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Designing Women S3 E22 - Airbrushed and Spread-Eagle in a Centerfold

Updated: Jun 9, 2023

It’s an epic showdown in the season 3 finale of Designing Women between feminism and free speech. But, we mean, can’t we have both?? Not according to Julia…

Naturally, we have to close out the regular season with an “Extra Sugar” about censorship (spoiler alert: we’re not into it).

Want more? You can have it with these reads::

Come on, let’s get into it!



Salina: Hey, Nikki.

Nikki: Hey, Salina.

Salina: Hello everyone, and welcome to sweet Tea and TV.

Salina: Hey y'all.

Salina: They don't know it, but it's been a while.

Salina: It has, yeah.

Nikki: I think every time we record lately there's a little bit bigger of a.

Salina: Gap between that's right.

Nikki: This is our attempt to be more.

Salina: Real time and I think we're doing a really great job.

Salina: So there's that.

Nikki: But stressful for me because I have nothing saved up in the queue.

Nikki: I'm going to have to edit this one in real time and get it up for next week.

Salina: Let me hurry then.

Salina: So I couldn't help but look at the calendar and realize that I can't believe it.

Salina: It's something that comes along with age, I guess.

Salina: Wonderful is that somehow we're at November and somehow Thanksgiving is literally right around the corner here before we know it.

Salina: I know.

Salina: Turkey day, big day.

Salina: And I just thought maybe we could just take a second and talk about the big day.

Salina: You got any big plans?

Salina: Anything on the horizon?

Nikki: No, I'm actively trying not to think too hard about it.

Salina: Oh good.

Salina: I bring some stress to the table.

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: Well, it's Thanksgiving, at least two Thanksgiving celebrations that we do every year.

Nikki: And so it's that careful dance of in the limited time off that you have from work, how do you get them all in?

Nikki: So I've got to figure out how to balance Thursday and maybe Friday, but possibly also Saturday.

Nikki: And then in between, when are we going to get our Christmas tree and then am I going to do Black Friday shopping?

Nikki: And then with my in laws we're going to do Secret Santa again this year.

Nikki: And so I want to do some sort of big fun drawing for everybody to pick their Secret Santa.

Nikki: And so I've been racking my brain about that for probably a week and a half now.

Nikki: So it's just a lot of stress.

Salina: Have to good things but like a lot of planning.

Nikki: Yeah, a lot of things.

Nikki: Balls in the air that you have to make sure don't fall.

Salina: So instead of giving you post traumatic stress disorder, how about we take it this route?

Salina: And I'm just going to ask what food have you missed the most that you're excited to get your hands on?

Nikki: What a good question.

Salina: Or if there's something you're excited to make.

Nikki: Do you want to know?

Nikki: Something funny is I am not the world's biggest cranberry sauce fan.

Salina: Which kind?

Salina: The kind that falls out of the can.

Salina: The kind that's like homemade and has the bits in it.

Nikki: So it's funny you say that.

Nikki: What I was just about to say is I think it's because I identify cranberry sauce with the jellied cranberry sauce, which is the only kind Kyle likes.

Nikki: That's his favorite kind, I think.

Nikki: It is so gross.

Salina: Yeah, I understand.

Salina: It's kind of like jello, though.

Nikki: It's too tart for me or something.

Salina: You need a lingamberry, maybe.

Nikki: Well, so what I've done the last couple of years is I've do both.

Nikki: I buy a can because it's so cheap.

Nikki: It's like a dollar.

Nikki: So if that makes Kyle happy, I throw a dollar at him every now and then.

Nikki: But the other thing I'll do you're welcome.

Salina: Kyle happy.

Nikki: Thanks, kyle is I've been doing the whole cranberry sauce.

Nikki: So, like, buying the bag of cranberries, boiling them on the stove.

Salina: So you like that better?

Nikki: I think I like that better.

Nikki: It tastes more wholesome or something.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: Yeah, I get that.

Salina: I think for me, the only thing I don't like is sometimes I feel like I'm picking stuff out of my mouth.

Salina: Terrible.

Salina: Maybe I don't want to insult anybody.

Salina: Maybe that shouldn't be happening.

Nikki: I don't know.

Nikki: Okay.

Salina: Or it's probably stuff that other people might be okay with going.

Salina: But I'm like, what is this?

Nikki: So I'm trying to remember the recipe I followed the most recent couple of years has, like, orange zest in it or lime zest.

Salina: But it's got to be orange, right?

Nikki: Feel like I strained it off or something.

Nikki: I don't know.

Salina: Well, good job.

Salina: Grandma thinks we're in.

Salina: Thanks.

Nikki: Don't believe me.

Nikki: Don't believe me.

Nikki: Whatever your grandma does is probably the.

Salina: Right way of a dead nothing anymore.

Salina: We don't oh, not like that.

Salina: No, neither.

Salina: Grandmother really does that.

Salina: The tradition has passed, right?

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: Grandmas are still alive.

Nikki: Grandmas are still okay.

Nikki: It's been a while, Salina.

Salina: I don't think it's been that long.

Salina: Has it been yeah.

Salina: Oh, God.

Salina: Oh, no.

Salina: There's any real wood?

Nikki: Yeah, no, grandma's fine.

Nikki: So, yeah, the cranberry sauce in Turkey is something I'm kind of excited, but pecan pie I'm very excited about.

Salina: Yeah.

Nikki: And you know what?

Nikki: Thanksgiving has never been one of my favorite holidays.

Nikki: It's always just sort of the thing we have to clear to get to Christmas.

Nikki: The older I get, the more I love it.

Nikki: It's the start of cozy season.

Nikki: It's the start of everything that's to come.

Salina: September 1 is the start of cozy.

Nikki: Season for some people.

Salina: I jump in with 2ft when it's 112 degrees outside, and I'm like, cozy season.

Nikki: The last time we recorded, I guess, would have been in late September, and Salina was wearing a straight up sweater and jeans, and I was like, what are you?

Nikki: I'm like, dripping sweat, and she's like, in a sweater and jeans.

Nikki: It was that sleeveless sweater.

Nikki: So it was like, not quite sweater sweater.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: Hey.

Salina: How dare you?

Nikki: Made me hot.

Nikki: Made me hot.

Nikki: What about you?

Nikki: What foods are you excited about?

Salina: Well, I am excited about anything that starts and ends with a casserole.

Salina: I mean, any of them.

Nikki: Green bean casserole.

Salina: I love green bean casserole.

Salina: But, like, also, like, squash casserole or any kind of corn casserole.

Salina: Any kind of souffle.

Nikki: I made a corn souffle last weekend that I'm going to have to make for you.

Nikki: At some point.

Nikki: It comes from the Joanna Gaines.

Salina: Now we're talking.

Nikki: And it's like jiffy cornbread mix with creamed corn and regular sweet corn.

Nikki: Some sugar.

Nikki: It's very good.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: Add some sweetness to that jimmy cornbread.

Salina: It's God's sake.

Nikki: It's embarrassing how much sugar it goes into casseroles for the big holidays.

Nikki: I'm like really sugar in the green bean casserole.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: Yeah, whatever.

Nikki: You really sugar there.

Nikki: Let me just be clear.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: Somebody's like that's not right.

Nikki: You're doing that all wrong.

Nikki: Also, deviled eggs are another food that I get really excited about around the holidays.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: Although those wind up making it all year round, especially in Casey's family.

Salina: I don't know how that everybody has their own traditions, right?

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: But that's like an all year long food.

Salina: But it doesn't matter because they're delicious.

Salina: I want them all the time.

Nikki: I boil eggs a lot, but I don't go the extra step of the inside part, the yolk and all that, so I get really excited about that.

Salina: Yeah, that's a lot of work.

Salina: So I guess the other thing is, yes, I'm going to be super late to this trend, but also trends happen.

