And join the lively conversation on the Culturefest Facebook page here:
The sponsors of today’s show are Audible.com and Grisly Meter, Amazon’s collection of gruesome summer reads. Get a free audiobook from Audible’s collection of more than 100,000 titles and a subscription to a daily audio digest when you sign up for a 30-day free trial at www.audiblepodcast.com/culturefest. For a selection of frightful summer reads, visit Grisly Meter.
Join Slate’s Culture Editor John Swansburg this Thursday, July 19 at the 92nd Street Y downtown in Tribeca, as he hosts a screening of The Karate Kid followed by a live Q&A with its star Ralph Macchio. Get tickets here.
On this week’s Culture Gabfest, our critics discuss the USA Network’s miniseries Political Animals and whether it succeeds as a roman à clef about the Clintons. The Gabfesters then discuss Daniel Tosh’s tangle with a heckler over a joke about rape, whether rape jokes can ever be funny, and that inscrutable element that makes a joke work. Finally, they discuss Dana’s lifelong indifference to competitive games and why we bother playing them at all.
Here are some links to the things we discussed this week:
- USA Network’s miniseries Political Animals
- Joe Klein’s novel based on Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign Primary Colors: A Novel of Politics and its movie adaptation
- American Wife: A Novel, Curtis Sittenfeld’s account of the life of a fictional Laura Bush-esque first lady
- Amy Chozick on the creation of Political Animals for the New York Times
- The blogged secondhand account of the Daniel Tosh rape joke controversy
- Tosh’s apology via Twitter
- The comedians who have come to Tosh’s defense
- Patton Oswalt’s tweet in response to the Tosh-heckler fracas
- Louis CK’s appearance on The Daily Show in which he discusses his post-controversy tweet
- Louis CK’s “Kill or rape Hitler” bit
- Dane Cook’s “Raped on Halo” bit
- Jezebel’s Lindy West on how to make a rape joke
- Kate Harding’s rundown of rape jokes that work
- Megan Carpentier’s 2008 Jezebel post that asks if a rape joke is ever funny
- The Onion’s take on the Daniel Tosh controversy
- The subversive stand-up comedian Lenny Bruce
- The shock comic Andrew Dice Clay
- Dana’s abhorrence of rule-based zero sum competition for Slate
- Sam Anderson on addictive “stupid games” for the New York Times Magazine and the interview with Anderson that ran as its companion piece
- Slate’s John Swansburg on why he stopped being a sports fan
- The New York Times on taking play seriously
- The game Pounce (although the Turner family has alternate rules.)
Dana’s pick: My Daguerreotype Boyfriend, the online repository of hotties of yesteryear
Julia’s pick: Banana pudding, the ultimate summer dessert concoction of bananas, pudding, Nilla wafers, and whipped cream
Stephen’s pick: Dusty Springfield’s album Dusty in Memphis
Outro: Dusty Springfield’s “Just One Smile”
You can email us at email@example.com.
This podcast was produced by Dan Pashman. Our intern is Sally Tamarkin.
TODAY IN SLATE
Meet the New Bosses
How the Republicans would run the Senate.
The U.S. Is So, So Far Behind Europe on Clean Energy
The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers
The Best Thing About the People’s Climate March in NYC
Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom
This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059
Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?
A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.