“Monotextural Pasta Slurry” Edition

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S1: This ad free podcast is part of your Slate plus membership. I’m Stephen Metcalf, and this is the Slate Culture Gabfest, Mono Textual Pasta Slurry Edition. It’s Wednesday, March 24th, 2021. On today’s show, we are running through the Oscar nominated pictures. We have yet to discuss. This time it’s another round and ambition bittersweet ode to the Tipple from Thomas Vinterberg, the wonderful, I think, wonderful Danish director and co-founder of Dogma 95. And then Dan Pashman, beloved little known in these parts as Danny Pash, Oggi, friend of the podcast and the host of the, you know, really wonderful Forkful podcast. He set out to create a new pasta shape. Improbably, we discuss his delightful five part audio series and our experience cooking and eating his creation with him. And finally, the politics of deaccessioning art. We will discuss with Carolina Miranda of the L.A. Times. Joining me right now is Julia Turner, who is deputy managing editor of the L.A. Times.

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S2: Julia, how are you? Hello. Hello. Good.

S1: Yeah, excellent site to talk. And of course, Dana Stevens is the film critic for Slate Dotcom. Hey, Dana.

S3: Hey there, Steve.

S1: Shaley plunge in. Let’s go. All right, bottoms up, another round comes from the Danish film director, Thomas Vinterberg. I think he’s still best known as the co-founder of Dogtown 95 with Lars von Trier. And for his really wonderful comedy. I mean, it’s still my I think my favorite Dogma movie, The Celebration came out in 1998. I’m sure he’s done wonderful things, English language and Danish language since. But I adore that movie. Anyway, this new one has been nominated for best director. It’s about the salvific and demitry powers of booze, of drinking for Schoolteacher’s in Copenhagen, each suffering from varying degrees of white, male, middle aged Malaz form a pact with one another. They are going to test a theory that humans are burdened with a blood alcohol deficit of point zero five percent. They will then do as Hemingway did, they claim Hemingway did, and they will drink constantly all day, then knock off at eight p.m. and start up again the next day. At first the experiment goes, what’s the opposite of A? It goes swimmingly by staying low key drunk, their professional and personal lives begin to revive. But as you might guess, what’s the opposite of swimmingly again? That’s right. Am I look drunk? No, I just love the movie. It goes awry. At the center of these four men is Martin or Martin, played by the gloriously glorious actor Mads Mikkelsen. He’s a good hearted zombie who finds his history teaching in his marriage transformed by this regimen. We don’t really have a clip because it’s all in Danish, but it’s a wonderful soundtrack to the movie, Dana, and a lot of just glorious ambient noise in it. It’ll work its way into the segment, no doubt. Let me just start with you right off the bat. What do you what do you make of this movie?

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S3: Well, I’m glad you liked it, because that’ll give us something to talk about. Oh, boy. Well, no, no, it isn’t even that I disliked this movie. It’s that I my expectations had been so built up. This appeared on many, many 10 best list last year. I had been waiting to see it for months. I had actually been putting off seeing it because I thought it was going to be so hardcore because of the subject matter and because of things that Vinterberg has done in the past. I also love the celebration, that 1998 movie that you mentioned. It is a comedy, but it’s a very, very caustic comedy about really hot button material. And so is another movie. He made the hunt he made in 2012, also starring Mads Mikkelsen. That’s about a man falsely accused of assaulting a child. I mean, he takes on really hard core social issues or personal issues and makes comedy out of them. And that’s what this movie tries to do as well. But after having put this off and put this off, because I thought, oh, I don’t know if I can go through the emotional wringer of watching these people, you know, drink themselves into oblivion. I watched it and sort of came out with is that all there is? I mean, I agree that Mads Mikkelsen is wonderful. It is an interesting idea, a dogma type idea, actually. A sort of experiment. Right. A movie about about these men conducting an experiment the way the the Dogma group did back in the 90s with film. And Mads Mickelson’s a great actor, but there’s something underwritten about this movie that none of the characters emerged into any relief. For me, it was all a laboratory experiment, like here are four guys with no attributes, doing something for unclear purposes. And we’re watching it play out as if they’re lab animals or something like that. I mean, all this is is artfully done, as you say. I mean, Vinterberg knows how to, you know, place a camera layer in music and sound and make a beautiful artifact that’s really nicely crafted. But I don’t understand why this movie exists, which is a line I’m stealing from the critic Stefanie’s Harik for time, who we read about. And in prepping for this, it just has a motive looseness for me. And I also have to say not that every movie has to be absolutely equitable in this way, but every female character in this movie is pretty blonde woman yelling about domestic tasks that husband is not doing. So the world’s that it it showed was just so low stakes for me that it was hard for me to care whether these guys became permanent sources or lost their jobs or or had anything at stake in this whole experiment.

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S2: Don’t forget the icy gray haired headmistress who scolds them

S3: on the job. She used to be a young, pretty screaming blonde woman. Now she’s an older, gray haired screaming. That’s what

S1: happens.

S3: Don’t I know it?

S1: Julia, what do you think of this experiment with the four aged lab rats at the center of it and surrounded by demanding harridans or humanist triumph? I suppose your choices,

S2: despite despite having some similar critiques to the quality of the female characters. I kind of loved this movie. I don’t know why. I don’t know that I have a good answer to Stephanie’s question of why does this movie exist? Although I also didn’t think her review made a forceful case for why it shouldn’t either. I did wonder if there was like a missing. Link, like, if the whole movie is a gigantic sub tweet of Danish drinking culture, a thing I don’t understand or have political views upon, um, but which is sort of lightly referenced in the film a few times, like I wondered if the movie might feel more urgent or make it more particular social sense in that context. But essentially it’s a mid-life crisis movie, um, and it has an interesting construct and it’s kind of like a tone poem to the joys and perils of drunkenness and and also conviviality, which is something that one might have missed this year, both drunkenness and conviviality. It’s been probably easier to get drunk than to be convivial with friends. But, you know, there’s a lot of like crowded bars and people singing drunkenly in each other’s ears and kind of play wrestling drunkenly on the streets that are strangely lit in a way that I took to be sort of northern European midnight sun ish. Yeah, it just felt like an unusual object, like the kind of movie that would not really get made here by anybody, didn’t seem like a streamer thing, doesn’t seem like a blockbuster thing, doesn’t really feel like it could be a TV show because it has a tight arc. But the the. You know, particular portrait of friendship. Middle aged friendship and middle aged malaise. I liked it,

