Add This New Pop Culture Podcast to Your Queer Digest
Plus, Drag Race takes, Christmas music recs, and your new favorite bag.
When I set out to make this Substack, I did warn you there would be occasional shameless promotion. Honestly, I’m shocked I’ve gone almost a full year without fully detonating this opening letter with some marketing collateral.
But that ends today for good reason because, well, Rose and I have been working very hard on this since January and we deserve it! Our new podcast, Like a Virgin, is out now!
I really wish pop culture had been taught to me as a kid. I grew up feeling like an alien, wondering why the 1000+ kids in my grade were in on a joke that I wasn’t, talking about whatever they saw on MTV that night, or about celebrities I’d never even heard of.
Pop cultural history is history, yet it’s rarely taught in schools or textbooks. And yet, pop culture shapes and affects the trajectory of our society, even our government. So why is it relegated to the corner as something “trashy” or a “guilty pleasure?” Kids should learn about J.Lo as much as they learn about, i dunno, Thomas Jefferson.
I guess this podcast is a fun way to go back on what I missed out on with a lens from where I am now. Listen to the intro to hear what it’s about and what we’ll bring to an episode each week.
OK, back to some regularly scheduled joy.
P.S. Wanna support the show? Below are some ways you can!
Subscribe/review the show — it massively helps us on Apple’s algorithm and is the #1 thing that grows podcasts like ours.
Share it with any friends you think would dig.
Email, Tweet, or Story me any/all reactions you have! Rose, me, and our producer Phoebe have been working on this in such a silo. We’re dying to hear what you think!
Listen, all the way to the end, duh!
some things that brought me joy this week
1. New toy alert! Of course, I had to snag Luar’s new bag, a cute lil ostrich moment that is destined to be the new, affordable “it girl” purse. Raul’s approach to fashion, and so much of his work, is an homage to the femme Dominicanas that made him who he is. I love that this bag’s promo centers that femininity and the way men can wield it too.
2. As a companion, I loved Nick’s essay on the death of the “murse,” and how handbags are for everyone now, so you can leave your toxic masculinity at home.
3. My friend Phil really one-upped my podcast digest with You’re Wrong About, a show that unravels ahistorical, cultural memory. Janet Jackson, Vanessa Williams, Monica Lewinsky — people remember these “controversies” a certain way, but this show puts it into much-needed context. The two hosts have the best chemistry ever, and the level of research conducted (usually reading multiple books, every archival article, documentaries, etc) is so generous and singular. My favorite episode so far is the one on the “Disco Sucks” movement and how it was rooted in anti-Blackness and anti-queerness. My jaw dropped several times while listening. I also loved the five-part series on Diana as someone who doesn’t know royal stuff outside The Crown.
4. My friend Mona also started a podcast that is just the most perfect thing. In bite-sized little episodes, with pristine editing and reporting, this podcast unpacks the things we’re insecure or worried about, using data as a lens. Reminds me of Radiolab and the ways they make science so alarmingly human. And Mona is a joy, of course. I loved the episode on breakups, but this one on moving hit home.
5. Nerd alert! Where I once resolved to never write notes/lists on paper, I’ve since figured out I cannot give it up and I need to be constantly jotting things down on a lil scratchpad. Most writers have *too many* notebooks — people who don’t know us love to gift notebooks for christmas/birthdays, huh? But most notebooks have too many bells and whistles, cumbersome spines, or they’re *too* fancy and we’re scared to use them. I have found this bad boy to be the perfect notebook. Portable, appealing to the eye, kinda cute, but primarily utilitarian — not to mention cheap as fuck! I may never buy another notebook ever again.
6. Who’s watching Drag Race UK? It’s an engaging season so far. (Canada however……. I mean it’s not terrible, but let’s just say I don’t have much to write about yet.) No spoilers, but something’s a little different when it comes to UK. Michelle and Ru feel much more loose and loopy, almost like they’re jet-lagged and their guards are a little lower. Ru is also tougher on these girls, and there are some intense moments of holding the drag artists accountable to better performances. Overall tho, it’s fucking good TV. My fantasy football league: Team Choriza May, Charity Kase moon, Krystal Versace rising. I also enjoy Kitty and Scarlett, but it feels like Scarlett’s attitude is gonna get in the way. Will also say the Snatch Game winner this season is easily in my top five favorite snatch games of all time. My #1 from the season is, of course, Victoria Scone — long may she reign! Had me crying and laughing from episode one.
7. Am already deep in Christmas music earlier than usual this year because I’ve been emo. I’m looking for contributions to my Sad Girl Christmas playlist — will make it collaborative in case any of y’all want to add things. No judgment (but I do reserve the right to remove things that are not on the vibe)!
8. This new Jenny Lewis track is the latest audio Xanax — the definition of a pick-me-up. Should we all buy puppies and trucks and retire from civilization?
9. If you’ve never heard of Crackhead Barney, boy do I have a treat for you. Our fearless host, the namesake of the show, takes an unhinged approach to a Billy On the Street style of “journalism,” and by journalism I mean trolling bigots, fascists, and cops. The Eric Adams video is good, as is the one interviewing Italians on Columbus Day.
Oh, and Azealia Banks. 🤣
this week’s action
Trans Day of Resilience is coming up, so why not celebrate with buying merch from your fave local queer/trans-owned non-profit or mutual aid fund? I’m partial to For the Gworls who just dropped some cute hoodies and phone cases.