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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 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

We Get Biracial

10/5/2017
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For months, the two of us have been trying to figure out a way to have a conversation about the experience of being biracial. This week we just go for it. First, we talk about the cultural and historical suspicion America still has of black-white interracial romantic relationships. It gives us an excuse to revisit the reason ‘‘Get Out’’ has been one of the year’s major movies: It articulates the previously inarticulable about race. Then we consider the offspring of interracial coupling —...

Duration:00:54:06

We Take a Knee

9/28/2017
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Another day, another rant from Donald Trump. This time, the president took aim at Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who spent the majority of last season sitting or kneeling during the national anthem to draw attention to police brutality and racial injustice. Trump’s remarks — that the owners of football teams should fire anyone who followed suit — prompted a nationwide demonstration the following Sunday from players and team owners who knelt or linked arms. We...

Duration:00:35:56

We Assess the Outrage over "Bodega" and Mother!

9/21/2017
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Last week, a Silicon Valley startup called Bodega instigated an internet meltdown after a Fast Company profile made the company’s intentions clear. “Eventually, centralized shopping locations won’t be necessary, because there will be 100,000 Bodegas spread out, with one always 100 feet away from you,” said Paul McDonald, a co-founder, who used to work at Google. The outrage made moral sense. “Bodega” is name that’s asking for trouble, especially with people who frequent them. The outrage...

Duration:00:43:45

We Bow Down to Rihanna and Venus

9/14/2017
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Last week, we witnessed two extraordinary events: Venus Williams playing some of the best tennis in the last decade of her career (she lost in the U.S, Open, but with grace and style), and the rollout of Rihanna's new cosmetics line, Fenty Beauty, which was splashier than the launch of the new iPhone X. We learned something unexpected from both. Venus showed us what it means to lose, and yet somehow remain undefeated, and the Rihanna event gave us insight into the economy of social media...

Duration:00:41:53

We Debate NPR’s Greatest Albums by Women

9/7/2017
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Last month, NPR published a list of the 150 greatest albums by women. The list was debated. It was discussed. There were alternative lists of 150 additional albums not on the NPR list. But quibbling with the particulars misses an important concern about what it means to argue for a women-only canon. This week we discuss why it takes an all-women team at NPR to celebrate women musicians, and why women are glaringly missing from lists determined by both genders. We also revisit the song of...

Duration:00:41:06

We Have a Chappelle Show

8/31/2017
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This summer, Dave Chappelle returned to the stage for an ambitious, monthlong residency at Radio City Music Hall in New York. We saw the show independently, on separate nights. What we witnessed inspired us to dedicate an entire episode to the legacy of Chappelle’s comedy as he works to re-establish his place in American culture. But much has shifted in the decade since Chappelle, through his much-loved TV show, “Chappelle’s Show,” brilliantly explored how black people are represented and...

Duration:00:56:31

We Care For Ourselves and Others in Trump’s America

8/24/2017
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The events of the last few weeks have shown us that we are fully living in Trump's America, with a president who is slow to condemn the actions of white supremacists. The realization has been exhausting. This week, we take a step back to think about what the political moment is doing to our emotional and physical states. We discuss our routines of self-care — and investigate the origins of the phrase, and why it feels overused and even a little cliche. We also talk to Dr. Matthew...

Duration:00:48:50

We Grieve Charlottesville

8/15/2017
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What happened in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend was the largest public melee during a presidential administration that includes men with white nationalist ties. Three people were killed, dozens of people were injured and the country was thrown into a state of anguish and shock. The show was on vacation, but we came back early to do a special episode about Charlottesville. We talk about why the violence there isn’t surprising, what it means to remove totems of the American...

Duration:00:29:10

We Discuss: Who Owns Stories About Blackness?

8/3/2017
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It’s been a summer of outrage over the question of who can tell stories about black history and black pain. We reckon with this question by examining Kathryn Bigelow’s film "Detroit," Dana Schutz's painting “Open Casket” and the recently announced new project from the "Game of Thrones" showrunners, an HBO drama called "Confederate." Without promising any answers, we also ask: Do stories about the American black experience belong to all Americans? Are there any criteria by which white...

Duration:00:48:56

We’re Freaking Out About O.J. and Girls Trip

7/27/2017
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The country was barely on the other side of a period of deep thought about the cultural meaning of O.J. Simpson, and then last week we found out that O.J. will be a free man this October. We explore the vexing empathy that racism toward him inspires in us. Second, we can’t believe how much fun we had watching "Girls Trip"! Comedies starring black women – in which they aren’t the butt of the joke – are virtually non-existent. We cheer the movie for giving us four fun, sexual black women...

Duration:00:39:51

We Pick Science Fiction for Mitch McConnell

7/20/2017
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2017 feels sort of like the End Times, and we’re leaning into science fiction TV shows and movies to imagine the outcome of our current political and geological climate. If science fiction functions as a cautionary tale, offering lessons in morality and asking us to consider our relationship with technology, what should our country’s leaders be watching? We discuss “War for the Planet of the Apes,” in which highly intelligent apes and plague-riddled humans battle for control of the Earth....

Duration:00:36:35

We Get Bodied Talking Jay-Z and Beyoncé

7/13/2017
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“4:44” is Jay-Z’s first album since Beyoncé turned their marital trouble into a masterpiece called "Lemonade." On “4:44,” Jay-Z expresses regret for his infidelity and ruminates on the socioeconomic state of black America. The album is knotty and contradictory, especially when compared with the psychological clarity of "Lemonade." We spend the episode unpacking “4:44” as a work unto itself, and also in the context of “Lemonade.” We also discuss why the survival and performance of Jay-Z and...

Duration:00:53:18

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