Two Cents Plus Tax
Episode Two: “Short Kings and White Boys with Floppy Blonde Hair”
Transcript has been lightly edited for readability.
(theme song plays)
K: I’m Krystal.
C: I’m Caitlin.
K: And this is …
K & C: Two Cents Plus Tax!
C: Hi guys! Welcome to Two Cents Plus Tax.
K: Hello. We’re back again with another episode. It’s happening.
C: How ya doin, Krystal?
K: I’m good. How are you doing?
C: I’m doing well! I am excited to be recording again. We got such amazing feedback from that first episode. Thank you all for following us on our accounts and for the love. We really appreciate it. We do it for you.
C & K: (both laughing)
K: You make it sound like we’re this like, you know, 80’s hair metal band who’s like, we do it for you!
C: I mean, we do it for the fans. We do.
K: The fans, really. It’s truly, truly what keeps us going. Yeah, so what’s the topic today?
C: So the topic today is … (singing) dunh-duh-duh-duh … pop culture failures! And why don’t we explain what we mean by this? Because we had discussed this and agreed that we didn’t wanna say the … should I even get into this?
K: No, I think you should, because I think it’s important. So essentially, when we came up with the idea, we were thinking along the lines of “pop culture blind spots.” But, you know, us being two disabed women, we’re like, mmm—
C: Plot twist! (laughs)
K: —yeah, maybe not the best phrasing and language to use for various reasons. So we were like, how else can we sort of frame the topic of this discussion? And essentially what it is is we both are failing at being in on … [being] part of the pop culture zeitgeist. So there are some things … you know, we all like pop culture; that’s why we’re here. But there are some things that you just don’t have time to get in on, and then they just pass you by.
C: Or just don’t care to.
K: Yeah, exactly! And so you just become the person who’s never seen that thing or read that book or what have you. And so we’re just gonna talk about those kinds of things today. So yeah, should you start? I think I started last time, so maybe you should go, Caitlin?
C: Shall I?
K: I’m interested to see what yours is! I don’t remember. (laughs)
C: You don’t? Okay, well I remember saying it, and then you told me yours, and I said … save it for the show.
K: Okay. I remember that part.
C: So … I have never seen the movie Titanic.
K: Oh, okay. Yes. Yes, I do remember this.
C: I do not want to see it.
C: I don’t really wanna see anything James Cameron is involved in. However, I do like—he did Terminator 2, right?
K: Yes, he did both.
C: He’s married to Linda—
C: Linda Hamilton, who I love. But I do not like Leonardo. I do not like Kate Winslet.
K: (laughs) Okay, this is not the hot take portion of the podcast, Caitlin. We’re not there yet.
C: Is it not? Okay. I’m sorry, I’m comin in hot here. We do have a note from our producer Toshio, who says “Do not come for Celine.” And that is a good note. I do accept that note. so thank you; you are correct.
K: We will not be doing that.
C: It’s more about—one: I don’t have an attention span for a three-hour movie. I don’t care what it is. I’ve never seen Call Me by Your Name. That’s another pop culture failure. Although Armie Hammer, like … may be a cannibal? Maybe it’s a good thing I never saw it.
K: (laughs) I mean, jury’s still out on whether that’s a thing for real. But we’ll find out, I’m sure.
C: Yeah. So that; also, Leo does not do much for me. You know, he’s like, older than I am and is into dating teenagers still … it’s not really my thing. I don’t enjoy it. Kate Winslet … I think she’s very talented. I hate reading interviews with her, and it makes me never wanna watch anything she’s in ever again.
K: Wait, what is bad about interviews with her? I don’t think I’ve ever …
C: She’s just … every opinion she has is just terrible, and she was … again, I guess we’re gonna circle back to our first podcast, which—I hate to even bring up his name, Woody Allen, but—
K: Oh, yes. Okay, yes I remember that.
C: —she worked with him and then she was like, “I just don’t know,” and it’s like, the jury has been out on him for fucking years. We know who he is. She was still working with him. She was still defending him. So no.
K: I mean, she did Call Me by Your Name. So did Timothée Chalamet. He was also in a Woody Allen movie so …
C: Oh, was he?
K: Yeah, the recent one, the most recent one, whatever that one was. I don’t remember—I think it was both young people. It was like some other young actors, who I don’t remember.
C: And … is this true? We’re just getting another note here that Miley Cyrus is a defender of Woody Allen. That is really disturbing, so …
K: Cool. Cool cool. Great.
C: Although he loved Hannah Montana apparently, Woody Allen—
K: (laughs) Big shocker!
C: According to Kathy Griffin on Twitter, she said that she had gone to a dinner party and sat next to Woody Allen and made some joke about Miley Cyrus and he—dead serious—said “I’ve never missed an episode of Hannah Montana,” so …
K: Ew, I’m creeped out by that. I hope that was a joke. But okay, so Titanic. Let’s talk about it.
C: Titanic. Do it.
