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Zero Squared #12: Rebel Rebel
March 25, 2015 01:14 PM PDT
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Chris O'Leary is the guest this week and we discuss his book Rebel Rebel which is coming from Zero Books in two days. With the tag line: “Every single song. Everything you want to know, everything you didn't know” the book catalogs all of Bowie's songs from 1964 through 1976. The Cultural Critic Mark Dery (author of All the Young Dudes:Why Glam Rock Matters) sent me a blurb for O'Leary and I'll read it now: Marooned in '70s suburbia, I and countless weirdos like me awaited every new Bowie record as a deep-space ping from a world where weird ruled—proof that there really was life on Mars, if not in tract-home sprawl. To date, what passes for thoughtful inquiry into the polymorphous, polyvalent phenomenon that is David Bowie has consisted almost entirely of potted biographies and coffee-table photo albums. At last, the Homo Superior gets the exegesis he deserves: Rebel Rebel is the Lipstick Traces of Bowie studies, and Chris O'Leary its unchallenged dean. I should also point out that you can win a copy of O'Leary's book by entering the fictional Bowie lyric contest at DavidBowieNews.com, and I'll put a link to that in the show notes. In this episode you’ll hear a clip from the Chris Hadfield on the International Space Station, a clip of a cover of Kim Wilyde's The Kids in America done by Nirvana, David Bowie with Bing Crosby from Bing Crosby's Merrie Olde Christmas, an Andy Warhol/David Bowie interview juxtaposition and Bowie's Warszawa played on a Minimoog by the youtube star orchestron.
Announcement: Your Podcast isn't here
March 21, 2015 02:07 PM PDT
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Please check out the new Double Feature Review podcast over at douglaslain.com. Jim Farris and I review and argue about Cary Grant's films His Girl Friday and Mister Blanding Builds his Dream House.

This podomatic feed is being slowly retired, but new podcasts are coming. Please do check them out.

Zero Squared #11: Marxist Entertainment
March 17, 2015 10:18 PM PDT
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Andrew Kliman is the guest this week and we discuss his essay at the New Left Project entitled “Harvey Versus Marx On Capitalism’s Crises Part 1: Getting Marx Wrong.” The Harvey in this essay is the prominent Marxist Geographer David Harvey and not Harvey the rabbit, just in case you're wondering. It's Wednesday, March 18th, 2015 and I'm Douglas Lain the publisher of Zero Books and the host of this podcast. In the last week or so I've talked to several Zero Authors including Chris O'Leary (author of Rebel Rebel) and Eugene Thacker (author of In the Dust of this Planet, Starry Speculative Corpse, and Tentacles Longer than Night). In the weeks to come I hope to talk to Aaron Leonard (co-author of Heavy Radicals: The FBIs secret war on American Maoists) as well as Daniela Cascella (author of Footnotes, Mirages, Refrains and Leftovers of Writing Sound), Robert Jackson (author of Bioshock) and many, many others. In this episode you’ll be hearing clips from the Big Chill, Slavoj Zizek, Brendan Cooney, Nirvana and the Piano Cat, a clip from Tom O'Brien's interview with Thom Workman, the history of cell phone commercials, and an instrumental version of a Whiter Shade of Pale. Right now you're listening to the theme from Groucho Marx's “You Bet Your Life” but in just a moment you'll be listening to Brendan Cooney explaining the Declining Rate of Profit and then you'll hear Andrew Kliman and I discuss Marxist Entertainment.
Zero Squared #10: Night of the World
March 11, 2015 09:30 AM PDT
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Frank Smecker is the guest this week and we discuss his book Night of the World which came out from Zero Books in 2014. Todd McGowan (author of Enjoying What We Don't Have: The Political Project of Psychoanalysis) blurbed the book. He wrote: Night of the World seamlessly weaves through complex philosophical conjunctions and cultural practices in order to articulate a theory of ideology for today's world. From the Jacket: By situating objectivity at the level of ideology, while placing it within a dynamic, experimental and, at times, unorthodox interplay with Hegelian and Lacanian philosophy, The Night of the World offers a unique and radical re-thinking of objectivity. Encompassing a constellational array of wide-ranging subjects, from popular culture, politics, history, science, and philosophy, while deploying an engaging prose that is both incisive and seamlessly tangential, Smecker is both an ally with, and emerging voice in, the field of Zizekian dialectics. Incorporating Zizek's philosophy, Smecker speculates over both objectivity and ideology, evoking methods of thought not so prevalent since German Idealism was all the rage. In the spirit of Kierkegaard, The Night of the World is the result of an imaginative hypothesis. And that is only the half of it. Written in a style that will undoubtedly leave the reader itching to read it again once finished, The Night of the World is an ongoing engagement with an abundance of additional postulations, whose sole purpose is to produce more products of thought. In this episode you’ll be hearing from Chad African, Doctor Who, Wolfman Jack, Richard Dreyfus, the cast of the pilot episode of Star Trek (including Leonard Nimoy as an emotional seeming Spock), and Nik Walton's improvized loop Diggin Dug.
Your New Podcast Isn't Here
March 05, 2015 10:18 PM PST
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Please check out the new Double Feature Review podcast over at douglaslain.com. Jim Farris and I review and rant about Bobby Deerfield and Thunder Alley, two race car movies from the seventies and the sixties respectively. And if you're looking for the new Diet Soap Audio Collage Podcast, you'll find that next week at douglaslain.com.

