Finding God in a Bad Commercial

It’s been said that God works in mysterious ways. Sometimes even through a controversial Ram Truck commercial. We’ve already mentioned that commercial Wednesday, of course. The manufacturer (or, rather, its advertising agency) put together an advertisement pairing video clips of its truck helping folks do good things with the words of a Martin Luther King […]

Continue Reading

An Open Breakup Letter to Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake performing during the Super Bowl LII Pepsi Halftime Show in 2018

Dear Justin Timberlake (can I still call you JT?), I am writing to inform you that we’re through. I’m breaking up with you. Let me back up. I realize it’s been awhile since we last talked. In fact, I know that this is actually the first time. You don’t know me from Adam, and that’s […]

Continue Reading

Culture Clips: A Good Year for the Bad Guys

Frank Griffin from Godless

We’re three whole days into 2018 now, but it’s still wholly appropriate to look back at the year that was. Researchers have weighed the data to determine the year’s most popular books, movies and videos. Pundits have opined on the year’s biggest entertainment stories. But one thing’s clear, at least to the Los Angeles Times’ […]

Continue Reading

Pop Culture’s Top 10 Movers and Shakers (2017 Edition)

Movers and shakers

The outgoing year is often depicted as an old, tired man with a beard down to his knees. But this year, that depiction felt all too true. With all the natural disasters and political unrest and international crises afoot, 2017 probably made us all feel older than we should. Back in the day, many folks […]

Continue Reading

Television Tops 2017: Paul Asay’s Year-End Picks

Most of television’s nicknames are severely dated. How can it be called the “tube” when most of our HDTV’s don’t even have tubes anymore? I’ve been known to call it the “small screen” too, even though there’s nothing small about most television screens today. There’s nothing small about the influence of television, either. Experts say […]

Continue Reading

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

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), […]

Continue Reading

Why “This is Us” is Sweeping the Nation

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 […]

Continue Reading

Culture Clips: The Most Hated Man in Nerd-dom?

Luke almost didn’t come back. Mark Hamill portrayed Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars trilogy, launching him into the kind of superstardom few ever actors ever achieve. No wonder he was a bit tentative about reprising his iconic role. “I was just really scared,” he told the New York Times recently. “I thought, why […]

Continue Reading

Culture Clips: Distracted to Death?

Today’s vehicles are packed with more safety and collision-avoidance technology than ever before. But traffic-related deaths in the United States have nevertheless risen sharply over the last two years, up 14.4% after decades of generally trending downward. Curiously, certain kinds of folks are increasingly prone to be involved in fatal car accidents than others: pedestrians, […]

Continue Reading

Television Learns That It’s Nice to Be Nice (And It Makes Money, Too)

the good doctor

We’re in the heart of the new television season, and I’ve noticed something a little odd about it. It’s trying to be nice. Strange, right? For the last several years, television has been besotted with undoubtedly gripping, unbearably grim prestige TV. HBO’s Game of Thrones revels in its episodic cruelties, both physical and political. Hulu’s […]

Continue Reading

Bronies: What’s this Dog and Pony Show All About?

Brony

Some things in life we know with certainty: The sun will come up tomorrow. Fish will swim in the sea. Kevin Sorbo will star in yet another Christian movie. And when the My Little Pony movie comes to theaters this weekend, standing in the ticket (and popcorn) line will be tens of thousands of adult […]

Continue Reading