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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

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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This week, we get our sexy on! After months of traumatic news, we decide to spend some time aligning with what makes us feel good about ourselves. We start by looking at the disappearance of Craigslist personal ads and ask what that means for one’s search for sexiness and closeness, specifically for queer identities. We then share some of our personal remedies for maintaining that sexy feeling and explore how music can enhance the autoerotic. We jam out to some of our favorite song of...

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

We’re Maxed Out, You’re Maxed Out, Everybody Is Maxed Out

3/29/2018
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This week we're talking about why we're stressed out, why the country is stressed out, and whether anxiety has become a permanent condition. We consider the role technology has played in driving us to this point, from push alerts — so many push alerts — to Twitter to the "algorithmic gaze." Then we come back to culture and focus on a few works that either encapsulate the chaos of 2018 or offer a possible path for moving ahead. Discussed This Week: “Pony” (Genuwine) “The Middle” (Zedd,...

Duration:00:56:51

We Love Aunties

3/22/2018
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This week we pay homage to aunties, in our own lives, in politics, and in pop culture. But first we have to define what an aunty is, so we play a little game called "Aunty or Nah-nty," naming aunty candidates from television shows and movies to refine our criteria for who is and isn't one. We examine the historical relevance of aunties, and think about portrayals of women who are not-quite-our mothers, fiercely independent and repositories for our secrets. Can the "aunty" label be a...

Duration:00:46:43

We Don’t Love Everything Made By Black People and That’s OK?

3/15/2018
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This week, we discuss "A Wrinkle in Time," Ava DuVernay's attempt to take the audience on a magical adventure with Meg Murray as she searches for her father through multiple universes. Our time traveling experience ... wasn’t as magical as we hoped. But this is good news. We explain why the film's shortcomings do not impact the upward trajectory of Ava DuVernay career or black filmmaking in general, but actually work to highlight the progress of black filmmakers and encourage black artists...

Duration:01:01:55

We Paint the Town Obama

3/8/2018
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We went to the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. to look at the recently installed portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama. The paintings--Barack's by Kehinde Wiley, Michelle's by Amy Sherald--prompted both rapture and controversy when they were unveiled in February, and we wanted to see them in person to try to evaluate our own responses. As we traveled through the gallery from George Washington to Obama, we discussed what portraits can tell us about presidential power. And...

Duration:00:37:50

We Want To Know What Love Is

3/1/2018
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This week, we examine four of the Best Picture Oscar-nominated films—“Call Me By Your Name”, “Get Out”, “Shape of Water”, and “Phantom Thread”—to ask whether we are entering a new phase of romance films. By diverging from conventional norms and stereotypes, these films have created on-screen relationships that are reminiscent of our own relationships. We then look to the history of romantic dramas and comedies to see how this new version of romance-on-screen came to be and what it...

Duration:00:48:36

We Take the 15:17 All the Way to Pyeongchang

2/22/2018
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This week we're looking for a thread running through three seemingly disparate moments: the release of Clint Eastwood's new film "The 15:17 to Paris," the Olympics in South Korea, and the tragic death of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. We use these events to discuss how culture can act as a smokescreen for reality and a way to avoid our fears. Plus: Jenna defends her surprising position that spoilers are actually good. Discussed this week: Queer...

Duration:00:41:10

We Sink Our Claws Into "Black Panther" with Ta-Nehisi Coates

2/16/2018
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It's going to be one of the biggest opening weekends in movie history. But "Black Panther" is about so much more than the box office. This week we're putting Ryan Coogler's new film in the full context it deserves and demands, with a little help from our friend Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Duration:00:57:23

We'll See You Tomorrow

2/15/2018
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There's no episode of Still Processing today, but Wesley and Jenna are cooking up something special — a whole show on "Black Panther" with special guest Ta-Nehisi Coates. Check your feed Friday morning!

Duration:00:01:02

We Don't Know Where We Are

2/8/2018
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This week, we take the Oscar-nominated film "Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri" as a starting point for a discussion about a new sense of placelessness in film and TV. Over the last year, we've been seeing stories set in ambiguous spaces--the limbo between heaven and hell, distorted models of our world, towns that look like no place we recognize as American. We talk about "The Good Place," "Westworld," "Downsizing," and the Sunken Place from "Get Out" to try and figure out how...

Duration:00:38:36

We're Still Here For Janet

2/1/2018
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This week, in light of Justin Timberlake’s upcoming Super Bowl performance, we revisit his infamous 2004 “wardrobe malfunction” halftime show with Janet Jackson. We dissect the public reaction to “nipplegate,” why Janet (and not Justin) took the fall, and how the controversy changed the course of both artists’ careers. We consider Justin’s new musical direction in the context his history of appropriating other cultures. And we offer Janet the forgiveness she deserves, realizing that her...

Duration:00:58:05

We Have a Right To Be Mad

1/25/2018
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This week, we examine the outrage that is expressing itself in all corners of the culture. In the process, we found unexpected connections between events and ideas that might seem unrelated: Ed Sheeran being left out of all the major Grammy categories as a (possible) way to avoid controversy, the heated debate over an account of a bad date with Aziz Ansari, the testimony at the sentencing of Dr. Larry Nassar from hundreds of gymnasts who had been sexually abused, and year two of the...

Duration:00:47:53

We Have A Theory About Oprah

1/18/2018
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The wait is finally over - we’re back for Season 3! This week, we look at the movie “Proud Mary” starring Taraji P. Henson as a jumping off point for the cultural moment that black women are having right now in pop culture. We run through a brief history of black women in movies and television and consider those who built the foundation for this moment. From Hattie McDaniel to Dorothy Dandridge to Whoopi Goldberg to Halle Berry, we consider what all of this means for how we discuss Oprah’s...

Duration:00:46:49

We Back! (On Thursday)

1/16/2018
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The wait is (almost) over: Jenna and Wesley will be back with a new season of "Still Processing" starting Thursday, Jan. 18th. It’s O.K. to cry, even if you’re wearing glitter.

Duration:00:01:48

We Are Tired of Sexual Harassment (and Sequels) | Season Finale

10/12/2017
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It’s our season finale! We’ve spent our second season keeping a critical eye on the unreality of America and dissecting the systems of power that uphold the status quo. Last week, a series of news articles reported that Harvey Weinstein, one of the most powerful movie producers in Hollywood, has been accused of sexually harrassing women for decades. Twitter is ablaze with other women and men sharing their own stories of sexual misconduct at the hands of the powerful, spawning conversations...

Duration:00:42:03

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