The guest this week is an old friend of mine and an author. David Friedman lived in Portland in the early 90s, and I met him at the now mythic Telecafe.At the time he was recovering from his rock star status and writing fiction. Today he has a book out, a novel, called Rat House. This is a cool novel, a bleak novel, a rock and roll novel. As one reviewer at Amazon put it, “If you ever wanted to know what it’s like to have nothing left to lose, what it’s like to dream of turning this nothing into rock and roll, then this book is for you. David Friedman, of Meat Cigars fame, remembers the depravity and debauchery of almost rock godhood so you don’t have to.”
Diet Soap relies on donations, and I want to thank Hylton L for donating and John L for his regular subscription to the podcast. If you’d like to donate to Diet Soap you can find the paypal buttons at dietsoap.podomatic.com. You can also follow me on Twitter or Facebook, or send me an email through my website: douglaslain.com.
Here’s an excerpt from David Friedman’s book:
I’d been drinking for three days straight. The tour had taken a lot out of me and I didn’t want to be in the same room with the band. Unfortunately, Eugene wanted to talk about our upcoming gig. I slouched down in my seat and sucked on a beer to try to kill my hangover.
“The Northwest Music Association showcase gig is at The Vogue next week,” he said standing in the living room, our instruments and amps forming a sei-circle around the drums. I looked at each of my band mates, in turn, to see their reactions. There were nods from each, although those nods signified nothing, more like a conditioned reflex. They didn’t know what was on the line.
“This gig is our make or break moment. It is sink or swim,” he said.
In this episode you’ll hear The Meat Cigars’ “Mister Squiggly,” “Underground,”and “Brain Death.” You’ll also hear a clip from Frank Zappa’s cover of the Led Zeppelin hit “Stairway to Heaven,”the Ukulele Clan’s cover of Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing,” and a string quartet cover of Nirvana’s “Smells like Teen Spirit.”
Diet Soap Update: Anna Gunn Atheism Breaking Bad Bryan Cranston Ethics Humanism Kant Mark Fisher Morality nietzsche Skyler White television Walter White
The guest this week is Mark Fisher. Fisher is the author of the book Capitalist Realism and Ghosts of My Life (writings on depression, hauntology and lost futures). Fisher is also the author of an essay on the hit television show Breaking Bad for the New Humanist magazine and it’s this essay which will be the subject of this week’s podcast.
I want to thank my subscribers Jacob L and Andy M for their recurring donations and remind you that if you’d like to support the podcast you can find the paypal buttons at dietsoap.podomatic.com.
To set up this interview I thought I’d paste in an excerpt from Mark Fisher’s essay:
Who needs religion when you have television? On soap operas, unlike in life, villainous characters almost always face their comeuppance. TV cops may now be required to have “complicated” private lives and dubious personal ethics, but we’re seldom in any serious doubt about the difference between good and evil, and on which side of the line the maverick cop ultimately falls. The persistence of the fantasy that justice is guaranteed – a religious fantasy – wouldn’t have surprised the great thinkers of modernity. Theorists such as Spinoza, Kant, Nietzsche and Marx argued that atheism was extremely difficult to practise. It’s all very well professing a lack of belief in God, but it’s much harder to give up the habits of thought which assume providence, divine justice and a secure distinction between good and evil.
The guest this week is David Blacker whose book The Falling Rate of Learning is currently out from Zero books. Blacker is a philosophy professor at the University of Delaware and this is part two of a two part conversation. This half is less focussed and more speculative. You’ll hear me trying to articulate my own peculiar understanding of Zizek and Marx, or what C Derick Varn would call my Marxist Gnosticism. Bill Murray is mentioned.
I want to thank Brad P for his very generous one time donation as well as thank Ted F for being a subscriber to the podcast. If you’d like to donate you can find the Paypal buttons at dietsoap.podomatic.com. You can also follow me on Facebook or Twitter. Or you can send me an email through my website, that’s douglaslain.com
In this episode you’ll hear a rerun of an essay/collage I originally wrote for Thought Catalog and included in episode one hundred and four (which also included an interview with the mystic and theatre director Antero Ali). The essay/collage is called The Symbiopsychotaxiplasm of Adam Sandler’s Click. You’ll also hear an excerpt from episode eight of Robert Hughes “The Shock of the New,” and a minute or so from the movie Ghostbusters.
Right now you’re listening to the band The Bill Murray Experience performing “Heebie Jeebies.” But in just a moment you’ll be listening to David Blacker and I discuss “That Bill Murray Moment.”
Diet Soap Update: david blacker determinism education falling rate of learning fatalism Marxism nietzsche zero books
The guest this week is David Blacker whose book The Falling Rate of Learning is currently out from Zero books. Blacker is a philosophy professor at the University of Delaware and a regular guest on Diet Soap. This time we discuss his book and the notion of fatalism. This is part one of a two part conversation.
I want to thank David W for his very generous one time donation as well as thank John L, Jacob L, and Andrew M for being subscribers. Right now I’m working on a new short story about Lucid Dreaming, a time travel birthday cake story, a rewrite of an old novel, the first chapter of a new novel, and I’m waiting for word on a book proposal for a nonfiction book about Marxism and Star Trek. When I manage to finish off any one of these projects I’m hoping to make advance copies available to you, my loyal listeners. In the meantime you can follow me on Facebook or Twitter. Or you can send me an email through my website, that’s douglaslain.com
In this episode you’ll hear a reading of Nietzsche’s madman parable, a clip from the Matrix, and the movie Reds.
From the Madman Parable:
How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it? There has never been a greater deed; and whoever is born after us—for the sake of this deed he will belong to a higher history than all history hitherto.