of the EU.

Srećko is also currently giving live mini lectures, Q&As through the DiEM25 channel, and hosting conversations with luminaries as diverse as Noam Chomsky, Slavoj Žižek, and Seinfeld co-creator Larry Charles. (And on the 24th, he’ll be speaking with Franco Bifo Berardi!)

I’m so excited to share this conversation with you. It’s one that combines the political, the spiritual, and the philosophical, with activism. It identifies and creates new directions for us to move in during this crisis, and after.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • How and why we were dreaming about the global pandemic before it happened, and how we assisted it in happening
  • Why the esoteric, the occult, and border science matter now; and how the right seizes on them because the left is ignorant
  • the “libidinal” economy and why the left needs to take it up instead of opting for class reductionism
  • Why a leftist project needs to include a reappraisal of time and space (and why it matters now more than ever)
  • The fundamental fantasies of the left, the right, and the center
  • The generation of political will through meditation, poetry, reading, creating, gardening, and more
  • Why people are turning to plants in the global crisis
  • The possibility of money losing value over time
  • How to think about the value of laziness
  • The difference between mythic art and occult art
  • Why we should and should not applaud healthcare workers
  • The importance of using your own language
  • The necessity of new and strange directions for our activism
  • Meeting the stranger and loving the Other (and dating the Other, too)
  • Why lust matters, and how it’s connected to love

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.

• I start off with a nod to the eruption of Mount Tamboura – to learn more about that catastrophic time, read The Year Without Summer: 1816 and the Volcano That Darkened the World and Changed History by William Klingman.

• I deeply appreciate Slavoj Žižek’s book, about the values of religion, The Puppet and the Dwarf: The Perverse Core of Christianity.
• Unfortunately, I cannot recommend Eric Kurlander’s book, Hitler’s Monsters, which is filled with misinformation and (willful?) misinterpretation. The main issue is that Kurlander, like many “historians” of the occult, although Kurlander certainly knows exoteric history, he does not understand the occult. That said, I can recommend a better book on the same subject, Hitler: The Occult Messiah, by Gerald Suster. Suster’s book also 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! At the very least, read them both.

• If you’d like to hear more about psychologist and border science inventor Wilhelm Reich, and his challenging relationship with the left, check out AEWCH 59, where I talk with Reich scholar James Strick. And if you do want to hear about me talking Wilhelm Reich, here you go.

Here’s a bit on Subcomadante Galeono (known to many as Subcomadante Marcos, but who changed his name to honor the dead) and the Zapatistas.

• Marx uses the vampire metaphor a few times in his work, but none more famously than, ““Capital is dead labor, which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labor, and lives the more, the more labor it sucks.” (In Capital)

• 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.”

• And Srećko mentions Carlo Rovelli, whose work I have yet to read. But I think I’ll start with the one he suggests, The Order Of Time.

• To hear more about the problem with doomsday preppers, check out AEWCH 105 with Mark O’Connell.

Barthes-216x300• So much about the theorist Roland Barthes on this show. Including, here, How to Live Together: Novelistic Simulations of Some Everyday Spaces. Also, his classic, Mythologies. His book Sade/Loyola/Fourier is difficult to find, but here’s my essay on Fourier, and you can find excerpts of his book in A Barthes Reader (which was edited by Susan Sontag!).

• Here’s Michel Foucault’s essay, “Of Other Spaces: Utopias and Heterotopias.”

• The prayer of Saint Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace, Where there is hatred, let me sow love; Where there is injury, pardon; Where there is doubt, faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where there is darkness, light; Where there is sadness, joy;  O Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek To be consoled as to console; To be understood as to understand; To be loved as to love.  

For it is in giving that we receive; It is in pardoning that we are pardoned; And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.

See you in the future, friends.
CH
WB

Pornography is an archive of desire. I talk with Dr. Kate Lister (AKA Whores of Yore) about it, and what sex IS, anyway, on AEWCH 102!

10 Mar
LISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercastSoundcloud

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.

AEWCH102TitleCardAGAINST EVERYONE WITH CONNER HABIB 102: KATE LISTER (@WhoresOfYore) or THE ARCHIVE OF DESIRES

Friends,

As this episode goes out, there’s a hysteria about touching one another. Not just kissing, not just holding, not just sex, but even shaking hands, even being within a few feet of somebody. But touch, and the ways we touch, have always been troubled by definitions and rules handed to us by others and the metaphors we’ve inherited.

