Gay bars, Susan Saladoff's Hot Coffee, and Internet dating on this week's Culture Gabfest podcast.

Slate's weekly roundtable.
June 29 2011 1:41 PM

The Culture Gabfest, "Hornivores of the Savannah" Edition

Listen to Slate's show about the uncertain future of gay bars, the HBO documentary Hot Coffee, and The New Yorker on online dating.


Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 145 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, June Thomas, and Julia Turner by clicking the arrow on the audio player below or  opening this player in another tab:

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In this week's Culture Gabfest, our critics Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner are joined by Slate's foreign editor, June Thomas, to discuss her new Slate series on gay bars—their riotous past and uncertain future. For their next segment, they discuss the new HBO documentary Hot Coffee and whether it does tort reform justice. For their final segment, they discuss Nick Paumgarten's New Yorker article on the weird world of online dating.

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

June Thomas' series on "The Gay Bar" in Slate.

Dan Savage, David Rakoff and more reflect on their first gay-bar experience in Slate.

June's slideshow on "The Most Important Gay Bars in History."

June on "Why the Gay Rights Movement Was Born in a Gay Bar."

June's article on the economics of gay bars.

The theme song from Cheers.

The official website for Susan Saladoff's Hot Coffee on HBO.

The New York Times
on Saladoff's documentary and the controversy surrounding it.

WNYC's interview with Saladoff about the film.

The Wiki for the infamous Liebeck v. McDonald's Restaurants hot coffee case.

The Wiki for tort reform.

on the reported political motivations behind the trial of Oliver Diaz.

Nick Paumgarten's New Yorker article on "sex, love, and loneliness on the Internet."

's Dahlia Lithwick on the laws (and lawlessness) of Internet dating.

Tom Shone's account of his adventures in online dating in Slate.

Jose Luis Borges' conception of "The Library of Babel."

The Culture Gabfest weekly endorsements:

Dana's pick: The San Francisco Symphony's radio series The Keeping Score Series: 13 Days When Music Changed Forever.

Julia's pick: The song "Truth" by Alexander (One of many songs from the "Summer Strut" mix tape, which you can now listen to and buy here.

Steve's picks: John Gray's takedown of David Brooks' The Social Animal in The National Interest and the chapter on the Stonewall riots in Paul Berman's A Tale of Two Utopias: The Political Journey of the Generation of 1968.

Outro: "I Was Dancing in the Lesbian Bar" by Jonathan Richman.

You can e-mail us at

This podcast was produced by Jesse Baker. Our intern is Forrest Wickman. If you want to apply to be our new intern, please e-mail us at

Follow us on the new Culturefest Twitter feed. And please Like the Culture Gabfeston Facebook.

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

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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