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S1: I loved this movie and let me try to defend it first of all, of course or not, of course. But but an aspect of anyone’s response to this movie is highly likely to be gendered. This is very much a movie by a man about men. I don’t know if it’s for men exactly, but I would not be surprised if if if a, you know, segment of the audience was totally unresponsive to it. I think it meets an interesting challenge, which is what to do with white, middle aged men are there how to dramatize their existence. We still exist. We still have enormous and let’s call many of them unearned privileges. We still exist near the center of the culture. We’re being decentered, which is probably the most civically hopeful thing that’s happened in my lifetime in some respects. But we are still there and and what to do. Right, because all of the old moves don’t work anymore. You can’t the mythologising in the self mythologising, especially around alcohol and of course, sex as well. Right. Forget it. It’s out the window like done this like epic of self-pity that white men have been writing for millennia now is over. No one wants to hear it. Even I don’t want to hear it. And I’m a massively self-pity and white, middle aged man. You know, our prerogatives are under constant, justified and withering suspicion. I felt like this movie hit a very small but important target, which is what to do with the fact that that that there is something uniquely. Burdened and self-heating about being a white man, you were sort of given everything unfairly and then you hit middle age and you don’t know what to do with your own happiness. And yet it doesn’t this movie doesn’t inflate it into something, you know, it doesn’t romanticize it or inflated in ways that I thought were great, but also doesn’t deflate it and treated as an object of scorn. I mean, it is an object of importance to the movie, but not in a way, self-importance. I think that’s a combination of the writing. And I thought directing is wonderful. I mean, the nomination is completely deserved, but the ensemble is terrific. The idea that these four men are not individuated I think is is is completely wrong. I in addition to the four, I think this movie has three stars. I would say the first is Matt Mad’s Mickelson’s face. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen him in anything. It turns out my wife is madly in love with this man. And by the end of the movie, I was too. I mean, I could see this sort of like Purple Mountain majesty meets amber waves of grain, these brown, you know, doleful eyes. I mean, he’s just he’s just so dreamy. He’s really wonderful and quite expressive. The second hero, obviously, is alcohol. I mean, this movie’s a it is. I mean, Julia, I think you’re absolutely right. It’s like an ode to conviviality in this missing thing from a lot of, you know, loneliness is the middle aged man’s disease. Right. And it’s it’s the it’s the horrible, dialectical flipside of our privilege. And and they’re trying to overcome that and find themselves, again, through this absurd, absurd experiment. And I think that leads into the third hero of the book, who’s Kierkegaard, the great Danish, you know, philosophical saint who invented existentialism. This is an existentialist movie. It’s about Kierkegaard is name checked in the movie. He plays a small role in in it. His ideas play, I think, a large role over the whole thing. This is a movie about how fucking absurd existences, how essentially unrewarding it is, unless you find some way to leap into the heart of its absurdity. And I think that that’s what this movie was. It’s for men falling apart each in their own way who make this pact. It’s absurdity is so manifest. I love the pseudoscientific nature of it that, you know, this completely preposterous thesis that human beings are saddled with this deficit of point zero five percent alcohol. And if you could only bring yourself up to baseline, everything would be fine. I loved the movie. Is it somewhat underwritten? I think that that’s part of the dogma of dogma ness of it. Dana, I think you were meant to feel as though you were watching something completely preposterous, but that actually also really happened.

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S3: Yeah. I mean, I want to come around, Steve, when I hear your reading of it and I went into it really excited for it. And as I say, I enjoyed the setup, enjoy the acting, found it well done in every way, except that I just didn’t find the story believable. You know, the scientific the pseudo scientific theory that you refer to, the thing that inspires them or at least gives them a rationalization for their drinking experiment is a real thing. There is actually a Norwegian psychologist, a researcher. I’m not sure what his credentials are, but someone has put forth this idea in a book that humans need to have a point zero five blood alcohol level to to function at their maximum capacity, which has been thoroughly debunked by the observation that we don’t naturally have any alcohol in our system. So how can you say that the amount we have is too low? And the idea of using that, again, I mean, as you say, it’s sort of dogma like to take this idea from the real world and folded into this fictionalized story. But there was there was a sort of a lack of just behavioral recognizability to me in in the way alcohol functions in this movie. At times, as you say it was, is this agent of chaos in their lives? At other times, it’s this agent of conviviality. Of course, that’s true of alcohol in real life as well. But again, I just felt that there was something arbitrary and lab like in the way that those standards seem to apply. For example, I mean, with a couple of exceptions, the way that they acted when drunk. And I’m not saying they’re bad actors. I’m saying that the script was having alcohol perform things in their lives that it wouldn’t actually do. It actually reminds me a bit of the Queen’s Gambit, my critique of the Queen’s Gambit. I was thinking about that. This idea that shoving pills in your mouth by the handful will make you a great chess player. It’s just a strange kind of magical thinking connection to make in relation to alcohol

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S1: that this movie careens off the axis. I was waiting for that moment and in some ways that was what worked, at least for me, because that was a gesture to the marriages and the, you know, broken glass and all that stuff was a little quick for me, but it had to do it. You couldn’t you couldn’t portray alcohol as this is the savior right now.

S3: It clearly I mean, I will give Vinterberg lots of credit for that, for plenty of ambiguity about the relationship of his characters and his story to, you know, the value of alcohol in culture. But the movie both opens and closes on these scenes of. Students partying because these guys are high school teachers, right, and and so we start off with what seems to be this very negative to me, it seemed to be very negative image of a bunch of students doing this kind of like beer race where they’re vomiting as they’re trying to get a case of beer across a lake. And it all seemed somewhat down on the idea of alcohol culture. And then we end on another party scene that’s maybe the best part of the movie, because as Mickelsen is an incredible dancer, as we learned in this last scene and was actually I think it trained as a dancer before he started acting. And that seems to be this great celebration of the conviviality of alcohol. But some things have happened along the way, which I won’t reveal that are, you know, very disturbing about the alcohol culture, not only that these men live in, but that the young people they’re teaching live in. So apparently this movie is a big hit in Denmark and everybody, young and old, is going to see it. Oh, wonderful. That’s that’s great. I wonder what kind of conversations are being had there about, you know, drinking and drinking culture as a result of this film? I do. I will say I actually felt like the.

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S2: The end of the movie reframes the beginning and comes back around to Stephen’s existentialist point, which is you’re supposed to read the kids drunk in chaos as this like, disgusting, goofy thing at the beginning. And then the movie sort of reframes it as like the kids are just grappling with the chaos of existence to like, I don’t know, the movie sort of gave me sympathy for. I felt like to the degree that the movie might have a point, it felt to me like we were supposed to reframe that initial scene from what the movie takes us through along the way,

S1: then I think it’s not that you dislike this movie. I think it’s that you thought you were biting into fettuccini, but instead it was tagliatelle

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S3: as long as there’s a big jug of wine next to it.

