Zero Squared #22: The Worm in the Core

Sheldon Solomon is the guest this week. Solomon is the editor, along with Jeff Greenberg and Tom Pyszezynski, of the book The Worm at the Core: On the Role of Death in Life. Solomon is a professor of psychology at Skidmore College and a researcher into terror management theory, a field that has developed out of the works of the late Ernest Becker. Becker won the Pulitzer Prive for his book The Denial of Death in 1974.

Solomon’s book The Worm at the Core was published by Penguin last month and Sam Keen, the author of Faces of the Enemy, blurbed the boo:

This is a wonderfully (terrifyingly) broad and deep study of most everything we know or have thought about death. It carries Ernest Becker’s work a long way further down the road.

I’m just back from the Left Forum in New York and you’ll be hearing at least one panel discussion from that event in a future episode along with conversations with Matthew Collins about his book Pop Grenade, Elaine Graham-Leigh on her book “A Diet of Austerity” and hopefully Mark Fisher about “Ghosts of My Life.” In this episode you’ll hear George M Cohan sing, voices from a clickhole video, Woody Allen explaining life to Annie Hall, Rick Roderick imitating Carl Sagan, BS Johnson talking about a motorcycle accident, Morton Feldman’s Clarinet and String Quartet, the theme from the 1980 television show Cosmos, and Chopin’s Funeral March.

Diet Soap Podcast #223: Death and Other Impossibilities

Death is the subject this week as I talk to Daniel Coffeen about his neurosis, his grieving, and his buddhist therapist. The inevitability and impossibility of death is the subject as the sophist or rhetor and I try to figure out what life is all about and how we might live on in the face of our inevitable end.

You might hear a bit of a difference this week as I’m trying out my new Snowball Microphone and I’d like to thank Andy Marshall for his generous donation. Andy will be receiving the old Snowball microphone in the next week, after I get a chance to sign the thing.

I’d also like to urge regular listeners to the Diet Soap podcast to find the paypal buttons at Also, the podcast is also available via iTunes and I urge people who enjoy this show to consider leaving a review at iTunes in lieu of a donation.