Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Taylor Swift’s new record 1989, The 50 Year Argument, and that controversial catcalling video.

How Outraged Should We Be About Catcalling?

How Outraged Should We Be About Catcalling?

Slate's weekly roundtable.
Nov. 5 2014 12:50 PM

The Culture Gabfest “The New York Review of Taylor Swift” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Taylor Swift’s 1989, The 50 Year Argument, and that street harassment video.

The Culture Gabfest has moved! Find new episodes here.


Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 320 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner with the audio player below.

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In honor of the latest board game movie adaptation Ouija, this week’s Slate Plus listeners will hear the critics contact whatever spirits dwell at the Gabfest recording studio.

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This week on the Slate Culture Gabfest, Slate’s own music critic Carl Wilson joins the Gabfest to interpret the new monster record from Taylor Swift, 1989. Will Steve ever come around on the ex-country starlet? Next, Martin Scorsese and David Tedeschi have made a New York Review of Books documentary, The 50 Year Argument. The magazine is twice as old as Taylor Swift, but is it half as good as her album? Finally, the viral Hollaback video recording the catcalls one woman received over the course of one day in New York has inspired interesting conversations and caught flak for its racial politics. The critics discuss the video and their experiences of street harassment.


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


Dana: Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experiences, by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi


Julia: Scouting New York, the microhistorical gem of a blog written by a location scout in New York

Steve: The early albums of The Who, specifically the song “Substitute

Outro: Tina Turner’s “River Deep, Mountain High

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This podcast was produced by Ann Hepperman. Our intern is Josephine Livingstone.

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Update, Nov. 5, 2014: The audio of this podcast has been updated to reflect the correct date, Nov. 12, for the Chicago Political Gabfest Annual Conundrum Show.

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, the former editor in chief of Slate, is a regular on Slate’s Culture Gabfest podcast.