This week, Dahlia and Amy talk about what real allyship can look like in Hollywood and beyond. Recently, Porter magazine hosted a roundtable with Gabrielle Union, Gina Rodriguez, Ellen Pompeo, and Emma Roberts where Pompeo called on white folks to do better and Rodriguez brought up the issue of pay inequity. Who gets uncomfortable in these conversations and does it create real change? And, as promised, Amy's fave pop culture moment is this the Black Mirror-esque anti-Amazon ad. In this week’s Amy vs. Dahlia, we’re hashing out the holidays: Are you Bah! Humbag! or Merry Everything? Text “Holiday” to 503-855-6485 to let us know what you think!
Popaganda: The Pumpkin Spice Must Flow
At the end of summer, when the super hot days get rarer, the signs of fall appear: reddish leaves, leather jackets, people talking about football, and pumpkin spice lattes. Like death and taxes, the pumpkin spice latte seems inevitable, and it takes up an incredible amount of space in the public consciousness. So yes, we’re succumbing to the siren song and devoting a whole episode to the PSL. So why are we so obsessed with pumpkin spice? And why is it so easy to hate on the drink and the people who consume it? How did this assortment of spices from the Indian subcontinent become the hallmark of basicness, and what can its autumnal popularity tell us about capitalism, misogyny, and the need to belong? On this episode, we have a special guest! Backtalk’s Amy Lam reads an excerpt of a spicy ode to squash. In our first segment, you’ll hear from Tiffany Midge, a poet and humorist who wrote “An Open Letter to White Girls Regarding Pumpkin Spice and Cultural Appropriation.” After that, you’ll get the specialty coffee barista’s perspective from Adam JacksonBey. Then you’ll hear from Rebecca Jennings, a consumer reporter for Vox who wrote about the backlash to pumpkin spice and what it all means. Finally, Sasanka Jinadasa chimes in to remind us of what we lose when we’re so hyper focused on the meaning behind a latte.
Popaganda: The Fight for the Middle Ages
On this episode of the show, we’ll be talking about the Middle Ages: that period in European history that most of us learned about through Game of Thrones and Robin Hood. We think of it as racially homogenous, rigidly gendered, and brutish, but scholars like the ones Soleil talks to in today’s show have more nuanced interpretations. And yet, white supremacists within the alt right are attempting to claim the Middle Ages for their own political ends. What is the truth, and why does it matter? First, you’ll hear from Dr. Tory Pearman on the lives and public perception of people with disabilities in Medieval Europe. Then, Dr. Dorothy Kim elaborates on the connections between the alt right and Medieval Studies and what scholars like her are doing to take back control over the field they love.
Backtalk: Thank You for Voting—Next!
This week, Dahlia and Amy update on the latest horrifying policies the Trump administration are hoping to force into law. Beyond the midterm elections, the monsters in the White House are working overtime to push through harmful legislation, including limiting gender to being recognized to what one is assigned at birth, an end to birthright citizen, and more terribleness. In this week’s Amy vs. Dahlia, we’re debating the worse fake politician: Veep’s Selina Meyers or Idiocracy’s President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho! Text “Politician” to 503-855-6485 to let us know what you think!
Popaganda: The Devil You Know
This episode is all about how cool the Devil is, especially for people of marginalized genders and sexualities. The devil is all over popular media, not as a straight symbol of absolute evil, but as something a little more nuanced and approachable—and sometimes even a little queer. Is this a sign of the end times and the moral degradation of humanity? Or does the character’s appeal to young people speak to a greater rejection of good vs. evil binaries? To find out, Soleil spoke with two experts. First, you’ll hear from Megan Kennedy, the executive director of Utah’s Religious Education Series, on the political side of evil. Then you’ll hear from Holly Lyman Antolini, the rector at St. James’s Episcopal Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on what it means to disregard the idea of absolute evil. We hope you enjoy the show!