The Queen Scary

Two Cents Plus Tax

Episode Seven: “The Queen Scary”


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: Welcome back to Two Cents Plus Tax!

K: Yay, we’re back again, for the … how many episodes have we done? I’ve lost track already.

C: I think this ies episode 7—

K: Oh my gosh.

C: —and producer Toshio is with us today.

K: Yay!

Toshio: What’s up?

K: (laughs) 

C: We missed you last week.

T: Aw, I missed you too.

C: But for our fans who were asking about it, we do know that Toshio was not here because he was on a date with Bowen Yang, so how was the date?

K: (laughs) Oh yeah, we did say that.

T: Well so, yeah we just hid Easter eggs—

C: Ooh!

T: —in the backyard of my friend’s house in Santa Cruz so her daughter could enjoy the day of Jesus’s rebirth.

K: (laughs) 

C: We’ll go with that.

K: Yeah, it’s close enough.

C: So what did Bowen say about the podcast?

K: (laughs) It’s not all about us, Caitlin.

C: Isn’t it though?

K: (laughs) No, it’s not!

T: (laughs) He said he can’t wait to take up our invite of becoming the the third host.

K: (laughs) Oh, man.

C: Well we already—you are our unofficial third host.

T: Backdoor producer.

C: We’re the two cents; you’re the tax.

T: Yeah. I am. I am the tax man.

C: So we have an interesting topic today that was also chosen by producer Toshio. The topic is accents. But before we talk about accents, I kinda wanted to open it up a little bit broader to the topic of voices.

K: Mm-hmm.

C: Because there’s a few things I wanted to say about that. So for a little Two Cents Plus Tax tea behind the scenes, so I edit the podcast. So that means each episode I listen to about a thousand times to try and edit it, which means, you know, I’m listening to our voices over and over. It’s really weird. This is seemingly universal, maybe, where listening to your voice is odd—

K: Yeah. No one—

C: —because you don’t sound like that in your head.

K: Yeah. Exactly. Exactly.

C: But I think—kinda what I wanted to get in—because this is something I’ve talked to you about, Krystal, and that I also then saw later repeated online with you and someone else, where I think as women we are trained to hate the sound of our own voices. So when I edited the first episode and I was listening to it, I had such a startling reaction to listening to it. Horrified by my own voice—

K: Yeah.

C: —despite the fact that I’ve recorded music. It’s not the first time I have heard the sound of my voice, but I was just so like, how can anyone listen to me?  

K: (laughs) 

C: How do I even have friends? I’m a monster. I was like, I’m a monster! I don’t wanna talk! I was just like, what is wrong with me? So there was that, where it’s this weird negative self-talk, where I think we are trained to hate the sound of our voice, and I think—

K: I think also too, not just to hate the sound of our own voices, but to have this ideal “feminine” voice that we have in our minds, and if we don’t feel like our voice matches that, or maybe if it’s too feminine, right, like too high-pitched or what have you, then we also sort of judge it—

C: Yes.

K: —so we’re always sort of evaluating it against this … what we imagine to be the standard for how women should sound, and we never think we get there for some reason.

C: Right, and so it was interesting to me cuz we had sort of talked about that a little bit, and then online … I don’t know who this was that you were talking to. I was spying on you online, and a woman was saying she had posted a clip of herself talking, and you said—

K: Oh yeah! Yeah, no. This is—

C: You said, “I love your voice,” and her response was thank you, and basically saying that she wanted to start a podcast, but she had vocal insecurity. So yeah.

K: Yeah, I had complimented her voice because I personally have an affinity—a fondness, if you will—for women with vaguely deeper voices.

C: Mm-hmm.

K: So more sonorous voices. Again, like we’ve talked about, I don’t necessarily love the sound of my own voice, but I always thought if it were slightly deeper, I think I would be more into it.

C: Hmm.

K: As it stands, I think it’s kind of in this like weird middle ground where it sounds feminine, but also, depending on the timing or what have you, it can also sound like I’m a teenage boy who hasn’t quite gotten over the hill of puberty (laughs). It’s a very middle-of-the-road voice, in my opinion. But I liked hers, cuz I’m like, oh it sounds smooth, and there was a sonorousness to it, and I really enjoyed it, and she was like, “No! I hate my voice!” And I’m like, what are you talking about? And I think it’s just the thing where we can’t accurately or adequately evaluate how our voices sound to other people, because we’re only ever hearing it in our own heads.

C: On that note, I have to say that I love your voice.

K: (laughs) 

C: And that was the other thing that I wanted to say, is that when I’m editing: one, I’m listening to how I sound, which, you know, is its own thing. But then I’m also listening to you, and I’ve noticed that (laughs) it’s better for me, I think, when Toshio is here, because I will totally zone out—not zone out, but when you’re talking, I’m just like, enraptured.

K: (laughs) 

C: Your voice is just … I get hypnotized, where I’m like, I could listen to her talk all day. 

K: (laughs) 

C: And so when I was editing the last podcast, I was like, uh-oh! Cuz I really wasn’t saying much it was just me really wanting to hear what you had to say.

K: (laughs) This is so hilarious, cuz I do the opposite. Like I always feel like I’m trying to find times to jump in, but then when I listen back, I’m like, oh man, Krystal, your voice is, uh … you’re talking too much. But I don’t know if that’s just like my own impression of … again, that’s another thing we can talk about too, is that women often estimate that they talk more than they do, where usually they’re not dominating the conversations. They’re speaking a lot less than they either want to or actually need to in a conversation. But anyway, that’s a separate thing. But that’s really funny, that you’re like …  (laughs) I don’t know why you would want to listen, to zone out and listen to my voice. It’s not—

C: Anytime, dude. Anytime. You’re my ASMR.

K: (laughs) Oh, no.

K & C: (laugh) 

K: Well I will say, I think you have a very nice voice. I think my voice also has a little bit of a rasp to it, which I—

C: You’ve got a sexy voice! 

K: (laughing) No, I … Caitlin, stop it. It’s not true. It’s not true.

C: No, I’m serious! I like it!

K: No, it’s fine. 

C: (gasps) Oh, Toshio is miming cigarette smoking! 

K & C: (laugh) 

K: I know! I’ve never—not once in my life. I’ve never smoked a cigarette ever, and yeah, I sound like I’ve had a … a time. You know. But—

C: A whiskey and a cigarette. 

K: Yeah. For sure, and it’s just like, no, this is just how it sounds. (laughs) I can’t do anything about it. But I do like your voice. I think you have a very smooth voice. Like you said, you’ve recorded music. I think it would fit really well over—

C: Oh, you’re talking about me?

K: Yeah.

C: Oh, thank you! Once again, zoning out. I’m not even listening to what you’re saying—

K: (laughs) Paying attention. Yeah, no, that’s funny.

C: It’s just the tones.

K: Do you wanna sort of jump into what you had in terms of the topic? 

C: Of accents?

K: Yeah.

C: Well, why don’t we invite Toshio—maybe you had some thoughts, or maybe you didn’t. Is there anything in particular, Toshio, that you were interested in with that?

T: Well, speaking as somebody from Southern California, who —

K: Mm-hmm. 

C: Has a cool, cool accent.

T: Yeah, I mean I exist in the world where we have this singularly, famously … the accent—

K: Yeah. Mm-hmm.

T: —that all accents are compared against.

K: Right.

