How Terrible Exactly Is the New Salinger Movie? Slate’s Culture Gabfest Weighs In.

Slate's weekly roundtable.
Sept. 11 2013 10:31 AM

The Culture Gabfest “Log-Toting Salinger” Edition

Slate’s podcast about the new documentary Salinger, popularity in the Internet age, and changes at the Onion.

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 260 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner with the audio player below.

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

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Pose a question to our critics for next week’s call-in show at 424-255-7833.  Questions will be accepted until noon EST on Friday, Sept 13.

On this week’s episode, our critics take down Salinger, Shane Salerno’s new documentary about the reclusive writer. The film features a star-studded cast of talking heads, whose commentary on Salinger fluctuates between unfounded speculation and total hagiography. Next, the Gabfest turns to the concept of popularity, as defined (or redefined) by Adam Sternbergh in this week’s New York Times Magazine. Adam joins the critics to discuss the ways in which the Internet has both clarified and confounded our measures of cultural popularity. Finally, the Gabfest examines changes at the Onion. After 25 years in publication, the satirical newspaper has ascended from supermarket periodical to a mini-media empire in its own right. Changes in the staff and the tone of the paper, however, have led some critics to ask: Is the Onion still funny?

Links to some of the things we discussed this week follow:

Endorsements:

Dana: Wise Up Ghost, a new album Elvis Costello and The Roots

Julia: Breaking Bad on AMC

Steve: BBC America’s crime drama Broadchurch

You can email us at culturefest@slate.com.

This podcast was produced by Dan Pashman. Our intern is Anna Shechtman.

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.

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

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