“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

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Monday, October 23, 2023

Saturday, October 21, 2023

I'm Very Proud of This Book and Would Be Honored if You Read It

 ...especially in the USA. Yes, it's Being Ecological, and I'm realizing with increasing chagrin that I didn't do nearly enough to tell my American audiences about it when it came out. If you like that faux naive David Byrne sort of a voice, the True Stories vibe, then you will really like this book. It's a kind of self-help manual for environmentalism and it's been doing so much better worldwide than in the USA that I've decided to spend a little time promoting it. 

MIT is the publisher here in the US and the cover is really striking. 

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Dialogue at the Menil (video) with Nestor Topchy

 This was lovely. I talk about Hell. 

White Supremacist License Plate

 I just wrote the Texas DMV, and so should you if you see something like this: 

Hello--while driving my son to school with my wife yesterday, I saw a white SUV with the license plate "SPQR 1." (This was in Houston.) I know enough about the Roman empire (I studied Latin in high school) to know that this was a Roman symbol, and I suspected that it might be a white supremacist license plate. 

Doing some further research, I figured this might well be true: https://hyperallergic.com/457510/the-misuse-of-an-ancient-roman-acronym-by-white-nationalist-groups/

Would it be possible please to prevent people from getting such provocative license plates? 

Yours sincerely, Timothy Morton 

Saturday, October 14, 2023

"What Does It Feel like to Be a Lifeform? Ask Religion" (lecture in MUSE science museum, Italy)

 This was truly great. I loved the Q&A. I got people to meditate! 

Friday, October 13, 2023

DJ Set with Me and Edouard Isar (Paris, 2021)

 I've posted this before but I thought you might enjoy it again, and if you're new to this blog it might be buried rather far down the page here, as it was October 2021 when I did this. What a lovely evening. Edouard interviewed me and I spoke and he span some of my very favorite records. It was so moving. 

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Hell Radio Interview!

 Yesterday, on the local radio arts show, with Nestor Topchy, whose wonderful icon-like paintings I'm exploring with him live at the Menil Collection yesterday. The synchronicity with my book is surprising and amazing. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

I Would Be So Honored if You Would Watch the Stream of This

 So many new people are showing up on my blog these days that I feel duty bound to share lots of things with you. It's my honor to be giving a lecture at a big science museum in Italy on Friday, and here is the flyer. I believe you can find out about how to stream it from this, let me know if you can't. 

Hell: A Brief Description (audio)

 I'm honing in on a video for Columbia's big conference presentation about their new work. Judith Butler was the guest a few years back, now it's my turn: 

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Sunday, October 8, 2023

At the Menil This Thursday with Nestor Topchy

 Auspicious coincidence doesn't even begin to cover it. This is exactly the right time for me to be doing this dialogue with Nestor, who is diving deep into early Christian art and making icons of regular folks, exhibiting them in this incredible way at the Menil (I live in a Menil house here in Houston). If you're anywhere near you should come. It's going to be great. 

Something very special happens when you see this art. Go and take a look if you're in Houston. The Menil was never white cube-y but this is really something else. 

Thursday, October 5, 2023

Tomorrow Is When I Record the Audiobook of The Stuff of Life

 ...it's my first ever audiobook recording and I'm hoping that it won't be my last! Thank you ever so much to Bloomsbury and in particular to my great editor there, Liza Thompson, for asking me to do it. 

People do come up to me all the time and say that I have a nice voice. "Lovely radio voice" is the commonest phrase and it's true, even among radio people. The producers of my BBC show thought I had good bass. 

It's still nice to listen to. It puts me in my feelings. You know what I mean? I'm a recovering dissociated person and there's nothing like being in my feelings, even if they're unpleasant. That "far away" vibe is really nasty. 

The BBC made me get a Zoom H6 WAV recorder. It was $500 and it was one of the best purchases I ever made. It's still pretty state of the art a few years later. It can record at least four separate tracks, it has two mics that come with it, one of them you can set to mono which is how it's best for voice recording. I figured out how to do that yesterday. Working for the BBC was a whirlwind and I didn't do anything but follow my producer's very adept instructions, so there was no time to learn. 

So you'll hear the Zoom 6 being used, badly, on the first podcasts on my Patreon page. Badly means, I didn't know how to access that mono feature, and the XY mic especially is wonderfully directional. With the MS mic you can control the width of the stereo image, which I find amazing. 

