Culture Gabfest

The Culture Gabfest “Fetch the Mallets” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Midsommar, João Gilberto, and the end of life hacking.

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 563 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner with the audio player below.

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On Slate Plus, the hosts discuss Midsommar’s controversial ending in full spoiler-y detail.

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This week, Dana, Steve, and Julia debate Midsommar, horror auteur Ari Aster’s highly anticipated follow-up to Hereditary. It’s a meticulously crafted film with a great central performance by Florence Pugh, but does it do enough to distinguish itself from its influences? Next, the gabbers are joined by NPR’s Nate Chinen to discuss Brazilian musician João Gilberto, reflecting on his legacy as the father of bossa nova and sharing their own personal connections to his work. Finally, they talk to Slate’s Laura Miller about the rise and fall of “life hacking”—who it appeals to, how it’s evolved, and why it’s now fading out of use even as Silicon Valley CEOs take the concept to new (and troubling) extremes.

Links to some of the things we discussed this week:

Midsommar starring Florence Pugh
• Ari Aster’s Hereditary
• “The Culture Gabfest ‘Unkindest Cut of All’ Edition” by Isaac Butler, Stephen Metcalf, and Laura Miller in Slate
• Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Man
• “João Gilberto, an Architect of Bossa Nova, Is Dead at 88” by Ben Ratliff in the New York Times
• “To Love and Youth, With Regret” by Jon Pareles in the New York Times
• João Gilberto’s Chega de Saudade
• “The Girl From Ipanema” by Stan Getz and João Gilberto
• Stan Getz and João Gilberto’s album Getz/Gilberto ‘76
• “Retrato Em Branco E Preto by Stan Getz and João Gilberto
• “João Gilberto: Reports of Bossa Nova King’s Death Exaggerated” by Ian Thomson in the Irish Times
• “The End of Life Hacking” by Laura Miller
• Joseph M. Reagle Jr.’s Hacking Life: Systematized Living and Its Discontents
• “The Culture Gabfest ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Making a Black Friend’ Edition” by Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner in Slate


Dana: The audiobook of Sam Anderson’s Boom Town

Julia:Trouble” by Connie Converse

Steve: The David Hockney documentary A Bigger Splash

Outro: “Gatinha” by Cornelio

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

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