Culture Gabfest: Mad Men, New Orleans’ Ninth Ward, and the cashless society.

Slate's weekly roundtable.
March 28 2012 2:28 PM

The Culture Gabfest, “Money in the Envelope” Edition

Listen to Slate's show about the new season of Mad Men, the jungles of New Orleans, and the cashless society.


Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 184 with Stephen Metcalf, Nathaniel Rich, Seth Stevenson, John Swansburg, and Julia Turner by clicking the arrow on the audio player below:

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


In this week's Culture Gabfest, our critics revisit AMC’s much-acclaimed dramatic series Mad Men, now entering its fifth season. Next, they’re joined by Nathaniel Rich to discuss his New York Times Magazine article on the atrophied recovery of New Orleans’ 9th Ward, still decimated by Hurricane Katrina. Finally, Slate’s Seth Stevenson goes cashless for months and lives to tell the tale. 

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

Slate’s Troy Patterson reviews the season premiere of Mad Men.
Slate’s TV Club on Mad Men, Season 5.
’s entire coverage of AMC’s Mad Men.
Tanner Colby’s Slate article on Mad Men and race.
The Daily Beast’s interview with Tina Brown on Newsweek’s special retro Mad Men issue.
NPR’s interview with Mad Men series creator Matthew Weiner.
AMC’s official site for Mad Men.
Nathaniel Rich’s New York Times Magazine cover story “Jungleland.”
’s photo essay on the urban ruins of Detroit.
The New York Times’ 6th Floor blog interviews “Jungleland” author Nathaniel Rich.
Seth Stevenson’s Slate series on going cashless.
’s technology columnist Farhad Manjoo ponders a world without cash.
’s Matthew Yglesias imagines a Facebook currency.
’s entire series on the cashless society.
The Guardian’s review of David Wolman’s new book The End of Money.
Matt Davio’s video interview with The End of Money author David Wolman.

The Culture Gabfest weekly endorsements:

Seth’s pick: David Foster Wallace’s last novel The Pale King and his classic article “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again.”
Julia’s pick: The U.S. Mint’s State Quarters. Also, Instagram as a social network 
Stephen’s pick: Tracey Thorn’s cover of “Femme Fatale” and George Herbert’s poem The Pulley. Also, guerilla artist Banksy has released a provocative advertising manifesto.

Outro: Tracey Thorn’s “Femme Fatale”

You can email us at

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

Follow us on the 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.

Seth Stevenson is a frequent contributor to Slate. He is the author of Grounded: A Down to Earth Journey Around the World.

John Swansburg is Slate's deputy editor.

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



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