C: (laughs) 

T: And so especially in traveling to the South, going back and forth between Arkansas a lot, it’s always been interesting to me because I’m like, why should we have, as Southern Californians, this kind of hegemony on “this is the correct” … I’m not saying that I have the perfect example of a voice, of the hegemonic voice that we hear, or that like people in Hollyweird expect you to have … 

K & C: (laugh) 

K: No, I get what you’re saying. Oh, what? My screen just completely went black. That’s not cool. No, but I get what you’re saying, Toshio. I also am from California, and I … yes, we do have—not to get too into the linguistics of it, but we do have what would be called the unmarked version of English, right? The one that’s “standard”; that other versions are measured against. And every language has this. Our dialect just happens to be, as Californians, the one that other people strive for. When they’re from other places and they’re trying to lose their accents, they sort of want to sound how we sound naturally. And it’s just … it happens in every language, but it is interesting how or why this unmarked version of English became the one that is the one people strive for. Like what exactly happened over history for it to become that, rather than say, Midwestern English, or in the early part of the 20th century when you watched movies and whatnot, it was the mid-Atlantic accent with people like Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn and how they sounded; that’s how everyone else wanted to sound. And now, maybe it is the sort of rise of Hollywood and it being in California that sort of shifted the way accents are … the accents people strive for, especially when they’re in the public eye or entertainment.

C: Didn’t the movie studios create the mid-Atlantic accent? Am I wrong?

K: Yeah, it’s a mixture of … yeah. Because, well—I mean, again—

C: It’s not real, right?

K: It’s not. It’s basically a mixture of—because you had a lot of actors who were from England, and so a mixture of the English accents—the sort of posher English accents—and the sort of New England or New York, Philadelphia, that kind of area … they sort of, it was a blend of those accents, because those were seen as upper-crust, upper status.

C: Right.

K: So yeah, it’s not a natural thing, for sure. (laughs) It’s something that was kind of created at the time, because those were seen as being English and being from a moneyed New York or Philadelphia area was seen as like—

C: Prestigious.

K: —this is what you wanna sort of strive to be, yeah.

C: Can you do a British accent?

K: Oh my god, no. I’m terrible (laughs). I cannot. I’m so horrible at it. I remember in elementary school, we did a version of the play Oliver, and … oh my god, it was horrible. (laughs) Like, all a bunch of fifth graders—

C: Who were you?

K: Not to brag, but I was Oliver Twist—

C: What?!

K: —so no big deal. No big deal. You know. (laughs) 

C: Um, this is a Two Cents Plus Tax exclusive. 

K: Actually, it’s funny—

C: We have actor royalty in the house!

K: (laughing) No we don’t! No, we don’t at all. It’s funny you mentioned about the sound of your voice, because I remember when we … you know, we did the whole play and performance or whatever, and it was recorded, and I remember we watched the video of it in class a few days later or whatever, and I remember being like, that’s how I sound?! (laughs) I was horrified at my own voice. Like, I can’t believe this is how I … the whole time I thought I sounded different, and this is what I really sound like!

C: Were you doing an accent?

K: We were trying. (laughing) We were all trying our fifth-grade best to do English accents.

C: Ohh. I would die to hear this.

K: I don’t know. I mean, bless those parents, honestly. Bless the parents; bless my teacher—shoutout to Mrs. Cohen. (laughs) I don’t know why you put yourself through that.

C: (laughs) 

K: Yeah. It was awful. It was so, so bad. But we were like … obviously we thought we were incredible, cuz (laughing) that’s what you think when you’re ten or whatever and you don’t know any better. Yeah. Are you good at English accents?

C: No. No no no. And I was trying to do it earlier, just to myself, and … no, I cannot do it at all. And I was thinking like, why are British people … they seem to be able to do American accents so much better than American people can do British accents.

K: Can they, though? I don’t know if that’s true. (laughs) I think we give English and British and commonwealth accent people—you know, Australia and New Zealand—I think we give them a little more of a pass than they deserve, to be honest.

C: That’s probably true. Oh yeah, Toshio says maybe just the famous ones. 

K: Yeah.

C: I … yeah. That is true. Thank you Toshio. We got a note: singers have to learn to sing with a California accent. This reminds me of being a child and listening to George Michael— 

K: (laughs) Uh-huh.

C: —and Toshio and I actually had this conversation I think in college, so I’m taking it way back, where we had this conversation about British singers learning to sing with an American accent to get more radio play. And I remember being a child and learning that George Michael was British, and it blew my mind. I thought he was American!

K: (laughs) It’s like a … not a conspiracy, but it definitely feels like a huge part of the culture that you just had no idea about. And that’s kinda one reason I like The Cranberries, like Dolores O’Riordan. When you heard her sing, you’re like, this person’s clearly not an American, you know what I mean? They clearly have some sort of accent that is in there and that they’re not attempting to like cover, you know?

C: No.

K: And so I think that’s part of why people were so taken by her, at least in America. I can’t speak to how people felt other places, but I think in the States it was definitely like wow, this is a really interesting thing that’s happening, cuz it almost never happens (laughs) unless you’re talking about “world” music, you know? If you’re talking about just generally pop music or rock music, you almost never get to hear people’s natural accents come through if they’re not American. So yeah.

C: Mm-hmm. Speaking of Dolores O’Riordan, sadly—who I just love, and rest in peace, Dolores—

K: RIP! I know, sad.

C: If you ever want me to cry, you put on some Cranberries and just let it do its work. It’s just instantaneous tears with The Cranberries.

K: The way she says bombs and guns and zombie, like I have not stopped thinking about that for like twenty-five years. (laughs) It’s such a unique phrasing. I just … I loved her accent. It was so incredible. 

C: The Northern Ireland accent is one of my all-time favorites. That’s one of the reasons that I love the TV show Derry Girls

K: Oh, mm-hmm.

C: —that’s on Netflix, which also features The Cranberries in a very poignant scene at the last episode of the first season, dealing with the IRA and these teenage girls, and they put the Cranberries on and I’m like, I am sobbing.

K: (laughs) 

C: So what are some of your favorite accents? 

K: It’s interesting, because I think when we talk about accents, especially when we talk about people taking on accents that aren’t their natural ones, I think more often than not we tend to focus on ones that are bad, or that we perceive as bad, you know—

C: Mm-hmm.

K: —as people who are familiar with those accents, so that’s kinda where my mind went mostly. But I think one of the ones people called out as extensively appreciated at the time was when Hugh Laurie was on House, a lot of people were like, oh my gosh his accent! It’s so great, you can’t even tell that he’s American—or he’s not American—and I’m like, I don’t know. (laughs) It’s like … he’s trying very hard. It’s interesting, and it’s kind of unfair to English people because they’re kind of in a sticky situation. Because it’s like, on the one hand, they want to sort of not sound like they’re English when they’re trying to do an American accent, but I think they overcorrect and their accent ends up sounding kind of wonky and like it’s not really from anywhere.

C: Mm-hmm.

K: And that’s kind of how I felt with House, was like, people think it’s good, and I was like, I don’t think it’s bad, for sure. But I also think it’s a little too ratcheted up to sound natural. Does that make sense?

C: Yeah. I never saw the show. 

K: Yeah. I watched it—

C: But I’ve heard him with an American accent on another thing I watched. I think it was called The Night Manager? With one of the Toms— 

K: Oh yeah. Yeah yeah. Tom Hiddleston.

C: Yeah. And he had an American accent. It was fine. That’s all. It was fine.

