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. 



Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Cheez-Its. Ritz. Triscuits.

Why all cracker names sound alike.

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

The Afghan Town With a Legitimately Good Tourism Pitch

A Futurama Writer on How the Vietnam War Shaped the Series

  News & Politics
Sept. 21 2014 11:34 PM People’s Climate March in Photos Hundreds of thousands of marchers took to the streets of NYC in the largest climate rally in history.
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 21 2014 1:15 PM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 5  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Time Heist."
Sept. 21 2014 9:00 PM Attractive People Being Funny While Doing Amusing and Sometimes Romantic Things Don’t dismiss it. Friends was a truly great show.
Future Tense
Sept. 21 2014 11:38 PM “Welcome to the War of Tomorrow” How Futurama’s writers depicted asymmetrical warfare.
  Health & Science
The Good Word
Sept. 21 2014 11:44 PM Does This Name Make Me Sound High-Fat? Why it just seems so right to call a cracker “Cheez-It.”
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.