We are all DEVO! This episode stops by the famous Mutato Studios on the Sunset Strip to sit down with the legendary Mark Mothersbaugh. For over an hour I took part in one of the most brilliant, though provoking, inspiring and wacky conversations that I’ve ever been a part of. First and foremost, I’m a fan of Mark’s and of DEVO. They were one of the most influential bands of my youth through their ahead of their time use of multi media and music. Mark was so generous with his telling of the story behind the de-evolutionary roots of the band as well as his journey into being a soundtrack composer. Mark’s view of how technology, media, culture and music fits into one cohesive narrative is unparalleled. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.
Midi-Controlled Bird Sound Contraption (as heard at the end of the show):
Mark Mothersbaugh is an American singer, songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, author and visual artist.
Mothersbaugh’s music career spans more than 40 years. He came to prominence in the late 1970s as co-founder, lead singer and keyboardist of the new wave band Devo, which released a Top 20 hit in 1980 with the single “Whip It”. The band has maintained a cult following throughout its existence. Mothersbaugh is one of the main composers of Devo’s music and made major lyrical contributions to the band’s songs. He is one of only two members (along with bass player Gerald Casale) who have been with Devo throughout its entire history.
In addition to his work with Devo, Mothersbaugh has made music for television series, films and video games via his production company, Mutato Muzika, most notably as the composer for the popular long-running animated series Rugrats for its entire 13-year run, as well as all three theatrical films. He also has had a solo career which has included four studio albums: Muzik for Insomniaks, Muzik for the Gallery, Joyeux Mutato and The Most Powerful Healing Muzik in the Entire World. In 2004, he was honored with the Richard Kirk award at the BMI Film and TV Awards for his significant contributions to film and television music. Additionally, Mothersbaugh was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Kent State University in 2008.
Part two of my cross-podcast swap with Douglas Rushkoff is up over at TeamHuman.fm – head on over there to check it out!
And I’m also the guest on a new episode of Third Eye Drops with Michael Phillip. I’m really proud of this one and of the many podcasts I’ve done I felt like this one flowed really really well. Dig it.
Part 1 of the IAH and Team Human Podcast episodical swap! Next week Part 2 will be over at Douglas’ podcast Team Human. Really exciting. Douglas is one of my oldest friends, mentors and inspirations. I’ve looked up to a great deal over the years on a variety of issues. Douglas was way ahead of the curve in interpreting the effect that digital media and cyberspace would have on the human condition. Through his books Media Virus, Present Shock and Throwing Rocks and The Google Bus – Douglas has given astonishing views into the color of our new world. On this podcast we talked a lot about what Team Human (the concept) means, looking back on the past and our experience in it and how our the very nature of our consciousness is changing right before our very eyes. Douglas is one of the great thinkers of our time, enjoy.
INTRO RANT: The quality of action within love
Douglas Rushkoff is a writer, documentarian, and lecturer whose work focuses on human autonomy in a digital age. He is the author of fifteen bestselling books on media, technology, and society, including Program or Be Programmed, Present Shock, and Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus. He has made such award-winning PBS Frontline documentaries as Generation Like, Merchants of Cool, and The Persuaders, and is the author of graphic novels including Testament and Aleister & Adolf.
Rushkoff is the recipient of the Marshall McLuhan Award for his book Coercion, The Jacques Ellul Award for his documentary The Merchants of Cool, and the Neil Postman Award for Career Achievement in Public Intellectual Activity. Named one of the world’s ten most influential intellectuals by MIT, he is responsible for originating such concepts as “viral media,” “social currency,” and “digital natives.” Today, Dr. Rushkoff serves as Professor of Media Theory and Digital Economics at CUNY/Queens, where he recently founded the Laboratory for Digital Humanism and hosts its TeamHuman podcast.
Excerpt #2 from my upcoming book “Who Are You Now?”
When I started to really explore the theory that spirituality and technology are the most dominant wings of change for the 21st century I began to see more and more how the two can live together. The antiquarian idea that man can not be scientific and believe in God at the same time is no longer relevant. Additionally, the idea that the intelligent use of applied technology is a link in spiritual evolution is in step with logic, harmony and even with ancient doctrines. It is then in fact completely logical that Gods plan for us includes our relationship with technology and it’s subsequent mutation of our condition.
Because of the loosening of our cultural morality belts that the 20th century, especially the 1960’s, did for us – it is with that new found social freedom around what God is or isn’t that we can now start to have fun with integrating God into our lives in a way that suits the individual. Rather than the past model of forcing the individual to comply with the institution. The strict, obey or else, rules and regulations that old dogmas put forth in The Church are now dissolving into a patch work of spiritual paths that are adaptable and a whole lot more fun.
