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 #217: What’s missing from psychoanalysis?

Psychoanalysis and Lacan are the subjects this week and Joshua Cohen is the guest. We specifically discuss the object relation theory of the psychoanalyst Melanie Klein and the knotty theories of Jacque Lacan. Psychoanalytic terms such as splitting, psychic destitution, and the big Other are tossed around as Joshua Cohen is a therapist working in Seattle with training in Kleinian therapeutic techniques, and an interest in Lacan.

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

The music is this episode includesMozart’s The Marriage of Figaro (a work Freud claimed to enjoy despite being, in his own words, “completely unmusical”) as performed by Babette Dorn. Also included are clips of Zizek discussing coffee and cream, Annette Hanshaw singing “You’re the Cream in my Coffee,” a clip from The History of Philosophy without any Gaps, Louis CK on Parmenides and Parenting, and Mister Rogers autotuned.