K: Yeah. That’s exactly how I felt. I was like, it’s fine. But it sounds so manufactured as to not sound like a natural American accent. Like it definitely to me, sounded effort-ful. And that’s kind of why I was like, I don’t know if this is as good as people are thinking. I think people are just impressed by the fact that he’s an extremely British person. You know, if you hear him with his natural accent, you’re like, oh, okay, I get why people are impressed by what he’s doing, but I’m also like, it’s not as … in my opinion, as good as people thought it was. But yeah, that’s kind of one that stuck out when I was thinking about like, what is a good accent, or good accent work, is Hugh Laurie.

C: That’s a good question. What is a good accent? People who’ve done … oh! Jodie Comer from Killing Eve. She does … she’s British, but she does all kinds of accents. She speaks in an American accent, I think, in one episode, and … didn’t like it. But as far as doing … it’s either Russian or Ukranian, I can’t remember—she’s really great at that. Gillian Anderson does a good British accent, so … she’s someone that I feel like is totally scamming us, because—

K: Well she’s half-British though, isn’t she?

C: She’s, eh … I say this with love, because I mentioned I have a huge crush on Gillian Anderson. I have for years; it’s probably not gonna change. But she is pretty much scamming us, I think, because she’ll go on a British talk show; she’s British. She comes over to America; she’s American again. And like if she wants to do that, I’m here for that scam. But I think I prefer—

K: (laughs) I don’t know if it’s a scam. 

C: Uh, I don’t know. I think I prefer it—

K: I mean, if she’s lived in both places and she was born—she was born there and lived there for ten years, and then she moved here. So I feel like it’s … I get what you’re saying, but I feel like if anyone’s gonna do it, it’s someone who’s born in one place and lived there for a long time and then moved to the other place and lived there for a long time. I feel like it’s valid.

C: Yeah. I think it’s kind of valid, but I do think it’s affected. I think she does it—

K: It’s pandering for sure.

C: Yeah. And you get … Americans, I think we have some inferiority complex or something. 

K: Oh, a hundred percent. Yeah, we’re impressed.

C: We like a British accent—

K: Yeah, we’re easily impressed by it.

K: Yeah. So speak with a British accent, immediately we’re like, okay. You wanna be taken seriously, you wanna have credibility, speak with a British accent. It’s a lot more pleasing to us. So I think she knows what she’s doing, and like, go for it, Gillian. I don’t care. Now, speaking of people putting on British accents, for better or for worse.

K: Mm-hmm.

C: Madonna. So like we were just saying, you know, Americans, we love a British accent. To me, it is the funniest thing when people live in Britain for like, a week.

K: (laughs) 

C: And then they start affecting that vocal change, which Madonna definitely did.

K: Yeah.

C: Not well.

K: No. And incredibly obviously. Like, it was incredibly (laughs) clear that she was putting it on. Which is fine, like I get it, you have money and you want to appear of a certain status, right? Because earlier in her career, that was like the opposite, right? She was very much like … is she from like Jersey or someplace?

C: Detroit!

K: Oh right, she’s from the Midwest, that’s right. So she’s from like, you know, Midwest, you know, working-class background. I get it. You get this level of fame and you know, renown, that you’re like, okay, I want to move up in status and class, so I’m gonna affect the accent of people that I think are high-status or what have you. That makes sense. It’s very annoying. 

C: Yeah.

K: (laughs) Like everyone was like, alright. We know. You’re Madonna Ciccone. Like we get it, we know what your deal is. You don’t have to pretend to be fancier than you actually are. It was very weird that it happened. And it was like, she did it and didn’t expect people to have an opinion on it, which is like, (laughs) everyone has heard you speak for like twenty years. Why did you think that changing it all of a sudden wasn’t gonna like—

C: Yeah. That she could just slip it by us.

K: Yeah. Very strange.

C: Yeah. Toshio, do you have any thoughts?

T: I loathe hydrangeas.

C: I absolutely loathe hydrangeas!

K: Mmkay.

C: That’s my favorite Madonna line.

K: Get outta here, Madonna.

C: Yeah. Although I kind of agree with her in that I also don’t really like hydrangeas. 

K: I don’t know any flowers, so I’m like, they’re all fine to me. (laughs) 

C: That’s the one thing I agree with Madonna on. We text about it, that we don’t like those flowers.

K: Oh yeah, I’m sure. I’m sure she’s gonna really appreciate this podcast then. (laughs) I thought of the other person I was trying to think of when I was thinking of good accents.

C: Oh! Yes.

K: Matthew Rhys from The Americans.

C: Oh, my god! Yes.

K: When I found out that he was not only not American, but like Welsh?

C: Yes.

K: I was like, are you kidding me? (laughs) I had no idea when I was watching that show. I had zero idea. He was so incredible. I mean, the wigs and all that, little different. But the accent itself, I was so impressed by on the show. I had no idea that he was not American at all. And not even close to American. Not even British. Well I guess British, but not English.

C: Welsh. Yeah. We’ll say Welsh, cuz a lot of people in the UK—

K: Well, they’re part of the United Kingdom, right? Wales?

C: Wales? Yeah. But I think everyone’s kinda like, fuck the British. So we’ll just say the Welsh.

K: (laughs) Probably. No, he—

C: Fuck the imperialist empire.

K: He’s Welsh.

C: Also, how can—I cannot believe we … so we are saying this … oh, Toshio says “Free Scotland.” Yes. Shoutout to my future home. Thank you, Glasgow.

K: (laughs) Free all the places that wanna be free, yeah.

C: So Prince Philip died. 

K: Oh yeah! We have to talk about that.

C: Shocking death at ninety-nine.

K: I know! The way people are responding, I’m like … bros. He’s been … (laughs) what?

C: Oh my god. Yeah, my mom is really into the monarchy, so she’s been giving me all the updates about Philip, and, you know, she’s like, I feel really bad for the queen. 

K: (laughs) I never—

C: I was like, I think she’s okay. He’s ninety-nine; he’s looked like death for years. But can I just bring up—so Kerry Washington tweeted something very interesting.

K: Oh my god, that tweet.

C: So Prince Philip died, which I do not care about. DMX died, which I find very sad.

K: Depressing, yeah.

C: And Kerry Washington has since deleted this. I literally—I was like, this cannot be real that she tweeted this.

K: I seriously thought it was fake too! I thought it was one of those things where people change their display name to be like, you know, some famous person—

C: Yeah, to Kerry Washington?

K: Yeah! And I was like … (laughs)

C: Lemme just read what she said. She has—Kerry deleted this, but she said … (laughs) 

K: Oh my god.

C: “Anybody else wondering what DMX and his Royal Highness Prince Philip are chatting about together at the pearly gates?”

K: (laughs) Oh my god.

C: “My love to both their families. May they both rest in peace.” 

K: What are you doing? Like Kerry, come on. You have better social media training than that. Like shouldn’t she? 

C: Yes.

K: I mean, she played Olivia Pope. I don’t know. I’d imagine you’d be (laughs) a little better plugged in.

C: Shonda better … I hope Shonda texted her and was like, you take that tweet down.

K: Somebody had to.

C: Well, she did end up taking it down. I think Twitter just roasted her.

K: What a misstep for Kerry Washington.

C: Yeah. How embarrassing for her.

K: I know! And people really like her, I’m like, (laughs) this is really gonna tarnish her reputation. No it’s not. She’s gonna be fine. 

C: She’ll be fine.

K: It was very bad. Very bad.

C: DMX and Prince Philip together? That combination is outrageous.

