I was recently interviewed by two super-smart and creative young men, Andrew Blevins and Jonah Sprung. Our conversation was just published by The Flood, an online magazine “that sits at the confluence of radical politics and spirituality.” As this description from their site indicates, this blog and The Flood share at least one very important interest in common:

Histories of spirituality and social movements are inseparable. Experiences of the sublime bump up against the mechanisms of the state, bureaucracy meets intimacy, and the mundane is disrupted by jubilation. The Flood explores this ongoing relationship and asks: as the waters rise, how can we help each other stay afloat?

From the interview introduction:

It wasn’t so long ago that the variety of practices known as meditation stood outside, if not quite against, the American spiritual mainstream. With heads turned vaguely toward the East, the seekers of the Baby Boomer generation moved in a territory delimited on one side by Orientalist mysticism and on the other by Sixties radicalism; the Dharma was to be found somewhere between Alan Watts’s soothing chin-beard and Allen Ginsberg’s hippie mane. Today, Buddhist mainstays like the cessation of desire and realization of the Self’s inherent emptiness compete with other productivity hacks, more likely to arrive via push notification than guru…

While his philosophic constructions tend toward a sort of theatrical maximalism, in person Wallis is easy and unaffected; he looks more ex-punk than ex-professor, with a piratical ring through his left ear, and speaks in a Philly-inflected baritone. His good humor confirmed the playfulness one often suspects is dancing beneath the surface of his writing, though it also lent an unsettling charge to some of his darker pronouncements. We met in a large post-industrial coffee shop (cf. “ruins,” below) on the main drag of Philadelphia’s Fishtown.

~~~~~~~

Glenn Wallis: I guess it starts, in terms of the production of work or whatever, with this band Ruin…

Read on at The Flood.

Flood_Heron

 

25 Comment on “Stranger Subjects: Interview

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