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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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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

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:00:52:14

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...

Duration:00:57:25

Asian-Americans Talk About Racism, and We Listen - Part 2

7/5/2018
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It’s the second installment of our two-part series on anti-Asian racism. Once again, we hand over the mics to our Asian-American colleagues, friends and listeners to hear about their experiences with dating, work and more as they relate to race and identity. We hear varied and nuanced perspectives — from the writer Jen Choi, the musician Simon Tam, the podcaster Andrew Ti and others — on what it feels like to be a part of the diverse community of Asian-Americans, which makes up almost 6...

Duration:00:34:33

Asian-Americans Talk About Racism, and We Listen - Part 1

6/28/2018
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This week and next, we’re doing something different. After witnessing an awful instance of anti-Asian racism at a movie theater, we couldn’t stop thinking about how this type of racism is rampant in American culture, both on the screen and off. At first, we wanted to talk about it. But then, we realized that we needed to listen. For the next two episodes, we hand the microphones over to our Asian-American colleagues, friends and listeners to hear about their experiences with racism. From...

Duration:00:37:30

We Louvre The Carters

6/21/2018
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Beyonce and Jay-Z. Donald and Melania. Kim and Kanye. Harry and Meghan. We're compelled by the performance of marriage in culture. And with The Carters' new surprise album, "Everything Is Love," we wonder what it means for our beloved Beyonce -- and Jay-Z -- to position their marriage as a black cultural institution -- akin to the Huxtables or the Obamas -- that everyone should believe in. From writing their legacy into The Louvre in their "Apes**t" video to documenting the turmoil and...

Duration:00:58:57

We Need Bad Women

6/14/2018
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After watching the blockbuster hit "Ocean’s 8" and BBC America’s cat-and-mouse drama "Killing Eve," we noticed some similarities in these leading women - they’re all “bad.” They’re indulgent and driven. They care about their work more than your feelings. They perform for each other more than they do for men (do they even perform for men?). They’re complicated and that’s why we like them. So we wonder: is our current cultural climate — specifically around this #MeToo moment — making space...

Duration:00:47:36

We Wouldn't Leave Kanye, But Should We?

6/7/2018
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Almost one week after Kanye West released his eighth studio album, "Ye," we wonder what to do with artists who displease us. Going back to 2004, we take a closer look at Kanye, the artist, who questioned the role of higher education, called out former president George Bush after Hurricane Katrina on live television, and publicly grieved over the untimely death of his mother. We also examine Kanye, the problem, and try to understand how the same person who seemed to champion black...

Duration:00:53:33

We're Here For Your Anger, Jessica Walter

5/31/2018
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When actor Jessica Walter said fellow co-star Jeffrey Tambor verbally harassed her on the set of "Arrested Development," the show’s lead, Jason Bateman, jumped to Tambor’s defense -- and we noticed. This week, we suss out what this interaction -- documented in sound -- shows us about the subtle and not-so-subtle ways that we're taught to minimize the experiences of women. We juxtapose Jessica Walter's quiet, composed anger with Asia Argento's seething indictment at Cannes, and interrogate...

Duration:00:57:57

We’re Queer - and Apparently So Is Everybody Else

5/24/2018
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With Rita Ora, Janelle Monáe, Kehlani – and even fictional characters like Lando Calrissian – embracing bisexuality, pansexuality, queerness, and more, we wonder: what does it mean to publicly declare your sexual identity as something outside the gay/straight binary in 2018? And what did these declarations look like in the 80s and 90s, when we were growing up? We compare the sincere loneliness of R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion" to the frustrating inauthenticity of Rita Ora's "Girls," and...

Duration:00:46:05

We Unpack Black Male Privilege

5/17/2018
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This week, shortly after multi-hyphenate artist Donald Glover blew up the internet with the video for his song "This is America," Wesley and guest host Rembert Browne (New York Magazine, Grantland) explore Glover's career, and how he evolved from a likable comedian to a cultural provocateur and authority on blackness. We like Glover's brain and the music and TV he is making, but we also wonder about the speed with which he's been anointed a "genius." Who gets left out when we apply that...

Duration:00:48:48

We Watch Whiteness

4/26/2018
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This week we're talking about white culture, and what it is trying to tell us about itself on TV, at the movies and in books. We're noticing that white people are anxious--consciously and unconsciously--about their place in the world, and it's fascinating to unpack. First, we look at the new season of Roseanne, a show that explicitly embraces its whiteness and thumbs its nose at anyone who would challenge that. Then, we talk about the hit horror movie A Quiet Place, which explores dystopia...

Duration:01:02:20

We Talk BeyChella

4/19/2018
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We were so blown away by Beyoncé’s performance at the Coachella music festival that we decided to scrap our previous plans and dedicate this week’s entire episode to it. We think her performance will go down in the annals of American pop music as one of the greatest live shows ever. We close read some of our favorite moments, including her beautiful rendition of the black national anthem, “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” and how she turns the swag surf into a dance for royalty. And we talk...

Duration:01:00:39

We Get It On (With Ourselves)

4/12/2018
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As a break from the onslaught of traumatic news, this week we're talking about what makes us feel good about ourselves. Really good. We start by exploring what has been lost with the recent closure of Craiglist's personal ads section: a unique place, so distinct from Tinder or Grindr or Bumble, where you could search honestly for your own sexiness. Then we share some our personal tips for maintaining and nurturing that feeling once you find it. Finally we jam out to some of our all-time...

Duration:00:57:43

We Celebrate the REAL MLK Day

4/5/2018
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This week, we commemorate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s death. While MLK’s birthday is celebrated on a national level, we spend time processing why his death holds a significant importance as well. We examine the months leading up to MLK Jr.’s death, including his iconic speech, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop,” and discuss the ways in which his ideals shifted after his “I Had A Dream” speech. MLK day is a celebration of King’s birthday, and we suggest that maybe what we...

Duration:00:45:38