Kelsey Wallace: You are listening to Popaganda, a Bitch Radio podcast from Bitch Media, a feminist response to pop culture. This episode was recorded on Thursday, May 5, at the Bitch headquarters in Portland, Oregon. Warning: the following podcast contains explicit language, including the word “bitch,” of course.
Hello, welcome back to another episode of Bitch Popaganda. I’m Kelsey Wallace, the web editor here at Bitch, and with me today are –
Kjerstin Johnson: Kjerstin Johnson, the web content manager.
Andi Zeisler: And Andi Zeisler, the editorial-slash-creative director.
KW: And today we’re going to talk about Donald Trump’s sexism, aspirational television and a summer movie preview, so let’s get started. Anna Holmes wrote a column for the Washington Post this week called “Donald Trump’s Sexism” and it’s basically – well, Kjerstin, why don’t you tell us what it’s about.
KJ: Well, I think everyone’s been hearing a lot about Donald Trump recently because he’s been like, really just pushing – he pushed the whole birth certificate thing back into the spotlight, even though no one wanted to see it there except for the Tea Party, I think. Um, he’s gonna run for President, I guess. But Anna Holmes did everyone the favor of reminding them what a douchebag he’s been for like, decades now.
AZ: Yeah, it was basically like a reminder of, everything that’s odious about Donald Trump is nothing new. He’s really been perfecting his brand of douchebaggery for three decades at least, at this point, and much of it really revolves around his quite low and quite public low opinion of women and girls.
KW: So, do you think – I feel like this article assumes that a lot of people, just in kind of the public at large, have forgotten about some of this or just don’t care about it, or are at least sort of taking it for granted. Like, ‘yeah, Donald Trump is a sexist douche.’ Yet, I don’t think people are taking his presidential run too seriously, but his poll numbers aren’t bad. I mean, he’s looking better than some of the other Republican candidates. So do you think there’s something better about him, or is it something about our cultural climate that is just – you know, that we’re just accepting this. Like, “yeah, he makes the Miss USA pageant contestants parade in front of him in their underwear, but that’s just Trump bein’ Trump!” I don’t know – what do you think it is, that some people are just swallowing this from him?
AZ: I think culturally, we’ve gotten to a point – or we get to a point – with certain public figures where we have it in our heads that it’s not worth criticizing them because they are who they are and they are these outsize characters. You know, um –
KJ: Like you don’t want to take someone with that haircut seriously.
AZ: Exactly. Or like Jack Nicholson: we all know that Jack Nicholson is gonna show up at the Knicks game and be mugging for the camera and have, like, an eighteen-year-old next to him. Like, he’s just wacky Jack! And, you know, we do it with a lot of people. I think that was really on display with a lot of the Charlie Sheen stuff. It’s sort of like their boorishness or their douchebag-ness or their sexism or whatever is just kind of – in itself, it’s become entertainment.
AZ: And we don’t take it seriously. So when someone like Donald Trump is actually in a position of possibly being – and I don’t believe that he is a contender, but he’s in a position of possibly being taken seriously, I do think these reminders are helpful. Although, frankly, the people who would take these reminders seriously aren’t the people who consider him a contender.
KW: Right, exactly. Somebody who’s thinking that he seems like a pretty good presidential candidate probably did not have his or her mind changed by reading this column.
KJ: I mean, yeah. And then it’s funny because, I mean, in the article she quotes Carrie Prejean, who has, like, come out totally in opposition to gay marriage, and Carrie Prejean has like, pointed out what a douchebag Donald Trump is. So like, hopefully, that’ll change someone’s mind.
KW: Maybe somebody will be like “oh, I’m with Prejean. She thinks he’s a douche – ”
AZ: It’s really a race to the bottom with those two.
KW: Yeah. The thing that really struck me – because I think I’m really guilty of writing off Donald Trump as just a complete joke and not thinking that seriously about his, just like, blatant sexism and creepiness – there’s a quote in here where he talks about his eldest daughter Ivanka, and once he said: “She does have a very nice figure. If she weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.” And –
AZ: What I want to know is, what was the question that preceded that statement? Did someone say, like, “would you ever date your daughter?”
