The Safe Spaces Podcast has reached Episode 70! That’s a lotta episodes, most of which are pretty darn good (if we say so). To celebrate such a momentous occasion we’ve got yet another info-packed joy-bomb that lets you ponder the happenings of the day – with just a splash of intrigue and chaos – without making you want to tear your hair out. If that’s not progress, we don’t know what is. On with the show!
First an update on Disney/Marvel’s Captain Marvel, the studios’ first female-led superhero blockbuster that turned out to be…a real blockbuster! One month after debuting in theaters everywhere, the Brie Larson-led Avengers prequel has grossed over a billion (!) dollars worldwide, eclipsing the last female-powered superhero epic, DC’s Wonder Woman. Everywhere but the United States, it seems, which is a big surprise to our co-hosts.
Elsewhere, it’s all about remakes, reboots, continuations and homages. Sometimes this works, but most often these efforts struggle to take hold with audiences expecting something new. Other times there’s no need for reboots as the originals stick around forever. Could The Simpsons really be in the middle of a late-stage creative renaissance? Has Seth McFarland’s gimmick finally run its course? Possibly, though his Star Trek-inspired Orville is still worlds better than actual Star Trek – at least with the misguided and confused Star Trek Discovery available on CBS All-Access.
Speaking of CBS, we’ve got a look at Jordan Peele’s updated Twilight Zone, the latest attempt to remake Rod Stirling’s iconic anthology series. Stirling’s original was prestige television at its finest, becoming a true breeding group for top-notch talent that would soon go on to dominate pop-culture for decades to come. So can Peele’s modernized take, coming on the heels of BBC/Netflix’s popular (and similar) Black Mirror, hope to capture the magic for a new generation of fans?
Well…yes and no, though you’ll have to listen to hear what our hosts have to say about the first episode, “The Comedian”, which CBS All-Access has made available via YouTube. Here’s a spoiler: a bit too long, a bit too raunchy. But other than that? Well, watch and make up your minds (but not before listening – we need the hits).
Did you know cohost Nathan tripped through Nebraska last week? We didn’t, but it looks like he did – and lived to tell the tale. Among his destinations were those steeped in history, and few have been more thoroughly steeped than the late US President Gerald Ford and controversial civil rights activist Malcolm X, both of which have memorials dedicated to them in the city of Omaha. Not all memorials are created equal, however, as our disenchanted host came to realize.
The Malcolm X Birthsite Memorial is, frankly, a disgrace. Essentially just a rundown building up front, a dirty parking lot and single plaque in the back, with an unfinished shack completing the X-perience. It’s certainly an experience, alright. Worse, the memorial building is only open one day a week (two during the summer). Yes, the memorial is entirely staffed by volunteers, but why the local community – or even government services – haven’t seen fit to chip in to help only stains his legacy further. What’s even more bizarre is that in the city that birthed Malcolm Little, i.e. Malcolm X, i.e. el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz, there’s nothing else connecting him to Omaha. There are, however, several buildings, memorials, plaques and more dedicated to that other civil rights champion, Martin Luther King, Jr. Ponder that.
If you’re going to visit Omaha, stop by the Malcolm X Birthsite Memorial for yourselves, then stop by the amazing Aframerican Bookstore and spend all the money you have. You’ll find plenty to love, and you’ll be supporting a local business that will definitely appreciate the love. And the money.
Finally, we come to the sad tale of rapper and hip-hop mogul Nipsey Hussle, who was gunned down last week while leaving his Marathon Clothing store in Los Angeles. While some may consider his killing as “just another rapper” falling victim to a violent lifestyle, there’s more to the story than what you’ve read in the headlines.
This story takes a surprisingly personal turn for co-host Herman Exum, who goes deep with a confession that’s most likely – and unfortunately – one heard by many young black men across the country. Did you know Nipsey was investing back in his community, even creating STEM programs as an alternative to the streets for local kids? Take a listen to rapper Boosie Badazz talking with DjVlad about why so many in his community, including names like Birdman, Lil Wayne, & Master P Left Louisiana, decided “to leave their hood to protect themselves from lingering problems.” You may find yourself contemplating things in ways you never expected to, which is a very good thing indeed.
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