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Hosted by Charlie Bennett and Christian Sager.

Mar 22, 2019

This 1967 British TV show is revered as a cult classic that was radical and countercultural, while symbolizing philosophical arguments about individualism vs. collectivism. We take a deeper look at star Patrick McGoohan and the commercial interests behind the show to ask if it's ultimately more conservative than pop culture likes to remember.

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Mar 15, 2019

This 1979 collection of essays attempts to reveal the 1960s and California as stories without narratives. We discuss how Didion's work was branded because of her gender, class, and lack of politics, despite her insistence that writing was only an attempt to make sense out of chaos.

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Mar 1, 2019

This 2012 experimental noise record was heralded as an important moment in musical evolution. We look at how the band approaches their process while unpacking their relationship with major label Epic Records. And we ask, how do noise, magick, and defecation contribute to the future of music?

 

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Feb 22, 2019
This collected comic is about a victim of child abuse, while also serving as an homage to the work of storyteller Beatrix Potter. We discuss Talbot's approach to representing such difficult subject matter, while also crafting a book that was more user friendly to non-comics readers.

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Feb 15, 2019

This HBO television show about a standup comedian going through divorce attempts to tackle three big themes: sex, religion and the importance of comedy. We look into Pete Holmes and Judd Apatow's motivations behind-the-scenes, while also asking, "What is its point of view beyond self absorption?"

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Feb 8, 2019
This 1996 novella is about the dark history of Chilé, merged with a detective story about poets. We look at Bolaño's career, while taking into account criticisms of his authenticity and his representation of Chileans from the vantage of his security in Europe.
 
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Feb 1, 2019

This 1957 Japanese samurai film is a postwar adaptation of Shakespeare's MacBeth, but we learned that it's also tapping into historical theatrical techniques and criticisms of nationalistic self-destruction. We turn to other writers and scholars for help unpacking these symbols we don't know much about, while learning just how universal this critically acclaimed movie actually is.

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Jan 25, 2019

This 2006 comic by Brian K. Vaughn and Niko Henrichon is about lions escaping the Baghdad Zoo during the Iraq War. We look at how the creators approached this subject matter, why it's been challenged in libraries and how it represents people in the Middle East.

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Jan 18, 2019

This 1977 record seems to mythologize a certain version of New York, so we look at how it was made to get to the core beneath its poetry, guitar solos and critical success.

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Jan 11, 2019

This 1996 comic-book-based-cartoon aired on MTV in 10-minute bursts of weirdness. We discuss its themes of tragedy and trauma, together with how it represents feminism, while still objectifying the female body.

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Jan 4, 2019

This book attempts to redefine the novel by combining narrative with an imagined anthropological record. We discuss Le Guin's background and mission, as well as larger questions about cultural misappropriation and utopianism.

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Dec 21, 2018

It's our third annual Christmas ghost story episode and we're looking into this 2011 debut of the popular horror anthology series by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. We discuss Murphy's mission, the show's popularity and its contrast of trashy excessive violence and sex, with themes of mainstream, heteronormative patriarchy.

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Dec 14, 2018

This 3-disc debut by an accomplished saxophonist was universally acclaimed as a sea change in music. We discuss how Washington was influenced by friends, family, history and dreams, while trying to challenge his listeners with genre-defying sounds.

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Dec 7, 2018

This long-form essay by one of the hosts of On the Media argues that our current sociopolitical conflicts stem from a dissolution of facts and reality. We look at Gladstone's manifesto for producing her radio show to unpack her project here, while considering her advice for bolstering our own personal realities.

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Nov 30, 2018

This 12-part comic series seems like a fan's homage to Carl Bark' Disney stories, but we uncover how the values of "hard work" within (and the corporate machinations of many publishers) led Rosa to quit making comics out of frustration and resentment.

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Nov 23, 2018

This 1987 filmed monologue changed the way mainstream media considered autobiographical performance art. We discuss how Gray made the film with director Jonathan Demme and the emotional themes throughout that resonate after his suicide.

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Nov 16, 2018

This influential 1979 album combined art education with working class political activism to play with the meaning of pop music. We discuss the production of the record and the band's conflicts (or lack thereof) with their record label and the BBC.

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Nov 9, 2018

This horror comic by Grant Morrison, Chris Burnham and Nathan Fairbairn purports to act symbolically like our archetypes of myth. We ask whether it's successful in getting into our subconscious and if cosmic horror and lack of meaning even scare us anymore.

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Oct 26, 2018

This fantasy/horror novel about prep school boys and magical authority came in the middle of the genre paperback boom. We talk about Straub's concerns when writing it and how he walked the line between horror and "literature," while responding to the market pressures on his publisher.

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Oct 19, 2018

This movie had a tumultuous production, with constant fighting between writer Paddy Chayefsky and director Ken Russell. We discuss how their conflict influenced the end product... and the studios paying their bills. We also wonder if this movie unintentionally captures what we now refer to as toxic masculinity.

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Oct 12, 2018
 
This 1996 album is heralded as the critical apex for the "post-metal" sub-genre. We discuss the hardships and trauma the band members were struggling with while recording it and how it acts as catharsis for them and their listeners. We also spend a lot of time on meaning, genre distinctions and the inability of language to describe the identity we form with music.

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Oct 5, 2018

This comic book about a private moon mission gone wrong is now lauded for launching the career of Walking Dead artist Charlie Adlard. But, it was also responsible for Larry Young and Mimi Rosenheim's publishing house AiT/PlanetLar. So we discuss their approach to balancing commerce with art, and medium with story.

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