Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Artists’ Daily Rituals, Rectify, and Camp

Slate's weekly roundtable.
April 24 2013 10:26 AM

The Culture Gabfest: A Rhythm of Liquids Edition

Slate's podcast about the daily rituals of artists and writers, the Sundance Channel’s series Rectify, and the camp aesthetic.

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 240 with Mason Currey, Bryan Lowder, Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and June Thomas with the audio player below.

And join the lively conversation on the Culturefest Facebook page here

The sponsors of today’s show are and Go to and use the promo code “CULTUREFEST” for your no-risk free trial and bonus offer. Get a free audiobook from Audible’s collection of more than 100,000 titles and a subscription to a daily audio digest when you sign up for a 30-day free trial at


The Culture Gabfest 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, author Mason Currey sits in to talk about his new book on the daily routines of creative people and how the coffee vs. booze dialectic played out among the artists and writers he profiles. The Gabfesters then discuss Rectify, the new series from the Sundance Channel about a man released from prison after 19 years on death row. Does the show’s flouting of narrative convention and its lack of the usual trinkety TV thrills make up for some of its heavy-handedness? Finally, Slate culture editorial assistant Bryan Lowder returns to the Culturefest to discuss his Slate series about the camp aesthetic. Our critics ponder the distinction between camp and campy and the oft-blurred line between camp and kitsch.  

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


Dana: Buster Keaton’s 1920 short One Week, a masterpiece of American cinema and an allegory about love and marriage with jaw-dropping stunts.

June: “Writing in the Dark: Confessions of a Literary Night Owl,” Kathryn Schulz’s 2012 essay for New York about doing her best writing in the middle of the night, which inspired June to wonder if it’s possible to live an upside-down life.

Stephen: New York’s interview with the founding editor of the New York Review of Books: “In Conversation With Robert Silvers.”

Outro: “9 to 5” by Dolly Parton

You can email us at

This podcast was produced by Julia Furlan. Our intern is Sally Tamarkin.

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

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

Dana Stevens is Slate's movie critic.

June Thomas is a Slate culture critic and editor of Outward, Slate’s LGBTQ section. 


War Stories

The Right Target

Why Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS may be more effective than people expect.

The One National Holiday Republicans Hope You Forget

It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is

I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.

Should You Recline Your Seat? Two Economists Weigh In.


It Is Very, Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Or, why it is very, very stupid to compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice.

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

Why Is This Mother in Prison for Helping Her Daughter Get an Abortion?

Politico Wonders Why Gabby Giffords Is So “Ruthless” on Gun Control

Sept. 23 2014 4:45 PM An Up-Close Look at the U.S.–Mexico Border
  News & Politics
Sept. 23 2014 6:40 PM Coalition of the Presentable Don’t believe the official version. Meet America’s real allies in the fight against ISIS.
Sept. 23 2014 2:08 PM Home Depot’s Former Lead Security Engineer Had a Legacy of Sabotage
Sept. 23 2014 1:57 PM Would a Second Sarkozy Presidency End Marriage Equality in France?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 2:32 PM Politico Asks: Why Is Gabby Giffords So “Ruthless” on Gun Control?
  Slate Plus
Political Gabfest
Sept. 23 2014 3:04 PM Chicago Gabfest How to get your tickets before anyone else.
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 8:38 PM “No One in This World” Is One of Kutiman’s Best, Most Impressive Songs
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 5:36 PM This Climate Change Poem Moved World Leaders to Tears Today
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 23 2014 11:37 PM How to Stop Ebola Could survivors safely care for the infected?
Sports Nut
Sept. 23 2014 7:27 PM You’re Fired, Roger Goodell If the commissioner gets the ax, the NFL would still need a better justice system. What would that look like?