Culture Gabfest

The “Mad as Hell” Edition

Slate Culture Gabfest on a viral YouTube reaction video, The Great Influenza, and Network.

Illustration depicting a female with a microphone

Listen longer

Slate Plus members get ad-free versions of all Slate podcasts, plus extra segments, bonus episodes, and more. Try it free today.

Join Slate Plus

Episode Notes

On this week’s episode, Steve, Dana, and Julia discuss a recent video of twins’ listening to Phil Collins’s “In the Air Tonight” that went viral. Then, the panelists talk about John M. Barry’s The Great Influenza. Finally, they take on this week’s comfort watch—Network.

In Slate Plus, the hosts break down The Daily’s recent two-part series on cancel culture.


Dana: The accurate lime cordial recipe!

The Lime-Tree Bower My Prison

Martini glass

2 oz Rye (though you can use just about any spirit)

¾ oz lime cordial

Lime wheel garnish

1.     Chill glass and prepare thin lime wheel

2.     Measure and pour whiskey and cordial into mixing tin

3.     Add ice, shake & strain into chilled glass

4.     Lightly float lime wheel on top

Lime cordial

Take 2 cups of fresh lime juice and boil it down until reduced to 1 cup. Add 1 cup of sugar, stir to dissolve. Store in airtight container in refrigerator. Keeps for months (though if you took the pain to make it, invite some friends over and drink it!). Can work with any amount of lime juice by reducing by half and making a simple syrup with the reduced lime juice and sugar.

Julia: Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld

Steve: “Dickens in Brooklyn” by Jay Neugeboren in the New York Review of Books

Podcast production by Cameron Drews. Production assistance by Rachael Allen.

Outro Music: “Did I Make You Wait” by Staffan Carlen


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.

All episodes