Zero Squared #18: The Temptation of Nothing

Daniel Coffeen is the guest this week and we discuss a blog post he wrote that ended up on Thought Catalog that was entitled The Temptation of Nothing. Coffeen has a PhD in Rhetoric from UC Berkeley where taught adjunct for many years and now works independently writing copy as well as writing about contemporary art, film, language, Deleuze, and the rest. He is a philsopher if by philosophy you mean the tendency to play with ideas.

In his blog post Coffeen wrote:

My shrink — who is of another order, another plane; he’s not a therapist per se — has been encouraging me to be that second man, to cut out all intoxicants for 90 days, give or take. Do nothing, he says, just be. And then you can drink and what have you but not because it sates but because you want to. For him, there should be no difference between sitting on the floor doing nothing and getting lit.

It’s Wednesday, May 6th 2015 and I’m Douglas Lain the publisher of Zero Books and the host of this podcast.

In this episode you’ll hear Hilaire Belloc’s Guide to Boring, the song Skokiaan by Louis Armstrong, some dialogue from the movie Slacker, the Professor Jon Stewart discussing Kierkegaard, Hegel, Socrates and modernity, a clip from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, an explanation of that black and blue dress, the band Focus Group performing Chordfl from their album Elektrik Karousel, and Stars of the Lid’s “Don’t Bother They’re Here.”

Diet Soap Podcast #193: Kierkegaard and the Crisis in Religion

This week on the Diet Soap podcast the internet archive comes to the rescue. I’d planned on running an interview with Jason Horsley this week, however there were so many technical difficulties (Horsley couldn’t hear me and I had to type my questions to him through Skype’s chat feature) that editing the conversation into something interesting proved to be too time consuming. Instead I’m running a lecture by the late Walter Kaufmann. The lecture is on existentialism, Kierkegaard, and the crisis in religion.

Per wikipedia: Walter Arnold Kaufmann was a German-American philosopher, translator, and poet. A prolific author, he wrote extensively on a broad range of subjects, such as authenticity and death, moral philosophy and existentialism, theism and atheism, Christianity and Judaism, as well as philosophy and literature. He served for over 30 years as a Professor at Princeton University.

It’s Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013 and I’m Douglas Lain the host of this podcast. I should point out that Diet Soap was recently picked up for rebroadcast on WPRR, that’s Public Reality Radio in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I want to say hello to listeners in Grand Rapids and if you’re listening to me on the radio there I want to encourage you to contact me. You can use the contact form on, friend me on Facebook, follow me on twitter, or, if you’re in Portland, you can just sit next to me on the bus. I’m often to be found on the number 19.

Next week there should be a conversation with Anne Jaclard on the subject of Left Activism and consciousness raising and after that I’m hoping to talk to Mark Fisher about Capitalist Realism, to Noëlle Claire McAfee about both her friend Rick Roderick and her book on the unconscious and democracy, and to my son Benjamin about Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit and the television program Breaking Bad.