Thursday, August 19, 2010

Podcast Rollcall: Slate's Culture Gabfest

Genre: Cultural analysis and criticism

What It's About: Examining recent cultural events. In every edition, three writers from gather for a roundtable discussion of three topics. Topics range from the ubiquitous and obvious -- a discussion of Eat Pray Love on the week the movie debuted, for example -- to the more obscure but fascinating -- like the IBM supercomputer that can beat humans at Jeopardy. Then there are the topics that are just plain fun, like the Old Spice guy.

Why You Should Care: is one of my favorite websites. A news and left-leaning opinion magazine, they have a knack for finding interesting angles on current event stories. That carries over to their podcasts. The Gabfest is hosted by smart, informed writers whose wit and insight will motivate you to scrutinize your own thoughts and opinions on a topic. Sometimes a bit too snobby, the participants are self-conscious enough to realize it, and self-critical enough to balance it out.

Frequency: Weekly

Average Length: 40 minutes

As always, if you become a regular listener to a podcast that solicits donations, try to find a way to make the occasional contribution.

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