“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Friday, September 29, 2023

Taylin Nelson on Animal Revolution

 Yes, that's a thing. Specifically it's a nice nice book by Ron Broglio called Animal Revolution, and I always wanted someone to follow up on the challenge of Humankind and start with that line from the Communist Manifesto! ("Animals of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains.")

I also wanted hedgehogs with Che Guevara hats on the cover, sporting bandoleros. Now I might get them, thanks to the brilliance of Marina Zurkow, an artist I've championed a bit, if she's feeling kind. If they ever reissue that book Humankind, that's what I want on the cover. She's got these really zippy illustrations in the Broglio book, viz: 

Well, my awesome Ph.D student Taylin Nelson has reviewed Broglio's book thus, and it's a banger. 

What the Hell: An Exordium

 I just re-read the preface to Hell. It's called "What the Hell: An Exordium," because I really need people to read it. Need, not want. There are reminders in the first few chapters to look at it! If you can make it through the Exordium, you can understand the whole thing. 

"What the Hell" is really memoir-like, intensely person, often painfully son. I've never written anything like it. I say a lot of things. A lot. Even those of you who have read a lot of me, carefully, will be surprised. 

Let's just say that my "OOO" memoir, The Stuff of Life (just came out) was easy to write. Easy by comparison. Paradoxically it took much much longer to write. Maybe I could feel what was coming. I could feel the inner pressure building up. It took a year to write the memoir. It took an afternoon to write "What the Hell." 

I think I'm going to post an excerpt or two here later. 

Publicity Meeting

 I'm excited. It's twenty-five minutes before my first meeting with Columbia's publicist. I want to get a picture of what they're going to get up to, in order to promote Hell: In Search of a Christian Ecology

If you're of one of the causes the extra one hundred and fifty thousand hits on this blog since I announced this book, I'm so glad you're here and you can really really help me out by telling me more about why you're into the idea of this book. You're more interested in this book than people were interested when I wrote something with Björk. 

I'm talking to my best best people about writing on the back of this. I was taught at school that these were called endorsements and that blurbs were descriptions--but like the word "font" the meaning has shifted over time. ("Font" used to mean the size of what was called the typeface.) 

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Two Hundred Thousand

 Two hundred and one thousand actually at the time of writing. That's how many of you are tuning into the Hell-oriented blogging. If you're new here, welcome! I'm so honored to be a part of your day. 

How come there are so many of you good people? I think I just accidentally wrote a book for the Exvangelical movement. That's one way I explain this to myself. 

Could it be my existing writing? It can't be. The stats on the blog indicate that that only drew up to 50,000 hits a day. 

I've wanted to talk to my fellow Americans since forever. Maybe you see something you might want to hear, at last. You wouldn't believe, if you haven't been out of the country, the extent to which I've been on TV and performing operas to thousands of people and organizing art shows...in Europe. How there's a book about me...in Japanese. How there was a huge spread on me...in the Guardian newspaper. 

The one book I thought was going to connect, Being Ecological, just didn't--not yet anyway. That's why we'll be releasing it again six months plus after Hell comes out. 

As responsible grown up I recognize that this is my fault. It's got to be, since I've never managed to convince an agent to take me on, and my manager quit because they didn't see the point of organizing all the trips everywhere else except for in the USA. 

I think it's because I'm about to say words like "Jesus" in print. 

What do you think? I would genuinely be interested. Interest in this book is now 20% bigger than interest in what I wrote with Bjork. 

The Return of Blake's 7

 "Blake's 7, that's how I remember it." The security guard was explaining to ten-year-old me how to find the William Blake in The Tate Britain. In those times he was exhibited in a gorgeous smoked glass room smack in the middle of what was then called the Tate Gallery. 

I was crestfallen to find ten years ago that Blake had been shoved upstairs like the madwoman in the attic of the Clore Gallery, where they house the Turners. 

