This week on Everything is Fine

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Jenn and I are a bit all over the map in this week’s episode, chatting about everything from caffeine to microdosing to mid-life affairs, and so very much more. It’s all pretty fun, so do tune in on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.

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37 Thoughts on This week on Everything is Fine
    Jennyg
    10 Jan 2022
    5:35pm

    Great episode. Spot on analysis of The Lost Daughter and I too find Ferrante difficult to read. Also enjoyed your discussion about affairs, could be an interesting topic for an episode!!

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    Elizabeth
    10 Jan 2022
    4:41pm

    I love your content, it is a real conversation between women of a certain age about real things !!! There are literally thousands , millions(?), of podcasts to choose from. Don’t listen if you don’t like it… It seems like if you want to give constructive criticism , maybe just state what you would like more off instead of saying everything has been horrible.

    Also, I love the beach coverups and wardrobe of Olivia Colman on Lost Daughter…I keep seeing super short ones, I want ones that goes closer to the knee than the crotch! Is there a store I don’t know about that sells those types of linen/cotton things?

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    Toni
    10 Jan 2022
    7:55pm

    1) Chiming in about Elena Ferrante—I find the writing to be oddly stilted in a way that is distracting. Is the Italian likewise stilted? Maybe the translation is awkward? I read the first of the Naples books and couldn’t muster the enthusiasm to continue the series. 2) I second another commenter’s comment that it would be interesting to do an episode on infidelity, particularly in the context of long-term marriages. I can say from experience that the aftermath of my husband’s affair did not play out in the way I would have expected beforehand (btw we are still together). I agree with the notion that there are different kinds of affairs and they serve different “purposes.”

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    karin
    10 Jan 2022
    6:29pm

    Halfway through this podcast and loving it. 1) My friend group had a similar affair incident decades ago, played out exactly the same way. 2) Agree about And Just Like That–there are a lot of elements that don’t make sense, but when it hits, it hits. 3) Internally debating whether my Olivia Colman love can overcome my dislike of Elena Ferrante to watch The Lost Daughter. . .

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      liz
      11 Jan 2022
      1:07pm

      I have already re-watched the film. There is a lot going on and all performances are very good.

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    Kate
    10 Jan 2022
    11:34pm

    I’m so glad you said that about And Just Like That — I’m having trouble finding much more than total hatred, which I think says as much about us as it does about the show. That scene really landed for me. Those two have been working forever, and working together for years, and all we can talk about is their surgery or lack there of? No. Plus I really delight in seeing how they pulled out clothes and accessories from the original series and worked them in.

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    Viajera
    11 Jan 2022
    5:19pm

    Well, I guess I won’t listen to the podcast again, if people are going to punt on having difficult conversations, or just roll over when any person of color shows up with vague criticism. I really do not see automatic capitulation as a way to move forward. In fact, it may be a way of patting someone on the head, and not taking them seriously. I see this happen over and over in our society now and I really think it is unhelpful. Just because someone is of Anglo or Euro extraction does not make their views less valid, or make every word out of their mouth a sin. Just no. Having said that, you all seem like nice and honest people.

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    T
    11 Jan 2022
    7:18pm

    The wise Ursula K. Le Guin had some interesting thoughts on Ferrante:
    http://elenaferrante.com/reviews/my-brilliant-friend/ursula-k-le-guin-blog/

    I appreciate the podcast discussion and your listeners’ commentary. I’m finding I still have so much to learn in midlife.

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    Elizabeth
    11 Jan 2022
    7:32pm

    I(older white woman) probably watched 16 candles with out a thought to the racism portrayed in 16 candles..Now, married to a Chinese man, with biracial children, I had my eyes opened a bit. Then in the last few years I have really learned alot . My children are adults, but I realized so many things I could have done better…some small – like how come all my Christmas angels on were white, why not any brown ones?? I have continued to learn from my daughter, who was an emergency medicine resident at Bellevue in NYC at beginning of the pandemic, the types of micro aggressions that she faces, that I didn’t even understand a-being a woman and asian ie Patients requesting a White doctor.. Anyway, I am still learning and will continue. I have learned to say some things are not for me, and not gross.

