Culture Gabfest on 1984, Feud, and sleeping habits.

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Welcome to the Age of Big Brother

Slate's weekly roundtable.
March 8 2017 1:50 PM

The Culture Gabfest “Lose the Shoulder Pads” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on George Orwell’s 1984, Feud, and sleeping habits.

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Illustration by Robert Neubecker.

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 442 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner with the audio player below.


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This week on Slate Plus, Stephen, Dana, and Julia debate the merits and drawbacks of books versus audiobooks.

On this week’s Slate Culture Gabfest, the critics discuss George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel 1984, its recent resurgence, and how it functions as a guidebook of sorts in the age of “alternative facts.” Next, they chat about the new FX limited series Feud: Bette and Joan, starring Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon as Hollywood rivals Joan Crawford and Bette Davis. Is it as juicy as we were led to expect? Finally, the gabbers discuss that universal feature of human and animal life: sleep. They debate different viewpoints about which sleep habits are “natural” and the merits of being an early riser or a night owl.


Links to some of the things we discussed this week:

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Dana: The streaming service Filmstruck

Julia: In The Woods by Tana French


Stephen: George Orwell’s nonfiction

Outro: “The Old Hag Is Sleeping” by The Fiery Furnaces

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This podcast was produced by Benjamin Frisch. Our intern is Daniel Schroeder.

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