So crestfallen, I penned this. The gallery seemed to have been invaded by BP, not just funded by it. I hated it. 

I was thus really happy today when my friend Cliff posted this on Facebook. In short, they've moved Blake to a much better position--and he's in a room 7 again...

Thank you Cliff! I wrote to the Tate at once. It's as if they listened. Or as if they got wind of Hell. I do talk about the Blake unpleasantness in that book, so I'll be happy to amend it when we copy edit (coming right up). 

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Nineteen Thousand

 ...citations of my work in scholarly prose, as of today. I was looking at something I wrote in the later 1990s, and feeling very sorry for it. It was trying to say so many different things at once, the noise drowned the signal. I'm very glad I figured out how not to do that. But it took a few tries. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Todo el arte es ecológico

 From Editorial GG

The Stuff of Life audiobook coming soon, read by me

 Have you read The Stuff of Life yet? It has some dynamite...stuff in it. 

It's an OOO memoir. I am very keen on it. It was hard to write it: I had to push through a lot of defenses to write it. 

There is all kinds of writing in there on my childhood--very much that's the emphasis. But there are also chapters on other moments. Gender features hugely in there. There's a chapter on concealer. 

Another "object" in the book is grief. I consider myself at this point something of a grief specialist, not that this means anything to do with mastery. It's more like, I'm okay with being mastered by it. 

A study of the phenomenology of grief reveals a lot of truths about object-oriented ontology. 

I'm very happy to announce that I'll be recording the audiobook, next week in fact! This is the first time I've been asked to record a book of mine, and I personally think that's a good decision, because I've often been told, by total strangers (and by the BBC LOL) that I have a lovely radio voice. 

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Here's That Interview (embedded)


So I Did This Great Interview

 ...with Paul Chamberlain, of Smart Funny Tortured. I do a lot of interviews, so I wasn't sure what to expect, just looking forward to it as usual. But this one turned out to be a really deep one. Paul has also done the most wonderful job of telling you about me as you'll see on the page. 

Friday, September 22, 2023

Those Galaxies Last Week and This Week, a Human Structure Half a Million Years Old

 In Zambia. I love it when the empirical world exceeds our ability to theorize it. If you've been reading this recently you'll recall how excited I got about those galaxies from way "too far away" (too long ago) for any of the going theories of our cosmos to hold up. Galaxies that show up in the Webb telescope image...

One writer observed that it was like looking at a photo of your grandparents as children, only to find your own grandchildren also in that photo. 

Well how about this. The idea of "prehistory"—the very idea that evolution and history have a telos, a forwards gear—the very idea of progress—took a catastrophic hit a few days ago when archeologists published their discovery of a wooden structure in Zambia that is 476,000 years old. And as for that fucking charlatan Hegel...

It brings into question the very notion of "hominin" (which the science is using), "hominid," "humanoid" and all those uncanny-valley categories that define the human according to implicitly racist notions of the "missing link," and so on and so on. So I'm calling it a human structure. I believe that in the end this will prove to be MORE scientific than splitting hairs. 

This brings to mind a whole deconstructive question about adjectives. When you say something is "human" like when Captain Kirk calls Mister Spock's self-sacrifice "human," aren't you...etc... 

We have no idea what this is. We have no idea what kind of thing this is, the kind of being who made it...I LOVE it. 

My New Colleague Denva Gallant Made This Music and You Should Hear It

 Wow...with the composer Christopher Stark. Denva joined Art History just this term. Talking of Christianity and ecology as we were...

Fan Letter

 I don't know whether I've ever told you this, but it's actually very touching and moving to get letters about my work, in particular from high school and undergraduate students. 

In Cumbria in 2019, at Wordsworth's house (Dove Cottage), I was giving a lecture and during the Q&A a mother and her daughter told me that they had flown over from Ireland to thank me for my work. 

