It’s the Safe Spaces Podcast – now serving a delicious and intellectually nutritious Episode 53! In a week filled with absolutely bonkers political nonsense and tepid revelations, we’re keeping things civil and straightforward: no porn stars or Russian collusion here, folks. With that said – on with the show!

Things start off with sad news: the passing of Austin Powers’ Mini Me actor Verne Troyer at age 49, for what we suspect are less than natural causes. Our hosts trace the history of little people in Hollywood’s biggest accomplishments, including Hervé Villechaize (Fantasy Island), Warwick Davis (everything Star Wars, Willow), up to the astonishing success of Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones).

Also passing this week was “America’s Grandmother”, former First Lady and Presidential mom Barbara Bush at 92. Most had the good graces to offer proper condolences and respect, but not Fresno State creative writing professor Randa Jarrar, whose vile tweets (and equally vile follow-ups) sent both Barbara Bush supporters AND naysayers into a tizzy of distancing and apologies. We won’t repeat them here, but our hosts let the professor represent herself in the most transparent way possible: using her own words.

What follows is a divergence from the professor’s potty mouth into an honest look at tenured teaching, which was established to protect academia from political pressures – yet more than ever is employed to protect its own. The question remains: should freedom of speech have consequences when we don’t like the message?

Civilization: we love it, so should you! Apparently, not everyone is enamored with benchmarking the hallmarks of human progress, especially Western Civilization. White appropriation! White privilege! It doesn’t take long to notice a certain trend here, but our hosts take this fallacy on head-first, and it’s a doozy. The great and ongoing clash of civilizations helped bring us to the point we’re at today, and will, if those of a certain mindset aren’t successful, continue its long march forward.

It’s a bevy of quick-takes before we close shop this episode, including small asides about the ongoing lawsuit between Google “Memo Writer” James Damore and his upcoming lawsuit against the search giant alleging discrimination against those with opposing political ideologies. Also on tap is a quick look at the aftermath following comedian Hari Kondabolu’s documentary The Problem With Apu, which attempted to remove Springfield’s Apu Nahasapeemapetilon from the airwaves by cultural force. The results were… less than that, and included an actual response via The Simpsons themselves. Score one for common sense and comedy!