Culture Gabfest: Titanic 15 years later, Thomas Kinkade, and Sam Anderson on Stupid Video Games

Slate's weekly roundtable.
April 11 2012 4:36 PM

The Culture Gabfest, “Unsinkable Gabfest” Edition

Listen to Slate's show about the re-release of Titanic in 3-D, the death of artist Thomas Kinkade, and those ”stupid” video games you can’t stop playing.


Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 186 with Sam Anderson, 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:


Get your 30-day free trial from our sponsor, which includes a credit for one free audiobook, here. (Audiobook of the week: 101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith and narrated by Martin Jarvis.)

In this week's Gabfest, our critics discuss the re-release of James Cameron’s blockbuster Titanic in 3-D. Next, they discuss the death of artist Thomas Kinkade, one of the most commercially successful artists of his generation but also one universally derided by critics. Finally, the New York Times Magazine’s Sam Anderson discusses his latest piece on the mindless and addictive video games we can’t stop playing on our phones.

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

Dana Stevens’ Slate review of Titanic.
Umberto Eco’s Casablanca, or, the Clichés Are Having a Ball.
Laura Miller’s Thomas Kinkade, the George W. Bush of Art from Salon.
Guest Sam Anderson’s article “Just One More Game ...”  in the New York Times Magazine.

The Culture Gabfest weekly endorsements:

Dana’s Pick: Lorrie Moore’s essay on Titanic.
Julia’s Pick: The Wind Map data visualization at
Sam’s Pick: KCRW’s Bookworm podcast, specifically the recent interview with Joan Didion.
Stephen’s Pick: Ghostbusters and any other Harold Ramis production. Also, the Replacements’ song “If Only You Were Lonely.”

Outro: Replacements’ song “If Only You Were Lonely (Twin Tone Single Version)”

You can email us at

This podcast was produced by Mark Phillips.

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

Sam Anderson is a writer living in New York. He can be reached at

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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