S1: That’s the Dayna Stevens I know. All right. The movie is called Another Round. It’s don’t listen to Dana. This one’s great know, but watch it and email us and tell us what you thought of it. I think it’s great you can find it in one form or another on Amazon Prime or Hulu. All right, before we go any further, this is typically where we talk business, Dana, inevitably we have somewhat what do you have, Steve?

S3: The only businesses to say that in Slate. Plus, today, we’re going to talk about something that we often return to. But it’s an ever renewed subject of interest, which is children’s literature. We had a listener write in and ask what is a piece of children’s literature, film, other culture for children that you missed as a child and discovered as an adult. And we all had lots of answers for that. So that’s what we’ll talk about in our bonus segment today. If you are not a slate plus member, of course, you can sign up at Slate dotcom culture. Plus, it costs only a dollar for your first month and that dollar will get you access to ad free podcasts and all kinds of exclusive plus only content like our bonus segment and bonus segments to practically every podcast Slate does. Once again, you can sign up for that at Slate Dotcom Culture Plus. And if you’re already a member, thank you so much for subscribing. And if you have a topic or question you would like us to talk about in one of our future bonus segments, just send us an email at Culture Fest at Slate Dotcom. We love to incorporate listener suggestions into that part of the show. OK, what’s next?

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S1: How to even introduce the next segment, the Hoggy Ogg’s for the Slate Culture Gabfest, the supreme absolute friend of the program, the Saffar, I don’t know exactly is Dan Pashman. He was one of our earliest producers on the show, the man who sent me spiraling through years of booze and pills by misjudging a granola competition. He is the host of The Delicious, an award winning SPORCK full podcast. Dan, there’s just no way to walk listeners through this without you kind of walking me through it first. It’s just so preposterous. But maybe that’s the Danny Paiche brand.

S4: I mean, look, the so we did this series on this fall and where I set out to invent a new pasta shape and it begins with me saying that spaghetti sucks.

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S1: That’s where it all begins.

S4: It doesn’t have enough surface area to hold sauce. It’s not you can’t really sink your teeth into it. It’s kind of thin and flimsy. It’s splatters all over the place. When you start twirling it or sucking it in, it’s just like it’s fine, but it’s not that great.

S1: You have something that has been crowdsourced over eons, right? If you put enough monkeys in front of enough typewriters and give them enough time, they will type the, you know, the complete works of Shakespeare. Humanity has been developing new pasta shapes for millennia. Right. And you also so so at once you have to find something that hasn’t been made already. And you very much did not want a gimmick. You did not want a gimmicky pasta shape. You wanted something that could sort of, you know, noiselessly join up with the canon of great pasta shapes. That that’s just strikes me going in is is impossible.

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S4: Well, it’s funny. I was never that worried about being able to come up with. A new idea for a shape, because I feel like this kind of an infinite number of concepts, the things that I thought would be so hard would be one that was legitimately good to eat. But what what was so much harder than that was, was that part of my quest was to actually get it made and that was a much bigger barrier than I ever thought it would be. You know, like the base, the way you make pasta is like the potato factory, you know, like this. You remember it’s made with a dye. So like dye, you remember the potato factory had a little disk with a star shaped hole. You pushed Plato through it and it comes out shaped like a star. That’s how you make pasta and that little star shaped disc is called a die, so I had to get one of those manufactured and early on I hit on this idea that I wanted to have Ruffels because I love shapes, ruffles. I love Mafalda, which is like a fettuccini ruffles on the edges. And then I took me a while to come around and I warmed up to bucatini, which is like a long, narrow tube, like spaghetti that’s hollow down the center. And I said, I want a tube element and I want ruffles. And I took that to a die maker and he started experimenting for me and he said, it’s impossible. You can’t basically, as the dough is going through the dye, the shape is formed in less than a second and you can only do so much in that split second. And the movement required to create the ruffles would crush the tube. And that was the kind of brick wall that I ran into on this quest that I never anticipated.

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S1: You ran into a lot of brick walls along, and that’s the dilemma I’ve got to say. I mean, it’s five part series. It’s incredibly fun and it’s just fun to hang out with Dan Pashman. But it’s also just hilarious for all of like you’re the skepticism that you face. Your wife’s this the guy who kind of runs a manufacturing has been in manufacturing Pasto forever, who’s, like, just.

S5: No, I’m going to be honest, because you seem like a nice guy and I don’t want to send you off into the abyss. I don’t think it would be enough to have people say, well, look at that different pasta. You know, you’d really have to come up with something that is not even in the realm of having been done before.

S1: You’re just told. No, over and over and over again. And yet, Dan. You produced a pasta, a new pasta shape.

S2: Dan, I have to register here that you and I spoke about pasta shapes on the sparkle in eight or nine years ago. I remember because I was pregnant at the time. And I think you came over to my apartment to record because I was on bed rest.

S4: That’s right.

S2: I did not go back and listen to that episode, which I meant to do. But I feel like you might have been talking about this idea even then. Is it possible you’ve been thinking about this for that long? Certainly, I feel like the the German concepts of foreseeability, sensibility and truth sensibility, which have now all become canon in my house where I listen to a five part series with my with my children. I feel like you were getting at some of those ideas in that debate. And I believe in that debate. We had a we had we had a conflict about the virtue of short versus long shapes. So I felt very vindicated to see you arrive at short shaped them.

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S4: Yeah. Well, first of all, yes, I remember that that taping. Well, did you tell your kids that they were there the first time this Balkwill ever talked about pasta shapes?

S2: I did. They were good. Good. They were not super impressed, but I can find it and play it for them. Yeah. Yeah, they do feel I think they’re very excited that I know you like your famous to that.

S4: Yeah, it has been really cool. Like a lot of my friends, kids are like, wait, we know a food inventor, you know, like I just think that’s that’s been really cool and adorable. And I do remember us having a conflict over short and long shapes. At that time. I was very pro long shapes in my quest. I set out to create a long shape. That’s where I started. I’m basically for two reasons. First, I think I think it’s three reasons. One, when you twirl along shape on the fork, it’s just kind of like a fun thing to do to you get tend to get, I think, more pasta on the fork at once, which makes for a more to thinkable bite. And three, I think there’s less variation among long shapes that are already existing. And so therefore I thought more opportunities for innovation. What I what I learned when I tried to do a long shape is that there’s a reason why there’s less variation among long shapes, and that is because they are harder to eat and harder to manufacture. And when my shape became too bulky to be properly forked or even really to be boxed perhaps and hit manufacturing problems, I had to switch to a short shape. But I did learn in the process part of my research. I was eating all these other shapes. I had this great shape by this Italian company called Rusticana D’Abruzzo. They make this shape called Sun. Sanyi Pazzi, I think is how you say it. It’s like broken pieces of lasagna, Ruffels. It’s basically just the ruffles and it’s just made so well. And it’s even though the pieces are small, they’re so thick. That was the first short shape that I ate that made me think, wow, short shapes can be every bit as tough, singable as long shapes. And that helped persuade me to switch to short shapes. And it helped me to see the wisdom and maybe what you were saying all along.