Nikki: Really fast, aka definition of a trend.

Salina: But I also mean, like, today, it feels like something comes up because of TikTok or something, and then it's just like, here, and then it's gone.

Salina: Or it just feels like it gets battered to death.

Salina: But I want to do a butterboard, and I've been wanting to do one butterboard.

Nikki: I don't know what this is.

Salina: You, Queen of TikTok, have not seen this.

Salina: It just must not be part of your algorithm.

Nikki: No, I got a lot of Taylor Swift content these days.

Salina: Okay, well, I'm surprised she doesn't have something where she's making a butterboard.

Nikki: Butterboard.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: So basically, I'm so excited that I get to tell someone what it is.

Salina: First of all, it's easy, so it has me written all over it because I don't do anything complicated in the kitchen.

Salina: But you just take a board like you would do for charcuterie, and then you take a nice butter.

Salina: I'm not knocking country croc.

Salina: I'm just saying, like, don't this is not a country croc time.

Nikki: You do that Irish one.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: Get Carrie's Gold.

Nikki: Carrie's Gold.

Nikki: Thank you.

Salina: Or get like, some kind of French butter or something.

Salina: Like elevate your butter game.

Salina: And then you like, let it if you're like some household refrigerate, others don't.

Salina: Obviously, you're going to want softened butter.

Salina: And then you spread it around the board, and then you top it with whatever toppings you want some people are doing.

Salina: And then you take fresh rolls, and then you dip the rolls in it.

Nikki: Okay.

Nikki: Why on a board?

Salina: I'm bold.

Salina: I think it's for the look.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: It's for a look.

Salina: You're going to have to look into these videos.

Salina: You're going to have to look into these videos, and then you'll see so people are topping them with like some people are making them sweet.

Salina: Some people are making them savory, doing all kinds of fresh herbs on top.

Salina: Some people are doing edible flowers on top.

Salina: Are you already looking over there?

Nikki: Someone shaped it.

Nikki: Oh, no, never mind.

Nikki: I don't think that's intentional.

Nikki: It kind of looks like a turkey.

Nikki: That would be really cute for Thanksgiving.

Salina: And then people are doing all kinds of other stuff with them, too.

Salina: Now we're going to take this to another level because some people are doing cream cheese boards and then they're topping it where it's like kind of almost like a deconstructed locks bagel situation.

Nikki: Okay.

Salina: You can get really creative with it.

Salina: Someone will take it too far.

Nikki: Sure.

Salina: Somebody's going to be like, we need a Reese's peanut butter board.

Nikki: You haven't gone too far yet.

Salina: I mean, I would also eat that, but anyway, I'm so excited that I got to share that with you so you'll have to look at them.

Nikki: I am disappointed in my For You page.

Nikki: I'm actually getting a little frustrated because it's so Taylor Swift heavy and I love Taylor, but not everybody's content needs to be on my For You page just because it mentions her and I don't get enough food.

Nikki: I get a lot of days in the life and Taylor Swift and I don't get enough food.

Nikki: I'm going to have to do something.

Salina: You hear me?

Nikki: Hear me?

Salina: TikTok it does.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: Don't you worry about that.

Nikki: Good.

Salina: Well, is there anything else we should talk about, about Thanksgiving or should we talk about the women?

Nikki: Do you have any traditions for Thanksgiving weekends?

Salina: It's kind of changed and evolved over the years, but normally it's sort of like that hustle that you're talking about where you're just trying to get the different family stuff accomplished.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: And that makes it sound like a chore.

Salina: And I don't mean for it, too, but sometimes we're just kind of running all over the map.

Salina: I think the biggest thing for me is decorating.

Salina: I can't do that this year, so we're having some remodeling done at the house.

Salina: So I'm going to decorate the crap out of the bedroom.

Salina: That's probably what's going to happen.

Salina: Casey's going to come in.

Salina: It's going to be like FAO Schwartz up in there in 1992 or the griswolds.

Salina: He'll love that.

Salina: He loves Christmas vacations.

Nikki: Everybody loves it'll.

Salina: Just be like it'll look like Times Square.

Nikki: Welcome to our winter Wonder.

Salina: Then just do like a whole Santa's village in there.

Nikki: The decorating takes a long time.

Salina: Yes.

Salina: Mostly the whole weekend.

Nikki: That's what it is.

Nikki: For me, I think that's I dread that a little bit.

Salina: Yes.

Salina: I get really excited about it, and every year, without fail, I'm like, oh, that's right.

Salina: I hate this.

Nikki: Right?

Salina: You just like finishing it, right?

Nikki: I like finishing it, and I really, really love cleaning it up in January and like that.

Salina: Oh, you love that part.

Nikki: Fresh start.

Nikki: Oh, yeah.

Nikki: So much crap everywhere all through December.

Nikki: And just like, it's lovely.

Nikki: It's cozy.

Nikki: But I'm ready for a fresh, clean start.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: Anyway, are we ready for a fresh we're almost ready for a fresh, clean start.

Salina: Hold on.

Salina: Just go with me on this because we're very close to going to season four, but before we go on to season four of Designing Women, we have to wrap up season three.

Salina: And what better way to do that than to talk about the finale of season three.

Nikki: Well done.

Salina: Is it going in the books?

Nikki: This was a fantastic transition.

Salina: Transition book.

Nikki: That was a great transition.

Nikki: So this one is julia drives over the First Amendment.

Nikki: When a newsstand opens near the office featuring a large display advertising a pornographic magazine.

Nikki: Julia runs through it with her car, insisting that pornography is not free speech.

Nikki: She continues to do it until the publisher of the magazine, a woman who considers herself a feminist, sues her for violating her First Amendment rights.

Nikki: The air date was May 22, 1989.

Nikki: We're calling this one Airbrushed and spread eagled in a center fold.

Nikki: Salina just cracked herself up all over again.

Salina: Wait, I didn't say it.

Salina: It's not like I came up with that.

Salina: Heck, I don't have any gems like that.

Nikki: This one was written by LBT.

Nikki: And Pamela Norris and directed by David Trainer.

Salina: So, first up, where does one start?

Nikki: First up, the reason I'm pausing for a second because I actually think it was written just by Pamela Norris.

Nikki: I don't think it's and it's not.

Nikki: So I just looked it up.

Nikki: I think it's just Pamela Norris.

Salina: Okay.

Nikki: So for the record want to do that?

Nikki: Secondly, general reactions.

Salina: So first up, Salina was wrong.

Salina: Although in my defense, that means IMDb was wrong.

Nikki: Oh, yeah.

Salina: A trusted source until they're not.

Salina: General reactions.

Salina: My very first general reaction was that it was like a question, which is basically, is this really the hill that Julia is going to die on a dirty magazine poster?

Salina: I couldn't decide if LBT like, just wanted the audience to be frustrated with Julia, like, if that was in the mix, but I found myself frustrated with her.

Salina: I'm going to go, just so you know.

Salina: Why?

Salina: Because I don't think that really explains okay, but what are you frustrated about?

Salina: I'm all for standing up for something that you believe in.

Salina: Absolutely I am.

Salina: But this felt like more of an example of maybe not the best pick your battles.

Salina: And I couldn't stop thinking the whole time about how she was accumulating these damages and these fines, and she's threatened with this huge $10 million lawsuit, and those actions are going to wind up hurting the people that she works with.

Salina: It affects the business.

Salina: It affects people who have livelihoods and families that they need to take care of.

Salina: And so for me, it wound up feeling more selfish than what I wanted to feel, which is like, Julia being this champion of women's rights.

Salina: Yes.

Nikki: I'm just about to spoil the ending, is that I hated this episode.

Salina: We can skip right over.

Nikki: That really hard for me to watch multiple times.

Nikki: And in fact, I did not watch it that many times.

Nikki: I just didn't like it.

