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Still Processing

New York Times

Welcome to the world according to Wesley and Jenna! They’re talking every week (to each other, to colleagues, to friends, to makers) about culture in the broadest sense. That means television, film, books, music — but also the culture of work, dating, the internet and how those all fit together. Wesley is The Times’s Pulitzer Prize winning critic at large, and Jenna is a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine. They're working it out, one week at a time.

Welcome to the world according to Wesley and Jenna! They’re talking every week (to each other, to colleagues, to friends, to makers) about culture in the broadest sense. That means television, film, books, music — but also the culture of work, dating, the internet and how those all fit together. Wesley is The Times’s Pulitzer Prize winning critic at large, and Jenna is a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine. They're working it out, one week at a time.
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Location:

New York, NY

Description:

Welcome to the world according to Wesley and Jenna! They’re talking every week (to each other, to colleagues, to friends, to makers) about culture in the broadest sense. That means television, film, books, music — but also the culture of work, dating, the internet and how those all fit together. Wesley is The Times’s Pulitzer Prize winning critic at large, and Jenna is a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine. They're working it out, one week at a time.

Language:

English


Episodes

Us

3/28/2019
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We dissect Jordan Peele’s new psychological thriller, “Us,” and discuss the film’s central question (WITHOUT SPOILERS): Are any of us ever truly free from the past? Also, we’re going on a short hiatus. Happy spring, and we’ll be back in your ears soon. Discussed this week: UsSuspiriaThe People Under the StairsIt FollowsWhite Is for WitchingBelovedBelovedJan SvankmajerBelovedThe Souls of Black Folk

Duration:00:32:45

Whoopi

3/21/2019
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We celebrate Whoopi Goldberg from her days as a boundary-pushing stand-up comedian in the early ’80s to her current role as professional curmudgeon on “The View.” Discussed this week: Whoopi GoldbergWhoopi Goldberg: Direct From BroadwayThe Color PurpleJumpin’ Jack FlashBurglarFatal BeautyClara’s HeartGhostOscarSister ActThe Fine Print: Danson in the DarkThe Associate

Duration:00:41:19

Circular(s)

3/14/2019
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We chat with David Wallace-Wells, climate columnist for New York Magazine, about the limits of individual consumption choices and the necessity of political action to combat climate change. Discussed this week:

Duration:00:31:45

Liars

2/28/2019
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The Jussie Smollett investigation has captured America’s attention — and ours. We take a look at the support for as well as the doubts about Smollett’s claims, and try to make sense of the charge that Smollett staged his own attack. In an era in which personal trauma and victimhood are often leveraged for cultural capital, we consider the long-term repercussions of the Smollett case. Discussed this week: Jussie Smollett Timeline: Mystery Remains as Actor Is Charged With Faking His...

Duration:00:42:55

Fantasies

2/21/2019
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With the Academy Awards right around the corner, we take a look back at some previous Best Picture winners. When these winning films were about race, they often highlighted a feel-good racial reconciliation fantasy. But about 30 years ago, there was one movie that was snubbed at the Oscars — “Do the Right Thing” — that is anything but a feel-good racial reconciliation fantasy. We revisit how “Do the Right Thing” showcased realities about race in America in ways that none of the current...

Duration:00:38:34

Becoming

2/14/2019
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"Becoming," the best-selling memoir by the former first lady, Michelle Obama, is a study in what happens when the ways we see ourselves don't always line up with the ways that society sees us. In reading about her journey from high-achieving, self-possessed child in Chicago to the fraught glamour of her life in the White House, we marvel at the ways she balanced herself and her image in service of the country. And we discuss how Michelle Obama's memoir fits into a powerful lineage of black...

Duration:00:45:08

Joy

2/7/2019
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Inspired by Netflix’s “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo,” we decide to KonMari Wesley’s Brooklyn apartment. We ask ourselves what sparks joy in our lives and examine whether Marie Kondo’s philosophy extends into the metaphysical realm. Discussed this week: Tidying Up with Marie KondoThe Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and OrganizingThe Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter

Duration:00:37:14

Reality

1/31/2019
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We now live in an era where people can choose to believe whatever they want to believe, regardless of proof or evidence. From the Laquan McDonald trial to the film “Green Book” to R. Kelly’s song “I Believe I Can Fly” to the Nick Sandmann/Nathan Phillips encounter at the Lincoln Memorial, we wrestle with the ways that reality is contested, both personally and politically. Discussed this week: Jason Van Dyke Sentenced to Nearly 7 Years for Murdering Laquan McDonaldWho is America?Green...

Duration:00:28:09

Relations

1/24/2019
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The new Netflix show “Sex Education” feels so refreshing because for the longest time, there has been a dearth of cultural properties that specifically deal with the realities of sex. Sure, there’s sex in film and TV, but in recent history, there has been an absence of content that treats sex (and the complicated feelings that it can bring up) not as an aside, but as the main event. From “Fatal Attraction” to “Sex and the City” to “Knocked Up” to “Black Panther,” we trace the history — on...