K: Okay, so I wanna say … I’m kind of on the same page, like I saw Titanic one time as a teenager. I was probably—I think it was probably like ’98 or ’99, so you know, a couple years after it had come out. My best friend in high school had it on VHS, which—if you hate watching a three-hour movie, it was great, cuz it was two VHS tapes, so you could just like take a break in the middle, come back, you know, finish it up. So I saw it once as a teen and then not again for … I don’t know, fifteen years? So it was not … like, I was obviously revolting age when it was huge, but it just didn’t do it for me either. I was not a Leo person, which was very surprising because if you had asked me to describe my perfect teen boy, I would have said, “Oh, a white boy with floppy blond hair. Blue eyes.”
K: That would have been my description. And he was exactly that, and I was just like, eh. He just didn’t do it for me. So it was just like … it passed me by as a teen. As an adult though, I watched it maybe five or six years ago on cable, so it took even longer than three hours, and I was like, this movie’s pretty good. Like I get why people were obsessed with it.
(barking in background)
C: Shoutout to Chico [the dog] for interrupting this podcast!
(Two Cents Plus Tax producer Toshio laughing)
K: Yeah, we can definitely leave the barks in for sure. But no, I was on your same page, and then I watched it as an adult and then I was like … nah, this is pretty good. I get why people really like it, or really liked it then.
C: Mmmm …
K: But yeah, I totally—everything you described is totally valid. I honestly don’t think I’ve seen another James Cameron movie. I have never seen any of the Terminators, even though those are not my failures. Yeah I totally get it, but I think … yeah, it was very hard to be one of those people that was not into it when we were teens, cuz everyone was into it. They were on every magazine, every—
C: They loved it. they LOVED it.
K: Yes. It was inescapable for sure. For literally what felt like two years. They were everywhere.
C: Yeah, I’ve never seen Avatar either.
K: Nope. Me neither.
C: That was another three-hour movie, and also after I had read about sort of the disability allegory, or I don’t know if that’s the right word—
K: Oh yeah! Cuz the guy is disabled. He’s like a disabled military person.
C: Right. And lemme just say, as a disabled woman—
K: (laughs) Yes.
C: —if there is anything disability-related in a movie or a TV show, I am instantly like, I cannot watch this. I’m so suspicious, because they get it wrong every single time, like in every way. And also I knew it was like, well this … it’s gonna be nondisabled people, blah blah blah, we all know the story. I’m not gonna get into my shit on this but—
K: Yeah, and the whole point of Avatar is that he was disabled in real life, but in this sort of world, he could be not disabled, and (sarcastically) obviously, that’s what everyone wants, right?
C: Right. Right.
K: Truly? And it’s just like, uck, no thanks.
C: Yeah. Pass.
K: So yeah. But no, I totally get it with Titanic, although I think if you watched it, you’d be like, this is fine. It’s one of those movies where you at the time are like, I’m over it, but then when you sort of see it, you’re like no, I get what people liked about it. It’s still ubiquitous, even like twentysomething years later. Almost twenty-five, wow.
C: The heart really did still go on.
K: You know what, that’s the only part of that movie where I’m like, okay—where I got it at the time. I was like, this song is—I get it. It totally does it for you. And also too, I secretly really love Celine Dion.
C: Oh, I love Celine Dion. Over the top French Canadian realness.
K: She’s so much, all the time. Just like, yes.
C: She is. The beating of the chest. She owns … she has a restaurant chain.
K: Does she?
C: In Canada. Yeah, she does. I don’t know the name of it; I’m sure we can find that out. But she does have a restaurant chain, probably in Quebec or something.
K:: Probably. Good for her. Good for Celine!
C: Yeah, good for her. Good for her, Celine.
K : (laughing) That’s what we take away from Titanic. Good for you, Celine! Ummm … okay, should I talk about mine?
C: I think you should!
K: Ugh. Okay, well, okay you talked about Titanic; I feel like that’s … it’s sort of on the way to being a sort of pop culture cornerstone. But the one that I’m gonna talk about is definitely a pop culture cornerstone, and people legit get mad at me when I say I haven’t seen it before, but … I’ve never seen any Star Wars.
K: Like I’ve not seen one Star Wars movie. Actually, you know what? That is not entirely true. I saw like part of one of the like reboot ones with Ewan McGregor—
C: Okay. (laughs)
K: I was on vacation, and it was raining, and I was in the hotel and we couldn’t go anywhere. That was on cable, and I saw like 30 minutes of that, but I don’t feel like that counts.
C: Not canon. Not canon.
K: (laughing) Yeah, exactly. People hate those reboots anyways. I forget what they’re called. Not reboots—
C: I—whatever. They are bad!
K: Yeah, the prequels. That’s what they call them. People hate those so, you know. Fine. But yeah, so it’s a couple reasons, I think. For me, they just weren’t part of the pop culture that I grew up in, like none of my … my mom doesn’t really care about those movies; none of my family—you know, cousins or aunts or anything—did; none of my friends did, you know?