This podomatic feed is being slowly retired, but new podcasts are coming. Please do check them out.

Zero Squared #9: Magic Tricks and the Big Other
March 03, 2015 10:41 PM PST
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Peter Rollins is the guest this week and we discuss his book The Divine Magician: The Disappearance of Religion and the Discovery of Faith which came out from Howard Books, an imprint of Simon and Schuster, in January of this year (2015). Rob Bell, the author of Velvet Elvis, blurbed the book this way: What Pete does in this book is take you to the edge of a cliff where you can see how high you are and how far you would fall if you lost your footing. And just when most writers would kindly pull you back from the edge, he pushes you off, and you find yourself without any solid footing, disoriented, and in a bit of a panic...until you realize that your fall is in fact, a form of flying. And it's thrilling. The two new titles from Zero Books this month are Rebel Rebel by Chris O’Leary and No More Heroes by Carl Neville. Chris O’Leary will be on the podcast in two weeks to discuss that Space Oddity who is known as David Bowie and there is also going to be a contest at davidbowienews.com. I'll let you know about that and how you might win a free copy of the book in the weeks to come. I want to mention the passing of Leonard Nimoy. As some of you might know I've been working on a book about Star Trek and Hegel's approach to the dialectic for a couple of years now, or more accurately I've not been working on it. The original title of that book was “Star Trek is the true religion.” I'm saddened by the passing of Leonard Nimoy. I feel similarly to how I felt when Johnny Carson died, only more so. In a way the death of Leonard Nimoy is like the death of Ronald McDonald. It feels like something that wasn't supposed to happen. In this episode you’ll be hearing from a youtube magician, a clip from the David Fincher movie The Game, from the Woody Allen movie The Purple Rose of Cairo, from a lecture by the death of God theologian Thomas Altizer, from Late Nite from David Letterman, and from the album Mister Spock's Music from Outer Space, but in just a moment you'll be hearing Peter Rollins and I discuss Magic Tricks and The Big Other.
Zero Squared #8: Dispirited (how spirituality makes us stupid)
February 25, 2015 01:17 PM PST
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David Webster is the guest this week and we discuss his book Dispirited: How Contemporary Spirituality Makes Us Stupid, Selfish, and Unhappy which came out from Zero Books in 2012. Dr Mikael Askander blurbed the book. He wrote: Annoyed by the phrase 'I am not religious, but I’m very spiritual', Dr. David Webster successfully maps out the problems and contradictions it leads to. This is as close to a 'must read' as it gets, for the religious as well as the spiritual reader, as well as for atheists.  

Zero Books has titles coming next month: Rebel Rebel by Chris O’Leary and No More Heroes by Carl Neville. Chris O’Leary’s book Rebel Rebel has been getting some attention. It's a big book on David Bowie, O’Leary runs a blog called Pushing Ahead of the Dame about David Bowie, and he’ll be a guest on Zero Squared soon.

The Radical Theologian Peter Rollins is also coming soon to Zero Squared. I believe my conversation with him will be online next week as we're scheduled to talk this Friday.

In this episode you’ll be hearing Shirley MacLaine , Johnny Carson, Robert Solomon, the narrator for the instructional video Spiritual Reality, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, Steven Shakespeare, Peter Rollins, the Dunkin Donuts guy, Frank Sinatra, the group XTC, the theme from Waking Life, the music of Delia Derbyshire, the soundtrack for the film CQ, and some radio static.

