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The Slap That Wasn’t Mine, or The Puppetry of Persona – Episode 45

In this episode, Dara lets the topic be led by the Will Smith slapping incident at last Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony. He unpacks some of the possible lines of analysis in the current climate of identity politics and culture wars. He also looks at his own history of being slapped and breaks down the gendered implications of the open-hand slap, particularly when it is called a ‘bi**h-slap’, looking at how it can be used as a tool of emasculation.

Dara discusses the idea of being one’s own diagnostic tool in the pursuit of wellness and contentment. He argues that we can only attempt to diagnose our needs in the world with which we are familiar. He uses that idea to contextualise Smith’s slap and how it was arguably linked to a public persona that Smith has cultivated over a lifetime in showbusiness and being subject to the exposure pressure cooker that is Hollywood.

Time is also found to reiterate the mission statement of the podcast, to explain why the chickens at Hashtag Blessed are currently so noisy, and to own up to some recent forgetfulness.

Hadley Freeman on Hollywood omerta after the slap:

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