“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, November 29, 2023

What You See Is What You Get

 

Abandon All Hope

 


There's an Audiobook of The Stuff of Life, and I'm Reading!

 Yes. Finally someone did the right thing and recognized my lovely radio voice (thank you Liza Thompson and the Bloomsbury team!). I'm so thrilled with this and I hope it leads to many more. I think you will be too. It was a blast to do. Thanks to my lovely employer I managed to get a soundproofed room, and thanks to the BBC I had been well trained in how to do such things. 

You can order it here if your'e in the USA, and here if you're in Europe, and here if you're in Australia


I'm so fond of the cover. I love the transparency of the things. 

Does Anyone Else Know to Handle Hecklers

 

Being Ecological Excerpt

 

Being Ecological (MIT) Is Great, and You Should Read It (Says Jeff VanderMeer)

A freewheeling, essential guide from one of our foremost ecological philosophers. Very useful for anyone wanting a better understanding of our relationship to the biosphere. Morton points to how we can live a meaningful life in an uncertain modern era.”―Jeff VanderMeer, author of the Southern Reach trilogy


Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Blurbs for Hell

 I am really touched and honored by them. Laurie, Laura and Jeff are all incredible people. 

What a massive relief to have another book about the biggest disasters of our age  from the hilarious wise and brilliant Tim Morton.  Wild and free, Tim’s ideas give me hope.   

Laurie Anderson

 

Reading Timothy Morton is something between watching a gifted comedian and experiencing a religious conversion. This book is classic Tim Morton, and it's more. It's William Blake's “mental fight” reimagined for our contemporary world. It's religion reloaded after a major born-again experience (yep), British colonialism, ecological catastrophe, and the efflorescence of diversity on every racial, sexual, and gender level one can imagine (and then some). Hell is a trip, and a flip. Get ready.  You probably already are. 

Jeffrey J. Kripal, author of How to Think Impossibly: About Souls, UFOs, Time, Belief, and Everything Else

 

Hell: In Search of a Christian Ecology is an ecstatic sermon beamed in from another dimension, one far stranger and more human than our own. I often think that dimension is where Timothy Morton’s consciousness resides, and we are so very lucky for it.

Laura Hudson


A Video Lecture about Food and Ecology

 I encourage you to eat a lot less meat and talk about pleasure as the driver of an ecologically just future. This was for a Japanese museum, and I made it recently. 


Sunday, November 26, 2023

You Can Pre-Order Hell NOW

 Good heavens. That didn't take long. Thanks as ever to the magnificent Cliff Gerrish. 



I Made This Short Video about Beauty and Goodness for MoMA in June

 

My Fourth Ever Hyperobjects Lecture (2011)!

 


Inside Big Botany (video)

 

It Was a Christo-fascist Coup (Podcast): Learn about Parsifal

 Parsifal is a criminal moron who saves the nation. Straight White American Jesus on the other hand is a podcast that is trying to save the nation another way. 

Saturday, November 25, 2023

If You Subscribed to @EcologywithoutNature on YouTube, Please Switch Over

 ...to @timothymorton303. The reason why is, I can no longer edit that page! It's not such a bad thing. I am much better at editing and uploading things now and "Ecology without Nature" is this blog and one of my books! 

This is where you want to go instead

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

We Are the Asteroid: The Art that Inspired Don't Look Up

 From 2017 to 2019 I made art with Justin Brice Guariglia, art that showed up all over the world, and in particular in the background of the Extinction Rebellion protests in London, and on marches in NYC...


Monday, November 20, 2023

Feelings Are Ideas from the Future

 Another video for you, this time from a cultural festival in San Francisco last year: 


Sunday, November 19, 2023

A Lecture on the Art of Zheng Chongbin

 

A Lecture on Racism, Ecology, AND Quantum Theory...AND Talking Heads...(and OOO)

 

The Mesh! (video)

 In 2010 I published my foundational text on ecology, The Ecological Thought. It argues for two major concepts: 

The mesh: how lifeforms (and nonlife) are interrelated, how they connected (and disconnect). 

The strange stranger: what a lifeform is. 

In this video I outline the mesh concept. I made it in 2010 and it's pivoted to be one of my most popular statements, cited often in scholarship. 

Yesterday I gave it a little polish and put it on my YouTube channel (revamped, for those of you who have been following since those days!). I hope you like it. 


Saturday, November 18, 2023

Beautiful Soul Syndrome (complete)

 Those of you who have followed me for ages (and for you I am so grateful I don't have the words)  will recognize this. People still cite it in scholarship so I thought, let's join all the footage together and make a whole new video and put it on my new YouTube channel. 


Cary Wolfe and Me Talk Environmental Humanities

 I'm revamping my YouTube channel


"There Is a Crack in the Real": Small Bombs Studio Presents....

