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On this week’s episode, the critics discuss Maleficent, Disney’s live-action retelling of Sleeping Beauty from the villain’s perspective. The film stars Angelina Jolie in a role whose seductive deviance and maternal tenderness befit the star’s tabloid image. Next the gabbers turn to Karl Taro Greenfeld’s New York Times op-ed about faking cultural literacy in the age of social media. Have Twitter, Facebook, and the proliferation of “tabs” in our Web browsers made us savvier culture consumers or just better at BS? And finally, the Culture Gabfest welcomes Jody Rosen, critic-at-large for T: The New York Times Style Magazine, to discuss the 1909 hit that introduced extramarital sex into pop music—and why the two have been inseparable ever since.
Links to some of the things we discussed this week follow:
- Dana’s review of Maleficent on Slate
- A Slate Spoiler Special of the film, featuring Dana and Vanity Fair’s Katey Rich
- Angelina Jolie’s New York Times op-ed about her preventive double mastectomy
- Changeling, starring Angelina Jolie
- Robert De Niro’s The Good Shepherd, starring Angelina Jolie
- Disney’s animated film Sleeping Beauty from 1959
- Disney’s Frozen
- District 9, starring Sharlto Copley
- Karl Taro Greenfeld’s New York Times op-ed “Faking Cultural Literacy”
- Instapaper, an app that allows you to save Web reading for later
- Mike Pesca’s Memorial Day weekend “data purge” on Slate’s The Gist
- David Brook’s New York Times op-ed “The Art of Focus”
- “Oh! You Kid!,” Jody Rosen’s Slate piece about the song that introduced extramarital sex to pop music
- Irving Berlin’s “Alexander’s Ragtime Band”
Dana: Mike Pesca’s daily Slate podcast The Gist, which has become Dana’s go-to listening while walking her dog.
Mike: Kara Walker’s sugar sphinx in the soon-to-be-demolished Domino Sugar refinery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Jody: Graham Robb’s Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris, to which Robb brings the expertise of a historian and the flair of a novelist.
Julia: The Spot, Slate’s pop-up soccer blog in anticipation of the World Cup, especially Alan Siegel’s post about The Simpsons’ brilliant soccer parody.
Outro: “My Husband’s in the City” by Sophie Tucker (1910)
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This podcast was produced by Ann Heppermann. Our intern is Anna Shechtman.