Culture Gabfest: Tintin, the Word Processor, and the 3-D Dance Documentary Pina 

Slate's weekly roundtable.
Dec. 28 2011 11:06 AM

The Culture Gabfest, “Writhing Around in Dirt” Edition

Listen to Slate's show about Tintin, the history of the word processor, and the 3-D dance documentary Pina.


Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 171 with Daniel Engber, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner by clicking the arrow on the audio player below or opening this player in another tab:

Don't miss a single episode of the Culture Gabfest. Subscribe to the free Culturefest podcast in iTunes or directly with our RSS feed. You can also download this week's episode here. And join the lively conversation on the Culturefest Facebook here:

In this week's Culture Gabfest, our critics Daniel Engber, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner examine whether Steven Spielberg’s new animated Tintin movie lives up to its comic book roots. Next, they look at how the word processor changed the writing process. For their final segment, Gabfesters revel in the glories of Pina, the new 3-D dance documentary about the life and work of the late choreographer Pina Bausch.

Here are some links to the things we discussed this week:

Dana’s review of The Adventures of Tintin.
’s browbeat blog with an excerpt from The Adventures of Hergé, a graphic biography about Tintin’s real-life author, Georges Remi.
’s Sam Adams reviews two new Hergé biographies, Hergé: Son of Tintin and the illustrated The Adventures of Hergé.
Danish filmmaker Anders Østergaard’s documentary Tintin & I.
The Adventures of Tintin
’s official site.
Wikipedia’s entry for “the uncanny valley.”
Experience “the uncanny valley” for yourself.
The New York Public Library’s web version of Matthew Kirschenbaum’s lecture, “Stephen King’s Wang: The Literary History of Word Processing.”
The New York Times
article on Matthew Kirschenbaum and the history of word processing.
Jill Krementz’s photography collection The Writer’s Desk.
Wikipedia’s entry for word processors.
The Museum of User Interfaces’ brief history of word processors.
Daniel Engber’s review of Pina.
The New York Times
’ obituary of choreographer Pina Bausch.’s interview with Pina director Wim Wenders.
A clip from the Astaire/Rogers classic Top Hat.
’s official site.

The Culture Gabfest weekly endorsements:

Dana’s pick: Matthew G. Kirschenbaum’s New York Public Library lecture, “Stephen King’s Wang,” at Also, the Pina soundtrack.
Daniel’s pick: The Journal of the Moving Image essay, “Lumiere’s Arrival of the Train: Cinema’s Founding Myth.” 

Julia’s pick: Jill Krementz’s photography books A Very Young Dancer and A Very Young Circus Flyer. Also, the film La Danse.

Outro: “Lilies of the Valley” by Jun Miyake from the Pina Soundtrack

You can email us at

This podcast was produced by Jesse Baker. Our intern is Matt Sigl.

Follow us on the new Culturefest Twitter feed. And please Like the Culture Gabfest on Facebook.

Daniel Engber is a columnist for Slate

Dana Stevens is Slate's movie critic.

Julia Turner is the editor in chief of Slate and a regular on Slate's Culture Gabfest podcast.


Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Global Marches Demand Action on Climate Change


Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Americans' Inexplicable Aversion to the 1990s
  News & Politics
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 11:33 AM Planned Parenthood Is About to Make It a Lot Easier to Get Birth Control
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 21 2014 1:15 PM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 5  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Time Heist."
Brow Beat
Sept. 21 2014 2:00 PM Colin Farrell Will Star in True Detective’s Second Season
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 5:03 PM White House Chief Information Officer Will Run U.S. Ebola Response
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 21 2014 8:00 AM An Astronaut’s Guided Video Tour of Earth
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.