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Get the Culture Gabfest and all of Slate's culture coverage here.

Get the Culture Gabfest and all of Slate's culture coverage here.


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Get the Culture Gabfest and all of Slate's culture coverage here.




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Join Slate Plus to Hear a New Episode of Decoder Ring!

Where did all the water bottles come from? Just a few decades ago, no one carried bottled water around with them, and now it's totally ubiquitous. What changed? Hydration is a real thing in science, but it was also a kind of invention: used by marketers of sports drinks, bottled water companies, and the wellness industry to keep us buying and drinking water for clearer skin, better health, and all sorts of other nebulous benefits. To hear the full episode now, sign up for Slate Plus....


Outward: Lesbians in Paris … and in Period Dramas

This month, Christina, Bryan, and Rumaan are first joined by Diana Souhami, whose new book, No Modernism Without Lesbians, tells the story of Sylvia Beach, Bryher, Natalie Barney, Gertrude Stein, and the artistic community they built in Paris between the wars. Then June Thomas joins them for a discussion of the recent spate of period dramas featuring women in love. Why can’t the women in these films get a little electricity or running water? Items discussed on the show: Dan D’Addario on...


ICYMI: What We Tok About When We Tok About Piss

On this episode, Madison and Rachelle talk to Rolling Stone senior writer EJ Dickson about PissTok, a new TikTok trend in which people are making jokes about urination kinks. She recently reported on the videos, which have attracted tens of millions of views, for her magazine. They discuss how kink has become memified, what this says about the rise of sex positivity in mainstream discourse, and whether or not it’s a step in the right direction. Also, Madison places a call to Apple support....


Culture Gabfest: Organized Crime

This week Steve, Dana, and Julia discuss the Oscar-nominated documentary Collective. Next, the group is joined by June Thomas, senior managing producer of Slate podcasts, to discuss Law & Order: Organized Crime. Finally, the panel dives into Substack, the newsletter platform journalists are flocking to. In Slate Plus, the panel talks about the Oscars. Podcast production by Cameron Drews. Production assistance by Rachael Allen. Email the hosts at Endorsements Dana: The...


Working: How Jed Mercurio Makes Realistic TV Dramas

This week host June Thomas talks to TV writer Jed Mercurio, who created the hugely popular UK police procedural Line of Duty and recently executive produced the drama series Bloodlands. In the interview, Jed explains what an executive producer does and discusses some of the signature qualities of his work. He also tells the story of how he became a practicing doctor before trying his hand at writing for television. After the interview June and co-host Isaac Butler talk about Jed’s career...


ICYMI: Will You Accept This SponCon?

In this episode, Rachelle Hampton and Madison Malone Kircher discuss the latest development in the world of The Bachelor and how it all plays into the show’s relationship with social media. First they dig into the news that former Bachelor Colton Underwood has come out as gay on Good Morning America. Then they get into the show’s love-hate relationship with Instagram, examining how the series has become a launchpad for influencers and explaining how social media has become its public editor,...


Hit Parade: Taylor’s Version of Country, Part 1

Taylor Swift’s new album is a reboot of an old album: Fearless, her 2008 chart-topping juggernaut that made her the biggest star on the Billboard charts. But Fearless (Taylor’s Version)—filled with banjos, steel guitars and fiddles—is also a reminder for those who forgot: Swift was once the top act in country music, too. From Dolly Parton to Shania Twain, the Chicks to Faith Hill, no country artist has ever crossed over to pop the way Taylor did, utterly dominating one genre before she took...


Spoiler Specials: Godzilla vs. Kong

On the Spoiler Special podcast, Slate critics discuss movies, the occasional TV show, and, once in a blue moon, another podcast, in full spoiler-filled detail. This week, Slate’s senior editor Allegra Frank is joined by Brow Beat nights and weekends editor at Slate, Matthew Dessem, to spoil Godzilla vs. Kong, the new action-packed sci-fi movie from director Adam Wingard. Kong and his protectors go on a perilous journey to find his true home but soon find themselves in the path of an enraged...


Culture Gabfest: Sleeps With the Fishes

This week Steve is joined by Slate senior editor Allegra Frank and writer/editor Dan Kois. The group first dives into the What Lies Below, the wild No. 1 movie on Netflix. Next, they discuss the Netflix series Worn Stories. Finally, the panel is joined by Slate music critic Carl Wilson to talk about Prince’s vault of unreleased music, as covered in Sunday's episode of 60 Minutes. In Slate Plus, the panel talks about how their parents influenced their music taste. Podcast production by...


ICYMI: A Vaccine Is Not a Personality

On this episode, Rachelle Hampton and Madison Malone Kircher look at the way the COVID vaccines have seemed to develop online personalities. They discuss how the memes and merch inspired by Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson can actually encourage vaccine hesitancy—which is all the more disappointing since there are actually some pretty informative TikToks out there about COVID-19. Next, they speak to a few Slatesters who might not have purchased vaxx merch but definitely made their own...


