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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:
- Dana’s review of Salinger for Slate.
- 2010 New York Times feature on Salinger’s waning popularity among young readers.
- Adam Sternbergh’s New York Times Magazine culture package on popularity.
- Billboard music charts.
- Girls on HBO.
- House of Cards on Netflix.
- Mad Men on AMC.
- Duck Dynasty on A&E.
- “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas.
- “Come on Eileen” by Dexy’s Midnight Runners.
- Welcome to Night Vale.
- The Onion.
- Noreen Malone’s New Republic piece on the Onion as op-ed.
- David Weigel’s Slate piece on the Onion’s humor.
- Farhad Majoo’s Slate piece on changes at the Onion.
- The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
- The Colbert Report.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
This podcast was produced by Dan Pashman. Our intern is Anna Shechtman.