 Have you seen them yet? They are incorporating my work into a series of really quite quite amazing things. This, for example, appeared recently: 


Friday, November 17, 2023

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

A Wellek Lectures Person Muses on Their Recent Torture

I wonder how Fred Moten's Wellek Lectures have been going? I have been hearing great things. I loved doing those. 

I'm reading Zizek's The Puppet and the Dwarf, finally. He's right: it's his best book. 

Zizek on Kinder Surprise Eggs is taking me right back to my chapter on sugar in The Poetics of Spice. I did give it to him, he was visiting CU Boulder that year...all that stuff about voids and sugar and the subject...It was a very Zizek-inspired book in the first place... 

Some time in the middle of my inquisition on the BBC, I heard one of my arguments from 2010 being fed back to me: it is very interesting to think about the "turn" towards "nonhuman" beings, "objects" and so on as part of a nascent ecological and planetary awareness. 

It was uncanny, disturbing and irritating to hear something I had said 13 years ago, and used as part of my own transition from someone who talks about food and eating to someone who talks about ecological systems more generally, about metabolism in short...about things I was taught about in Marxist Sunday school (theory class with Terry Eagleton), that I am now reading again about in The Puppet and the Dwarf...

To hear all that used to pathologize me as a symptom of something that the Knights of St. Hegel were themselves doing. That they had been empowered to do by years of people like me struggling to even get a job, when talking about commodities such as food and social practices such as eating was totally unheard of or taboo, even in sociology, let alone in literature. 

One of them does fridges. "Fridge scholar feeds old professor their own thoughts" -- strange poem. To hear all that fed back to me a part of my torture...that was disturbing, laughable, weird. It reminded me of my colleague at UC Davis who was all about saccharine and saccharine dispensers, back in 2003. It's 2023 now. If what they think about theory and philosophy is woven into their work, I won't enjoy reading it very much if and when I do. 

Beginning his essay on the eggs, Zizek remarks, “Repulsive anti-intellectual relatives, whom one cannot always avoid during holidays, often attack me with common provocations like “What can you, as a philosopher, tell me about the cup of coffee I’m drinking?”  Once, however, when a thrifty relative of mine gave my son a Kinder Surprise egg and then asked me, with an ironic, patronizing smile: “So what would be your philosophical comment on this egg?,”  he got the surprise of his life—a long, detailed answer.”


Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Hell Promo!

 

Hell's Main Idea: Flipped Gnosticism

 Whereas the current fascist state of affairs is paranoid-Gnostic, seeking the pure spirit of total violence against the others(s) and producing the usual toxic antisemitic and racist memes, Hell proposes by contrast a flipped Gnosticism that describes this fascist situation: we are poor mortal bodies trapped in a universe of ideas. Phenomenologically “our” body and its biosphere are the most distant things in the universe. 

There is a LOT on this. I am going to come out and say it: it's great. 

The idea of “only two genders” (the proposed new MAGA law) is an artifact of the yin-yang New Age “pagan” Christian (pretending to be fundamentalist, or maybe this is the essence of fundamentalism) universe. Literally an artifact, a stupid meme, made by artificers who do things like copying presidential decrees found on Google. 




Sunday, November 12, 2023

An NPD President for an NPD Religion

Groups are by default narcissists (Freud): all about exclusion. The Evangelical Churches (the white ones in particular) are extremely narcissistic. One slight deviation and it's your fault (the purity culture). The group becomes the master, you become the slave, and your "body" (including thoughts, the brain etc) are overseen by this group, in abstract and tangible ways (the accountability partner). 

Whereas what Jesus says in Matthew 5 about adultery and looking is, you can't help it. It turns out to be neurologically correct. When you intend to do something, you are already doing it. So even if you think there's something wrong with looking, you already did it. "You have already committed adultery in your heart" means you cannot possibly survey yourself perfectly enough. 

Because the command-control, master-slave format just doesn't apply. 

Unfortunately, the Evangelical churches have been getting ready by accident (as well as deliberately) for a leader such as Trump, throughout their existence. 

Any extra input (he's going to save them, he's a Parsifal who will restore their power) is icing on a group dynamic cake that was baked into America for four hundred years: the legacy of slavery. 

Discuss. 

Earth Day, 2024



Saturday, November 11, 2023

Oh, THAT''s What Happened

 Thanks WB:

“The story is told of an automaton constructed in such a way that it could play a winning game of chess, answering each move of an opponent with a countermove. A puppet in Turkish attire and with a hookah in its mouth sat before a chessboard placed on a large table. A system of mirrors created the illusion that this table was transparent from all sides. Actually, a little hunchback who was an expert chess player sat inside and guided the puppet’s hand by means of strings. One can imagine a philosophical counterpart to this device. The puppet called ‘historical materialism’ is to win all the time. It can easily be a match for anyone if it enlists the services of theology, which today, as we know, is wizened and has to keep out of sight.”

