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: “ ” (W.E.B. DuBois, 1903)
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: “ ” (directed by Donald Petrie, 1996)
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: “The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming” (David Wallace-Wells, 2019)
HBO’s “Leaving Neverland” — a two-part documentary that focuses on the stories of two men, James Safechuck and Wade Robson, who allege that Michael Jackson sexually abused them as children — prompts us to wrestle with our love for and discomfort with the pop star. We examine how Jackson seemed to have been culturally exonerated, and we ask what to do with a man whose artistic reach is so profound that “canceling” him — an imperfect way of dealing with problematic artists to begin with — might not even be possible. Discussed this week: “ ” (Margo Jefferson, 2006)
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: “ ” (Nicholas Fraser, Sept. 14, 2015)
Step inside the confession booth of Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham, two culture writers for The New York Times. They devour TV, movies, art, music and the internet to find the things that move them — to tears, awe and anger. Still Processing is where they try to understand the pleasures and pathologies of America in 2018.
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