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    Jen
    11 Jan 2022
    11:51am

    I’m a fan of your podcast and grew up on a steady diet of Sassy. Lucky was my go-to magazine when I entered the workforce and had some money to spend on clothes. However, I found the casual racism towards Asians in this episode disappointing. First there was the proclamation by Kim that poke is gross but sushi is ok. Poke is rooted in Polynesian culture and sushi is Japanese. As an Asian American I’ve been dealing with white people telling me foods I eat are gross all the time. Then there was discussion of the movie Sixteen Candles. The portrayal of the Asian character in that movie is just so blatantly racist that in 2022 it should be obvious to even the most insensitive viewer. I just hated that you both downplayed the movie’s racism then proceeded to discuss the SATC reboot and how clunky white women can be around racism. So tone deaf. I grew up in the 80’s in a New England and the Sixteen Candles portrayal of the Asian foreign exchange student was so complicated for me. I was excited to see an Asian face on the big screen, but felt a simultaneous sense of shame that this was how white America viewed Asians. As a joke or something that no one could or would ever find cool. I remember how it made me squirm when my white friends laughed at all the scenes where Long Duk Dong (aka ” The Chinaman” as the host family calls him) was the punchline. Sigh. I understand that you love aspects of the movie, but to say that “it’s racist…but” really negates the discussions of equity on your show. It’s always the casual, subtle racism from people whom I admire that guts me.

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      Viajera
      11 Jan 2022
      12:50pm

      I hope it is okay to say that I feel sympathy for your experiences. Watching old movies can be fraught bc there are these sudden sort of trap doors – be it related to gender, race, or some such. … … … Having said that, I need to push back on the idea that continuing to view flawed works (and isn’t that all of them?) means the viewer is implicated. I totally reject this idea. Art is not the real world, for one thing – and if one is not prepared for that, then maybe the imaginary world of the arts isn’t the place for someone. One character of Asian descent is just that – one character in a *story.* This is not anyone’s “view” of Asian people, probably not even the director’s. I am sorry to be direct, but it is extremely frustrating for me to see conversations like this. I mean, it is true – while I watch, say, Larry David’s work over the years, I wonder a bit about him. But I don’t draw *conclusions.* This is all make-believe. And we are all free to make our own movies or just watch something else. I think it is totally fair to complain about the portrayal, but within the work only. As I’ve said before though, I am a crank. Will see what others say.

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        Jen
        11 Jan 2022
        1:26pm

        Feel free to push back. I stand by what I wrote. The bigger picture of how white women converse amongst themselves and define what’s permissible is the huge a bummer for me. I follow JR on Insta and there are so many posts about white women needing to own up to their role in shaping and perpetuating bias. The casualness with which Kim and Jen admit the portrayal is racist but sentimental nonetheless is bothersome. Much of this podcast content is about white bias and racism especially amongst middle aged women. You can’t be sorta anti racist if you are promoting anti racism.

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          Jen
          11 Jan 2022
          1:41pm

          My guess is that most of EIF listeners are white? I’m pretty disappointed that no one else commented on the Sixteen Candles reference (which has come up in past episodes). Also the commenter who replied to my comment reaffirms to me that there’s this overall belief that racism towards Asians is fine and harmless. Rewatch the movie. The character is referred to as Chinaman and emasculated for laughs. How is anyone even defending this portrayal as not a big deal is beyond me.

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            Viajera
            11 Jan 2022
            2:09pm

            But no one *is* defending it. They are just watching a movie. Let me put it this way – other than mentioning that the movie has some racist aspect to it – which they *did* – what, *exactly,* is it you want them to do? Btw … I am a person of color too. I can see you are very upset. Is it really about this, though?

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              Jen
              11 Jan 2022
              2:26pm

              Yes it is. The depiction of Asians in Western media as either: a) clueless awkward nerds b) wise Kung fu masters or c) hypersexualized handmaids is maddening. Why do offensive depictions of Asians get a free pass? Here’s a good take on the problem with this character (written in 2015). https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2015/02/06/384307677/whats-so-cringe-worthy-about-long-duk-dong-in-sixteen-candles

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                Viajera
                11 Jan 2022
                3:32pm

                To what “free pass” do you refer? Again, what is it specifically that you want people to do? I’m not asking to be rude, I am asking because it’s not clear. Do you want them to not watch any movie with stereotyped depictions? (which, sorry but I don’t think will happen…) Do you want them to watch if they want, but just be louder about their outrage? People can’t do what you want unless they know what that is.

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      Jennifer Romolini
      11 Jan 2022
      3:42pm

      Jen, I am so so sorry. Thank you for sharing this with us. I’m sorry that we behaved ignorantly and that our learning came at your expense. I never want to participate in the culture that denigrates women of color. I always want to support them. This, as they say, ain’t it.

      You’re 100 percent right. I can totally see how we were clumsy/insensitive/ careless here and that this tone-deafness is a function of our privilege. We should not have been talking about poke that way, we should not be talking positively about a racist movie, and we should not—jesus—follow that up with how white women need to shut the fuck up when we ourselves don’t always know when to shut the fuck up. You’re right and I am sorry.