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S3: Julia and Dan, I have so many questions for you. I absolutely loved this series. And I listen to it while doing all kinds of experiments with your pasta. I cooked up almost a whole box of it and just tried it with all different sources. Over the course of several nights, there was a period when I was making one source and as a snack while making that sauce, I was eating your pasta with another source. So there been a lot of curious noodle shapes stuffed into the mouths of my family this week. And I want to talk about what you named the shape, but I won’t spoil that yet. But I feel like we should get to a moment when all of us go around the table here and just talk about our own experience of first encountering the shape, cooking it and eating it. So on. First, seeing your noodle through the little window that’s in the box that it’s sold in. What occurred to me and this is one metaphor I didn’t hear and the many, many metaphors people were using to describe it on the show was an escargot. You know, the way a snail has that sort of frill across the top when it’s when it’s crawling along in its shell, just reminded me of and I know somebody else did compare it to a seahorse or some other sort of aquatic life. I know that’s not what you were going for in the shape, but the combination of this double row of ruffles. Right. That looks sort of like a snail’s frill and the twisty ness of it give it this really organic quality in the box. And I know that you wanted to make all these different what you call it. I think dynamic contrasts right in the shape where there is these slender ripples on the side that are sort of for holding more delicate parts of the sauce. And there’s also this ridge down the middle so that if you had, for example, capers, one thing that I made and tried this with had capers, they can kind of get lodged in that ridge and you get a lot more sauce on the bite. A thing that I didn’t hear anyone observe in the show, although one of your your commenters, one of your fairy godmother of pasta, says that that this is a meaty pasta. And I get what she means, that the tooth psychobilly factor is so great that it’s extremely filling. That was something that I noticed on cooking and making this over a week. Is that between the fact that it’s a dense noodle in itself, like each noodle is a pretty serious piece of pasta in itself and that it holds an extra amount of sauce and it was designed to do that. I found that I got really full after eating about half as much pasta as I would normally eat.

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S4: It’s it’s a lot to sink your teeth into. But yet I should say, I can’t take credit for coming up with the idea of dynamic contrast. That is a concept that sensory scientists talk about. It’s like the idea of different textures in the same bite. So, for instance, when you bite into a candy bar, there’s a hard chocolate shell that you pierce, then there’s maybe something chewy and gooey. Then you lean out something crunchy. It has different textures. In the same bite is dynamic contrast, and that doesn’t exist in any pasta shapes. Most pasta shapes Armano Textural. And so I really wanted to try to get that in my shape.

S2: All right, I got it, I got to call a point of order here, so I’ll I’ll I’ll take my turn to make my children were totally entranced by this show. I think it may have been the first, like, truly collective media experience we’ve had because as a guest on the show, they don’t they find movies a little overwhelming. So we were all driving around listening to it together with so much fun. They there they love to repeat, foreseeability, possibility to think, but they’ve also invented their own concept, primadonna ability. And because they often eat pasta with butter and parmesan, which is not quite a sauce. So anyway, we had a family taste test last night and. It’s really good, Dan, it’s a really good pasta, like I really enjoyed it, it was great with butter and parmesan and then I had a little bit of in this might be just too many Internet pasta trends converging. And I’m surprised the sun hasn’t blocked, blacked out and swallowed me up and had a little dish of the Alesund Roman schallert pasta goo in my fridge. So I like what if the sparkle but also Alesandro but whipped that together and threw some surprising garlic on it. It’s it’s really good. It does have that dynamic contrast you’re talking about. It’s incredibly filling. I was very, very full. Um. I do, though, want to go back to first principles, you spent a lot of time knocking spagetti in this podcast, you also spent a lot of time knocking. One of my favorite shows with is fuzzily and one of your complaints about WOOZILY is that the middle is not cooked well, the outside flanges are too floppy. But dude, pasta hypocrisy alert, that’s just a contrast. If you take one of your pants twirled around, you’d essentially get like a roughly fuzzily. So I just I just want to stipulate that that’s.

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S4: I hear what you’re saying, Julia. I would respond by saying that, look, I think that, you know, what was very hard to nail with this shape is, look, if you have to if the variation in thickness in different parts of a shape is too extreme, then you will end up with fuzzily where you have some parts that are mushy and some parts that are crunchy. And you don’t want that. Yes, I guess technically that fits the definition of dynamic contrast. But but it’s not good for pasta. So the key with pasta is you needed that variation to be subtle, subtle, like small enough that you still it’s cooked. It also needs to be cooked. But some parts are just a little chewy and dense and some parts are a little soft and tender. And so that’s a tough needle to thread. And I mean, I wanted us to be able to read it. I have to admit, I feel like we have just got lucky because, you know, it took us a few versions to get that. But I mean, someone else probably could have been one hundred versions and not nailed it quite so. Well, I kind of just feel like, you know, the stars aligned. So I can’t take too much credit for how perfect the needle has been threaded.

S2: But it I like the record to show that I think you’re buying the wrong fuzzily. But I also have to confess that I really loved your pasta.

S4: I appreciate it. But my other problem is, fuzzily you get that corkscrew, it’s almost it’s too Sosebee. There’s too much sauce in that bite and you get I feel like I’m drinking sauce with like a faint hint of pasta.

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S3: It’s true.

S2: I prefer it with like a pesto, like a one of the like a right. More of one of those crazy sauces than a gloopy sauce.

S4: Fair enough.

S1: I if there are pasta gods, Julia, we’re both going to get, you know, the finger of lightning is coming for both of us because my my daughter cooked that night and did the guy Hadeed Pasta. But Dan, I thought, you know, I just I thought it was I loved everything about it. I love the box. I love the word. SPORCK Fall on the box. On the box is just great. I felt like I had it just a little bit of Dan Pashman in my mouth. I mean, it just was, you know, I think of you as forkball possible and of course, nothing if not to think. And I thought I thought the other the pasta was delicious. I liked the idea that I plunged into this giant vat of boiling water and immediately the pasta just overwhelmed that I my panic of not getting enough to eat was satisfied. I love the bite of it, the look of it, the branding of it. The whole thing is just great and the podcast is marvelous. So without further ado, shall we?

