The most competitive sport in the Olympics, I would argue, is storytelling. Everything from the opening ceremony to the national uniforms athletes wear is carefully planned to create a specific story about the unique identity of countries (I'm not sure what story Norway's curling team uniforms are telling, but I know it would for sure involve a sweet soundtrack).
This show explores the spectacle of Olympic narratives. First, figure skating enthusiasts Andi Zeisler and Sarah Marshall talk about media coverage of female figure skaters, specifically revisiting the Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan scandal. Then, I dig in to how Olympic host cities make themselves over to create a shinier version of themselves for the international spotlight. Finally, we talk with Russian queer studies scholar Roman Utkin on the impact of the Olympics on LGBT politics in Russia.
Before you tune into the Olympics next week, listen to the show and excerpts below! A transcript is below the cut.
Don't just hate media—make media. On this episode of Popaganda, we spend time with five women who edit great magazines for young women. First off, Bitch's Andi Zeisler talks with Tavi Gevinson of Rookie. Then we meet up with the staff of She Shreds, an upstart magazine for female guitarists. Finally, we call up the editorial director of Canadian teen feminist magazine Shameless. All in all, the interviews show the ideas and challenges behind making media for young people, and how it's possible to get your own story onto the newstand.
The Bitch editorial staff all crammed into our recording studio this week to discuss our favorite TV, movies, music, and books of the year. We talked and laughed about Masters of Sex, Orange is the New Black, Warehouse 13, The Hunger Games, Frances Ha, Best Man Holiday, the genius of Lisa Hanawalt, and the music of Janelle Monae, HAIM, Lady, and Valerie June—plus much, much more. Listen in!
There's no escaping the holidays. Our only hope is to make 'em our own. This episode tells four tales of subverting the holidays.
First, we talk with author Sherman Alexie about his take on Thanksgiving. Then, we get advice from the folks behind Adbusters and the Story of Stuff project on celebrating the season without getting caught up in consumerism. From there, we talk with a vegan chef who is transforming America's most meat-centric holiday, Thanksgiving, into a vegetable feast. To round it all out, Bitch editorial and creative director Andi Zeisler reads an essay about Jewish Christmas.
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As of August, the emergency contraception pill Plan B is supposed to be available over the counter for women of all ages. This 20-minute show investigates whether that's actually true. Meet the Native American activists pushing to make emergency contraception accessible to all women. Plus, we secretly shop for Plan B in pharmacies around Portland, Oregon.
Are you having a lot of feelings about Breaking Bad, Scandal, Parks & Recreation, or New Girl? Join the club. This episode discusses those four shows in-depth (including a special guest appearance by Portland's real-life Leslie Knope!), plus highlights from other fall TV we're excited about.
Ghosts get a bad rap. But the stories we tell about spirits reveal what our cultures fear and value. In this show, Bitch Creative Director Andi Zeisler and literary ghost expert Jessica Jernigan look at how female ghosts from The Conjuring to Beloved can't escape gender roles. Plus, we talk with Jamie Holding-Eagle of the Red River Seed Library about how special corn seeds preserve the spirit of her great-great grandmother.