Friday, November 10, 2023

Listen Up Good, Crusaders

 We’ve been doing this for years. It never gets old. Let’s start with a poem. 

OOO

Still refreshingly deviant 

After thirteen years in the whatever-light


The way out of the master-slave duality is not to make everyone an honorary master, nor to reduce everything to machinic slavishness.

The fact that some Hegelian Marxists still don’t get it (deliberately) and still assault it is such a feature, not a bug.

But their willful misunderstanding is slander adjacent, because it implies something despicable about anyone who is interested in OOO:

Once more with feeling: flat ontology is not flat ethics or flat politics. The fact that something exists in the same way as something else has NOTHING to do with its right to exist. 

It is non-OOO that most frequently ontologizes the world in a toxically normative way, along master-slave lines.

But I think the real reason they’re pissed is, we came up with our own idea rather than steal someone else’s. Simple as that. 

"German idealism." It sounds real bad. You don't say "Taiwanese transcendentalism." You don't say "Jamaican empiricism." Treena: "You don't even say 'Jamaican reggae'." 

What most of you don't know is, we got reported on to our deans and provosts, for saying bottles of milk weren't just bottles of milk, that we should be punished and fired for being all kinds of despicable, and it happened over and over again, and it was Hegelian Marxists who did it to us. We were too confused, and ashamed, and polite, and scared, and new, to point it out. We would've been pilloried even more. 

Some of the original inquisitors are still circling like vultures above my twitter feed, waiting to lunge if one of us makes one tiny little mistake. And probably still talking all kinds of despicable smack that I have happily long been deliberately deaf to, until this last Tuesday on the BBC. 

Take a hike. You've been on at us for 13 years for pointing out and upstaging your religion just by existing. Your religion and its grip on the department lounge.

The first rule of Hegel club is...some of you don't even know you're in it. 

Spread These

 




Theory of Causality Expounded in Hell



 

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Here are Hell's Endorsements, So Far

 What a massive relief to have another book about the biggest disasters of our age  from the hilarious wise and brilliant Tim Morton.  Wild and free, Tim’s ideas give me hope.   

Laurie Anderson


Reading Timothy Morton is something between watching a gifted comedian and experiencing a religious conversion. This book is classic Tim Morton, and it's more. It's William Blake's “mental fight” reimagined for our contemporary world. It's religion reloaded after a major born-again experience (yep), British colonialism, ecological catastrophe, and the efflorescence of diversity on every racial, sexual, and gender level one can imagine (and then some). Hell is a trip, and a flip. Get ready.  You probably already are. 

Jeffrey J. Kripal, author of How to Think Impossibly: About Souls, UFOs, Time, Belief, and Everything Else


Hell: In Search of a Christian Ecology is an ecstatic sermon beamed in from another dimension, one far stranger and more human than our own. I often think that dimension is where Timothy Morton’s consciousness resides, and we are so very lucky for it.

Laura Hudson


I Just Finished Copyediting Hell

 Well that was intense. It got to the point where I couldn't read it, let alone understand it. You know when you're all dressed up and ready to go somewhere and you're quite nervous and you really don't understand or even quite know what you're doing or why? It's like that. 

It's also like cooking Thanksgiving dinner, you wonder whether you forgot the green beans, no you didn't, oh dear, the potatoes are gonna be late, how's the main course doing...why isn't my friend calling back...all these different sorts of task. Checking notes, adding the odd sentence, looking at the style, finding a page number...because it's actually going to be published, it suddenly becomes this huge big deal. 

And I want this book spick and fucking span. As good as I can get it. Because it's saying some really intense things, and you need to be wearing a great suit if you're going to say really intense things. 


"Leyendo esto como la introducción a una peli de Star Wars": An account of my scapegoating at the BBC (sparks of ignorance flew!)

 The Spanish is a tweet that really sums up my description of a show about OOO on BBC Radio 3 (coming soon). Enjoy: 

The Knights of St. Hegel are still crusading against the heresy of letting beings that don't think they're the "subject" have any reality, let alone determinacy or agency. The extent to which they call it evil is boringly astounding at this point, especially when the master-slave template that underwrites their religion is so obviously causing the worst damage.

Who are the Knights? Well there is a chapel inside the Church of Marx for true devotees. Marx was seriously gaslighted by Hegel, and if you're a real intense Marxist, you're going to want to genuflect there. You might not even know the long history of the chapel. You might even say that Hegel was a bastard. But you still genuflect to the idea that the subject determines reality. 

In that scapegoating way, the BBC Knights of St Hegel accused me of being too anthropocentric, not anthropocentric enough, too centered on white western philosophy, not centered enough...at one point I did need to beg for mercy in the form of my Black Jamaican wife and my uncle-in-law descendant of an enslaved person from the (Elizabeth) Barrett plantation.

