Culture Gabfest

The Culture Gabfest “Cruel Angel’s Thesis” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Peterloo, Neon Genesis Evangelion, and the legacy of Mad magazine.

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 564 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner with the audio player below.

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This week, Dana, Steve, and Julia discuss Peterloo and consider director Mike Leigh’s approach to the notorious 1819 massacre and how he prevents the historical drama from ever feeling like a period piece. Next, the hosts talk to producer Benjamin Frisch about Neon Genesis Evangelion, the landmark anime that’s just become (officially) accessible to English-speaking audiences for the first time in years. Finally, Dan Kois joins the show to reminisce about Mad magazine, which is set to cease publication after 67 years. The gabbers share what they each learned from the humor magazine growing up and speculate about what’s filling that void for kids in 2019.

Links to some of the things we discussed this week:

• Mike Leigh’s Peterloo
• “Peterloo Is the Biggest Movie Mike Leigh Has Ever Done, But He’d Rather Not Talk About That” by Nate Jones in Vulture
Neon Genesis Evangelion
• “Evangelion Is Finally on Netflix. I Don’t Need a Rewatch, Because the Trauma Lives on in Me” by Gene Park in the Washington Post
• “Neverending Evangelion” by Aaron Stewart-Ahn in Polygon
Attack on Titan
• “Anime Classic Evangelion Is Finally on Netflix. So Why Are Some Fans Upset?” by Eric Vilas-Boas in Vulture
Mad magazine
• “The World According to Mad Magazine” by Tim Kreider in the New York Times
• “Born Under a Mad Sign” by Robert Lloyd in the Los Angeles Times
• Roger Ebert’s introduction to Mad’s 1998 Movie Parody Issue


Dana: The 5 Minute History reading of a witness’ testimony from the Peterloo Massacre

Julia: The Wikipedia page for Connie Converse and the Spinning on Air episode about her

Steve: E. P. Thompson’s The Making of the English Working Class

Outro: “Desafinado” by João Gilberto, as performed by Dana Stevens circa 1999

You can listen to Dana’s João Gilberto playlist here:

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

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