K: So it was like … I just didn’t—it passed me by. And I obviously could not have known what a giant part of pop culture it was, cuz no one else that I was close to really cared about it that much. And it wasn’t until I was in high school that people were like, “That’s kind of weird, that you’ve never seen Star Wars,” and I’m like, “Is it?” And they’re like, “Yeah, it’s pretty popular,” and I’m like (laughing) “Oh, okay. I mean I guess, if you guys say so.” But now when I say that, it’s even bigger, you know? Because Star Wars is a whole Disney property, and they’ve made like ten more movies since the 2000’s or whatever (laughing). People really get upset when you’re like, “I just don’t.” Partially it was that I didn’t … like no one that I knew [liked it] and I wasn’t into it, but also, I (laughs) … every time I think about Star Wars, I think about this writer from the AV Club a long time ago. His name is Kyle Ryan. The AV Club used to have a podcast and they were talking about Game of Thrones, and everyone was super into it, and he was just like, “Yeah, I just don’t care about wizards and shit.” And I was like, yup. (laughing) I think that’s where I fall as well. Like I don’t … I don’t care about wizards and shit. Like this isn’t wizards and shit; it’s wizards and shit in space, and so that’s even more whatever to me. (laughs) So I just … it’s not my thing. I’m sure if I sat down and watched it, I’d feel just how I felt about Titanic, which is to say, this is fine. Like I get why people like it, but at this point I’m just like ugh … I don’t have the energy for like twelve movies. I just can’t do it.
K: I can’t invest that much time for a franchise I’m generally ambivalent about.
K: So that’s my failure, is that I’ve never seen a Star Wars. And actually there’s a podcast by Nicole Byer and I think Lauren Lapkus who are like Canadians in LA and they have—
C: Uh-huh. Friends of the podcast Nicole Byer and Lauren Lapkus.
K: (laughs) Yes. Future friends of the podcast. Oh my god, I hope. That would be amazing.
C: They’re both wonderful, yes. Personal friends, yes. Thank you.
K: They’re so funny, yeah. So they have a podcast, because they’d never seen them either, so they decided to start a podcast where they would watch them together with their comedy friends and talk about them, and I was like, oh, that’s a really good idea. I should probably check in on that podcast! (laughing) Like, I was using the podcast as an excuse to find out about Star Wars without actually having to watch Star Wars, so I think I’ll probably just do that instead of watching it.
C: You know, I have seen—not all of the more recent Star Wars movies; I just don’t care. I have seen the original ones. I don’t ever need to watch them again. I love Carrie Fisher with all my heart, but that isn’t necessarily the movie that I would watch to see her.
K: Yeah, for sure.
C: I mean, which is not like a diss on her by any means, just … I’ve seen them and I think too, one thing is that they came out like slightly before our time, and you and I—
K: Yeah, the last one came out the year I was born, so, I mean—
C: Right, right. Well, I forgive you.
K: Thank you. (laughs)
C: You’re welcome.
K: Yeah. I mean, you know. Can I say that I’ll never see them? No. Obviously I can’t say that, but I just don’t see any need to. The thing about it too, with like a Star Wars, with something that has so many entries into the canon, is like … there’s so much other stuff. Like do I wanna spend that much time on a show or movie franchise that I know is not really for me, just so I can say like, oh, I did that? I mean, it’s fine to dip in and be like, okay, I saw this one, or I saw the first original three, or you know, whatever, I watched The Mandalorian, which—I’m not gonna do that either, so don’t tweet at me.
C: Yeah, I haven’t seen that either.
K: I kinda wanna watch it cause Pedro Pascal is like extremely hot and I’m like, yeah … but you don’t even see his face in that, so—
C: Ooof. Let’s talk about—no no no no no, let’s talk about him for a minute.
K: Yeah, exactly.
C: Let’s talk about Pedro.
K: He’s great. He’s incredible.
C: Ten outta ten, Pedro.
K: Incredible. His friendships with all his co-stars, great; he’s best friends with Oscar Isaac, which like—
C: Hello! Yes.
K: —I … come on, like who wouldn’t want to be? So yeah, he’s great. But yeah, I’m not gonna watch The Mandalorian. I’m not gonna watch probably any … all of the Star Wars [movies], definitely. I may dip into some of them at some point, but I really don’t feel any sort of pressure to do that. Yeah. Star Wars. And also too, I feel like it’s become such a huge part of the culture, of pop culture and general culture, that I feel like I know everything about it already. (laughs) So I’m like, what else do I need to—do I need to really watch the movies to know that like … oh, and Luke; and they’re brother and sister, and Darth Vader was this, and then this happened, and this thing blew up? Like I know all of the entire plot of all the original movies without ever having seen a second of them, so I kinda feel like … well, your work is done, culture. Like I know everything about it, so I don’t necessarily need to dip in. And I’m sure it’s the same for Titanic as well, like obviously it’s based on a historical event, so like … what more do you need to know—
C: I have heard of a boat. Named the Titanic.