S3: Yeah. Dan, we’ve been saving the name of the pasta for you to reveal. But as you do, I would like you to talk about the process of naming a pasta, because as is revealed over the course of the five episodes about this, this whole crazy project, naming a pasta is a huge part of the branding and the selling of it.

S4: Yeah, I mean, so so the way I came at the naming was kind of similar to the shape itself, which is first off, I don’t want a gimmick, I don’t want a gimmick shape. So my friends were like, oh, call it the sportin near the pashmina. I was like, no, like, those are you know, I wanted it to sound like a name that has been there all along, a policy that’s been there all along. And my favorite pasta shape names are the ones where it’s named. It’s the Italian word for something that it looks like. So radiata a little radiator’s covid tapi corkscrews orecchiette, a little ears. So I basically just asked a bunch of people, what does this look like to you? And got a ton of different responses because the shape is is unique. It also depends on how you hold it. And some some from some vantage points, it looks very different from others. A lot of people said that, look, reptilian like a dinosaur. So I thought, oh, maybe Stegosaurus, the Italian word for Stegosaurus. But then I thought, you know, it’s going to be a kid’s pasta. So we ended up if you hold the shape vertically, the two Ruffels parallel look like water flowing down. So we ended up calling it KESK Italy, which is Italian for Waterfall’s

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S2: sort of because you change the

S4: gender. That’s right. Yes. And I do need to stipulate here because I did a segment on NPR and boy, are those public radio listeners fun when you mess up. I know that it’s supposed to be Casca Talet ending in an E. I decided it takes some poetic license and ended in an I because it sounds more like a pasta shaped name that way. And because I kind of want to get featured in the Twitter feed. Italians mad at food.

S2: It’s just a troll, right?

S4: Yeah, but but. Oh my God. The public you know, I’ve been out of the world of public radio for too long and I forgot how irritating some of those listeners can be. I had we we got an email from someone who was like, please call me immediately so I can pronounce the word correctly for you over the phone.

S2: You take them up on that.

S4: I mean, just the worst. So, yes, I know it’s not technically correct. People don’t bombard our friend, my friends here, the gabfests with their complaints.

S2: Oh, I got complaints. What about Orecchiette Day? What about Farfalle? You can have plenty of ending pasta shapes. I’m not sure I needed that, Gracenote, but I.

S4: It’s possible. Yes, but I wanted something that sounded as much like a classic, you know, to the average supermarket shopper as possible.

S1: OK, I darn I am loaf a little bit to go here, but not really. How many hundreds of pounds of pasta are you going to end up with in your basement or are you going to break even or God forbid, go into the black on this?

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S4: I’m and this is a spoiler for the end of the series. But, you know, at this point we can say it. We are going to go into the black. We’re in the black. Oh, we the initial batch of pasta sold out in less than two hours, which was incredible. You know, like I had, you know, I front help front the money to get this off the ground out of my own pocket and was very nervous about that, as we talked about in the series. And my wife was very nervous about it. And so it was a real risk. It felt like a real risk. But it was honestly was especially gratifying because, you know, we’ve gotten some press now for the shape. But the first batch sold out just from the podcast dropping in our feed, which means that it was people who listen to the story. And so it was it’s been really exciting that people have responded to the story the way that they have. And and the fact that inspired them to buy the past is cool.

S3: To Dan, before we end the segment, can you tell listeners how they can get their hands on a box of caskets if they wanted, as they should?

S4: Yes, you can order it now through Solenni. That’s the pasta company I partner with to make the pasta. It’s exfoliant, dotcom psephology. Well, I and I, the G is silent, but it’s, it looks like fo gleni, but it’s pronounced Pollini dotcom. You’ll have to wait a little while to get it because there’s been a lot of demand. But place your orders now. I promise it’ll be worth the wait. And, and I hope you listen to the whole story of this crazy quest at the Sparkle podcast.

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S1: Oh, wow. All right. Well, that that’s just the perfect button for us then. Congratulations on Casca tele and as always, the for this is just the most delightful podcast.

S4: Thanks, guys. I appreciate it as always. Take care.

S1: Museums don’t just sell art that is way too crass, they deaccessioning it. The practice has been generally frowned upon in part, as I understand it, because museums are run as public trusts. Their prestige comes from existing at a decorous remove from the art market. They’re not in the business, obviously, of making a fast buck. But that may be changing, possibly for two reasons. The pandemic has led to a funding crisis, predictably, and also post George Floyd. There is now a serious debate about the canon of Western art, its whiteness, its maleness, etc. and deaccessioning may be a step along the way to diversifying collections or even possibly creating development funds to help the careers of artists of color. Here to discuss the politics of auctioning off from your permanent collection is Carolina Miranda. She is arts and urban design columnist for the L.A. Times. Carolina, welcome to the podcast.

S3: Thank you for having me.

S1: Yeah. Thanks so much for coming on. It’s it’s great to have you were fans of your work. Let me just begin by having you give us a little background to our listeners, a little background here on deaccessioning, what that means and how it’s been practiced or hasn’t been.

S3: Well, historically, it’s been something regulated by the American Association of Art Museums. And the general rule on it is that museums do session work to then acquire other work. So any money you make from a duck session is then used to acquire new works for the collection. That money cannot be used for other purposes, like administrative or salaries or maintenance. And the idea behind that is that museum collections are not taxed. They’re not considered part of a museum’s assets, that the museum is there to care for that collection, not sort of sell it off every time it needs a little bit of cash. So those rules were put in place partly to protect that. Now, in pre Floyd, there have been cases of museums, deaccessioning works to diversify collections, but that money has always been put back into the pool to acquire new works, not for other purposes.

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S2: And what changed with the pandemic?