At Northwestern in 2014, about 100 high school students crashed a lecture--they swarmed in after the dialogue part, held in a crowded library on the top floor...there weren't enough seats and  they sat on the floor. Twenty of them surrounded me at the end of the lecture and told me they were fans of my work. 

It happens a lot actually. The Lexile score for Hyperobjects puts it at a reading level suitable for an eleven-year-old. That's part of it. But Claire Colebrook once said that one of the reasons high school and undergrad students like me is, I actually give them ideas to think about that can help them... 

Anyway, here is part this letter I received yesterday: 

Hello! My name is *****  I am a current sophomore undergraduate student at ***** one of the locations of the *****, and am currently pursuing a B.A in both Political Science and English.  

Over the past year, I have grown to be extremely fond of your works, specifically your books on Dark Ecology, Hyperobjects, and Humankind. I have an immense passion in the fields of critical theory, philosophy, ecology, and literature. Your accomplishments in these areas have been tremendously enlightening and have greatly enriched my academic and personal journey.

I was so touched I thought I would share it with you. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

What If It Was Too Easy...Being Ecological Redux

My Hell book means so much to me. So much that MIT and I have agreed to re-issue Being Ecological next year! Yes that's right. The US version of Being Ecological, published by MIT press, will be re-appearing in later Fall of 2024. There'll be extra material by me and a new cover design, and I'm already planing some events around it. 

For example, I'll be giving some major philosophy lectures at Kent State University--yes, that's right, the site of the massacre. 

Being Ecological will appear a good six months plus after Hell appears, to give that book some lead time. It's not good to overlap books too much. 

I'm already hard at work on the Preface. It's so interested to revisit work I did five to seven years ago. Things have changed, haven't they, and not for the better. This makes the core message of Being Ecological even more important: what if it was too easy to take an ecological stance towards the world? What if what was really difficult was thinking and acting like we weren't a part of everything else? 

I'll be talking about that book quite a lot too here, from now on. Stay tuned...

This Really Is a Thing (and I'm Very Grateful to You for It)

 Hi Everyone, 

So eyeballing it, interest in Hell is now about double the interest shown here about the book I wrote with Björk. 

I really am very grateful to you for being this interested in something I'm doing. I've been pouring everything into it, as you'll see as soon as you open it. Maybe as soon as you see the cover! Time, resources, thought, heart...since my daughter came in the kitchen in November 2021 and said "Daddy, we're in Hell" with tears streaming down her face. 

I'm also so grateful to Columbia University Press for believing in this project this much. 

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Does Anyone Else Love This?

 I love this. I LOVE it. So the James Webb telescope. It's the largest smoothest mirror ever made and it's the furthest away from Earth's gravity ever, and so it acts astonishingly. 

And astrophysicists are beginning to notice things in it. 

Like, there are way more galaxies, from way longer ago. Longer ago than they should be. 

They say this is as weird as looking at a picture of your grandparents, yet you see your grandchildren are also in it. There's grandpa Steve, standing outside the garage where his old Buick is waiting for him to apply the hose. It's a hot Sunday afternoon. And just behind him you glimpse someone. They're familiar. They're Eddie, your little grandson. Eddie is smiling out of the picture as if nothing at all were the matter. 

But you're freaking out because Eddie shouldn't have been born yet. 

What. Has happened. To time. 

All the models. Maybe all of them, literally. Maybe they're all about to give way. Like phlogiston and the ether, dark matter and so on were just brought in to balance some equations. Equations with known fudges. There are two Hubble constants, depending on how far back or not you're looking. 

Equations that pertain to a universe where your grandparents are clouds of gas and black holes. But there are galaxies amongst them. Galaxies strewn like necklaces by some carefree drunken partygoer across the divan of the universe, devil may care. 

Physical reality currently outstrips the theory, giving humans who can understand what this means a glimpse of profound object withdrawal. A withdrawal that can't be explained (away) by more matter, just invisible matter, that devilish metaphysics of presence rearing its ugly head to spoil the party over and over again, and since scientists don't think philosophy much, they default to it, because it's in the air. It's in the white supremacy. 