Zero Squared #7: The Age of Nixon
February 18, 2015 12:29 AM PST
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Carl Freedman is the guest this week and we discuss his book The Age of Nixon which came out from Zero Books in 2012. The iconic Grand Master of science fiction Samuel R. Delany blurbed the book. He wrote: Nixon continues to fascinate us, and to haunt our dreams, even these many years after his death. Carl Freedman's compelling book takes the full measure of Nixon the man, Nixon the media image, Nixon the myth, and even Nixon the ideal type, the quintessential expression, and the most capacious representative of the political and economic system under which we continue to live today.

I should mention again there are two new Zero Books titles coming next month: Rebel Rebel by Chris O'Leary and No More Heroes by Carl Neville. Chris O'Leary's book Rebel Rebel is a big book on David Bowie, O'Leary runs a blog called Pushing Ahead of the Dame about David Bowie, and he'll be a guest on Zero Squared soon.

In this episode you'll be hearing the from Bill Murray, Steve Allen, David Frye, and former President Richard Nixon. You'll also hear the piano music of Richard Nixon, and a clip from Futurama. The music you're listening to right now is Jo Ann Castle on the Lawrence Welk Show playing Piano Roll Blues as heard through the dialectic but in just a moment you'll be listening to Carl Freedman and I discussing the Age of Nixon.

Zero Squared #6: Cultural Marxism?
February 11, 2015 12:14 AM PST
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C Derick Varn is the guest this week. Varn is a reader at Zero Books, a University lecturer and teacher currently living in Mexico, and my co-host on the Pop the Left podcast. In this episode of Zero Squared we briefly discuss his new podcast Symptomatic Redness and then discuss the notion of Cultural Marxism. Cultural Marxism is, as Varn puts it, a concept and misunderstanding held by paleo-conservatives and fascists, it's the term the far right deploys to describe a mishmash of often contradictory thinkers and concepts, including thinkers from the Frankfurt School, Gramsci, Lukas, and late 20th century feminist thinkers and “stand point” epistemologists.

There are several titles in production now for April. Eugene Thacker has two more Horror and Philosophy books coming after his success with “In the Dust of this Planet,” and Justin Barton's book “Hidden Valleys: Haunted by the Future” is due out as well. Barton's book suggests that the future is always alongside us, sometimes closer, sometimes further away, which I guess means that all six titles due out in April are, in a sense, already here.

You'll here the voices of Herbert Marcuse, Erich Fromm, Rick Roderick, Suey Park, Laurie Penny, Nikita Kruschev, and Che Guevara. You'll also hear the music of Theodore Adorno, reedited sounds from Mungo Jerry's hit “In the Summertime,”some Calliope Music, as well as the theme from Rick and Morty as run backwards through the dialectic.

At the start of the podcast you'll hear a few minutes from a youtube video about the Frankfurt School and Cultural Marxism, but it doesn't last too long.
Zero Squared #5: Darwin and the Death of God
February 03, 2015 11:12 PM PST
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James Morrow is the guest this week. Morrow is a novelist and literary science fiction writer whose most well known work is probably the novel Towing Jehovah and this week we discuss his newest book, out from St. Martin's Press, Galapagos Regained. Publisher's Weekly described this new novel as "a comic blend of Victorian science colliding with Christian faith as greedy folks enter the Percy Shelley Society’s “Great God Contest” to win a hefty cash prize." And in this episode we discuss atheism, humanism, Darwin as well as the death of God, Peter Rollins, Slavoj Zizek (of course), and the difference between symbolism and allegory.

In podcast news Jasun Horsley has set sail and taken his liminal corner into its own space and own feed. His new podcast is called the Liminal Criminal.

News from Zero Books includes the recent publication of three new titles: Horsley's "Seen and Not Seen," David Winter's "Infinite Fiction," and Phil Knight's "Strangled." Strangled is about the punk band The Stranglers. These three titles arrived on January 30th.

The music in this episode includes musical doodles from Dan Lett, a work in progress from Nik Walton, and the music from a 1970s Doctor Pepper advertisement. You'll hear Pete Rollins, a man from a question and answer segment at a Zizek lecture, the death of God theologian Thomas Altizer, Mikey from the Life Cereal advertisementand Negativland's first album Negativlandcirca 1980.

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