K: (laughing) Yeah, exactly. You’re familiar with the ocean. Yeah, for sure.
C: Right. Heard about it. Swallowed a ship. Supposed to be unsinkable. Guess what?
K: (laughs) It wasn’t. Spoiler alert, spoiler alert. I was kinda thinking about talking about a TV thing, which is also gonna get people mad at me, so … (laughs)
C: Ooooh. What is it?
K: I’ve never seen an entire episode of Friends.
C: (gasps) Oooh, that’s a good one! That’s a good failure. Yes.
K: (laughs) I don’t care about it. I remember like in 1994, when that whole like slate of new shows came out, I staked my flag in ER and I was like, this is the show I care about. (laughs)
K: I don’t care about any of the other ones that are new on NBC, and, you know, you guys wanna like Friends? Great, go ahead. It just wasn’t for me, like I just … and I’ve seen bits and pieces, and then when I was older, it was on syndication, and my sister loves Friends, and so I would see parts of it and I’d be like, oh yeah, I made the right choice. Like this show is definitely not something I would enjoy, so … yeah, Friends. Also ubiquitous. Also, again, super popular for some reason right now.
C: Oh my gosh, yeah.
K: I don’t understand why. My eighteen-year-old cousin got a Friends sweatshirt for Christmas, and I’m like, that show came out … it ended like a year after you were born! Like you’ve never … why do you even know about it? It’s so weird. But yeah, Friends.
C: Yeah, why is it having a cultural renaissance?
K: You know what—
C: Maybe cuz it was on Netflix for awhile. right?
K: —yes! I was gonna say, because it was streaming. Because that’s how all young people watch TV, is they watch it streaming. So they’re like—yeah, same with The Office, that’s why it’s huge now, cuz all these young people who were too young for it in the first run are now watching it in streaming. Yeah, I don’t know. I think also too, especially as I’ve heard people talk about revisiting it, is that a lot of it doesn’t hold up, because a lot of it is like, gay panic jokes and like, oh, she was fat; isn’t that hilarious? And it’s just like, ooh, the 90’s, like … what a time for comedy.
C: Yeah. And I think they had like one Black person on the show, and it was—
K: Oh yeah, it was Aisha Tyler!
C: —Gabrielle Union?
K: I think Aisha Tyler—
C: Oh, I thought it was Gabrielle Union!
K: Maybe it was—maybe they were both on it.
C: Maybe there were two!
K: Yeah, there were two Black women on it.
C: Wow. Wow.
K: Good for you, Friends. You did it. You did it. Two Black women.
C. Yeah. Friends, no. Romy and Michele‘s High School Reunion, though, that is …
K: Oh, that’s a banger! That’s a banger.
C: Yeah. Gotta love Romy and Michele.
K: Watched that a lot on VHS in high school, like (laughs) … yes. Very good.
C: That’s a genuinely funny, funny movie.
K: It is. And I think it’s also one of those movies that holds up from that period of comedies. Even though it was kind of like, you know, the high school teen comedy or whatever, even though it was about people who had been out of high school for ten years, I think it still worked for people. Do you have any other movies you haven’t seen? Have you seen Harry Potter?
C: I think I’ve seen maybe the first Harry Potter movie and the first Lord of the Rings, and then do not really care about either of them. Obviously now with JK Rowling being a transphobic … jerk?
K: Mm-hmm. She’s a TERF [Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist]. No TERFS allowed.
K: I don’t even know what a good word for her … obviously she’s just a shit. But no interest in watching Harry Potter or reading the books, no. No no no no. And Lord of the Rings, I … again. Any movie that is that long—I cannot. I just physically cannot do it.
K: Mm-hmm. Do you wanna know something funny?
C: I sure do.
K: I have never seen or read any of the Harry Potters either. And honestly, it’s not because of anything that happened recently, but it’s because it came out … I was too old for it.
K: And so my sister started reading the first books when she was in elementary school, and I was like, oh … in my mind, I was like, this is for children. Right?
K: Like that was … [that] marked it as for children for me. So when people my age started getting super obsessed with it, I was like, what are you guys … you guys know these are for kids, right? Like … they’re for children? But everyone loved them. And I was just like, oh, they’re for kids. I just don’t know if I care that much. And so I never read any of the books, never saw any of the movies, and I’m just like, that’s fine. Now I feel very much justified in my choice. Now that JK Rowling is a TERF, I’m like great, I don’t have to now. I am off the hook.
K: But also now in terms of Lord of the Rings, I also have only seen the first Lord of the Rings. I saw it … it came out like … 2002, I think? 2001? Something like that. I remember I saw it on winter break when I was home from college with some friends from my hometown, and I fell asleep for an hour, and I woke up and I was like, what’d I miss? And they were like, nothing.
K: (laughing) And so I was like, okay great. I’m good. And so I just never saw the rest, cuz I was like, clearly I’m not interested enough to stay awake. I’m not gonna be interested enough to see two more movies of the same length.
