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 2020.
Ziwe May Destroy Hamilton
Welcome to the Age of Discomfort.
Reparations for Aunt Jemima!
When Quaker decided to take Aunt Jemima off the red pancake box after 131 years, did it also try to scrub the legacy she represents? And what sort of compensation is appropriate — and to whom — from a brand that maintained that image in public for so long?
Discussed this week:“Aunt Jemima Brand to Change Name and Image Over ‘Racial Stereotype’” (Tiffany Hsu, The New York Times, June 2020)“Aunt Jemima: I’se in Town, Honey” (Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia at Ferris State University)“The Dixie Chicks Change Their Name, Dropping the ‘Dixie’” (Ben Sisario, The New York Times, June 2020)“Lady Antebellum Sues the Singer Lady A Over Name Change” (Joe Coscarelli, The New York Times, July 2020)“Aunt Jemima’s Heirs’ $3 Billion Lawsuit Against Pepsi, Quaker Oats Tossed by Judge” (Tim Kenneally, The Wrap, February 2015)“What Is Owed” (Nikole Hannah Jones, The New York Times, June 2020)“The Case for Reparations” (Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic, June 2014)
So Y’all Finally Get It
Excerpts from our June 12 live event, where we caught up about the uprisings and resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement. This is the first of three special summer episodes.
Discussed this week: Jenna Wortham and Wesley Morris in a live New York Times event (June 12, 2020)“‘Cops,’ Long-Running Reality Show That Glorified Police, Is Canceled” (The New York Times, June 2020)“LEGO Pulls Back Police Playset Affiliate Marketing Amid George Floyd Protests” (ToyBook, June 2020)“NASCAR Says It Will Ban Confederate Flags” (The New York Times, June 2020)Jenna Wortham and Wesley Morris on “CBS This Morning” (Aug. 18, 2017, CBS)Speech by Stokely Carmichael (a.k.a. Kwame Ture) (Oct. 29, 1966, Berkeley, Calif.)“John Lewis: Good Trouble” (directed by Dawn Porter, July 2020)
New Loop, America
In our final episode from our living rooms, we visit the dystopia of “Westworld” and the utopia of “Hollywood” to see if we can glean anything about what might be in store on the other side of this pandemic — and about who we want to be.
Discussed this week:“Westworld” (HBO, 2016-20)“Hollywood” (Netflix, 2020)Ryan Murphy“The Stepford Wives” (directed by Frank Oz, 2004)“The Stepford Wives” (directed by Bryan Forbes, 1975)The Motion Picture Production Code of 1930“Love Jones” (directed by Theodore Witcher, 1997)“Love & Basketball” (directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, 2000)Anna May WongHattie McDanielOscar Micheaux“Delivering Thanks Team” (Papa John’s, 2020)
Does This Phone Make Me Look Human?
Covid-19 isn't "the great equalizer" – except when it comes to making us need our devices more than ever. Screens have revealed superstars as civilians, and turned sitcom grouches into teddy bears. Basically: We’re ready to be more open with one another.
Discussed this week:“Take Me to the World: A Sondheim 90th Birthday Celebration” (Broadway.com)“The ‘Credibility Bookcase’ Is the Quarantine’s Hottest Accessory” (Amanda Hess, The New York Times)Randy Rainbow’s YouTube Channel“A Parks and Recreation Special” (NBC, 2020)“The Power of Vulnerability” (Brené Brown, TEDx)“Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead” (Brené Brown, 2012)The “Unlocking Us” Podcast (Brené Brown)Teddy Riley Verzuz Babyface
Fiona Ex Machina
"Fetch the Bolt Cutters" is Fiona Apple's master class in channeling frustration and anger into what can only be called wisdom. Also, we hear from listeners all over the planet, sharing how they are taking care of the people in their lives.
Discussed this week:"Fetch the Bolt Cutters" (Fiona Apple, 2020)Fiona Apple on the VMAs in 1997"Regret" (Fiona Apple, "The Idler Wheel Is Wiser than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More than Ropes Will Ever Do", 2012)"Criminal" (Fiona Apple, "Tidal", 1996)"Hold Up" (Beyonce Knowles, "Lemonade", 2016)