S3: Well, what has changed with the pandemic is that obviously a lot of museums are facing financial crunches. The Met in New York publicize the other day that it’s facing one hundred and fifty million dollar shortfall. And so the amde relaxed its rules last April, saying that museums could deaccessioning works not just to acquire other works, but to fund the direct care of the collection. Now, part of the debate around all of this is what exactly is meant by direct care. Does that cover, say, the guard’s salary? Who stands in the museum and keeps an eye on the work while visitors are looking at and it has led to a wave of museums, deaccessioning works to basically prop up their bottom line. Carolina, can you give us the strongest argument against doing this? I mean, people who it sounds like some people in the museum world are really upset that these standards were being relaxed, even if it’s a temporary relaxation during pandemic crunch times. Is the fear simply that museums will become like art galleries, like stores, and that they’re there won’t be any more public trust? I mean, it seems, I guess, coming to it from the outside, the kind of dumbell question from someone who knows nothing about this world is, well, if you’re in the midst of a huge financial crisis and you’re sitting on all these millions of dollars worth of art, what would be the objection to selling some of it off to make ends meet? I think, you know, the answer is it’s complicated. I think at big museums like the Met, where you have boards stuffed full of billionaires and billionaires have seen their wealth rise by untold trillions over the last ten months. The question is, where is the board and why is the board not helping shore up the institution they’re there, presumably supporting during this time? I think there’s a couple of other concerns as well, which is one is the IRS. If you start treating your collection as an asset, will it then be taxed as an asset like they’re currently not? And, you know, you start going down that path and you start entering some fraught financial territory. And I think the other thing is also, as you know, setting up a precedent for donors. If you’re a big donor who wants to give your collection to a museum, will you want to be giving it to institutions that might sell it off when they have to? They need a few bucks to pay the light bill.

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S2: I’d love for you to frame this, though, a little bit more in the context of the the larger conversation around equity in museums that you’ve been reporting on this year, both in terms of the diversity of the collections, which sounds like diversifying your collection would have been allowed by the rules prior to the pandemic, but but actually focusing on equity in the institutions and how people are paid and in how they’re run and who runs them. Do you know some people who are in favor of deaccessioning and for these purposes and. It is something that maybe needs to change and modernize, reframing, framing it in that context, do you buy that argument? Do you see these issues as related or do you see that as a convenient excuse?

S3: Well, I think, you know, the idea of museums revisiting their collections and diversifying, diversifying them is really important. And it is worth noting that museums like SFMOMA and the Baltimore Art Museum prior to the pandemic discussion works and use those funds to diversify their collections. I think this is a worthy and worthwhile endeavor, I think. How do you diversify a collection if you don’t occasionally dip into it and mix things up a little bit like I can’t museums can’t remain the same and also change? You know, I think what the relaxation of the rules has raised is, is that issue, which I think can be a little bit of a canard because museums were already doing that prior to the pandemic. You know, there are museums like the Baltimore Art Museum that have that had wanted to duck session a number of works, a work by Warhol and Bruce Martin among and Clifford still to fund better guard salaries and better museum salaries for curators at the bottom. And there are these famous inequities within museums about who gets paid what. And I think the Baltimore Art Museum was going to use some of these relaxed rules to help prop up some of those wages to create more equitable wages within the museum. You know, I think that is a worthy cause. I think deaccessioning going through the collection, finding really expensive works in deaccessioning them for the purpose of paying wages, starts getting into sticky territory of treating the art as an asset. And it goes back to that issue of letting the board off the hook. I think what we have seen in recent decades is these very wealthy boards who are happy to donate money when they can slap their name on a building, but are it’s crickets when it’s time to pay museum wages or invest in diverse art. Or do any of the of the art of the sort of more socially justice minded things that we are thinking now in this post Floyd Age. And I think, you know, it’s like the Met raised this started a fund, a pandemic fund to raise money to fund their shortfall. You know, they have a board stacked with billionaires. They’ve raised twenty five million. And so it’s like, so what are these boards doing? What is their role? How are they supporting their institutions? I think this debate institutions can use it to say, hey, we want to diversify, we want to do all this great stuff. It lets their boards off the hook. It’s like, come on, guys, pay up.

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S1: You know, Karoliina used to you know, you talked about treating art as an asset. And it calls to mind, you know, the complex relationship between the museum and the art market. You know, one is they’re both they’re they’re meant to be kept kind of separate in some way so that the prestige granting function of the museum is not in any way beholden to the dollar value granting function of the of the art price system. But in fact, they’re incredibly implicated in one another. And the museum there’s a single kind of economy of prestige surrounding art that feeds into what an astronaut, how astronomical a price for work might be. And so it’s not as though deaccessioning, you know, doesn’t have a consequence for the art market. The flow can go in the other way. Right. It’s it’s like a museum is making a statement about a work of art or an artist. When they acquire a work for their permanent collection, they’re making the opposite statement. Or possibly, I guess I’m asking, are they making the opposite statement when they sell something? Do they affect the market for not only work but an artist or even a kind of art when they begin to deaccessioning? How seriously is that taken as a statement about the value of a work?

S3: Yeah, there is a question about that. I mean, in many cases it depends on what’s being deaccessioning. You know, SFMOMA Deaccessioning or Rothko. The Baltimore Art Museum wanted to deaccessioning Warhol. Those pieces probably would have commanded a high dollar that Warhol would have commanded a high dollar value at at auction. You know, rich guys like Warhol, other

S1: that is like such a fucking ironclad tautology. It is also true. I want that on a T-shirt.

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S3: You need a Koons and you could just like a IT right up. It’s like on the checklist, you know, those pieces probably would have commanded a lot of market. You know, traditionally, museums have refrained, for example, from deaccessioning living artists. And so there was a case where that I believe it was the Dallas Art News. Deaccessioning, a case, a piece by Yayoi Kusama, The Warhol was going to deaccessioning piece by Bryce Martin that gets starts getting a little sticky because with those artists living, you do have this potential to affect the market. And while that artist is still alive, it could really, you know, affect that artist’s direct, the living that they make off of their work. Obviously, artists don’t make any money when works go to auction, but certainly auction prices affect what they can command for their work. So I would say that the answer to that question, like everything else, is it depends and it’s complicated. It depends on the artist and the appetite for that artist in the market. What it does do is that and this is the real bummer behind it is that it takes work that was once public and often puts it in private hands, because oftentimes what museums do is they go to auction houses and it just goes to the highest bidder. There have been some there has been some talk, although nothing has come of it, of like, you know, would it be more appropriate for when museums are deaccessioning to deaccessioning, to other museums or other public institutions of finding ways to keep those works in the in the in the public stead?

S2: So that’s that’s the argument against and it sounds pretty strong, but what’s there are some museum directors who are quoted in a piece in The New York Times this past weekend arguing that it’s time to throw these old rules out the window. And in fact, we we should consider deaccessioning differently. Are are there any merit to that argument that you can see or what’s the strongest case for that version of events?