K: In what world did she think … yeah, like … (laughs) Anyway, but yeah, Matthew Rhys. He has a really, really good American accent.

C: Oh yeah, Matthew Rhys! Yes. I can’t believe we left him out of our crush list, cuz I—

K: Oh my god, I know.

C: He’s amazing.

K: He’s so good. I love him. It makes perfect sense after watching The Americans why he and Keri Russell got together, I’m like, they just had it. You know how you see some casts or some pairs on TV and you’re just like, these actors don’t have any chemistry; I can’t buy anything that’s happening. But when you watch them, you’re like, no no no. Whatever is happening here, I’m into it, and they clearly seem to be into it too. And it turns out they were. So … happy for them.

C: Yeah. That’s one of my all-time favorite shows. Toshio’s just posted, I think, a controversial opinion—

K: Oh my gosh.

C: —that I’m gonna have to disagree with. And I’m gonna invite you to speak on this.

C: He just said that “I feel like the country’s come around a bit on Southern accents. They’re less loathed.”

K: I was—that’s where I was gonna go! I was gonna go there!

C: No. I’m gonna—no no no. No. I disagree.

K: So you think that they are still disliked across the board?

C: I think some Southern accents are considered more acceptable than others, and generally speaking, they are looked down upon. And I don’t think they are an aspirational accent that people have. 

K: Right.

C: And I’ve talked about this a little bit but I think I ended up editing it out on another episode, where Southern accents are portrayed so terribly in TV and movies, where it’s either the Gone With the Wind accent or just straight redneck, where there is no nuance. I’m trying to think of who I thought has done a good Southern accent who wasn’t actually Southern. Because when I think of Southern accents, like, Danny McBride, he’s Southern. I’m like, you have a Southern—like obviously, you’re … you know—

K: Yes. (laughs) He’s so funny, too.

C: Yeah, and it’s genuine, where I’m like, okay. His accent—I think he’s from North Carolina.

K: Yes, he is.

C: Yeah. So his accent … to me, I’m like, this is so real. Number one it is real, duh. But it’s not an accent that you hear people who aren’t from the South use. 

K: Right.

C: Like it’s almost always just straight redneck accent.

K: Yeah. I was gonna … that was where I was gonna go in terms of like when we moved from good to bad—you know, from talking about good accents—was like, obviously you being from the South, you have a specific opinion about this and lived experience, but (clears throat) I am not from the South (laughs), obviously—

C: No, y’all are from California.

K: I’m from California, and my mom and dad’s generation is from California. (clears throat) Excuse me. But all of my grandparents are from the South. Like, different states in the South. Yeah, so my grandparents are from Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee, right? So different versions—different parts of the South, but all from the South. And so for me, Southern accents are very comforting, because they remind me of talking to my grandparents or whatever, or growing up and being around them. So I have a different, I think, impression of Southern accents than maybe other Californians do, but I also agree that you’re right, that they’re still not—I think people like them more; I think people appreciate them more, but I don’t think that they’re … I mean, no other American dialects are aspirational except for “Californian unmarked dialects.” (laughs) Nobody’s aspiring to sound like they’re from the upper Midwest or, you know, New England. No one’s trying to be like, I wanna have a Boston accent (laughs). But yeah, I think you’re right that Southern accents still—they still are, if you’re talking about, if you wanna say there’s a hierarchy, they’re definitely still lower to the bottom, unfortunately. Which is a bummer, cuz I think they’re among the best accents.

C: Right.

K: But that’s just … I’m biased and you’re also biased, but (laughs) I think we’re still right. Doesn’t change that.

C: I mean, growing up, I had a pretty thick Southern accent, which I then worked to not have, and I don’t really think I have one anymore.

K: Yeah, I definitely think it’s … I mean, from my impression just hearing you talk, I don’t hear as much of it, but I hear … you can pick up on a certain—

C: A lil twang?

K: Yeah, I think that’s also funny. Yeah.

C: You know who I thought had a good one is … I don’t know if either of you watch Ozark

K: (laughs) So funny, it’s related.

C: So I watch Ozark, which I have a lot of feelings about. (sighs) I have a lot of opinions on Jason Bateman.

K: Ugh.

C: One is just that he literally plays the same character over and over and over.

K: (laughs) 

C: He’s just always the same. I do love Laura Linney though, and I do love Julia Garner. I thought Julia Garner did a good Southern accent. I don’t know if it’s actually appropriate for the region—

K: Mm-hmm.

C: —but I liked it, and I was like, I know girls like that and I can appreciate it. In the second—I think it was the second season or third season, I don’t know. I have no memory. But Laura Linneys’ brother comes and he’s a very, very sad character. But he had … I think the actor is Tommy something, and he did a good job of playing the Southern guy. And that was something where I was like, okay, I believe you. 

K: Yeah. I didn’t watch Ozark, or I haven’t watched it. Is it—I think it’s still on.

C: I think with COVID it hasn’t been on, but … 

K: Okay, yeah, I never watched it. So I was always curious about what Jason Bateman sounds like with a Southern accent.

C: He doesn’t have one, cuz they were supposed to—

K: Oh that’s good. That’s good.

C: Yeah. They moved from Chicago, I think, to Missouri.

K: Okay, yeah yeah yeah. That makes sense. That’s a good choice I think, for sure. Cuz I think that woulda been a lot for him.

C: (laughs) 

K: But I was gonna say, another actor who does a really good Southern accent is Timothy Olyphant. I don’t know if you—

C: Ugh, yes! Another crush, yes.

K: Okay, so Justified was my jam when that show was on.

C: Really! Okay.

K: I love that show so much. Him and Walton Goggins are just—

C: I love Walton Goggins!

K: —incredible. Incredible in that show. So so good. But up until maybe a few months ago or a year ago or so I was like well he’s clearly Southern, from the South; that’s his real accent. And then you hear him talk on shows and you’re like no, he’s from Southern California or whatever, or from California. He does an incredible Southern accent, like really really good and believable, to the point where I was like, I didn’t really (laughs) … when I see him on TV shows I’m like, how is that how you really talk? Aren’t you like … anyway, Waylon … Givens? I forget.

C: Goggins?

K: Goggins? No no, the character on the show, of Timothy Olyphant.

C: Oh. I haven’t actually seen it. (laughs) 

K: Oh, it’s incredible.

C: I just like Timothy Olyphant.

K: You should watch it. Highly recommend. The thing about the show is I think it kinda didn’t know what it wanted to be in the first season, and then in the second season it kind of hit on the format that it would have for the rest of the show, which is like one sort of overarching storyline or big bad for the whole season. And then season two, it was … Margo Martindale played this like head of a sort of … a crime family, let’s say? (laughs) And so the Timothy Olyphant character was trying to go after her and her crew, which is basically just her and her sons and a bunch of people she had rounded up to sort of take her down, and it was an incredible season and that’s kind of when the show got really big. But yeah, he was so good in that role, and also I didn’t watch Deadwood, but other people were like, he was really good in that too. And I think he just has an affinity for Southern accents, a facility with them that I think other actors don’t have, and I don’t necessarily know why that is, but he was really really good with Southern accents.

C: Toshio, do you wanna speak on the Asians’ blaccents?

K: (laughs) Oh, no. I have some—

C: He just—you can’t see the computer! He put it—I didn’t just say that for no reason. 

K: Okay, good!

C: He put a note up. (laughs) 

K: I was like, do not put him on the spot! That’s not fair.

