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On this week’s Culturefest, our critics discuss Pete Wells’ scathing review of Guy Fieri’s new restaurant in Times Square, the responsibilities of the critic generally, and whether a critic’s boiling rage can lead him to go too far in eviscerating his subject. They then consider the notion of retirement and when and why writers, artists, and public figures should call it quits. Finally, the Gabfesters share their thoughts on the New York Times opinion piece about Amtrak’s Quiet Car, the enforcement of silence in public spaces, and corrective journalism that shames those who don’t require or respect the silence of the Quiet Car.
Here are some links to the things we discussed this week:
- Pete Wells’ colorful review of Guy Fieri’s restaurant for the New York Times.
- Guy Fieri responding to the review on MSNBC’s Today.
- BuzzFeed’s 10 Most Scathing New York Times Restaurant Reviews of All Time.
- J. Bryan Lowder for Slate on what makes Wells’ review of Fieri’s restaurant a “critical masterpiece.”
- Laura Miller’s case for positive book reviews for Salon.
- Katie Roiphe’s 2010 piece on the role of the critic and why criticism remains relevant.
- Philip Roth on his retirement from writing by Charles McGrath for the New York Times.
- Julian Tepper’s essay on serving (and getting career advice from) Philip Roth at an Upper West Side deli.
- Philip Roth’s books Portnoy’s Complaint, The Human Stain, American Pastoral, Goodbye, Columbus, and Sabbath’s Theater.
- The Culturefest episode in which Bob Dylan’s career longevity was heatedly discussed.
- Bob Dylan’s album Blood on the Tracks.
- Flavorwire on whether you should buy the rumor about Tarantino’s retirement.
- The body of work of author James Joyce.
- The new documentary about the Rolling Stones, Crossfire Hurricane.
- The MLB pitcher Sandy Koufax.
- Tim Kreider on Amtrak’s Quiet Car and the need for silent spaces for the New York Times.
- Tim Kreider’s opinion piece “The ‘Busy’ Trap” for the New York Times.
- The Culturefest episode which featured a discussion of Kreider’s “The ‘Busy’ Trap.”
Dana’s pick: The Animal Odd Couples episode of the PBS show Nature, about animals of different species who become inseparable friends.
Julia’s pick: Ravelry, the social networking site for knitters and crocheters.
Stephen’s pick: The Ryan Adam’s song “Firecracker” and having a Blood Mary with brunch.
Outro: “Firecracker” by Ryan Adams
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This podcast was produced by Dan Pashman. Our intern is Sally Tamarkin.