K: That said, I’m not anti-[J.R.R.] Tolkien. Like I did read The Hobbit when I was in elementary school and I was like, this is fine. But … again, wizards and shit. It’s just not for me. People who love it love it, and great. But it just—it didn’t do it for me.
C: Womp womp.
K: Yeah. Even though I love Elijah Wood. I love some Elijah Wood. I think he’s so great—
C: Oh, my cousin!
K: (laughs) Yeah. Your … well then why haven’t you introduced me? That’s rude.
C: Yeah. I’m sorry.
K: Caitlin. Get it together
C: I know, I’m sorry.
K: Honestly, you could probably be. You guys kinda favor each other.
C: You think I look like Elijah Wood?!
K: He’s a slight man with like … has long hair I’m like, yeah. I could see that.
C: So you’re saying I look like a man.
K: (laughs) I don’t think you look like him! I’m saying he looks like more … you know, he has very feminine features. He’s a very tiny man.
C: Hmmm. Is he tiny?
K: Yes. He is very short.
K: (laughs) Yeah.
C: I like a short king.
K: (laughs) Definitely a short king! I remember that because he was on this weird show in like the early 2000’s called Wilfred, which was on like—
C: Ohhh! Yeah where he was like seeing an imaginary dog or something?
K: Exactly! Yeah, there was his neighbor’s dog, and he would see it as like a man in a dog costume, but like everybody else saw it as a dog, and it wasn’t clear whether or not he was like … had some sort of mental illness, or was hallucinating, like what the situation was.
C: Right, right.
K: And I was kind of obsessed with that show for a little while, cuz I was like, what even is this? And you could tell in that show like, oh he’s a very small man, which you don’t necessarily see a lot in movies, cuz they try to sort of um … oh no, jury’s out on whether he’s tiny?
C: We do have confirmation: Elijah Wood is a short king. He is either 5’4” or 5’5”, but he claims to be 5’6”, so we know he’s not 5’6”.
K: C’mon. He’s not. He’s not.
C: Yeah, anyone—if he says he’s 5’6”, he’s 5’3”.
K: Honestly I think people should own it. My dad is quite short. He’s 5’6” … ish. Probably shorter now, cuz you know, people shrink as they age—
C: Age, yeah.
K: —and he was always fine. Very popular guy, good at sports, like, you know, handsome. It’s fine to be short!
C: Own it! Own it.
K: Yeah, exactly! It doesn’t mean it’s bad. So yeah, I think you’re fine if you haven’t seen those movies. Again, there’s so much content. And I hate using the word content. I’m so grossed out that I did.
K: But like there’s so much culture to like consume that it’s … if you miss things, it should be fine, right? Like you shouldn’t carry this weird guilt. (laughing) And people shouldn’t berate you for not having seen things. Not to say that I don’t do that, because when you mentioned not having seen Titanic, I was like, oh my god!
K & C: (both laughing)
K: And then I was like, no that’s not fair. You know? That’s not right. I should definitely like, tone it back. People have their reasons, and—
C: I have my reasons.
K: (laughs) Yes. And they’re valid, right? Like that’s … that’s the point. So yeah, I don’t think we should feel guilty about missing things. It can feel like failure, but it doesn’t have to. There’s so much to consume. You’ll never be able to get to everything, so don’t feel bad about it!
C: Well, I don’t.
K: Okay. Good! Neither do I. I’m never gonna watch Star Wars, so please don’t … (laughing) don’t try to talk me into it.
C: Don’t @ her!
K: I’m not going to [watch it]!
C: Well, now we’re gonna get to our fan favorite segment.
K: Yes. (laughs)
C: It’s called Two Cents, No Tax. So I’m gonna ask you … well actually, no. I’m gonna give Krystal just a few topics. She’s gonna reply with a concise answer. She’s not gonna give me the whole … what do you call it? The whole … gimme a word—
C: Spiel. Just a little … just a little taste.
C: The whole shebang, yeah. Okay. Are you ready, Krystal?
K: Yeah, I’m ready! I think.
C: Okay. Your first topic for Two Cents, No Tax: Instagram!
K: Oh. Um, I’m ambivalent about it. I actually don’t like it very much. If I have to say, I think a thumbs-down.
K: I don’t like the fact that it’s … it’s not chronological; you can’t … like, replies are weird; you can’t thread replies. You can’t post links, like URLs, in your replies … it’s just a very janky app and platform, and I do not understand why people like it. I mean, I guess if you’re someone who, like … your mind thinks in visuals, then it’s probably good, but as someone whose mind is better with words, it’s not the app for me.
C: Okay. Noted. The movie Charade.
K: Oh, man. You know I love Charade.
C: I do know.
K: I love it. Whenever people ask like, what’s a classic movie I should watch? I’m always like, just watch Charade. It’s the best one. It’s Cary Grant; it’s Audrey Hepburn; they’re both looking incredible. Like Cary Grant is … he’s a little toasted in that movie, like he’s very, uh … very tan.
