Podcast / On The Nose
On the Nose is our biweekly podcast. The editorial staff discusses the politics, culture, and questions that animate today’s Jewish left.
I Want to Believe
Duration
0:00 / 54:54
Published
March 3, 2022

In January, n+1 Books released Missing Time, the debut essay collection by Senior Editor Ari M. Brostoff, which includes pieces originally published in Jewish Currents, n+1, and elsewhere. The titular essay reads Brostoff’s preteen passion for the supernatural police procedural The X-Files alongside their nascent political consciousness, as they became a young communist (and then ex-communist). Tracing the relationship between the original run and the 2016 and 2018 reboots, the piece considers the gap between two recent historical epochs, when history seemed to stall and then sputter back to life. In the years since the essay’s initial publication and the show’s conclusion, more and more evidence of real-life UFOs has come to light, with the US government admitting last year that it can’t account for these phenomena—or rule out extraterrestrial explanations. To celebrate the release of their book, Brostoff spoke with Editor-in-Chief Arielle Angel and Managing Editor Nathan Goldman—two recently converted X-Files fanatics—about the show’s political potential, the nature of belief, and whether aliens are real.

Books, Articles, and TV Episodes Mentioned:

Missing Time: Essays by Ari M. Brostoff

Missing Time” by Ari M. Brostoff

Missing Time: A Documented Study of UFO Abductions by Budd Hopkins

“Aubrey,” The X-Files

“Excelsis Dei,” The X-Files

“The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat,” The X-Files

“Jose Chung’s From Outer Space,” The X-Files

2 Navy Airmen and an Object That ‘Accelerated Like Nothing I’ve Ever Seen’” by Helene Cooper, Leslie Kean, and Ralph Blumenthal

Glowing Auras and ‘Black Money’: The Pentagon’s Mysterious U.F.O. Program” by Helene Cooper, Ralph Blumenthal, and Leslie Kean

UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record by Leslie Kean

U.S. Has No Explanation for Unidentified Objects and Stops Short of Ruling Out Aliens” by Julian E. Barnes

How the Pentagon Started Taking U.F.O.s Seriously” by Gideon Lewis-Kraus

I’ve seen the saucers: Obama weighs in as US interest in UFOs rises” by Adam Gabbatt

Abduction: Human Encounters with Aliens by John Mack

Arielle’s Shabbat Reading List recommendation of The X-Files

In the sky! A bird? A plane? A … UFO?” by Jon Hilkevitch

UFO report stirs believers, skeptics” by Jon Hilkevitch

“Berkshires UFO,” Unsolved Mysteries

Thanks to Jesse Brenneman for producing and to Nathan Salsburg for the use of his song “VIII (All That Were Calculated Have Passed).”