My attempts to conceptually hug the Knights despite their swordplay only enraged them further. it was rich, lively exposure of the extent of the gaslighting.

But at least the Knights are in earnest. The true malevolence was a Demon who enabled them with their "who will rid me of this turbulent ontologist." "Ontology is nothing...this is a game" was a truly sinister way of being on a nice little radio show. I had never heard of the Demon before, but they had most assuredly heard of themselves.

Did the Knights and the Demon know they were crusading against a nonbinary intersex person on BBC radio? I got accused of being male quite a lot.

I hope the BBC keeps the bit where one of the Knights of St. Hegel calls me a wanker.

Conclusion: I was kind and polite and enthusiastic and generous and didn't once say "Your straw target versions of OOO are not even wrong." I was so well behaved. I am still alive. I was so triggered the rest of the day I couldn't even move, I could hardly talk, I was totally magnetized. It was intense. I needed to talk to my grief counselor friend. I was shaken to the core. I had to take one of my panic pills. 



Most dispiriting perhaps was the extent to which the Knights of St. Hegel sounded so Thatcherite. They had totally absorbed the language of impact, STEM, utility. Which is perhaps why the Demon adventitiously described themselves as a utilitarian, having first announced they were not a philosopher at all. 

My main sin appeared to have been to talk with hesitancy, irony, and nonviolent thoughtfulness. 


Most sinister was the Knights of St. Hegel agreeing with the Demon that "My use of a thing is what a thing is." That's the justification for slavery, right there, from Aristotle to Hegel. 


They picked on the word "object" of course, that dread mirror in which gaslighted "subjects" see the worst possible thing that could happen to them: the enslavement they impose on all other beings. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Professor from Hell Says

 


A BBC Show about OOO

 I'll post a little on this but first, it was an honor to talk with Rachele Dini, Caroline Edwards, and Steven Connor, grade 2 professor of English at Cambridge. Here's an example of his work: 



Saturday, November 4, 2023

Douglas Kahn on Locust Jones

 Jones's cosmic paintings are lovely. And lovely is a good word to describe my friend Doug, sound studies pioneer and general subversive awesome-dude. Here is his essay and a goodly selection of Locust Jones's work. 

Friday, November 3, 2023

A Sneak Peek at Hell: Lines Written a Few Miles Above Lines Written a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey

 This is from a part called "Exordium": 

By June 1992 I was full of dreams and I was about to leave for the USA for the first time, and I had decided that the introduction to the Big Eco Book I was planning (it took twelve more years to turn it into Ecology Without Nature) was going to be called “Lines Written a Few Miles Above Lines Written a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey,” a joke about a Wordsworth poem, the location of a rave called Perception I was at on my birthday (Juneteenth 1992) and my highly altered state at that location, a state brought on by a cocktail then charmingly called The Specialist, where one took a capsule of E and a few hours later when nicely remixed into a saner and wilder version of oneself, a hit of acid. The mealymouthed not-quite-fascism-lite of ecocriticism was bound to have zero psychoactive effect on me by comparison.

😂

Face It


 

On the Back of Hell

 What do you think? 

Hell: In Search of a Christian Ecology
Timothy Morton

 

Hell on earth is real. The toxic fusion of big oil, evangelical Christianity, and white supremacy has ignited a worldwide inferno, more phantasmagoric than anything William Blake could dream up and more cataclysmic than we can fathom. Escaping global warming hell, this revelatory book shows, requires a radical, mystical marriage of Christianity and biology that awakens a future beyond white male savagery.

 

Timothy Morton argues that there is an unexpected yet profound relationship between religion and ecology that can guide a planet-scale response to the climate crisis. Spiritual and mystical feelings have a deep resonance with ecological thinking, and together they provide the resources environmentalism desperately needs in this time of climate emergency. Morton finds solutions in a radical revaluation of Christianity, furnishing ecological politics with a language of mercy and forgiveness that draws from Christian traditions without bringing along their baggage. They call for a global environmental movement that fuses ecology and mysticism and puts race and gender front and center. This nonviolent resistance can stage an all-out assault on the ultimate Satanic mill: the concept of master and slave, manifesting today in white supremacy, patriarchy, and environmental destruction. Passionate, erudite, and playful, Hell takes readers on a journey into the contemporary underworld—and offers a surprising vision of salvation.

 

Timothy Morton is Rita Shea Guffey Chair in English at Rice University and director of the Cool America Foundation. They are the author of more than twenty books, including HyperobjectsDark Ecology, and Ecology Without Nature. Morton has collaborated with Laurie Anderson, Björk, Jennifer Walshe, Susan Kucera, Adam McKay, Jeff Bridges, and Olafur Eliasson.

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Jemar Tisby on White Christian Nationalism

 This is so important. Also provides context for my next book: