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CRV151

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Vault_Cover151KMO is in Arkansas with his children, and for this week’s Vault episode he connected with Portland-based animator, author and Friend of the C-Realm, Dermot O’Connor. The episode begins with some recovered conversational fragments about nuclear war and the “duck and cover” response that civil defense authorities promoted at the time and spirals out from there to touch repeatedly on recurring patterns in history, the fear of death, the occult, atheism and the lessons to be drawn from True Detective, Game of Thrones and Battlestar Galactica.

471: Writ in Water

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Inscription on the headstone of John Keats

Inscription on the headstone of John Keats

This episode features two conversations recorded at the kitchen table with people whom Erik Davis introduced to KMO and Olga. First up is stage magician Ferdinando Buscema who describes a memento mori ritual he has constructed for himself using playing cards. Later, KMO talks with Spiros Antonopoulos, a yoga teacher and seasoned psychonaut, about DMT, ayahuasca and what they may be able to tell us about ourselves and our life’s purpose.

CRV150

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KMO, Olga and JoHio at Age of Limits 2014

KMO, Olga and JoHio at Age of Limits 2014

KMO attended the 2014 Age of Limits gathering and recorded a number of interviews with fellow attendees. In this episode, KMO talks with Bill W., a lay minister in a Unitarian Universalist congregation about building and maintain community, about making room for conversational synergy, and surprisingly, about AGI (artificial general intelligence), geoengineering, and the possibility that industrial civilization may not fall off a cliff in the near future.

470: A Poker Player’s Point of View

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C-Realm_470_coverKMO welcomes Pentamental co-host John Maguire to the C-Realm to talk explicitly about consciousness. The conversation ranges from quantum physics and its relationship with fuzzy New Age belief systems to poker and epistemological humility. A final homage to the late Joe Bageant leads into a brief clip from a recent conversation about global geopolitics and the consequences of the triumph of the “bozo billionaire” variety of libertarian politics in the United States. Check out Background Briefing to hear the entire conversation between host Ian Masters and his guest, Alfred W. McCoy.

CRV149

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Vault_Cover149In this final podcast to feature recordings from the Left Forum 2015, the topic is the full cooperation of the Democratic Party in the USA and the socialists and left parties in Europe to adopt neoliberalism, the financialization of the economy and policies of austerity. Economist Michael Hudson declared, “The bankers realize that by making the Democratic Party run on identity issues, on racial issues or feminist issues, they can get away with the theft they are doing. So there cannot be no progress in the United States until there is an alternative to the Democratic Party.”

469: Left Communication

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Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report

Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report

KMO attended the 2015 Left Forum, and while he found the presenters to be, on the whole, quite knowledgeable, he was, once again, struck by their flat presentations and lack of communicative polish. What’s up with that? In this episode of the C-Realm Podcast, KMO talks with Doug Lain about possible explanations for why the left seems to lag so far behind the right in crafting an engaging, accessible message. Following a clip from The Professional Left podcast, they consider whether it might have something to do with the generous support that the political right extends to their grassroots spokespeople and the lack of support for emerging voices on the left.

CRV 148

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Vault_Cover148The discussion of energy geopolitics from C-Realm 468 concludes here. In the second half of the program, John McCullough describes Hollywood’s evolving relationship with the American middle class as exemplified by the movies Michael Clayton, Blue Jasmine, and Assault on Wall Street. You can listen to an unedited recording of the entire panel discussion from which John McCullough’s presentation was excerpted on Archive.org.

468: Energy Geopolitics in a Contested World

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C-Realm_468_coverKMO attended the 2015 Left Forum gathering and recorded a panel discussion about the geopolitics of energy by Michael Klare, Micheal Schwartz and Daniel Volman.¬†Ever since the world became dependent on petroleum for industrial and military expansion, the major powers have struggled for access to and control over the major sources of oil. Initially, this struggle was dominated by the major European powers, especially Britain, France, and Germany, but after World War II the United States entered the fray. Washington’s determination to control the oil from the Middle East led to the introduction of a major U.S. military presence in the region and periodic military intervention. When other areas, including Africa and the Caspian Sea basin, became important oil producers, U.S. military involvement was extended to these areas as well. Now China is becoming heavily dependent on imported oil and it, too, is joining the global struggle for energy; Russia, although self-sufficient in energy, seeks to control the export of oil and natural gas from the Caspian Sea area. As U.S.-Russian-Chinese relations become more contentious, energy geopolitics will play an increasingly pivotal role in world affairs. This panel will explore the growing contention among global powers for access to and control of Middle East oil and natural gas, and the connections of these struggles to resource competition in other regions.

CRV147

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Vault_Cover147This episode of the C-Realm Vault Podcast includes two conversations about leadership, authority, animating narratives and cultural change recorded with various friends of the C-Realm at the 2015 Left Forum.

467: World of Wounds

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C-Realm_467_coverKMO and Olga talk to educator and novelist, Zack Lehtinen, about his novel, World of Wounds. The novel is akin to Ishmael by Daniel Quinn in that it is an attempt to convey ideas through narrative which many readers might otherwise reject or ignore. KMO gushes about Paolo Bacigalupi’s latest novel, The Water Knife, and Olga makes a sincere call to listeners and entertainment corporations alike to support struggling alternative media professionals.