27 episodes

Two girls, one podcast.

https://aspecialplaceinhell.org/

A Special Place in Hell Meghan Daum & Sarah Haider

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8 • 221 Ratings

Two girls, one podcast.

https://aspecialplaceinhell.org/

    The New York Times Tiptoes Toward Gender

    The New York Times Tiptoes Toward Gender

    The New York Times has been tiptoeing up to the gender youth story. Does that mean the subject will soon be safe to talk about in polite company? The ladies discuss a recent Times article about the effects of school policies that compel teachers to hide kids’ new gender identities from parents. In the interests of balance, they also talk about an article in The Federalist (which Sarah reads religiously despite being an atheist) bout how government overreach and agenda-driven advocacy caused a troubled teenage girl to be removed from her home and placed in child protective custody, where she was eventually sex trafficked and violently assaulted. Mercifully, Meghan eventually lightens the mood by describing a recent conversation with her doctor, who appears to be woefully misinformed about certain things despite being a doctor and therefore super smart. (Meghan also wrote about this on her Substack this week.)
    Speaking of doctors: In the bonus content available to paying subscribers only, the girls/women discuss an advice column letter from a neurosurgeon in her late 30s who wants to find a husband and start a family now. Did she get the right advice? It doesn’t matter, since Sarah is here to give her the final word. (Sarah also thinks Meghan reads The New York Times too much and needs to #DoBetter.) They also respond to reader comments about their last episode, which seems like a long time ago because it was. They will #DoBetter!
    Links:
    https://www.nytimes.com/2023/01/22/us/gender-identity-students-parents.html
    https://thefederalist.com/2023/01/19/virginia-teen-sex-trafficked-twice-after-school-hides-gender-identity-from-her-parents/

    • 1 hr 18 min
    Betsy Ross: Token Hire?

    Betsy Ross: Token Hire?

    Is Sarah too-light skinned, or not light-skinned enough? What sort of impact will this have on A Special Place’s imminent move to video? Unrelatedly, how does one pronounce the Brothers Karamazov? Or the name of its author, for that matter? Plus, Sarah hears the pronunciation of Solzhenitsyn for the first and it’s like a blind person who can suddenly see.
    Speaking of great authors, in this episode, the girls/women discuss Lex Fridman’s reading list (because everyone else already has, and they are committed to leading from behind). After trashing critiquing the Lady Patriot Betsy Ross and Trailblazing Black Scientist George Washington Carver, Sarah discusses her discoveries about male scholarships. (Spoiler: Don’t bother, gentlemen.) They then move on to Meghan’s new Substack post about why she thinks she can afford to talk about gender, while others run for the hills at the mere mention. In the BONUS CONTENT for paying subscribers only, the girls minimize sexual assault (“It was a different time!!”), and come out of the closet as fans of Cuties, the infamous groomer drama that is really an art film because it’s not only French but directed by a WOC.
    Lex’s Reading List
    Sarah’s post on scholarships for men:
    Meghan’s post on talking about trans stuff:
    BONUS: #TheeToo : Teen Stars of Romeo and Juliet File Lawsuit
    This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit aspecialplace.substack.com/subscribe

    • 1 hr 29 min
    H*ppy H*lid*ys You K*rens

    H*ppy H*lid*ys You K*rens

    Is Christmas the Master Holiday? Or is it the Joe Rogan of holidays? Have young men OD’d on video games? Are so many words actually that harmful, or is it just Stanford? Plus: More Penelope Trunk backbiting.
    In this episode, the girls/women discuss their holiday plans, which are very unexciting. Was Sarah a trans-child, or was she just neglected? Has Meghan always hated babies? Should Sarah (who has large cheeks) gift her fat to Meghan (who needs padding), thus bonding them forever in the vain pursuit of beauty? And how wrong was Penelope Trunk anyway? They then discuss the Harmful Words List from Stanford University, feeling very superior all the while. They insist on reserving their right as AMERICANS to call anyone a spaz, or r*tard — or maybe even a grandfather.
    In the BONUS content for paying subscribers: Some dusty old man Sarah has never heard of comes out as a Nazi. Meghan is overjoyed to have another sane voice around. They then move onto a general discussion about COVID vaccines, which inevitably becomes a conversation about menstruation. Plus: An announcement!!!

