Do Trigger Warnings Promote Sensitivity or Entitlement on College Campuses?

Slate's weekly roundtable.
March 19 2014 11:22 AM

The Culture Gabfest “Prime Directive” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on The Americans, the rising cost of Amazon Prime, and trigger warnings in college classrooms.

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 287 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 today’s show are Audible and Stamps.com. Get a free audiobook from Audible’s collection of more than 150,000 titles and a subscription to a daily audio digest when you sign up for a 30-day free trial at www.audiblepodcast.com/culturefest. This week’s pick for the Culture Gabfest Bucket List—the books you’ve got to read to be a smarter culture hound—is The Confessions of St. Augustine, read by Simon Vance. 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.

Subscribe on iTunes to Mom and Dad Are Fighting, Slates new parenting podcast featuring Allison Benedikt and Dan Kois.

On May 4, the Culture Gabfest will be hosting a live show in Montreal as part of the Blue Metropolis Literary Festival. Stay tuned for tickets to the show and a cocktail party with the gabbers on May 3. Tickets will go on sale April 2.

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 The Americans, Joe Weisberg’s FX series about Soviet spies living undercover in 1980s suburban D.C. Next, inspired by the price hike of Amazon Prime membership, the gabbers discuss George Packer’s New Yorker piece on Amazon.com. What are the true costs of Amazon’s convenience? And finally, the critics grapple with the use of trigger warnings on the Internet and in college classrooms. Are they respectful or condescending to those living with PTSD?

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

Endorsements:

Dana: The viral video of Stanford professor Andrei Linde celebrating an astrophysics discovery that vindicates his theory of an inflationary universe.

Julia: Fitbit Flex, a fun fitness bracelet that quantifies your physical activity and may change your behavior.

Steve: Discovering your “karaoke self” and “Don’t Sleep in the Subway” by Petula Clark.

Outro: “Brass in Pocket” by The Pretenders

You can email us at culturefest@slate.com.

This podcast was produced by Ann Heppermann. 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

Politics

Don’t Worry, Obama Isn’t Sending U.S. Troops to Fight ISIS

But the next president might. 

IOS 8 Comes Out Today. Do Not Put It on Your iPhone 4S.

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

How Much Should You Loathe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?

Here are the facts.

Amazon Is Launching a Serious Run at Apple and Samsung

Television

Slim Pickings at the Network TV Bazaar

Three talented actresses in three terrible shows.

Foreigners

More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

The Ungodly Horror of Having a Bug Crawl Into Your Ear and Scratch Away at Your Eardrum

We Could Fix Climate Change for Free. Now There’s Just One Thing Holding Us Back.

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 17 2014 7:03 PM Once Again, a Climate Policy Hearing Descends Into Absurdity
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
  Life
Outward
Sept. 17 2014 6:53 PM LGBTQ Luminaries Honored With MacArthur “Genius” Fellowships
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 6:14 PM Today in Gender Gaps: Biking
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 8:25 PM A New Song and Music Video From Angel Olsen, Indie’s Next Big Thing
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 9:00 PM Amazon Is Now a Gadget Company
  Health & Science
Jurisprudence
Sept. 17 2014 4:49 PM Schooling the Supreme Court on Rap Music Is it art or a true threat of violence?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 17 2014 3:51 PM NFL Jerk Watch: Roger Goodell How much should you loathe the pro football commissioner?