C: No no no! (laughs) Surprise! No, he put an accent. We don’t have to talk about it. He just put a note up there, and I thought it was—

K: No, for sure. I mean, again, this is sort of getting into a linguistics kind of thing, but AAVE—the way you feel about Southern accents is the way I feel about people trying to take on African American Vernacular English, or in the parlance of the 90’s, Ebonics, if you wanna call it that. I just … it is the cringiest thing in the world. Like it makes my entire body tense up. I can’t handle it. (laughs) I can’t handle it. And it doesn’t seem like people try it too too often in movies and stuff unless they’re trying to make it a joke—which is already problematic in and of itself—you know, non-Black people trying too often in movies unless they’re trying to make it a joke, but you see it so much on social media, so much on Twitter, people adopting phrasing and different … it just makes me so tired (laughs) to see it, and I’m just like, why can’t you guys just not do that? You don’t have to … I know it sounds cool and everyone thinks Black people are cool cuz we are, but you can just be yourself, it’s fine. (laughs) You don’t have to adopt this other accent you think of as like status. Which is very weird, because it’s almost like the reverse of the mid-Atlantic thing, where people are adopting it because it’s high-status and aspirational, whereas like … I don’t know if people would have necessarily said that those people were cool, but they did have some level of status that was … not attainable, but aspirational. Whereas I think with AAVE, it’s more of a coolness thing, right? Like you adopt it not because you aspire to be Black, because very few people want that, but because you aspire to the relational coolness that you think comes from speaking that way or whatever. Typing that way or whatever. And it’s just … it’s exhausting. I’m like, people, don’t do it. Don’t do it if you don’t need to or have to. I don’t know why you would, but everybody’s laughing at you so like (laughs) don’t do it. (laughs) Just stop. Just stop. Just stop.

C: Yeah. I’m probably gonna edit out that thing that I said, cuz it just seems like I brought that up myself. 

K: Oh, no, I mean I can’t see you guys.

C: Krystal can’t see our computers!

K: I can’t see my screen, so I didn’t wanna like … cuz I know what’ll happen; I’ll have to restart. And I don’t wanna restart in the middle of the recording.

C: Cuz we’re so hot right now!

K: We’re just goin! You know? We’re just goin with the flow.

C: We’re goin. Flowin and goin.

K: But yeah, I mean … I guess AAVE, I wish people wouldn’t … The thing, I think, with AAVE that’s problematic is that people don’t think of it as its own actual dialect with rules that govern the structure and the grammar of it, and so people think they can just make it up off the fly and sort of create phrasings and whatnot that they think sound correct but that actually don’t follow the rules of the dialect, right? So it’s nonsensical along with sounding appropriated. (laughs) I’m trying to think of an example that’s bad. 

C: Yeah, I would love to—I mean, I know people do this all the time. I’m just curious if there were any examples that stood out in your mind of people just trying so hard and getting it wrong. (laughs) 

K: Well, I mean the thing … I feel like it’s Twitter, or social media, where you see people trying really hard with the phrasing. Like you see people throwing out—they’ll have a tweet where it’ll just be every single phrase that they’ve stolen from Black Twitter, and it’s just talking about how someone is thicc and “it’s the blank for me” and it’s whatever, and I’m just like, please, everybody, just relax. Just don’t (laughs) … you can use it … if you’re gonna use it, just use one at a time. You don’t have to pile them on, it’s not like jewelry, you know what I mean? It’s—

C: Yeah, take one off before you leave the house.

K: Exactly. We don’t wanna talk about Coco Chanel, but, you know … 

C: Yeah, she was a Nazi sympathizer. I apologize. I’m coming off so racist on this show!

K: (laughs) No you’re not. Again, I mean, it’s not necessarily your fault. It’s the fault of people being racist. Like just don’t be so racist, and then we can talk about you. But yeah, AAVE is really … it’s tangential to accents, because you know, AAVE is one of those kinds of dialects that is not region-specific. So you know, I’m from California. The way that I’m talking to you guys now is my Californian accent. But when I speak AAVE … this is not how I sound (laughs) when I’m talking to my mom or my sister or my grandma or whatever. I’m from California, but also, my grandma’s not from California. (laughs) 

C: Right.

K: But when we talk, like we have this shared … you know, way of speaking that is not really specific to where we are from. It’s more of a cultural kind of thing. (laughs) 

C: Why don’t we talk about now bad accents that we have seen in pop culture?

K: Okay, so this is one that I’ve wanted to talk about for awhile, because people love this show, and for good reason. It is one of the better, if not the best shows that has been on TV ever, and that’s The Wire.

C: Oh, okay.

K: Everybody loves The Wire. I love The Wire. When I was in grad school, in like my first summer after my first semester—or first year—I had a break between when I started my internships and when classes ended. I had nothing to do, so I watched the entirety of The Wire in like a month. So I just mainlined it and I was like, I get why people love this show. It’s incredible. But the one thing I could not get over in this show is … the English actor Dominic West? Do you guys know him?

C: Yeah. The white one who recently was seen canoodling with his costar, who was on Downton Abbey it was not his wife. Dominic West—

K: Ugh.

C: Who is also seen in The Affair— 

K: Yes. He’s in The Affair, yeah.

C: Coincidentally? I don’t think so. 

K: (laughs) I don’t think that was the point, yeah.

C: So he was caught by the paparazzi getting kinda frisky with … with not his wife—

K: Yeah, someone who was like—oh Lily James, right?

C: Lily—sure. Sure.

K: Yes. Yes, yes.

C: So the next day, or a few days later, he and his wife, who I think is Irish, and she comes from money—so I mean, like old wealth I think, like her family has like a castle or something—

K: (laughs) Cool.

C: I could be wrong, but I’m going with it. And so they had a press conference outside of, I wanna say their estate, and they were like, our marriage is great. 

K: (laughs) If you have to have a press conference, it’s not …

C: It’s so wild. And they handed a note to someone in the press that I think was just like, we’re doing good y’all, you can leave us alone.

K: Uh, yeah. That doesn’t surprise me. He seems like the type. (laughs) Sorry to paint him with a broad brush, but I was clearly right.

C: You were clearly right. So he plays McNulty on The Wire, a police officer.

K: Yes, he plays McNulty on The Wire, which … if you know anything about The Wire, it’s a show, it’s set in Baltimore, and the way that the show is structured is each season sort of has a different focus, and so in the first season you learn about the cops … you know, you get introduced to the cops you’re gonna be seeing through the entire series and the street-level and sort of higher-up sort of … criminals, I guess you’d say. I don’t like that word, but I don’t know a better phrase to describe them. And McNulty is the main cop. He’s like this white Baltimore detective. He’s supposed to be this grizzled Baltimore cop, but like … (laughs) my dude can barely, and I mean barely, do an American accent. And I just … the entire show, I’m like, I’m supposed to be buying … I’m supposed to be buying this? I could not get why everyone was just like, yeah, you know, McNulty, he’s real police. I’m like, he’s real police what? Like which police? Not American, because clearly (laughs) he’s not gettin over that hump. I could not buy that accent. I just hated it the entire time and I was just like, I can’t believe anyone was like, this is the guy we need to get for this role. This guy, who can barely … who sounds posh even when he’s just like … breathing. (laughs) You know? Like, you can’t do this. You’re not a Baltimore cop. 

C: Yeah. No, and also … shoutout to Charm City, by the way. Shoutout to Baltimore.

K: Yeah. Shoutout to Baltimore. 