C: Can I—I have to interrupt you, because this is an emergency.
C: I watched To Catch a Thief last night.
K: (laughing) Oh my gosh. He’s very toasted in that movie too.
C: You wanna talk about tan! They literally—okay, they literally … I start the movie. I’ve never seen it before. What flashes on my screen? A warning that there is gonna be Blackface in the movie.
K: Oh, yeah. It’s, uhhhh … (laughing)
C: I say, what?! And I’m watching the movie. Cary Grant, what the fuck?! Who … like I tried to find photos today from Google. What were they thinking? He is so tan.
K: He’s so leathery in that movie. It’s crazy—
C: It is … oh my god.
K: Especially when you see him in comparison to Grace Kelly, you’re just like—
C: Yes! She’s normal. She looks normal.
K: Yeah. (laughing) You’re like, oh, this looks even worse because she’s like a regular, like, you know—
C: She’s a normal person.
K: —average skin tone for a white person, and then he’s over here like … he looks like—
C: A leather shoe.
K: It’s wild. I absolutely was boggled by that.
C: It’s amazing. And I was like … was this the Blackface warning?! Was this about Cary Grant?
K: (laughing) Was this the Blackface warning? No, there’s more.
C: No, there is a scene later. But I literally for a minute was like, I don’t know! Like this is highly questionable.
K: (laughing) Yeah. It’s very … yeah, it’s a whole thing.
C: And honestly, I didn’t love the movie.
K: It’s very weird.
C: It’s not that great. It’s really not that great.
K: It’s one of the weirder Hitchcocks, for sure, like it … I don’t know, the thing about those movies at that period, like, everyone’s like, oh they’re mystery thrillers, and I’m like, no, these ones are basically comedies, and like there’s some mystery thriller stuff thrown in, but they’re … basically like it’s hijinx, right? Like that’s the point of those movies. But yeah, that one is very weird. He full-on hits a woman in the face in that movie—
C: He does! At her daddy’s funeral.
K: At her (laughs) … it’s so wild. It’s an intense movie. I watched it—
C: I was like, what movie is this?! Cary Grant’s in Blackface; he’s slapping women at their daddies’ funerals, like … what is going on?
K: (laughs) It’s really … it’s, um … if you want a journey; if you wanna go on a journey, definitely watch that movie, cuz it goes a lot of places, for sure. But yeah, Charade … highly recommend.
C: Let’s watch Charade.
K: Yeah. Everyone looks beautiful; you get all that stuff you got in To Catch a Thief, but without all the weird violence against women and Blackface, so, (laughs) you know … it’s better! But yeah, it’s just very—they look great in it. Great outfits. He’s spitting so much game; he’s like the coolest he’s ever been in that movie. It’s incredible. Highly, highly recommend Charade.
C: Mmkay. The next one: allergies.
K: (laughs) I always feel bad for people who have allergies—
C: Thank you.
K: —cuz I don’t have them.
C: I do.
K: You know what? You have my sympathy, Caitlin.
C: Thank you. Thank you.
K: Honestly, I grew up in Central California, where it’s like real intense spring, and you know, I just never had them. And so I’m like … every time I am starting to get a cold, I’m like, is this allergies? And then I’m like, oh no, it’s a cold. (laughs) But I’m like, oh I get that’s what people feel like. Allergy people; people who are allergic to things, particularly pollen—
C: (laughing) Allergy people?!
K: You know, the whole category of allergy people. It’s an identity, Caitlin.
C: Jesus Christ.
K: (laughs) Um, no I … they’re bad, obviously, but I don’t have them, so I’m like, you have my empathy.
C: Thank you. Ooh, here’s a good one. Or not. The Master Cleanse. Do you know what the Master Cleanse—
K: What is that?!
K: Oh, is it that thing with like, honey and hot sauce, and you do all the …
C: Close. It’s … let me see if I can remember. I’ve never done it, and I don’t—cleanses are BS.
K: I was gonna say, like if we talk about cleanses, my total take is bad.
C: No no no. You don’t need it. Nobody needs a cleanse. Your liver will do that.
K: You have kidneys and [a] liver, like they do everything for you. If they’re working, you’re fine. You don’t need a cleanse, guys.
C: So this is something that is … I don’t know. I think people do it as like a crash diet.
K: Mmm-hmm, exactly.
C: Okay, no solid food is eaten for at least ten days.
C: And it’s like … water, maple syrup, cayenne, and lemon, I wanna say?
K: (scoffing) Nuh-uh. Okay, thumbs are down for this one. I—I … that is … no. Ten days?! That’s like starvation.
C: It is. It’s literal starvation, yeah.
K: Why would you do it? I mean, I get why. Like you were saying, it’s totally—people I think use the excuse of, or the cover of, oh, it’s for cleansing your body of toxins … but it’s really just a way to lose weight. Like that’s all it is—
K: —and um, that’s a terrible way to do it. I mean if you wanna wreck your body, like yes, thumbs up.
