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Nostalgia Trap - Episode 154: Generation Gump w/ Bill Black

The Nostalgia Trap

Release Date: 07/09/2019

Nostalgia Trap - Episode 169: Gaming the Future w/ Mike Pearl show art Nostalgia Trap - Episode 169: Gaming the Future w/ Mike Pearl

The Nostalgia Trap

Mike Pearl is a writer and self-described “apocalypse expert” whose new book The Day It Finally Happens explores the increasingly bizarre scenarios that threaten to totally ruin our collective future. From internet blackouts and antibiotic-resistant superviruses to collapsing governments and mass extinction events, Mike tracks the actual probability of these nightmares coming true as a way of helping us navigate an anxious present.

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Nostalgia Trap - Episode 168: Fight Club, But Woke w/ Sam Yang show art Nostalgia Trap - Episode 168: Fight Club, But Woke w/ Sam Yang

The Nostalgia Trap

Sam Yang is the host of Southpaw, a podcast about the intersection of leftist politics and combat sports. Yang is on a mission to reclaim fighting culture, forging connections between physicality, spirituality, and a more humane engagement with the planet and each other. In this conversation he discusses his background in martial arts, explaining how ethical ideas embedded in his combat training inform his political perspectives.

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Nostalgia Trap - Episode 167: Monster Mash w/ KJ Shepherd and Bill Black show art Nostalgia Trap - Episode 167: Monster Mash w/ KJ Shepherd and Bill Black

The Nostalgia Trap

Bill Black and KJ Shepherd return to the Trap for a special Halloween episode, in which we reflect upon the public fears and personal phobias that plagued our childhoods. Together we explore all sorts of spooky stuff, including the hellish visions invoked by Chick tracts, the 1980s crusade against obscenity in pop music, the weird national obsession with children dying in abandoned refrigerators, and the varieties of erotic experience available at your local Barnes and Noble.

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Nostalgia Trap - Episode 166: Showing the Receipts w/ Kevin Kruse show art Nostalgia Trap - Episode 166: Showing the Receipts w/ Kevin Kruse

The Nostalgia Trap

Kevin Kruse is a historian at Princeton University and the author of a number of important books about race, class, and politics in 20th century America. In this conversation, we talk about his unexpected rise to Twitter fame, his beef with right-wing propagandist Dinesh D’Souza, the many pleasures of archival research, and his connection to the wider community of historians and other scholars who are more actively engaging the public during a chaotic political moment. 

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Episode 165: Today is Tomorrow w/ Justin Rogers-Cooper (BONUS) show art Episode 165: Today is Tomorrow w/ Justin Rogers-Cooper (BONUS)

The Nostalgia Trap

Justin Rogers-Cooper returns to explore the 1993 Bill Murray comedy Groundhog Day, a deceptively straightforward film that pulses with dark insights on political economy, American history, human psychology, and everyday life in late capitalism. 

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Nostalgia Trap - Episode 164: School's Out Forever w/ Brendan O'Malley show art Nostalgia Trap - Episode 164: School's Out Forever w/ Brendan O'Malley

The Nostalgia Trap

Brendan O’Malley is a historian and teacher whose experience with his school’s abrupt closure was the subject of a fascinating, wrenching piece in Contingent Magazine this summer. He joins us to discuss his background in history, earning his Ph.D. at the CUNY Graduate Center, and his particular path through a rapidly collapsing academic job market.

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Nostalgia Trap - Episode 163: Waging Peace w/ Susan Schnall show art Nostalgia Trap - Episode 163: Waging Peace w/ Susan Schnall

The Nostalgia Trap

Susan Schnall served as a nurse in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. Her experiences treating wounded Marines at Oak Noll Naval Hospital in Oakland, California transformed her, and in 1969 she faced court martial for her antiwar activism.

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Nostalgia Trap - Episode 162: Doomsday Politics w/ Bill Black show art Nostalgia Trap - Episode 162: Doomsday Politics w/ Bill Black

The Nostalgia Trap

With Trap favorite Bill Black joining us, a conversation about David’s irrational fear of spiders leads into a wider consideration of existential politics in an apocalyptic age. Bill has lots to tell us about the El Paso shooting and the eco-fascist ideology from which it emerged, connecting it to the rise of doomsday scenarios, conspiracy theories, UFO flashmobs, and other pieces of outright weirdness circulating through the culture.

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Nostalgia Trap - Episode 161: Circling the Eschaton w/ Erik Davis show art Nostalgia Trap - Episode 161: Circling the Eschaton w/ Erik Davis

The Nostalgia Trap

Writer and cultural critic Erik Davis joins us to discuss his fascinating, often startling new book, High Weirdness: Drugs, Esoterica, and Visionary Experience in the Seventies. By connecting the strange experiences of three psychedelic philosophers (Philip K. Dick, Terence McKenna, and Robert Anton Wilson), Davis offers a narrative of the 1970s that goes beyond disco and sideburns, showing us a world of occult prophecies, paranoid conspiracies, and often drug-induced spiritual fuckery.

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Nostalgia Trap - Episode 160: Growth Mindset w/ KJ Shepherd show art Nostalgia Trap - Episode 160: Growth Mindset w/ KJ Shepherd

The Nostalgia Trap

KJ Shepherd is a Ph.D. historian whose research focuses on the history of American standardized testing and the “test preparation” industry it spawned. Along with trading stories about the horrors of teaching the SAT, we have a blunt talk about what’s happening in the history discipline: the impossibility of finding full-time jobs, the humiliation of the application process, the “alt-ac” lie, and much more.

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More Episodes

Bill Black is a historian whose project Contingent Magazine (begun with previous Nostalgia Trap guest Erin Bartram) this month features a 25th anniversary retrospective roundtable on the film Forrest Gump. In this conversation, Black explains how the film’s particular take on boomer generation “greatest hits” hides the film’s deeper engagement with the politics of the 1960s and 1970s, and helps frame how some of Gump’s key characters and scenes often dangerously distort our view of American history.