This podcast features interviews with academics, writers, poets, artists, filmmakers, and all sorts of other interesting folks, using their personal biographies as the starting point for wide-ranging conversations about the state of our world.


Society and Culture
Popular Culture






February 2017
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Nostalgia Trap AM/FM:  It's the end of the world and you know it.

Direct download: Nostalgia_Trap_AMFM_Ep56_Teaser.mp3
Category:Society and Culture -- posted at: 1:11pm EST

Nostalgia Trap AM/FM:  Real conversations about history, politics, and culture, remixed for an apocalyptic era. Coming soon.

Direct download: Nostalgia_Trap_AMFM_Teaser.mp3
Category:Society and Culture -- posted at: 2:47pm EST

Michael Busch is a senior editor at Warscapes, an online magazine that features writing, art, photography and other media from war-torn regions around the globe. Michael talks with me about his youth and world travels, his time studying international organized crime at the CUNY Graduate Center, and the values and ideas behind his work at Warscapes.

Direct download: Nostalgia_Trap_Ep55_Michael_Busch.mp3
Category:Society and Culture -- posted at: 3:06pm EST

L.A. Kauffman is a longtime organizer and historian whose new book, Direct Action:  Protest and the Reinvention of American Radicalism traces the history of the left in the post 1960s era. She spoke with me about some of the major successes and failures of direct action campaigns in recent decades. In the age of a reawakened U.S. left, what can we learn about the tactics and strategies developed in the past? Kauffman's work answers that question with a detailed historical narrative that can serve as a guide to what works, and what doesn't.

Direct download: Nostalgia_Trap_Ep54_LA_Kauffman.mp3
Category:Society and Culture -- posted at: 12:52pm EST

Daniel Pinchbeck's bestselling 2002 book Breaking Open the Head:  A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism had a profound effect on me when I read it in my early twenties. Along with the work of Noam Chomsky and Terence McKenna, Pinchbeck's writing definitely shaped the way I interpreted the fallout after 9/11 and the cascade of horror that was the Bush years. Here Pinchbeck shares his thoughts about a wide range of topics, from crop circles and shamanism to climate emergency and apocalypse. His book How Soon is Now: From Personal Initiation to Global Transformation comes out in early 2017.

Direct download: Nostalgia_Trap_Ep53_Daniel_Pinchbeck.mp3
Category:Society and Culture -- posted at: 3:19pm EST

Will Menaker is one of the hosts of Chapo Trap House, a fierce and funny podcast that took the media world by storm during Election 2016. Here Will makes a triumphant return to the Nostalgia Trap, discussing Chapo's insane rise during the Democratic primaries, the depressing state of liberal "comedy," and how the show might evolve during the impending Trump era.

Direct download: Nostalgia_Trap_Ep52_Will_Menaker.mp3
Category:Society and Culture -- posted at: 2:51pm EST

Felix Biederman is one of the hosts of Chapo Trap House, a podcast that mixes relentless satire with incisive political analysis. In this conversation, recorded less than 24 hours after Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, Felix dissects his feelings about this surreal moment, tells me about his youth in Hyde Park, Chicago, and shares his perspectives on war, the Democratic Party, the appeal of MMA, and much more.

Direct download: Nostalgia_Trap_Ep51_Felix_Biederman.mp3
Category:Society and Culture -- posted at: 2:41pm EST

Matt Christman is one third of the wildly popular podcast Chapo Trap House, a show that takes left political satire to a brutal, hilarious, and altogether new place. He talked with me about his youth in Wisconsin, his adventures on Twitter, and the abysmal state of American political discourse. 

Direct download: Nostalgia_Trap_Ep50_Matt_Christman.mp3
Category:Society and Culture -- posted at: 3:20pm EST

Myq Kaplan is a very funny stand-up comedian whose material often touches on cultural issues like veganism, polyamory, and psychedelic drugs. I talked to him about his work in linguistics at Boston University, his early years as a musician, and his evolution as a comic. The "Hitler/time travel" bit discussed on this episode is featured in Myq's stand-up special, Small, Dork, and Handsome, currently streaming on Netflix.

Direct download: Nostalgia_Trap_Ep49_Myq_Kaplan.mp3
Category:Society and Culture -- posted at: 4:16pm EST

Thaddeus Russell is a professor of history and writer whose book A Renegade History of the United States presents a striking counter-narrative to popular interpretations of the American experience. In this conversation, he tells me about a childhood spent surrounded by the Berkeley political world of the 1960s and 70s, and traces his unique path through the often rigid culture of academia.

Direct download: Nostalgia_Trap_Ep48_Thaddeus_Russell.mp3
Category:Society and Culture -- posted at: 4:25pm EST