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S3: Well, I think historically, deaccessioning has been this very complicated process, which is this idea that you only deaccessioning works that are no longer core to your collecting machine or maybe the pieces damaged or in some way rendered irrelevant or was declared a fake, whatever. The rules around it have been pretty strict, I think. I think the idea of deaccessioning to rethink the nature of collections is a valuable idea. I think part of the problem has been the execution, the AMED issues. This revised rule in April is that you kind of seemed to emerge from not enough deliberation and it wasn’t very clear. It was like, OK, you can use the funds for direct care of of the collection. And what does that mean? And museums have been interpreting that very, very loosely. And I think that’s where the problem comes from. So I think there is room to rethink deaccessioning. I think there is room to rethink how collections are built and evolve over time. I think the way it’s been done has probably not been the best, most deliberative way. And I do want to add one thought, which is I know that this is for the bigger museums. Obviously, they’ve got the millionaires on their boards, the Lachman’s and the Mets and the Momus. They’ve they’ve got the big pockets. Certainly these rules are more critical for smaller institutions that don’t have those kinds of members on their boards that can that can buttress their budgets. But what you find what we are finding is the supremely wealthy institutions that probably don’t need to be selling off the work are now thinking about selling off work. And what is that about? Is that is that because they really need the money, because they’re really in a financial crunch or because the board’s not kicking in?

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S1: All right. Well, Karoliina, thank you so much for coming on the podcast to talk about this, to sort of walk us through this complex and nuanced subject to a great segment. Thank you so much.

S3: Thanks so much for having me. I really appreciate it.

S1: Right now is the moment in our podcast and we endorse Dana. What do you have?

S3: So as some listeners know, I guess if you’re a Slate plus subscriber, you probably know I’ve been doing a podcast for the last almost two years called Flashback with Coston Collins, who’s the film critic at Rolling Stone. And in it we discuss it’s a bi weekly podcast and we discuss an older movie by which we mean essentially a movie. Before 1999 was the random date. We put down sometimes a classic Hollywood movie, sometime something from another country trying to make it as broad and diverse, a slate of movies as we can so that we ourselves can learn about film. And as of last week, as of our last episode, which was on the apartment, the Billy Wilder classic flashback has come to an end. That is the last episode of Flashback because of decisions from the podcasting side about what the budget could handle. They just decided that flashback, although they loved the show, had run its course. So I’m still in denial about that fact because I loved doing the show, but I’m endorsing the whole archive. You can listen to the apartment, this last episode for free because we released it outside the paywall. But hopefully that will entice people behind the paywall where even if it’s not still being made, there’s an archive of 50 episodes, a flashback of movies from Hitchcock to Shantell Aquaman to Fast Times at Ridgemont High. I mean, we have talked about a huge, huge variety of movies and we had lots more titles that we wanted to get to. But I hope that people will maybe take that as an incentive to try out Slate plus and explore the archive of flashback.

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S2: And I was so sad to hear that news. What a bummer. I am glad you’re taking a moment to shout out that show. It was so fun to hear you and Carson Collins nerd out.

S3: And I know you were listening.

S2: Yeah, um, my endorsement this week is a log roll. It’s a bit of a local selection, which I felt bad about until I remembered how many times Steve has recommended things that you can find in Columbia County, population 60000. Uh, my recommendation is something more relevant to people who live in L.A. County, population ten point four million. So I decided to to stuff my objections to local recommendations and continue. The L.A. Times published last week a the ultimate guide to hiking in Southern California. It’s just frickin crazy how you can live in a wonderful metropolis full of amazing things to do and see and eat and art and culture and people. And you can also drive 12 to 70 minutes and reach just incredible hikes, like hikes like you’d have to drive hours for in the northeast. Um, and so the features team at the L.A. Times put together this really great hiking guide that has some of the best hikes in L.A. County, has a specialized sandwich guide with which sandwich to get near the trailhead and then carry the sandwich to the top and eat the sandwich at the top and has started this trend of sandwich hike selfies that people around L.A. are now taking up. It’s super useful. And if you are one of the ten point four million people who live here, you should check it out. And if you are one of the many more people who visit or like to visit, it’s a great guide. So we’ll put a link to it on the show page. You know, Steve, dunking on you is my love language, you just you just have to acknowledge it

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S1: posterized if you know the phrase, all right, I my kids, my endorsement is just short and sweet. My kids, the funny. There’s this weird echo effect. Whereby this new generation of a lot of them, it’s really I don’t know if it’s super gendered, but you just have these young women, musical artists who clearly grew up listening to their mom and dad’s alterna music, which is my music. And it’s filtering back through Tic-Tac. Right. So pavement, the band pavement just there, you know, grad school nerd, hipster band from the 90s, you know, had a song go, you know, massively viral on Tic-Tac. And so everyone, my kids’ age, these are 15

S2: which pavement song. I don’t know about this.

S1: I believe it is the song Hana’s Your Hopes, and I hate to break it to all of us, but the line I think that helped it go viral was well, show me a word that rhymes with pavement and I won’t kill your parents and roast them on a spit anyway. But from such, you know, whatever footholds like my my you know, I think kids getting into pavement and then the latest one, which just and also, by the way, they find their way into the soundtracks of TV shows that are about 16 year old kids but are actually produced by 45 year old show runners. You know, so my kids recently have gotten into Teenage Fanclub. I love the band Teenage Fanclub. I hadn’t listen to Teenage Fan Club in 20 years when all of a sudden it appeared on my daughter’s playlist. She was deejaying. As we were driving around and there just such a great band, and she introduced me to a teenage fan club song I never heard before, called with you off of the album here. So good.

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S6: Well, this is from. All right. Life is short.

S2: Well, CNN.

S1: I love that band, you know, three guys with guitars, harmonizing kind of sound. Some of this stuff sounds sort of like the Byrds. But, you know, I mean, lovingly, they obviously were amazing, The Byrds and some of their stuff. But anyway, Teenage Fanclub song is with you. Check it out. Juliette, thank you so much.

S2: Thank you.

S1: Steve and Dana. Thank you.

S3: Thanks, Steve.

S1: You’ll find links to some of the things we talked about today at our show page, that Slate dot com culture. Festen, email us. We love it when you do. We’ve been getting great ones. You can email us at Culture First at Slate, Dotcom Twitter, feed it at Slate called First. Our intro music is by the wonderful composer Nick Brittelle. Our producer is Cameron Drus. Our production assistant is Rachel Allen for Julia Turner and Dana Stevens. I’m Steve Inskeep. Thank you so much for joining us.

S6: And we will see you soon.

S3: Hello and welcome to this last segment of the

S2: Slate Culture Gabfest. Today, we answer a listener question. What are your favorite works for children that you discovered as a Grown-Up works? You did not experience as a child, even if they existed so that you could have dinner? Never short on opinions of children’s culture. What spring to mind for you for this question?

