Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Tempest, Sneakers, and the Harvard Cheating Scandal

Slate's weekly roundtable.
Sept. 12 2012 12:51 PM

The Culture Gabfest: Bringing a Gun to a Puppy Fight Edition

Slate's podcast about Bob Dylan’s new album Tempest, the 20th anniversary of the movie Sneakers, and the Harvard cheating scandal.


Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 208 with John Dickerson, Farhad Manjoo Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and John Swansburg by clicking the arrow on the audio player below:

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

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On this week’s Culturefest, a panoply of Slate staffers join in on the gabbing. First, our critics are joined by Slate chief political correspondent (and in-house Dylanologist) John Dickerson to discuss Bob Dylan’s new album Tempest and how its sometimes dark and violent themes fit within Dylan’s 35-album body of work. Next, they are joined by Slate culture editor John Swansburg to revisit the movie Sneakers on the occasion of its 20th birthday and consider its place as an all time favorite for members of the generation between X and Y. Finally, the Gabfesters are joined by Slate technology columnist Farhad Manjoo to consider the cheating scandal at Harvard, whether it is a scandal at all and why collaboration in college should be encouraged rather than outlawed.

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


Dana’s pick: Rob Delaney’s stand-up comedy special Live at the Bowery Ballroom, released last week for $5 online and his Twitter feed, @robdelaney.

John’s pick: Sasha Issenberg’s book The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns about the way campaigns use data and targeting to game the system and get votes.

Stephen’s pick: Margaret Millar’s 1956 genre thriller Beast in View.

Outro: “Tempest” by Bob Dylan

You can email us at

This podcast was produced by Dan Pashman. Our intern is Sally Tamarkin.

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

John Dickerson is Slate's chief political correspondent and author of On Her Trail. Read his series on the presidency and on risk.

Farhad Manjoo is a technology columnist for the New York Times and the author of True Enough.

Stephen Metcalf is Slate's critic at large. He is working on a book about the 1980s.

Dana Stevens is Slate's movie critic.

John Swansburg is Slate's deputy editor. 



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