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

The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

Politics

Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

Florida State’s New President Is Underqualified and Mistrusted. He Just Might Save the University.

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 30 2014 9:33 PM Political Theater With a Purpose Darrell Issa’s public shaming of the head of the Secret Service was congressional grandstanding at its best.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 30 2014 7:02 PM At Long Last, eBay Sets PayPal Free
  Life
Gaming
Sept. 30 2014 7:35 PM Who Owns Scrabble’s Word List? Hasbro says the list of playable words belongs to the company. Players beg to differ.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 8:54 PM Bette Davis Talks Gender Roles in a Delightful, Animated Interview From 1963
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 30 2014 11:51 PM Should You Freeze Your Eggs? An egg freezing party is not a great place to find answers to this or other questions.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.