Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Skyfall, Publishers Weekly’s Top 10 Essays Since 1950, and the Veggieducken

Slate's weekly roundtable.
Nov. 14 2012 5:50 PM

The Culture Gabfest: What Is Stuffed Inside of What Is Stuffed Inside of What Edition

Slate's podcast about the Bond movie Skyfall, Publishers Weekly’s Top 10 Essays Since 1950, and the vegetarian’s Thanksgiving centerpiece, the Veggieducken.

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On this week’s Culturefest, our critics delve into Skyfall, the latest installment in the James Bond franchise, and the evolution of the Bond universe, including its villains and its sexual politics. They then consider Publishers Weekly’s Top 10 Essays Since 1950, zeroing in on a few particular pieces and discussing how the essay has changed as a form over the past 60 years. Finally, the Gabfesters are joined by Dan Pashman, Culturefest producer and host of the podcast The Sporkful, for a discussion of Thanksgiving’s best practices and favorite traditions for omnivores and vegetarians alike. Hint: they include the Veggieducken.

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

Dana’s pick: “Of Friendship,” by Michel de Montaigne, which laments the loss of his best friend and is the first essay to use the term “essay.”

Julia’s pick: Joan Didion’s 1967 essay “Goodbye to All That,” about how the newly arrived twentysomething’s enchantment with New York City evolves and fades over time.

Stephen’s pick: Stephen Jay Gould’s book The Mismeasure of Man, originally published in 1981, which explains trends in the cultural analysis of psychometric data and reveals the fallacies inherent in biological determinist explanations of intelligence.

Outro: “Skyfall” by Adele

You can email us at culturefest@slate.com.

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

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

Dan Pashman is the creator and host of The Sporkful food podcast and blog, a regular contributor to NPR and Slate, and the host of Cooking Channel's Good to Know.

Dana Stevens is Slate's movie critic.

Julia Turner is the editor in chief of Slate and a regular on Slate's Culture Gabfest podcast