KW: “Do you think your daughter is a hot piece of – ?” It’s just, you know, I feel like that – to me, the fact that someone who said that about his own daughter in a public way is even being taken seriously by anyone to run for office just tells me that some people get a pass on stuff like this and some people don’t. I mean, I think – you know, I was Googling Sarah Palin to see how old her eldest son is, to draw a comparison. He’s pretty young. But still, if Sarah Palin said that she thought that Track was like really hot, and that maybe if he weren’t her son she would date him, I don’t think that she’d get very far in a political race. That’s – that’s really gross. That’s pretty out there. To me, that’s beyond objectifying Miss USA contestants, and into a completely new realm.
AZ: Well, sure, especially because people – again, it’s one of those things where people are like, “well, she’s in the Miss USA pageant, she’s gotta be used to being evaluated like a piece of meat.” But yeah, it’s sort of like, um – you know, I think Donald Trump has made a lot of these kind of, like, really kind of beyond-the-pale and beyond what most people would consider, um, just sort of, regular everyday tastelessness or sexism. He’s made a lot of comments like that and I do think it’s useful to keep bringing them up.
KW: So is the lesson here, for people who are thinking about, in three or four decades, running for political office, that if you kick it off now, with a really high level of misogyny and just sort of overall offensive behavior, that everyone’s tolerance – like, you’re just building up a public tolerance for it, to the point that if you want a presidential campaign, everyone will be like “oh, that’s just her bein’ her – you know, she’s an asshole.”
KJ: I think so, yeah.
KW: I think, because we basically condition –
KJ: It’s like that with so many people. Like Dov Charney, it’s like, “good ol’ Dov, keeping sleazy!”
AZ: I think that the danger – I mean, I really don’t know that this has anything to do with the presidential campaign, because I’m of the group that believes this whole presidential campaign of Donald Trump’s is a sham meant to promote his Celebrity Apprentice ratings.
KJ: Let’s hope so.
AZ: Yeah. But I think the more important lesson here is: why, just because something persists over time, do we need to give it a pass? Why do we need to believe that, like, just because Donald Trump or Dov Charney –
KW: Or, I think, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is the governor and did win the governor’s race in California and has a long history of sexual harassment –
KW: – and, you know, we’re just kinda willing to swallow it because he’s been in the public eye for so long?
KJ: Or because, you know, it’s funny because he’s Arnold Schwarzenegger, so he gets the pass because it’s entertainment.
AZ: I mean, I think it’s something – I think there’s a larger issue here about, you know, politicians and the kind of ego that leads one to go into politics. Because, you know, Bill Clinton had a long history of sexual harassment, which didn’t, for me – and admittedly, I’m a Democrat – didn’t really mitigate or affect his politics. But I think when it’s someone who is a personality first, or like a, you know, a celebrity financier, or a bodybuilding movie star, it’s a little different. And it’s hard to sort of tease out what makes it different, and I know there are a lot of people on the right who are like, “well, nobody’s talking about how Bill Clinton had this long history of sexual harassment and mistreatment of women.” It’s very possible that we just have to take for granted that anyone who gets into politics has a sense of their own righteousness that impacts how they treat other people in general, not just women. But um, I don’t think that means we shouldn’t point out the most egregious examples, especially when – as in Donald Trump’s case – it really doesn’t seem to have much to do with actual political aspirations.
KW: Right, and then, you know, also in Donald Trump’s case, some of his misogyny does seem to be bleeding into the politics that he’s – at least, I do think that he’s kind of a fake and a sham, and so I think some of the stances that he’s taking are more for attention. I don’t buy that he even thinks that the birth certificate is a fake. I think it’s just like, he’s capitalizing on an opportunity to get attention. But he’s changed his position on women’s reproductive rights and then I believe it was his aide who said, “well, yeah, you change your mind just like you change wives. It’s just how it goes.” And it’s like, well, both of those attitudes are actually problematic.
AZ: Basically what he’s saying is, if you’re someone who changes wives like they change their socks, you’re probably a douchebag who’s gonna flip-flop.
KW: Right. And we shouldn’t believe what you said about being pro-choice five years ago because, well, you had a different wife then too. So I think we can safely say none of us are planning on voting for him.
