Slate's Culture Gabfest for July 31.

Slate's weekly roundtable.
July 31 2008 10:59 AM

The Culture Gabfest, Monopoly Edition

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Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 13 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner by clicking the arrow on the audio player below: You can also download the program here, or you can subscribe to the weekly Culture Gabfest podcast feed in iTunes by clicking here.

In this week's Culture Gabfest, our critics discuss Joss Whedon's new Web-only musical miniseries Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog," Starbucks' abrupt move to shutter a number of its stores in the United States and abroad, and Google's newest challenger in the search field, Cuil.

Here are links to some of the articles and other items mentioned in the show:

The new Web miniseries from Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.
The pre-eminent Joss Whedon Web community, Whedonesque.
The Guild, another Web series (preferred by some Culturefest gabbers)  .
Eulogies from Slatereaders for some of the 600 U.S. Starbucks stores set to close.
Taylor Clark's Slate piece explaining how Starbucks actually helps mom-and-pop coffeehouses.
The new search engine Cuil.
Slate's reader contest: Figure out the best questions to ask Cuil, or any other search engine, to gauge its strengths and weaknesses.

The Culture Gabfest weekly endorsements:

Julia's pick: the Boggle-like Facebook word game Prolific (Facebook login required).
Stephen's pick: Scottish novelist Philip Kerr's Berlin Noir trilogy.
Dana's pick: WWII-era singer Jo Stafford, as heard on WNYC's Evening Music, hosted by David Garland.

Posted by Matt Lieber on July 31 at 10:59 a.m.

July 17, 2008

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Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 12 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner by clicking the arrow on the audio player below:

You can also download the program here, or you can subscribe to the weekly Culture Gabfest podcast feed in iTunes by clicking here.

In this week's Culture Gabfest, our critics discuss the new Batman movie The Dark Knight, The New Yorker's cover depicting Barack and Michelle Obama as anti-American mujahideen, and the mysterious relationship between Madonna and Alex Rodriguez. 

Here are links to some of the articles and other items mentioned in the show:

The Dark Knight Web site.
The New Yorker cover depicting Barack and Michelle Obama as anti-American fist-bumpers.
Jack Shafer's critique of the members of the press fretting about the corrupting power of the cover.
Christopher Beam's confession that in a roundabout way, he might be the one who gave rise to the cover in the first place.
The New York Times' Bill Carter's piece asking why comedians have such trouble making fun of Obama.
Us Weekly'stake on the A-Rod-Madonna liaison.
The New Yorker's explanation of how Kabbalah figures in.
Madonna's history with '80s slugger Jose Canseco.

The Culture Gabfest weekly endorsements:

Julia's pick: Curtis Sittenfeld's forthcoming novel American Wife, a fictionalized portrait of Laura Bush.
Dana's pick: Carla Bozulich's album Red Headed Stranger, a song-by-song remake of Willie Nelson's classic concept album.
Stephen's pick: Haven in a Heartless World, by American historian Christopher Lasch.

Posted by Matt Lieber on July 17 at 10:45 a.m.

July 2, 2008

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 11 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner by clicking the arrow on the audio player below:

You can also download the program here, or you can subscribe to the biweekly Culture Gabfest podcast feed in iTunes by clicking here.

In this week's Culture Gabfest, our critics discuss the re-release of Liz Phair's feminist indie-rock masterpiece Exile in Guyville, the media's semihysterical reaction to news of a "pregnancy pact" among teenage girls at a high school in Gloucester, Mass., and the death of comedian George Carlin.

Here are links to some of the articles and other items mentioned in the show:

Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville.
New York magazine's culture blog Vulture interviews Liz Phair.
Meghan O'Rourke's 2003 critical re-evaluation of Liz Phair.
Liz Phair's response.
Time magazine's original report on the "pregnancy pact" at a Gloucester, Mass., public high school.
Time follows up.
Christopher Caldwell considers the political dogmas at play in the Gloucester story.
George Carlin, RIP.
Jerry Seinfeld remembers George Carlin.
Cullen Murphy explains why flight attendants really talk like that.

The Culture Gabfest weekly endorsements:

Julia's pick: Listener Robin Winning's song of the summer, "That's Not My Name" by the Ting Tings.
Dana's pick: Stephen Colbert's green screen challenge: Make John McCain interesting.
Stephen's pick: The greatest song of any summer ever, the Rolling Stones' "Miss You."

Posted by Matt Lieber on July 2 at 6:02 p.m.

June 18, 2008

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 10 with Dana Stevens, John Swansburg, and Julia Turner by clicking the arrow on the audio player below:

 

You can also download the program here, or you can subscribe to the weekly Culture Gabfest podcast feed in iTunes by clicking here.

In this week's Culture Gabfest, our critics discuss the unexpected outcome of the R. Kelly trial, the song of the summer (or which hit you'll unexpectedly know all the words to by Labor Day), and the Atlantic's recent story: "Is Google Making Us Stupid?"

