Gabfest Radio: The Not Dead Yet but Working on It 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 the significance of President Obama’s surprise decision to seek congressional approval for a military mission in Syria. They also discuss the gun and pot laws provoking new fights about federalism.

Then on the Culture Gabfest portion of the show, our critics discuss Drinking Buddies, the latest film by Joe Swanberg, starring Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, and Ron Livingston. Set in a Chicago brewery, the film follows Kate (Olivia Wilde) and Luke (Jake Johnson) as they negotiate their platonic friendship, their entrance into bourgeois adulthood, and their respective romantic relationships. Think When Harry Met Sally meets A Midsummer Night's Dream, saturated in an excess of beer. Next, the Gabfest turns to a new Slate series by science and health editor Laura Helmuth on the swiftly increasing human lifespan and its effects on our conception of self. Laura joins the critics to explain, among other things, why we are #NotDeadYet. Finally, creative ambassador for Barneys and Slate contributor Simon Doonan talks about his latest book The Asylum, explaining his ascent from “working class slag” to fashion industry mainstay.

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 counted 18 kinds of Syria bombing opponents in Congress, and 12 kinds of bombing supporters; John also thinks the administration should stop pretending the mission will be easy.

Fred Kaplan supports Obama’s decision to seek congressional approval.

While liberals are fighting federal marijuana laws, they’re also scorning state challenges to federal gun laws—Emily wrote about what distinguishes the two fights over federalism.

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

Previous feature films by Joe Swanburg, Kissing on the Mouth and Hannah Takes the Stairs.

A.O. Scott’s New York Times review of Drinking Buddies.

Office Space.

A definition of “mumblecore” films by David Denby.

Slate’s excerpt from Simon Doonan’s new book The Asylum.


Dana: A Story of Film, Turner Classic Movies’s 15-part documentary and accompanying film series on the history of cinema.

John: The Warriors, a 1979 cult classic directed by Walter Hill.

Simon: CBS fantasy drama Under the Dome.

Steve: Ray Monk’s new biography of Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb.

Outro: “Checking Out” by Langhorne Slim.