So it’s time – isn’t it time? – to talk more about the ways we view touch, the ways we view intimacy and sex, and pornography. So I invited the amazing Dr. Kate Lister, a sex historian known for her hugely popular twitter account Whores Of Yore, and now for her excellent book, A Curious History Of Sex . Both the twitter account and the book are grand compendiums of sex in history and theory. Also? Very, very funny.

We talk a lot about the history of sexual imagery, the ways we touch each other, and, in perhaps the most challenging of all questions – What sex is. It’s not as obvious as you think!

This is the second of a pair of episodes that are deep dives into sex and intimacy, the first of which was AEWCH 101, “The Trouble With Consent” featuring Katherine Angel.
And it’s a deep, penetrating, hot episode. Enjoy it in yer ears!


ON THIS EPISODE

  • The way we all experience one aspect of our sexual awakening through pornography + Kate’s first experience and mine (which I compare to John in the Bible)
  • How anti-porn activism is a rehash of childhood misunderstandings of sex
  • How the language we use today can’t contain the way we looked at sex in the past
  • Porn is there because we want it, it’s not merely that we want it because it’s there
  • Taxidermy in old porn shoots?
  • Attempts to control consent by people and institutions in power, and how sex workers take some of that back
  • The way “wokeness” can interfere with seeing sex and power dynamics clearly
  • Pornography as political protest and why those pictures of Trump and Putin making out aren’t JUST homophobia
  • What sex is, anyway?And does desire always collapse into nothingness?
  • How we don’t understand our desires

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Kate, just follow Whores Of Yore on twitter, and also go to her website, which is a huge archive of sexual information, including in-depth historical essays about sex by Kate and others. Also, here’s a good, brief interview with her.

• One of my earliest essays on porn was “By The Time You’ve Seen It’s Too Late” in which I compare seeing porn to The Evil Dead.

• Would you like to learn more about the 28,000 year old stone penis? Of course you would. And here’s a bit on Jill Cook of the British Museum, asserting that we had sex before we understood that it made babies.

• Do fetuses masturbate? Well, probably? Maybe?

• There’s a great book about the invention of pornography called The Secret Museum: Pornography In Modern Culture. It’s by Walter Kendrick, and well worth reading. Another great book on the same subject is The Invention of Pornography, 1500-1800: Obscenity and the Origins of Modernity edited by Lynn Hunt (this is the book I mention later that has lots of information about pornography as political protest).

• I talk a lot about the need for conversations about resilience with Sara Maria Griffin on AEWCH 93.

• Here’s a short article on Christine Helliwell talking to Dayak women in Borneo about the different concept of sex and assault.

A conversation between Heather Berg and I about sex work and the wage-labor relationship is here.

I am a whore. Find something else to fight about.” –Nell Gwynn, after two men were fighting after one called her a whore.

• Did you miss Hole drummer Patty Schemel on AEWCH 60? Don’t.

• I talk about the origins of sex on AEWCH 92, which is called…wait for it…The Origins Of Sex!

• And there;s a book about a very different thing with the same title – The Origins Of Sex: A History Of The First Sexual Revolution by Faramerz Dabhoiwala. It’s great.

• I’ve brought up What Is Sex? by Alenka Zupančič many times on the show. If you’re interested in a dense psychoanlytical investigation of sex, check it out. And also I talk about Wilhelm Reich on this bonus episode, and on AEWCH 59 with Reich James Strick.

• Kate mentions Joan Price, and I think her work with desire and aging is worth checking out.

• I wrote an essay on my (homo)sexual awakening waaaay back in 2010 (the essay, not the awakening); it’s called “Looking At Men.”

• A book I love on the sex lives of animals (well THAT’S a way to open a sentence) is Dr. Tatiana’s Sex Advice To All Creation by Olivia Judson.

• I mention the Katherine Angel episode, but you should really get and read her amazing book, Unmastered.

Until next time, friends, don’t give up on your desires!
CH
NG

The victims of witchcraft & the witchcraft of victims. Dr. Thomas Waters joins me on the latest episode of AEWCH!