Nikki: I felt like, to your point, Julia was very immature.

Nikki: She was thoughtless and she was harming the wrong person.

Nikki: So, like, she went after this newsstand owner who is almost sort of the messenger.

Nikki: He's the guy who's just trying to pay the bills instead of going straight to the top and saying, like, I have to look at this every day.

Nikki: There are kids who live down the street.

Nikki: Is there some way we can cover the magazines?

Nikki: Or she picked the lowest guy on the totem pole and then just stuck it to him over and over again.

Salina: Right.

Salina: Like yanking someone a fast food drive through window out beating the crap out of him, being like, thanks for making America obese.

Salina: Exactly.

Nikki: I see these people get uppity with people who work in stores sometimes.

Nikki: Unfortunately, I don't see that many confrontations, but I saw one recently and it was just like, this poor person standing here did nothing wrong.

Nikki: They're literally just doing their job.

Nikki: So you've gone to the wrong person and you're taking it out on the wrong person.

Nikki: So this entire episode felt like that to me.

Nikki: I also felt like, of all people, Julia should have known the repercussions of driving into a newsstand because she's dating Reese, who's a lawyer, so she should have known.

Salina: This was very Pragmatic of you.

Nikki: This is what was going to come out of it, was that she was going to get sued.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: And I couldn't decide.

Salina: And that's why I think I'm like, why is this the hill?

Nikki: Right.

Salina: Because I feel like it doesn't necessarily fill in line with her character to me.

Salina: Because it's butting up against violence.

Salina: Right.

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: It didn't strike me as out of character at all, other than that disconnect of, like, I can't just run something over without any repercussions.

Nikki: That part was just a little hard to believe.

Nikki: But it feels like Julia to be so hard headed and stubborn to just do whatever she wants.

Nikki: Like, the whole world, it's her world and everybody else is just in it.

Salina: I just ripped the poster down.

Salina: I just felt like there was, like.

Nikki: A lot of destructive way to do it.

Salina: I mean, it just doesn't really make any sense.

Nikki: I have one other thing I want to mention in general reactions, okay.

Nikki: And maybe this will play out if you have some other general reactions.

Nikki: And I know you wanted to touch a little bit on the arguments that Julia had.

Nikki: The showdown with Miss Wilder at the end between Charlene and Suzanne, I hated every second of that.

Salina: Okay.

Nikki: They looked like butts.

Nikki: She looked so in control of her emotions and so boss lady ish and they looked like such jerks.

Salina: Funny you say that.

Salina: I'm going to skip to my strays because I think this fits in really nice with that.

Salina: And I do want to come back and talk about those arguments because that was really the mantle piece for me on general reactions.

Salina: But one of my strays is that I thought that Suzanne was markedly different in this episode in contrast to the character that they have evolved her into over the course of the last three seasons.

Salina: Oh, yeah.

Nikki: Tell me what you mean.

Salina: I found that especially in the scene that you're referencing right now, she actually sounds like Julia to me.

Salina: She no longer sounds like Suzanne in her closing comments.

Salina: And I don't know if and this is going to kind of connect to the name of the episode, even that we're renaming it to, but when she's walking on the way out the door, she says, but I was just wondering, if you think it's so peachy keen, honey, how come we don't see you airbrush and spread eagles in a centerfold?

Salina: Just asking.

Salina: Now, that is almost a direct quote for what Julia says in the pilot of the entire show.

Salina: Oh, she says something almost just like that, but about men versus women.

Salina: Which is also, I think, why I'm a little surprised to hear that LBT.

Salina: Is not involved in writing it.

Salina: Because that means Pamela is really doing her homework because she almost went and pulled an exact quote.

Salina: So just to say, like, you didn't enjoy the way they acted in there.

Salina: I didn't think it was tone with Suzanne's character.

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: I thought she was maybe sort of channeling Julia because she was there on Julia's behalf and she's been pretty clear.

Salina: That she's not a feminist.

Salina: Yeah, and she was coming across with some pretty feminist ideals right there in that office.

Nikki: That was my last general reaction.

Nikki: I promised that.

Nikki: But I feel like this episode was intended to be like Julia.

Nikki: Suzanne and Charlene were the champions for feminism, and Miss Wilder was the bad guy.

Nikki: And I just don't feel like those two things are mutually exclusive.

Salina: I'm glad that you said that because actually, I think my problem is I don't know what the intention of the episode.

Nikki: Right.

Salina: I could be wrong.

Salina: I don't think that LBT Thinks it's okay to drive into a newsstand.

Salina: I'm actually not sure that she thinks that Julia's actions were correct.

Nikki: Right.

Salina: I'm almost wondering if what is playing out in this episode that is supposed to be a sitcom is almost like either Pamela or LBT.

Salina: Or someone wrestling with these two very challenging concepts and freedom of speech, because we're going to get into that next.

Salina: And then also women's rights and how sometimes they're bumping up against one another and maybe there isn't necessarily an answer unless you're some sort of freedom of speech purist or women's rights purist.

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: I do feel like, though, I walked away from the episode thinking their intention was to make Miss Wilder look like the jerk.

Salina: Although the more we talk, I think it's complicated.

Salina: Yeah, I think it's complicated.

Nikki: I remember turning it off and thinking, they really want me to think that a woman who appears in pornography is 100% of the time put upon and without a choice.

Nikki: And I just don't believe that.

Nikki: I don't think pornography is great.

Nikki: I do think that there are some people who are in p*** who don't have any other choices.

Nikki: And so I don't think it's a great environment for them.

Nikki: But I also don't think every woman who appears in a centerfold is put upon in some way.

Nikki: She's taken that check to the bank and she's probably living a pretty good life otherwise.

Salina: Well, I don't know if this is something so pornography is one of a few different reasons why, from what I remember I'm sure someone might disagree with me, but from what I remember, was one of a few big reasons that the second wave of feminism fell apart because people were so staunchly on one side or the other.

Salina: So this is something another one being abortion.

Salina: There were some race issues that came up.

Salina: There were a number of things that really were circling that you just couldn't get women on the same side about, and this is one of them.

Salina: And I do have something that I can say about pornography, but we'll get there.

Salina: Don't worry, guys.

Salina: We'll get to the p***.

Salina: So, Nikki, let me ask you something.

Salina: Do you have a lot of straight observations?

Salina: Let's hit those first, and then can we talk about the free speech thing?

Salina: Because I think that's almost like a part in and of itself.

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: So Anthony's run in with caffeine pills.

Salina: Oh, yeah.

Nikki: Reminded me of my dance with the sugar free rock stars my senior year of college.

Nikki: Have I told you this story before?

Salina: I think so.

Nikki: I legitimately detoxed after graduation.

Nikki: I shook for days, I withdrew for days.

Nikki: That's what that reminded me of.

Nikki: And so I 100% identified with that whole situation.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: I thought the reason I was laughing is not you detox.

Nikki: I know.

Nikki: I was hilarious.

Salina: I was laughing because for some reason I thought you were going to mention.

Nikki: That Saved by the Bell episode.

Salina: And I immediately wanted to laugh.

Nikki: So I have two fashion notes, okay?

Nikki: One, Mary Joe's outfit and the opening scene.

Salina: Is it's something there's a lot going on there.

Nikki: It's almost like a beaded Balero jacket, right?

Nikki: Like it's kind of cropped.

Salina: Maybe like a bull fighter wear.

Salina: And then the wrong colors, maybe like.

Nikki: A bright blue shirt underneath.

Nikki: And then some sort of like, harem pants, is what it looks like.

Salina: I think those were really in style then for the whole look.

Nikki: And then the other thing I wanted to mention is that suzanne's hair in the opening scene is, like, dangerously close to a mullet.

Nikki: The first time I looked up and saw her, I was like, she has a mullet?

Nikki: Because that's what that looks like to me.

Salina: Yeah.

