In 1986, Time and Newsweek both ran cover stories about a cache of secret paintings by a prominent artist. All of them were of a beautiful woman named Helga, and implied to be the product of a love affair. But the story was more complicated than it appeared.
On each episode of Decoder Ring, host Willa Paskin takes listeners on unexpected voyages and down the most interesting rabbit holes to find larger truths about the culture’s strangest and most resonant mysteries—mysteries you didn’t know you needed the answer to, but ones that hook you in the first minute. As New York Magazine wrote, “It’s a pop-culture podcast that comes with the same level of research, investigation, and sincerity as any investigative journalism podcast.”
On this season of Decoder Ring, listeners will hear stories about a set of joke books that changed the bestseller charts by reprinting the most tasteless, racist, sexist, and homophobic jokes possible; the psychology and origins of a mind game that can never be won; Alberta, Canada’s claim to be completely rat-free; and more on the cultural phenomena hiding in plain sight.
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