Zero Squared #15: Twerking to Turking (EDA)

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Alfie Bown is the guest this week and we discuss the book from the EDA Collective Twerking to Turking which is coming from Zero Books this month. With the tag line: “Analysing the signs of everyday life” this is the second collection by the EDA. It is a follow-up to their book “Why Animals are funny.”

Jamie Mackay, writing for Review 31, praised the EDA, writing:

It is not often that theory is this fun to read, and less often still that satire is so well versed in the language of its assailants.

It’s Wednesday, April 15th, 2015 and I’m Douglas Lain the publisher of Zero Books and the host of this podcast.

In this episode you’ll hear a longish clip from Radiolab on the subject of Yellow Rain. The podcast was originally aired on September 24th, 2012, and I’ll provide links to it in the show notes. If you go to the site you’ll find an apology from Robert Krulwich wherein he apologizes for the way he aggressively questioned the Mr Eng Yang regarding reports that “yellow rain” was used on people in Laos after American forces left Vietnam. I want to make clear that, in my opinion, Robert Krulwich should not have apologized. If the oppressed of the Earth are going to find a voice that matters they will, simultaneously, have to be open to the truth and to pursuing the truth. This will require transcending their own experiences even as they act in their own collective interest.

You’ll also hear clips of Philip Glass’s Photographer, an excerpt from a documentary about Audrey Hepburn entitled “World’s Most Photographed Woman,” the comedian Godfrey Chi, Phlearn Photoshop’s “The Basics of Studium and Punctum in Photographs,” and “Got a Good Thing Going” by the Beetletown Players and Mister Show.

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8 Apr 2015, 4:26pm
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Zero Squared #14: Nihilism and Reason

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Eugene Thacker is the guest this week and we discuss his Horror of Philosophy series, two new volumes of which ( Tentacles Longer than Night and Starry Speculative Corpse) are coming from Zero Books on April 24th. In these book Thacker, instead of taking fiction as the mere illustration of ideas, reads horror stories as if they themselves were works of philosophy and vice versa.

The horror author Thomas Ligotti praised Thacker’s first volume, In The Dust of this Planet. He wrote:

Thacker’s discourse on the intersection of horror and philosophy is utterly original and utterly captivating…In the Dust of This Planet is an encyclopedic grimoire instructing us in the varieties of esoteric thought and infernal diversions that exist for the reader’s further investigation, treating us to a delightful stroll down a midway of accursed attractions that alone are worth the ticket of this volume.

In this episode you’ll hear a clip from the Laverne and Shirley, Rick and Morty, Rick Roderick, Bryan Magee and Bernard Williams on Descartes, Laurie Anderson, Kraftwerk, a reading from the Gideon bible, the theme from True Detective, and the opening music from Mister Show.

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Zero Squared #13: Heavy Radicals

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Aaron Leonard is the guest this week and we discuss his book Heavy Radicals which was published by Zero Books in February. With the subtile: The FBI’s Secret War on America’s Maoists, Aaron Leonard’s book covers Maoism in America from the 60s through to 1980.

Sarah Khan at the Washington Book Review praised the book.

“Heavy Radicals is an excellent addition to the literature on the history of revolutionary groups which played important roles in the 1960s and 1970s. It is the first comprehensive and complete history of … the Revolutionary Union. It is a well-researched book which fills the gap created by the absence of historical literature on an important period in the history of the United States.”

In this episode you’ll hear a clips from Bob Avakian, the American propaganda film “What is Communism,” the 1963 instrumental hit Pipeline by the Chantays, Mario Savio at Sproul Hall in 1964, Andrew Kliman, a String Quartet cover of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” and the aria “I am the wife of Mao Tse-Tung” from John Adam’s opera Nixon in China as well as John Adams’ “The Chairman Dances.”

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Zero Squared #12: Rebel Rebel

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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 Chris Hadfield on the International Space Station, a clip of a cover of Kim Wilde’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.

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