      And, please, everyone in the comments, let’s not argue or debate this or make the person who was already made to feel uncomfortable, feel worse, or use their emotional labor to make us feel better.

      I’m super grateful to know when I’ve fucked up , I know I’m not owed forgiveness, but am grateful when someone allows me to repair.

      Thank you so much for putting yourself out there, Jen, and saying something. I imagine schooling ignorant white women is exhausting and I deeply appreciate you and your effort and giving us an opportunity to show up better in the future.

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      y.k.
      12 Jan 2022
      4:42pm

      I’m Asian- American, grew up in NY, and had the same experience you did watching 16C – excited/ embarrassed/ squirming – all of it, I totally agree with you (& I’m glad you commented). When I heard the podcast, the “yeah it’s racist but…” and the offhand Poke comment – I immediately thought, well, that’s sad, they don’t even know when they’re being casually racist. Racism towards Asians is still acceptable, it’s rare when it’s noticed. Having said that, I still enjoyed the podcast and wouldn’t write off KF & JR as racist.

      There’s been a lot of progress and things are so much better now, so I make an effort to focus on that. But I’m glad that you made this comment because I’ve given up on educating people- which is wrong.

      and I have to add, if everyone were like Viajera & JR & KF in their openness & willingness to listen and just to be kind the world would be a better place. I know it sounds cheezy but I mean it.

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      Kim France
      11 Jan 2022
      3:19pm

      Jen, I’m sorry that my comments struck you as racist. That was very much not my intention, but intention doesn’t count for much in cases like this, so sorry I chose words that offended you. Thanks for pointing it out to me. I’ll do better.

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    Mimi A
    11 Jan 2022
    11:09am

    I read “My Brilliant Friend” and didn’t like it much. But I loved both seasons of the HBO series. I think the difference was that in reading the novel, I grew impatient with the frenemy aspect of the friendship because I was viewing it as an adult woman. My take was if your “friend” is such an unsupportive bitch and hurts you so much, divorce her! But while watching the series I saw the friends as the very young women they were, which made their bond much more understandable. I fell asleep last night watching “The Lost Daughter,” but will return to it sometime. Maybe.

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    nancy
    10 Jan 2022
    11:27am

    hi guys
    glad you’re back
    one thing i love is how consistent you are with the pod. always on time, always monday morning and always something to look forward to. thank you.

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    MJ
    10 Jan 2022
    1:50pm

    this was a juicy ep–i was listening so hard i had to stop working. kim, give poke another shot! there are plenty of cooked options, not just raw–it’s delish.

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    Suju
    11 Jan 2022
    12:13pm

    Great episode! Put the Tilda Swinton/John Berger film on my watchlist. I am a Ferrante fan and near completist but I get the issues (my sister gave up after one book). FYI, there has been speculation that she is a he but I’m pleased that the final opinion/reveal is that she is almost certainly a she: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/03/books/elena-ferrante-anita-raja-domenico-starnone.html

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    Lori
    10 Jan 2022
    3:16pm

    Enjoyed this so much — and actually laughed out loud at your wrap-up — thank you! Btw, while listening, I was kind of trying to figure out various commenters’ perspectives — like, why/how is it that your conversations feel genuinely interesting, and do not come off as annoying, even if they may occasionally skew toward “complaining”? Think it’s because you’re not just sitting there bitching and moaning helplessly, even if you are in fact bitching; you’re breaking down and analyzing your own, and the world’s, changing (and currently often negative) circumstances. (Btw, a pox on all of the toxic positivity crap — cannot *stand* it when privileged, fluffheaded types assert that depression, etc., are a matter of mindset.)

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    Liz
    11 Jan 2022
    1:30pm

    Great episode! I love your discussions of movies, music, and books the most and always get such great recommendations from you both. I loved the film The Lost Daughter and am not into Ferrante’s writing. I HATED Don’t Look Up, which felt more like an earnest monologue than the satire I was hoping for. Also watched about 15 minutes of French Dispatch before remembering I just can’t stomach Wes Anderson (except for Darjeeling Limited). Like Jen said, there’s no substance to his work. I also hate Elvis Costello, though technically I recognize he’s talented. For a juicy memoir, I’d recommend Friends and Enemies by Barbara Amiel. I had no idea who she was when I started reading it, and she’s pretty much a shitty person who lists Laura Ingraham and Ann Coulter as two of her close friends, but it is a a very good, albeit maddening, read if you can tolerate reading about bad people.

