Were Textiles the Internet of the 16th Century?

Slate's weekly roundtable.
Dec. 11 2013 1:02 PM

The Culture Gabfest “All That Chintz” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Inside Llewyn Davis, the threat of “smarm,” and “Interwoven Globe” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 273 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner with the audio player below.

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

Advertisement

The sponsors of this week’s show are Adult Swim and Stamps.com. Watch Rick and Morty on Monday nights at 10:30 p.m. on Adult Swim. Go to Stamps.com and use the promo code “CULTUREFEST” for your no-risk free trial and bonus offer.

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.

And don’t forget you can find Culture Gabfest T-shirts for sale in the Slate Store.

On this week’s episode, the critics discuss Inside Llewyn Davis, a new film from Ethan and Joel Coen, set in the Greenwich Village folk music scene of the early 1960s. With help from Carl Wilson, Slate’s music critic, the gabbers discuss the film’s soulful soundtrack and ambiguous relationship to both misanthropy and satire. Next, inspired by Tom Scocca’s anti-smarm polemic on Gawker, the critics discuss the threat of “smarm”:  What distinguishes it from “snark,” and which is more toxic? Finally, the critics talk to Amelia Peck, chief curator of “The Interwoven Globe,” an exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that explores the 16th- to 19th-century textile trade to redefine globalization in pre-Internet terms.

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

Selected images from "The Interwoven Globe" are featured below.
Bedcover or Hanging, 17th century; Indian (Gujarat), for the Portuguese market.
Bedcover or Hanging, 17th century; Indian (Gujarat), for the Portuguese market.

Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Hanging Depicting a European Conflict in South India, ca. 1740s-1750s; India (Coromandel Coast), for the English Market.
Hanging Depicting a European Conflict in South India, ca. 1740s-1750s; India (Coromandel Coast), for the English Market.

Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Quilt depicting English Captain James Cook’s Third Voyage to the Hawaiian Islands, ca. 1790; British, probably.
Quilt depicting English Captain James Cook’s Third Voyage to the Hawaiian Islands, ca. 1790; British, probably.

Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Traite des Nègres (The Slave Trade), early 19th century; French.
Traite des Nègres (The Slave Trade), early 19th century; French.

Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Blue-Resist Panel, mid-18th century; Probably Indian, for the American market.
Blue-Resist Panel, mid-18th century; Probably Indian, for the American market.

Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art



Endorsements:

Steve: Sucking on Altoids while chopping onions

You can email us at culturefest@slate.com.

This podcast was produced by Chris Wade. 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

Jurisprudence

Scalia’s Liberal Streak

The conservative justice’s most brilliant—and surprisingly progressive—moments on the bench.

Colorado Is Ground Zero for the Fight Over Female Voters

There’s a Way to Keep Ex-Cons Out of Prison That Pays for Itself. Why Don’t More States Use It?

The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

Culturebox

Theo’s Joint and Vanessa’s Whiskey

No sitcom did the “Very Special Episode” as well as The Cosby Show.

Television

The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

Cliff Huxtable Explains the World: Five Lessons From TV’s Greatest Dad

Why Television Needs a New Cosby Show Right Now

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 18 2014 8:20 PM A Clever Attempt at Explaining Away a Vote Against the Farm Bill
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 18 2014 6:02 PM A Chinese Company Just Announced the Biggest IPO in U.S. History
  Life
The Slate Quiz
Sept. 18 2014 11:44 PM Play the Slate News Quiz With Jeopardy! superchampion Ken Jennings.
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 18 2014 8:07 PM Crying Rape False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Every Day That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 4:33 PM The Top 5 Dadsplaining Moments From The Cosby Show
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 6:48 PM By 2100 the World's Population Could Be 11 Billion
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 18 2014 3:35 PM Do People Still Die of Rabies? And how do you know if an animal is rabid?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.