Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 286 with David Haglund, 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 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 Moby Dick by Herman Melville, read by Anthony Heald. 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.
On this week’s episode, the critics discuss Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel and debate the moral stakes of Anderson’s distinctly affectless directorial style. Next, the gabbers discuss the relaunch of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, now hosted by Neil Degrasse Tyson on FOX. Can a kitschy TV spectacle be an educational platform for science? And finally, in light of Newsweek’s cover story about bitcoin’s origins, the critics welcome Reuters financial blogger Felix Salmon to unpack the promises and pitfalls of the virtual currency.
Links to some of the things we discussed this week follow:
- Dana’s review of The Grand Budapest Hotel on Slate
- John Swansburg probes the autobiographical content of The Grand Budapest Hotel on Slate
- The Darjeeling Limited
- The Fantastic Mr. Fox
- Moonrise Kingdom
- Stephanie Zacharek writes in the Village Voice about “Trying to Love Wes Anderson”
- Cosmos, hosted by Neil Degrasse Tyson, on FOX
- Carl Sagan’s Cosmos from 1980
- Planet Money features a bet between Felix Salmon and Ben Horowitz about the future of bitcoin
- Satoshi Nakamoto’s original bitcoin manifesto
- Newsweek claims to have found bicoin’s founder
- Felix responds to Newsweek’s “unveiling” on Reuters.com
Dana: The extras on the Criterion Collection DVD of Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox
Julia: Bird-watching around Central Park’s melting reservoir, where she spotted a wood duck, the “harlequin harlot of birds”
Outro: “Tonight” by Sibylle Baier
You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This podcast was produced by Ann Heppermann. Our intern is Anna Shechtman.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Irritating Confidante
John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.
My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s
Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band
Can it be again?
The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee
Is It Better to Be a Hero Like Batman?
Or an altruist like Bruce Wayne?
Driving in Circles
The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.