Here are links to some of the articles and other items mentioned in the show:

Josh Levin's Slate article "Long Live the Little Man Defense!" explains why R. Kelly was acquitted.
R. Kelly and Usher fall for the "Same Girl."
New York magazine predicts the song of the summer. (Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love," Usher's "Love in This Club," and the New Kids on the Block's "Summertime" are contenders.)
The Atlantic'sNicholas Carr wonders: "Is Google Making Us Stupid?"

The Culture Gabfest weekly endorsements:

Dana's pick: MSNBC's surprisingly touching yet seemingly endless tribute to Tim Russert
John's pick: The Mary Tyler Moore Show, now available on iTunes
Julia's pick: Autobiography of a Wardrobe by Elizabeth Kendall

Posted by Amanda Aronczyk on June 18 at 11:54 a.m.

June 4, 2008

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 9 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner by clicking the arrow on the audio player below: You can also download the program here, or you can subscribe to the weekly Culture Gabfest podcast feed in iTunes by clicking here.

In this week's Culture Gabfest, our critics discuss Vanity Fair's sprawling, dishy takedown of President Clinton, Sex and the City's boffo success in movie theaters, and the earsplitting arrival of mixed martial artist Kimbo Slice on CBS.

Here are links to some of the articles and other items mentioned in the show:

Vanity Fair profiles Bill Clinton, paying particular attention to his post-presidential rat pack and his id.
Clinton responds, officially, in a press release.
Clinton responds, harshly, off the cuff.
Slate's Jack Shafer offers Clinton a lesson in press criticism.
Dana Stevens reviewsSex and the City.
Julia Turner considers the sartorial deficit between the Sex and the City movie and the television show.
CBS' Elite XC mixed martial arts page.
ESPNintroduces Kimbo Slice.
David Plotz defends Ultimate Fighting.

The Culture Gabfest weekly endorsements:

Julia's pick: Josh Levin's coverage of the bizarre, sad, and hilarious R. Kelly trial.
Dana's pick: The new D.I.Y. suburban taekwondo comedy, The Foot Fist Way
Stephen's pick: Bo Diddley, The Chess Box.

Posted by Matt Leiber on June 4 at 11:14 a.m.

May 21, 2008

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 8 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner by clicking the arrow on the audio player below:

You can also download the program here, or you can subscribe to the weekly Culture Gabfest podcast feed in iTunes by clicking here.

In this week's Culture Gabfest, our critics discuss a New York magazine critique of monogamy, the aesthetically promiscuous—and recently departed—artist Robert Rauschenberg, and Barack Obama's affinity for the work of novelist Philip Roth, the great bard of infidelity.

Here are links to some of the articles and other items mentioned in the show:

New Yorkmagazine's skeptical inquiry into the sanctity of monogamy in American culture

Jim Lewis' fond remembrance of Robert Rauschenberg in Slate

Also in Slate,Jack Shafer's takedown of the overly generous eulogizing of Rauschenberg in the press

The New Republic's Jed Perl's   dislike of Rauschenberg's work

Barack Obama's revelation of his affinity for Philip Roth to the Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg

The Culture Gabfest weekly endorsements:

Dana's pick: Eric Asimov's eulogy in the New York Times of the Mei Lai Wah Coffee House in New York's Chinatown

Stephen's Pick: John Seymour's great achievement in garden writing, The Guide to Self -Sufficiency

Julia's picks: This American Life'sexplanation of the housing crisis; the season finale of NBC's The Office.

Posted by Matt Leiber on May 21 at 6:31 p.m.

May 7, 2008

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 7 by clicking the arrow on the audio player below:

You can also download the program here, or you can subscribe to the weekly Gabfest podcast feed in iTunes by clicking here.

In this week's Culture Gabfest, our critics Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner discuss the rollout of the summer movie season, including the superhero movie Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr.'s nimble performance in it, and which of this summer's blockbusters look most promising.

Here are links to some of the articles and other items mentioned in the show:

Entertainment Weekly's summer movie release calendar
Iron Man, reviewed by Dana Stevens
The New York Times profiles Robert Downey Jr.
You Don't Mess With the Zohan official site
Indiana Jonesofficial site
A 2006 New York Times profile of Mike Myers and his hiatus from films
Mike Myers and Deepak Chopra, together at last

The Culture Gabfest weekly endorsements:

Dana's pick: Carrieron PBS
Julia's pick: Project Runway
Stephen's pick: Jimi Hendrix's live performance of Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone"

Posted by Matthew Lieber on May 7 at 11:00 a.m.

April 23, 2008

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 6 with critics Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner by clicking the arrow on the audio player below:

You can also download the program here, or you can subscribe to the new, dedicated Culture Gabfest podcast feed in iTunes by clicking here.

In this week's Culture Gabfest, critics Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner discuss whether personal virtue can solve global warming, the possible failure of personal virtue in the travel writing business, and the utter failure of personal virtue inside Abu Ghraib.

Here are links to some of the articles and other items mentioned in the show:

Michael Pollan's New York TimesMagazine article "Why Bother?"

Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan's Slanted Truths: Essays on Gaia

Thomas Kohnstamm's book Do Travel Writers Go to Hell?

Lonely Planet responds to the Kohnstamm scandal

Errol Morris' Standard Operating Procedure

Film: Iraq in Fragments

"Photo Finish: How the Abu Ghraib photos morphed from scandal to law," by Dahlia Lithwick

Julia's pick: Hot Chip

100 best novels from Random House

Dana's pick: Elizabeth Bowen's The Death of the Heart

Stephen's pick: The Bachelor

Posted by Andy Bowers on April 23 at 11:37 a.m.

April 9, 2008

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 5, with critics Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner by clicking the arrow on the audio player below: You can also download the program here, or you can subscribe to the weekly Gabfest podcast feed in iTunes by clicking here.

In this week's Culture Gabfest, our critics discuss whether the latest Vogue cover is racist (or just the subject of misplaced outrage in the blogosphere), whether Hillary's tax return explodes the Clintons' middle-class image, and whether the new online sitcom The Guild is for nerds only.

Here are links to some of the articles and other items mentioned in the show:

Vogue's "King Kong" cover

Slate's take on the Vogue cover

John Lennon and Yoko Ono on the cover of Rolling Stone, photographed by Annie Leibovitz

Hillary Clinton's 2007 tax return (as disclosed by Hillary)

The Guild: official show site, YouTube channel

World of Warcraft

Quarterlife
(no longer) on NBC

M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel

AC/DC

Am I That Name?
by Denise Riley

BBC Radio 4's Start the Week

Posted by Amanda Aronczyk on April 9 at 11:12 a.m.

March 26, 2008

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 4 with critics Stephen Metcalf, Meghan O'Rourke, and John Swansburg by clicking the arrow on the audio player below:



You can also download the program here, or you can subscribe to the weekly Gabfest podcast feed in iTunes by clicking here.

In this week's Culture Gabfest, our critics discuss whether Barack Obama was channeling Walt Whitman, whether the head of JPMorgan was channeling Gordon Gekko, and whether English professors should be channeling Wal-Mart associates.

Here are links to some of the articles and other items mentioned in the show:

Barack Obama's "A More Perfect Union" speech

Walt Whitman's Song of Myself

New York magazine's profile of Jamie Dimon

Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko in Wall Street

Joseph Schumpeter's "Creative Destruction"

The New York Times' "You Say Recession, I Say 'Reservations!' "

NOBU restaurant in New York City

Gerald Graff's Professing Literature: An Institutional History

Meghan's pick: The Hakawati by Rabih Alameddine

John's pick: Dispatches by Michael Herr

Stephen's pick: Boys and Girls in America from the Hold Steady

Posted by Andy Bowers on March 26 at 8:16 p.m.

March 12, 2008

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 3 with critics Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and John Swansburg by clicking the arrow on the audio player below:

You can also download the program here, or you can subscribe to the weekly Gabfest podcast feed in iTunes by clicking here.

Our newest podcast, the Culture Gabfest, is back just in time to take on the Eliot Spitzer meltdown and how it's echoing through the media. Critics Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and John Swansburg also discuss the recent rash of fake memoirs and a breakout blog that claims to shed light on stuff white people like.

Here are links to some of the items mentioned in this week's episode:

"The Fake Memoirist's Survival Guide" on Slate

A Fan's Notes by Frederick Exley

The Stuff White People Like blog

Stuff White People Like on NPR's Talk of the Nation

Dana Stevens' pick: Chop Shop

John Swansburg's pick: Amazons: An Intimate Memoir by the First Women To Play in the National Hockey League by Cleo Birdwell (aka Don DeLillo)

Stephen Metcalf's pick: Top Gear from BBC America

Posted by Andy Bowers on March 12 at 11:55 a.m.

Feb. 28, 2008

Here's the sophomore outing of our newest audio program, the Culture Gabfest, with critics Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner. To listen, click the arrow on the audio player below:

You can also download the program here, or you can subscribe to the weekly Gabfest podcast feed in iTunes by clicking here.

In this edition, the panelists discuss the aftermath of the Oscars, the challenge Barack Obama poses for comedians, and Lindsay Lohan's Marilyn Monroe impression. Here are some of the links for items mentioned in the show:

Daniel Day-Lewis' Oscar acceptance speech

Saturday Night Live's Obama/Clinton debate sketch

Lindsay Lohan's New York magazine photo shoot

Julia Turner's Oscar fashion dialogue with Amanda Fortini

The Encyclopedia Baracktannica

Posted by Andy Bowers on Feb. 28 at 3:07 p.m.

Feb. 14, 2008

To play the first Culture Gabfest, click the arrow on the player below. You can also download the program here.

Stephen Metcalf is Slate's critic at large. He is working on a book about the 1980s.

Dana Stevens is Slate's movie critic.

Julia Turner is the editor in chief of Slate and a regular on Slate's Culture Gabfest podcast.

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