Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Idiocracy, pilgrimages to writers’ houses, and why technology keeps infantilizing us.

Are We Living in an Idiocracy?

Are We Living in an Idiocracy?

Slate's weekly roundtable.
Aug. 10 2016 2:31 PM

The Culture Gabfest “Live From the Mount” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Idiocracy, pilgrimages to writers’ houses, and why technology keeps infantilizing us.

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Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 412 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner with the audio player below.


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This week on Slate Plus, the critics answer audience questions live from the Mount.

On this week’s live edition of the Slate Culture Gabfest, the critics talk about the 2006 movie, Idiocracy, which takes place in a world in which every feature of our civic life has been sold out to corporate interests. How relevant is the cult film in 2016? Next, to mark the occasion of visiting Edith Wharton’s estate, the Mount, the gabbers ask why people take pilgrimages to the homes of their most revered writers and artists. Finally, Jesse Barron’s essay “The Babysitters Club” argues that cutesy interfaces are talking to us like children. Why is technology trying to infantilize us?


Links to some of the things we discussed this week:

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Dana: Elia Kazan’s A Face in the Crowd

Julia: Slate’s children’s book blog, Nightlight and William Steig’s Amos and Boris

Stephen: The Australian indie band the Apartments, the Robert Frost poem “The Witch of Coos,” and Six Depot in West Stockbridge

Outro: “You Became My Big House” by the Apartments

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This podcast was produced by Ann Heppermann. Our intern is Lizzie Fison.

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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.