C: Baltimore has a very specific accent.

K: Yes! Exactly.

C: Very specific. Like I had … I used to have family there, and my uncle was like straight Maryland, hardcore, hardcore Baltimore area accent, which I love. 

K: Mm-hmm.

C: I love the Baltimore accent. So yeah, McNulty did not do that justice. But you know who did a great job?

K: Who?

C: Idris Elba.

K: Oh yeah! Exactly. Another really good American accent.

C: Oh my god.

K: Another person who I was shocked when I was like, he’s what?! He is not English.

C: Yeah, I had no idea! I had no idea he was British because I was like, he does such a fantastic job.

K: So good. So good.

C: I mean like, duh. So fuckin sexy.

K: Oh my god, that show. There’s a scene—I mean, I don’t wanna spoil it, but there’s a scene where he gets with … someone, and like—

C: You can talk about it. The Wire’s been on for like twenty years. (laughs) 

K: Oh, okay. Well I want people to … but you know, so Avon, he has a wife, a girlfriend, what have you—

C: Ohh.

K: —and he’s like in prison, and you know, Stringer and her, they kinda … something happens between them, and it was very intense, and I was like, see this is what I want out of a show. (laughs) Him making out with people.

C: Oh my god, I would watch that all day.

K: Yeah. Very good. Very good. Yeah, that’s a really good one. Yes, and exactly. When you’re comparing him—Idris Elba and Dominic West—I’m like, there’s no comparison.

C: No.

K: But Idris Elba got to play that role and people are like, that’s good. But everyone was  like,Dominic West, yeah, this guy. This is the guy who should get to be the lead role. The guy who can barely do the accent. Again, this shows you how unfair Hollywood is. 

C: Yeah.

K: Idris Elba put in all this work and like barely gets recognized for it, is like [in] this giant ensemble, and Dominic West gets to be the lead. 

C: I was watching The Graham Norton Show and David Tennant was on. I could just listen to him all day. When David Tennant though, who is very Scottish, when he has to use an American accent, I am not into it. I don’t like it.

K: Cuz it’s not good! I’m sorry, he’s good, but his accent’s not good.

C: I know. And he’s a wonderful actor, but I don’t … just keep your Scottish accent, David.

K: I think I really like … I mean, again Americans, we have a … like you said, we’re simple. (laughs) We are impressed by any accent that’s not American, so. 

C: True.

K: I think … I really love an inflected Spanish accent—

C: Oh, yeah. See?

K: —so like a Spanish-speaker who speaks English, I really enjoy that. (laughs) I also really like the … what is it, the Oceania accent? So your Australian, your New Zealand; those are really interesting accents. I was listening to, or watching, this basketball player named JJ Reddick, he has a podcast called Old Man and the Three, cuz he’s known for shooting a lotta three-pointers. And he plays on the Mavericks, and his whole thing is he’s been in the league for like fifteen years, I think? Sixteen? Something like that, like a really long time. Very attractive man, JJ Redick.

C: Mmkay.

K: I’m like, oh yeah, I get it. He has a podcast called Old Man and the Three, and he usually has on a lot of NBA players to talk about stuff, and he had on one NBA player, Steven Adams, recently. Steven Adams is a very giant man from New Zealand. Very reminiscent of—I think if I had to compare him to another actor you would know, he looks a lot like Jason Momoa.

C: Okay!

K: Who is, I mean, incredibly hot. 

C: Yeah. 

K: But like … imagine Jason Momoa, but somehow bigger. (laughs) 

C: Oh my god.

K: You’re like, that’s not possible. Yeah, he’s like seven feet tall or something. And he has really long hair and this giant moustache-beard combo and he is just this very chill kinda guy, and I really love hearing him talk cuz he’s from New Zealand. 

C: Mm-hmm.

K: Steven Adams is just incredible. He’s really funny, incredibly laid-back, he was a really good guest on that podcast. But yeah, I’m a super fan of that—

C: Kiwi.

K: —New Zealander accent, yeah.

C: Well, very good. That was a wonderful discussion despite my racism. Let’s move on to—

K: No! (laughs) 

C: I’m just kidding. I hope people—

K: I’m trying to give you an out, but if you wanna have it, you can have it.

C: (laughs) This week we’re going to spice things up with our producer.

T: So excited!

C: Yes! So Krystal and I are gonna give him some topics, and we’re gonna get your various hot takes on some various subjects, so let me start with one. Okay. I would like to get your Two Cents, No Tax on plastic surgery.

T: Here for it, you know. Why not? I mean I’ve always wanted a stronger chin.

C: You have a lovely chin.

K: I can’t see it, but I also agree. (laughs) 

C: He’s a handsome man.

K: No, you are, yes!

C: He’s a very, very handsome man.

K: Yes.

T: It’s the scaping of the beard that I attempt to … to fake it, but the masks during COVID have actually been to my benefit in that respect.

K: (laughs) 

C: Alright. Krystal?

K: I have one. So, how do you feel about low-rise jeans?

T: They’re back, I hear.

K: (laughing) No! I don’t want them to be. But yes, go on.

T: I hear that they’re back, and I just heard this last night. I learned this last night cuz I’m late to whatever’s on TikTok, cuz I don’t use TikTok, and I’m also old. I guess just the cycles of fashion seem to be, you know, comin back atcha faster than they used to, and yeah, so expect to see this summer lots of jeans with G-strings, and—

C: Will you be doing that?

K & T: (laugh) 

T: Um, I like a short short cutoff. 

C: Mm-hmm.

K: Yes, also a fan of that.

T: Yeah, good old high-rise jean thrifted that I cut all by myself. So that’s what you’ll catch me in in the summer sun for the light outside.

K: Yeah. Get those legs out.

C: Good one. Okay, the next one: ghosts.

T: I don’t really believe in them, but I’m so fucking scared of them.

K & T: (laugh) 

C: I have tried—just for a little tea, I have tried or wanted to stay in some haunted hotels—

T: No.

K: (laughs) 

C: —like back in Portland with Toshio and he was like, no. I can’t even remember the one that I wanted to do it in, but there had been all these deaths there and it’s famous for being haunted and I was like, I really wanna do this, and he was like, no.

T: Nuh-uh. No. I DJ’ed a wedding—cuz I was a wedding DJ for a moment—and I DJ’ed a wedding on the Queen Mary, which is a ship that just sits in the Long Beach harbor.

K: Yeah.

T: It was cute, but there was no fucking way that I was gonna stay on the boat that night, cuz it is known to be one of the most haunted places in California. 

C: The Queen Mary is?

K: Yeah. 

T: Mm-hmm. 

K: Oh, you’ve never heard of that, Caitlin?

C: Uh, I remember Toshio telling me about that but that’s all I remember, so. Who haunts it? Who is she?

T: I mean …

K: There’s a couple of rooms where weird stuff has happened. There was a room where a man died in it. And like his death was … they never found out why or how he died, and like apparently people who stay in that room now have weird things happen. So there’s a woman who said she woke up one night and threw was a ghostly figure standing at the foot of the bed; people get their blankets thrown off them in the middle of the night; they hear knocking, like—

C: Yeah.

K: Yeah, that’s basically the whole deal. And also people seeing apparitions, you know? There’s like a person there, and then one minute they’re not, so it’s basically that kinda thing.

T: And sometimes they’ll play it up as a tourist attraction, you know?

K: Yeah. Yes, definitely. 

T: The Queen Scary.

C: Ooh! I like that. That was my nickname in high school. 