But reality smiles and scatters far, far away, like those galaxies leaving us with a wink and a smile, way, way WAY further out than they should be. They should still be at the party. But wait...they showed up in a photo of  your grandpa on the wall. You're saying bye-bye to the guests, and you look at the photo of your family in the lobby, and there's little Eddie, like I say, smiling away, with his shining milk teeth. Galaxy, milk, galactose. That chocolate you ate in the 1970s. That toothy grin. That necklace Letitia left on the sofa in 1924, only she just left according to  your watch. But it's  an antique necklace. Hasn't been worn for decades...How could she have...

Isn't that refreshing? 

Isn't that lovely


 I am having a wonderful time conversing with the many Christians who have indeed been reading this blog--thank you all and I'm really looking forward to sharing my new work with you and everyone. 

If any of you have any suggestions about people to whom I ought to talk regarding this book, I'm all ears. Please regard me as a totally naive and happily educable newbie in this domain, because I am! 

It's extremely nice when one realizes one does't know something. 

Saturday, September 16, 2023

More News from Hell

 Feeling like a bad dad is what being a good dad feels like. Feeling like a bad teacher is what being a good teacher feels like. Feeling like a bad person is what being a good person feels like. Feeling like a “bad” country, really paying attention to the “original sin” of slavery for example, is what being  a GOOD country feels like. 

Hell: In Search of a Christian Ecology, coming on Earth Day 2024.

Friday, September 15, 2023

Oh my WORD

 A kind person on Twitter (or X, pronounced "Euch") showed me this. The keys are, in my opinion, even more incredible than the horns on the album. And the guitar solo is really something. But I just do have to love those keys so much. And Meshell is a god as ever. 

A Concise Description of Hell

Hell: In Search of a Christian Ecology

Timothy Morton (Columbia University Press, Earth Day, 2024)

Escaping global warming Hell requires a radical, mystical marriage of Christianity and biology that awakens a future beyond white male savagery. 

Environmentalism desperately needs an “I have a dream” moment, a planet-scale call of spiritual magnitude that inspires even people who feel complicit, or despairing, or just numb and uncaring, to create a better future. Enough of the yelling, enough of the revenge speak. 

And environmentalism needs to connect to anti-racism, to feminism, to anti-homophobia, anti-transphobia…

Conversely, religion needs to land on Earth and stop fueling Apocalyptic stories of the necessary destruction of Earth. 

And we are only too well aware of the all-out Christian-fueled assault on “woke” and LGBTQ people, fueled by a demonic sense of being the “goodies.” 

There is a profound relationship between what religion and environmentalism need. 

What if there was something about religion that was deeply environmental, ecological…biological? What if there was something about ecology that responded deeply to religious, or spiritual, or mystical feeling? 

This book finds a solution in a radical revaluation of Christianity. The point is to create a nonviolent army: vulnerable, blessed with a sense of irony, ambiguity, humor and beauty; to see the biosphere as a beautiful accident, driven by the sheer contingency of natural selection, sexual display and symbiosis. 

Ecological politics requires a language of mercy and forgiveness, and Christianity needs to remember mercy and forgiveness. 

The key to both? An all-out assault on the ultimate Satanic mill: the concept of master and slave, manifesting worldwide today in white supremacy and patriarchy. How humans treat each other is how they treat the biosphere. 

A surprising positive vision of Christianity from a woke humanities scholar?! Wowzers! 

A call for a worldwide antiracist environmental movement. 

A marriage of science and Christianity that doesn’t reduce one to the other. 

A lavish and loving guide to living with the help of William Blake. 

A weirdly simple fusion of biology and mysticism that puts race and gender issues front and center. 