4 Feb
LISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercastSoundcloud
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.
AEWCH98TitleCard
Friends,
I’ve been preoccupied with the way we’ve been preventing witchcraft, the occult, and magic from entering into serious philosophical and political (especially leftist political) discourse for a long time. Previously, witchcraft was the subject of ridicule. Now it’s claimed by Marxists, feminists, and others, as proof of their own theorizing. I’m happy that magic and the occult are being brought into discourse, but always in a way that seems to dismiss the phenomenon itself. So I invited Thomas Waters, author of the incredible Cursed Britain: A History of Witchcraft and Black Magic in Modern Times to talk about all of this. His book is the nail in the coffin of magical revisionism.
Thomas’s book looks at witchcraft from the 1800s to the present day in the UK and its colonies, but most importantly, it does so from a victim’s point of view. In other words, it starts with a serious angle, and stays with it. Along the way, you meet a host of weird and powerful figures, as well as tragedies, atrocities, and absurdities. And our conversation follows a similarly varied path. This is definitely one of my favorite episodes, and it serves as a companion to my conversational, informal episode “The Left Vs Witches.”
Most importantly, I think, we discuss the need for people who can thoughtfully interpret instances of witchcraft and magic in our time. The disappearance of these “dewitcher” figures has left us lost. These dewitchers use witchcraft as a way of seeing, and can teach that way of seeing to us.
I was happy, also, to get Thomas to express how his research into witchcraft changed him, and I’m sure he was happy to get me to talk about challenges to my academic research project.
Oh, and Thomas recites Wordsworth’s “Song For The Spinning Wheel” in the most soothing and mystery-filled voice!
In this episode
  • Witchcraft, belief, and placebo
  • The ways we dismiss witchcraft even as we admit it into “serious” conversation
  • Witchcraft as a first and last resort
  • Why witchcraft is not simply a tool of the disenfranchised but of people in power, too
  • The importance of dewitchers as people who sort through the bullshit & truth, the safety & dangers of witchcraft
  • Witchcraft as a way of reading, as a way of seeing
  • How disbelief in magic is colonialism
  • Why Thomas became interested in witchcraft
SHOW NOTES
• For more on Thomas, visit his page at Imperial College, which features links to articles and other projects. And if the episode wasn’t convincing enough, read this thoughtful review of Cursed Britain in the Times Literary Supplement.
• I mention the fact-filled (though perhaps theoretically unsatisfying) book Paranormal America: Ghost Encounters, UFO Sightings, Bigfoot Hunts, and Other Curiosities in Religion and Culture written and edited by Bader, Mencken, and Baker. It’s definitely worth reading.
• A great and harsh article on the appropriation of witchcraft for feminist revisionism is by Diane Purkis – “Managing Our Darkest Hatreds And Fears: Witchcraft From The Middle Ages To Brett Kavanaugh”
• I talk about capitalism, time, and magic on AEWCH 76 with Conor McCabe.
• Thomas mentions the book Witches and Neighbors: The Social and Cultural Context of European Witchcraft by Robin Briggs, and it sounds great.
• Yes, she was linked to a secret police force.
• I highly recommend reading On Kings by David Graeber and Marshall Sahlins.
DF• My favorite (and the most fun!) book on the Satanic Panic in the US is called, appropriately, Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s. It’s filled with photos, drawings, and is a great read-a-bit-a-day book. 
• If you don’t follow Hookland on twitter, I suggest you check them out ASAP. They’re great.
• Thomas writes a lot about Dion Fortune’s book Psychic Self-Defense, but I think the best place to start with Fortune’s work is either The Esoteric Orders and Their Work or The Secrets Of Dr. Taverner (which is fiction but based on Fortune’s own life). Both books are excellent introductory books to the occult.
• I haven’t yet visited the Museum of Witchcraft, and I really really really want to. Anyway, until I get there, maybe you can go and I can live vicariously through you?
AEWCH 46 with paranormal researchers Greg & Dana Newkirk remains one of my favorite episodes of the show.
• And check out The AntiWitchby Jeanne Favret-Saada for a good ethnography of dewitchers. And her first book, which Thomas gives a rave review to, is Deadly Words: Witchcraft in the Bocage.
Running with the Fairies: Towards a Transpersonal Anthropology of Religion by Dennis Gaffin is a compassionate and fun ethnography on the fairy faith in Northern Ireland.
Until next time, witches,
XO
CH

WHAT TO LEAVE BEHIND as we move into 2020.

31 Dec
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AEWCH94TitleCard
Friends,
Let’s close out the year.
Let’s get rid of the political gestures that have overstayed our welcome.
Once, they used to serve us, now, they’re rotting in us, damaging our souls.
On this episode of AEWCH I talk about what we need to leave behind in the 2010s so that we can bring the good forward.
I view this episode of one of three where I talk about the importance of how we orient ourselves towards 2020.
The third of which is my upcoming appearance on Gordon White‘s amazing magic podcast, Rune Soup.
This episode began as a series of tweets, which you can find here.
Thanks for listening.
Looking forward!
CH

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”!