    This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit aspecialplace.substack.com/subscribe

    • 1 hr 14 min
    Are We Autistic? Penelope Trunk Advises

    Are We Autistic? Penelope Trunk Advises

    In this episode, Sarah and Meghan welcome business coach, blogger and all-around opinion-ista, Penelope Trunk.
    Should women get plastic surgery? Are video games the key to a future as a business tycoon? Can women run businesses anyway??
    Penelope is a professional career coach, so she tells Sarah and Meghan what they are doing wrong (spoiler: almost everything) and why they will never make it in this business (or perhaps, any other). She also administers some tests to determine whether they’re autistic.
    In the bonus portion for subscribers only, Meghan and Sarah talk about Penelope behind her back. Did they learn a lot? Yes! Should Sarah hire Penelope as a coach? Only if you become a paid subscriber so she afford it!

    This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit aspecialplace.substack.com/subscribe

    • 1 hr 24 min
    The Grift That Keeps On Giving

    The Grift That Keeps On Giving

    This week, Meghan and Sarah revisit their conversation from the previous episode about hormonal birth control. Is Sarah an anti-birth control zealot secretly advocating for legislation to ban all contraception? Is Meghan too forgiving of men who hate condoms?
    They then move onto late breaking Twitter news (now known as “old news”). As they recorded, Matt Taibbi’s bombshell thread about political bias and content suppression at Twitter was unspooling in real time. Can they make sense of it? (Mostly.) Do they care? (Yes!) After that, Meghan talks about the recent article in Semafor about the novelist Junot Diaz, whose life and career were upended after sexual misconduct allegations that, as it turns out., appear far less serious than previously reported. Finally, they discuss someone who deserves his disgrace, FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, and wonder how he could have fooled so many, so well.
    In the bonus edition for paying subscribers: The ladies discuss Kanye West’s new look on Alex Jones’ InfoWars. Ski masks: Hot! Anti-semitism and antipsychotic medication: Not!
    This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit aspecialplace.substack.com/subscribe

    • 1 hr 19 min
    Jagged Little Birth Control Pill

    Jagged Little Birth Control Pill

    In this episode of A Special Place in Hell, recorded on Thanksgiving eve, Sarah and Meghan discuss their plans, including why it’s taken Sarah awhile to get the hang of this holiday, especially the cranberry sauce and eating at 2pm part. (You can read Meghan’s take on Thanksgiving in her latest Substack essay.) After touching on a few breaking news stories that everyone’s forgotten by now, they turn to the subject of birth control. Sarah read a book about it and Meghan watched a documentary and they each report back on what they learned—or, in Meghan’s case, what annoyed her. This leads to yet another variation on Meghan’s favorite theme; why_____ isn’t as good as it used to. (In this case, documentaries!)
    The girls/women discuss whether documentary films are now primarily tools of activism and Sarah cites Blackfish (which Meghan can’t bear to watch) as an example of a documentary that effected real change. Meghan cites the 1990 film Paris Is Burning as an example of a “real documentary,” and this leads to a discussion about drag queens and whether they’re offensive and misogynistic or soothing and perfect for story hour.
    In the very special Bonus Content: Sarah and Meghan address a listener’s comment about their conversation with Katie Herzog and the subject of gestational surrogacy. Does everyone have the right to be a parent? Also: are old-fashioned matchmakers better than dating apps?
    Book: Sarah Hill’s This is Your Brain on Birth Control
    Movie: The Business of Birth Control
    The legacy of Paris Is Burning
    This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit aspecialplace.substack.com/subscribe

    • 1 hr 16 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
221 Ratings

221 Ratings

maria_salahori ,

Resist Video

I love you guys. I don’t understand why you feel compelled to do video when you clearly don’t want to. Does that much of your target audience spend a lot of time on couches and in the passenger seats of cars and/or on stationary exercise equipment? I for one don’t feel compelled to *watch people talk to each other*, especially since audio is precisely the medium I seek while I do other things. Then again i’m 46 😝

0re0 345 ,

Thank you for what you do.

Interesting, honest, thoughtful conversations.

GatsbyNYC ,

Try Harder

Two super smart women, both very accomplished and not new to the podcast world. After years of practice you'd think they'd learn to communicate more elegantly. Sadly, the podcast is full of "Well, I just think it's interesting..." and "What are we talking about today?"
Please expand your vocabularies and speak like educated adults.
I'd prefer to email my criticism to them directly, but there's no way to contact them through their site.

Top Podcasts In Society & Culture

Hoda Kotb, TODAY
iHeartPodcasts
iHeartPodcasts
Glennon Doyle & Cadence13
American Public Media
This American Life

You Might Also Like

Meghan Daum
Katie Herzog and Jesse Singal
Nina Paley
Kmele Foster, Michael Moynihan, and Matt Welch
Quillette
This Is 42 & Glassbox Media