Nikki: It wasn't a good look.

Salina: Yeah.

Nikki: Sorry.

Salina: Delta burke 89 is tough.

Nikki: Those were my strays.

Nikki: I told you there weren't many.

Nikki: Okay.

Nikki: They were very stray.

Salina: I only have one other one because we already talked about mine being suzanne being so different.

Salina: It's just, you know, money got mentioned, so I had to go get out the inflation calculator.

Nikki: Oh, boy.

Salina: The damages julia caused at the newsstand and the fine came out to $604, which is roughly $1,500 today.

Salina: She hit it three times during the episode, so that would be $4,500.

Salina: That's a lot of money.

Nikki: That's a lot of money.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: The $10 million lawsuit will be roughly 24 million.

Salina: So just to say that if we're talking about how maybe she was, like, barking up the wrong tree and the kind of damage that she really would have been doing, I think those numbers sort of punctuate that point, what a.

Nikki: Stupid way to fight back against something.

Salina: That'S not the best.

Salina: Let's take this detour, if we can, about freedom of speech, because that really is a huge undercurrent in this episode that I don't think either one of us could probably ignore.

Salina: We just remind people that we're both journalism of the journalism persuasion.

Nikki: I don't know what that means.

Nikki: I don't think I want to be in that crew.

Salina: What is the journalism persuasion?

Salina: So, we both went to journalism school, and so com's law, studying the first amendment, understanding the first amendment is something that we both went through.

Salina: It's hard.

Salina: It's hard.

Salina: Y'all challenging it was one of the hardest classes I took, but I loved it.

Salina: I loved it so much that I was like, maybe I should have gone into law.

Salina: And that's how much I loved it.

Nikki: I didn't think that you were like.

Salina: Thank god I'm getting out of this.

Nikki: So glad.

Nikki: This was one semester hard.

Salina: I think we spent almost the entire semester, if not, like, most of it, breaking down every clause of the first amendment.

Salina: And so anytime that someone starts throwing around, like, I understand the first amendment, it just automatically sends up red flags for me.

Salina: And so what we've done is or what I did is I went and I pulled three main arguments that I heard julia make over the course of the episode, and I just thought that maybe you and I could share those with the listeners, and then you and I can react to those three arguments.

Salina: So, the very first thing that she says is, I believe in the first amendment as much as anybody else.

Salina: But I also know that when our forefathers were fighting and dying at valley forge, they were not really doing it to protect a publication called Hot Tushies.

Salina: You want to start or do you want me to start?

Nikki: You can start.

Salina: So the first thing I want to say is that, first of all, you could hear us just bursting out in laughter, but fair enough.

Salina: I do understand that this is meant to be a joke, but if we're going to think about purely about the argument here, I think my issue is that I not pin first American protections to 18th century proclivities because it's surprising to me that a character like Julia Wood there were a lot of things that matter to us today that these men and I do mean men, upper class men, landowning men in America, that didn't matter to them, and they were not fighting for them.

Salina: And we also have amendments to provide us with flexibility that the Constitution alone does not offer.

Nikki: Yeah, this argument reminds me a lot of the Second Amendment arguments people make.

Salina: You want this conversation to get juicy.

Nikki: It's like just general presumption that something that was written almost 230 years ago is, like, beyond reproach, and.

Salina: It just.

Nikki: Stands the test of time forever.

Nikki: And when it was written, there were so many things that the forefathers weren't taking into account because they couldn't they couldn't tell the future.

Nikki: So they didn't know anything about the Internet.

Nikki: People 50 years ago didn't know about the Internet, so they could never have taken that into account.

Nikki: They couldn't have taken into account mass magazine production, the pornography, video industry.

Nikki: They couldn't have accounted for any of that.

Nikki: So she's right.

Nikki: They didn't do it for that, but only because they didn't know about that.

Salina: So it's like sometimes the arguments in here felt like, I just want to be like, so what?

Salina: Yeah, okay.

Nikki: Right.

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: That argument was like, we want I think it's this beautiful idea to think that this document that written was written so long ago and will stand the test of time and will guide our union into this beautiful future.

Nikki: But the truth is, it was written before so many other things changed the landscape of our society.

Nikki: And so there has to be some interpretation of it sometimes.

Salina: Why does it have to be so flush this way or flush the other way?

Salina: Why can't there just be some middle ground?

Salina: And I think that's what I don't want to speak for you, but I think that's some of the conversations that we've had over the years just in our friendship where just frustration over people just guardrail to guardrail in so many things in life.

Salina: And I don't care if you're talking about politics or the workplace or just, like, how you feel about something on TV.

Salina: It's just like, can we not find some common middle ground?

Nikki: And I think that's what bothered me so much about this episode was that none of the characters found middle ground, which is strange for this show because there's usually a.

Nikki: Mary Joe or a charlene who says, but did you think about it this way?

Nikki: But we only got Julia saying no p*** and Miss Wilder saying, I make a lot of money off p***, so p*** all day long.

Nikki: And there was no one really in the middle.

Salina: I thought Mary Joe was that's in my likes, and I can go into that a little bit more then or now, but I think she's definitely bristling at Julia.

Salina: But Julia just shuts her down, and that kind of plays into some of these arguments as well.

Nikki: No, I feel like then they should have played that up, because I didn't get that at all.

Salina: I agree.

Nikki: It was telling Julia, like, just stop running into the news.

Nikki: She wasn't even the same as saying, like, you're being excessive.

Salina: She wasn't even telling her.

Salina: She was saying it in separate scenes.

Salina: Yeah, but I think that comes into play with the fact that Mary Joe is a character that's been developed, who has such a hard time voicing her opinion that I don't think that she felt like she could go up against Julia, but she actually made some good points.

Salina: So the second argument am I moving on too quickly?

Salina: Okay, the second argument is, do you honestly believe that anyone has a constitutional right to show a poster of a woman being degraded, chained up with a dog collar and whipped?

Salina: You couldn't show a black man depicted that way because it would be considered incendiary speech.

Salina: Now, I think she said it weird, whatever she said, and the script didn't catch it exactly correctly, but I can't imagine that she meant anything other than incendiary speech.

Salina: But anyways and then she goes on to say, so why would we demand any less for women?

Salina: You want to go ahead and knock this out or take this on?

Nikki: Well, I remember watching this at the very beginning of the season when we were just sort of doing our prescreen, and this made me gasp.

Nikki: I was just like, Wait, what?

Nikki: Hold on.

Nikki: Did she really just say that?

Nikki: It just surprised me.

Nikki: And then as we were rewatching in preparation for this recording, I processed my feelings a little bit more around it and got beyond just that initial knee jerk reaction.

Nikki: And I really still think I think it was super inappropriate.

Salina: It's not the first time she's made that argument.

Nikki: Yes, that sounds familiar.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: In the Monique Monica argument, she said the same thing, and you and I both were like, what?

Nikki: It's just not I don't think those are two things that are fair to put side by side.

Salina: Didn't care for it then, don't care for it now.

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: No, it just felt wrong.

Nikki: Even on first watch and then on multiple watches, it was like, but this is a totally different thing.

Salina: Well, also, what do we gain from pitting two historically marginalized groups against one another?

Salina: What does that gain us?

Salina: And I think that's a little frustrating.

Salina: I have some other thoughts, and it.

Nikki: Also sort of almost assumes that we're past the racial issues.

Nikki: It almost just assumes that we all know that would be wrong to do to a black person, which one I don't think is true.

Nikki: I think there's the not insubstantial amount of Americans, which we learned in as recently as 2020, but even like today, there's not an insubstantial number of Americans who probably would fight to see that somewhere.

Nikki: Like, who would say, it's free speech.

Nikki: We should be able to do that.

Nikki: So the way she says it is almost like black people, that's all sorted out.

Nikki: That's not a problem anymore.

