Tag Archives | Interviews

BoingBoing Interviews Jon Ronson: ‘Lost at Sea’

Writer Jon Ronson (The Men Who Stare at Goats, The Psychopath Test, Them! Adventures with Extremists) discussed his new book Lost at Sea on this week's episode of the BoingBoing podcast Gweek. (You may also remember my own interview with Ronson on the DisinfoCast a few months back.) Via Mark Frauenfelder:
Lost at Sea collects 22 Guardian articles Jon's written over the years, and they are fascinating portraits of people and groups a few standard deviations away from the middle of the normalcy bell curve. Subjects include: Insane Clown Posse and their announcement that they are born-again Christians who have encoded secret messages in their songs for the last decade, the billionaire transgender woman who invented satellite radio and her attempt to create a lifelike robot of her partner, the culture of Indigo Children, a British pop star's fascination with UFOs and aliens abductions, the contents of Stanley Kubrik's archival boxes, the tiny town of North Pole, Alaska, where Christmas is celebrated 365 days a year and where a group of high school students were caught trying to duplicate the Columbine high school massacre, a profile of Neuro-linguistic Programming co-creator Richard Bandler, a Children of God offshoot that donates kidneys as part of their religious practice, a profile of psychic Sylvia Browne, and many more stories.
I can't imagine a disinfonaut not being familiar with Jon Ronson's work, but if you haven't read his stuff then you're in for a treat. Ronson writes about all manner of weird things and people, and does so from a place of both humor and warmth. I've been a fan for many years.
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Uncanny Interviews: A Conversation with (the late) Arthur Machen

English: The House of Souls by Arthur Machen (London: Grant Richards, 1906), with cover designs by Sidney Sime (1867–1941)

The Welsh writer Arthur Machen, whom I recently channeled for Weird Fiction Review, has been receiving some renewed interest these days.

Last year Penguin Classics reprinted a number of his proto-weird tales in The White People and Other Weird Stories. Weird fiction is becoming more popular, mostly due to the efforts of people like Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, and many readers unfamiliar with this genre are rediscovering the early influences, Machen being one of the finest examples. This month, in the Evangelical Christian magazine Christianity Today, the writer Jonathan Ryan made a distinction between the cosmic horror of H.P. Lovecraft and the sacred terror of Machen. Matt Cardin over at The Teeming Brain takes issue with this:

Cosmic horror and sacred terror don’t have to be set up as opposites.

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Interview with Telecomix Hacktivists Peter Fein and The Doctor

In this video Technoccult TV speaks with Peter Fein and The Doctor of the digital activist group Telecomix, which worked to keep the Internet available in the middle east during the Arab Spring by providing dial-up Internet access and even using fax machines to send information into Libya. The Doctor also works on the wireless mesh darknet project Project Byzantium. In this interview we talk about what Telecomix does and why it matters.
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Meet The Teenage Exorcist Sisters

Reverend Bob Larson claims to have exorcised more than 15,000 demons around the world in his career. Watch Anderson Cooper talk to his daughters, who have taken up their father's trade. 17-year-old Tess first performed an exorcism a friend who was possessed. She says that one of the tell-tale signs is eyes that dilate: ‘You can see evil.’ Brynne's first exorcism was at age 13: ‘I got up on stage in front of 3,000 people and cast a demon out in Africa.’ This and all the other tips teens need to know about demonology:
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Solipsistic Nation:Tim Sköld, Ogre, Karsh Kale and Hoodoo Engine

HecateMListen to the interview now! (download/direct link) from Solipsistic Nation featuring an interview with a crazy lineup:

In the last couple of weeks I learned that Karsh Kale, Tim Sköld, Ogre and HoodooEngine had released or were about to release new albums. I dig them all so I do what I do sent out the emails and made the phone calls. There were other musicians, labels and festivals I wanted to feature on the show as well but they didn’t happen due to availability and time constraints and before I knew it, this week’s show had been distilled into a gem of greatness.

I discovered Karsh Kale right about the same time I discovered the Asian Massive (or Asian Underground) scene. Over the years I watched the careers of Karsh Kale, Asian Dub Foundation and others grow over the years and it’s a wonder that I haven’t had someone like Karsh on the show earlier.

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Douglas Rushkoff On Kicking The Consensus Reality Habit

Doug Rushkoff. Photo by Paul May (CC)

Doug Rushkoff. Photo by Paul May (CC)

An interview with Douglas Rushkoff via Technoccult:

“When Video Toaster for the Amiga came out everyone was really excited,” he Rushkoff said. “We believed that we could use it to create deeply alternative states of consciousness using lights and colors and things.”

“Today, those technologies are used by companies like Fox News to make you pay attention to what they want you to pay attention to, or to make your eye fall on a particular ad. Stuff like that.”

But he says if you know how the program works, you’re less likely to be hypnotized by it. “There’s two ways to experience magic,” he says. “And I don’t mean stage magic.” You can either experience it as a spectator, watching a priest or guru. Or you can participate. “Having a guru will only take you so far,” he said. “You have to become the guru.”

But it’s not easy.… Read the rest

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So You’ve Angered The Hive

Stop US Chamber of CommerceKevin Zeese is an attorney and former candidate for U.S. Senate with a law degree from George Washington University. He contributes to a website attacking the agenda of the national Chamber of Commerce (StopTheChamber.com) and ran for office within the Green Party.

Zeese is concerned that malevolent business interests will have undue influence on elections, due to those interests’ expanding ability to influence elections anonymously. On the phone, he took great pains to differentiate the national hub from your local, garden variety chamber of commerce, which Zeese insists can very well represent the interests of local businesses. The local chambers, he said, had attempted to distance themselves from the national hub, the distinction for him lying in his instinct that the national was undermining decentralization of interests.

I asked him, “So I guess I’d just like to start off by asking you to describe in your own words why you think the Chamber of Commerce apparently has a problem with you or doesn’t want you to speak your mind?”

With this, Zeese laughed with glee, and, catching his breath, said, “Well, that’s a good way of putting it.”

“Well, we have a project called StopTheChamber.com, and it’s been for about a year now heavily focused on the Chamber of Commerce and their activities in both elections and lobbying.… Read the rest

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Interview with Comic Artist and Writer David Mack

I had the opportunity to conduct a series of interviews with one of the more inventive illustrators and writers working in comics today, David Mack.

I still remember the first time I encountered his graphic novel series, Kabuki. I was just browsing around a Barnes & Noble, buzzing on caffeine, and this beautifully illustrated hardcover book found its way into my hands.

It’s not hard to be taken in by the art, really, it is both graceful and bold — but I actually laughed out loud when I started reading it — there was a section where the characters were talking to one another, and then moving through a building. Now most sequential artists would draw panel after panel of them walking and talking, West Wing style, maybe breaking it up with different angles and whatnot so it’s not just a bunch of talking heads. But you just give us a top down view of the building, and little talk bubbles as they wind their way around the maze.

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