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There was a rumor circulating on social media that Joe Biden was only going to allow US citizens four pounds of beef per year. People lost their minds. Food writer Alicia Kennedy and I pick apart the anxieties of meat eaters, why 'vegan' has become 'plant-based', and how the shift in omnivore and veg culture has shifted in the last few years. http:…
 
Phoebe Maltz Bovy, writer of the essay "Straightness Studies," introduces us to the Tragedy of Heterosexuality. Can queer theory save the straights or are we/they doomed to be trapped in power imbalances and sexual suffering and bad interior decorating decisions forever? Support this podcast: http://patreon.com/publicintellectual…
 
Every few days or so, a conversation restarts on Twitter: books that are difficult, books that are assigned in school, books that are designated classics, are bad. And publishers, critics, and audiences that support so called "difficult" literature are disappearing. Mauro Javier Cárdenas, author of the new novel Aphasia, and Jessa discuss this chan…
 
The luxury housing boom is -- hopefully -- over, so what comes next? According to Diana Lind, author of Brave New Home, it's rethinking the single family home. We explore other options, from multi-generational housing, co-living, housing coupled with services, and we ask why Americans are so afraid of public housing. Support this podcast: http://pa…
 
Previously released as a bonus episode available only to patrons, following Britney Spears's statement that she felt "torn apart" by the NYT doc that is fueling her revival we thought it best to give it a wider release. Topics considered: a reassessment of the dark first decade of the century, treating Britney Spears like Q, the public likes it whe…
 
While many conservative commentators have been in a panic about the pandemic's baby bust effect, they rarely look past personal choice to see the real reasons people are not having children. Fertility is a deeply felt personal issue, but it exists within a larger context and that context is filled with poisonous plastic. Dr. Shanna Swan, author of …
 
Amazon's PR has been having a temper tantrum this past week on Twitter, going after politicians and random people online for daring to criticize the working conditions at their facilities. Alec MacGillis, author of Fulfillment: Winning and Losing in One Click America, shows that while the working conditions are bad and low paid, that is only part o…
 
With a new scandalous biography of Patricia Highsmith and a new Ripley adaptation on the way for Showtime, we can't get enough of loving and hating our mistress of sociopaths and Americans (same thing). Novelist and journalist Lucie Elven (The Weak Spot) joins Jessa to discuss our "Sapphic Dennis the Menace", why we need to pathologize all of our e…
 
Diversity is seen as an unalloyed good. We have committees, books, departments, specialists all devoted to increasing diversity, but what does anyone mean by that word. And why are we obsessed with it, in a time of globalization and homogenization? Russell Jacoby is the author of On Diversity, and we discuss the history of this vague buzzword and w…
 
If we can pinpoint a moment when the internet got truly bad, I think it is when Tumblr removed all of the porn. It was clear that diversity, freedom, and creativity did not matter as much as money to anyone running the platforms. Ana Valens, author of Tumblr Porn, joins Jessa to discuss nostalgia for the early internet, the new hostility to adult c…
 
With people losing homes and jobs and the government taking a hands off approach, it is a chance to rethink our response to the last economic crisis of 2008. Pavlos Roufos, the author of A Happy Future is a Thing of the Past, joins Jessa to discuss the austerity measures taken in Greece and the catastrophic results they had, while also commenting o…
 
With the true crime boom, we have been awash in stories of dead women and girls. And while those stories have been used to romanticize the police and advocate for "safety" measures that just end in more surveillance and oppression, occasionally these stories show us just how broken our institutions from justice to politics have become. Sonia Faleir…
 
"The opposite of nostalgia is truth." So writes Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore in her new book The Freezer Door. We discuss how nostalgia fuels gentrification, why our streaming services are full of shows set in the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s, and how Patti Smith's "Just Kids" inspired suburbanites to flood into New York City. Support this podcast: h…
 
There is a widening gap between the aims of feminism and the lived experience of women. Angela McRobbie, as a historian of women's magazines, is in a better position than most to see the lie of gender meritocracy and aggressive "have it all" narratives. She joins Jessa to discuss whether the pandemic is a crisis for feminism, and whether class cons…
 
With such a rich history of film tackling sexual violence in horror, exploitation, and other genre films -- and doing it well -- why when we try to take it seriously does it come out all wrong. Vincent Chabany-Douarre returns to PI to discuss the disappointing Promising Young Woman, why our queen Gillian Flynn must return to us, and remind us that …
 
Americans have very good reasons to be angry. Hundreds of thousands of us are dead from the pandemic, stimulus checks are nowhere to be seen, our government serves the very rich and few else. So why are we upset about fictions like child slavery and blood drinking Satanists? Mark Blyth is one of the authors of Angrynomics, and he speaks with Jessa …
 
Many of the odd social media arguments over the last couple years -- from Scorsese v Marvel to teach Harry Potter instead of Nathaniel Hawthorne -- can be understood as being actually about uncertainty about what art is for. Which is a new development of the age old "what makes art meaningful" conversation. Rita Felski, the author of Hooked: Art an…
 
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