11 Mar 2015, 4:59pm
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Zero Squared #10: Night of the World

A Bar At The Folies Bergere Tile Mural By Edouard Manet

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.

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Double Feature Review Reboot: Bobby Thunder

bobbythunder

Jim Farris returns with a groan of complaint and we discuss the movie Bobby Deerfield and Thunder Alley. Al Pachino and Fabian are the two leading men in these two race car movies and Jim and I enjoy trashing them both. Annette Funicello is also mentioned and yet we go the entire podcast without singing the Mickey Mouse Club theme. How did that happen?

Here’s a synopsis of the two movies as lifted from Wikipedia.

Thunder Alley is a 1967 film about auto racing, directed by Richard Rush and starring Annette Funicello and Fabian Forte. It was released by American International Pictures.

Bobby Deerfield is a 1977 American romantic drama film directed by Sidney Pollack and starring Al Pacino and Marthe Keller. Loosely based on the 1961 novel Heaven Has No Favorites by Erich Maria Remarque, the film is about a famous American race car driver on the European circuit who falls in love with an enigmatic Swiss woman who is terminally ill. For his performance in the film, Al Pacino was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Actor.

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Zero Squared #9: Magic Tricks and the Big Other

rollins2cover

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.

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25 Feb 2015, 9:31pm
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Zero Squared #8: Dispirited (how spirituality makes us stupid)

dispirited

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.

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