KMO welcomes June Pulliam, lead editor for Encyclopedia of the Zombie: The Walking Dead in Popular Culture and Myth to the C-Realm to talk about how time and again, the characters in zombie apocalypse fantasies find more meaning and personal satisfaction in cooperating with other survivors to weather the storm of the undead than they did in the vacuous and routine existence of life in modern, industrial civilization. In the second half of the program they discuss the changing gender roles in zombie movies, games, and novels over the decades and how the most adaptable and resilient characters are those who can alternate between stereotypically male and female coping strategies. Music by Sek.
KMO welcomes author, journalist and filmmaker, Dr. Nafeez Ahmed, to the C-Realm Podcast to talk about his new novel as well as the role the that US and British foreign policy and intelligence agencies played in empowering Sunni extremists and bringing the Islamic State to power. After discussing the depressing state of affairs in the Arab world as well as in Western countries who remain strong militarily but whose economies are floundering, Nafeez describes why the emerging solar energy sector and the open source revolution leave him essentially optimistic in the face of a storm of converging crises.
Music by The Humble Grapes.
KMO is joined by podcaster, Glen Ganaway, and friend of the C-Realm, Doug, to talk about the lack of gay male perspectives in the peak oil scene and the lack of interest among urban gay men in looking seriously at the converging crises that threaten to make life in cities like New York and San Francisco untenable in the not-so-distant future. Among the gay men his age he knows, Doug is unique, not only in taking peak oil and related concerns seriously, but in actually making significant life changes to prepare for a post-petroleum future. Glen explains why straight doomers should look to Radical Faeries as a model for living an alternative existence in the face of full-spectrum opposition from the larger culture.
Music by Reverend Yolanda's Old Time Gospel Hour!
KMO speaks with hard SF novelist and publisher, Linda Nagata. A listener sent KMO a copy of Linda’s first novel, The Bohr Maker, and in preparing for the interview he immersed himself in some of her more recent work including the short stories Nightside on Callisto and Through Your Eyes as well as the related novel, The Red: First Light. The soldiers in her novel wear powered exoskeletons which are more advanced versions of systems actually in development by Lockheed Martin (video). Linda describes the inspiration for her excursion into military science fiction which includes concern for eroding civil liberties and the growing power of defense contractors. The conversation also touches on the diminishing expectations for molecular nanotechnology.
Music by Mass Spectrometer.
KMO interviewed Rob Fruchtman, the director of the film Sweet Dreams on Saturday, August 9th, 2014 . They spoke in front of a live audience in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn for the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition. In this episode of the C-Realm Podcast, Rob describes what it was like to spend time in Rwanda 17 years after the 1994 genocide which claimed the lives of roughly one million Rwandans. His film details how a group of women, both Hutu and Tutsi, first formed a drumming troupe to help them put the horrors of their past behind them, and then, with the help of two Brooklyn business owners, opened Rwanda’s first ice cream shop. It was an improbable project and an enormous achievement.
There were some young documentary filmmakers in the audience, and you can find their work at ReelWorks.org.
Music by Ingoma Nysha.
KMO welcomes John Michael Greer back to the C-Realm Podcast to talk about his book Not the Future We Ordered: Peak Oil, Psychology, and The Myth of Progress. The conversation begins with a trip back in time to revisit drapetomania and housewife syndrome, two examples of reframing the effects of societal dysfunction as individual pathology. JMG distinguishes his use of the word “myth” from the impoverished modern usage which defines myth as a false belief held by people who don’t understand science. The conversation touches on JMG’s Dark Age America presentation at the 2014 Age of Limits conference before ending on some observations about the use of the word “hope” as a stand in for an inflated sense of entitlement rather than as the recognition that, no matter how tough times get, there are always choices that people can make to improve the situation. The portions of the conversation that did not fit into this hour of the C-Realm Podcast will be available to C-Realm Vault subscribers in CRV #105. There is no musical guest in this week’s episode.
KMO yaks with James Howard Kunstler about the third novel in his World Made by Hand series. It’s called A History of the Future, and it gives us a glimpse of life outside the little corner of upstate New York to which the events of the first two novels were confined. We learn that down south, the cornpone Nazi’s of the Foxfire Republic have rallied around racial purity, Nascar and Wal*Mart while the US Federal Government rules a nation that doesn't know it still has a government from an island in Lake Michigan. Jim describes how he is still catching flak for suggesting that the collapse of the economy and modern infrastructure would interrupt progress towards a lefty utopia in which all differences of social status have been obliterated.
Music by The Weal and the Woe.
KMO attended Hope X in NYC this past weekend (July 18 – 20, 2014) where he recorded an interview with tante (AKA Jürgen Geuter) about the unrealistic expectations we heap upon on idea of privacy. Specifically, he argues that our efforts are misdirected if we campaign against the invasion of our privacy when what we really want to prevent is discrimination and victimization. Lisha Sterling responds to this by admitting the limited benefit to be derived from beefed-up privacy laws, but she argues that privacy is a biological and psychological need. tante gets the last word with a discussion of the incompatibility of liberal democracies and unaccountable and secretive intelligence agencies.
Music by Lindsay Katt.
KMO welcomes David Chameides to the C-Realm Podcast to talk about his efforts to effectively communicate the implications of peak oil and climate change to teenagers. Dave has delivered this message to the students at the North Carolina Governor’s School, a summer program for high-achieving students, for the past six years. He sees this as an opportunity to shape the worldviews of future leaders before the obligations of adulthood make many of their lifestyle choices for them. After the conversation, KMO concludes with some comments about the dysfunctional tendency of left-leaning intellectuals to form circular firing squads and fight with one another over trivial differences in ideology rather than looking for common ground upon which to build alliances and coalitions.
Music by Not Waving But Drowning.
KMO speaks with Gary Weber, author of Happiness Beyond Thought: A Practical Guide to Awakening, about the means of breaking from of the self-referential internal monologue that keeps us obsessing over where we've been, where we hope to go, and the certainty that death awaits us at the end of our personal story. While some people raise concerns that focusing too much energy and attention on one's own mental states might take up cognitive and emotional resources that might be better directed outward toward social and political transformation, in Gary's experience, once one has achieved a state of non-dual awareness, one becomes even more effective in the social sphere. Ditching the I, Me, My narrative will make us more effective agents in the struggle for progressive societal transformation. According to Gary's research, people with a handful of psychedelic experiences under their belt have a significant head start in silencing the self-referential mental chatter over psychedelic virgins.
Music by Climbing Poetry.