KW: Except for Kjerstin. But still, I really appreciated Anna Holmes’s article, just because I do think that, kind of like what Andi was saying, it’s important that we keep being reminded of this stuff.
Well, on that note – speaking of things that are taken seriously, or not, there was an article in the New York Times this week by Dan Kois – I think I’m saying that right – called “Eating Your Cultural Vegetables,” which was about what Dan is calling “aspirational” television- and film-watching. To define that, a quote from the article: “Those are the kinds of films and television dearly loved by the writers, thinkers and friends I most respect, so I, too, seek them out; I usually doze lightly through them, and I often feel moved, if sleepy, afterward. But am I actually moved? Or am I responding to the rhythms of emotionally affecting cinema? Am I laughing because I get the jokes, or because I know what jokes sound like?” So, it’s basically an article about the stuff that we watch because we feel like we should, or because we want to be involved in a cultural conversation about it, but if we’re honest with ourselves, we actually don’t care that much. So Andi, what did you think of the article? Did you identify with Dan here?
AZ: Yeah, it really resonated with me, especially now that I feel like television has really gotten so much smarter and is very much – for me at least – kind of the center of my personal media diet, I think more so than films, and more than other visual art and maybe even music. Just because it is something that I do pretty much every day for at least an hour. And it just reminded me of all the things that…even as I’m saying them, kind of empty promises I make to myself about things that I’m going to put on my Netflix queue and going to get around to watching. All however-many seasons of Lost there were – see, I don’t even know – just so I can finally get the Smoke Monster references that are still, like, percolating –
KW: I gave up on Lost also.
AZ: I think, yeah, the piece definitely resonated with me in that way.
KW: Kjerstin, what about you?
KJ: Yeah, definitely. I feel like I went through my phase of trying to catch up on all, you know, the what’s-what of Film with a capital F, and just saw too many films where I was like “I’ve had it. I know that this is like really revolutionary in film history, but I can’t watch another avant-garde silent thing.” Which sort of like, quelled my thirst to keep up with the Joneses or whatever as far as media goes. Now, I think, I definitely take recommendations, but because television has become so – you know, there are these hour-long shows that have six seasons apiece that I just, I am worried about starting something. I would like to get the whole thing instead of just starting something, and I just don’t have the time to watch everything. I try and pick what I watch, specifically, and try not to watch everything that I think I should watch.
KW: Do you pick things based on the conversations that you can have with other people about them? Like do you choose to watch things because you want to be involved in the discourse, or is it really just about what you yourself are drawn to as a viewer?
KJ: I would say what I’m drawn to as a viewer, but also about accessibility. I don’t have a television and I also didn’t have internet at home for a while, so it was like, “how much do I want to spend at the video store?” But if my friends can like, give me a download file for this, then [I’ll watch that]. But now that I have Netflix Instant, it changes things. It was a lot about accessibility, about how much time and money I can bring to it.
KW: I have to say that I chalk it up to working here at Bitch, and, well, I work at a media organization so I have to keep up with this stuff. But I know a lot of it is just straight-up peer pressure. I feel a lot of pressure to keep up with shows. I got cable and HBO partially because of that, even though I justified it in other ways. Part of it is because I really like watching TV, too. But, you know, I was kind of combing through my roster of shows, thinking, “okay, what here am I just keeping up with because I want to be involved in the conversation?” Or, to me, the more telling one is, “what series did I watch a few episodes of and now I lie and say I’m keeping up with it when I’m really not?”
AZ: So you’re not going to tell us?
KW: No, I am. A few shows that I pretend to –
KJ: Kelsey just opened up a notebook.
AZ: There’s at least a page of writing.
KW: A few shows that I pretend to care about but I really don’t are: first of all, I’ll cop to Saturday Night Live. I don’t like it, I never really have.
KJ: That’s one for me where like, the time investment isn’t really worth the payback. I need to have a specific sketch to watch.
KW: I’ll watch a sketch like on YouTube, but I kind of cop to caring about Saturday Night Live more than I actually do because I know that it’s culturally significant. I read Bossypants and I see people from SNL all over, like Seth Myers at the correspondents’ dinner and it’s like, “oh, Saturday Night Live: it’s part of our cultural conversation.” But I don’t like it and I’ll actually go so far as to say that I have faked liking other sketch comedy shows that I really don’t. So, that. Um, Portlandia?