Provides off-ramps for people who are feeling awful about religion, but also provides on-ramps, and  this curious spirally thing is a feature not a bug!

Beauty is totally trans! You find peacock tails beautiful? I rest my case. 

Joe Truck Driver knows something that makes him immune to the discourse of ecological revenge: Jesus loves him anyway. Even the stupidest version of this is superior to every possible revenge discourse. 

The sacred is the feel of biology. Who knew? 

Life is a beautiful accident. Life and thought are magnified quantum theory.  

Thursday, September 14, 2023

For All You Exvangelicals Out There

 “British Rail once announced that what was delaying their trains was the wrong kind of leaves. What is delaying a lovely marriage of ‘religion’ with the biosphere is the wrong kind of Satanism. Christianity is all too often the wrong kind of Satanism. But before we get started on that, we need to talk about racism. And abortions. And Hell.”   

Excerpt from Hell: In Search of a Christian Ecology, coming your way Earth Day 2024. 

This is guaranteed to jerk a tear or several right out of my damp eyes, and verse one is the epigraph to the above. I saw Meshell live in 1995 when she was playing this. I play bass and sing and I just can't even. Talk about rubbing your tummy and patting your head. Meshell is a divine being. Knock and the door shall be opened: the four smarting totally in sync snare hits going rat-a-tat-tat just before the midsection make you want to die:

If You're Christian and You Know It Post a Comment

 Well hello everyone, FINALLY it's a damp day in Houston after over two months of heat wave preceded by heat dome hyperobject hell. Talking of which, my book Hell: In Search of a Christian Ecology is now in production at Columbia. Yay! We are expecting proofs to arrive in December. 

Thinking is a team sport, and publishing is most assuredly a team sport, and I understand very well that the term "team player" is kind of horrible, but it does in fact describe me quite well. 

You, dear reader, have helped me very much over the last couple of weeks, by suggesting journals and organizations and other outfits that might be keen to read or review or talk with me about Hell

Now I'm curious about whether there are indeed any Christians following this blog; or Christian-curious or Exvangelical or otherwise oriented towards Christianity, or away from it. Please feel free to post a comment. If you're shy to do that, then please email me at tbm2@rice.edu. I understand that right now Christianity has a bad rap for all kinds of reasons, and that fessing up to it might be difficult. 

So please know that Hell is not a criticism of Christianity, not a head-on one at any rate, but rather a critique in the Kantian or Adornian sense, a thorough exploration from the inside...but one that provides off-ramps for exvangelical people, as well as on-ramps...I can't help being a bit of a spirally deconstructive nonbinary person! 

One reason for asking is, there has never been this much interest in my blog, and it's sustained. Interest has now surpassed what I call the "Björk spike" of 2015, when I announced that Björk and I had written a book. There was a huge spike in interest (about 200,000 people!). But now there's a kind of ridge of jagged peaks, they're smaller than that but in aggregate they're much larger. 

Since I told you I was putting Hell together, interest in my blog has pretty much quadrupled. So this is a thing. So I want to find out whether I'm connecting to people not in my usual bailiwicks (philosophy, art, cultural criticism, ecological humanities, etc). 

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

It All Started When My Daughter Said "We're in Hell"

 Welcome to Hell. My daughter Claire walked over to my house one evening in November of 2021, weeping big fat tears. She was seventeen years old.

“Daddy, This is Hell. We’re in Hell.” Claire wasn’t kidding or exaggerating. She was very tearfully saying something she thought was true. Claire had just seen a video made during a school shooting, but this was just the latest in a series of awful news. Claire is deeply concerned about the Hellish state of the globally warming world; she is a passionate and creative soul who wants to know as much as she can about politics and culture. Sites such as YouTube and Reddit have malign side effects on me, and I can’t imagine the impact on younger minds. Very often the most cynical voice (quite possibly someone not much older than a seventeen-year-old) rises to the top and presents radical content in the key of total paralysis. They say they are about liberation; but the how is ‘You have no idea how grim and how messed up and how prisonlike this world has become, compared with me. I am more intelligent than you, because I am more depressing than you.” For a vulnerable mind struggling with what it means to be a person in this world, the side effect overwhelms the content. 

