I'm still beating myself up for sleeping on Still Processing for so long. Heben and Tracy from another beloved podcast, Another Round were guests for the then-new show's Best of 2016 episode in December last year, and recommended it back then. To my shame, it took me until May to catch on, and now I'm playing catchup on my new favourite pop culture podcast.
Their delightful, thoughtful interview with Moonlight director Barry Jenkins was the first time I realised how special this show is, but it's their recent retrospective on Whitney Houston that turned me into an all-out fan. Hosted by two culture writers from the New York Times, Jenna Wortham and Wesley Morris are a terrific combination of wise, passionate, cerebral and playful, and the Whitney Houston episode is a perfect showcase for their easy-but-expert dynamic. There's no doubt that Jenna and Wesley are long-term fans of Whitney, and they make no bones about their love for her; there's no pretense of objectivity as they make their case for Whitney being the greatest singer of the rock'n'roll era, but they speak with such sophisticated knowledge of Whitney, her contemporaries and the culture around her that their argument is nonetheless rock-solid. You'll come away convinced of Whitney's status as an under-recognised legend who's career flame-out cast an unfair shadow on her true legacy; I certainly did, and I'd never thought of her that way until Jenna and Wesley so wisely pointed it out.
If you've got Whitney pigeon-holed as the over-singer behind 'I Will Always Love You' from the Bodyguard soundtrack, listen to this episode to have your preconceptions thoroughly challenged. They get extra points for correctly identifying 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody' as the Greatest Song (I'm paraphrasing, go with me), which is as close to an indisputable truth as pop-culture commentary gets. So let's go out on a high note:
Post-script: the best, nicest Whitney joke.