AZ: Yeah, Portlandia’s on my list.
KW: I only watched the first three episodes, but I have pretended to have seen more than that.
KJ: That’s very easy to do, though, with Portlandia.
AZ: Yeah, it’s true.
KW: We are in Portland right now.
AZ: You can be like, “remember that sketch where they just look goofy?” But I have to admit, I was really outraged when I heard that it had been renewed for a second season. I was like, “why?”
AZ: And I realize admitting this is, like, a huge faux pas.
KW: Here we are in Portland –
AZ: Someone’s gonna throw, like, a thing of poutine at me from a moving car.
KJ: You just got that from Portlandia.
AZ: I did!
KW: We’re at a feminist magazine, which is something that’s kind of ripe for Portlandia fodder. But yeah, I watched a few episodes and now I think we’ve all experienced friends outside of Portland being like, “oh my gosh, did you see the thing – ”
KJ: My mom. Like, ultimately – that’s the ultimate “this has gone too far,” when she asked if I saw it.
KW: Right. I couldn’t take anymore. There were a few jokes that I liked, but not really. Also, The Walking Dead on AMC. I made it through an episode and a half of that guy’s fake Southern accent and couldn’t take it. But I was like, “yeah, The Walking Dead, this is an important show with zombies, we’re moving forward,” you know. Also, pretty much anything animated, it turns out, I don’t have the right brain for it.
AZ: I’ve been faking, like, knowledge of The Simpsons, probably as long as it’s been on the air.
KW: Me too. South Park, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Archer, Futurama – anything except King of the Hill, which I do genuinely like and will watch a full episode. I just sort of, just kind of fall back on my knowledge of the show existing.
AZ: I think what’s interesting is that, you know, this article was called “Eating Your Cultural Vegetables,” or veggies, or something, and I think that for a lot of people, those are actually opposite. They’re like the equivalent of the cultural Twinkie. And you probably watch a lot of heavier stuff. Like, you [Kelsey] watched all of The Wire, which for a lot of people would be their cultural vegetable. So I think it also depends on where you’re coming from.
KW: I think it depends on where you’re coming from and how much you care about being able to talk about TV – which for me is a lot. I think I care a lot more than the average person about being able to have a conversation with someone about a TV show and I put a high premium on keeping up with stuff, to the detriment of other stuff. I was embarrassed, looking at the A.V. Club Top 25 Programs of the Past Decade, that I’ve given them all a shot – all 25 – just like, “what didn’t I read, because of this?” How many times have I sat through Arrested Development when I could have been reading a novel that would have a life-changing impact on me? But I haven’t.
AZ: Yeah. What this article made me realize is the way I often impose these cultural vegetable things on other people – like Julie, our executive director.
KW: We all push stuff on her.
AZ: I tried to like, shame her into watching Dexter. Which now she’s really into! But then when I found out that she hadn’t seen the lead character, whose name I’m now forgetting –
KW: Michael C. Hall.
AZ: – Michael C. Hall in Six Feet Under, I was like, “what do you mean you haven’t seen Six Feet Under?!” And I was a real bully about it. So I feel like I certainly – this article sort of made me recognize that part of myself that can be super pushy about this stuff.
KW: I can be super pushy about this stuff. I also kind of related to – she talks about seeing Kelly Reichardt’s film Meek’s Cutoff and being sort of bored during it and realizing that she was kind of – er, sorry, he was seeing it for maybe some of the wrong reasons. I had a similar experience with Meeks Cutoff over the weekend, except I had a plan to go and see it with my boyfriend, and about 15 minutes before we were going to leave for the movie, I was like: “I’ve gotta be honest, I actually don’t want to see this movie.” And he also admitted to not wanting to see it! But we were both pretending like we did want to see it because we had listened to this Fresh Air interview with Kelly Reichhardt and were like “man, that sounds awesome and I’m really into the Oregon Trail, I love Michelle Williams, let’s do this.” And then – it’s like, it was nice weather, and –
AZ: Did you go see Fast 5 instead?