Nikki: It's women we really need to worry about.

Nikki: And yeah, to your point, like, why?

Salina: Right?

Salina: And I mean, the other thing.

Salina: So aside from that piece of it where you're just like, what are you talking about?

Salina: I'm also not sure that her example holds in a court of law.

Salina: Like, just if you just want to get down to the brass tax of it.

Nikki: I forgot you're a lawyer.

Nikki: Go ahead.

Salina: The best part will be when a lawyer is like, you're an idiot.

Nikki: She took mathcom's law one semester in college.

Nikki: Don't dare you.

Salina: Yeah, but I think it would have to pass, and it would have to pass the imminent lawless action test for incitement.

Salina: That's why incendiary speech is a big deal in the first place, because incitement is actually not protected, because then it becomes a matter of public safety.

Salina: The classic example, which I think a lot of people who are like, in law hate is that but it was said by a Supreme Court justice.

Salina: You can't shout fire in a crowded theater.

Salina: So it just doesn't really pass that same level of merit that I think she thinks it does.

Salina: And then on the other hand, the court of public opinion might deservedly eat the responsible party alive for showing that in a way that wasn't like, I don't know, in a movie reference or something.

Salina: But that's a whole different the court of public opinion doesn't have anything to do with protected speech.

Nikki: Allegedly.

Salina: Allegedly.

Salina: So there was one more argument that she made, and she says the First Amendment was designed to protect political speech, and everybody knows it.

Salina: Now, we've already wasted a day on this silliness, and I don't want to discuss it anymore.

Salina: So before we even jump in, I have to say that the worst thing I think you can do in an argument is drop your opinion and then tell people that you don't want to talk about it anymore.

Salina: That would make me so mad.

Salina: I'd be like, oh, no, we're going to talk about it.

Salina: How about till the cows come home?

Salina: I'm like, you can just ask Casey.

Nikki: We've wasted all this time on it because of you, right?

Nikki: You're the reason the rest of us were content to just look the other way.

Salina: Yeah, don't whistle and walk away on that one.

Salina: So I think that was the first thing that really bugged me about that.

Salina: And then just the other thing is just sort of this idea that everybody knows it.

Salina: I'm like, no, but probably very few people really know much about the First Amendment other than like these really big tent poles.

Nikki: Well, and it's also sort of speaking out of both sides of your mouth.

Nikki: Again, to go back to the point that the Constitution is such an old document that what was intended when it was written doesn't quite track with what the reality is.

Salina: Now, cue me up.

Nikki: Should we talk about the Second Amendment again?

Salina: Yeah, let's just talk about the Second Amendment.

Salina: Let's just not even talk about Designing Women and we'll talk about like we'll just straight up talk about abortion and gun laws for the rest of this, and we'll not make anyone angry and everyone will come flocking to our side.

Nikki: But it's sort of the same argument, which is like, maybe that's what it was intended for.

Nikki: Maybe.

Nikki: But then there has to be that level of flexibility to adjust for society.

Salina: That's the thing that's funny is like, even if you talk to scholars, they're all fighting about it.

Salina: They don't know there's a lot of disagreement there.

Salina: You know why?

Salina: Because none of us were alive.

Nikki: We weren't alive, we weren't in the room.

Salina: The thing is, even if we had been in the room, there would still be disagreements.

Salina: Because the thing is, I do think protecting political speech as part of the basis, I think that that is probably partially accurate to the best that we can put together over our knowledge of history or whatever.

Salina: But leading First Amendment scholars, some of them will tell you that there really isn't a clear, consistent vision of what the framers meant by freedom of speech.

Salina: So I found this Richmond Law article and they talk about how it is helpful to look back at original meaning, but you can't just pin all your hopes and dreams to that, which I think is very much so.

Salina: Exactly what you're saying.

Salina: Again, it's like this idea of can we please find some common ground?

Salina: Another thing that I was talking about, too, is similar to what you're saying.

Salina: So many things have evolved since the 18th century, but that's not just like the way the world has changed, but from how the First Amendment is applied and enforced to the very concept of rights themselves.

Salina: They looked at rights very differently than the way that we look at rights today.

Salina: This podcast is not long enough to go through that, but we will link to that article in case anybody wants to read and interpret for themselves, because obviously this is coming through my brain and the way that I interpreted the article.

Salina: But finally, one thing that was just circling for me about this entire thing both by 1989 and today, pornography actually is protected speech.

Salina: So with the exception of obscenity and child pornography, and that's been settled in a court of law, doesn't mean it couldn't come up again.

Salina: But I feel pretty confident that a poster of a woman in rubber underwear wearing a dog collar and chains, which is basically something I've seen in an issue of Cosmo before, is probably not going to fail the Court's Miller test for obscenity.

Salina: So she's also just kind of wrong.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: I got one thing that I want to say about pornography and then don't tell just one thing.

Salina: I got 18 things.

Salina: I do think there is a more serious conversation to be had about the pros and cons of pornography, and I think that was one of my problems with this episode, is we're like skirting around it, but we're not really saying anything that's helpful about it.

Salina: Right.

Salina: I don't want to go too far into this because that would be like its own whole thing, but I got curious about what does the science say about the pros and cons of p***?

Salina: And I found, of all places, a Medical News Today article where they broke down all the most recent research and where they're able to look at what's good about it and what's risky about it.

Salina: Well, you can link to that for you to peruse at your leisure.

Salina: But here's the summary from there that I think is really helpful and kind of lets you know where at least the science is in that article.

Salina: They say pornography can be good, bad or neutral.

Salina: It depends on how a person uses it, the type the person consumes and the effect their use has on their relationship and life.

Salina: The current evidence for its positives and negatives is mixed.

Salina: More research is needed on the psychological and physical implications.

Salina: It can be beneficial.

Salina: It can also carry risk.

Salina: All I could think was heavens and stars.

Salina: That sounds like everything else on earth.

Salina: Yeah.

Nikki: I mean, I think of pornography in the same vein that I think of alcohol and cigarettes and ecigarettes and meth and drugs.

Nikki: Maybe not meth like weed.

Nikki: These things where excess is the problem, it's not the thing.

Nikki: Food can be that way.

Nikki: It's not in sugar.

Nikki: It's not the thing.

Nikki: It's the excess of the thing.

Nikki: And so I think that's where trying to shut down pornography altogether.

Nikki: If Julia's whole thing is about protecting the American way, which is what it is when she uses constitutional arguments, then what she's suggesting is shutting down any freedom of choice for people.

Salina: Right.

Nikki: Because you can't choose to watch p***, right.

Nikki: If you can choose to watch p*** within a moral compass that works for you in a way that's not objectifying children, that's not physically harming women, then you are presumably consuming it.

Nikki: And in a way that doesn't ruin your family or tear apart your life, then you're consuming it in a moderated way, similar to the way people would have beer on game day.

Nikki: The whole thing sort of falls apart.

Salina: Well, and I think people get this idea like, this is somehow newer from the moment that someone could pick up a charcoal pencil for sure and put down a nudie, you know, they were doing it.

Salina: And what's to say.

Nikki: Again, going back to the thing about we don't know what was in the founding father's heads, how do we know that's not what they were trying to protect?

Nikki: Because they had a couple of what would you call those?

Nikki: Like, what are they?

Nikki: Lithograph magazines that the queen of England would have had them hung for having.

Nikki: And all they wanted to say was, like, we should have the right to have these in our bedrooms if we want them.

Nikki: I hate this episode.

Salina: Which is great because we are about to segue into that part about what we liked, and it'll be really quick for Nikki.

Nikki: Actually, what's really funny is my list of things I liked is much longer than my list of things I didn't like.

Salina: Okay.

Nikki: In that a real mind twist.

Nikki: It might be I keep you on your toes.

Salina: I like to be kept on my toes.