K: (laughs) 

C: Okay. Krystal, you got another one for him?

K: Okay, yeah. I have one that I was sorta thinking about and wanted to know your take on, Tosh. And Caitlin, you can chime in if you have opinions. But how do you feel about shots? Like … of alcohol.

T: Oh, I actually don’t drink that much alcohol anymore.

K: Mm. Interesting.

T: I’ve had countless shots. I’ve drank all the shots that I could drink, so I feel like—

K: (laughs) You’re like, I’m done!

T: Yeah! Yeah, yeah.

C: How do you feel about Kylie Minogue?

T: (scoffs) You know how I feel about Kylie Minogue.

C: I know. I know; I just wanted it on record.

T: I mean, she … so yeah, she’s a little more milquetoast than Madonna—

C: Is she though?

T: (laughs) I feel like they both have about the same range, vocal range.

C: Right.

K: No, I think she’s better, a better singer. That’s just my opinion, but yeah.

T: She’s more dedicated to the art. She doesn’t like to … she’s less of a personality. Her sister Dannii Minogue

C: (gasps) Ohh.

K: Mm-hmm.

T: —was really tryin it—

C: Yeah.

T: —and yeah. I think she is my favorite British formerly—or from Australia—pop artist on the scene, and she’s still on the scene today.

C: She is. Longevity.

T: I mean, I wanna say like twenty studio albums. She’s done country; she went to Nashville to record a recent album. I mean, she’s done it all. It was convincing to me and I’m not from the South so I shouldn’t—

K & C: (laugh) 

K: What about eating in bed? How do you feel about that?

T: I do it on the nightly.

K: (laughs) Oh no!

T: (laughs) Because I live in a studio apartment—

K: I mean, so do I!

T: —it’s 164 square feet. I have a Murphy bed

K: Mm. Okay.

T: And so sometimes I take my melatonin and then for some reason it makes me hungry.

K: (laughs) 

T: And then the kitchen is like … I can reach it from the bed, basically.

K: Mm-hmm. (laughs) 

T: And so you just reach over, you grab some Wonderbread— 

C: Get yourself a little snack!

T: Yeah, ball it up, pop it in your mouth.

K: (laughs) 

C: So Krystal, it seems like you are very—

T: Yeah, you—

K: I am extremely anti-eating in bed. I don’t know … I just get very … I do not like the feeling of crumbs or anything, like in my sheets and stuff—

T: Oh, no no no.

C: See, I love that.

T: (laughs) 

K: Yeah it’s like a known thing that people—no … (laughs) 

T: Yeah, there’s a board game about it. Crackers In My Bed. Did you ever play that?

C: What?!

K: No! I’ve never heard of this.

T: I don’t know how popular it was. Maybe it was—

C: I don’t think it was very popular. (laughs) 

K: (laughs) 

T: Yeah. I just remember playing … it was like around the time I was playing … you know, you’d play Operation, and you’d finish the Operation and dig into Crackers in My Bed.

C: (laughing) Crackers In My Bed!

K: (laughing) No, I’ve never heard of it 

T: Look it up.

K: Yeah no, I really hate it. I hate it. I’m gonna look that game up—

C: Oh, this is hysterical. 

K: —but I cannot stand it. My best story about that is when I was in high school, maybe like a junior or something, my grandma got me a new bed for … something. I don’t remember why she did. But I got a new bed and it was, for me, luxurious. Like, a queen bed. What do I need a queen bed for? I’m just one person.

C: That is—I’m gonna say, that is luxury!

T: Mm.

K: It was amazing! I loved it so much, and it had a really cute comforter set, like plaid but bright colors, so like bright orange, pink, green. It was really cute. And I would go to school, whatever, and later on that night when I’m coming home from school and I’m getting ready for bed, I’d be like, dang, what’s in my bed? Why are there crumbs in here? This is weird, like I don’t usually eat in bed and I can’t remember anything I would have eaten that would have had crumbs. And this kept happening, like for a couple weeks, and then I remember I asked my mom, I’m like, “Do you go in my bed when we leave for school?” And she was like, “No, why would I get in your bed? I have my own bed!” I’m like … “Are you sure?” And she’s like, “No, I don’t. Why would I?” And I’m like, okay. And so like it kept happening, and then one day I went to pull my covers back to get ready, and there was a whole half a piece of bacon in my bed (laughs). And I don’t even eat bacon. So I literally had to tell my mom—I brought it to my mom and I was like, “Found this in my bed.” And she’s like, “Oh yeah, I have been in your bed when you go to school.” 

T: What?!

K: I’m like, “I knew it! I knew you did.” And I was like, “I don’t care if you do, just don’t eat. And if you’re gonna eat, then please don’t leave your bacon.”

T & C: (laugh) 

K: Just clean it out when we get—cuz my mom at the time was working 11-7 shifts, so she had a couple hours after me and my sister would leave for school, where she’d just be at home or whatever—

C: Eatin bed bacon.

K: —and so she’d just get into my brand new bed and relax and whatever, and I’m like, no. (laughs) That’s such an unfair thing to do, like I don’t care if you do it, just don’t eat in there and don’t leave bacon in it.

T: Or change the sheets afterwards? Yeah.

K: Yeah—like clean them—at least shake them out, if something, like … (laughs) don’t just leave it.

T: I do change my pillowcase every night, relatedly.

K: Oh, that’s good.

C: Every night?!

T: Or, sorry, I flip it over. 

C: Oh, okay.

T: So I actually … I get two uses out of it.

C: Wow. 

T: Cuz I had really bad acne as a teen, and I was told that it was a partial cure, to avoid the oil that comes out of your pores at night by changing your pillowcase all the time, so I still do that to this day. It’s just like, out of habit, and pillowcases don’t take up that much room in the laundry machine.

K: That’s true.

C: Your skin looks flawless now, by the way.

K: (laughs) 

T: Well, I am using that Zoom feature that—

K: (laughs) Where they like blur you—

C: Touch up your appearance.

T: Yeah, yeah yeah.

C: I am not, but it’s a good thing Krystal can’t see me.

K: (laughs) Yeah, I saw you guys for a bit, and now I’m like, I forgot everything about them!

T: I am so—

C: Thank you for your answers!

T: Thank you for allowing me the honor. 

C: You’re welcome.

T: It’s been an honor.

C: It has been an honor. Okay, well shall we now move on to what we’re listening to, watching, or reading? I was talking last week about how I kept … uh, okay. First up, what’s another word for ingest?

K: (laughs) Wait you can say ingest! You don’t like saying it—

C: No, I don’t like it. 

K: (laughing) I made you self-conscious, and I did not mean to do that.

C: No. I need a synonym for ingest.

K: Let’s see. Let’s look at the … 

C: (laughs) Gobble down!

K: (laughs) That’s worse!

C: Okay, so here’s what I’ve been gobblin down on. 

K: Mmkay.

C: Last week I was saying I kept taking in really intense content and I was gonna chill out with it. Well, I did not do that. First off, I finished the book The Leavers—L-E-A-V-E-R-S—The Leavers by Lisa Ko, which I gotta say, five stars. Read it, excellent book, wonderful. I then started on this other book, which I cannot remember the title of, but it’s like memoir, true crime, murder; turns into this story about abuse. I didn’t know what I was getting into, so I was like, oh Caitlin. Fail. And then I started listening to a true crime podcast by Billy Jensen. I talked about him on the first episode. He wrote a book, Chase Darkness With Me; co-hosts a podcast with the dreamiest man alive, Paul Holes. Anyway, he is doing a podcast called Unraveled about the Long Island serial killer. It’s a really good podcast. Once again, it’s looking to be a police officer who is a serial killer. Like not shocking to literally anyone, I think, these days, but—

K: Right.