KW: I think we just went home and, like – we probably watched Downton Abbey on Netflix Instant and just like, petted the dog. And it was like, “I’m kind of glad that I’m not at Meek’s Cutoff right now.” Although I’ll say, this is exactly what the author is getting at. I’m still going to tell people that I want to see Meek’s Cutoff, and I probably will see it too. Because it’s about the Oregon Trail! How could I not?
AZ: That’s true. You might have a geographical imperative to see that movie.
KW: But also it’s like, a woman director and she’s critically acclaimed and, like, I have to. To me, that’s a total cultural vegetable. I’m gonna choke it down. Although I also like vegetables. Does anyone else want to own up to a show that you kind of pretend to be plugged into but you actually hate?
KJ: Oh, I feel like I definitely have one of these.
KW: Or that you gave up on?
AZ: I feel like I really gave Treme a shot. You know? I love music, I love a lot of the actors on it. I was so fragmented to me, and I really felt the cultural weight of expectation that I was really supposed to like it and find it deep and meaningful. And I just didn’t. I feel like deeply shamed about that sometimes. But then most of the time I’m just watching Nurse Jackie instead.
KJ: When Glee first started, I watched it, and – I mean, feminist critiques of Glee aside, I had to stop watching it because I was so bored and I hated all the characters and I hated Mr. Schuester and I could not stand his face or anything he said. So I just had to stop watching that because, as au courant as it would have been for Bitch Media to keep watching it, I just couldn’t handle it. And Lost: I started watching Lost simply to have my cultural vegetable protein about anything about Lost, and I weaned myself off of it in the second season.
KW: I quit watching Glee and Lost also. And [Andi,] you quit watching Lost –
AZ: I never started. But I will say this though: sometimes, something you think is going to be a cultural vegetable is totally, like, a cultural Twinkie instead. Like I really thought Game of Thrones was going to be super heavy and I put off watching it and thought, “this might be a show that I have to fake my way through.” And now I’m obsessed with it to the point where I’m probably going to start reading the books as well.
KW: I mean, it’s complete soap opera drama –
AZ: And it is like, I don’t know, whatever the medieval version of a Twinkie is. It’s like that.
KW: I’m trying to think. I don’t know, they drink a lot of wine.
AZ: It’s so fluffy. So I do think that – again, for different people, it’s not at all going to be a chore, and it’s not going to be something that you have to, um, really fight to stay awake during, or even when it’s very complicated it’s not necessarily going to be difficult to follow and parse and discuss with other people.
KJ: And for me, cartoons – I mean, I watch cartoons because I know that I don’t have to invest myself in the plot. I know that if I miss an episode, it’s totally fine, because the scenes are like ten seconds long anyway.
AZ: Are you talking about the things that Kelsey was talking about?
AZ: Like The Simpsons and South Park?
KW: Yeah, I find myself pretending to be into that stuff but I’m totally not.
KJ: It’s totally like an instant gratification thing.
KW: Well, speaking of instant gratification-slash-Twinkies, we’re going to talk about summer movies. And first I’m going to read a quote from the New York Times summer movie preview edition by Douglas McArth – McGrath, sorry. “For people over a certain age (16), the phrase ‘summer movie’ summons a mouth-drying dread, a degree of despair that is only exceeded by the phrase ‘summer movie season’ – an endless desert of the bloated and the moronic.” Now, summer movie season is its own thing, right? What do you think – do you feel a dread? We’re starting summer movie season basically this month, I mean, May is kind of the kickoff. Are you dreading the onslaught of blockbusters, or are you, like me, actually really looking forward to them and kind of can’t wait?
KJ: Well, I don’t know if I should start this conversation, because I also work at a movie theater that will be showing Pirates of the Caribbean in 3D, Harry Potter in 3D and Something Borrowed for two weeks.
KW: It’s good we have you here, because you have an inside look.
AZ: Plus your financial investment is like, slightly –
KJ: Longer hours! Um, I sort of see it as a meta thing about how the movie industry works now, where I just see a bunch of sequels coming out, churned out, and I’m not excited about it. The movies that my theater does not play, I don’t like paying ten dollars to go see them in the theater and prefer seeing them later when I don’t have to spend as much money – sorry, again, it’s about accessibility –
KW: No, that’s important. That’s totally a factor.
