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Culturefest is on the radio! “Gabfest Radio” combines Slate’s Culture and Political Gabfests in one show—listen on Saturdays at 7 a.m. and Sundays at 6 p.m. on WNYC AM 820.
On this week’s Culture Gabfest, our critics tackle the new TLC reality show Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, the cruelty of class schadenfreude and what happens when some reality TV stars are not agents of their own portrayal. The Culturefesters then discuss Mike Birbiglia’s autobiographical indie comedy Sleepwalk With Me, its place as a coming-of-age-as-an-artist tale, and the popularity of process stories. Finally, they discuss public marriage proposals and whether these elaborately staged rituals performed in public indicate the presence of a groomzilla.
Here are some links to the things we discussed this week:
- Alyssa Rosenberg for Think Progress on media and parental exploitation of children in Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.
- Salon’s Willa Paskin on Honey Boo Boo’s mimicry of “sassy black women.”
- Tony Wong for the Toronto Star on whether Honey Boo Boo is exploitative or empowering.
- Michelle Dean for Slate on hillbilly and “white trash” entertainment in American culture.
- Go-go juice, Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Shannon’s prepageant energy elixir.
- The reality show Jersey Shore on MTV and TLC’s reality show Toddlers and Tiaras.
- Mike Birbiglia’s appearances on This American Life.
- Marc Maron’s podcast WTF.
- Comedian, the documentary starring Jerry Seinfeld that explores the world of stand-up comedy.
- “Love in the Age of Digital Reproduction,” Silvia Killingsworth’s meditation on pubic marriage proposals for The New Yorker.
- A few of the marriage proposal videos that have gone viral: Isaac’s Live Lip-Dub Proposal, David Pogue’s trailer for a pretend movie, Luck: An NYC Marriage Proposal, and another movie trailer video proposal.
Dana’s pick: Jessica Oreck’s Mysteries of Vernacular, a project of animated shorts, each one exploring the etymology of one letter of the alphabet.
Julia’s pick: A last chance summer read: the wildly popular bestseller Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn’s dark portrait of a twisted marriage.
Stephen’s pick: The 2007 Tom Junod essay, “My Father’s Fashion Tips,” an evocative portrait of the author’s relationship with his father and a strong example of “show don’t tell” nonfiction writing.
Outro: “Marry You” by Bruno Mars
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This podcast was produced by Dan Pashman. Our intern is Sally Tamarkin.