Salina: Why don't you start us off with some things you like then?

Nikki: So Anthony's caffeine pill display at the beginning, and I mentioned that earlier on in my strays, that was everything to me.

Nikki: It was so well delivered and it just it made me laugh so hard.

Nikki: And I think the rest of my likes were very similar to that.

Nikki: It was the comedic timing of the episode that saved it for me.

Nikki: We're dealing with this very heady deep issue.

Nikki: And then in the meantime, Charlene's categorizing her pop culture obsession as what did she say?

Nikki: An incredible thirst for knowledge.

Nikki: And Suzanne says every time Julia enters or leaves this house, she's going to see that picture and she's going to be ranting and she's going to be raven.

Nikki: She's going to be carrying on like some kind of hyena, and we're all going to have to pretend like we care.

Nikki: And then you hear the car crash and Julia comes in.

Nikki: I may I give this one to Julia.

Nikki: I myself may not be able to define pornography, but I know it when I run over it.

Nikki: That was really funny.

Nikki: Suzanne says, I find it's just about impossible to be too mad about injustice if I know I look really good.

Nikki: And then Anthony called out.

Nikki: The irony of them always talking about his time in jail.

Nikki: And collectively, the women have spent more time running in with the law over the course of these three seasons than we've ever seen Anthony in jail or talking to a police officer and all of those things combined.

Nikki: That was the nuggets of the episode, that I was like, okay, this is enjoyable.

Salina: Can I add one?

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: Mary Joe thinking the magazine jugs was a new design magazine about pottery and porcelain.

Salina: I love that.

Salina: I love that for her.

Nikki: Love that for her.

Nikki: Just that light, nice little bubble.

Salina: Especially for it to be her.

Nikki: So I had several examples of writing that I liked.

Salina: Yeah, I also thought that Suzanne's speech about the lost art of begging was good as they were on the way to beg for Julia.

Salina: So that one actually sat with me for a while.

Salina: I was like, yeah, whatever it takes, man.

Salina: Whatever it takes.

Nikki: Whatever it takes.

Salina: That's right.

Salina: This is circling back to something you said.

Salina: So Mary Joe, I actually saw as the voice of reason in this episode, but I think sometimes you can be wrong.

Salina: If you didn't hear it, then it wasn't enough.

Salina: And I think that is a fair and valid .1 of the arguments that she makes.

Salina: But like I said, she made it every time Julia was out of the room.

Salina: Okay, but she said she was talking about Julia's protest as actually being censorship, which it's just like these two things that don't really align for obvious reasons.

Salina: So she used some other good examples, like people protesting capital punishment by lynching anybody who's for it.

Salina: Like, oh, that's how much sense it makes.

Salina: She also talks about I have this in references, but since we're talking specifically about this piece about her being able to be some kind of voice of reason in the episode and things that I liked, she also talked about Salman Rusty's book that he wrote in the late 80s called The Satanic Verses or something like that.

Salina: Okay, so he writes that book and then the Alatola Camini winds up putting out a fatwa on him.

Salina: And this was like a huge deal in the late eighty s.

Salina: And then radio stations, mary Joe talks about radio stations here to I'm sorry, I skipped something.

Salina: So Kat Stevens comes there's a lot of different things that are going on here.

Salina: This is going to be great.

Nikki: And so Kat Stevens takes the Ayatollah side, right?

Salina: Right.

Salina: And he takes the Ayatollah side.

Salina: And when he does, Americans get really p***** off and they decide to start.

Nikki: Burning his records because they think he should have had freedom of speech.

Nikki: And the fact that the Ayatollah is trying to have him murdered for having freedom of speech is anti American, essentially.

Salina: Right?

Salina: And so just kind of like the Mary Joe's point being in her different examples is like so you silence Kat.

Nikki: Stevens because you're angry that he's trying to silence Salman Rushdie.

Salina: Right.

Salina: What about the things that we didn't like besides the episode?

Nikki: So I used a lot of examples of the writing and as things I liked.

Nikki: And I would say that I had so many examples because the writing was so good.

Nikki: I really just hated the storyline.

Nikki: It just felt like dated, even for the 80s, it just felt like this conversation we just felt like we had moved past or something and felt so polarizing for no end results.

Salina: This is like one of those cases, and I didn't look into it, but I am at something had been going on at the time.

Salina: Maybe not, but maybe it is all the conversations around salmon rushing.

Salina: Maybe there was something going on with the adult entertainment industry at the time, but something definitely had her wheels turning.

Nikki: Sorry, can I just say one more thing?

Nikki: Also as I was saying that I was also thinking I said right there at the end, it came to no useful conclusion because in the very end, julia just runs through the sign again and it speaks to a level of privilege that Julia has that she can just throw this money away to nothing instead of taking that $4,600 or whatever that math added up to be and put it towards a scholarship for women who are trying to go to college, and they're using their centerfold position at Playboy as a way to pay for college.

Nikki: Oh, you don't have to do that anymore.

Nikki: Here's $4,500.

Nikki: You can use this semester.

Nikki: Like, there's so many other useful things she could have done, but she had that privilege that she could do that.

Salina: Why was this the hill she had to die?

Nikki: Makes no sense.

Salina: It makes no sense.

Nikki: And to go out this season on this note of such a polarized, unnecessary storyline right.

Salina: With no resolve.

Nikki: I also hated that.

Salina: So my didn't like is just one thing, and I just have ugh.

Salina: Julia.

Nikki: I just was not jerk in this episode.

Salina: Yeah, it was not working for me.

Salina: So probably no reason to blabber our rating.

Nikki: Should that be on my rating scale?

Salina: Oh, I like that.

Salina: How many are you giving?

Nikki: Actually, I don't want to shift for my actual rating scale, which is zippy up pills, which is what Anthony was taking.

Salina: That's good.

Nikki: I'm giving it 2.5 out of five, which feels very generous.

Nikki: But the writing I had so many examples of solid writing that I didn't want to lose that.

Nikki: There were just a lot of really funny lines.

Nikki: So 2.5?

Salina: I give it 3.4 out of five posters of ill repute.

Salina: So it didn't bother me in the way it bothered you, but I definitely think of it as a flawed episode.

Salina: So I think 3.4 is rounding out to be my rating.

Salina: So who won the episode or who butted our biscuits?

Nikki: I think Terry Wilder, the publisher, won.

Nikki: I thought she was really calm and polished.

Nikki: She didn't bend to the women's ridiculousness.

Nikki: Plus, she's getting money out of Julia one way or the other.

Salina: That's true.

Nikki: So I think she came out the winner.

Salina: Okay, well, I kind of thought that similar to him with the episode, the episode didn't bother me as much as you did, I don't think, as much as I did.

Salina: Not you.

Nikki: Let's have that conversation.

Salina: This is what happens when I try and hold three points in my head at one time.

Salina: So the episode didn't bother me as much as it did you.

Salina: In thinking with that, I think Suzanne and Charlene bothered you more in the office with her than with the publisher than they did me.

Nikki: Okay.

Salina: Because I actually thought that they were our unsung heroes.

Salina: Because, frankly, I think they're the main reason that the publisher let Julia out of the lawsuit.

Nikki: Oh, for sure.

Salina: So that was my winner.

Salina: But also, I kind of think maybe in a larger sense, the adult entertainment industry is the winner because they're doing better than ever now.

Nikki: You're doing fine.

Salina: They have their own award show.

Nikki: Got it all sorted out.

Salina: It's all sorted.

Salina: And so who lost the episode or served us lumpy gravy?

Nikki: I don't think we even need to have this conversation.

Nikki: It was Julia.

Salina: Yeah.

Nikki: She's the worst.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: We won't have to revisit that again.

Salina: 80s things.

Nikki: Just the concept of Madonna or Sybil Shepherd having a fight with someone.

