Gabfest Radio: The Chillaxing Bridezilla Edition

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On this week’s episode of Gabfest Radio from Slate and WNYC, Political Gabfest panelists Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz discuss Paul Ryan’s updated GOP budget proposal and President Obama’s visits to Capitol Hill, and the overturn of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s soda ban by a New York judge.

Then on the Culture Gabfest portion of the show, Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens and special guests John Swansburg discuss the History Channel’s miniseries The Bible, its kitschy tableaus and diorama feel and how producer Mark Burnett interprets and retells the stories of the Bible. The Gabfesters then discuss the 2012 Vida Count and what can be learned and extrapolated from the tally of women published by major literary publications. Finally, our critics discuss a veritable wordpacalypse—the death of the pun and the rise of the neolexic portmanteau.

Join the Gabfest discussion all week long at the Political Gabfest Facebook page and the Culture Gabfest Facebook page.

Here are links to some of the items mentioned in this week’s episode:

POLITICAL GABFEST (Click here for this week’s individual episode at Slate):

John explains why the president’s warmer overtures to the GOP are not part of a trap.

David references Matt Yglesias’ comparison of the “thrilling” Ryan proposal to the relatively “boring” proposal put forward by Democratic Sen. Patty Murray.

Emily says that Michael Bloomberg’s nanny-state soda ban was overturned by nanny-state judicial activism.

Emily mentions Nicholas Confessore’s reporting on the beverage industry’s financial support of New York civil rights groups, advocacy organizations, and business associations.

Emily also recommends a New York Times Magazine piece by Michael Moss looking at “the extraordinary science of addictive junk food.”


CULTURE GABFEST (Click here for this week’s individual episode at Slate):

Touched By An Angel, the CBS series starting Roma Downey.

Survivor, the Mark Burnett-produced reality TV show.

The Akedah, or the account in the Book of Genesis of Abraham offering his son Isaac for sacrifice.

James Poniewozik for Time online on The Bible.

The 2012 Vida Count.

Roxane Gay on the 2012 Vida Count.

Ruth Franklin for the New Republic and Meghan O’Rourke for Slate on the 2010 Vida Count.

Recent cover stories from the Atlantic written by women: “Why Women Still Can’t Have it All” by Anne-Marie Slaughter, “The End of Men” by Hanna Rosin, and “All the Single Ladies” by Kate Bolick.

Simon Akam for Slate on the death of the pun

Bun in the Coven,” Dana’s review of Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part: I for Slate.

David Haglund for Slate on small businesses keeping the pun alive

Charles Lamb’s 1826 essay on the pun, “Popular Fallacy IX: That the Worst Puns Are the Best.”

“Pun for the Ages” by Joseph Tartakovsky for the New York Times.


Dana’s pick: You Are One of Them, the forthcoming novel by Elliott Holt about the friendship of two girls in Washington, D.C. in the 1980’s, with a Cold War backdrop. And here’s Holt’s #TwitterFiction story, released tweet by tweet.

John’s pick: The brilliant sitcom Cheers, available streaming on Netflix 

Stephen’s pick: The Swedish pop bands Club 8 (dreamy, atmospheric, and melodic) and First Aid Kit (inspired by American roots music).

End Music: “Western Hospitality” by Club 8.