C: That’s that. I guess y’all can send me some recommendations for maybe some funny or light-hearted content that you think I should partake in.

K: I haven’t really watched anything new or super duper interesting. I have just been sort of luxuriating in the stuff that I love that I always listen to, so I would like to shout out a podcast and an album. The podcast, one of my all-time favorite podcasts: Extra Hot Great. If you are our age, so you know, mid- to late thirties—

C: Twenty-five.

K: (laughs) No. No, we are not thirty-five. We’re older.

C: No, I said twenty-five.

K: Oh, I’m … (laughs) No way.

C: Just kidding. I don’t even wanna be twenty-five.

K: (laughing) I know, I was gonna say, what a nightmare to be twenty-five. 

C: I know. I agree. I agree, I’m sorry. Continue.

K: So if you’re our age and you’ve been an extremely online person for awhile, you might remember the website Television Without Pity, which was sort of an all-encompassing TV review site that had associated message boards and whatnot, and people were very into [it] and had a very dedicated fanbase and user base, and it was created by Tara Ariano, Dave Cole, Sarah Bunting, and they’re like … Dave and Tara are married. They’re a married couple, and then Sarah’s one of their best friends, and they sort of started Television Without Pity and it grew from a Dawson’s Creek web page that they had created cuz they were obsessed with the show when it was on in the 90’s, and their site kinda exploded. [It] became very popular in the 2000’s, eventually got bought by like NBC and Bravo, and they became Bravo employees for a time in the 2000’s.

C: Mm.

K: Very interesting story. Eventually they sold it and were like, nah, we’re out. We don’t wanna do what you want us to do with this web presence. About ten years ago they started a podcast Extra Hot Great where they used to talk about TV and movies, but then they scrapped it after one of their hosts, Joe Reed, left the show. They started the podcast up a couple of years ago, and Extra Hot Great is one of the best podcasts because it came out of the womb fully formed. So that’s one of my favorite podcasts. Really fun; these people have known each other for decades and they have such good chemistry. They get really good guests on, people of color, like they have a very diverse cast of guests and stuff, and people you would know from … if you’re, again, a very online person. So Extra Hot Great, Even if you don’t watch half of the things they talk about, it’s really fun to listen to them talk about them. So that’s a podcast I would highly suggest and it has a million episodes, so if you wanna go way back and listen, you totally can. And then my other thing is an album. The band Sylvan Esso, I don’t know if you know them, Caitlin—

C: I do know them.

K: Okay, well a couple years ago they had a really big single called “Coffee,” and their self-titled album, their first album, came out and it was humongous. It was very, very popular. Their second album, they sort of shifted gears a little bit and went into a more electronic kind of sound, and that got nominated for a Grammy, and they’re just a really cool, fun husband-and-wife sort of musical duo. I think they live in North Carolina, or they’re from there and they still live there—

C: That sounds right. Can I just say I love when partners are in bands together?

K: I know! It’s so cute. One of my other favorite bands of all time, Mates of State, are another husband-and-wife band that I just … ugh. (laughs) I remember I dated someone that we were introducing our music to each other and he didn’t like Mates of State, and I was like, this is not gonna work out.

C: Yeah. (laughs) 

K: I was right! Yeah, so Sylvan Esso, they had their third album—Free Love came out I think late last year, and I don’t remember it getting a ton of attention, but again, it came out in October of 2020, so (laughs) a lot of other stuff was going on at the time—

C: Right.

K: —so I can understand it not getting a lot of play, at least in like the zeitgeist, but it’s a really great album. I remember listening to it when it came out and being like, man, this is so good. Why is no one talking about it? (laughs) So now I’m talking about it on this podcast and recommend that you go listen to it. It’s really great. The lead singer Amelia, she has an incredible voice. It’s really gentle and delicate at times, but you can tell she comes from a folk-singing background the way she articulates certain things. I don’t know, she’s just a really great singer. The songs are really fun and interesting sonically, because like I said, they do a lot of sort of … her partner does a lot of electronic kind of work, and he also comes from a actual background of hardcore (laughs)

C: Mm-hmm.

K: So he has a lot of interesting takes that go into their music, and I really, really like them and I would highly recommend Free Love if you want a chill album to listen to on the weekend, or, you know, when you’re trying to fall asleep or something—

C: Yeah. I do want that.

K: It’s really good. I would highly recommend [it] if you haven’t listened to it.

C: Okay. I have not. But now I will.

K: Yeah. And that’s Sylvan Esso—S-Y-L-V-A-N E-S-S-O. Two words.

C: Sylvan Esso. Well, thank you!

K: Yeah, you’re welcome!

C: So last but not least, you can reach us at Two Cents Plus Tax on Twitter and Instagram and to get our transcripts and show notes. And I have to say, shoutout to stevie, who does our transcripts— 

K: Yeah. They’re great.

C: They link in our transcripts to all the things—not all the things, cuz we talk about so many things—

K: We’re always goin on tangents. Yeah. (laughs) 

C: But shoutout to stevie not only for being a great tran … transcriptionist? 

K: Yep.

C: But for linking things, so like if we’re talking about something and you don’t know, you can just click on the transcript and find out. So thank you stevie.

K: Added bonus. Added value in there.

C: And thank you to our fans.

K: Yeah. And thank you to … our fans? Ugh. I hate saying that. (laughs) Like I honestly don’t … 

C: I love saying that!

K: It makes me feel super weird! (laughs) 

C: Well you know, there was—we did take suggestions for names for our fan base, and … so Toshio actually said this when we were discussing it first. He said IRS, and we put that out on Twitter, and someone else suggested IRS and I said I love it, as long as it’s a cute acronym for something. And they came back full force with I Respect Scams, which I thought was wonderful.

K: (laughs) Shoutout to Jessica for that.

C: Shoutout to Jessica. We love you, Jessica. Thank you. Is that what we’re gonna go with? Is our fan base the IRS? Cuz I kinda think they should be.

K: I like it! I think it sounds really good. I mean, I can’t think of a better one.

C: I can’t either.

K: And I like it because it doesn’t sound … a lotta times when people come up with—even for jokey reasons, the names they come up with always sound diminutive, and I like the IRS cuz it sounds like …

C: Formidable.

K: Strong. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So yeah, I’m a fan.

C: Okay, well it is official now. 

K: (laughs) 

C: So I would like to just say a big thank you to the IRS. We love you.

K: Yeah. Also we could talk about it with people not knowing what we’re talking about. (laughs) 

C: Yeah.

K: If we just start talking about the IRS, people will be like, what?

C: We love them!

K: (laughs) We love them so much. We’re not tryna like, rehab the IRS’s image. They don’t deserve it.

C: (laughs) They’ll be fine. Okay, Krystal. Well, I think we did another just killer episode. I don’t know how we—

K: I really like this one.

C: How do we get all this talent into one episode? I do not know.

K: I mean, we do our best. Like you said, we do it for the fans, honestly.

C: We do it for the fans. We work hard, and we play hard.

K: Gross. (laughs) 

C: (laughs) I know. Sorry about that. Okay, well, until next time. 

K: Aright. 

C: Bye!

K: Bye!

(theme song plays)