Nikki: I feel like Charlene maybe mentioned that when she was talking about the tabloids.

Salina: She looks at that's good.

Salina: Mine was just so many paper magazines.

Salina: So not 80s, just dated.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: And then just the very concept of newsstands that you don't really see them unless you're in, like, an airport.

Salina: Thank you.

Nikki: A desperate situation, the airport.

Nikki: Sorry.

Salina: Except for all of our esteemed newsstand owners.

Nikki: God, I love a magazine, though.

Nikki: I love a magazine.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: I don't want to poo poo on them or anything.

Salina: It's just you don't see them a lot.

Nikki: They're so expensive.

Nikki: It's like $5 if you're lucky for a periodic for something that you're going to read and be done with.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: So expensive and wasteful.

Salina: And they are awesome.

Nikki: But it's not the same concept.

Nikki: Like, I've tried reading them on a Kindle or on the iPad or whatever.

Nikki: It's not the same.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: And for whatever reason, I just struggle with the cost of digital content, which I think just speaks to my age.

Salina: It's a real can't wrap my head around it.

Salina: Same way that I can't wrap my head around paying for space on my phone.

Salina: Where am I doing now?

Nikki: The lime wire napster generation.

Nikki: So you'll never pay for this.

Salina: We were just outright thieving.

Salina: And so I don't understand this payment concept.

Salina: Sorry.

Salina: We're conditioned saying it.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: Did you have other 80s things?

Nikki: No.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: That was really all of mine, but Southern things, I didn't have any there either.

Salina: I actually started to rewatch it today, and I didn't get except for, like, one and a half minutes in because I was like, I have no Southern things.

Salina: But this is not something that hasn't happened before.

Salina: So I didn't hear any Southern Poland reference, and now I just want to come up with names for those magazines.

Salina: But we'll go on to references we need to talk about.

Nikki: Well, you actually mentioned this earlier, the assassination attempts on Salman Rushdie and the fatwa from the Ayatollah Khamenei.

Nikki: I think you covered it in really good detail, something like that.

Nikki: The thing that I will add is that Salman Rushdie was attacked as early as earlier this year.

Nikki: Recently, within the last couple of months.

Nikki: Oh yeah, he was giving a speech at, I want to say NYU, but somewhere in New York for sure, and was attacked, and he's lost the vision in one of his eyes as a result of the attack.

Salina: Oh, wow.

Salina: We need to pay attention to the news.

Nikki: And he's lost the use of one of his hands.

Nikki: For anyone who doesn't know, afatwa is essentially an edict by a central figure in Islam.

Nikki: In this case, it was the Ayatollah Khamenei.

Nikki: And over the years so that was issued in 1988, was sort of this edict that he needed to be killed because he was in direct conflict with the Islamic religion, because he was sort of saying some not so great things about a central book of Islam.

Nikki: And so the Ayatollah put out this edict to say, like, murder this man, he needs to be killed.

Nikki: And over the years, there have been conversations about whether that could be revoked because is it really necessary?

Nikki: But A fatwa cannot be revoked by anyone, so it's still in place.

Nikki: He was attacked earlier this year, and it sounds like this is the most violent attack that he's ever experienced.

Nikki: But yeah, it's really sad.

Salina: Wow, that is sad.

Nikki: That was the only reference I had we need to talk about.

Salina: So I think actually I went down like a pretty big Kat Stevens rabbit hole, so I won't take everyone down the 45 minutes rabbit hole I went down.

Salina: But I guess outside of the fact that I have some Kat Stevens songs that I really appreciate, I didn't know anything about this situation.

Salina: I did not know that he had converted to Islam, and he did in the late seventy s, I believe there was a New York Times article, because I wasn't sure.

Salina: It doesn't say anything in the episode about what he says that makes Americans mad.

Salina: But he went and he participated in this televised British panel where they're discussing this larger situation with Rushdie and the Ayatollah.

Salina: And when they do, they have his comments there in quotes, and they're pretty threatening.

Salina: They're not just like, I disagree with what Rushdie did.

Salina: You know what I'm saying?

Salina: It's a little bit more pronounced than that.

Nikki: We'll say incendiary, would you say?

Salina: I might say it is.

Salina: And there was also an AP article from the time that talked about several radio stations dropping his music altogether, while others had no Cat Stevens weekends.

Salina: I'm saying this because I actually wasn't able to track back where any radio stations were burning his records.

Salina: I did find where lots of Americans were gathering and burning them.

Salina: I don't know lots, but it is referenced that there were these large bonfires that were put on.

Salina: I actually think what sounds the most American is this and that's that.

Salina: There's a radio personality in La.

Salina: He's the one who asked people to bring their records in to burn, but the fire department wouldn't grant them a permit.

Salina: And that is the most American thing that I can think of.

Nikki: We threw them in a trash can instead.

Salina: Well, they were going to steamroll them.

Salina: It was like this whole big thing.

Nikki: I hope they were going to recycle them into other records.

Salina: So I think the other problem was it's not like these radio stations.

Salina: They're just, like, all on the same page.

Salina: So there was pushback at the radio station for people being like, hey, man, this is also against freedom of speech, which we're doing right now.

Salina: So I thought that whole story was very fascinating, and it's so funny to me because it's just distilled into, like, a ten second clip from Mary Joe.

Salina: And I was like, idiot.

Salina: This is except for the salmon rusty thing.

Salina: And then my only other reference was Dan Quell as referenced.

Salina: And of course, for those of you who do not know, he was George H.

Salina: W's vice president, and he couldn't spell potato.

Nikki: Who among us can say they know how to spell potato?

Salina: Just you and me.

Salina: But there are many other things that I don't know how to do, and I honestly, I mentioned that, too, to say, I think we'll see some more about Dan Quell again.

Salina: I think LVT had a real a.

Nikki: Lot of people had an axe to cry, right?

Salina: But I think it's just like all I'll say is, especially from this experience here is who among us wants to have one clip of us taken and played over and over and over again.

Nikki: For the rest of our lives?

Salina: If you're, like, going around and giving speeches and you have a very public job, like, you know what we do when we talk a lot?

Salina: We screw up.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: And so just, like, also trying to just put on my human being hat and be like, man, that really sucks.

Nikki: This is sort of a tangent, but I think it was Salina Gomez has a new documentary out, and I've been seeing snippets of her documentary, and one of the things she said is, it's so frustrating when you say something one time?

Nikki: No, sorry, I'm confusing my celebrities.

Nikki: It's Miley Cyrus.

Nikki: She says, It is so frustrating to me how you say something one time, and it becomes your entire personality because it's all people remember about you.

Nikki: And I think about that with presidents and very public figures, how terrifying that whole livelihood is to me.

Salina: Terrifying.

Salina: It really is, because I say dumb.

Nikki: Stuff all the time.

Salina: All the time.

Salina: I'm thinking about myself.

Salina: I've said, she's so stupid.

Salina: I've said, like, 18 dumb things here, and you had.

Salina: To save me 19 times.

Salina: It's out of the 18.

Salina: So did you have any other references or cut lines?

Nikki: Just one.

Nikki: There was a cut line about Julia's stubborn streak as a child.

Nikki: So Suzanne says Julia just would not go to bed.

Nikki: I mean, they'd put her down and two minutes later, she'd come toddling into the parlor with her little footy pajamas.

Nikki: I mean, this happened about three, four times.

Nikki: And then daddy, he paddled her and he paddled her good.

Nikki: Of course, Julia wouldn't cry.

Nikki: She just stood there holding her little bottom with both hands, going stubborn.

Nikki: Then, of course, daddy said to mother he thought Julia could stay up as late as she wanted to after all.

Nikki: What did you do, Charlene?

Nikki: I wasn't even born yet, but I always did whatever they wanted.

Nikki: All they had to do was pay me.

Nikki: Yeah, well, if Julia is stubborn this time, she's going to have to hold her little bottom.

