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No Episode Newsletter #1
"#1" is implying that we will screw up again sometime in the future
Hello and welcome to...a newsletter. Kevin and Arjun couldn’t make it to their podcast studio this week, so instead, we have compiled some of the work that our illustrious guests have produced over the past couple of months:
On our last show, Meher Ahmed mentioned she was writing this Modern Love piece about how she met her husband in Pakistan. What I didn’t know was that it was also about the millennial cross-cultural postcolonial cult classic Bend It Like Beckham.
“America has always been a death cult; the only variable has been its soundtrack” GOD DAMN THAT’S A GOOD SENTENCE. One of just many gems in Maya Binyam’s recent review of Akwaeke Emezi’s The Death of Vivek Oji.
Jay Caspian Kang wrote his magnum opus on basketball media, race, and capitalism. If you listen to our podcast you have to (or should re-read!) his essay for the New York Review of Books.
On the cutting room floor of this episode, we heard Kameron Austin Collins’ was considering bringing his talents to South Beach...eeeer Rolling Stone. He’s gotten off to a very hot start. Read his can’t miss reviews here.
For a New Yorker piece about how audiences are adapting to online theatre, Vinson Cunningham, noted Knicks fan, wrote about the lost relationship between the theatre performers and the theatre audience. Vinson reminds us that the audience was never a passive member of the theatre, that in fact, ticket buyers had a role in the show. “The quality of our attention—silent or ecstatic, galled or bored—is a kind of freestanding, always improvising character, and makes each in-person performance unrepeatable. Call it the congregational art, and remember how you once practiced it: it has something to do with location, and feeling, and your invisible relationship with individual performers and the whole panoply of action on the stage.”
Gaby Del Valle continues to do more work in one day than Kevin and Arjun do all week. Her weekly newsletter Border/Lines is coming up on week 52. That’s one year of weekly deep-dives into the world of immigration reporting! Subscribe now!
Jazmine Hughes published her first story as a metro reporter for the Times!!!! She spoke to the teachers at Brooklyn Friends, a private Quaker school that is trying to bust the faculty’s newly formed union. The administration claims that the union silences the teachers, but one teacher responds: “But we spoke: We unionized.”
Marie Solis’ media criticism piece (for Jezebel) about the inattention economy around reproductive rights writing which we talked about in her episode was published last month and it is, like her, extremely wise and incisive.
E. Tammy Kim’s latest piece is a profile of Taiwan’s digital minister, Audrey Tang, who wears Issey Miyake while parsing the nuances of mass surveillance and state power. Come for Tammy’s very perceptive writing, stay for the incredible photos of Audrey’s insane drip.
Giri Nathan interviewed a guy who grows vegetables competitively. This Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch-based farmer speaks like you’d imagine: jovial, filled with whimsy and wonder. Here’s my favorite exchange from the article:
MW: Celery I’m not too keen on. But I do like it. But God has been kind to us, you see. When he developed celery he made sure there was a groove in the back of it to put salad cream into it.
GN: In the U.S. we like peanut butter in our celery.
MW: Bloody hell.
Bijan Stephen has two new developments you should check out. First of all, in his episode, we talked about his changing opinions on what it’s like to cover police brutality for the last six years, and he put those thoughts and a lot more into this exceedingly thoughtful feature for the Verge. One line that stands out and really feels true after not just one summer of protests, but a decade: “The uprising that began in 2014 is now capital-H History. To put it biblically, it was society beginning yet again to answer for the original sin.” Also, tune into his new Twitch show Hoobastank 2, which I like to refer to as Seinfeld 2, in the sense that it too is a show about nothing, which is to say that it’s a show about everything?
Katie Way started an incredibly funny Substack about the social media travails and blunders of the boys in blue. Subscribe!! It’s called “All Cops Are Posters.”
Thanks, we’ll be back with a brand new episode next week. Also, if you are reading this on Thursday morning, please tune into Bernie Sanders’ Working for the Future town hall tonight, presented by Teen Vogue. Arjun made the intro video, a process that sent him into a nostalgic spiral, longing to return to a more hopeful time in his life.
-Arjun & Kevin