You Want WHAT for Your Birthday Party?

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We all know that poop ain’t pleasant. That’s why we hold our noses and give it lots of generally negative names such as “defecation,” “excrement,” “waste” and lots of other names. But it seems we’re living in a new age of bodily waste fandom. A time when a grinning internet emoji has grabbed our attention […]

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Culture Clips: Revenge of the Books

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books

It wasn’t that long ago that the much-ballyhooed advent of e-books triggered fretting and nail-biting regarding the future of the printed variety. Would people still want old-fashioned, analog books? Or would everyone gravitate toward their electronic versions? Would the citizens of the future even know what a real book was? A perhaps surprising sales trend […]

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“… In Sickness and In Health, Even When the Batteries Expire in the Clicker …”

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Couple watching TV

Want to find a faithful soulmate? Check and see if they watch HGTV. Hey, I’m not the one saying that. As a Plugged In reviewer, I’m more likely to tell you to throw holy water at your television than, y’know, counsel you to actually watch the thing. But Cassie Murdoch at Mashable insists that there’s […]

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Culture Clips: The Most Dangerous TV Show?

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Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why is nearly a month old, but you wouldn’t know it  from the buzz.  The teen drama triggered more than 11 million tweets during its first three weeks of release, making it 2017’s most tweeted-about show.  But while 13 Reasons has been pretty popular with the 18-and-under set, don’t count everyone as […]

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Culture Clips: The Fate of the Free World (and Vin Diesel) Edition

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Fate of the Furious cars flying

We have so much serious stuff to get to in our latest edition of Culture Clips. But before we get too grim, let me share with you my reaction to The Fate of the Furious’ mammoth $532.5 million worldwide take on Monday. “Wha??!” Turns out, though, I’m just an old curmudgeon. The Washington Post suggests […]

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Culture Clips: Clowns Are Scared of It

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A clown hiding behind a balloon.

Professional clowns are not happy about yet another cinematic remake of Stephen King’s seriously creepy 1986 horror novel It. The titular It in question here takes the form of a scary, nasty clown named Pennywise. And given the recent scary, nasty clown sightings in the real world last fall, those who still put on colorful […]

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Fighting Human Trafficking by Watching TV

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Think Hawaii and you probably picture sun, surf and sand, humpback whales and tropical waterfalls. If you’ve watched national news recently, you could add spectacular lava flows and high elevation snowstorms (surprisingly) to that list. You won’t hear Hawaii’s tourism bureau touting the state’s seedy underbelly. Like most states, Hawaii has a big drug problem. […]

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What Do People in the Flyover States Want in a Movie?

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I once heard someone say that the last thing God “saves” in a Christian’s walk is his/her politics. I’m not sure about that. I think it’s his/her entertainment choices. Even within red-blooded, minivan driving, PTO attending, Red Cross supporting, apple pie eating, flag waving America, there’s a big disagreement as to what constitutes a “conservative […]

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Would You Adopt 16 Kids?: Facing Darkness Film

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What would you do if someone dropped a child off at your house in hopes that you’d adopt? What about five children? What about 16? And would it make any difference if all those kids were relatives? That’s about what happened to Liberian native Joseph Gbembo who I met when I was in Foya, Liberia, […]

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Culture Clips: Do Video Games Undermine Young Men’s Will to Work?

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The unemployment rate for men in their 20s has been rising for about 15 years now. Yet, curiously, a higher percentage say that they’re happier these days. What gives? Could it be that men who aren’t working are busily filling their days with … video games?   University of Chicago economist Erik Hurst looked into […]

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Chuck Berry’s Cultural Legacy

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It’s been said that rock is dead. While that subjective statement is impossible to prove, what’s certain is that the man often named “the father of rock ‘n’ roll” has himself passed away. Chuck Berry died on Saturday of natural causes at his suburban St. Louis home at the age of 90. And the case […]

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Vodcast: Navigating Beauty and the Beast

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Disney’s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast has a lot going for it, at least on paper: It’s a new, updated version of a beloved classic. It stars the effervescent Emma Watson. And it’s rated PG. Families will flock to the thing, right? And in truth, a lot of them will. But many Christian parents aren’t […]

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Culture Clips: The Vexing Conundrum of Social Media

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Ah, social media. Can’t live with it, can’t live without it. Seems like there’s a bit of truth in that old, unfunny saying I just co-opted and twisted for my own Culture Clips purposes. Researchers are talking a lot these days about how Instagram, Facebook and the like can negatively impact our lives. But scientists […]

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