In my view it is entirely acceptable to take refuge in Gods new manifestations of ones and zeroes. Cyberspace is essentially another dimension. As John Perry Barlow said “it’s the place you are when you’re on the telephone.” That’s it.
It’s a fifth dimension that allows our consciousness, identity and personality to hang out in. Within that dimension also exists Gods love. It is true that I relate more with the Eastern spiritual traditions that Western ones but it frustrates me that the idea of what God is (as defined by those traditions) feels old, stale and stuck. In these traditions God hasn’t changed much in thousands of years. That feels off to me. If human beings evolve, invent, innovate and mutate then certainly God must too.
That means the following: God is AI, God is VR, God is the fabric of connection found in social media, God is the love that you experienced when connecting with something or someone online, God is the compassion that arose when you took on the suffering of the Syrian refugees you learned about from that YouTube video. These are but a few examples of how God is present in the 21st Century.
I do identify myself as a spiritualist. That of someone who sees the difference between the material world and the spiritual world. I strive to love more even if it pains me to do so. In times of being wronged or angered that limitless well of love and compassion is the only ingredient that can combat these less desirable human emotions. Change comes when my online identity affords me many more opportunities to practice my spiritual ideals. In there, I have more chances to tell someone that I love them and more chances to help and to serve. All thanks to God widening the net of consciousness in cyberspace. And for that I’m grateful.
It’s a rare thing that I feel compelled to do a podcast around the subject of my dear paternal star guide, good ol’ TL. I love and miss him a lot but can’t spend too much time being too close in terms of my own work. Of course there are exceptions and this was one of them. James Penner wrote the most amazing book, Timothy Leary: The Harvard Years – Early Writings on LSD and Psilocybin with Richard Alpert, Huston Smith and Ralph Metzner. James stopped by the kitchen table to dissect not just the book but the entire history and context which is what makes the work TL and RD did at Harvard so monumental. Really, if you don’t know much about the Harvard era one thing to know is that it was one of the key ingredients in the start of the 1960’s. James is funny, smart and so well researched. This was a pleasure do and a worthy exception to the TL podcast rule!
INTRO RANT: moving through our collective relationship with the inauguration
To pick up a copy of “Timothy Leary: The Harvard Years” click here:
James Penner is an Assistant Professor in the English Department of the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras. A graduate of Brown University and the University of Southern California, James divides his time between San Juan and Los Angeles.
The goal of IAH Productions to extend my work into areas that exist outside of myself but feels true to what we’ve created here on the IAH podcast. For years, I’ve been separating my work into different components, categories and compartments. Rather than continuing that separation I feel that the best way moving forward is to unify everything I do into one cohesive philosophical offering that has within it different offerings
Please click here to learn more
The It’s All Happening podcast finally joins forces with the host of the Synchronicity Podcast, Noah Lampert. Noah and I have been surfing the waves of podcasting, consciousness and friendship for awhile now and it was such a pleasure to finally co-habitate on this show. We covered what we think about the art of podcasting, Carl Jung, the balance between analysis and bhakti and some other important things that I can’t remember right now. Noah is a fantastic, sharp and original mind that is worth checking out.
INTRO RANT: rabbit holes, news years resolutions and enough self help books
This episode is sponsored by Eat, Dream, Be. Head on over to eatdreambe.com/itsallhappening to learn more about these amazing neurotransmitters centered delectable food snacks.
Noah Lampert is the host of the Synchronicity Podcast and the chief architect of the MindPod Network. He’s also a digital strategist, a musician, a seeker of wisdom and all around good citizen of this and other galaxies.
The following is the first of many excerpts from my upcoming book “Who Are You Now? – The fusion of technology, spirituality and the battle for our own identity”
Additionally it’s worth noting that parts of this book’s inspiration comes from other experiences that I’ve had in life. I’ve had success in business, failure in business, drug addiction, recovery and ultimately a peace and connection with something greater than myself that I’d like to share with others. No, this does not mean that I’m some new age spiritual zealot set on proselytizing the notion that I’ve discovered God Head and so should you! But, I will say with conviction that a key ingredient into the survival of our species is the inclusion of some form of spiritual awareness into ones daily life. It is essential and must be sought after by even the most resistant among us. Until we start having a truly deep meaningful and compassionate outlook towards our fellow man, peace and stability will be impossible. Policy and economic reform won’t get us there alone – the heart needs to be at the forefront of all our decisions.