Emily, John, and David end 2020 considering listeners’ most perplexing conundrums—with special guest Alexandra Petri!
Here are some notes and references from this week’s show:
The Life of George Washington: With Curious Anecdotes, Equally Honourable to Himself, and Exemplary to His Young Countrymen by Mason Locke Weems
Marching Bands Are Just Homeless Orchestras, Half-Empty Thoughts Vol. 1 by Tim Siedell
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
David G. Savage for The Los Angeles Times: “Clarence Thomas is His Own Man
The Glory and The Dream by William Manchester
The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family by Annette Gordon-Reed
Eminent Victorians by Lytton Strachey
The Twelve Caesars by Suetonius
The Complete Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Waterson
FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, Netflix
Fyre Fraud, Hulu
Black Mirror: “Nosedive,” Netflix
Black Mirror: “Arkangel,” Netflix
Here are some of the conundrums tackled on the show:
To save the world from eventual destruction, you have to live and work in one of two locations that you cannot leave for three years: one on the ocean floor, the other on the moon. Which do you choose and why?
What pre-1900 social custom (especially one related to how people interact with each other in public) that has fallen out of fashion should be revived in 2021 and beyond?
Would you rather have read War and Peace but not be able to talk about it, or to have read Atlas Shrugged and have to talk about it?
A pair of 80s style magical leg warmers must be visibly worn all day to activate superhuman cheetah speed. Do you wear them?
For the rest of quarantine, you must share your home with a fictional character. Who is your new roommate?
You can have your portrait painted by any artist from any period of history, or your biography written by any author. Whom would you pick?
If you could banish any widely accepted canard from people’s minds, what would it be?
If you, and only you, could see one statistic hovering over every person’s head, what would you want it to be?
Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on the Gabfest each week, and access to special bonus episodes throughout the year. Sign up now to listen and support our show. For this week’s Slate Plus bonus segment David, Emily, John, and Alexandra explore some bonus conundrums.
You can tweet suggestions, links, and questions to @SlateGabfest. Tweet us your cocktail chatter using #cocktailchatter. (Messages may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)
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Podcast production by Jocelyn Frank.
Research and show notes by Bridgette Dunlap.
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