Legendary LA-based art reporter Jori Finkel joins co-hosts Eric Newman, Kate Wolf, and Medaya Ocher to discuss her first documentary film "Artist and Mother;" which investigates why the contemporary art world, which prides itself as a space of absolute free expression, seems more-than-reluctant to embrace work about Motherhood, even when done by theretofore established artists who are new mothers. Finkel and her team of filmmakers highlight the work of four powerful Los Angeles based artists, all mothers, who challenge this bias: Kenyatta A. C. Hinkle, Andrea Chung, Rebecca Campbell, and Tanya Aguiniga. In the interview, Jori shares her theories about why such a universal theme remains taboo in this iconoclastic realm.
Also, LARB's Eric Newman recommends Nella Larsen's 1929 classic Passing, which has long been a staple of academic syllabi but has remained relatively obscure among the general public. All that should change, Eric explains, as it's soon to be a major motion picture.
Two scholars of Queer History, Emeritus Professor Martin Duberman and LARB's Eric Newman, assess the state of the LGBTQ+ movement and ask whether today's generation can redeem the radical vision of Stonewall era activists. The jumping off point is Martin's new book, Has the Gay Movement Failed?, which finds today's largest and best-financed advocacy groups championing a narrow vision of the LGBTQ+ community that is unthreatening to the American status quo. However, both Martin and Eric take heart in the new emphasis by radicals on intersectionality, which celebrates both diversity and inclusion. Towards the end of the dialogue Martin offers a searing critique of "individualism," as the core of mainstream American ideology; a peroration that should be heard by all progressives, radicals, and people of good will.
Also, Eric tells LARB's Medaya Ocher about Michael Bronski's excellent A Queer History of the United States of America.
It is safe to say, in the Age of Trump and the Kardashians, that America's obsession with wealth grows ever-stronger. Photographer and Documentarian Lauren Greenfield has built a brilliant career both capturing and critiquing the conspicuous consumption of the 1% and wanna-be one percenters. Lauren joins co-hosts Eric Newman and Kate Wolf to discuss her new film, Generation Wealth; which, she explains, contrasts with her previous work because it shows how her super-wealthy subjects had a come-to-Jesus moment in the wake of the spectacular market crash of 2008 and subsequent Great Recession, which seemed, once-and-for-all, to kill the Greed is Good ethic. Generation Wealth then captures how quickly the super rich betrayed Jesus once their balance sheets recovered, even as the average household fell further behind.
Also, fittingly, LARB Radio's own Medaya Ocher stops by to recommend 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret by Craig Brown, a fascinating study of a daughter of (the highest) privilege who remains more worthy of our attention than America's current crop of gluttonous narcissists.
To celebrate the release of the Romance Issue of the LARB Print Journal, this week’s podcast focuses on one of the definitional institutions of 21st century romance: The Bachelor (and The Bachelorette). Co-hosts Eric Newman, Medaya Ocher and LARB Poetry Editor Callie Siskel discuss the ABC hit-series with LA Times writer Amy Kaufman, the author of Bachelor Nation: Inside the World of America's Favorite Guilty Pleasure. The conversation hones in on the cultural resonance, as well as the juicy behind-the-scene secrets, of the now 16-year old TV franchise.
Also, Lydia Millet, author of Fight No More, returns to recommend Julia Holmes' first novel Meeks, a tale about bachelors in an alternative woman-dominated world.
Co-hosts Eric Newman, Medaya Ocher and Kate Wolf talk with Lydia Millet about her new short story collection, Fight No More, which covers the wide swathe of LA life through intimate, quiet stories in homes magnificent and modest. In a wide-ranging conversation, Millet talks about the simultaneously private and public nature of homes, delighting in the moments that blur the distinction between what a host wants you to see and what they want to hide from view. Millet and the co-hosts also lament the pornified nature of contemporary culture, one in which abjection and nakedness are not only daily fare but also the center of performed social identities.
Also, author Jervey Tervalon pays tribute to his friend, legendary food critic and Los Angeleno Jonathan Gold, with some epic verse: Adventures in Life and Food with J Gold.