C: Right. (laughs)
K: But if you wanna, you know … actually like, survive? Don’t do the master cleanse. Don’t do any cleanses, honestly. They’re not necessary. There’s a waste. It’s a waste.
C: Just don’t do a cleanse. You don’t need to. Just drink some water and you’re good.
K: Yeah, make sure, you know … check on your urine; make sure it’s pretty clear if you don’t wanna have any problems. If your urine’s clear, you’re doing well, I think.
C: And how often do you check your urine, Krystal?
K: I mean, every time. Every time. (laughs)
K: Yeah. Gotta keep an eye on it!
C: (laughing) Right. Right! Stay hydrated.
K: Exactly. That’s my advice to people.
C: Okay. How do you feel about Lana Del Rey?
K: Oooh. This might be a—this is definitely a hot take. I don’t care for her.
C: You’re correct.
K: (laughs) I don’t have anything against her music. I find her music fairly boring. If I’m being honest, I’m like it’s fine, it’s not … you know. Nothing remarkable about it. I don’t like her persona either, like whatever this … I don’t know, she’s had a lot of different ones, and I’m just like, they’re all uninteresting to me, so (laughs) I’m like … great. I know there are a lot of millennial women and like young gen[eration] … what am I? Young?
C: We’re millennials! Supposedly. Aren’t we?
K: No … older gen Z. This is what I was trying to say, older gen Z people really love her, and I just don’t get it. I think maybe if I was white I’d get it more, but I’m just like, I don’t … she doesn’t speak to me, so I don’t really care for her.
K: And her whole Instagram thing, when she keeps posting about people of color—
K: —and like Black women? Like … nobody asked you, Lana. Please. You don’t have to insert yourself into conversations where you’re not wanted, so.
C: Yeah. I think it’s pretty obvious that she dated that cop.
K: Oh, yeah, a hundred percent. (laughing) And she wants people to like … support her in doing it, and people are like, ew, that’s gross. It’s like, fine you can date a cop, and people can also think gross. Like it’s fine. Everyone can do what they want.
C: What I find amazing about her is … she could just sit back, collect her money—
C: —not say anything! And nobody’s gonna … like, just collect that paycheck. But no, she won’t!
K: Yeah! To quote the famous meme, you coulda just sat there and ate your salad. Like you coulda just sat there and ate your salad, and it would’ve been fine. Like nobody invited you, and you were like, no I have something to say. It’s like … why?!
C: Why, Lana?!
K: Yeah. She’s—but again, I don’t find her … she’s one of the more insidious kind of annoyances, rather than like one that’s very explicit, and I’m just like, ugh, I don’t have time to worry about Lana Del Rey. She’s not interesting to me, so I think I’m … thumbs down on that one.
C: I am in agreement with you.
C: How about documentaries?
K: Oh, I love a good documentary. Thumbs up.
C: What are some of your faves?
K: You know, it’s funny; I was thinking about it … in like, maybe 2004 or 5, my mom got cable and—(laughing) cuz we never had it growing up—and there was the channel Sundance, and they used to do … maybe it was Sundance or IFC [Independent Film Channel]; I can’t remember. But back then, they were still doing a lot of like independent-y kind of programming, and they used to have doc day on Mondays, and so they would just show documentaries all day, from like noon to midnight or whatever, and I … (laughing) my mom and sister hated when I was there, because they’d be like, oh great, now we have to watch documentaries all day. And I’m like, no, you guys, we’re gonna learn something, you know? And so the one I remember getting them on board with and that my sister actually still really likes and was like, oh yeah, I’m glad I watched that, was Hoop Dreams. So that was—
C: Oh my god, that is a pop culture failure for me. I’ve never seen Hoop Dreams.
K: Oh, it’s so wonderful—
C: I know!
K: It’s a really long documentary, actually. I think it’s probably around three hours or something, but it’s very good. And again, I talked about it on the last episode, but as a sports person—and my sister’s also a sports person—she was very much into it and sort of seeing the trajectory of these two athletes’ careers. If you don’t know Hoop Dreams, it’s a documentary by—oh, I can’t remember the documentarian’s name. He’s very famous.
C: I can’t remember, but he did a documentary that I watched, and which our producer Toshio watched together—Stevie, which is one of the most depressing movies I’ve ever seen.
K: (laughs) Awww.
C: Have you seen Stevie?
K: No, I haven’t.
C: Well …
K: (laughs) Okay!
C: It was really good, but I never wanna see Stevie ever again. It was very sad.
K: Mmmm. Mm-hmm.
C: I can’t remember the documentarian’s name.
K: Oh, his name is Steve James.
C: Oh! Steve James. Okay.
C: Well, Hoop Dreams is basically about these two Black basketball players, and they’re both trying to sort of … you know, they’re trying to advance their athletic dreams. They both wanna go into the NBA, so they’re trying to get into the better high schools and get into good colleges so that they can get into the draft and eventually get into the NBA. We sort of see them struggling with, you know, socioeconomic issues, and their education isn’t necessarily where it needs to be to get into college, because they’ve been at schools that are deprived of resources.