KJ: And again, with investment, I’m like, “I didn’t see this first X-Men movie, so therefore, I can’t see the second one.” Which I know doesn’t actually make sense, but – I’m not thrilled about it.
AZ: For me it’s more of a holistic thing. Like, every summer, there’s something that I get excited about, and it might be a sequel. For instance, this summer I’m really excited about the X-Men origins X-Men: First Class, which tells the origin story of Professor X and Magneto. I’m super excited about that. But summer movies as a whole tends to be when you kind of see the worst traits of Hollywood: sort of bloated wastefulness, huge budgets, the kind of shunting of women and girl characters into the kind of Smurfette role –
KW: Literally, because there’s a Smurfs movie.
AZ: Oh yeah! Exactly! You know, where there’s one woman among the big action dudes, whether it’s in Transformers or Pirates of the Caribbean or what-have-you. So I think it’s more the – to me it’s sort of more the cumulative history of summer movie season and what it usually means for progressive narratives and representations, so in that sense I dread it.
KW: I have to say, I agree with what both of you are saying and I accept it as true, yet somehow – and I think this is just [because] I’m a product of the Hollywood season – I am looking forward to movies that are coming out this summer that, were they to be released in the wintertime, I would not see. And I don’t – I’m interested just for myself, as to what it is.
AZ: It’s because you don’t have an air conditioner.
KW: I was going to say, I think it might be partially because I don’t have air conditioning. And so I’m probably going to see Thor in the theater, in 3D, partially so I can sit in air conditioning for two hours but also partially because there’s something about the spectacle that seems summery to me. Like the Fourth of July and fireworks and action movies – I get psyched about it. I’m not an action movie person, that’s not really what I normally gravitate toward, but this summer, I am. And we looked at some different summer movie previews and, I don’t know, if we want to go around and say something that we are really looking forward to seeing for real. I think there are some things that are coming up – again, with the summer movie season, I have to admit that I found myself going through a slideshow of 38 movies that are coming out this summer and making a list of which ones I was excited to see, and I had to stop myself when I got past 15. It was like, “ooh, I definitely want to see this, I’m totally gonna go to this.” I don’t know, maybe it is just air conditioning. I really hate to be hot in the house.
KJ: I went through that list too, and I was just sort of – I just felt that so many of them were the same movie. There was literally The Hangover 2, but it seemed like so many of them were trying to ape The Hangover franchise anyway, with a bunch of dudes in funny films that just keep being churned out. But I guess what I am looking forward to seeing is Super 8, which is Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams. It’s about – well, I don’t know most of the plot, but it looks pretty, and it looks a little bit smarter than your average movie, and so I’m looking forward to that.
KW: Aw, that was mine. I’m really excited about Super 8. And it stars Kyle Chandler, Coach Eric Taylor from Friday Night Lights.
AZ: Well, like I said, I’m really looking forward to seeing X-Men: First Class. I always look with a specific eye toward where women are in the narrative and the positioning, and there are very few films coming out this summer, and I certainly don’t think any of the blockbusters, have a female character at the center unless it is like a romantic comedy. Like Something Borrowed, or maybe the one with Cameron Diaz –
KW and KJ: Bad Teacher.
AZ: – but that also does appear to be an ensemble comedy, like, Justin Timberlake is very prominent, Jason Segel is very prominent. So, oddly, I’m looking forward to seeing Our Idiot Brother, which is – I think it’s sort of indie, it seems to be like, one of those Apatovian [movies] with like, Elizabeth Banks is in it, Paul Rudd’s in it, Rashida Jones is in it – all of those people are great. But to me, it also seems like the only one where the male characters are outnumbered by the female co-stars, and there seems to be potential for interactions that have more to do with family and relational hijinks than with either romance or the woman running after the action hero guys, being like, “I can shoot a gun too!”
KW: Instead it’s like, “man, our brother, he’s a reeeeal loser.”
AZ: Yeah, but in a funny way.
KW: Yeah, in a funny way. I have to say: I wrote down my top three, and the first two were Our Idiot Brother and Super 8, so I think we’re gonna have to –
AZ: Field trip!
