Culture Gabfest

The Culture Gabfest “Capitalism Is Grift” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Sorry to Bother You, Succession, and the summer of scammers.

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 516 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Laura Bennett with the audio player below.

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On Slate Plus, the hosts answer a listener question about their “cultural warm blanket”—the books, movies, and albums they find themselves returning to when the world is bleak.

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This week, Stephen, Laura, and Dana are joined by Veralyn Williams to talk Boots Riley’s Sorry to Bother You, unpacking the film’s politics and evaluating its effectiveness as a satire. Next, the hosts discuss Succession, a new HBO show from The Thick of It’s Jesse Armstrong. How well does the series balance drama and comedy, and what sets it apart from other depictions of the rich and powerful? Finally, they take on the recent spate of stories about grifters, from Anna Delvey to Elizabeth Holmes: Does the “summer of scammers” say anything about our current moment? Why are we so fascinated by them?


Links to some of the things we discussed this week:



Dana: “Trump’s White House Can Be Divided Into Grifters and Grafters” by Jacob Weisberg in Slate and the video streaming service Kanopy

Laura: BrainXcape’s Prison Break escape room

Stephen: In a Lonely Place by Dorothy B. Hughes (as well as its afterword by Megan Abbott) and Tracyanne Campbell and Danny Coughlan’s album Tracyanne & Danny

Outro: “Retro Inspector 1” by Anders Bothén

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This podcast was produced by Benjamin Frisch. Our production assistant is Alex Barasch.

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Correction, Aug. 8, 2018: This post originally contained audio for the incorrect episode of the Culture Gabfest.