Culture Gabfest

The “Gender Swap” Edition

Slate Culture Gabfest on The Assistant, High Fidelity, and Jenny Odell.


Episode Notes

This week on the Culture Gabfest, Stephen Metcalf is joined by two guests hosts: Sam Anderson, New York Times Magazine staff writer and author of Boom Time, and Dan Kois, Slate staff writer and author of How to Be a Family. First, the panel discusses The Assistant, the indie film with heavy Harvey Weinstein overtones. Next, they dive into Hulu’s reboot of High Fidelity, starring Zoë Kravitz. Finally, the panel breaks down the work of Jenny Odell, including her book How to Do Nothing and her recent Paris Review essay “The Myth of Self-Reliance.”

On the Slate Plus segment this week, the panel discusses Dan Kois’s recent Slate story on a New Zealand fantasy masterpiece—an article that helped to catalyze the book’s publication in the U.S.

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

Outro Music: “Lonely World” by Moses Sumney.


Dan: The writing of Charles Portis, including True Grit and Norwood.

Sam: John Cage’s performance of “Water Walk” on “I’ve Got a Secret” in 1960 (as Jenny Odell recommends).

Steve: Seeing Parasite a second time.

The Professor of Denial” by Amanda J. Crawford in The Chronicle of Higher Education.


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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