Aug 11 2022
The Scream Clarifies an Elsewhere (01:03:07)
To celebrate the release of Culture Editor Claire Schwartz’s debut poetry collection, Civil Service, she discusses the social meanings of poetry with Managing Editor Nathan Goldman and Graywolf Press editor Chantz Erolin.
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Arielle Angel speaks with Emily Dische-Becker and Michael Sappir about the bizarre and worrisome ways that “memory culture” plays out in Germany among Jews, Palestinians, and Germans, as well as the recent attacks on Dische-Becker in the German press.
Jul 14 2022
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Recording from a convention of the Autonomous Tenants Union Network, Ari Brostoff speaks with organizers Kenia Alcocer, Danya Martinez-Spider, and Claire Spiehler about the tenant movement across the country.
Jun 30 2022
The Mapping Project (53:25)
Jewish Currents staff discuss the controversy that arose after Boston activists published a map of Massachusetts institutions they deemed complicit in Zionism and US imperialism.
Jun 16 2022
The Age of No Revolutions (49:08)
David Klion speaks with history podcaster Mike Duncan about why the left’s discontent with the status quo hasn’t led to a sustained uprising.
May 26 2022
The Killing of Shireen Abu Akleh (51:36)
Dylan Saba, Dana El Kurd, and Fadi Quran discuss Israeli obfuscation and strategies of resistance in the wake of a journalist’s murder
May 5 2022
Campus Wars (54:10)
Jewish Currents staff discuss the latest flashpoints in campus conflict over Israel/Palestine
Apr 20 2022
A Surge of Violence in Israel/Palestine (36:27)
Peter Beinart, Dana El Kurd, and Daniel Seidemann discuss the recent increase in fatal attacks in Israel/Palestine.
Apr 1 2022
Volodymyr Zelensky and Post-Soviet Jewishness (56:15)
David Klion, Julia Alekseyeva, Linda Kinstler, and Helen Betya Rubinstein discuss the meaning of the Ukrainian president’s background.
Mar 17 2022
The Assault on Trans and Reproductive Rights (58:16)
Senior Editor Ari M. Brostoff, scholar Jules Gill-Peterson, journalist Meaghan Winter, and reproductive justice advocate Laurie Bertram Roberts discuss the recent wave of executive and legislative attacks on trans people and abortion rights.
Mar 3 2022
I Want to Believe (this page)
Upon the release of Senior Editor Ari M. Brostoff’s debut essay collection, Missing Time, they discuss the political potential of The X-Files with Editor-in-Chief Arielle Angel and Managing Editor Nathan Goldman.
Feb 17 2022
The Black–Jewish Relations Industrial Complex (59:54)
In light of recent flashpoints in so-called Black–Jewish relations, Contributing Writer Rebecca Pierce joins artists and activists Anthony Russell, Reuben Telushkin, and Shoshana Brown in discussing the continued prevalence of anti-Black racism in the American Jewish community and the ongoing exclusion of Black Jews.
Feb 3 2022
Whose West Side Story? (01:02:32)
Editor-in-chief Arielle Angel spoke with scholars Frances Negrón-Muntaner, Brian E. Herrera, and Daniel Pollack-Pelzner about the parallel resonances of West Side Story in Jewish and Latinx communities, and the tensions that emerge over questions of power and control.
Jan 20 2022
After Colleyville (43:36)
Jewish Currents staff discuss their immediate reactions to the recent hostage crisis at a Texas synagogue.
Dec 16 2021
Jamaal Bowman and DSA (43:38)
Jewish Currents staff discuss the debate within the Democratic Socialists of America about Congressman Jamaal Bowman's divergence from the organization on Israel/Palestine.
Dec 2 2021
What Does the Record Show? (57:28)
Culture Editor Ari M. Brostoff and writers Vicky Osterweil and Kay Gabriel discuss Sarah Schulman's Let the Record Show, the dangers of nostalgia, and the challenges of reckoning with our political forebears.
Nov 18 2021
Israel's Attack on Palestinian Civil Society (23:55)
Senior Reporter Alex Kane interviews Palestinian American analyst Yousef Munayyer and Israeli human rights advocate Sarit Michaeli on Israel's October decision to declare six Palestinian human rights organizations “terrorist” groups.
Nov 4 2021
Sunrise, Sunset (01:00:03)
Jewish Currents staff discuss Sunrise DC's recent statements on appearing with Zionist groups.
Oct 22 2021
West Bank Politics (51:53)
Senior Reporter Alex Kane discusses recent developments in the occupied West Bank with journalist Dalia Hatuqa and activist and analyst Fadi Quran.
Oct 8 2021
The Use and Abuse of “Jewish Peoplehood” (01:10:03)
Editor-in-chief Arielle Angel discusses recent pieces on Jewish solidarity with editor-at-large Peter Beinart and contributing writer Rebecca Pierce.
Aug 10 2021
Political Depression (01:06:03)
Jewish Currents staff discuss the relationship between political feelings and therapy.
Jul 27 2021
Rallies, Surveys, and Ice Cream (01:29:18)
Jewish Currents staff discuss the sparsely attended “No Fear” rally, the surprising results of the Jewish Electorate Institute poll of American Jewish voters, and the announcement that Ben & Jerry’s will stop selling ice cream in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Jul 13 2021
Couples Therapy (01:25:05)
Jewish Currents staff and their non-Jewish partners discuss the meaning of Jewishness in their homes and relationships.
Jun 29 2021
Jewish Feelings (54:57)
Jewish Currents staff discuss the ADL’s recent survey of American Jews about their understanding of antisemitism. What is the relationship between claims of antisemitism and discomfort, and what does it mean for a politics of feelings?
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