It's an incredible piece of gear. It can definitely record bands. You can set it up to have a mix of ambient, direct, lapel, etc mics to get that perfect sound. Once you've scrolled through its menu a few times, you realize that it has very intuitive controls. At least if you've been around musicians all your life, which I have. Did you know? Mum was a concert violinist and Dad was the go to violin player for all the psychedelic  and prog bands of the late sixties and early seventies. Best thing? The solo on "Lark's Tongues in Aspic Part 1" ... no, that's not Cross; that's my dad. He took a fee so as not to spoil the image of the band as the best musicians. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

The Cool America Manifesto 2

PART 1  

Cool America is a charitable foundation whose purpose is “to educate the American public about global warming.” 

Cool America is a group of rebel scum. 

Cool America has no educational materials other than its name. 

Cool America is surrealist performance art. 

“And here in the studio, we have Tim Morton, from Cool America,” says the Fox anchor. Whatever comes out of my mouth next doesn’t matter. The message has already been delivered. These aren’t the droids you’re looking for. He can go about his business. Move along. 

Cool is the scissors to the paper of Great. Great requires inflation. Great requires red faced balloons that explode. Cool is…cool. We’re going to be little Fonzies here. What’s Fonzie like? (Have you seen Pulp Fiction?)

Cool is not an idea. Like Great (I trust I don’t have to spell out that awful slogan), Cool is an affect. Cool is a psychosomatic sensation. 

Cool is the feel of thinking, without the content. 

I’ve learned this from writing and lecturing. You have to give people the feel of having agreed with you. Then you can drop the idea, or not. It drops in their head anyway, if you make the sofa of accepting that idea comfy enough. 

Cool America, to non-American ears, sounds like Here come the cavalry. Cool America: remember us? 

Cool America: cool down the temperature. Use coolness to battle heat, on every level, symbolic and real. 

Cool America is an imperative verb and an adjective and a noun stuck next to the word America. 

Cool America would be a great idea, just like Gandhi said about Western Civilization. Make America Cool Again. 

I don’t have to tell you the history of cool as a mode of Black resistance, in the deep structure of all this, the refusal to give an inch to the dominators, the real toughness underlying the slack. 

Cool trumps Great, there’s no doubt of that. 

Please feel free to do other kinds of activism involving ideas and persuasion and etc, elsewhere. It’s probably great, whatever you’re thinking of saying or gluing yourself to. I’ve done it myself. All hands on deck! 

But it’s not Cool America. Cool America is this. 

Lovely Brazilian Interview (with English translation)

 I really enjoyed this. I'm pasting the English below. It's on the occasion of the Portuguese translation of Being Ecological

1. Your book opens our mind to see another perception of reality and how symbiotic life is, which helps us to understand and deal with climate and environmental changes. But how can we dialogue and convince people who profess scientific denial and refute global warming and the respect for the "others"?

That’s what this book is trying to do. I’m trying to talk nicely to people who think they don’t care. I really wrote this for Americans but it hasn’t done very well yet, because I don’t talk about Jesus. I’m trying to fix that in a new book called Hell: Towards a Christian Ecology. 

I wrote that book in a faux naïve David Byrne voice, which is a kind of ironic American everyman voice. It’s the best I could do. We will be releasing it again on the back of Hell, because interest in the book is already making my blog get two hundred thousand hits a day. 

I think people like me have it all wrong. We spew scientific facts but they sound like the Book of Revelation. We make people feel stupid and evil. I wrote this book to help people feel smart and good. We’ve hoovered up all the people who liked to be called stupid and evil. That’s a tiny number of people. No one cares yet. We know what to do, but if we were advertising Coca Cola, people like me would all be fired for getting it wrong. We need a reason to want to do this, to stop burning fossil fuels. To love it. To wake up in the morning and think wow, I’m so glad to be working on the most exciting, sexiest, caring thing in the world! Mostly we just sound like we want people to come down to a feeling of hungover misery. We should be fired. 

The basic answer is, people like me should talk very very nicely. Yelling has obviously not worked. I’m sorry to sound so seemingly anti-revolutionary. But revenge is not a good look. 


2. Many authors are proposing that human sciences should encompass even more the study of (and the respect for) other species, especially animals and plants, in a post-humanistic perspective. How do you evaluate this movement considering so many human particularities?

