Nostalgia Trap - Episode 349: I Need Your Love w/ Justin Rogers-Cooper (PREVIEW)
The Nostalgia Trap
by David Parsons
4d ago
This week Justin and I go all in on Baz Luhrmann’s camp masterpiece Elvis (2022), as we consider the life, work, and legacy of an iconic 20th century artist/product/celebrity/Christ figure. How is Elvis’ insane life story emblematic of an archetypal cultural phenomenon, from Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin to Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston? How do we sort out the contradictions of race, gender, sexuality, and class in Elvis’ rise and fall? And perhaps most of all, what’s up with Tom Hanks in this movie?  Listen to the whole episode: https://www.patreon.com/posts/episode-349-i-w-7819873 ..read more
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Nostalgia Trap - Episode 348: Going Underground w/ Lara Langer Cohen
The Nostalgia Trap
by David Parsons
6d ago
What does it mean to “go underground”? Lara Langer Cohen is an associate professor of English at Swarthmore College. Her latest book, Going Underground: Race, Space, and the Subterranean in the Nineteenth-Century United States (Duke University Press, 2023), explores how subterranean spaces (both real and imagined) animated social, political, and cultural movements in 19th century America, from the abolitionists of the Underground Railroad to anarchist secret societies and practitioners of sex magic. In this conversation, we plunge into these underground worlds and excavate some of the lost peo ..read more
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Gender Trap - Ep 11 : Forget It, Jake, You're Canceled (PREVIEW)
The Nostalgia Trap
by David Parsons
1w ago
This week Yasmin and I watch Chinatown (1974) and have a conversation about the film’s infamously elegant screenplay, shocking plot twist, insanely dark ending, and wonderfully sleazy cameo from the film’s director, Roman Polanski, whose own personal corruption intersects with the film’s brutal vision of a corrupted world. What does Chinatown have to say to us now?  Subscribe to hear the whole episode, plus access all our fabulous bonus stuff: patreon.com/nostalgiatrap ..read more
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Nostalgia Trap - Episode 347: Fit Nation w/ Natalia Mehlman Petrzela
The Nostalgia Trap
by David Parsons
2w ago
How do shifting ideas about physical fitness, health, and the body reflect larger ideological structures like nation, race, gender, and capitalism? Natalia Mehlman Petrzela is a historian of American culture and politics and associate professor of history at the New School. In this conversation, we discuss her latest book Fit Nation: The Gains and Pains of America’s Exercise Obsession, which tracks the evolution of fitness culture from the strongman exhibitions at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair to the Peloton/home gym movement of the COVID-19 era.   Subscribe to Nostalgia Trap to acce ..read more
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Nostalgia Trap - Livestream 1.13.23: Rats in a Maze w/ Justin Rogers-Cooper (PREVIEW)
The Nostalgia Trap
by David Parsons
3w ago
This week Justin and I watched the HBO Max documentary This Place Rules, which gives us a chance to talk about the weird undercurrents of rape, sexual domination, violence, and pedophilia coursing through 1/6, QAnon, Alex Jones, Proud Boys, Antifa, and even the filmmaker himself. Are we in a unique moment for subconscious urges bubbling to the surface of public politics, or has it always been this way?  Listen to the whole episode: https://www.patreon.com/posts/livestream-1-13-77204705 ..read more
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TRAP TV - Noir is a Vibe (PREVIEW)
The Nostalgia Trap
by David Parsons
1M ago
What is film noir and why does it matter? In the first episode of a series called Shadow Nation, I reflect on the commercial failure of Guillermo Del Toro’s prestige noir remake Nightmare Alley (2021) and wonder what makes a movie “noir” in the first place. Is it just detectives and fedoras and femmes fatale? Or is there a way of understanding noir beyond style, genre, and visual aesthetic? Check out the full episode, in video and podcast form for Nostalgia Trap subscribers: patreon.com/posts/trap-tv-shadow-76793267   ..read more
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Nostalgia Trap - Livestream 12.30.22: No Hugs and No Learning w/ Justin Rogers-Cooper (PREVIEW)
The Nostalgia Trap
by David Parsons
1M ago
Our series on 1990s/2000s comedy continues this week with a conversation about Seinfeld. Justin and I watched two episodes (S5E5 "The Bris" and S7E4 "The Wink"), and reflect on the show's weird elevated "dream vision" of 90s bourgeois culture.  Listen to the whole episode: patreon.com/posts/livestream-12-30-76564956 ..read more
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Nostalgia Trap - Livestream 12.23.22: The Doofus in Charge w/ Justin Rogers-Cooper (PREVIEW)
The Nostalgia Trap
by David Parsons
1M ago
This week Justin and I watch Elf (2003) and talk about Will Ferrell's late 90s/early 2000s comic persona in the context of male bodies, George W. Bush, and a particular cultural turn toward "dumb assholes" in the digital era. Listen to the whole episode: patreon.com/posts/livestream-12-23-76298993 ..read more
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Nostalgia Trap - Episode 346: Uncomfortable Television w/ Hunter Hargraves
The Nostalgia Trap
by David Parsons
1M ago
What makes disturbing, graphic shows like CSI and Intervention so morbidly appealing? How does our desire for uncomfortable entertainment reflect a larger normalization of fear, precarity, and violence in our everyday reality? Hunter Hargraves is Associate Professor of Cinema and Television Arts at California State University, Fullerton. His new book, Uncomfortable Television (Duke University Press, 2023), examines how 21st century television invites viewers to find pleasure in discomfort, training us to survive in a neoliberal world that’s just one cringe experience after another.  Subsc ..read more
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Campus Trap Ep 9 - The BRUTAL TRUTH About Getting a Ph.D. (PREVIEW)
The Nostalgia Trap
by David Parsons
1M ago
Since clever people are now declaring the end of college education, Ryan and I thought it might be fun to survey the highs and lows of our own respective "college" experiences, from undergrad to Ph.D. What worked for us, and what ruined our lives forever? Like any good academics, we're making a list!  Listen to the whole episode Go read Ryan's Substack  Check out David's grad school rant on YouTube ..read more
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