Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 234 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and John Swansburg with the audio player below:
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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’s AM820.
On this week’s episode, Slate’s editorial director John Swansburg joins Dana and Stephen to discuss the History Channel’s miniseries The Bible, its kitschy tableaus and diorama feel and how Mark Burnett interprets and retells the stories of the Bible. The Gabfesters then discuss the 2012 Vida Count and what can be learned and extrapolated from the tally of women published by major literary publications. Finally, our critics discuss a veritable wordpacalypse—the death of the pun and the rise of the neolexic portmanteau.
Here are links to some of the things we discussed this week:
- Touched By An Angel, the CBS series starting Roma Downey.
- Survivor, the Mark Burnett-produced reality TV show.
- The Akedah, or the account in the Book of Genesis of Abraham offering his son Isaac for sacrifice.
- James Poniewozik for Time online on The Bible.
- The 2012 Vida Count.
- Roxane Gay on the 2012 Vida Count.
- Ruth Franklin for the New Republic and Meghan O’Rourke for Slate on the 2010 Vida Count.
- Recent cover stories from the Atlantic written by women: “Why Women Still Can’t Have it All” by Anne-Marie Slaughter, “The End of Men” by Hanna Rosin, and “All the Single Ladies” by Kate Bolick.
- Simon Akam for Slate on the death of the pun.
- “Bun in the Coven,” Dana’s review of Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part: I for Slate.
- “Debbie Does Salad,” Nina Rastogi for Slate on whether vegetarians have better sex.
- David Haglund for Slate on small businesses keeping the pun alive.
- Charles Lamb’s 1826 essay on the pun, “Popular Fallacy IX: That the Worst Puns Are the Best.”
- “Pun for the Ages” by Joseph Tartakovsky for the New York Times.
Dana’s pick: You Are One of Them the forthcoming novel by Elliott Holt about the friendship of two girls in Washington, D.C. in the 1980’s, with a Cold War backdrop. And here’s Holt’s #TwitterFiction story, released tweet by tweet.
John’s pick: The brilliant sitcom Cheers, available streaming on Netflix.
Outro: “Western Hospitality” by Club 8.
You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This podcast was produced by Julia Furlan. Our intern is Sally Tamarkin.