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      Eloise
      11 Jan 2022
      5:58pm

      Nooooo! I was looking forward to this episode only to find out that at least one of you (and in my mind, I’d be BFFs with both of you if we ever met – – not meant to be stalkerish, just meant that you both come off as super relatable to me) apparently hates Elvis Costello. I guess this is the end (can there be an end without a beginning?)

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        Jenny
        11 Jan 2022
        6:41pm

        Eloise, I offer myself as your rebound BFF option. I’ll buy you drinks& we can sing Alison till closing time.

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    Viajera
    11 Jan 2022
    2:17pm

    I had to stop listening early in bc I haven’t watched the new SATC yet. Don’t want to have surprises spoiled. (I know, I know… it is sort of on my To Do list.) I did get to hear about poke. I am just commenting here to say that I love it when people complain, as long as they aren’t mean or weirdly personal about it, bc we are all friends here and I want to know what you-all think. Although, I might argue with it. But that is what we humans do – we bicker. … … … Interestingly enough, two of my very favorite people raved about A Gentleman in Moscow. I haven’t read any of it. I am a dumb-*ss who is not in even a single book group! I tried to be in one last year, but I couldn’t deal with the wordy style of the non-fiction authors. Had to drop out. J’accuse moi! [i don’t speak French – can you tell?] Okay, I am stopping now.

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    Susanna
    11 Jan 2022
    3:37pm

    Kim and Jenn, you two are so perfect together in conversation, with such chemistry—my only “complaint” is that it’s hard not to want to chime in and be part of your dialogue. When I saw the episode was called “We are all Mirandas,” I realized it was probably SATC Miranda (and I did like that episode), but I was also sort of hoping you might be referencing the Miranda character from Station Eleven. I read the book when it came out and liked it a lot and am also really enjoying the HBO series. Anyway, Miranda from S11 doesn’t appear for the first several episodes, but one of them is devoted entirely to her story. The “trust card”/affair part of this episode put me in mind of the character too.

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    Lori
    14 Jan 2022
    7:31pm

    Great episode. As someone who is nice to a fault and never wants to state an opinion if it isn’t pleasant (because I hate conflict and discomfort and I want people to like me) I appreciate when you are honest with your opinions. I notice when one of you dislikes something it still seems you are still a bit reluctant to state your true feelings on the matter. I behave the same and it makes me realize how borderline annoying it can be. Like, people actually want to know what you actually think and they’re not going to leave you because of it. I do understand the reasons behind being not overly opinionated on a show like this and certain personality types will never be overly opinionated, but do know that I appreciate your honesty and your opinions.

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    RK
    12 Jan 2022
    11:30pm

    Thanks for this discussion. I learn so much from how you are both honest and vulnerable with each other and your audience. I am working on bringing this energy and honesty to my friendships as well so that I can have similar discussions about where we are at in our lives

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    cw
    10 Jan 2022
    4:41pm

    Really enjoyed today’s podcast. Agree with JennR that And Just Like That does get better as it goes along (I haven’t watched all the episodes). As for books to read…my book group just read Amor Towles The Lincoln Highway. If you value quotation marks and knowing who is speaking at any given time DO NOT READ THIS BOOK. It’s full of clever gimmicks (such as no quotation marks)––I know he’s a very popular writer, but f*&k him and the computer on which he writes. I was once told, “A writer does all the work so the reader has all the pleasure.” Someone needs to pass that bit of wisdom on to Mr. Towles. (I did not finish the book––I read the first 35 pages, a bit in the middle and the last two “chapters” so I’d know how it ended) ((sorry for the rant))

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      Gleaming the Cube
      10 Jan 2022
      5:35pm

      I threw his book A Gentleman in Moscow across the room, so I second your pox upon his computer.
      Also, thank you Kim & Jenn for making my Monday workday more bearable for a little bit each week.

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        kimbersam
        11 Jan 2022
        4:24pm

        Yeah, I fucking hated that book. A billion pages of nothing happens, and who gives a shit. I was rooting for all the characters to die in a terrible something……

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      Viajera
      10 Jan 2022
      5:21pm

      Complaint cheerleader is rah-rahing for you right now.

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      y.k.
      10 Jan 2022
      8:29pm

      thank you cw, that would make me crazy then guilty for feeling confused!
      yes, loved the podcast today, i can see not loving Ferrante, but Elvis Costello come on!
      🙂

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    Liz
    10 Jan 2022
    4:25pm

    Great episode! I really appreciate the real, honest discussions about issues so many of us are facing.
    On a superficial note, Kim I love your glasses! Would you say where they are from?

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About

Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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