Culture Gabfest

The “Horrors Real and Imagined” Edition

Slate Culture Gabfest on Lovecraft Country, I’m Thinking of Ending Things, and is NYC over?

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 is joined by guest hosts Laura Miller, a books and culture columnist for Slate, and Jamelle Bouie, a columnist for the New York Times and Slate’s former chief political correspondent. The panel takes on Lovecraft Country, HBO’s new horror series. Next, they talk about Charlie Kaufman’s enigmatic I’m Thinking of Ending Things. And finally, the panel dives into the “is NYC over?” debate.

In Slate Plus, the hosts talk about a George Washington University professor’s recent confession that she falsely claimed a Black identity.


Laura: The Silver Arrow by Lev Grossman

Jamelle: The Way Back, a sports film starring Ben Affleck

Steve: “What Ails America” by Timothy Snyder in the New York Review of Books, adapted from his new book, Our Malady: Lessons in Liberty from a Hospital Diary

And finally, please check out Jamelle’s cereal reviews for Serious Eats.

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

Outro Music: “Bloody Hunter” by Paisley Pink


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


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