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On this week’s Culture Gabfest, our critics make sense of Ridley Scott’s Alien prequel Prometheus, considering its philosophical questions as well as its monsters and robots. They then discuss Amos Kamil’s New York Times Magazine cover story about sexual abuse at The Horace Mann School. Finally, they consider the end of NPR’s popular show Car Talk and the transcendent appeal and charm of its hosts, Click and Clack, the Tappet brothers.
Here are some links to the things we discussed this week:
- Dana Stevens’ Prometheus review and Spoiler Special for Slate
- Ridley Scott’s movies Blade Runner and Alien
- Damon Lindelof, the creator and co-producer of Lost
- The film director and writer Robert Altman
- The Walking Dead, the post-apocalyptic drama series
- The science-fiction western movie Cowboys and Aliens
- Two classic movie scenes: the horse’s head scene from The Godfather and Alien’s chest bursting scene
- Amos Kamil’s New York Times Magazine piece about sexual abuse at The Horace Mann School “Prep-School Predators”
- The TV series Law and Order: SVU
- The 1977 sexual abuse case against Roman Polanski
- Nathan Heller on the secret genius of Car Talk for Slate
- The article that asks the question Should We Mourn “Car Talk?”
- WFAN’s sports radio show personalities Mike and the Mad Dog
- Michael Jordan’s shot over Craig Ehlo in 1989
- Buggin’ Out’s Jordans getting scuffed in Do the Right Thing
- The 2010 Fresh Air interview in which Stanley Tucci discusses playing charades with his friend Meryl Streep
John’s picks: The 1989 Air Jordan IV
Julia’s pick: Train Dreams: A Novella by Denis Johnson
Stephen’s picks: Ted Widmer’s New York Times Op-Ed “Reagan at the Wall,” the Robert Elms podcast interview with Bob Geldof, and Germany’s solar power plants producing 50 percent of the country’s midday electricity needs
Outro: Duke Ellington’s "A Little Max"
TODAY IN SLATE
The Right Target
Why Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS may be more effective than people expect.
The One National Holiday Republicans Hope You Forget
It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is
I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights
Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.
Should You Recline Your Seat? Two Economists Weigh In.
It Is Very, Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice
Or, why it is very, very stupid to compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice.
- School District Wants to Censor American History Curriculum to Make It More Patriotic
- U.S. Federal Prison Population Drops for the First Time in Decades
- Conservative Star D’Souza Avoids Jail Time for Illegal Campaign Contributions
- Moderate Chinese Intellectual Sentenced to Life in Prison After Show Trial
In Defense of HR
Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.