DEVOUR {things to watch, read, and listen to}

DEVOUR {things to watch, read, and listen to}

. 12 min read

In our monthly DEVOUR column we share all the things we think you should eat up.

Listen.  Everybody Loves Elaine. Wiser Than Me is a new podcast brilliantly hosted by Julia Louis-Dreyfus in which she speaks to “older and wiser” women who very candidly share their life experience. Louis-Dreyfus’ questions are direct and insightful, and she even shares her own experiences and anecdotes.  In the season opener, Jane Fonda reflects on her 85-years, telling us what worked for her and what she’d do differently.  Other guests include 80-year-old writer Isabel Allende (she likes a bit of weed before sex), Carol Burnett, Amy Tan, Diane von Furstenberg, Fran Lebowitz, Rhea Perlman, and more. Premiered April 11 on most platforms.

Listen To "Wiser Than Me" Here

Listen. The Song is Ended (But The Melody Lingers On). At The Pershing: But Not For Me by Ahmad Jamal is considered one of the most popular and influential recordings in jazz history. Sadly, the world became a bit less hip on April 16 with the loss of the great 92-year-old pianist and NEA Jazz Master.  Whether or not you’re familiar with his music, it’s time for you to listen to his live recording, At The Pershing: But Not For Me. Recorded on the night of January 16,1958 during his trio’s residency at Chicago’s Pershing Hotel, which remained on the Billboard Top 200 album chart for 108 weeks. With Israel Crosby on bass and Vernell Fournier on drums.

Watch. The new political thriller that is a mash-up with I Love Lucy. The Diplomat (Netflix) is a twisty comedy about a marriage between the newly appointed Ambassador to England (played by Keri Russell) and her ambitious, charming, arrogant and charismatic husband (played convincingly by Rufus Sewell). Their marriage, we quickly learn, would be over but for their professional ambitions, and the union is tinged with equal parts slapstick humor, sexual playfulness and extramarital flirtations. As a political thriller the intrigue built slowly for me — more in the style of West Wing and less in the style of the intense (more believable) political thrillers that I tend to prefer (and included on my list of Get Your Spy Thrill On) — but by the last episode I was hooked. There is some terrific acting by the hunky and well-dressed David Gyasi as the British foreign minister and Rory Kinnear as the British Prime Minister.

Listen. A podcast about a 70’s feminist porn magazine that failed. Stiffed is the story of VIVA, an erotic periodical for “intelligent women” launched, owned and run (mostly) by Bob Guccione, founder of Penthouse. Over the course of its short life, its editorial vision bounced from that of Guccione’s, to his wife’s, Kathy Keeton (whose story alone is worth the price of admission - we are told Keeton left South Africa for London alone at the age of 13, began supporting herself as an exotic dancer shortly after that, rose to become the highest paid stripper in Europe, and it was while reading the Financial Times on breaks in between performances that she meets Guccione, who convinces her to join him to work in the publishing industry). Eventually, it was run by Patricia Bosworth, a _____, and included writing by feminist intellectuals Betty Friedan, Anais Nin, Nikki Giovanni and Annie ____. There is all sorts of tumult all the time, including tension between the feminist intellectuals writing for VIVA and the more “working class,” pragmatic and flexible version of Guccione and Keeton’s. And tension between feminists who [porn vs anti-porn}, not to mention the rising conservative …

[more to come-]

‎Stiffed: Introducing: Stiffed on Apple Podcasts
‎Show Stiffed, Ep Introducing: Stiffed - Mar 23, 2023

Watch. Martin Scorsese’s documentary about David Johansen Personality Crisis: One Night Only (Showtime). It’s been said that one has the same odds of making it in show business as getting struck by lightning.  If there’s any truth to that, then David Johansen’s been struck twice.  From Johansen’s glory days on the punk scene as frontman for the New York Dolls, to his invention of his alter ego, Buster Pointdexter, director Martin Scorsese chronicles the performer’s success and struggles in his latest documentary, Personality Crisis: One Night Only. Hot, hot, hot!

Watch. A docuseries on Tupac Shakur. Dear Mama (FX). When gunned down in 1996, rapper Tupac Shakur had released 4 albums over his 7 years in the music industry. With his message of human rights widely accepted across rap and mainstream audiences, he is still considered one of the most influential rappers of all time with total record sales in excess of 75 million.  In this 5-part Hulu docuseries, Dear Mama, director Allen Hughes examines the relationship between Shakur and his mother, Black Panther activist, Afeni Shakur whose life – wrought with activism, incarceration, drug addiction, and teenage pregnancy – shaped her son’s own journey.

