Justin Rogers-Cooper and I have spent a lot of time talking about false flags, conspiracy theories, and the strange American predilection for constructing our own personal realities. In this conversation we consider the wider historical and cultural implications of our collective and individual paranoid fantasies. From JFK to pizzagate, what do our conspiracy theories reveal about the national psyche and how it interacts with the structures of power?
Jesse Myerson is a writer and activist whose work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Dissent, The Baffler, and many of other publications. We talk a lot about the contemporary left, Occupy Wall Street, the Bernie Sanders campaign, what to do with the awful Democratic Party, and much more.
It’s always fun to sit down with writer Freddie deBoer, whose sharp, often savage takes on American politics usually provoke strong reactions from both friends and foes. In this conversation we talk about the awfulness of the Democratic Party and the dead-end of Daily Show-style liberalism, and attempt to chart a course for the left through the forest of the alt-right, fake news, and the horrors of a Republican-controlled central government.
Matt Lau was a ubiquitous presence at the CUNY Graduate Center during my years of study there, perhaps most memorably as the author of a series of ridiculous satirical pieces on the back page of the school newspaper. In this conversation we bond over being white hip hop fans in the suburbs of Southern California in the 90s, our shared ambivalence about a life in academia, and Matt’s path from the hazy woods of UC Santa Cruz to the utilitarian halls of CUNY.
On the debut episode of Nostalgia Trap AM/FM, Justin Rogers-Cooper joins me to talk about the nuclear bomb, the dangers of atomic diplomacy, and how the mushroom cloud at the end of history seems somehow more in focus than ever.