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On this week’s episode, Slate’s Aisha Harris sits in to discuss the Brad Paisley-LL Cool J collaboration “Accidental Racist.” Our critics ponder whether this song about white guilt in the New South is mawkish, racist, or both. Then, Slate’s technology columnist Farhad Manjoo joins the conversation to provide insight into bitcoin, the peer-to-peer digital currency that is an anti-authoritarian’s dream come true. Finally, the ’festers debate the new HBO newsmagazine show Vice, from its macho posturing to its potential to bring current affairs of import to otherwise disaffected millenials.
Here are links to some of the things we discussed this week:
- Aisha Harris for Slate on “Accidental Racist.”
- “The Not-So-Accidental Racism of Post–Civil War Songs About the South,” by Rebecca Onion for Slate.
- The 2012 shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.
- Jody Rosen for Slate on where to start with Brad Paisley.
- “Ebony and Ivory,” the 1982 collaboration between Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder.
- The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates on why “Accidental Racist” is actually just racist.
- Slate’s Farhad Manjoo on the bitcoin bubble.
- Why bitcoin is popular with libertarian hipsters and criminals, by Annie Lowrey.
- The three-minute video that answers your bitcoin questions.
- “Bitcoin, Explained” by Adam Serwer and Dana Liebelson for Mother Jones.
- Satoshi Nakamoto’s 2009 paper explaining bitcoin: “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.”
- Lizzie Widdicombe’s profile of Vice Media for The New Yorker.
- Norman Mailer’s Miami and the Siege of Chicago: An Informal History of the Republican and Democratic Conventions of 1968.
- Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail, by Hunter. S. Thompson.
- “Kony 2012,” the viral video of the Stop Kony campaign.
- Willa Paskin on Vice for Salon.
- Vice’s masterminding of the operation that brought Dennis Rodman to North Korea.
- This week’s Audible suggestion: Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World by Liaquat Ahamed.
Dana: The piece of music that musicians want played at their funerals, to be listened to when you’re ready to sit, look out the window, and weep: Schubert’s “String Quintet in C Major,” performed by Isaac Stern, Pablo Casals, Milton Katims, Alexander Schneider, and Paul Tortelier.
June: In light of the death of Margaret Thatcher, the contentious 1987 movie Sammy and Rosie Get Laid, about a bohemian couple in 1980s London.
Stephen: Russell Brand for the Guardian on the death of Margaret Thatcher, an essay full of wit, self-awareness, and sensitivity. Also, “When Dickens met Dostoevsky,” Eric Naiman’s essay for the Times Literary Supplement on the massive literary hoax about the supposed meeting of Charles Dickens and Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
Outro: “For Boston” by the Dropkick Murphys
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