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Hosted by Charlie Bennett and Christian Sager.

Mar 27, 2020

This 1987 film is celebrated as a cult classic for its depiction of self-destructive young Englishmen at the end of the 1960s. We discuss how creator Bruce Robinson got it made, and whether it congratulates its characters for their alcoholism or criticizes their generation and the end of that era of British culture.

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Mar 20, 2020

This 1962 novel is being reappraised by critics and fans as a creeping meditation on 1950s housewives, agoraphobia, and good old-fashioned New England persecution.

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Mar 13, 2020

This 1945 children’s book by Tove Jansson began a publishing empire in Finland that is worth millions of dollars. We look at Jansson’s beloved allegory about a world where a family survives turmoil and everyone is accepted for who they are.

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Mar 6, 2020

This 2001 record is praised as being metal for the thinking man. We peel back the lyrics and the time signatures to understand why this band inspires an almost-religious devotion in its fans.

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Feb 7, 2020

This 1975 rock album began to define Rush’s identity after the late Neil Peart joined the band on drums and lyrics. We look at how they treated their band as a business to try to understand the particular blend of instrument solos and libertarian ideology that later defined them.

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Jan 24, 2020

This 1969 double-album has been described as both “unlistenable” and “one of the greatest albums of all time.” We discuss its volatile production while trying to understand its composition and how it influenced another fifty years of weird music.

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Jan 17, 2020

This 1999 cannibal-horror-comedy film went through three directors in a troubled production. We discussed how it successfully critiques American consumption and Manifest Destiny despite its financial failure.

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Jan 10, 2020

This comic book series by Neal Adams is a strange combination of talent and narcissism, along with the realization that its lead character and its creator aren't as in control as they want to be. We discuss gun violence, Expanding Earth theory, and generational conflict to try to make sense of this one-of-a-kind experience.

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Jan 3, 2020

This 1996 film is a purported biopic about a famous painter by another famous painter, Julian Schnabel. We ask whether the narrative this movie presents is an inaccurate portrayal of its subject because it exploits him or because the director is commenting on his own place within the world of fine art.

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Dec 27, 2019

This is a repost of a 2016 episode.

In our 2016 holiday episode, we looked at the forgotten Christmas Eve tradition of telling ghost stories. M.R. James' work from over a hundred years ago best represents this Victorian trend, so in his honor we brought horror to academia and safe spaces.

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Dec 20, 2019

This 2013 novel is a sequel to The Shining. With guest Emily Lewis, we consider how King continues his own redemption arc through these stories about alcoholism and parenting.

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Dec 6, 2019

Thank you to our Co-producer patron Kevin Wetter for selecting this week's topic!

This 1994 indie rock album means a lot to its fans as proof positive that you can survive a romantic breakup. We look at the small business that drove its creation and try to put ourselves in the shoes of the listeners who cherish it.

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Nov 29, 2019

This animated series was an MTV oddity, televised between 1991 and 1994 in a blur of non-linear, ambiguous chunks. We talk about how creator Peter Chung got this made while inserting symbolic references to the limits of 1990's storytelling. We also wonder why we're so nostalgic for a simpler time when our entertainment was more nebulous and weird.

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Nov 22, 2019

This 1975 children's book by Roald Dahl is about class conflict and an idealized relationship between a child and their parent. We talk about Dahl's notoriously disagreeable personality while trying to reconcile it with this genuinely joyful story.

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Oct 11, 2019

This collection of non-fiction essays attempts to define two modes of storytelling by providing examples of each from popular culture. We talk about how Fisher's argument fits into our larger discussions of horror stories and how his definitions may be useful for considering the end of capitalism.

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