KW: – review those at some point. And then my third summer movie that I’m looking forward to is Everything Must Go, which stars Will Ferrell. I mean, the summer is a dudefest, times a million. Except for Bridesmaids, which we already reviewed. It seems like we’re lacking in women main characters quite a bit. But Everything Must Go is about Will Ferrell, who – he gets fired from his job and his wife leaves him and – it sounds kind of cheesy to describe the plot, which is just that he has to sell all of his stuff in a big yard sale, but the trailer really was compelling to me. I felt really drawn in by what I’m assuming the narrative is, and also I love yard sales. That’s a big part of the summer, buying stuff at yard sales. And I’m really excited to see Christopher “CJ” Wallace, the child star – he’s probably a tween – of the movie. He is Notorious B.I.G.’s son, and if you saw the movie Notorious –
AZ: Right! He was in it!
KW: He played the young Christopher Wallace in Notorious and I just found him so charismatic. I’m really excited that he’s having a career beyond just playing in a biopic about his dad. I think he seems like a great actor, and in the trailer, I was just already touched by him. I was telling Andi and Kjerstin: I was literally tearing up during the trailer. So, we’ll see if the movie is as heartfelt as the trailer appears to be, but I’m looking forward to it… along with 37 other movies. Obviously there are some clunkers out there too, but – air conditioning.
Okay, well, I think that does it with our discussion today. Why don’t we wrap it up with our Bitch Faves? Kjerstin, do you have a fave to share with us?
KJ: Sure. Speaking of Netflix Instant, I began watching My So-Called Life, which I never watched growing up because my parents didn’t let me watch shows like that. But I’ve really been enjoying it, and the fact that I think it’s really great now I think speaks to how it was a really good show. And I feel like I can watch it because there’s only one season. Anyway, I’ve been enjoying it.
AZ: I’m reading three different books about music, all of which are sort of awesome and all of which kind of inform one another. One is called Hot Stuff, and it’s by Alice Echols and it’s about the cultural history of disco and the progressive political legacy of disco. The second one is a biography of Queen, which I’m really excited about because I love Queen and I’m already psyching myself up for the 2012 biopic of Freddie Mercury starring Sacha Baron Cohen, which – I’m gonna try and manage my expectations, because it could just be like Borat as Freddie Mercury, and that would be a travesty. The third book is a book that we have a review of in the upcoming issue of Bitch, and we’ve reviewed on the website, which is Out of the Vinyl Deeps. That’s the collected music criticism of Ellen Willis.
KW: And we had a blog post about that this week too.
AZ: Yes we did.
KW: Well, I am excited this week about a Beyonce video for the Let’s Move presidential fitness campaign. The video is – I think they’re calling it a “flash workout,” but anyway, Beyonce has an instructional video that teaches you how do to a dance to a song called “Let’s Move” that is a Swizz Beats remix of her song “Get Me Bodied,” if you’re a Beyonce fan. And, uh, so the dance looks pretty easy to learn, and the thing that’s most exciting to me is that there are already all these videos up of these awesome dancers in middle schools across the country doing this routine, a video of Michelle Obama doing it, she does the running man, it’s just like – Michelle Obama has managed to make the presidential fitness campaign really cool and fun. And that’s exciting to me. I am happy for all those kids in middle school who get to do a Beyonce dance routine instead of do, like, the arm chin hang thing off the bar that I had to do for presidential fitness.
AZ: That’s the worst.
KW: There’s this really great video that I will post a link to that’s a group of middle school kids doing the dance, practicing it, and then – surprise! Beyonce comes into the gym and does the dance with them and it’s just, like, feel-good moment of the year. I’ll post a link, check it out. I, for one, want to learn the dance.
KJ: I want Beyonce to walk into the office to surprise us right now.
KW: If we do the dance, maybe we can summon her. It’s like Candy Man or something.
AZ: We do it three times fast.
KW: We better start now. Um, alright, well, thanks so much for tuning into this episode of Popaganda, and be sure to visit bitchmagazine.org/audio for even more.
[music: “Move Your Body” by Beyonce and Swizz Beats”]
KW (over music): Thanks for tuning in. Bitch Media is a non-profit organization. We rely on the support of listeners like you. Visit bitchmedia.org/donate to find out how you can support what you love. What we love is to hear what you think! Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your view.
[music: “Move Your Body” by Beyonce and Swizz Beats”]