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On this week’s episode, the critics discuss the Academy Awards: a four-hour spectacle of celebrity blunders and hosting gags (sponsored by Samsung). Next the gabbers welcome Slate’s own Mike Pesca to discuss Caitlin Flanagan’s Atlantic cover story “The Dark Power of Fraternities.” Can Pesca, an Alpha Epsilon Pi brother, shed light on the appeal of frat culture given Flanagan’s findings? And finally, the critics turn to “normcore,” fashion’s latest anti-aesthetic, as defined by Fiona Duncan on the Cut. Is the sartorial pendulum swinging away from individualization—from all things bespoke, personalized, and handcrafted—and toward mass-produced, anonymous basics?
Links to some of the things we discussed this week follow:
- Slate’s “Adele Dazeem Name Generator”: Travoltify your own name
- Dana’s review of the Oscars on Slate
- Cate Blanchett’s acceptance speech
- Matthew McConaughey’s “shockingly narcissistic” acceptance speech
- Jared Leto’s acceptance speech
- Blue Jasmine
- 12 Years a Slave
- Wolf of Wall Street
- True Detective on HBO
- Caitlin Flanagan on “The Dark Power of Fraternities” in the Atlantic
- Animal House
- Fiona Duncan defines “normcore” on the Cut, New York magazine’s fashion blog
- Duncan’s source material at K-Hole
Dana: Malcolm Clarke’s The Lady in Number 6, which won this year’s Academy Award for Best Documentary Short
Steve: George Orwell’s “Lear, Tolstoy, and the Fool”
Outro: “Razzamatazz,” as performed by John Travolta
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This podcast was produced by Ann Heppermann. Our intern is Anna Shechtman.