“Daddy, this is Hell.” Claire didn’t mean it metaphorically. The look of anguish on her face said so. What to do? Just deny her reality? Insist on being cheerful? What? 

“Okay, so this is Hell,” I replied, fumbling for those parent skills. Join your child. Don’t delete their experience. “So, how to live, now we know this is Hell? We still have to live. We have to figure out what to do with Oliver the cat. How to feed him, it’s still an issue isn’t it?” 

Then I started to think oh, Claire was right. 

This is Hell.   (Extract from Hell: In Search of a Christian Ecology, Columbia UP, Earth Day 2024)

Thursday, September 7, 2023

On the California Senate

 I'm watching something on Nancy Pelosi. It turns out she might want Adam Schiff to run for Senate, whereas Gavin Newsom would like a Black woman to run. If more than two senators per state were allowed for such a populous state as California, this would not be a problem. The senate rule is a slavery artifact. 

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

I'm Quite Surprised by This

 ..because of producing Hell and because of really caring about it, I'm gathering some sales figures. I never do this. So was quite stunned to find how many copies of three books had sold. The Ecological Thought and Ecology without Nature have both sold over ten thousand copies, while Humankind has sold over fifteen thousand. I am surprised, especially by the reach of Humankind, which I was not expecting to have done so well over its six-year lifespan. 

Monday, September 4, 2023

Help Me Find Religion Journals, Magazines, Websites

 Okay everyone, I need your help. I'm a philosopher and a literature scholar who has taken a theological turn, and I need to find out who ought to receive copies of Hell: In Search of a Christian Ecology. It comes out on April 22, 2024 (Earth Day). 

Did you know that interest in this book has caused my blog to get double the hits it was getting during the Hyperobjects days, where from 2010 to 2013 I was doing a lot of lectures on that topic and publishing all kinds of things, the book included, about them? 

When I say double I mean up to 100,000 a day. Did you know the blog could get those kinds of hits? Neither did I!? And I haven't done a single lecture or interview about the new book. Hyperobjects sold out its first edition before it even appeared on Amazon. 

Hell is going to be huge. 

So I'm pouring a lot of effort into really thinking about who ought to receive this book. As you may know, I don't have an agent, and I do all this stuff all by myself. 

But I don't get out a lot. I literally have my head in the clouds. It's taken me weeks for example to remember that I was interviewed by BBC Newsnight about Humankind (did you know that?), so I could tell Columbia to contact them about this. 

So please please comment below. I will be forever in your debt. What you share can be as popular or as niche as you wish. 

Hell V: Five More Fun Facts about My Next Book

 • A surprising positive vision of Christianity from a woke humanities scholar?! Wowzers! 

• A call for a worldwide antiracist environmental movement. 

• A marriage of science and Christianity that doesn’t reduce one to the other. 

• A lavish and loving guide to living with the help of William Blake. 

• A weirdly simple fusion of biology and mysticism that puts race and gender issues front and center. 

Columbia University Press, Earth Day, 2024

Saturday, September 2, 2023

Hell IV: Five Fun Facts about My Next Book

 Hell will appear on Earth Day 2024 from Columbia University Press. 

  1.  A surprising positive vision of Christianity from a woke humanities scholar?! Wowzers!

  2.  The sacred is the feel of biology. Who knew? 

  3.  Life is a beautiful accident. Life and thought are magnified quantum theory. 

  4.  Beauty is totally trans! You find peacock tails beautiful? I rest my case. 

  5. Joe Truck Driver knows something that makes him immune to the discourse of ecological revenge: Jesus loves him anyway. Even the stupidest version of this is superior to every possible revenge discourse.