Duration:00:33:37

Kaepernick

1/17/2019
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Last fall, Nike released a groundbreaking ad featuring the former N.F.L. quarterback Colin Kaepernick. His kneeling protest, which started in 2016 as a response to police brutality, was reinterpreted by social media, celebrities and Nike itself to mean something that doesn’t always match the intention of his original protest. So what does it say that a multinational corporation has aligned itself with a social movement? And are we O.K. with this form of “Kaepitalism”? Discussed this...

Duration:00:36:58

Apology

1/10/2019
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New year, new season. Kevin Hart. Ellen. Brett Kavanaugh. We live in an age of #SorryNotSorry, prevalent in our pop culture and woven into the fabric of our nation’s founding. But how can we grow into the people we want to become when we can’t acknowledge our mistakes and the effect that they've had on others? We invite you to start off 2019 with an apology. Discussed this week: testimonyI Won’t Back DownMs. JacksonAll ApologiesSorryapologynon-apologyEllenThe Apology of SocratesI’m Sorry

Duration:00:38:51

Questions

12/20/2018
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Buckle up, babies. Still Processing returns on Thursday, January 10th.

Duration:00:01:10

We R-E-S-P-E-C-T Aretha Franklin

8/30/2018
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This week we pay our respects to the late, great Aretha Franklin. A legendary singer, writer, arranger, pianist, performer and more, Ms. Franklin channeled both the difficult and beautiful aspects of American culture to make the songs that have scored our lives. From her breakout hit “Respect,” to her performance of “Dr. Feelgood” at Fillmore West in San Francisco, to her rendition of “My Country, ’Tis of Thee” at former President Barack Obama’s first inauguration, she left a legacy of...

Duration:00:52:40

We Spy Two BlacKkKlansmen — and One is Omarosa

8/23/2018
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This week, we realize we have two black klansmen on our hands — one on the big screen in the form of Spike Lee's new film "BlacKkKlansman," and one on the small screen in the form of America's most notorious reality show villain turned ex-White House employee, Omarosa Manigault Newman. Both the film and person showcase black people infiltrating hostile white institutions and coming out the other side to tell us about it. We question, however, if the message they're bringing us was worth...

Duration:00:47:43

We Got Goop'd

8/16/2018
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This week, our friend and colleague, Taffy Akner, chats with us about her viral article, "How Goop’s Haters Made Gwyneth Paltrow’s Company Worth $250 Million." We trace some similarities and differences between Gwyneth and fellow mogul, Oprah, and ask why the wellness industry, ironically, can make us feel bad. Taffy helps us understand how oftentimes, when our current healthcare systems fail to take the pain and suffering of women and gender non-conforming people seriously, Goop can offer...

Duration:00:39:12

We Give You Our Summer Faves

8/9/2018
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This week, we celebrate summer and present to you our 2018 Summer Faves. From tech to treats, tunes to TV, and of course, summer looks, we make some recommendations to help you live your best life in these warmer months. Special thanks to James McCombe of Maple Street Creative and Taylor Wizner for remote recording support. Discussed this week: Native LandMission: Impossible — FalloutVidaFreeway of LoveLucid DreamsAfro-HarpingThe greatest five-minute tomato pasta on earthA burger, but...

Duration:00:38:47

We Blaxplain Blaxplaining

8/2/2018
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This week, we trace the evolution of black American cinema from blaxploitation in the 1970s to what we’re calling "blaxplaining" in 2018. While blaxploitation sought to showcase black actors in dramatic, action-packed films, today’s blaxplaining centers on the challenges of being black in America. We examine three films — "The Hate U Give," "Blindspotting" and "Sorry to Bother You" — and ask if they accurately depict aspects of contemporary black life, or instead merely seek to make some...

Duration:00:52:54

We Heard Lauryn Hill, But Did We Listen?

7/26/2018
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It’s the 20th anniversary of the release of Ms. Lauryn Hill’s 5-time Grammy-winning debut solo album, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.” Still very much a part of our contemporary musical landscape — being sampled by everyone from Drake to Cardi B to Kanye — her prophecies on fame, artistry and the music industry reflect her own career trajectory and serve as a cautionary tale for other artists on the rise. We take a closer look at “Miseducation,” alongside her follow-up “MTV Unplugged No....

Duration:00:52:12

We Can't Burn It All Down (Even Though Sometimes We Want To)

7/19/2018
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Jenna's back in New York after spending last week at the Tin House Summer Workshop in Portland, Oregon. An explosive moment at the workshop prompted us to consider what it means for an institution — from a writing workshop to a TV network to a social media platform — to really commit itself to inclusion, and whether inclusion is even enough. Discussed this week: Tin House Summer WorkshopThe Danger of a Single StoryOscars 2016: Here's why the nominees are so white — againHannah Gadsby:...

Duration:00:47:55

We Choose Our Own Families

7/12/2018
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This week, we take a deep dive into "Pose," Ryan Murphy's new show on FX, and unpack the role of queer chosen families in pop culture. We dissect some of our favorite scenes — featuring Blanca Abundance Evangelista (Mj Rodriguez), Elektra Abundance (Dominique Jackson), and Angel (Indya Moore) — and celebrate the nuanced stories told of queer and trans characters of color by queer and trans people of color. Are we free to create chosen families that support who we are and who we're trying to...

Duration:00:57:25