Culture Gabfest

The “Portrait of Taylor on Fire” Edition

Slate Culture Gabfest on Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Miss Americana, and “garbage language.

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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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Episode Notes

This week on the Culture Gabfest, Stephen Metcalf, Julia Turner, and guest host and Slate staff writer Dan Kois talk about Céline Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire. Next, they discuss Taylor Swift’s documentary Miss Americana. Finally, the panel dives into “garbage language” a.k.a corporate buzzwords—unnecessary or effective?

On the Slate Plus segment this week, the panel discusses a contentious subject—whether Leonardo DiCaprio was already a star before Titanic?

Podcast production by Jessamine Molli. Production assistance by Rachael Allen. Additional production help by Rosemary Belson.

Outro Music: “The Man” by Taylor Swift.


Dan: Reading Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies before The Mirror & the Light, the third book in the trilogy, is released March 10.

Julia: Golden State by Ben H. Winters.

Steve: “Reading Sade in the Age of Epstein” by Mitchell Abidor in The New York Review of Books.