Listen/Read. Because breaking up is hard to do. NPR: 5 Things To Remember When A Friendship Ends. In The Crush Letter we’ve written a lot about friendship in midlife — The Midlife Friend Audit: You Need Good Friends. But Who Is Good?;  “Don’t Touch My Hat.” Midlife Men & Friendship, Depression & Loneliness; The Dynamics of Friendship: Can Singlehood Withstand the Trials of Friends with Kids?; and a series on friendship called The Friendship Files, so we jumped on this podcast episode. Unfortunately, we can all recall the pain of having romantic relationships come to an end. But as we have pointed out friendships are an important, altogether different animal and mourning friendships that come to an end is a hurt of a different kind. Sometimes, the hurt never ends. Here, NPR speaks with Marisa Franco, author of Platonic: How the Science of Attachment Can Help You Make — And Keep — Friends.

5 things to remember when a friendship ends : Life Kit
Not all friends are meant to last forever. Here are 5 things to remember if you’re processing the loss of a friendship — or trying to save one that matters to you.

Listen. Never Say Never. Everything But The Girl retired in 2000 with lead singer Tracey Thorn announcing she’d never again perform live. She married musical partner Ben Watt in 2009 and they raised a family, but as a band they remained musically mum. The couple produced a plethora of solo projects, and now, 24 years after their last album, they’ve released their 11th studio album, Fuse. In a recent Culture / Comments we had informed you that one of the singles from the album had dropped, but the full album is now here. A bit heavier in their usual style of electronic/dubstep/dance vibes (though Thorn insists the band shies away from categorization) but with the added attraction of some deep storytelling.  Thorn’s voice is better than ever, thick and rich as raw honey. One particularly moving track is “Lost,” that sets us up, draws us in, then leaves the rest to our imagination. Finally, Thorn’s performance pangs come to the forefront on the album’s closing track “Karaoke.”  Could she be getting her act together and taking it on the road? Time will tell.

Listen. If you love a parade, then you’ll love The Evening Tea. If you grew up reading Parade, that nationwide Sunday Newspaper magazine distributed in more than 700 newspapers in the United States, you've no doubt read the column of journalist Dotson Rader. Between 1982 and 2018, Rader spoke with hundreds of notables for the column and banked thousands of hours of recorded interviews. Today, he and writer Tym Matusov are in the process of unearthing the archived tapes to produce the podcast, The Evening Tea– fabulously raw interviews that make us feel as if we’re naughtily eavesdropping. The interviews – most uncut and uncensored – are riveting. To date, the tapes have produced 16 podcast episodes that include an early interview with Beyonce, Norman Mailer on the craft of writing, Hillary Clinton at the White House, Samuel L. Jackson on marching in Memphis when MLK was killed, Betty Ford on recovery, and Freddie Prinze, Jr. Believe me, each episode is a gem!  Available on Youtube.

Here’s episode 8 with Hillary Clinton:

DEVOUR {things to watch, read & listen to}

Seeing stars.

Eat. You don’t have to be Italian to be in the loop about the Great Pastina Scandal. After 105 years, Ronzoni has discontinued a staple found in the cupboards of Italian homes for six generations. The little pasta, the main ingredient in what my nonna called “Sicilian penicillin,” has been cut from Ronzoni’s production since January 2023 and hoarders and resellers are still scouring supermarkets for the last of the lot. Yes, other brands are manufacturing pastina, but Ronzoni was the inventor of the star-shaped (“stelline”) OG pasta that brought smiles to the faces of millions of under-the-weather bambini. To mourn the loss, I’m sharing my Nonna’s recipe, a prescription that’s sure to cure any malady of the mind or body.  

Nonna Aida’s “Pastina, Egg, and Butter” Recipe

Bring 5 cups of water to a boil*
Add 2 cubes of chicken (or vegetable) bouillon.
Stir. Add 1 cup stelline pastina.
Stir. In a bowl, beat 4 eggs, folding in 2 tablespoons of grated pecorino romano cheese.
Slowly add the egg mixture to the boiling water, stirring until it thickens.
Ladle into a bowl and add a pat of butter.
Stir, and top with more pecorino romano Presto e delicioso!
*no need to salt the water as there’s plenty of salt in the bouillon and pecorino romano.

Hell hath no fury like a comedian scorned.

