Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Hannah Gadsby talks <i>Douglas</i> with Alan Cumming and Chris Sweeney on <i>Homo Sapiens</i>
PodmassPodmassIn Podmass, The A.V. Club sifts through the ever-expanding world of podcasts and recommends the previous week’s best episodes. Have your own favorite? Let us know in the comments or at podmass@avclub.com.

Homo Sapiens
Hannah Gadsby

Illustration for article titled Hannah Gadsby talks iDouglas/i with Alan Cumming and Chris Sweeney on iHomo Sapiens/i
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Noting that this episode was recorded prior to the COVID-19 epidemic and subsequent quarantine, Homo Sapiens hosts Alan Cumming and Chris Sweeney share their recent interview with Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby, in which the trio discuss both Gadsby’s 2018 Netflix special (Nanette) and her newly released one (Douglas). As queer hosts, Cumming and Sweeney understand how self-deprecating humor can be a problem in relation to one’s marginalized identity, something that Gadsby addresses in her work. As a guest, she is compelling and charming, discussing her early comedy career, her experiences with homelessness, her autism, and more. It’s interesting to note that Cumming is a relative newcomer to Homo Sapiens, only joining as a co-host in this most recent season as it debuted in April. But he and Sweeney already share an easy repartee that buoys the series with charisma. [Jose Nateras]


Pod Damn America
All Bikes Are Shields w/ Jake Flores

Illustration for article titled Hannah Gadsby talks iDouglas/i with Alan Cumming and Chris Sweeney on iHomo Sapiens/i

On May 30, comedian Jake Flores took part in a George Floyd-related protest in Flatbush, Brooklyn. Before the night was over, he would be beaten, tasered, arrested, and have his bicycle stolen by the NYPD. Flores recounts his experience on the latest episode of the radical political podcast Pod Damn America alongside co-hosts and fellow comedians Alex Ptak and Anders Lee. The key point that Flores hammers again and again throughout his story is that it is the job of white protesters to be on the front lines using their bodies to shield black protestors from police brutality. This is the instinct that led Flores to break a promise to his girlfriend about not getting arrested that night; he’d only meant to document the event, but was soon using his bicycle as a barricade against an increasingly violent police line. Beyond its political context, this is simply a riveting account of a very bad night, which Flores laces with suitably sardonic observations like thanking the police for beating him so hard that he barely registered his tasering. [Anthony D Herrera]


Useful Science
Expiration Dates

Illustration for article titled Hannah Gadsby talks iDouglas/i with Alan Cumming and Chris Sweeney on iHomo Sapiens/i

It’s great we know the earth revolves around the sun and all that, but does that knowledge improve daily life for the average person? (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle certainly didn’t think so.) Useful Science emphasizes everyday application over theory by asking experts to give laypeople the gist of long-winded academic and policy papers. Turning its attention to the food labeling system, this episode reveals that research indicates most expiration dates are little better than useless. Thanks to a lack of federal standards, America’s current three-tiered system of expiration dates—use by (denoting safety), best by (denoting quality), and sell buy (denoting nothing)—creates so much confusion that 40 percent of food is wasted in the U.S. every year, with Europe faring no better. As it turns out, age is not even the best indicator of shelf stability. A better marker is temperature and humidity. Advocates recommend that food companies adopt a color-changing smart label system that indicates spoilage due to atmospheric conditions. Until that day comes, experts say the sniff test is probably the best tool at consumers’ disposal. [Zach Brooke]

Marnie Shure is editor in chief of The Takeout.

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