It’s the first Safe Spaces Podcast episode of 2019 – we’re only a month late! After taking a necessary break to refuel the fires, we’re back with a focused look at what’s shaking the current culture in ways that are 1.) highly informative and 2.) highly entertaining. That so many just happen to be both is like Christmas in February (but not an actual Christmas, because then the movies would be better).

Quick Trivia: can you decode the Roman numerals in Super Bowl LIII without resorting to cheap tricks like Google or your closest Classicist buddy. The NFL once toyed with the idea of axing this all-but-obsolete and confusing numbering system in the past, most likely to capitalize off the meme-friendly “Super Bowl 50” moniker, they’ve returned with a vengeance in recent games; they really do class up the place, don’t you think?

This episode was recorded just prior to the Big Game, so any predictions or expectations are just that (the dust will have settled by the time you listen), though our hosts can safely predict two big things: first, the New England Patriots will, most surely, dominate and second, the Half-Time Show featuring Maroon 5 will most definitely be terrible. So, Monday Morning Quarterbacks…how did we do?

Next up is a quick look at the growing mystery of actor/musician Jussie Smollett and the alleged attack he claims took place last week during early hours of the coldest Polar Vortex in the most discreet part of Chicago. Smollett, quasi-famous for his role on the hit show Empire, claims two white guys savagely beat him, hurling racial and homophobic epithets, dousing him with bleach, stringing a noose around his neck and shouting “This is MAGA country!” before sending him on his way. Things only got crazier from there, but for all the wrong reasons. A Subway sandwich may have been involved.

As the case is still ongoing our hosts can’t directly comment on the investigation or validity of his allegations, but things certainly seem a bit…off. We’ll just leave it at that, but our hosts still have a few questions.

And finally, we come to our final and most anticipated topic of the episode, the one you’ve been waiting for – the failed Fyre Festival that bilked millions of dollars from clueless fans and nearly derailed the careers of those poor innocent Instagram models and social-media influencers. When you think about it, aren’t they the real victims here?

Or, more accurately, we’re talking about the dueling documentaries about the festival itself with both Hulu’s Fyre Fraud and Netflix’s Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened. Both are pretty good and worth watching, offering curious onlookers a window into what went down and who was responsible. Well, what mostly went down and who was mostly responsible – seems like even the documentaries themselves aren’t without controversy (but you’ll have to listen to learn why!).

Led by the unnervingly charismatic and pathological liar Billy McFarland, Fyre was touted as the Next Big Thing in cutting-edge musical festivals, a place where the (financially) gifted set could mingle and party with the genetically gifted beautiful on an island once owned by Pablo Escobar. All the hottest Instagram models would be there; would Kendell Jenner like to you?

None of that happened, of course, as both organizers and fans quickly realized the festival was a complete sham. I mean, thousands of dollars for a cheese sandwich? Our brave hosts delve into both documentaries, gleaning insight and information from one and filling in blanks for the other. Like pouty-faced Renee Zellweger completing a younger Tom Cruise, you’ll see how Hulu and Netflix manage to tell two sides of the same story, albeit a story where practically everyone does their best to blame everyone else but themselves.

So will the Fyre Festival became a modern cautionary tale about the dangers of social-media and the utter vapidity of “influencers” on a generation of smartphone-weaned millennials? Or will it become a testament that, yes, the rich and famous can still get away with murder – and all the money – like always?