S3: Oh, I love this question. I really appreciate whatever listeners sent it in, because I always like talking about children’s literature with you guys. And yes, I live with and have a child with and spend my days with a children’s book author and illustrator who also collects and loves children’s books of all kinds and from all ages. So there are a lot of things that I love now that I didn’t know as a kid. And I actually realize, although we had lots of books around and, you know, my parents were great about reading to us and getting us books that there were many books of the time, like current sort of 70s children’s books from my own childhood that I didn’t know about at the time. And now love one that has become a baby gift. Just a go to. I may have given it to your kids, Julia, when they were born, I’m not sure is the Big Orange Plot by Daniel Pinkwater. Do you guys know the big, big orange spot? No, maybe I didn’t give it to Julius twins. All right. Well, they may be too old for it, but maybe you’ll still be getting it in the future. So Daniel Pinkwater is maybe best known to a lot of people as an NPR radio commentator, but he has also been for a long time since the 70s and still up to this day, he had a book come out last year, a children’s book author. I think he’s best known for older kids, books for chapter books like a book called Lizard Music of His that I think is assigned in schools and things like that for older kids. But the Big Orange Block really is a picture book for younger kids. He drew the pictures. He’s not a professional illustrator exactly, but he has this wonderful kind of naive drawing style. It’s colored in with markers. It has a very sort of DIY feel and the illustrations, but they’re beautiful. And the story of the big orange spot is that there’s this man, Mr. Plum Bean, who lives in a boring house on a boring street, and all the houses look the same. And and he decides one day that he’s going to make his house into the dream house that he always wanted, which includes things like alligators in his yard and all kinds of weird innovations to his house. It all begins because a bird carrying a bucket of paint over his house drops the bucket of orange paint and makes this big orange spot. And that’s what gives him this idea of kind of bursting out and making his house the house of his dreams. And that then catches on. It becomes, you know, a viral phenomenon down the street. And people make their houses into, you know, Moorish castles and classical museum, you know, Roman museum looking buildings. And the illustrations are super fun. The message is essentially, you know, make your life the way you want it. It’s a very 70s kind of, you know, free to be you and me sort of message, but really beautifully delivered. And I’ve never met a kid who didn’t respond to this book and want to draw their own street full of dream houses. So so my first choice would be that the Big Orange Plot by Daniel Pinkwater.

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S2: You did give me that book. I’m now. Now you describe it. I’m remembering it. And it is great. And we will excavate it because even though my kids are old for it, it’s fun. And I think you’re right that they would engage with it in that way. Um, I’ve talked about this a little bit on the show, but my biggest rediscovery of the last year, the one that springs to mind is the Adam West Batman series. This is prompted by the Batman 66 comic books, which it’s actually hard to find comic books that are good for kids to read because they’re also full of gloom and doom. But there’s this series of comic books done in the tone of the original, the Adam Was Batman series that are just wry and deadpan and full of funny jokes and sort of appreciate super hero Adam in a different way than the kind of gloomy, brooding, complicated mythology version that is prevalent now. Um, so A, that series is great and didn’t exist when I was a child, be it send me back to watch those shows with my children and just force me to confront that I didn’t get them at all. Like I watch them probably as a nine to 12 year old in reruns on broadcast TV as a kid in the eighties. And it was maybe one of the first vintage TV shows I watched. I think I watched it before I got around to like Mary Tyler Moore and stuff like that. And I just thought that it looked that way because people a few decades back didn’t know better. Like like I didn’t get that. It was a joke, you know, that the costumes were a joke, that the deadpan was a joke, that the like stentorian seriousness about Adam W and his stilted way of delivering theories about where they might find the villains was like all supposed to be frickin hilarious to watch it as a grown up, where you understand, like how much fun the people who made this show were having, like with their Technicolor bands and panels. It’s just like an absolute delight to watch that series through a grown size. And I heartily recommend both it and the Batman 66 books. Steve, what’s your selection?

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S1: Uh, I have a couple of. Quick ones, one is that when my kids were the appropriate age, there was a picture book called Charlie and Lola by a British author named Lauren Child. I thought the the books were there, done in this kind of crude, faux primitive, very garishly colored style with like almost like a cutout vibe, like submitting, you know, almost as if drawn by a kid and their fanciful and fun. And it’s about an older brother, Charlie, and his delightful little sister, Lola. And to me, it was always great because it was it captured exactly that moment when a kid, a little kid is sort of first entering the space of reasons. You know, it’s that why wifey’s and because they just don’t know. They don’t know why X or Y, you know, Z, you know, they don’t why anything really. And they’re just they’re so pure and they’re so empiricist. But they also need to be brought into the world of reasoning and it’s going to take them their whole lives. But this is the first kind of tender moment where they want to know why and they get told why. And maybe this isn’t a good idea and this is a good idea and here’s why. And whatever. And this just wonderful older brother figure, Charlie, is introducing Lola into this into the world of just, you know, reasoning. I don’t mean to make it sound, you know, ponderous. It’s anything but. But then they made it into an animated TV show, flash animated TV show that I loved. I loved watching this with my kids, Charlie and Lola. And it’s very British. You know, the accents are wonderful in the dog. Little dog is great. And I just thought the spirit of it was was was tremendously sweet and and gentle and true in a way and. I don’t know if this counts, but I mean, and we can just, you know, flog it again, but I capture the castle, which I would say is kind of a Y.A. book of Avonlea Lolek, right. Like it’s like, you know, it’s effectively a book about adolescent. Girls, you know, probably initially written for a young reader, probably at the time, a young female reader, and it just is, to my mind, a literary classic, and I never would have discovered it had Dana not endorsed it and if I hadn’t had age appropriate daughters to read it to. But it’s just a it’s just an astonishingly good book. It’s for anybody of any age. It’s it’s a it’s a beautifully realized work of literature.

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S3: That is my stickiest endorsement ever, Steve. That one has just you it keeps on bobbing back up and it’s great. I hope that will bring more people to it. It’s also a very springy book. I feel like the time of year has come to read. I capture the castle right now because it’s full of flowers, right. And full of kind of outdoor scenes.

S2: I literally just finished a book last night and I have still not followed up on the sticky endorsement after how many years? Thirteen years of podcasting now nearly. So it’s time I’m going to that’ll be my next read. Oh, it’s now pledged. There are so many more things we could discuss. Maybe we need to revisit this topic another day. I think one thing it speaks to me is just the under scrutinized ness of children’s culture. Like every parent is going through it at their own moment, at their own pace. And so there’s not like a critical mass of conversation and everything gets passed down like, you know, beloved hand me downs. It’s just it’s there’s there’s just so much good stuff. We can talk about this for hours. Thank you so much to our listener for the prompt. Thank you so much to all of you. And Slate plus for supporting Slate and our show and for listening. We’ll see you next week.