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:

The sponsors of this week’s show are Stamps.com and Audible. 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

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.

TODAY IN SLATE

Justice Ginsburg’s Crucial Dissent in the Texas Voter ID Case

The Jarring Experience of Watching White Americans Speak Frankly About Race

Here’s Just How Far a Southern Woman May Have to Drive to Get an Abortion

The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented

Marvel’s Civil War Is a Far-Right Paranoid Fantasy

It’s also a mess. Can the movies do better?

Behold

Sprawl, Decadence, and Environmental Ruin in Nevada

Space: The Next Generation

An All-Female Mission to Mars

As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.

Watching Netflix in Bed. Hanging Bananas. Is There Anything These Hooks Can’t Solve?

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 20 2014 1:50 PM Why We Shouldn’t be Too Sure About the Supposed Deal to Return the Abducted Nigerian Schoolgirls
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 20 2014 12:37 PM The Fed Will Probably Stop Injecting Huge Sums of Money Into the Economy This Month
  Life
Atlas Obscura
Oct. 20 2014 1:43 PM Chouara: A Striking 11th-Century Tannery in Morocco
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 1:10 PM Women Are Still Losing Jobs for Getting Pregnant
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 1:26 PM This $248 Denim Jumpsuit Is the Latest Example of a Horrible Fashion Tradition
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 20 2014 1:51 PM Will Amazon Lead Us to the Golden Age of Books? A Future Tense Event.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 10:23 AM Where I Was Wrong About the Royals I underestimated the value of building a team that’s just barely better than mediocre.