Culture Gabfest

“Stinker Thinker” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on The Sterling Affairs, On Becoming a God In Central Florida, and Taylor Swift’s album Lover.

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Episode Notes

This week on the Culture Gabfest, Stephen Metcalf and June Thomas are joined by a rotating third chair. First they discuss On Becoming a God In Central Florida with Slate’s Heather Schwedel. It’s a Kirsten Dunst vehicle about navigating a multilevel marketing scheme in 1990s Florida. It’s also a satire about capitalism whose darkness threatens to overcome Dunst’s career-best performance. Then producer Benjamin Frisch joins the panel to discuss The Sterling Affairs, the latest podcast in ESPN’s “30 For 30” series, about Donald and Shelly Sterling and the racist recording that brought the Los Angeles Clippers and the NBA to the brink. Finally, Julia Turner beams in to discuss Taylor Swift’s new record Lover, with Slate music critic Carl Wilson.

In Slate Plus, the panel discusses sports fandom and why Steve roots for the underdog.


June endorses the book Middle England, by Jonathan Coe

Julia endorses The Great British Baking Show

Steve endorses the salsas of Tienda Salsita and the music of the band Snail Mail

Outro is Snail Mail’s “Heat Wave.”

Podcast production by Benjamin Frisch.

About the Show

New York Times critic Dwight Garner says, “The Slate Culture Gabfest is one of the highlights of my week.” The award-winning Culturefest features Slate culture critics Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner debating the week in culture, from highbrow to pop.

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  • June Thomas is senior managing producer of Slate podcasts.

  • Stephen Metcalf is Slate’s critic at large. He is working on a book about the 1980s.