Culture Gabfest: The Oscars, TED Talks, and Liz Lemon. 

Slate's weekly roundtable.
Feb. 29 2012 11:41 AM

The Culture Gabfest, “Angelina’s Leg” Edition

Listen to Slate's show about the Oscars, TED Talks, and the Liz Lemon wars.


Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 180 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner by clicking the arrow on the audio player below:

And join the lively conversation on the Culturefest Facebook page here:


The Slate Culture Gabfest is coming to Los Angeles on March 20, in partnership with Zócalo Public Square. Our special guest will be Elizabeth Banks. Get tickets here.

In this week's Culture Gabfest, our critics pick over the 84th Academy Awards ceremony and then sample the Internet edutainment phenomenon known as TED Talks. For their final segment, the Gabfesters weigh in on the controversy over 30 Rock’s leading lady Liz Lemon. Is Tina Fey’s Emmy-winning character a lovable comic goofball or a rapidly devolving anti-feminist idiot?

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

Slate’s series “Let’s Talk Oscars.”
Julia’s review of 2012’s Oscar fashions.
Slate’s Oscar pronunciation guide.
Angelina Jolie’s leg is now its own Internet meme.
Anthony Lane’s review of the ceremony in The New Yorker.
Benjamin Wallace’s New York article on the phenomenon of TED.
TED’s 19th century equivalent, the Chautauqua lecture circuit
The Guardian’s take on TED from across the pond.
The Finanical Times’ report on TED calls the event the “conference of cool.”
TED’s official site.
Linda Holmes’ NPR blog entry on the Liz Lemon problem.
Slate’s Sam Adams claims 30 Rock’s creative faults are much bigger than Liz Lemon.
The New Yorker’s Emily Nussbaum defends Liz Lemon from her detractors.
30 Rock’s official site at NBC.

Dana’s pick: Jill Bolte Taylor’s powerful TED Talk. Also, the Criterion re-release of the original Godzilla.
Julia’s pick: The Big Duck, the classic roadside building on Long Island, N.Y. Also, Robert Venturi’s Learning From Las Vegas, the book that introduced the architectural distinction between a “duck” and a “decorated shed.”
Stephen’s pick: Robert Frost’s poem “A Roadside Stand.” Also, the 1939 Claudette Colbert comedy Midnight and Sardinian wine made from the Cannonau grape.

Outro: Five Man Electric Band’s “Signs.”

You can email us at

This podcast was produced by Jesse Baker. Our intern is Matt Sigl.

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

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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