Was Miley Cyrus’ Performance at the VMAs Worthy of the Outrage It Provoked?  The Slate Culture Gabfest Weighs In.

Slate's weekly roundtable.
Aug. 28 2013 12:49 PM

The Culture Gabfest “Flirting With Vomit” Edition

Slate's podcast about the new film The World’s End, Miley Cyrus’ “racy” performance at the MTV Video Music Awards, and amusement parks.

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 258 with John Swansburg, June Thomas, and Julia Turner with the audio player below.

And join the lively conversation on the Culturefest Facebook page here:

The sponsors of this week’s show are 23andme.com and Audible. Go to 23andme.com/Slate for your $99 personal genetic profile. 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 www.audiblepodcast.com/culturefest.

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.


Join the Culture Gabfest at their first live show in Brooklyn on Tuesday, Sept. 24 at The Bell House. Tickets are available here.

On this week’s episode, our critics discuss the The World’s End, the final film in Edgar Wright’s Cornetto Trilogy. The film follows five childhood friends who reunite in middle age to conquer the Golden Mile—a herculean beer binge across 12 pubs in the fictional Newton Haven, England—and find themselves in a position to save the world. The gabfest reviews the film and situates it among this summer’s other apocalypse parodies. Next, with the help of Slate critic Aisha Harris, the gabbers take on Miley Cyrus’ now-viral performance at the MTV Video Music Awards, which featured an African-American dance crew, a twerking Miley, and a foam finger in all the wrong places. Was it racist? Over-sexed? Or just terribly awkward? Lastly, the gabfest celebrates the end of summer with a discussion of amusement parks: their hedonism, romance, and iconic place in an American summer.

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


June: The summer wardrobes on USA’s Royal Pains and Suits.

John: Good Humor’s King Cone.

Sam: “There Can Be Only One,” a new single off of Cass McCombs’ forthcoming album Big Wheel and Others.

Julia: The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson, 2013 Pulitzer Prize winner for fiction.

Outro: “There Can Be Only One,” by Cass McCombs.

You can email us at culturefest@slate.com.

This podcast was produced by Dan Pashman. Our interns for this week are Sam McDougle and Anna Shechtman.

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

John Swansburg is Slate's deputy editor. 


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

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


The Juice

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It’s completely transforming America’s best-selling vehicle.

Should the United States Grant Asylum to Victims of Domestic Violence?

The Apple Watch Will Make Everyone Around You Just a Little Worse Off

This Was the First Object Ever Designed

Don’t Expect Adrian Peterson to Go to Prison

In much of America, beating your kids is perfectly legal. 


How the Apple Watch Will Annoy Us

A glowing screen attached to someone else’s wrist is shinier than all but the blingiest jewels.


A Little Bit Softer Now, a Little Bit Softer Now …

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Is Everyone Going to Declare Independence if Scotland Does It? 

I Tried to Write an Honest Profile of One of Bollywood’s Biggest Stars. It Didn’t Go Well.

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