How do you construct a life worth living when your human animal needs are fundamentally at odds with the dominant culture’s agenda?
It’s this sort of questioning that has shaped the sordid path of Dr. Christopher Ryan, host of the Tangentially Speaking podcast and co-author of 2011’s Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships.
More recently, Chris has shifted his focus away from sexuality and towards civilization itself: What if all those hallmarks of modernity that we think we can’t live without are actually stifling our true potential and stunting our growth — not to mention, trashing the planet in the process?
In his forthcoming book Civilized to Death: What Was Lost on the Way to Modernity (set for release in late 2019), the author “explores the ways in which ‘progress’ has perverted the way we live: how we eat, learn, feel, mate, parent, communicate, work, and die.”
For episode 52 of the Good Life Revival Podcast, I had the rare pleasure of sitting down with Chris in his humble abode outside Los Angeles to gauge his feelings about the myriad existential crises our global culture faces, how we should react to it all, and whether we ought to be restructuring our lifestyles in light of what we know about the house of cards we call civilization.
I feel really honored to have had the opportunity to pick Chris’s brain like this, and I look forward to seeing his perspective fleshed out further when the book is released next year.
Enjoyed the song featured in today’s episode? That’s a new one of mine called “Mountain Lion Medicine”, written and recorded just a few days before this episode was put together. You can stream or download the unmastered demo over on Patreon — no pledge required! For more free music from yours truly, check out “Used to be an Ocean” recorded last week, too.
For access to my complete podcast music archive, all it takes is a pledge of $1 or more via Patreon! I hope you’ll consider supporting the show if you’re able. Every dollar makes a big difference.
Save 10% off of truly wild rice harvested in northern Minnesota, courtesy of Wild Food Warehouse, by using my code GOODLIFE when placing your order.
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Related Links and Further Resources:
Civilized to Death: What Was Lost on the Way to Modernity (forthcoming) by Chris Ryan
Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships by Chris Ryan and Cacilda Jetha
Saving the World, Moving Beyond Civilization: Interview with Quinn from 2012, by Aaron Wissner
First Farmers by Helga Ingeborg Vierich
Rewild or Die: Revolution and Renaissance at the End of Civilization By Urban Scout (Peter Michael Bauer)
Black & Green Press - for more on green anarchism and anarcho-primitivism