Pop Culture’s Complicity in Sexual Harassment

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#me too

Complicity. The word sounds vaguely menacing. Even if we’re not quite sure what complicity means, it sounds … bad. To be complicit, Merriam-Webster’s dictionary says, involves “helping someone commit a crime or a wrong in some way.” We’re hearing that word used a lot lately—albeit perhaps slightly less literally—in connection with the sexual harassment and […]

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What Parents Need to Know About Facebook’s Messenger Kids App

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kid with phone (possibly using the Facebook Messenger Kids app)

Facebook is coming for your children. On December 4, 2017, Facebook announced a new app targeted at 6-to-12-year-olds called Messenger Kids. The world will never be the same again… …but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Maybe it is or, maybe, it isn’t. There are myriad opinions as to whether Facebook’s Messenger Kids app is […]

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Culture Clips: Time’s Person of the Year Is a Hashtag Movement

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Each December, speculation builds about who Time magazine will select as its Person of the Year. That tradition that dates back to 1927, when Charles Lindbergh was selected as the inaugural honoree (according to Wikipedia’s entry on the subject.) Past recipients include almost every U.S. president since then (with the notable absence of Gerald Ford), […]

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Truth About the Truth or Dare App

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teens and phone

OK, let’s start with Truth, shall we? Many of us have probably played a game of Truth or Dare at some point in our past, right? Sure, we didn’t have all of today’s high-tech gadgetry to draw upon, but it’s possible that some of you still doled out those boundary-pushing teenage challenges in some antiquated […]

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Coco Tops the Box Office Again

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Coco movie monday

Thanksgiving is long gone. But at the movies, we’re still dealing with leftovers. With Hollywood pivoting toward awards season, no major movies were released wide this week, leaving the box-office field in the domain of long-in-the-tooth holdovers. Indeed, the top five was a complete clone of last week’s. Coco topped the weekend’s box-office tourney, collecting […]

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Game Goods 2017: Bob Hoose’s Year-End Picks

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Top Games year-end picks

We all know that it’s a pretty common thing these days to see families playing video games together. Games can be interactive, fun, and even educational if you find the right ones. Of course, finding the video games that fit your family room is the real challenge. And that equation can have as many variables […]

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Culture Clips: Do (Late Night) Nice Guys Finish Last?

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Jimmy Fallon

I watched about five minutes of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert the other night. That was as much as I could take before Colbert’s political monologue drove me in search of something kinder, gentler. Something like, say, the Tonight Show with host Jimmy Fallon, who’s mostly eschewed the kind of political skewering that has […]

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Why “This is Us” is Sweeping the Nation

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Over the last two seasons, NBC’s This is Us has become must-see TV for many a viewer, many of whom watch the show with a box of tissues handy. While the show has its content problems—and really, how many popular TV programs don’t?—it also showcases compelling, deeply emotional narratives that, for many, hit close to […]

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Culture Clips: It’s Hallmark Season

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Hallmark

It’s that time of year again. Yup: It’s Hallmark season. I came home a few nights ago to find my wife and two daughters watching a schmaltzy, sentimental Christmas movie on the Hallmark Channel. “Didn’t we see this one last year?” I asked. They looked at me with blank expressions, my wife answering, “Yes. And?” […]

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And Now, Something Good (or at Least Interesting) About Justice League

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Justice league

Listen, I’m not going to tell you that Justice League is a great movie. I’ve written and said too much about it already to claim that. But even flawed movies have something to say, and Justice League tells us something pretty interesting. (Warning: A few minor spoilers lie ahead.) Director Zack Snyder was, perhaps, not […]

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Culture Clips: Soaring ‘Reputation,’ Sinking Reputations

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Taylor Swift

This just in: Taylor Swift is kind of a big deal. For months, the pop star has been stirring the pop culture stew with a steady drip-drip-drip of singles, the lyrics of which have been parsed and dissected as if they were ancient Sanskrit texts. Now she’s given her fans a whole album, and it […]

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