Slate Money: Movies: Working Girl

Welcome to Slate Money Goes to the Movies, a miniseries in which Felix Salmon, Anna Szymanski, and a different guest each week discuss popular business-themed movies. For the season finale, Jolie Hunt, CEO of Hunt & Gather, joins Felix Salmon and Anna Szymanski to talk about the 80s classic Working Girl. They discuss the class dynamics at play, the actual business taking place in the film, and what makes it such an enjoyable fairytale. Email: Podcast production by...


Working: What Healthcare Workers Can Teach Us About Creativity

This week host Isaac Butler talks to Anthony Fortenberry, chief nursing officer at Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, which has been serving the LGBTQ community in New York City for decades. In the interview, Anthony talks about all the creative challenges he and his staff have faced over the past year, from converting a hotel into a quarantine facility to making sure vulnerable people have access to vaccines. He also talks about the importance of flexibility and explains why managers...


ICYMI: Everything Is Tumblr Now

In this episode, Rachelle Hampton and Madison Malone Kircher start with a couple of High Speed Downloads: Madison summarizes the latest online drama surrounding self-help guru Rachel Hollis (featuring Harriet Tubman), and Rachelle chronicles the Kardashian fury that was unleashed after somebody posted an untouched-up photo of Khloe. Then, for their main segment, they speak with Dion Beary, a writer and online community builder who founded the Tumblr blog This Is White Privilege. They talk...


Culture Gabfest: What's Love Got to Do With It?

This week Steve and Dana are joined by Slate senior editor Allegra Frank. First the hosts discuss the Oscar contender Judas and the Black Messiah and the performances of its two stars, Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield. Then pop critic and UVA professor Jack Hamilton joins the show to offer his thoughts on Tina, the new documentary about the life of rock n' roll icon Tina Turner. After that, the hosts talk to Slate writer Rebecca Onion about her re-examination of The Beauty Myth, a modern...


ICYMI: Every Generation Has Its Cringe

On this episode, Rachelle Hampton and Madison Malone Kircher report from the latest front in the battle between millennials and Gen Z: the use of reaction GIFs. First, they trace this conflict back to its origins in skirmishes over middle parts and skinny jeans. Then they speak to culture writer Jenny G. Zhang, who recently encountered the fury of thirtysomethings scorned when she tweeted about what using reaction GIFs says about your age. Podcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Derek...


Slate Money: Movies: Margin Call

Welcome to Slate Money Goes to the Movies, a miniseries in which Felix Salmon, Anna Szymanski, and a different guest each week discuss popular business-themed movies. Lizzie O'Leary, host of Slate’s What Next TBD, joins to talk about Margin Call, the 2011 drama about the financial crisis. They’ll talk about how realistic the film is, the nuanced depiction of the people behind the crisis, and Lizzie’s experience as a political reporter covering the real thing. Email:


Working: The Activism and Artistry of Joan E. Biren’s Photography

This week host June Thomas talks to the activist photographer Joan E. Biren, also known as JEB. In the interview, JEB discusses the creation, funding, and printing of her 1979 photobook Eye to Eye: Portraits of Lesbians, which was recently reissued by Anthology Editions. She also talks about the enduring legacy of the book and what it meant for lesbians to see themselves accurately represented in her work. After the interview, June and co-host Isaac Butler reflect on JEB’s ability to create...


ICYMI: What’s Really “Up” With That TikTok Dance

On the latest episode, hosts Rachelle Hampton and Madison Malone Kircher talk to the teens. Mya Johnson and Chris Cotter are two teen TikTok stars who created a dance challenge set to Cardi B’s No. 1 hit “Up.” Fellow TikTok creator Addison Rae appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon to perform their dance, along with seven other popular TikTok dances, without giving credit to any of the creators. A Twitter user tweeted a side-by-side video of Chris and Mya’s original choreography and...


Hit Parade: Don’t Know Much About History, Part 2

In Part 2 of this episode of Hit Parade, Chris Molanphy continues his analysis of the music of Sam Cooke. The Oscar-nominated film One Night in Miami… imagines the conversation between Cooke, Malcolm X, Cassius Clay and Jim Brown the night in 1964 they gathered to celebrate the soon-to-be Muhammad Ali’s heavyweight victory. Malcolm X challenges Sam Cooke to use his amazing voice to help “the struggle.” Little did he know Cooke had already recorded his civil‑rights masterpiece, “A Change Is...


Spoiler Specials: Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar

On the Spoiler Special podcast, Slate critics discuss movies, the occasional TV show, and, once in a blue moon, another podcast, in full spoiler-filled detail. This week Slate’s movie critic Dana Stevens is joined by New Yorker staff writer Rachel Syme to spoil Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar, the new adventure-filled comedy by real life best friends and the writers who brought us Bridesmaids, Kristin Wiig and Annie Mumolo. When lifelong best friends and roommates Barb (Annie Mumolo) and...