I obviously think it’s really, really significant and great. But there’s a very important thing to consider here. How we humans treat one another is how we treat other lifeforms. These days I am working really hard on writing about white supremacy and patriarchy for this reason. These are areas that people like me MUST pay attention to, all the time. 

I don’t think we should care about labels like “post-humanist.” Becoming fully human would be better: becoming fully human by acknowledging and respecting our indigenousness to the biosphere, the fact that we grow out of the biosphere like apples growing off a tree. We are made out of it. We are made out of other lifeforms and we depend on them just to breathe. 


3. In your last book you mention and explain some ideas from great philosophers such as Heidegger, Derrida and Graham Harman (an author not yet translated into Portuguese!!). From your point of view, which author or philosophic idea is the best key for facing the environmental challenges nowadays?

I don’t really recommend anyone, except for myself LOLOL. Truly, I’m afraid there really isn’t very much. I would read my book The Ecological Thought if you want to read about the deep reasons why I think the way I do. 

It’s genuinely hard to answer this question. Most of my work is a deep critical analysis of environmentalist thought, including philosophy. 

People always get philosophy wrong. They think philosophy is about obeying or respecting big ideas. This is not correct. Philosophy means the love of wisdom. Wisdom means trying NOT to have ideas. There are two emotions in the word “philosophy”: love and wisdom. If you had to choose between “wisdom means a set of instructions or hints” and “wisdom is a feeling” then wisdom is definitely a feeling. The feeling of “wise.” Loving that feeling: that’s philosophy. 

Above Plato’s Academy was a sign that said, “If you’re not into geometry, leave now.” Geometry at the time meant solving problems without numbers, just feeling the Earth (geo-metry), with a straight edge and a compass. Pacing the Earth, like Jesus doodling in the sand. 

Monday, October 2, 2023

The Cool America Manifesto 1

 COOL AMERICA FOUNDATION: a charity created by me to educate the public about global warming. Directors: myself, Dominic Boyer, Cymene Howe. 

Let's begin: 

Cool America: The Manifesto

Tim Morton

Part 1

Let me start by telling you a story. The story of how Buddhism came to Tibet. 

Tibet was a country of cowboys. Rugged, stubborn know-it-alls who had it all figured out thank you very much. Remind you of somewhere? 

The first attempts by Indian Buddhists at importing Buddhism were a total failure. Pandits pleaded with the cowboys, talking to them on and on about compassion and how they would go to hell if they didn’t follow the Buddha, and so on. 

Legend has it that whenever they tried to build a temple, the local deities would come and tear it apart. Whatever really happened, that’s pretty symbolic for “They just could not get through to the rugged cowboys who actually lived in the land they were trying to persuade so desperately.” 

This was terrible, right? For them, the cowboys were going to hell in a hand basket and the world would not be saved. 

Remind you of anyone or anything or any kind of tactic someone may have tried about something lolol….

That’s when Padmasambhava showed up. Padmasambhava was a magician, a tantric yogi. 

Padmasambhava didn’t bother with persuading people. 

He just blew the cowboys’ minds. He performed miracles. He flew. He resurrected people. He persuaded all the local deities to come onside and they became fierce, powerful, devoted protectors of the dharma. They went from destroying the temple to kissing the ass of Buddhism. 

Buddhism has been a rock-solid part of Tibet ever since. 

I think you can see where I’m going with this. 

And that’s where Cool America is going. 


Sunday, October 1, 2023

The Power of Christ Does, Ahem, in Actual Fact, Compel You

 Parsifal is a criminal moron who makes the fascist Grail Knights great again. 

They didn't vote for Trump despite his moron criminality, they voted for him BECAUSE of it. 

Do you get it now? 

Read this. Think about it. Read it again. Realize this is the one big reason I wrote Hell. People like us need to start talking. Talking to these people. I don't mean arguing with them. I don't mean reasoning. I don't even mean accusing. I mean blowing their fucking minds. 

Only miracles work now. You have to think of it as exorcism. You are exorcizing demons. You can't persuade them to come out. You have to make them. Compel them. 

In the next post or so I'm going to start sharing with you the Cool America manifesto, which is based on this too. We're way past persuasion. We're even past yelling. You think the demon in The Exorcist would be scared of yelling? They'd get off on it. 

You have to do miracles. You. You have to. Yes you. You have to figure out how to do miracles and then you have to do them. Real soon.