Slate's Culture Gabfest on giving up the Internet, summer television, and fireworks.

Slate's weekly roundtable.
June 30 2010 11:38 AM

The Culture Gabfest, "Beauty in the Sky" Edition

Listen to Slate's show about the week in culture.


Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 93 with Daniel Engber, Stephen Metcalf, Troy Patterson, Dana Stevens, James Sturm, June Thomas, 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  via iTunes  or directly with our  RSS feed. Find the Culturefest Facebook page  here. Leave us a note and see what other listeners have to say about the latest podcast.

Get your 14-day free trial from our sponsor, which includes a credit for one free audiobook,  here. (Audiobook of the week: WWW.Wake, written by Robert J. Sawyer and narrated by Jessica Almasy, Jennifer Van Dyke, A.C. Fellner, Marc Vietor, and Robert J. Sawyer.)

In this week's Culture Gabfest, our critics invite cartoonist James Sturm on to discuss his four months without the Internet, ask June Thomas why summer TV is better than ever, and host a fight between Troy Patterson and Daniel Engber about whether fireworks are worthwhile.

Here are some links to the things we discussed this week:

James Sturm's series on  quitting  the Internet on Slate.
The list of summer TV shows June Thomas is watching:  The Good Guys,  Drop Dead Diva Burn Notice,  Rizzoli and Isles,  White Collar, and  Pretty Little Liars.
And Julia Turner's must-see summer show  Make It or Break It.
Troy Patterson's take on why  fireworks  are lame in Slate.

The Culture Gabfest weekly endorsements:

Dana's pick: David Garland's podcast of the radio show  Movies on the Radio on WQXR.
Julia's pick: Taio Cruz's song "Dynamite."
Steve's pick: Michael Chabon's book  Wonder Boys.

Musical Outro: Taio Cruz "Dynamite."

You can e-mail us at

Posted by Jesse Baker on June 30 at 11:39 a.m.

Like the Culture Gabfest and  Slate on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

June Thomas is a Slate culture critic and editor of Outward, Slate’s LGBTQ section. 

Daniel Engber is a columnist for Slate

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

Troy Patterson is Slate's writer at large and writes the Gentleman Scholar column.

Dana Stevens is Slate's movie critic.

James Sturm is the director of The Center of Cartoon Studies, a MFA Degree-Granting College in White River Junction, Vt.

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



Scalia’s Liberal Streak

The conservative justice’s most brilliant—and surprisingly progressive—moments on the bench.

Colorado Is Ground Zero for the Fight Over Female Voters

There’s a Way to Keep Ex-Cons Out of Prison That Pays for Itself. Why Don’t More States Use It?

The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B


Theo’s Joint and Vanessa’s Whiskey

No sitcom did the “Very Special Episode” as well as The Cosby Show.


The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

Cliff Huxtable Explains the World: Five Lessons From TV’s Greatest Dad

Why Television Needs a New Cosby Show Right Now

  News & Politics
Sept. 18 2014 8:20 PM A Clever Attempt at Explaining Away a Vote Against the Farm Bill
Sept. 18 2014 6:02 PM A Chinese Company Just Announced the Biggest IPO in U.S. History
The Slate Quiz
Sept. 18 2014 11:44 PM Play the Slate News Quiz With Jeopardy! superchampion Ken Jennings.
  Double X
Sept. 18 2014 8:07 PM Crying Rape False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Every Day That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 4:33 PM The Top 5 Dadsplaining Moments From The Cosby Show
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 6:48 PM By 2100 the World's Population Could Be 11 Billion
  Health & Science
Sept. 18 2014 3:35 PM Do People Still Die of Rabies? And how do you know if an animal is rabid?
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.