iOS app Android app

Jesse Aizenstat
GET UPDATES FROM Jesse Aizenstat
Major in political science. Graduate with honors. Fail to find a job. Go surfing in the Middle East.

Rogue journalist and self-admitted California wave junky Jesse Aizenstat couldn't find a real job after college. But his two passions, Middle East politics and surfing, seemed like a good fit for a freelance gig. What the hell? Why not surf from Israel to Lebanon?

Aizenstat now lives in Santa Barbara, CA, where he makes documentary films. For more visit his website.

Entries by Jesse Aizenstat

Baja Smugglers: Transporting News to the 18-34 Demographic on YouTube

(0) Comments | Posted August 5, 2013 | 6:44 PM

Young people don't watch the news. The common understanding is that young people like reality TV, mindless television dramas, and are more addicted to those YouTube "cat chases the ball" videos than the actual cat.

But I think that network executives and media moguls simply haven't found the right...

Read Post

Dennis Rodman in North Korea Is An Emerging Genre in the News

(0) Comments | Posted March 6, 2013 | 11:45 AM

The Associated Press has long since carried the story and we've read the New York Times two-day analysis: Dennis Rodman has indeed been to North Korea, and strange as it may seem, he's the only American to have publicly met with its 28-year-old leader, Kim Jong Un.

VICE, who produced...

Read Post

20-somethings Want No Makeup With Their Journalism

(7) Comments | Posted February 27, 2013 | 5:04 PM

It was in Starship Troopers, otherwise known to my generation as the best "B movie" of all time, where the commander said: "Figuring things out for yourself is really the only freedom anyone really has. Use that freedom. Make up your own mind."

Well, who would have thought that...

Read Post

Should the U.S. Secure Syria's Chemical Weapons?

(29) Comments | Posted December 14, 2012 | 2:56 PM

My answer is: No, I don't think we should.

The following is my thinking on the situation:

Syria has the largest chemical arsenal in the Middle East. To use them, the Assad regime relies on highly trained teams to mix the chemicals, and deliver them in rockets and missiles....

Read Post

What's Next With Israel and Gaza

(69) Comments | Posted November 21, 2012 | 3:47 PM

There is no peace in Israel or Gaza. There is no real solution. There is nothing either side can get behind and sell to their people. Without a final-status agreement, all negotiations between Israel and Hamas start with an act of war. To break this cycle, the Israelis and the...

Read Post

How I Started Surfing The Middle East

(1) Comments | Posted July 20, 2012 | 7:00 AM

The following is an introduction to Jesse Aizenstat's Surfing the Middle East: Deviant Journalism from the Lost Generation.

Major in political science. Graduate with honors. Fail to find a job. Go surfing in the Middle East.

In 2009, I graduated from college in San Diego, California,...

Read Post

Tommy Alexander and the Quiet Lion EP

(1) Comments | Posted May 8, 2012 | 9:32 AM

In a world where nothing is done without first calculating the mean-old cost/benefit, there is a dude named Tommy Alexander who just does it for the love of it. This former college baseball player turned guitar-playing vagabond has started something of a gypsy record label, gathering the best...

Read Post

The Big Six Book Publishers Need to Innovate Like the Good Americans That They Are

(5) Comments | Posted April 24, 2012 | 10:47 AM

In case you missed it the other week, the U.S. Justice Department filed suit against Apple and some of the "Big Six" publishers for conspiring to raise the price of e-books. Of course the Big Six are guilty. They're scared that online e-books sellers like Amazon and Barnes...

Read Post

Steve Jobs Is Helping Me

(2) Comments | Posted April 4, 2012 | 5:25 PM

That's right, sports fans: Steve Jobs is helping me design my hardcover travel-adventure book, Surfing the Middle East. Well... while I'm reading his biography, that is.

And so, don't mistake this little blog entry as some comment on Newt Gingrich-style "open relationships," or how...

Read Post

The LA AppShow

(1) Comments | Posted February 1, 2012 | 5:36 PM

This wasn't your standard gathering of the nerds.

The LA AppShow was held last Wednesday at the Edmunds building in the Water Garden in Santa Monica, California. When I got there, I jammed into the glitzy underground parking garage and made small talk with a sexy brunette on the...

Read Post

Out-Polygamizing His Mormon Competitor

(5) Comments | Posted January 25, 2012 | 11:00 AM

The resurrection of Newt Gingrich?

Have you noticed? The Tea Baggers really have a thing for this guy. Newt's simple, blast 'em all strategy, fits brilliantly into their tough guy ego. They respect that. And they want a candidate who will body-slam the Washington establishment and stick it to the...

Read Post

Oiled in My Yoga Spandex

(9) Comments | Posted January 8, 2012 | 4:03 PM

May the pagan gods bless the New York Times -- because when I read "How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body" this week, I enjoyed one of those fine belly laughs that only comes once in a great while.

The article, by William J. Broad, was laced with...

Read Post

Not So Lost Generation

(14) Comments | Posted November 30, 2011 | 6:26 PM

That Saturday night started alone, with the music up and the windows down, jamming my white Ford Bronco up the LA freeway to some club in Hollywood. The traffic was light and when I got there a small Korean man kept wailing about the angle of my vicious park job....

Read Post