Is Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” a Worthy Song of Summer? The Slate Culture Gabfest Weighs In.

Slate's weekly roundtable.
Aug. 21 2013 11:07 AM

The Culture Gabfest “In a World Without Steve and Dana” Edition

Slate's podcast about the new film In a World, experiments in online longform journalism, and “Blurred Lines.”

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 257 with David Haglund, Seth Stevenson, 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 Stamps.com and Audible.com. Go to Stamps.com 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 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.

Advertisement

The Culture Gabfest’s first ever show in Brooklyn will be on Tuesday, Sept. 24 at the Bell House. Buy tickets at www.slate.com/cultureNYC

On this week’s episode, our critics discuss Lake Bell’s new romantic comedy In a World, which she directed, wrote, and starred in. The film follows Bell’s character as she tries to break the glass ceiling in the voice-over world—a world dominated by low-pitch, high-testosterone male voices. The gabbers review the film and discuss the state of the modern voice-over. Next, the gabfest dissects the New York Times’ multimedia story “The Jockey.” Like its Pulitzer Prize-winning predecessor, John Branch’s “Snow Fall,” “The Jockey” features high-quality photos and video clips embedded throughout. Does this species of online journalistic experiment work? Or does it get in the way of solid reporting? Lastly, Slate music critic Carl Wilson joins in to discuss the 2013 Song of Summer, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.” This summer hit comes with copyright drama, a NSFW video, and allegations of sexism. But is it catchy enough to deserve the hype?

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

Endorsements:

David: Reporter Sarah Stillman’s piece in The New Yorker on civil forfeiture.

Seth: Joe Swanberg’s new film Drinking Buddies, and, of course, the Slate softball team.

Carl: The songs of late summer, including Sam Phillips’ new album Push Any Button, John Cale’s “All Summer Long,” and Janelle Monae’s “PrimeTime.”

Julia: Steven Soderbergh’s film adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s novel Out of Sight.

Outro: “Pretty Time Bomb” by Sam Phillips.

You can email us at culturefest@slate.com.

This podcast was produced by Dan Pashman. Our intern is Sam McDougle.

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

David Haglund is a senior editor at Slate. He runs Brow Beat, Slate's culture blog.

Seth Stevenson is a frequent contributor to Slate. He is the author of Grounded: A Down to Earth Journey Around the World.

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

TODAY IN SLATE

History

Slate Plus Early Read: The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.

Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution

Transparent Is the Fall’s Only Great New Show

The XX Factor

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada

Now, journalists can't even say her name.

Doublex

Lena Dunham, the Book

More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.

What a Juicy New Book About Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric Fails to Tell Us About the TV News Business

Does Your Child Have Sluggish Cognitive Tempo? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

  News & Politics
History
Sept. 29 2014 11:45 PM The Self-Made Man The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 29 2014 7:01 PM We May Never Know If Larry Ellison Flew a Fighter Jet Under the Golden Gate Bridge
  Life
Dear Prudence
Sept. 29 2014 3:10 PM The Lonely Teetotaler Prudie counsels a letter writer who doesn’t drink alcohol—and is constantly harassed by others for it.
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 29 2014 11:43 PM Lena Dunham, the Book More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 29 2014 8:45 AM Slate Isn’t Too Liberal, but … What readers said about the magazine’s bias and balance.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 29 2014 9:06 PM Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice Looks Like a Comic Masterpiece
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 29 2014 11:56 PM Innovation Starvation, the Next Generation Humankind has lots of great ideas for the future. We need people to carry them out.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 29 2014 11:32 PM The Daydream Disorder Is sluggish cognitive tempo a disease or disease mongering?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.