Nostalgia Trap features weekly conversations about history and politics with some of the left’s most incisive thinkers, writers, and extremely online personalities.
Nostalgia Trap - Episode 296: Good Grief, Part Two w/ Yasmin Nair (TEASER)
2:06Part Two of our conversation with Yasmin Nair on death and grief in the COVID era. Check out Yasmin’s incredible archive of writing, including many of the pieces discussed in this episode, here: yasminnair.com.
Nostalgia Trap - Episode 297: Cure-Pilled w/ Andrew Schustek
1:23:31Andrew Schustek joins us to discuss the extraordinary Japanese horror film Cure (1997), one of a number of unbelievably prescient works directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa that take on the nightmarish social and political reality of Japan’s “lost decades.” In this conversation, we explain why Cure stands alone, as both a unique piece of horror craftsmanship and an endlessly frightening exploration of the connections between political economy and the unbridled murder lust simmering just beneath the surface of “ordinary” men and women.
Nostalgia Trap - Episode 295: Good Grief, Part One w/ Yasmin Nair
49:46The one and only Yasmin Nair joins us this week for a wide-ranging discussion on a topic near and dear to all of us: death. In Part One of our conversation, we talk about how the politics of COVID have created a cruel public theater that showcases American culture’s deeply weird, and deeply disturbing, attitudes about death, grief, and what we owe to each other. This two-parter is quite openly a Nostalgia Trap therapy session, as Yasmin and I each process the loss of close friends in the context of intense global heartbreak. Listen to Part Two here: https://www.patreon.com/posts/57076725
Nostalgia Trap - Episode 294: The Contrarian w/ Max Chafkin
1:05:23Max Chafkin is an editor at Bloomberg Businessweek whose new book, The Contrarian: Peter Thiel and Silicon Valley’s Pursuit of Power tells the unbelievable true story of Peter Thiel’s rise to power through strategic investment and control over massive tech firms. From his assassination of Gawker (remember the Hulk Hogan lawsuit? Thiel funded it.) to his manipulation of Mark Zuckerberg and the Facebook algorithm, Thiel has emerged as an enigmatic, arguably sinister force in American politics and media. Who is this guy? And what is the endgame?
Nostalgia Trap - Episode 293: Cuomosexuality w/ Justin Rogers-Cooper (TEASER)
3:25Justin joins us to talk about Ross Barkan’s incredible book The Prince: Andrew Cuomo, Coronavirus, and the Fall of New York, as we discuss some of the wilder implications of Cuomo’s sickening “daddy” image among liberals, who fell in love with a television image curated for their pleasure. In this conversation Justin finally defines his oft-uttered phrase “queer your Marx” and throws out some uncomfortable questions for the left to confront: Why do we need daddies? What kind of sick people are we anyway? Listen to the full episode here: patreon.com/posts/episode-293-w-56427764
Nostalgia Trap - Episode 292: The Prince w/ Ross Barkan
1:00:15Ross Barkan is a journalist who has been covering New York state politics, in particular the governorship of Andrew Cuomo, for the last eight years. He joins us to discuss his book The Prince: Andrew Cuomo, Coronavirus, and the Fall of New York, which provides stunning details of the (now ex-) governor’s handling of COVID, and how his deft manipulation of political power and media obscured his own role in creating staggering suffering and death among the New Yorkers he swore to represent. For more on the Cuomo saga, and the erotic contours of the “daddy” image he cultivated among liberals, check out this week’s bonus episode, “Cuomosexuality” with Justin Rogers-Cooper: patreon.com/posts/episode-293-w-56427764
Nostalgia Trap - Episode 291: 9 Theses on 9/11, Part Three w/ Justin Rogers-Cooper (TEASER)
1:32For the conclusion of our 9/11 trilogy, Justin Rogers-Cooper and I watch Alfonso Cuarón's 2006 cinematic masterpiece Children of Men, a work that has moved and obsessed both of us for years. We reflect on how the film uncannily captures the alternative future 9/11 launched us into — a world in which the apocalyptic background is getting closer and closer, changing the terms of our lives in ways we might not have anticipated. Listen to the full episode here: patreon.com/posts/episode-291-9-on-56022985
Nostalgia Trap - Episode 290: 9 Theses on 9/11, Part Two w/ Justin Rogers-Cooper (TEASER)
2:02For Part Two of our 9/11 trilogy, Justin Rogers-Cooper helps us untangle the world of 9/11 truthers and related conspiracy theories, as we explore how the attacks and their aftermath destabilized consensus reality and led us into a new landscape of weaponized digital information. This conversation covers a lot of territory, from Alex Jones to Burn After Reading, from the White House to Saudi Arabia, and from Seymour Hersh to Zero Dark Thirty. Cutting through the haze of fake news, internet grifts, and homemade YouTube documentaries, we try to answer some basic questions: Why did 9/11 happen? Who benefitted? And how did it transform world history? Listen to the full episode: patreon.com/posts/episode-290-9-on-55920380
Nostalgia Trap - Episode 289: 9 Theses on 9/11, Part One w/ Justin Rogers-Cooper
1:25:01To mark the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Justin Rogers-Cooper joins us for a trilogy of episodes considering the event’s legacy and long-term impact. In Part One, we consider the immediate shock of the day and how it seemed to instantly give birth to a new historical era, examining how Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 and Jon Stewart’s sappy Daily Show monologues reflect the sentimental nationalism that gripped American liberals in the attack’s wake.
Nostalgia Trap - Episode 288: We? What the Fuck We? w/ Bertrand Cooper (TEASER)
4:05Bertrand Cooper joins us to discuss his latest incendiary piece in Current Affairs, “Who Actually Gets to Create Black Pop Culture?,” which argues that the elite class composition of many Black creators reveals deep contradictions in the politics of woke Hollywood. Listen to the whole episode: patreon.com/posts/episode-288-we-w-55434030