Watch.  Selected Outrage. (Netflix) Comedian Chris Rock has made broadcasting history twice in one year; first by getting publicly assaulted on a live-televised Oscar presentation, and second on Saturday, March 6, when Netflix streamed their first-ever live comedy special from Baltimore’s Hippodrome Theater to an anxiously awaiting global audience.  As usual, Rock’s rants were brilliant, covering everything from racism, abortion, economics, dating older women, having daughters raised in privilege to The Royal Family, OJ Simpson, the Kardashians, Elon Musk and – yes – Will and Jada. Always smart, always biting, catch Rock at the top of his game if you haven’t already seen it.

Got Punk?

Watch. Nightclubbing: The Birth of Punk Rock in NYC (Prime Video) Writer/director Danny Garcia says of his documentary, Nightclubbing: The Birth of Punk Rock in NYC,  “This is not a film to watch with your kids.”  And what else would one expect from a film about the wildest, angriest, most hard-core, drug-laden, anything goes era in music? With appearances and memories by Billy Idol, Alice Cooper, Brian Seltzer, Lenny Kaye (Patti Smith Group), Sylvain Sylvain (New York Dolls), Frank Infante (Blondie), and more, the film takes us inside the famed Max’s Kansas City during punk rock’s golden age. Now put the kids to bed, dig out the hair gel for that mohawk, and warm up the telly because Nightclubbing is available on most streaming services on March 10, 2023.

Watch/Read. Martin Scorsese's List of the Best Movies Ever Made. Now that The 95th Academy Awards are behind us and you’re all caught up on the fine films of 2022, it’s time to school yourself on what movie master Martin Scorsese thinks are the 15 greatest films of all time– and Marty knows. What’s your favorite?  For me, it’s a tie between Citizen Kane and 8 1/2.

Read. In addition to her fifty books of essays, poetry, and fiction, Margaret Atwood is a playwright, puppeteer, librettist, and painter.  The multi-genre Canadian author has been called one of the greatest writers of our time and – at age 83 – has just published her newest work, Old Babes in the Woods. This perfect mid-life read is a collection of 15 short stories examining life, death, love, relationships, the foolishness of youth, the wisdom of aging, and the years that are behind us. A must-read for adults of any age.

Listen. Whatever your faith, whatever your politics, you must listen to this NPR archival interview series with President Jimmy Carter and Fresh Air host, Terry Gross. The 39th U.S. President (1977-1981) and Nobel Peace Prize recipient, best remembered for his efforts in the Iranian hostage crisis and rescue mission, candidly answers some hard questions concerning abortion, the death penalty, and face-to-face negotiations with perpetrators of war crimes. The interviews, conducted between 1993-1996, examine Carter’s deep faith, humanitarian accomplishments, philanthropic causes, a pre-2020 election scandal, and so much more.  Especially moving is Carter’s response to Gross asking, “Was there a time you felt your God had forsaken you?”  After you hear the interview you may find yourself inspired to…

Jimmy Carter: The ‘Fresh Air’ interviews
At 98, Carter is the oldest living president in U.S. history. After serving his term, he worked to promote safe housing, human rights and conflict resolution. Originally broadcast in ’93, ‘95 and ’96.

Read. The Virtues of Aging Jimmy Carter’s 1998 work on “the new experiences that come to us with age.”   At 56-years-old, Carter had lost a presidential election and found himself bankrupt with debt on his farm and warehouse business. If you find yourself starting over, start with this read.

Watch. Succession (HBO) Succession is in session! It’s been a long wait, but the family we love to hate is back! Succession season 4 returns to HBO on Sunday, March 26th at 9pm with ten new – and final – episodes.  Yes, Succession-istas, series creator Jesse Armstrong has announced this will be the last season for the sensationalist series. So slip on your gladiator sandals, grab your seat in the coliseum, and let the games begin!

Listen. Darling Be Home Soon. Can dogs smell time? Just ask Donut the dog

I have a friend who would arrive home each night to find her apartment looking like it was burglarized. The burglar, a nine-pound poodle, was the culprit.  When she installed a doggie cam and watched the footage, she learned that the dog was ransacking the house each day at the same time, thirty minutes before her usual arrival.  She marveled at the dog’s inner clock but always felt there was something more to it.  She was right. Psychologist Alexandra Horowitz, who studies dog cognition at Columbia University and Barnard College, tells us– the nose knows.

If you love me as much as I love you (and I really do love you!), then please help me grow by forwarding this {love} Letter to a friend!  And I'd love to have you join us on instagram, facebook & twitter.

The Crush Letter
The Crush Letter is a weekly newsletter from Dish Stanley curating articles & intelligence on everything love & connection - friendship, romance, self-love, sex. If you’d like to take a look at some of our best stories go to Read Us. Want the Dish?


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