K: It’s just—you see the ways in which, you know … having talent isn’t always enough, right? (laughs) It’s a really, really great documentary. I’m pretty sure it won some awards—
C: Oh, it—yeah.
K: —or at least was nominated for a bunch of awards. It’s very old; it came out in like 1994. It’s great. So that one I would highly recommend if you’re thinking of like, oh, I don’t like documentaries. I’m like, no, watch this one. You’ll like it. It’s very … it’s a very, very, very, very good documentary. Long, but it’s good. So yeah, documentaries … thumbs up.
C: Cool. What about fake tanning?
K: (laughs) I mean, you know …
C: This one I obviously came up with after watching To Catch a Thief—
K: (laughing) Right!
C: —because Cary Grant was so fucking out of control.
K: It’s wild.
C: I just—I am still … my mind’s blown.
K: It’s funny because thinking of Charade, like he’s mostly in full suits the entire movie, so you’re like not getting a lot of … but man, he’s … it’s still pretty intense on his face, but it’s not as bad. I think he had toned down by the 60’s. He was like, alright. Gotta rein it in a little bit.
C: (laughing) Right.
K: I’m getting older; my hair’s getting silver … I don’t think it works to be so leathery brown.
K: But fake tanning … I don’t know, cuz it’s one of those things where like if people do it well, you almost can’t tell that it’s fake? But if they do it poorly, oh boy. It looks real bad. Real not good. Generally speaking, I’m like, eh, do whatever you want. But I don’t necessarily think it looks great all the time, though. And I also don’t understand why people feel like they need to do it, like … if you’re pale, you’re just pale. Like it’s fine. It shouldn’t be a problem to be pale. But I guess people think it is, and so I’m like, eh, if you wanna tan, go right ahead.
C: I think people do it to look skinnier, right? Like doesn’t it …
K: Do they?!
C: I thought that’s like … I thought it’s supposed to make—here. I think our producer might have some notes on this. Let’s bring him in.
K: I don’t know anything about it.
Toshio: As I hold this, uh .. it’s a rare commodity these days, but—
C: What is this?
Toshio: It’s an … Ed Hardy licensed his name to a spray tan line that you can get for home use. In any case, I mean, I think in researching a little bit about it—and it’s interesting to me in that I’m part Japanese and so like, going to Asia, they still have these whitening creams, and like … the colorism is just everywhere. So there’s not really a fake tan market over in Japan at the moment. Maybe that’s changing a little bit with K-pop, as it tries to borrow from music here in the US made by people of color … we should shorten this cuz I’m just—
K: No, I mean, I can jump in. So basically, I mean, I should mention—I don’t know if people can tell or have noticed—(laughs) but as a Black person I’m like, uh, fake tanning, I don’t need to do that.
K: I’m already very tan. So it’s always been that kind of thing for me, where I’m like … what? You know. Not that I think … like, obviously, having brown skin is not bad. It’s what I have; it’s natural. But I don’t understand why—it’s like Toshio was saying, like … there’s a lot of colorism within the Black community and so with people of color, it’s mostly like the desire, or the ideal, is to be lighter-skinned. Right? So—
C: Right, right.
K: So like people who aren’t lighter-skinned … or who aren’t darker-skinned, their ideal is like, oh no, beauty, or like health, you know, is to be—
C: Darker, yeah.
K: —you know, have a little bit more color to your skin? I’m like, it’s so weird, like everyone has their own skewed idea of what is healthiest and most attractive, and it’s always the thing that your culture tends to not be, so yeah. It’s just weird. I just always have thought it’s weird, as someone with brown skin. I’m like … I mean, fine?
K: I mean like I said, if you wanna look more like me, that’s great. Cuz I’m very cute, but—
C: You are. Readers she really is!
K: I get it! But also I’m like, you can just have the skin you have. That’s fine.
C: Well, thank you Krystal. I really appreciate your responses to the Two Cents, No Tax!
K: Yeah, I’m gonna have some for you! I’m gonna have some in the next episode. They’re gonna be very good, so … you know, just be ready for that.
C: I don’t think I am. I don’t think I’m ready.
K: (laughs) For this jelly.
C: (laughs) No.
K: Yeah, okay. So yeah, if you wanna get in touch with us, you can get in touch with us at @twocentsplustax—that’s T-W-O cents plus tax—on Twitter; Instagram. We also have a website, twocentsplustaxpodcast.com. Also you can contact us at our respective Twitters. I’m @humblecore; Caitlin, you are?
C: I am @criptiques. C-R-I-P-T-I-Q-U-E-S. And all of this will be available on our show notes.
K: Exactly, so if you wanna look—
C: Including transcripts!
K: Transcripts. Very important to make our podcasts accessible.
K: So we will have transcripts for every episode that you can access via the show notes, so yeah. Should we end it there?
C: I think we shall. Until next time.
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