Culture Gabfest

Culture Gabfest “Squids, Women, and Chainsaws” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Titane, Squid Game, and the horror genre trope of the Final Girl.


Episode Notes

This week, Steve and Dana are joined by author and co-host of Slate’s Working podcast, Isaac Butler. First, the panel discusses the social implications of Netflix’s biggest hit to date, Squid Game. Next, the panel reviews the incredibly divisive (and gory) Cannes Palme d’Or winning Titane. Finally, the panel is joined by writer, researcher, and host of the Talking Scared podcast, Neil McRobert, to dissect the horror genre trope of the Final Girl.

In Slate Plus, the panel discusses representations of parenthood in art.

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The panel revisits their previous discussion on eBooks and endorses more media.

Dana: Scottish actor Alan Cumming’s harrowing, yet deeply moving book—particularly the audiobook version—Not My Father’s Son: A Family Memoir.

Isaac: Two books consumed in eBook format! The first, a tome comprising every novella from author Ursula K. Le Guin titled, The Found and the Lost. The second, in this episode’s shadow theme of Halloween, Jason Zinoman’s book Shock Value: How a Few Eccentric Outsiders Gave Us Nightmares, Conquered Hollywood, and Invented Modern Horror. Which is, clearly, a history steeped in love of 1970s horror cinema auteurs.

Steve: Keeping it simple this week with three songs. First, the indie rock band from Leeds, The Wedding Present and their 1992 song “Blue Eyes.” Second (friend of a friend of the podcast) Courtney Barnett’s cover of The Velvet Underground’s “I’ll Be Your Mirror” from the recent Velvet Underground & Nico tribute album. Finally, Willow Smith’s (yes, as in Jada Pinkett and Will Smith) song with artist Tyler Cole “Meet Me At Our Spot,” which was released under their alias THE ANXIETY. (The live version has been blowing up on TikTok.)

Podcast production by Cameron Drews. Production assistance by Nadira Goffe.

Outro music is “Meet Me At Our Spot” by THE ANXIETY.


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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