Nikki: $10 million worth.

Nikki: That's going to hurt pretty bad.

Nikki: So she's always been kind of a pain.

Nikki: Good to know.

Salina: Good to know.

Nikki: So, Bridging, back to your very first bridge into the episode.

Nikki: We're done.

Salina: Bridge us out.

Nikki: Season three is done.

Nikki: Our next episode is going to be the finale.

Nikki: Finale where we reflect on season three of Designing Women in sweet tea and.

Salina: TV time marshes on yes.

Nikki: Does.

Nikki: So we'd love everyone to follow along with us and engage Instagram and Facebook at sweettv.

Nikki: Email and our website is

Nikki: There are also several ways to support the show.

Nikki: Tell your family and friends about us, rate and or review the podcast wherever you listen.

Nikki: You can also visit the Support us tab on our page to find some additional ways you can support us, including joining our patreon, where we do occasionally do extra content just for the patreons and hang tight for Extra Sugar, where we're going to talk about censorship.

Nikki: There you go.

Salina: Well, you know what that means.

Nikki: What does it mean?

Salina: Salina, we'll see you around the bin.

Salina: Welcome to this week's edition of Extra Sugar.

Salina: I want to start off this segment with a question.

Salina: Now, this isn't really a question for you, okay?

Salina: Or at least like, let's pause so that people have a second to come up with the answer.

Salina: What do these books have in common?

Salina: The Great Gatsby by f.

Salina: Scott fitzgerald, the grapes of Wrath and of mice and Men by John Steinbeck, to Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

Salina: The Color Purple by Alice Walker.

Salina: And The Lord of the Rings by J r.

Salina: Token So hold your answer.

Salina: And now, tell me, Nikki, do you know what all these books have in common?

Nikki: They've all been banned at one point in time or another.

Salina: Oh, is that difficult for you?

Nikki: Did I get it right?

Salina: They all appear on a list of books that have been banned, challenged, or in some cases, even burned.

Nikki: Good God.

Salina: It's just like, calm down.

Salina: So for anyone thinking, sure, but that was, like, 50 years ago.

Salina: Two of these books were among the top ten most challenged books in 2020.

Salina: To Kill a Mockingbird and Of Mice and Men.

Salina: I think we all know what book burning means.

Salina: I don't think I need to explain that, but in case you don't know, a challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials.

Salina: And this is based on the objections of a person or a group.

Salina: A banning, on the other hand, is a removal of those materials entirely.

Salina: So it's a little bit different.

Salina: These are both forms of censorship or the suppression or prohibition of any parts of books, films, news, et cetera, that are considered obscene, politically unacceptable, or a threat to security.

Salina: So, Nikki, before I go on, per the usual, stop me if you have questions or if you have anything that you want to add.

Nikki: Was 50 Shades of Gray on that list?

Salina: It's a great question.

Nikki: That book is like, intense, badly written.

Nikki: It's horribly written.

Nikki: There are typos in it.

Salina: I've never read it, so it shouldn't.

Nikki: Be unfair, but there are typos.

Nikki: It's a fine story.

Nikki: Like, whatever.

Salina: It's a fine story.

Nikki: It's very graphic.

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: The Great Gatsby.

Nikki: If you're going to revoke that, then 50 Shades of Gray.

Nikki: I've seen the in red things from the public library.

Nikki: They're a little eyebrow raising.

Salina: I like to have my eyebrows raised.

Salina: Makes me feel alive.

Nikki: I don't like it because it gives me these wrinkles.

Salina: Oh, good point.

Salina: Well, I don't like to have my eleven s right.

Salina: Or tree Trunks, depending on depending on who you are.

Salina: Okay, well, so I ran across a New York Times article, and in that article, and I'm quoting here, it said, parents, activists, school board officials, and lawmakers are challenging books at a pace not seen in decades.

Salina: At the same time, schools are mired in debates over what students should learn about in US.

Salina: History.

Salina: In the last two years, dozens of state legislators introduced bills that would limit what teachers can say about race, gender, sexuality, and inequality.

Salina: I think that last point is important because it means we're not just censoring classroom materials, we're censoring educators.

Salina: And I would urge us to think about the precedent we're setting, especially legislatively, because it's all good until they take away your right to speak about what you believe in.

Salina: So what is this record pace that the New York Times is referring to?

Salina: This is something according to the American Library Association, between January 1 and August 31 of this year, there were 681 documented attempts to ban or restrict library sources.

Salina: 1651 unique titles were targeted.

Salina: This puts us on track to surpass the 729 reported attempts in 2021, a year that represented the highest number of attempted book bans since the Ala or American Library Association began compiling these lists in 1990.

Salina: The majority of these attempts, 70% have targeted multiple titles.

Salina: Two.

Salina: Whereas in the past these attempts targeted one book, there is other evidence that this censorship is more strategic.

Salina: So according to Penn American CEO Susan Nozzle, while the US has a long history of banning books, communities are taking more formalized steps to get specific books off the shelves, as in, again, like this legislation to ban books across entire states, books about people of color and LGBTQ are overwhelmingly targeted.

Salina: She also honed in on my concern, and that's the loss of free speech, and it's happening on the right and the left.

Salina: Both sides have their quote unquote reasons, and in both cases, despite intentions, it will backfire.

Salina: It is backfiring.

Salina: So how can we fight back?

Salina: And what can we do?

Salina: According to Band Books Week coalition website, here are five ways to help.

Nikki: That's going to include me paying for digital content because we're not going there.

Salina: I think it's a little broader than that.

Salina: You're in the clear.

Nikki: Cool.

Salina: The first thing that we all have to do is we all have to know our rights.

Salina: When we don't know them or we don't defend them, censorship thrives.

Salina: I do think it does get complicated, too, especially because I think when I think about ban books, I think about young people a lot.

Salina: I think about school libraries, I think about the classroom, much of like what I've already talked about kind of alludes to and so for young people.

Salina: Because when you're under 18 in this country, your First Amendment rights are they're not the same, but in the name of different protections.

Salina: So I think it's important to know that.

Salina: I remember being younger and learning about that, and that really just p***** me off.

Nikki: Thought you were going to say chapped your hide.

Salina: It also chapped my hide.

Salina: So number two, if you're an educator, librarian, or bookseller, be prepared for challenges and bans.

Salina: Number three, stay informed about what's going on in your community.

Salina: Number four, report censorship.

Salina: And we're going to provide a link where you can find different options for that.

Salina: And then number five, speak out.

Salina: And that includes books you may or may not care for, because censorship is censorship.

Salina: There's also Banned Books Week.

Salina: Try and say that five times fast for me, will you?

Salina: Which is the same website where these five different things we can do came from.

Salina: But this is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read.

Salina: It's typically held during the last week of September, bringing together the entire book community that's librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

Salina: Censorship doesn't start and end with books.

Salina: It has a long and storied history here in the US.

Salina: And one that has seeped into whatever it is that we consume.

Salina: It's often cited as a protection, and it has been in some cases, no doubt.

Salina: But many times.

Salina: It is a thinly veiled attempt to suppress free speech.

Salina: So real free speech isn't just a right in this country.

Salina: It is a responsibility.

Salina: That means that sometimes you have to be okay with someone burning an American flag.

Salina: It means that so long as it's peaceful, you have to let it go.

Salina: When the KKK decide to gather right here in your own backyard at Stone Mountain, it's just something.

Salina: It's going to happen.

Salina: It means making peace with the fact that there are aholes out there with terrible opinions.

Salina: And why?

Salina: Because I don't want to lose mine.

Salina: Because letting people say what they think, even when we disagree, is the lifeblood of any democracy.

Salina: And democracy dies in the darkness.

Salina: So what do you say we keep the light on?

Salina: And that's this week's.

Salina: Extra sugar.


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